I’m Your Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman!

Business is business… but make sure you are also enjoying life too. We are already living the life by doing business online and working for ourselves… remember not to take everything too seriously. Forget the emails, forget the marketing, forget the search engine positions… imagine being Spiderman for a day!


SPIDERMAN, COMING AT YA!

As mentioned in an earlier post, I love comics and marvel heroes… so much that I have my own expensive Spiderman costume I purchased for Halloween. This morning I woke up and decided to watch a few episodes of "The Amazing Spiderman" (the 60’s collection)… they are so simple, but so funny. It then gave the inspiration to have some fun! I called up my friend Jay today and said we should go out and have some fun… as Spiderman! So we did…

First we went to Comic Relief, an awesome comic book store in my area. I have been going there for years, they have changed location several times, but always have been a great source for comics and memorabilia. A few years ago I went in looking to get some new Marvel statues for my collections. They had a huge showcase and I liked everything inside. I ended up making a deal with them for $2000 for the whole setup. So Comic Relief was my first stop as Spiderman. At first the guy that runs the store looked pretty confused (as expected). I headed right to the Spiderman comics and picked one out. He already had some customers in line, so they were wondering about the costume as well. Once they left I went up and paid for the comic, he then asked if I would like to come back next week when they are having a comic book show at the store. Before leaving I asked if he would like to take a picture, he gladly said yes.


Shopping at Steve’s Comic Relief

Next was the big plan! Jay and I were headed for the mall where I was planning on purchasing some Spiderman action figures from KB Toys and even get my picture taken with the Easter Bunny. Right when I got out of the car and headed for the mall, I was getting stares and laughs. People were even taking out their cell phones to get pictures with me. Once inside the excitement grew even more, all the kids were loving it and thought it was the coolest thing in the world. I’m now in line to see the Easter Bunny, then not even two minutes go by that I am in the mall, these two rent-a-cops come up and tell me I need to leave the mall. Their reasoning was the mask…. and they told me I needed to take it off. My response was I could not let anyone know my true identity! So they kept insisting that I leave… and told me to take the mask off right now and walk out. So I said I can’t do that… and ran out the mall waving to everyone… with the mask still on! Even after leaving the mall, they had a rent-a-cop car follow me to make sure I left. (The highlight of these guys days are pushing around young teenagers and thinking they have some power!)

Disappointed by not having some fun in the mall, I said we should go to castle park, a local playground. Usually this place is packed, but it was a bit cold today, so not too busy. The kids that were there found a lot of joy in chasing me and telling me I couldn’t catch them… one was nice enough to tell me I was making a mockery of Spiderman! All in all, it was a good day. I’ll be sure to hit the boardwalk as Spiderman when it gets a little warmer, and make sure to show the rent-a-cops a little of my Dark Side!


Yes, I am King of the Castle!


Showing off my Web-Swinging Skills


Another Day in the Life of a Super Affiliate…

Google Broadband & John Chow’s Last Post

Every year the same thing happens. You start to read a really interesting article or web site with some astonishing news that just seems too good to be true. Usually you will come across these articles on March 31st… or April 1st. I’ve been online for a couple hours now, just working on some new pages and have already come across a few of these. The two highlighting ones so far have been:


New! Get FREE breakthrough broadband with Google TiSP (BETA).
http://www.google.com/tisp/

We already know how tight Google is on what they will post on their main page. It took them plenty of time before even posting their "Videos" link on the main page. I actually first came across the Google spoof through one of the forums I often visit. I then went to Google and checked out the site. While the first page or so is quite convincing, it’s not till the second page where you start to get the feeling something is going on. Visit the site and see how Google Broadband installation setup is done through the piping of your toilet bowl. More trickery from the wonderful Google… here are some of their past spoof as well. Google Romance,Google Gulp,Google Lunar Job,Google Pigeon Rank, and Google Mental Plex… Be ready next year at this time to see what they pull next!


My Last Blog Post – March 31st, 2007 by John Chow.
http://www.JohnChow.com

I check out John Chow’s blog site usually once or twice a day. When I came across his blog this morning and read his post that he had sold his TTZ Company for millions I was a bit surprise… once again forgetting at first it was April Fools Day again! John went on to mention that he would leave the daily posting to his friends, while he would be living off his interest (from his massive sale) and traveling the world with his family. Sounds like a good plan! Looking forward to his next post tomorrow about his evil posting and how he fooled soo many!


