Passive Incomes Are Never Passive. Taking a Look Inside CB Passive Income.

When you first start off in the world of internet marketing, you are likely to be unsure of what niche to get involved in and what products to promote. More often than not, more experienced marketers will either push you towards, or at least recommend ClickBank.

ClickBank is a product marketplace, mainly dealing in digital products like software and eBooks, where you can choose from a large number of products to promote.

As these are digital products the overheads are generally quite small, which means that they makers of these products can offer up a much larger slice of the pie when it comes to the affiliate commissions, on average around 20-50% of the sale price.

Though recently ClickBank has improved, it has had a history of allowing poor products on its list, though that mantle seems to have been taken over now by the likes of ClickSure.

The product I am reviewing today makes use of ClickBank. It is called CB Passive Income and it is a lead generation system that offers a way for you to generate cash from ClickBank products.

Another Push Button System?

The system is specifically targeted at internet marketing newbies and that worries me, because I do not believe that this system will actually teach you anything. Let’s take a sample of his sales pitch:

Imagine if…

  •  You didn’t need to write or produce any content
  •  You didn’t need to create any membership program
  •  You didn’t need to create any products to sell
  •  You didn’t need to come up with your own free offer
  •  You didn’t need to write any sales letters
  •  You didn’t need to pay for hosting or an auto-responder
  •  You didn’t need to send emails at all
  •  You didn’t need to provide any customer service or follow up
  •  You didn’t need to research for what products or affiliate programs to promote
  •  You didn’t even need to learn internet marketing!

Heck, with this program, you don’t need to do anything except for one simple task!

This is selling a pipe-dream. It is basically saying you can earn money for doing virtually nothing, and that just isn’t true.

The premise of the system is a simple and well known marketing ploy: create an email harvesting website that offers something for free in return for an email address; send that person emails with information and product promotions; earn commissions.

That is a tried and tested way of earning money online, I have no doubt about that. My concerns for this system come from the fact that the newbie will not be taught or learn about the ins and outs of how a mailing list works and they won’t have to face the learning and growing experience of trying and failing. Patric Chan, the creator of CB Passive Income will do it all for you.

This will lead to one major downfall: your income is in someone else’s hands!

  • You have no control over what the website looks like, what it sells, or what the emails contain.
  • You will also have no exact statistics on what emails did well, how many products sold etc etc.
  • You will also be at the mercy of Mr. Chan. What if he decides that today is the day, unplugs his computer and goes to live in Peru?

Push button systems sound glorious, and speak to our inner laziness (they do to mine all the time!), but in reality you don’t learn from them and you certainly won’t make a sustainable business from them.

A Simple Task

Of course if you did decide to purchase the product, there is “one simple task” you need to do, which is to promote the link to the website to get people to hand over their email address in the first place.

Lead generation, as this is technically called, is no easy task, especially for a beginner. In fact, I would say it is probably the largest stumbling block for any online entrepreneur.

Therefore, while it is great that the only thing you need to do in this system is generate traffic, it is often the hardest thing to do, especially when there is little reward for the user. Would you just give away your email address easily?

Perhaps I’m cynical nowadays, but I tend to want to trust the website first before doing so, which means I need content and lots of it, to prove to me this person knows what they are talking about.


Due to the fact that most newbies will be lost at sea when it comes to finding traffic (after they have tapped out the family and friends resources), it is of course obvious that Patric has added some convenient upsells to his product. As you can see below this isn’t the “free” system that he insinuates in his sales letter


This is actually a clever way of getting you through his proverbial door, as most newbies will need that training to even start generating cash so will more likely sign up to his membership system which has a monthly fee of $47 bucks.

The Pro Version

You can pay Patric some more money and get access to the leads generated by the system. In other words, you can start to take control away from Patric and into your own hands.

The Membership Area

The training is provided by videos, and there are a lot of those to be fair. Content wise they are not too bad.

It didn’t rock my world, especially with the monthly price tag attached to it, but it is a reasonable selection of training resources suitable for newbie all in one place.

The Flip Side

I am by nature a little bit wary and conservative about the next big thing from the Gurus. I have been burnt too many times not to be.

That being said, I can see some usefulness in this product from a newbie standpoint. Internet marketing is a multi-skill endeavor; you need to learn various different things to different levels in order to succeed, such as copywriting, website creation, etc.

CB Passive Income does take most of that away from you, allowing you to focus on simply learning how to generate traffic. If used as a starting point it may actually be beneficial for some people. Others who like to be in the thick of it and have full control probably won’t like it though.

The Bottom Line: Is CB Passive Income a Scam?

It’s definitely different than most other money generation systems out there. I have my concerns about having that control taken from you, and how much you will learn about internet marketing in general. All of those “no experience required!” claims do not do the program any favors. I wouldn’t label it a scam, but I wouldn’t sing its praises from the roof tops either.

Should You Work With a Freelance Agency?

