I’ve Tried That Reviews TypeatHome.com

Can you really make $45, $75 and $175 for completing typing assignments? That’s what the site TypeatHome.com claims you can do when you sign up and pay one or more of their kits.

What is Type at Home all about?

The storyline starts out as follows: TypeatHome, or TAH, obtains typing work from “daily profit companies” such as Home Depot, AT&T, Netflix, etc. It then passes on those typing jobs to its trained typists, who work either on a full-time or part-time basis to complete their assignments.

Part-time and full-time typists earn $45 and $75 per completed assignment, respectively. Business owner typists make $175 per completed assignment.

Before you can get started on these high-paying assignments, you’ll first need to purchase your appropriate training kit. The prices of these kits are $29.99, $59.99 and $89.99.

Type At Home

Once you pay for your kit, you gain access to a series of training videos that help you prepare for your new career as a stay-at-home typist. You are also given a detailed, 1-2 hour long assessment at the end of your training.

After you pass your assessment, you are provided with a list of typing jobs.

A video on the TAH sales page lists the following steps to becoming a professional typist:

  1. Register for a position with TAH (in 5 minutes).
  2. Complete a basic training course (in 30 minutes).
  3. Complete your first assignment and email it to us for payment.
  4. Success!

Sounds simple…but is this work-at-home opportunity real? Here’s why I don’t think you should trust TAH’s claims:

1. The website is filled with typos and stolen content.

You’d think that a typing company would take care to ensure its copy is free of spelling errors. However, in the introductory TAH video, I found this glaring typo:

Type At Home1

Likewise, if you watch this video’s footage, there is a point where a bleed-through copyright notice comes through from Getty images. This tells me that TAH is blatantly stealing stock photo content.

Type At Home2

2. The ‘assignments’ are fake.

TAH discusses what kinds of assignments you’ll be completing as a work-at-home typist. Your assignments are noted as follows:

TAH

So far, everything sounds believable. However, TAH then showcases one example article that it claims paid out $75 to its typist. The article is a HubPages post.

tah1

To begin with, HubPages is a revenue-share content aggregator that does not pay upfront for content. I should know because I wrote for this site for several years.

However, let’s assume that the actual company that paid the $75 was LocateFurniture.com, not HubPages. If you search on LocateFurniture.com, you’ll come across an ad-heavy website that has just two pages of content and very little useful information. I highly doubt that this site ever paid a typist even $20 for content. More than likely, this site was hastily created by TAH to stand in as an example of a well-paying client company.

3. The customer complaints tell a different story.

If you look up online reviews of TAH, you’ll come across many of its unhappy customers. These customers note how they paid the up-front fee to TAH and expected to receive actual job listings from the company. Instead, what they received was either non-access to the members’ area or typing assignments that paid little to no money.

Listed below are just two examples of dissatisfied TAH customers:

Type at Home3
Type at Home4

4. You shouldn’t have to pay for a job.

Legitimate employers and clients don’t have you paying money to secure work. If you have to pay money to obtain a job, there’s a good chance that job doesn’t exist or is a scam.

What’s the reality behind TAH?

Type at home “job opportunities,” of which TAH is a part, entice you with offers of big money for little work that you can do right from home. Once you pay the membership fee, you receive access to poorly compiled training materials that are designed to keep you busy so you delay getting a refund.

After you “graduate,” the program provides you with the highly anticipated job leads…except that the leads aren’t really for actual jobs. Instead, you receive a list of companies and businesses that you need to solicit for typing work. Unsurprisingly, those companies have no idea that they’ve been featured on a third-party list for typing jobs.

Type at home scammers evade legal issues by stating that they are making you aware of job opportunities, not actual jobs. In the case of TAH, Troy Gri (the site’s creator) of Prana Systems, LLC defends his scheming ways by stating that typists hired with TAH are actually sub-contractors. As such, they receive their assignments through Troy.

However, for its supposed 17-year history, there is not a single authentic account of any TAH sub-contractor getting paid. Instead, you see a long list of customer complaints about the lack of real typing assignments, and/or non-payment of requested refunds.

The Bottom Line

Whenever a work-at-home company asks you to pay money up-front and in exchange for a job, your suspicions should be instantly raised. In the case of TAH, not only does the company not deliver what it advertises, but it engages in outright plagiarism of online content. You are best advised to stay away from this online scam.

Brick by Brick: Making Money with LEGO

There are a lot of enterprising and interesting ways to make money in our modern world, but can you really make money with a child’s toy?

LEGO may have started off as a way to stop blocks from falling over, but it has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry with commercial tie in’s and plenty of competitors.

Fueling the growth of LEGO is a combination of adult and child fans, both clamoring to get the latest Star Wars or Harry Potter versions of the plastic toys.

There are actually a few ways that you can turn this to your advantage and make money with LEGO.

Is LEGO Better than Stocks?

The most common way people are making money with LEGO is through speculation.

The idea is that you buy LEGO sets when they first come out, or better yet when they are on sale, and hoard them.

When (and if) the LEGO set becomes discontinued, you can sell the set for a price much higher than the original set cost.

Profits on these sets can be staggering when looked at in relation to standard stocks.

Let’s take the Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon which sold for $499.99 in 2005 and now sells for approx. $2918.13 which means it has a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 28.37%!

In comparison, people like Warren Buffet suggest you will only see an average of 7% return annually from stocks.

brickpicker data
Data from BrickPicker.com

What sells?

The thing about speculation, is that you need to make sure what you’re purchasing to store will actually sell in the future.

As such most LEGO investors focus on popular items such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter etc.

This doesn’t mean you can’t find other sets to purchase though. There’s a market for architectural LEGO sets as well as some of the more obscure ones.

The main thing here is to do your research. Using sites like BrickPicker can help you find trends and ideas, as well as monitoring marketplaces like eBay.

Where to sell

The main place to sell pristine condition LEGO sets is eBay. It’s popular, safe and easy to use. Of course they take a slice of the pie, but for the security you get versus selling direct, it’s worth it.

As an alternative you could use BrickLink, which is a marketplace for selling LEGO sets and pieces.

Things to be aware of

There’s actually a whole bunch of things you need to be aware of before starting your LEGO speculation career:

#1 Condition – any LEGO sets you buy, and every LEGO set you store has to be in perfect condition. This means your storage area has to be climate controlled or at the very least damp and rodent free.

#2 Storage – As well as keeping your sets in top condition, you need to make sure that you actually have enough room to store everything. LEGO sets are bulky and the largest (and potentially most profitable sets) can be positively huge. A garage sized space can be enough to get you started.

#3 Depreciation – Like with any investment, there is the chance that the price can drop. All it takes is for you to either pick the wrong set, or for LEGO to reintroduce a set to see your profits disappear.

#4 Shipping – Depending on how you sell the sets, shipping and packaging costs need to be considered. For the most part these can be put on the buyer, but even if they are, you still need to physical pack and ship the sets which take time and space and some up front costs.

Salvaging LEGO Bricks

As an alternative to selling pristine, mint condition LEGO sets, you can always go the “salvager” route.