Don’t expect to find any April Fools Day pranks on ZacJohnson.com…. anyway, I’m headed off to go play basketball and dunk on everyone! 😛

Convert Any File to PDF

Today’s post is a bit short, but still a goodie. This blog, ZacJohnson.com will be featured in the next issue of Revenue Magazine (which will be given out at Affiliate Summit East as well). I had to send over an image in pdf format for Revenue to print the copy for me. Unfortunately I only had Acrobat Reader… which won’t convert files for you.

I did a quick search online and came across PDF Online. A great web site that will automatically convert your files into a pdf format, without having to download anything. After going through their quick three step process, I had my pdf file sent to my email. I then sent it off to Revenue and all is well. Just wanted to let you know about this great new site I came across today!

Bad Companies & Lost Commissions

It’ not often that I get burned for money online…actually it’s very rare. Unfortunately sometimes it still happens. The first time I got screwed out of earned commissions it was from a deadbeat merchant through CommissionJunction.com. One of their sweepstakes merchants apparently did not pay around $100,000 in commissions to them, so the affiliates also didn’t get paid. I was only owed around $1500-$2000, but it still hurts. I’ve worked with a lot of networks, and the best ones always made sure the affiliates were paid… even when payment from the advertisers didn’t come in.

The second time I got burned was a big one. Yet another sweepstakes related site, WebmasterSweeps.com (now out of business, click here to take a look at their old site)… located in Boca Raton, Florida. The first few checks from them were based off some small volume and were sent without a problem. Since I was making money with them I decided to promote them a bit more. Soon enough I was up to around $20,000 in owed commissions for the month. Near the end of the month they found it necessary to close out my affiliate account based on advertising that was against their terms and conditions. Before heavily promoting their offers that month, I had often talked with the company and what sweepstakes I should push for the month. Once I started racking up commissions so fast, I noticed it was getting ridiculously hard to get in contact with this company. They were so unscrupulous. They would no longer answer emails or appear on instant messenger. To make things even worse, they would screen calls (which seemed to be just for me)… no matter what time I called, anyone I requested to talk to was "out to lunch" or some other b.s. excuse. It wasn’t till I called up and told them a different name a company, that they actually accepted my call… and of course, the guy was in! I ended up trying to get a collection agency, which was located a couple blocks from WebmasterSweeps.com actual office building in Boca Raton, FL. They managed to do nothing as well. While my father and I were in Florida for an affiliate marketing event, we decided to unexpectedly drop by this collection agency (which graciously took our money to start the processing against WebmasterSweeps)… they were of little help and eventually did nothing for us in getting this case anywhere. In the end, I never got my owed money from 20,000 leads sent to WebmasterSweeps.com… along with the several hundred spent with the useless collection agency. Moral of the story?…Boca Raton, FL isn’t looking good. (whether it be to get paid for leads… or to try and work with a collection agency)

Here I am, yet again… it’s been several years now since the whole CommissionJunction fiasco, and a few years since taking the $20,000 hit from WebmasterSweeps.com. Unfortunately it’s time for someone else to get added to the list. Looks like mStyle.com is now on the run and not paying any of their affiliates. I am now in the hole for over $5,000 from them. I have since stopped promoting their offer a few weeks ago, as I could not get in touch with anyone and some recent searches online show I am not the only one looking for payment. But honestly… I should have known better. Let’s take a look at where mStyle is located:

mStyle, LLC.
1801 N. Military Trail, Suite 203
Boca Raton, FL 33431

I feel bad for all the legitimate companies located in Boca Raton, FL… as I have yet to find one, but I’m sure there are a few. I’m sure mStyle will only follow in the steps of WebmasterSweeps.com. What goes around, comes back around…

Zac Gets a Call from SpiderMan

I was on my way to my girlfriend’s house yesterday and was about to give her a call. I then realized I had a missed call and they had left a voice mail. Dialed up my voicemail and was surprised to hear "Hey, it’s your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, its web slinger weekend!"… so my first reactions were "Hey, this is kind of awesome!"… but at the same time I’m thinking… when/where did I get my cell information to Hasbro, along with permission to call me? I love comics and Marvel almost more than anyone (my Spiderman Halloween costume), so Spiderman can give me a call anytime he wants. It’s not that I was annoyed about the call, just curious. I was also thinking, if this was a massive ad campaign, how would they possibly track sales just based off a phone call telling you to get to your favorite toy store for the latest Spiderman action figures. Seems like the chance of having people complain about spam phone calls would be more of an issue.