Freelancing has been a maddening business for me. Not only am I a full-time freelance writer, but I’m also a part-time accountant, lawyer, artist, marketer, reporter, videographer, programmer and salesperson. I’ve lined up speakers and engaged in contract negotiations. I’ve finagled the nuances of SEC law and formulated CTR goals for AdWords campaigns. I’ve given presentations in corporate board rooms and then gone off to play with Legos® at a client’s waiting room. And all this was done in the name of freelance writing, no less.

Sometimes the whirlwind of freelance “writing” activities tires me out. In the midst of querying my hundredth potential client or sending yet another LOI (letter of introduction), I consider whether working with a freelance agency would be better for my sanity.

What is a freelance agency?

A freelance agency is a type of business that subcontracts freelancers to do work that is found and negotiated through the agency. This work is then passed along to the freelancers. Clients typically know that their work is being performed by one or more freelancers when dealing with a freelance agency; however, in some cases, the agency may just be one person who hires other freelancers for his/her gigs and claims their work as his/her own. Check out the Custom Content Council (CCC) for examples of large, well-known agencies in the content marketing field.

Why do freelance agencies exist?

Many freelancers who have freelanced for years or decades eventually start accumulating so many clients that they can’t possibly keep up with the workload. Rather than turn away the additional work, these freelancers subcontract the work out to other freelancers and share in its revenue.

Alternately, an agency may be the result of a freelancer who is good at marketing to and attracting clients but doesn’t want to do the assigned work anymore. Such a freelancer is happier overseeing the day-to-day operations of the freelance business itself rather than getting involved in the work. As a freelancer, you yourself may eventually wish to start a freelance agency.

Why you should work with a freelance agency.

There are some good reasons why you may want to work with a freelance agency:

No more marketing- ever. 

Some freelancers truly hate the song-and-dance that is marketing. They’d rather focus their time and efforts on doing actual freelance work instead of emailing, querying, cold calling, etc. To that end, a freelance agency is the best solution because it does all the prep work for the freelancer and then simply “serves” the finished client to him/her.

No more payment issues.

Generating contracts and including multiple “what if” clauses regarding late and no payment from the client are a real pain in the a–. However, without that contract covering your a–, you have no legal recourse should your client decide to not pay you or skip out on your final installment. Freelance agencies understand contracts and take care of them for you so you can focus solely on your work. Agencies also have your back in case a client tries to stiff you on payment.

Steady work.

Freelancing can be a feast-or-famine business depending on how many clients you can snag and ensure payment from. An agency helps you even out your schedule by offering extra work when you’re low on clients or redirecting work when you’re overwhelmed.

Hard-to-reach clients. 

Government clients are notorious for being hard to win; many government contracts are also only negotiated through selected agencies that know the legal nuances of governmental bidding processes.  Thus, if you want to >bid on U.S. government contracts, you first need to buddy-up with a freelance agency.

Big name clients.

Microsoft, Verizon and other big corporations work with dedicated (e.g., CCC) agencies and will only answer through them. Alternately, if you are just starting out as a freelancer and don’t have the experience and credibility to win big name/budget clients on your own, an agency can help by making the necessary introductions. In either scenario, it’s a good idea to have the agency work with and recommend you to these big fish.

Why you should not work for an agency.

Of course, for every pro there is a con. Not every freelance worker wishes to work with a freelance agency. Here are some reasons why:

The middleman effect. 

When you have one additional layer between you and the client, that layer must take its cut before it passes the revenue to you. As a consequence, you end up doing the same work for less money. Furthermore, there is the risk that an agency may accept and distribute low paid work simply to keep clients happy and/or generate steady work for its freelancers.

Limited negotiations.

Not happy with your assignment or hourly rate for assignment X? Too bad. Even if you’re a brilliant negotiator, many an agency will not let you contact the client in order to raise your pay. Even if you are allowed to discuss compensation directly with the client, you still have to involve your agency during negotiations, making the process much more cumbersome.

Not seeing the big picture.

Many freelancers start feeling like a cog in the freelance machine after a few years of working with an agency. This is because the agency negotiates and deals with the clients, not you. As a result, the agency ends up creating and planning the work and all possible future work with the client. Meanwhile, you are at the end of the chain and can only fulfill what was promised by someone else. It’s kind of like being employed- something you sought to escape when you became a freelancer.

So…should you or shouldn’t you?

There are many reasons to consider using the services of a freelance agency, as highlighted above. Speaking from personal experience, I have used agencies and later decided to go it alone. My biggest reason for initially using agencies was to gain experience and clips in certain fields. After a few years, I felt certain enough about my own skills to pitch clients directly. I was also able to pick up former agency clients on my own terms.

If you just want to do the work you were hired to do and not worry about accounting, taxes and rate negotiations, working with an agency can be a real boon. An agency also offers steady work, something that may be missing when you first start out as a freelancer. As you gain confidence in your abilities and want to charge top dollar for them, breaking out on your own makes more sense.