Here, you look to buy LEGO in bulk from other people – yard sales, Craigslist, eBay etc.

With these pieces in hand you can sort them into color, size, or by set and sell them on.

As with most bulk purchases, sorting and selling smaller sections generally earns more than the whole, allowing you to make a profit.

If you have complete sets in there that can be built (building manuals can be found online) these can be sold for even more, though rarely to the level that pristine sets fetch unless it’s an incredibly rare set.

This method of course take sup much more time, but is offset by the generally lower cost of bulk purchases and then fun that you and your kids can have sorting the LEGO bricks out.

Unsorted LEGO

Unsorted LEGO can be purchased in bulk quite cheaply (source, Craiglist Listing)

Things to be aware of

#1 Time & space – LEGO bricks still take up room, and sorting them into re-sale bags can be time consuming

#2 Local isn’t always good – You may need to leave your local area in order to find decent sets, especially if there is a good sized LEGO enthusiast community near where you live.

#3 Ask for more info – if you’re buying a bulk set of LEGO make sure to ask if the seller knows what’s in it – this can help determine the value to you, especially if there are some popular sets

Designing New LEGO Sets

If speculation and thrift shopping LEGO doesn’t interest you, but you’re a whizz building LEGO yourself, then you should consider designing new LEGO sets.

LEGO themselves make this absurdly easy with their LEGO Ideas website.

The way it works is that you first create a new LEGO set from existing bricks and then submit it to the LEGO ideas site.

People then come and vote and if your idea reaches 10,000 votes it will then be flagged for review.

The review process is done by LEGO employees and there’s no guarantee that your set will be chosen, but if it is they will actually make the set for sale!

How does this earn you money?

Well according to the LEGO ideas site, if your idea is chosen you will receive:

1% of the total net sales of the product (this includes projects featuring original models based on third-party intellectual property such as a game, TV show, or movie).

1% might not seem like much but consider the size and scope of LEGO’s consumer base and price structure of sets (even small simple ones sell for $10 or more), and you can see that this has the potential to be a very good, and passive, money spinner.

Of course, getting your ideas selected in the first place is the hard part, but if you have the skills and enjoy building new creations anyway, it’s worth submitting them.

Engineering Profits with LEGO

Continuing the ideas for LEGO builders, there are also other opportunities you can grab that can showcase your LEGO building skills.

LEGO Professional

The company behind the bricks employs people to build LEGO, called Master Model Builders. These are the guys that make everything you see at LEGOLAND and beyond.

This might sound like a dream job, but the recruitment process is actually quite hard, and made up of several steps just to get on the ladder.

From there it takes time and skill to work your way up to the title of Master.

Sadly, even masters only earn about $37,000 per year which isn’t life changing.

Sean Kenney Lamp A $900 dollar LEGO lamp.
Image courtesy of SeanKenny.com

LEGO Artist

More and more people are using LEGO bricks outside of their general use case to make money.

People are creating art and even furniture with LEGO. Artists like Sean Kenney and Bruce Lowell command high prices for their unique works of art.

Businesses often want custom pieces done, and there are enough geeks and LEGO aficionados out there to create a decent sized market for your potential work.

The Bottom Line

While some people look upon LEGO as simply a child’s toy, others with vision are looking to turn a profit and even create a business from these simple bricks.

LEGO as a business does not look to be slowing down any time soon, and with new LEGO fans growing up with the cartoons and games, the opportunities for making money with LEGO are not abating.

What are you waiting for? Go and find your bricks!

There’s Something Strange About ‘Profit with Jay’

At I’ve Tried That, we review a lot of work-at-home jobs and online income opportunities. This is because there are many ways to make extra money, from affiliate marketing to blogging to freelance writing.

However, I was scratching my head when it came to figuring out just how one particular program enables its members to make money online. The program in question is called “Profit with Jay.”

Welcome to “Profit with Jay”

If you do an online search for work-at-home jobs, you’ll eventually come across a relatively new program called “Profit with Jay.” This program promises that you’ll make 100% commissions simply by processing emails. A YouTube video explains the process as follows:

Make Cash Daily1

We then hear from a guy who supposedly uses Profit with Jay to make lots of money. He explains that, once you sign up to this system and pay a $25 fee, you receive step-by-step instructions that teach you how to do something called email processing. You also receive marketing materials and access to a members’ area.

That’s all you learn about the actual program before this guy elaborates on his own rags-to-riches story and how he now makes a comfortable living from home thanks to email processing.

As the video rolls on, it eventually reveals another snippet of information about the Profit with Jay program:

Make Cash Daily 3

From the screen shot shown above, it appears that your job will involve posting affiliate ads online, then following up on customer purchases with emails.

A second testimonial confirms this idea- a guy sitting in his car elaborates on how he posted ads to Facebook and Craigslist in the morning, and then discovered that he’d been paid from those ads by the afternoon. These payments came in when customers clicked on his posted ads.

Interestingly, each ad payment is exactly $25.

Why $25?

At the very start of this program’s video, it was stated that members receive a 100% commission for their processed emails. That means that the product is priced at $25.

The Profit with Jay program is also priced at $25.

Unless I’m mistaken, my suspicion is that the actual product you’re advertising and processing emails for is none other than the Profit with Jay program itself. I could be wrong, but…

Profit with Jay- could it be a modern take on the old Envelope Stuffing Scam?

If you look online, you’ll eventually locate Jay Brown himself, touting his email processing program on YouTube:

Jay Brown

Jay states in his video that he’s been doing this program for the last four years; meanwhile, his video descriptor says six years.

Jay shows off his Paypal account as “proof” that his email processing program works. Again, we see a long list of $25 payments from customers. Jay explains that this program is legit, and that additional information about how it works can be learned once it is purchased at $25.

Jay assures hesitant buyers that his website does provide additional info about the program.

However, the only information that the Profit with Jay website offers is this set of customer testimonials:

Make Cash Daily2

The customers all refer to someone named James…but who is James? As for the testimonials themselves, they are very short and generic- and could be testimonials for just about any kind of online income opportunity. There is also no contact information provided on these satisfied customers.

We see the following example email on the website, which Jay notes is very similar to the kinds of emails you’ll be sending:

Make Cash Daily5

It’s intriguing that, even in this example email, it’s stated that the recipient is receiving instructions, a manual, and ads. These are the same items that were promised to anyone who signs up for Profit with Jay, at least according to the program’s checkout page:

ProfitwithJay

Aside from the testimonials and the example email, nothing further is noted about the program, its marketing materials, the aforementioned step-by-step instructions, or where you’ll be posting ads. Nothing further is stated about how your emails will be written, or whether you’ll receive additional training to craft them properly.

However, there is significant effort dedicated to having you buy the product, and then sell something very similar through email processing and advertising.

This is nothing more than a modern take on the old envelope stuffing schemes. You pay $25 to learn how to trick other people to pay $25 so they in turn can deceive more people and this goes on until the FTC gets involved.