When I got to Reena’s house, I immediately told her to listen to my exciting new message. Once hearing the message, she started laughing. It wasn’t till then that she had told me this was the "surprise" she mentioned earlier in the week that I would get on Saturday. While up at Rutgers, Reena had seen a commercial for a promotion being held by Hasbro. You can take a look at their sitehere or take a look at the "Get a Wake Up Call from Spidey" page. Unfortunately "Web Slinger Weekend" is nearly over, but this was a great idea from Hasbro and made my day! Thanks Reena… and Spiderman! 😛 So to clarify things up, this was not a "spammy / unwanted solicitation" from Hasbro at all, just merely a fun way to promote some new Spiderman products, while taking the extra step to give their customers/fan a little something more to enjoy.

Sony VAIO VGC-LS25E Desktop PC Review

It was that time of year again for me. My computer was slowing down and already gunked up from all the massive files and hard labor put into the machine over the past year. It was time for me to get a new computer!

Usually I will pick up one of the latest eMachines packages from BestBuy, as I usually just pick up a new computer each year and these have been pretty well for me. I decided to stop by BestBuy and see what they had. I walked in and immediately saw the Sony VAIO VGC-LS25E Desktop PC (Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5600, 2 GB RAM, 250 GB Hard Drive, DVD±RW Drive, Vista Premium). I asked one of the staff members if they had any complaints on the computer, and right away he started to gush over great the system was. So I told him I would take it… then of course he tried to sell me all the extra crap and warranties with it!

Besides that BestBuy is a great place to shop, I also was looking to buy a computer from there because I already had around $200 in gift certificates. I was the TOP AFFILIATE at DeezBrand.com for several months in a row. DeezBrand.com awards their top affiliate with a nice gift certificate each month, along with some nice prizes if you hit a minimum amount of sales. Anyway, I had been holding onto these certificates for some time and finally found a good use for them.

As for the computer, the screen is awesomely huge and clear. What I really love about the Sony Vaio is it’s XBRITE-HiColor Screens. Compared to any other regular monitor, the clarity and color on these are just amazing. What also is amazing about the system is that there is no tower, the whole system is packaged into the back of the monitor and there are no annoying cords to deal with (except the main power plug). This Sony Vaio Desktop is also loaded with wireless internet access, TV and DVR capabilities, remote control and a built in webcam. The all new Windows Vista is also packaged with the system as well. No complaints on Vista yet, just might take you a little time to get used to some of the changes, but the addition of widgets on the desktop screen is definitely a plus.

Unfortunately, the only problem I have experienced is the inability to play World of Warcraft for more than 30 minutes without a blue screen of death coming on and locking the whole computer up. I have yet to find out what the problem is. I have updated the driver and talked to support, but nothing fixed yet. You would think a brand new $2000 Sony computer would work perfect with everything!

How to Get a Free 42″ Sony Plasma TV!

As an affiliate of many networks, I get to see all the zip code and email address offers being push all over the place. I decided to finally try one of them and see if they are scams, or if you actually get what they are promising. I came across a nice offer from www.MyPremiumRewards.com for a free 42inch plasma TV. To get this free TV all you would need to do is go through their long signup process (loaded with coregs and opt-in offers) and then complete a bunch of offers on the last page of the signup.

I wasn’t able to find the exact landing page that I signed up to initially, as the offer or TV might be out of date now, but if you go towww.MyPremiumRewards.com you will see that they have a lot to offer from their main page. You basically pick the item you are looking for on the main page, then go through the signup process.

Before signing up, I already knew that this was going to be a tricky task to make sure I did everything right and not miss any of their
terms and conditions, as they probably hope you will do. So what I did was make a new email address strictly for this promotion. This way I would have all emails and documentation on my signups and verification emails. (Sites like Free Samples Without Surveys have many of these types of offers available)

Surprisingly enough, MyPremiumRewards.com was very good with their customer support forms and usually got back to me within 1-3 days. I eventually went on to complete all my necessary offers and kept in contact with MyPremiumRewards.com often to make sure everything was credited and that I was in compliance. MyPremiumRewards.com had sent an email that I needed to print out and get notarized from a bank, basically saying I agree to their terms and accept the TV. After sending back the notarized letter, I got my new free tv within a couple weeks! This was an amazing test and it actually worked, I then told two other friends about the offer and they soon had their own free TVs from MyPremiumRewards.com as well.


