I recently tried out Steven Wagenheim’s Honest Income Program, a multi-ebook package and step-by-step guide to making money online. I’ve been in the business of writing content for AC and elsewhere for some time, but had, at the time, been looking into affiliate marketing and learning the best practices, so I took a chance with his book. Was it worthwhile?
Yes and no. The Honest Income Program is a collection of three inter-related programs that do, on their own, work quite well. If you have no idea about making money on the internet, this is a good, albeit expensive, way to begin. For anyone with any experience, however, this book is redundant and probably not worth your time.
He starts out by giving the reader information on programs that do not work, including a large number of scams and programs that promise big earnings, but never pay out. He follows that up with a bit of information that seems quite irrelevant to the rest of the book, including a guide to the kinds of things that a business owner must have. Why a person who receives payment only through Clickbank and Paypal, and has no actual products being shipped from their home needs a P.O. Box escapes me.
The guide then goes on to mention the first money-making opportunity he recommends: writing articles. While I’ll agree that this is one of the number one ways to make money online these days, the cat is out of the bag on this method. Millions of people are already involved with producing content all around the world, although I have to admit, the author does a good job of covering a large number of sites that I had never heard of before. He recommends one program over all the others, but in my experience, this is one of the lower paying sites to write for, and provides higher minimum requirements before articles are accepted. It should also be noted that in order to make the amount of money that he claims is possible with this method, you need to be writing about 17 articles a week, or nearly 3 per day.
Related to business opportunity number one is a book that explains how to write a paint-by-numbers article for people who feel that writing is beyond them. I’m not so sure that people who are unexcited about writing in general are going to be interested in formulating their articles in this method, and it also doesn’t help people for whom English is a second language, the number one reason I can see people being uninterested in taking advantage of his program.
His second business opportunity deals with the field of affiliate marketing, and again, Wagenheim does a fine job of explaining how to start with this process, and even includes a few good side books about maximizing the amount of money that you can make with pay-per-click advertising. This is the meat of his main volume, and probably the most helpful of all of the sections, although because of the mass of sales that he has made off of his book, there are hundreds of people using the exact same affiliate program, and therefore, selling the same products as you will be. Because he mentions only one major program, you’ll need to do some more research and find a different program before you can really get started. There was also very little mention of promotional methods other than the PPC programs. Overall, though, the bulk of this information was new to me, and very well presented, although I can’t say that it is good for everyone. You need significant writing and web design skills before you can make any real money with this business.
The third business is almost an extension of the second. It promotes the use (and sale) of a program that is already so well known that even I, who had done only minimal research into online sales and money-making opportunities, had been a member. While Wagenheim, again, is providing excellent information, in an easy-to-follow manner, and is even offering a small bit of free promotion to go along with it, this program that he is using has been promoted to death already.
As for the ebooks that Wagenheim is including on the side, most of them are simply reiterations of the information presented in the basic book. The ones that are not, like the book about how to write articles, don’t seem particularly useful, as those who are going to use his business ideas are going to do things on their own, if at all.
All in all, this is a fine book if you have no idea of how to get started on making money online. If you have an idea of a business idea that you want to try out, this book will be of little help, as the programs and businesses that are recommended are very set-in-stone. It’s a nice guide because it gives you the step-by-step process, but with the number of sales that this book has had, you need to be incredibly good or incredibly lucky to make money with it.
Merits of the book aside, there is also the mention of the cost. The program costs $29.95 for all of these books, far more than comparable guides like that of the $7 Secret (http://www.7dollarsecrets.com/), the Green-Machine Guide to Higher Earnings (www.green-machine.info) at $10, with most of it offered for free, or Bum Marketing Guide (www.bummarketingmethod.com) which is totally free. All of these programs are slightly different, but are more open and flexible, which gives you a better chance to make money. Using Wagenheim’s methods only, which is the only way to use his books, you’re stuck competing with all of the other buyers on two of the three businesses. While the information on article writing is nice, it’s not for everyone, and the majority of people are already aware of how to do that.