Read the fine print

Let’s say your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to purchase the Profit with Ray program. Most online income opportunities come with a money-back guarantee. So, if you don’t like this opportunity, you can just ask for a refund…right?

Not so fast.

If you click on the disclaimer area of Profit with Ray, you’ll come across the following statement:

ProfitwithJay1

So, once you’ve made your purchase, the Profit with Jay system is yours to keep- whether you like it or not.

Bottom Line

Before you purchase Profit with Jay, understand that you may be throwing away not just $25, but any money thereafter that you spend on pay-per-click fees, advertising, etc. As the program itself states, there are no refunds for it or any of the associated fees.

As a result, you’re better off passing on this “opportunity” and seeking real opportunity elsewhere.

Can Jason White and Take Surveys for Cash be Trusted?

If you’ve taken an online survey or two, you’ve probably come across the work-at-home program ‘Take Surveys for Cash,’ which is presented by Jason White. On this website, Jason claims that he will help you “discover a weird trick” to make a full-time income by taking online surveys.

Take Surveys For Cash! ‎- Microsoft Edge 2016-04-12 22.47.01

I think that 2013 was the single biggest year for “this one weird trick” online advertising. I saw just about everything advertised through the ‘weird trick formula,’ from belly fat reducers to miracle eye creams.

Apparently, Take Surveys for Cash is stuck in 2013 (although the site’s been around since 2010).

In any case, Jason shows you a video, supposedly of himself opening up a check from Survey Savvy, for the amount of $500. Jason claims that this is a check he received “just for taking a two hour survey.” Jason also shows you his Paypal account of $31,381.90 as yet more proof that he is earning big bucks with online surveys.

If you input your information on the program’s sales page, you are directed to a second sales page. Here, Jason claims that he has helped his family and friends earn over $1 million.

Take Surveys For Cash

Meet the “king” of online paid surveys

Jason White, whom we never really see, is motivated to help you earn a good living by taking online surveys. How? Jason has, as he puts it, a “secret trick” that helps you locate high-paying surveys that you pre-qualify for.

In exchange for helping you out, the Take Surveys for Cash program merely asks that you pay a $39 one time fee. Even better, if you try to leave the checkout page, your fee is eventually reduced to just $12. I’ve even heard of some crazy promotions where members sign up for just $1.99.

Is the Take Surveys for Cash program worth your time and money? Here is what I learned about this program:

Red Flag #1: The ‘weird trick’ is publicly available information.

When you purchase access to the Take Surveys for Cash program, you are given a list of survey sites that are already available online. Survey Savvy is just one example, but other survey sites include Inbox Dollars.

There is absolutely nothing secret or tricky to finding these online survey sites. The only thing that the Take Surveys for Cash program has done for you is compile a bunch of survey sites on a single destination page.

What else do you get with your payment of $12?

Take Surveys For Cash1

The first checkbox denoted here is a joke. You won’t get better paying surveys simply because you suddenly pre-qualify as a U.S. resident. To qualify for lucrative survey assignments, you need to do far more than be a resident of a certain country.

The second checkbox simply provides a database of publicly available information.

Those “step by step instructions” involve Jason telling you how to input your personal information into the forms, which is not difficult or tricky (unless you can’t see the form, like on your mobile phone).

Finally, the “free gifts” that Jason notes at the bottom is a common tactic used by survey companies to have you input your personal information so they can contact you about buying their products and services. In exchange for making those purchases, you are given “free gifts.”

Red Flag #2: There are up-sells and cross-sells.

Once you enter the Take Surveys for Cash members area, you are inundated with up-sells and cross-sells. That’s doesn’t mean that you have to buy anything, but it does mean you should be aware of these sales offers. Luckily, the Terms & Privacy area of the program informs you to expects up-sells and cross-sells:

Terms & Privacy

The Take Surveys for Cash affiliate program also gives away key pieces of information regarding what’s actually in this program- and how much those additional products pay out to motivated affiliates:

TakeSurveysForCash

When a work-at-home program offers affiliate commissions, you can bet that some affiliates will be out there promoting it. Sure enough, I found several “review” sites promoting the Take Surveys for Cash program- yet not a single traceable member review of this survey.

Red Flag #3: Limited time left until…dooms day.

The Take Surveys for Cash website has existed since 2010. Back then, Wayback Machine shows that this program had “limited” spaces available to new members:

wayback

Interestingly, when you go to the program’s 2016 page, there is the same exact message about how Jason has “room for only a few more people.” Is it possible that, in the space of six years, Jason still hasn’t filled his quota? Or is this message a more likely attempt to create the illusion of scarcity?

The Bottom Line

Filling out online surveys can make you money; however, that money will never be in the amounts that Jason advertises, nor will you receive it every week like clockwork.

A good survey might pay you $50 for an hour of your time- and that’s only after you spend another half hour successfully filling out the pre-qualification survey. Other well-paying surveys might require that you participate in an online or in-person opinion forum.

One recent online survey paid me $125 for 4 days of logging into an online forum and spending 30 minutes/day answering questions about my shopping habits. Another online survey has led to me participating in an in-person, in-town “class.” In exchange for my two-hour participation, I will earn $50.

Such money is great, but it’s not going to replace my day job.

MyFlexJob: Work-at-Home Opportunity or Scam?

You may have encountered Sandy Sauve if you’ve clicked on various work-at-home opportunity ads, including this one:

work from home data entry

When you click on the ad, you are taken to the following screen and embedded video. Here, you meet Sandy Sauve, who tells you that she earns a full-time income working from home. This opportunity “does not cost anything to get started with, there’s no up-rate costs later, you don’t have buy things, and you don’t have to sell anything.”

Easy Data Entry

Welcome to My Flex Job

When you input your name and email, you are taken to a second video page, where Sandy describes the work-from-home opportunity as requiring no person-to-person selling, out-of-pocket costs, cross-sells, up-sells, etc.

Easy Data Entry1

What exactly are you doing? According to Sandy, there are big companies like Netflix, ProActiv, etc. that have people sign up for their sales and trial offers. These sign-ups must later be email and age-verified. Your job will be to validate ages and emails and enter this information into a worksheet. You’ll be doing this for a company called MyFlexJob.

On a YouTube video published by MyFlexJob, your job title is ‘Trial Offer Processor.’

Trial Offer Processors

My Flex Job Information1

So far, so good.

Red flag #1: Fake company photo

Sandy highly encourages you to go to the My Flex Job website and sign up. When I did that, I encountered the following page:

myflexjob‎

I was a bit disheartened to see that My Flex Job had inserted a stock photo for its company’s physical site and just pasted the My Flex Job logo on this photo. When any work-at-home company does something like this, it’s an immediate red flag for me that not everything is as it seems.

After I filled out the online job application, I was taken to a second video to complete my certification. And that’s also where I encountered another red flag.

Red Flag #2: You pay for software

The certification video on the MyFlexJob website explains that, as part of your certification, you’ll be required to purchase MyPCBackUp, a software program that will store the sensitive information you acquire while entering customer data into those aforementioned worksheets. MyPCBackUp costs $25 for a 3-month subscription.