I got a call a few days before delivery and a huge freight truck dropped off the Panasonic TV.

While the majority of offers listed on these sites are not premium deals the average person would subscribe to (especially since you now need to complete 24 offers to get your prize from MyPremiumRewards.com), you may find that you actually will like a few. Since signing up for the offers I am still a member of the Blockbuster DVD Rental Service, and have fulfilled my membership commitment with Columbia House (was able to order some nice
DVDs), and I tried out GameFly.com for a month (then cancelled after trial was up). Everything else has been fully cancelled.

Some important things to remember:
– Make sure you keep all emails and signup information from all offers you need to complete. You will need these when canceling your free trials and subscription based offers.
– While it was essentially a “free TV”, it did end up costing me around $250 in trial fees and shipping costs.
– If you do not want to get billed, make sure you cancel all of your trial offers and subscriptions as soon as possible. For some offers you will need to send products back (ie: book clubs, postage hardware etc). Some of these companies will try and get you to stay by offering a free month or a better deal, unless you want the service, it’s usually in your best interest to just cancel.
– The site hosting the offer usually has nothing to do the with processing of the trial offers and subscriptions that you need to sign up to. You will need to contact the company and the offer site, should you have any problems.
– Lastly, a few of these companies will make it very tricky for you to cancel your subscriptions. It will be very easy for you to get burned and have to pay if you do not follow all instructions carefully. You will need to return items with special RAN (Return Authorization Number), that you will need to call the company first to receive, then place on the package before sending back.

Just last month I received a tax form from MyPremiumRewards.com saying the TV was valued at $1699. This means I will also have to pay taxes on the TV, as it was a prize/income to me. I still have the TV and it works great! I know these offers have a horrible reputation for not sending out their promised prizes and I’m sure some of them don’t. However, my experience with MyPremiumRewards.com was pleasant and worked out. I have not tried any other sites, but I wanted to share my experience with MPR and maybe let a few of my readers take advantage and get a Sony laptop or Apple iPod a little cheaper than buying it in the store.

My Goal: Dunk By the Summer

I love basketball and I play around 3-6 hours every other day at my local LA Fitness gym. For the longest time now I have been promising myself to get into better shape and train to be able to dunk. Right now I’m 5"11 and 190lbs. I still need to add around 8-12 inches to my vertical to make this happen. I figure now is a better than ever to make a promise to all my blog readers and everyone to come across this site, that I WILL DUNK A BASKETBALL BY SUMMER. More than anything this is a personal goal, but it makes it even more of a goal that I have made a post to thousands of viewers, and to keep my promise to them. To make it even more exciting, once I am able to dunk, I will throw a random contest of some sort to my blog readers. Something like $50 CASH to five random posters of the forum. I will keep you updated and post a video once it happens!

Congratulation to Me! I won a New Sony Playstation 3!

Sony Playstation 3 I awoke to a nice surprise this morning. I was lucky enough to be awarded with a Sony Playstation 3 system from MySpacePros.com. I had just recently found out about this forum earlier last week when Jeremy Schoemoney had made a post about the site on his blog. MySpacePros.com is a forum dedicated to MySpace users and site owners that make and distribute free images and tools. These images and tools are then used for all MySpace users to decorate their pages with. I’m glad I decided to join the forum and see what it was all about. Not only have I made some great new friends and contacts, but I now also have a new Playstation 3 system to fool around with!

Happy St.Patrick’s Day, We are Live!

First off I’d like to say Happy St.Patrick’s Day! In addition to the holiday, it’s time we celebrate ZacJohnson.com going live. Time sure has flown by fast, but it sure has been fun. I can’t beleive it has now been nearly 10 years since I first started making money online. I’m happy to say over the years I have gone from making ad banners for web sites (meeting people in the old “AOL Web Diner” chat room) for a dollar a peice, to running my own affiliate programs, running a network of sites and building the MoneyReign empire into a successful seven figure company. It’s been an amazing time and I still have so much more to learn. Through ZacJohnson.com I would like to share a lot of my past experiences, some ideas on how to make more money on the web, a little about myself and meet some great new people. I look forward to hearing from all my new readers!