A Cautionary Tale

Once upon a long time ago, in a land far, far away (Australia) there lived a fellow who decided that he might like to earn some extra cash so he thought he would take a look at Onlene Marketing as a side line – and who knows. Lacking any knowledge of how to approach this business he signed up with a company that advertised itself as being the best training he had ever seen and promised a step by step guide on how to be successful in internet marketing.

Now at this point the teller of this tale would probably say “stop me if you’ve heard this one” but I don’t want to do that because I think there is information in this story that will assist others planning to follow the same path and avoid some of the pits I fell into along my way.

My first foray (and this was a few years ago) was into building a page to sell eBooks. Not PLR and similar products that we know today but just an eBook store. In the days when Kindle was new this seemed like a reasonable approach so we paid our money for the training and…the whole thing fell apart.

And so began a long line of trying and failing with some intermittent success when I changed my career to WEB SITE DESIGN and SEO. Until Now!

I am pleased to say that a few of our clients keep coming back to us for renewals,updates and assistance so I guess we must have done something right.

The training was awful. Not so much the training on how to set up your page, but more about finding traffic and generally trying to get my “one of heaps and heaps of similar sites” to be different from everyone elses. To find my point of difference. Until now!

What I discovered was that MOST trainers and sellers of schemes to teach you all the tricks in the world that the experts will not teach you, or the latest magic gizmo or software that will pulverise the opposition or will show you how you can sell stuff you do not have or how it is MUCH BETTER to get your own products because then you don’t have to worry about the quality of it (I will come back to Amazon later) ACTUALLY just wanted to sell you something and so long as you kept buying, they didn’t care of you sank or swam.

I am sure some of them showed you genuine sales figures…and many didn’t. I am sure that some of them truly thought their system was foolproof and many of them knew that because their system was to sell you whatever they could. PLUS I am sure there were times when I was just totally unsure about how best to proceed and it was totally my fault things did not work out, but nothing brought me the basis of a stable business that I so desperately sought.


I fell victim to the Shiny Object Syndrome that is the bane of all Online Marketers. I have stuff on my computer I have never really opened let alone implemented. And far from realising what the problem was, I actually extended my SOS to the entire work concept. Allow me to explain.

As I mentioned earlier I took up web design and SEO. If you are unsure what SEO is, it is optimizing your web site to make it climb the rankings. What I discovered were that there were not enough hours in a day to build sites, complete SEO and still stay married to my lovely wife who I realise I should talk to at least once a day. in addtition she had some fairly serious health issues (unrelated to my work) but she did her best to help the cause, as she still does today.

So I went looking for help and found it in the form of a gentleman that lives in the US but is of Asian extraction so I will not mention his name as I don not want to get sued. He had a setup that provided quoting, support, basic web design and SEO packages including Google Plus setup, Facebook page Setup and so it went on. The system looked brilliant. Unfortunately the people that he had working for him were next to useless and different every time you logged in. I could not allow them to liaise with my clients because, quite simply they either did not understand basic English or just did not want to listen. I built one web site during that time of which I am not proud! I just could not put things right from the way they built it.

So here I was still searching for that magic pill of success. I discovered Amazon.


I attended a training program in Sydney. US$2000.00 but it seemed worth every penny and off I went to buy my first product. Our wine pourer was a slow seller and we lost money on it but it seemed we were on the right track so after joining a few different software sites to check on keywords and the like plus getting professional imagery and professional written content and spening a further $8000.00 on 1000 units of product from China (including shipping) we dropped our chefs knives through FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon – Pay Amazon) and our stock arrived in the USA.

Then you need a seller central account (Pay Amazon Monthly). You set up your sales page and llist your stock. The best way to “Launch” your product is with a company called Viral Launch (or it was 2 years ago) so we did. The cost of a launch was $300.00. Gave away 100 units of product for reviews. Then you have to pay storeage for your goods (Pay Amazon Monthly – a few dollars per cubic foot) THEN you have to promote your product through Amazon advertising which is rather like FB advertising in the way it works. (Pay Amazon again)

You may have noticed now that we have spent quite a bit of money – and so SALES HAVE BEEN ZERO!

So, with Viral Launch working well we reached the top of page one, our pricing was competitive ($29.00), our imagery and wording proessional (you can see the imagery on this page) and we sold very little.

So we paid for different copywriting and new imageery – small sales. Relaunch for $400.00 (nice price rise there) back to the top of page one. A few sales – then virtually nil.

There are two further things to note here.

  1. Our product cost $8.00 to get into the US. Amazon charge $12.00 to pick and pack it (Pay Amazon) so at full price we were making $8.00 a unit – that is before paying advertising and storeage to Amazon as noted earlier.
  2. Three months before Christmas Amazon advised that they needed space for Christmas stock so they were TRIPLING the cost per cubic foot for storeage. We pulled our remaining 500 knives out of Amazon and shipped them to Australia and closed down Amazon for good.

We are now broke.

So where does that leave us and what was the point of this tale.

I have found a training program that is just fantastic. I am being treated like a person not a dollar sign and I am moving through the training program despite illness to family and aged parents taking up a lot of time. I am about to start work on my product launch. If you want to know more about the training I am on I will be writing other posts under the category of Training With Thornhill.

If you have considered starting a business online, this IS the training program you need. However, don’t just take my word for. If you follow the link below it will take you to a FREE webinar which will tell you all about what you need (and do not need) to build a successful online business. I am doing it as we speak

As I said, find out for yourself and you will see why I am so excited about this training and what it is teaching me to do and why I am looking confidently into the future.

Go on…check it out. It will cost you nothing to look!

Gordon J

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