But wait a minute- Sandy Sauve said that there would be no out-of-pocket costs to sign up with this company.

MyFlexJob goes on to say that you’ll be credited $25 in your account once you complete the certification.

myflexjob1

That all sounds great…until you complete your certification and verify that you’ve purchased the software.

Red Flag #3: You must earn your $25 ‘credit.’

Once you are in the MyFlexJob website, you learn that, in order to cash out your $25 software credit, you must have an account value of $50 or more.

myflexjob2

Furthermore, all your earnings are paid in ‘points,’ not actual money, with 100 points being equivalent to $1. You must first convert your points to dollars, and only then can you cash out.

It could be argued that the company does this to not only save money, but to ensure that its workers and not just signing up for free software. So, playing devil’s advocate, let’s look at what kind of work is required to earn enough money/points for a $50 payment.

Red Flag #4: You’re the one filling out trial offers!

When you first go to the MyFlexJob assignments area, you encounter the following instructions about how you get paid and what you actually do to earn that money:

MyFlexJob

From the language used, it sounds like you will be the person/customer who is completing company trial offers. Not other customers.

As you scroll down the assignments area, you encounter trial offers where the ‘data entry worksheets’ are none other than short forms where you need to fill in your own personal information like your full name, email, phone number, etc. These trial offers are with companies like Netflix, Groupon, Disney, etc.

You might be thinking, what’s the harm in signing up for a free trial offer of product X or service Y? Granted, the trial might be free, but if you forget to cancel your subscription by a given date, you’ll be charged. In fact, the FTC has a few things to say about ‘free’ trial offers and their inherent risks.

Also, many free trial offers require that you pay for shipping and/or product returns.

For each offer you successfully complete, you are credited with a given amount of points from MyFlexJob. In fact (and to avoid legal issues), the company even explains this condition on its terms page:

myflexjob offers

So, your actual data entry involves inputting your own personal data into forms provided by the marketing automation software of third party businesses. No doubt about it, MyFlexJob is probably making a handsome commission from your signing up for these trial offers.

Red Flag #5: Paid affiliates and actors

On its terms page, MyFlexJob lists the following disclosure:

FTC DISCLOSURE:

Some testimonials for MyFlexJob.com may be provided by paid affiliates or professional actors.

Why would a company that offers work-at-home jobs not have any of its actual workers provide testimonials?

Red Flag #6: Unnecessary software

Remember how you were instructed to purchase MyPCBackUp software as your condition of ‘certification?’ Well, you have absolutely no need of this software in order to complete free trial offers with MyFlexJob. So, why would this company have you purchase useless software? Well, they are paid up to $120 per lead (read: YOU) they get to install the MyPCBackup software.

Hopefully, if you’ve already purchased this software, you can write the company and get a refund.

The Bottom Line

While My Flex Job is not an outright scam, it has too many red flags and elusive terminology for me to wholeheartedly recommend it as a legitimate work-at-home opportunity.

At best, you’ll complete trial offers on this site that will allow you to reach your $50 threshold and cash out your earnings. At worst, you’ll sign up for offers that will either cost money up-front or result in you forgetting about them, at which point you’ll end up paying even more money for products/services you never wanted in the first place.

There are simpler and easier methods for making a few extra bucks that don’t involve paying for software you don’t need and products/services you never wanted.

How to Start Your Own Meals-to-Go Business

If you like to cook and are adept at finding grocery deals (and stocking up on them), starting a meals-to-go business may be the ideal way for you to repurpose excess food and make money.

Families are busy these days and rarely have time to cook healthy and nutritious meals.

As a result, meals-to-go businesses have popped up and offer all kinds of meal offerings complete with home delivery. Many meals-to-go businesses even offer dairy-free, gluten-free, Paleo and other dietary options.

You can cash in on this trend by opening your own meals-to-go business right in your neighborhood, town or city. By doing so, you will access a wide client base without having to spend too much time and effort on shipping and/or delivery.

Starting out locally will also keep you abreast of any customer or other issues, which can be dealt with quickly when your customer happens to be your neighbor.

So, how do you begin?

1. Visit your state/county health department.

Before you begin dreaming of recipes and dishes to prepare, find out where your state or county health department will permit you to prepare your meals at home. Many municipalities will not allow for food made in a home kitchen to be sold to consumers.

In such a case, you’ll need to find a suitable test kitchen, which may be located in a church, a restaurant (when it’s closed to the public), or even a community center. You can negotiate a given rate per hour for the use of the commercial kitchen and add this charge to your food cost.

Many commercial kitchens can be gotten fairly cheaply if they are used during non-operational or off-peak hours. What this means is that you will find yourself cooking and baking in the late hours of the night or on Mondays (when many dining establishments take their day off).

Some states and cities have so-called Cottage Food laws. If you live in such a municipality, you’re in luck. Cottage Food laws allow food vendors to prepare food in their own home kitchen for purchase by the public. For example, here is the website that lists California’s Cottage Food laws.

There are limitations on which foods are considered non-hazardous when prepared in a home kitchen, most often, “safe” foods are baked goods like cakes and breads and not meat or vegetables. This could limit your menu severely, and is one more reason why you should at least look up commercials kitchens and their costs.

2. Obtain your licenses.

You will need a business license to get your meals-to-go business started, as well as a sales tax license and probably a food handler’s license.

You should also incorporate your business as an LLC at the very least. Having the LLC designation protects you from personal financial ruin in the event that someone sues you for negligence or harm. The likelihood of a lawsuit is likely if you’re delivering food to customers who may have unknown allergies and/or food sensitivities, or may simply come down with a case of food poisoning and blame it on you.

3. Create a business plan.

When it comes to the food business, you need to generate a business plan. Why? Having a business plan gives you a defined idea of how much you’ll need to spend to get your business off the ground and operational. You’ll know how many clients are needed to make a profit. You’ll better understand your grocery purchases and what price points are feasible for stocking up.

Your planned investments, revenues, expenses and profits should all be outlined in your business plan. At the end of the day, your business plan should provide you with a monthly estimate of investment costs, recurring expenses, and expected sales.

A business plan also helps you secure current and/or future funding. If your business becomes a huge success, you’ll want a business plan for your investors, partners and employees.

4. Analyze your competitors and pick your niche.

To differentiate yourself from the crowd of other meals-to-go businesses, you should first size up your competition. Who is already selling ready-made meals to your area neighbors, coworkers and friends? What do these competing businesses offer and at what price? How do these companies handle complaints, returns and refunds?

Obtaining some counterintelligence will benefit your own business greatly when you start accumulating customers and dealing with various pricing, product and other issues. You’ll be better equipped to understand which refund requests are reasonable and which aren’t, for example.

Having some counterintelligence will also enable you to pick your niche, whether that be gluten-free, Paleo, low sodium, or some other meal niche. By picking a niche, you’ll be able to attract a smaller but more motivated customer base. Such customers have the potential to become very loyal to your business, which means bigger (and recurring)sales in the long run.

5. Start marketing your business.

Admittedly, this step will take a good amount of time to master and benefit from. However, there are many ways in which you can market your meals-to-go business- and many of these methods are absolutely free. Some free or almost free methods include the following:

  • Creating a website.
  • Generating social media pages and announcements.
  • Posting flyers and leaving business cards.
  • Presenting cooking demonstrations at community/senior centers.

More expensive methods for promoting your business include these:

  • Catering small community events/meetings.
  • Obtaining a Google AdWords account and using it to post ads.
  • Listing your business in the local newspaper.
  • Generating sponsored ads on the radio or TV.

6. Track costs versus profits.

Don’t get so wrapped up in business investments and inventory purchases that you overlook how much you’re spending. It’s imperative that you carefully measure your debts and capital investments so you know how much to charge your customers.

While high-end meals-to-go can easily cost $30 for two persons, this money can end up easily spent on groceries, kitchen tabs, marketing collateral, and the like. Thus, you must keep a tight lid on any and all expenditures.

The Bottom Line

It’s exciting to start a meals-to-go home business; many individuals who start such a business end up retiring from their day jobs to pursue it full-time. Whether or not you choose to retire is up to you. However, if you plan your investments and expenditures just right, you will be able to choose many options for your future. Good luck!

Our Review of Mary Rodger’s Cash From Home System

Cash From Home and its counterparts have been around for a few years now, offering the idea that you can make a decent amount of money for simply adding a link! There seems to be a resurgence in promoting them which is worrying. Let me explain why.

The Background

Cash From Home apparently highlights the success of a lady called Kelly Simmons who has a true rags to rich story.

The essence of it is that she was a struggling single parent who just lost her job – a story that we can relate to quite easily.

Supposedly she met a guy at a part time job who showed her his work from home system. Fast forward and boom! She’s a millionaire, and works less than part time.

This all sounds really appealing, I mean who wouldn’t want to work a couple of hours a day and rake in even just a reasonable amount of money?

The sad part is that Cash From Home is simply leveraging peoples hopes, desires and desperation to actively suck money from them.

How Does It Work?

The idea behind this system is that you post links and get paid per link. That sounds amazing, not only is it easy work but the price per links is about the same as a decent minimum hourly rate – $15 bucks for 4 minutes work.

The reality though is that you will never get paid $15 per link. Think of it this way, if people on Fiverr.com (who get paid $4 per gig) will manually add 35 forum links, or 25 links to educations sites, then how likely will it be for you to get paid $15 for a solitary link?

Not likely at all.

The Warning Signs

The sales page for Cash From Home has so many scam markers that it’s scary!

Just take a closer look at these and you’ll understand why this sort of system is nothing but a scam.

#1 System Name vs. Domain Name

This might seem unimportant, but the fact that the system name (Cash From Home) is different to the actual URL (SecureBusinessSites) is a telling marker.

What it suggests is that the people behind this scam are using cheap expired domains that have an air of legitimacy to push this system.

#2 The TV Logos & Video

cash from home tv

This is a popular psychological trick used by nefarious marketers. The idea is that the logos add a sense of legitimacy to the site even when they really have nothing whatsoever to do with the product.

The cleverly avoid lawsuits (just about) by using wording like “Work from home opportunities have been featured on:”. That statement is likely true, it just doesn’t mean that THIS system has been featured, but sadly not everyone picks up on that and instead subconsciously increases their trust in the site.

They also include a recording of a newsreel from NBC talking about work from home opportunities. This reel has been used in an incredible number of scam sites and is solely there to once again add a veneer of respectability.

#3 Unrealistic Promises

cash from home skills

Telling people that they don’t need any skills or experience is a great way to hook people in. Everyone would love to make money easily, but the truth of the matter is that making money, whether it be on or offline, does require skills and experience. Sure you can get that along the way, but to promise instant earnings with no skill set is misleading at best.

#4 Requesting Your Phone Number

This might seem a very minor thing, but really, why do they need your number? Simply, in order to sell you stuff! Once they have a number they will call you or sell it to someone who will try the same thing.

Typically, we see reports from people who signed up for these kinds of systems that suggest that they will call you and try and sell you a “big ticket” system that costs hundreds to thousands of dollars.

#5 The Calculator

cash from home calculator
Cash From Home conveniently provides you with a calculator that works out how much money you can make from using this system.

This provides you with a dopamine rush when you see the potential earnings, but does not really prove that those earnings can actually be made!

#6 The Dream

cash from home dream

One of the most powerful marketing tools available is to show you a dream and convince you that using this product will help you achieve that dream.

To be fair this sort of technique is used by all marketers, ethical and villainous alike, but at least the ethical ones will only use it when they have a product that can definitely provide the outcome. Link building simply doesn’t have that sort of future.

#7 Over Use of Highlights and Bolding

cash from home highlights

OK, so you may be thinking that this shouldn’t be a marker for a scam site, but it is most definitely one. By using highlighting and bolded text marketers can draw your attention to specific areas of the text, perfect for skip readers.

Scam marketers have a tendency to overdo it though and this is visible on the Cash From Home site.

For me, it’s also one of the easiest ways to spot a site that while maybe not a scam, it will surely warrant closer inspection.

The Duplicate Sites

If those points haven’t given you pause, then consider this: the exact same site (or 99% same) is used in other places.

Two sites called simple-income-strategies.com & access.premiere-online-income.com both use the same copy text and formatting, with some minor differences.

The main changes are the system name and logo, the name of the person with the success story and some images.

Mary’s name change made me laugh as apparently they all have a daughter called Amanda, and went through the exact same issues.

Ah, I hear you cry, but the disclaimer on Cash From Home states that they used fake names and stock photos.

That’s right it does, but let’s be honest here, just because they said they are using them to hide someone’s identity doesn’t mean they are telling you the truth. Plus the other two sites don’t contain that disclaimer.

The reality is that Amanda (or Kelly or whoever) doesn’t really exist. She’s simply a tool created by these marketers in order to invoke trust and convince you to hand over your details and money.

The Bottom Line

Link posting systems don’t work. Even if you make some cash from them, it’s not going to be life changing. In fact the only thing that these people want from you is for you to prove your gullibility by signing up in the first place.

From there they then have you by a hook and will slowly reel you in promising you the world while sucking money from your bank account.

Cash From Home has numerous markers that flag that this is at best an unscrupulous marketing ploy and at worst a scam.

Please, avoid link posting scams and Avoid Cash From Home and its duplicates!

How Does the Aussie Method Compare?

It doesn’t. It’s not a real opportunity. It’s a program designed to get into your wallet.

I’ve Tried That has been reviewing products since 2007. In that time, there’s one program that stands above the rest. It’s free to get started, has no ridiculous hidden charges, and will help you build a sustainable income from home.

Click here to see our top recommendation.

Can You Make Money with Domain Parking?

Most internet marketers hit a certain phase as they are starting out, one which can quickly spiral out of control: domain hoarding.

This is where you end up buying domain after domain, until you end up with more domains than you know what to do with.

If you manage to get a grip on this potential problem, there are things you can do with your surplus of domains. Often people either try to sell the domains, create a basic site and flip them, or simply let the domains expire.

Another option is domain parking.

How does domain parking work?

According to Wikipedia:

“Domain parking refers to the registration of an internet domain name without that domain being associated with any services such as e-mail or a website.”

In essence there should be nothing there, but most if not all domain registrars will add advertisements to a parked domain.

These adverts when clicked earn you a small fee as a reward for allowing your domain to host said advertising.

Your domain is basically turned into an online billboard.

This might not seem like a big of a deal, but with the right setup and investment, it’s possible to turn a reasonable profit from parked domains. Plus they require little to no work once set up – true passive income.

Quantity over quality

If you’re keen to look into domain parking as a revenue source, the first thing you will need to know is that for this method, quantity is just as important, if not more so, than quality.

This is because like with most advertisements on the internet, the more traffic you have the more chance you have of generating the all-important clicks, so the more domains you have parked, the higher the possibility of getting some that have a high traffic flow.

It’s not uncommon for someone involved in domain parking to have hundreds of domains. In fact some services like Sedo’s Domain Parking for Professionals requires you to have a minimum of 500 domains!

Domain selection

The most important thing about choosing a domain is to find those domains that can generate traffic without input from you.

This is because all the domain parking services have rules that prevent you from sending traffic to the sites via SEO, PPC etc.

In fact they can be quite ruthless when it comes to traffic monitoring and if it looks like you’re trying to game the system they will suspend or close your account.

When choosing domains to use for parking, there are 3 broad types: brand new, misspelled, and expired domains.

Brand new domains

This type of domain refers to new domains that are spelled correctly but may offer potential for traffic. In general these should be avoided or at least examined in detail to make sure they are worth the purchase, though at approx. $10 for a domain, it’s sometimes worth the risk.

Misspelled domains

This type of domain is one where you obtain a domain similar to another in the hopes that people will type in the incorrect domain name and end up on your site instead.

The most common way to do this is to look for plurals, e.g. instead of bluewidget.com, register bluewidgets.com.

There are some legal areas that you may struggle with here, especially if you start abusing brand names and copyrights this way, but it does offer the opportunity to catch traffic from popular sites.

Expired domains

A safer alternative is to pick up domains that have expired. These types of domains usually have had some traffic in the past that you can leverage.

It’s worth running any domain through a site that can provide more info on the domain such as Alexa for estimated traffic and Majestic for a more detailed report.

Basically you’re just trying to make sure you’re not buying a site that only had 3 visitors per year, as you won’t make a cent that way.

If you’ve ever examined a domain to buy or one for a PBN, then it’s basically the same criteria.

What sort of domains should you buy?

This is the difficult question, but in general they should be .coms or .orgs and should focus on a popular niche.

This would be the one time where you should even consider broader niches than you are perhaps used to with affiliate marketing, though as with anything online testing will be required.

Looking to current or potential fads and trends is definitely a decent angle to take, though these have a tendency to not be evergreen and run out of steam after a while.

Domain parking requires a lot of forethought and examination of a niche, from the keywords used to the general market, as well as potential traffic as everything focuses purely on the domain name itself as you have no other way to market the domain.

Exact Match Domains

Google has penalised exact match domains (EMD), but from a domain parking point of view it isn’t a problem. Parked domains won’t appear in an internet search anyway, so if the EMD looks like a good domain then pick it up!

Services you can use

In order to get adverts to appear on your site, you will need to use a domain parking service.

Most domain registrars such as GoDaddy and Sedo offer domain parking services.

There are also companies that solely focus on domain parking such as NameDrive and Redirect.

Redirect is actually quite an interesting one as instead of serving adverts, it geo-locates the visitor and redirects them to a targeted advertiser.

GoDaddy's Parked Domain Potential Earnings Chart

Problems with parking services

The main issue with parking services from your point of view is the inability of sending traffic to the domain.

It’s understandable why they would do this; after all it’s easy to send a ton of untargeted traffic at a domain which will increase any CPM (Cost Per Thousand) earnings.

As well as that the actual earnings per click for most services is mere cents.

How then can you increase earnings?

One option is to do your homework and choose the right service that provides the best rates.

Other than that you could always create a faux parked domain. This involves sticking up a basic web page with related adverts on it.

Of course this is more work to create and maintain, especially if you have hundreds of domains, but it does allow you to have a lot more control and to choose advertisers (or affiliate schemes) that have fewer rules in force.

Bottom line

Domain parking isn’t for everyone. There’s a level of investment required that most people balk at (easily $1,000 – $5,000 or more per year).

As well as that, finding domains that can generate traffic without SEO and therefore income is an ongoing project; especially as fads and trends change over time (how much traffic would Olympics2012.com get right now?).

That being said, if you are skillful in your selection as well as use a scatter shot method (it’s odd to use both of those at the same time but there you go), then there is a potential to make your costs back and then some.

I’ve Tried That Reviews Copywriting Academy by Ray Edwards

Copywriting is by far the most lucrative form of writing there is. Aside from authoring a best-selling novel, your best bet for making money with writing and becoming a six-figure writer is to become adept at copywriting.

And it’s not just professional copywriters who copywrite. If you’ve ever written a letter to a friend inviting him to dinner, or if you’ve ever written your boss her asking for a raise, you’ve engaged in copywriting.

In a nutshell, copywriting attempts to exchange one object of value for another- and that object need not necessarily be money. The process of selling, which is what copywriting attempts to do, can involve physical objects, services or time. You can even sell people- consider how the profile pages of online dating sites are essentially sales pages for the advertised good (i.e., the person).

However, just because you know how to write doesn’t mean you know how to copywrite. That’s because copywriting follows a defined pattern of presentation and persuasion, and so the most talented copywriters often require years of training and on-the-job experience.

Luckily, you can quickly advance in the field of copywriting if you understand its principles and train with recognized leaders in the field.

Enter Ray Edwards, an accomplished copywriter with years of experience in the field of effective copywriting. Ray has recently launched Copywriting Academy, which promises to train novice and even advanced copywriters in the art of writing successful copy.

Ray had granted I’ve Tried That complimentary access to the program. I recently went through and reviewed Ray’s course, which is divided into eight lessons as well as additional bonuses and coaching calls. As an established copywriter myself, I still found Ray’s material to be educational and informative. I provide a synopsis of each of his lessons below.

Copywriting Academy- Writing Words that Sell

Module 1: The Quickstart

Lesson 1: Objectives for this Module

What is copywriting? Why is copywriting so important? How do you structure a sales message? These are the questions that Ray asks in this initial video. He also prepares you to write your first sales page- and one that’ll actually make you money from the get-go.

Lesson 2: Why is Copywriting so Important?

Selling is all around us, whether we’re aware of it or not. There’s always a sale taking place, whether it’s your kids trying to convince you to stay up later or your spouse convincing you to take a vacation at a particular destination. Even if no money changes hands, selling is everywhere.

Copywriting isn’t just about selling stuff; it’s about the art of persuasion. Writing to sell just takes the art of persuasion and puts it into words.

Lesson 3: How to Structure a Sales Message

Ray introduces the P.A.S.T.O.R. acronym, which stands for the following phases of creating a sales message:

P= Problem (identify the customer’s problem/pain)
A= Amplify (the consequences of not solving the problem)
S= Story (descriptor of how you came upon the problem’s solution)
T= Testimony (how your solution worked for others)
O= Offer (focus on the promised transformation, not deliverables)
R= Response (how to order or buy)

Ray also shows a worksheet that takes you through the process of creating a PASTOR sales page. He provides an example of how one might structure a sales page to sell a copywriting workshop.

Lesson 4: Structure a Sales Message

Ray provides a second example of how one might sell a smoothie recipe book using the PASTOR template. He starts with the problem, amplifies it, then provides the solution (the smoothie), and finally wraps up his second example with a way to sell this product.

Copywriting Academy Lesson 4

Module 2: Irresistible Offers

Lesson 1: Session Objectives

‘Making an offer you can’t refuse’ is key to creating an offer that sells. What an offer really is, why offers are so important, and how to structure an offer are the key concepts that Ray presents.

Ray follows up with several examples of how accomplished copywriters created irresistible offers.

Lesson 2: The 9 Kinds of Offers

Ray introduces the advantages and disadvantages of the nine main types of sales offers. They are the following:

  1. The hard offer (Here’s what we offer; buy now.)
  2. The soft offer (e.g., Send no money now.)
  3. The charter offer (first-time product is offered at special/reduced rate)
  4. Limited supply offer (keep your word)
  5. Limited time offer (again, keep your word)
  6. Application offer (an elite offer where customers must first apply to obtain offer)
  7. Payment plan offer (makes the high price more palatable)
  8. One-time offer (often an up-sell or cross-sell)
  9. Negative option offer (i.e., subscription plan and controversial)

Ray then discusses which offer to present to customers based on their level of awareness. There are four levels of awareness, and each one requires a different offer.

Lesson 3: The 6-Step System for Writing an Offer

There are six steps involved in writing an effective offer. They are Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

Who: Who is your buyer, and who are you that you qualify to present this offer to your customer?
What: What are you actually selling, and what will the product do for the customer?
When: When will the copy run, and when will prospects be most likely to buy?
Where: Where will prospects come from to your copy- from an email, webinar, etc.? Where will your copy live, and where will your product be located?
Why: Why is this product a good fit for your customers?
How: How will your product transform the lives of your customers? And how will they pay you?

Ray presents the three power moves for a stronger offers: Clear offer, clear copy, clear results. He also advises proofreading your copy by actually reading it out loud, and preferably, to another human being.

Lesson 4: Write Your Offer!

It’s homework time: Ray provides you with Your Powerful Offer Checklist in Pages format for Mac, PDF, and MS Word. Herein, you assess your offer and its transformational benefit, the awareness stage of your customer, and which offer you plan to use. Ray’s checklist also has you go through the 6-step system for writing an offer.

Before you become too intimidated by the homework, Ray fills out his own checklist using the example of debt reduction. He provides short and sweet fill-in-the-blank answers and shows you exactly how you might fill out this form.

Module 3: Persuasion Blueprint

Lesson 1: The PASTOR Framework

Ray goes into greater detail regarding the PASTOR framework introduced in Module 1. He discusses how every sellable item, even art, fashion or a vacation, solves a problem. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is introduced as the psychological basis of selling even “luxury” goods.

Ray also discusses how helping consumers avoid undesirable consequences can also be viewed as satisfying their needs.

Lesson 2: The Buyer’s Journey

Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey” is used as the backdrop for explaining how a copywriter must create a universal story and temporarily suspend (customer) disbelief. Ray presents several examples of universal stories portraying a hero and his journey (e.g., Batman, The Lord of the Rings). One such hero is Luke Skywalker, who is helped by his wise guide, Yoda. Ray emphasizes that copywriters often envision themselves as the hero of their story; however, this is incorrect.

Ray Edwards Training ‎1

Obviously, if your customer views herself as the hero, she will more likely heed your wise advice and buy your product.

Ray offers all the stages of the buyer’s journey as a downloadable and printable poster in the members’ area.

Lesson 3: How PASTOR and The “Buyer’s Journey” Work Together

Ray describes how the PASTOR format and the Buyer’s Journey fit each other using this illustration:

Ray Edwards Training ‎2

Lesson 4: The Sales Copy Template

Ray presents his long-awaited sales copy template, which he states can be “used to sell a product where people aspire to an outcome that so far has escaped them.” Ray then spends roughly 15 minutes going over his template and filling it in with example copy.

This lesson concludes with homework wherein you are asked to go over this lesson a second time and fill in the template using your own copy for your own product. Ray also asks that you take a break (for a day, or even a week) and later re-write your copy in order to see it with a fresh eye.

Lesson 5: The Sales Copy Checklist

Before you head off to do your homework, Ray offers a 21-point checklist for you to use so that you don’t forget any critical features of your message. Here are just some of these points:

Ray Edwards Training ‎3

Module 4: Headlines and Subheads

Lesson 1: The Importance of Headlines and Subheads

Ray emphasizes that a good sales page has both effective headlines and subheads (sub-headlines). A good headline (and subhead) not only grabs the reader’s attention, it also gets him to read the next sentence. Good headlines are on target, emotional, novel, and unexpected.

Lesson 2: Different Kinds of Headlines and Subheads

Headlines introduce the overall topic of the copy, and the subheads stop the reader from getting lost in the copy by segmenting it. Ray advises keeping headlines short yet emotional, and to make sure they cultivate curiosity in the reader. He also notes that the best headlines seduce the reader and ask leading questions. Several different examples of excellent headlines are provided.

Lesson 3: 21 Proven Headline Templates

As advertised, Ray provides 21 different headline templates that you can take and run with while creating your own copy. Some example headline templates include the “How to,” the “Top 10 Reasons,” the “Amazing Secrets,” the “Which Mistakes,” and the “Hidden Truth” headlines.

Lesson 4: Cool Tools & One Ninja Trick

If you’re still at a loss about how to create good headlines, there are online tools to help you out. Ray first takes you to HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator and shows you how to use it to generate “blog topicy” headline ideas.

Ray Edwards Training ‎4

Other headline generators include Portent’s Content Idea Generator. Ray also shows you how to locate magazine covers and adapt their headlines to your marketing purposes.

Homework for this lesson includes creating 100 headlines using the provided templates.

Module 5: Fascination Factor

Lesson 1: The Magnetic Selling Power of Persuasion Points

Persuasion points that compel people to buy your product are an absolute necessity in successful copywriting and are termed fascination factors by Ray. They also often appear as bullet point copy. Some example fascination factors include the following:

  • What never to eat on an airplane.
  • Should you give up your web page in exchange for a Facebook fan page?
  • The three items you should never include in a book proposal.

Lesson 2: Styles of Persuasion Points

In this lesson, Ray introduces three types of persuasion points, namely:

  • Blind persuasion fascination (completely hides the secret)
  • Giveaway fascination (gives the reader something that immediately helps)
  • Hybrid fascination (gives a partial explanation)

Lesson 3: 21 Persuasion Point Templates

If you’re lost on how to create your own “fascinations,” Ray has 21 templates that you can follow. This uses the same template approach as that seen for generating headlines in Module 4. Here is just one sample of Ray’s fascination templates:

Ray Edwards Training 5

Module 6: Resistance Removal

Lesson 1: The Importance of Guarantees

It’s not enough that you understand your customers, have fully illustrated your product and its benefits, generated powerful fascinations, and wrote magnetic headings and subheads.

No, it’s not enough if you don’t remove the buyer’s fears.

After all, it’s in the buyer’s best interest to not believe your claims and your story. The buyer risks losing his money, feeling hassled and/or stressed, looking foolish, etc.

How do you overcome fear in your buyer? By taking on as much of the risk as possible. This is the reason why X-day money-back guarantees exist.

However, Ray goes way beyond the basic money-back guarantee by describing his unique “Ray’s Way” 10-part guarantee and how you can implement it when selling your own goods and services.

Lesson 2: How to Transform a Weak Guarantee

Ray shows you, step-by-step, how to create a strong guarantee designed to close deals. Or, as he calls it:

Ray Edwards Training 6

Ray goes through an example of a very weak cosmetic dentistry guarantee and changes it into a very bold statement of confidence via “Ray’s Way” 10-part guarantee.

Lesson 3: How to Create “Tipping Point” Bonuses

Psychologically, tipping point bonuses exist to motivate people to buy. In Ray’s words, “Bonuses serve as hesitation busters.”

What makes a good bonus?

  • It’s related to the main product(s).
  • It makes the rest of the product easier (or even unnecessary).
  • Is valuable enough in its own right.

Module 7: Closing the Deal

Lesson 1: Closing Copy: What It Is and Is Not

The purpose of the close is to ask for the sale, obviously. Here is where you recap the offer, repeat why the customer needs to make the purchase, and to remind the customer of the guarantee and the bonuses. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you want to obtain a yes or no answer.

You must also ask for the sale. This is very important and one of the biggest failures of a good majority of sales copy.

Lesson 2: Closing Templates

Ray presents five closing templates that help generate the final step of the process- the sale. Here is one such template:

Ray Edwards Training 7

Ray then assigns homework, asking that you draft your own closing copy for your already (and mostly complete) draft sales letter.

Module 8: Inbox Magic

Lesson 1: The Power of Email Copy

Email is not dead. In fact, email is still the #1 way to sell online.

Why does email work even in the era of social media and apps? Because it’s personal, it’s ever-present, and because it’s easy to use. Ray emphasizes that, even in today’s world of social media and mobile apps, there is no substitute for tried-and-tested email copy.

Lesson 2: 21 Keys to Emails that Sell

Ray goes over the 21 basics of email marketing, including obtaining subscriber permission when building a list, using a reputable email delivery service, giving people a reason to opt-in, and so on. These keys are intended as an introductory approach to selling via email and not being considered a spammer.

Lesson 3: Email Sequences for Maximum Sales

What sequence of emails should you send? Which sequences are the best? Ray introduces the 3 main types of email campaigns, including live campaign sequences (written as the event is happening), automated campaign sequences (sent via auto-responder), and general broadcasts (one-off emails sent to all).

Major differences between each email campaign are noted, and several resources are noted for additional information. Ray says it goes beyond the scope of this course to talk more about how each email campaign should be set up and run.

But wait…there are bonuses!

It wouldn’t be right if Ray didn’t offer some bonuses to Copywriting Academy members after talking at length about bonuses and how they can create a tipping point for a purchase. So, the following bonuses are offered, but they are by no means the only bonuses available in Copywriting Academy.

Bonus Module 1: The Six Figure Second Income

Ray spends over an hour going over how you can prepare yourself psychologically and otherwise for a career in copywriting. He summarizes the difficulties inherent in being a freelance copywriter and how to overcome them using Ray’s 7 pillars of success.

Bonus Module 2: License to Steal

Swipe files provide an easy-to-follow template for creating copy quickly and easily. Ray goes over how you can successfully implement swipe files to generate great copy. He also provides you with six of his own swipe files for your personal use and repurposing.

Bonus Module 3: Rapid Copywriting

Ray demonstrates how to perform rapid copywriting in real-time via the Dictate software using an example swipe file.

Bonus Module 4: The Ultimate Copy Templates

You are presented with a 200+ page “Ultimate Copywriting Templates Workbook,” which Ray was going to release on its own but decided to include as yet another bonus in the Copywriting Academy course.

Q&A Sessions

Ray provides at least 15 Q&A/coaching call recordings where members ask a range of questions, including the following:

  • Will the course cover how to get clients if we choose to do freelance work?
  • How can I improve my headlines/persuasion points (individual examples follow)?
  • How to know when your copy is good versus average or bad (by % response rate).

The most recent recorded coaching call was published last month, and I suspect that additional calls will be posted as they occur.

What I liked about Copywriting Academy

  • Several learning styles. The course is offered in several formats- audio, video, slides and transcript. In the video component of this course, you’re not stuck looking at Ray’s face the entire time (if ever); no, Ray provides notes and examples in his video files, which help you take effective notes.
  • Lots of real-world examples. Ray presents several examples from copywriters who nailed their sales letters and offers. These examples are explained in detail so you can easily imitate them, if need be.
  • Professional format. You won’t find any hastily edited video clips or transcripts filled with spelling/grammar errors here. No, Ray takes the time and makes the effort to create a professionally produced and presented set of lessons, bonuses, and coaching calls. Ray also presents his videos via a fluid, smooth and at times humorous voice.
  • Beyond the basics training. I’ve been copywriting for many years now, yet I still learned a lot of stuff from this course.

What I didn’t like about Copywriting Academy

  • One-off structure. The course goes into great detail about creating a sales page but not how to string a set of sales pages together to create an ongoing story. If you are running an email campaign, you need more than just one sales letter or email to get your customers to buy your product. Ray briefly touches on email sequences in his last module, but this subject matter needs a lot more material and examples.
  • Geared towards B2C selling. If you’re focused on business-to-business (B2B) and not business-to-consumer (B2C) copywriting, Copywriting Academy will not answer all your questions about creating effective copy. In fact, all the sales letters and other examples that Ray provides are only appropriate for B2C commerce. B2B commerce involves a longer sales cycle and the generation of technical reports, white papers, and customer testimonials as guarantees. B2B copywriting also takes a more objective to illustrating a product’s benefits and would rarely use personal stories or discuss feelings.

The Bottom Line

I found Ray’s Copywriting Academy to be a solid and in-depth approach to the art and science of copywriting. Enough material, homework exercises, and bonuses are provided to keep the student busy for weeks. Additional resources (e.g., books) are recommended for those who wish to delve into a niche topic or copywriting approach.

For the novice and even the advanced copywriter, Ray provides fresh and educational approaches to improving both the quality and speed of one’s copywriting process.