why i’m using twitter rocket

the following is a letter i wrote toglorybug.  she’s been getting a lot of heat from some twitter rocket users for posting some wary and skeptical opinions and musing about the possibility that it might be a scam.  later, she posted some questions for twitter rocket users (which drew some more fire, although i’m still not entirely sure why, other than it was a long list of questions), and, having just purchased my copy, i decided to take the time to answer as many as were applicable to me with regards to what went into my decision.

A while ago you asked for Twitter Rocket users to come forward for an interview and posted a list of questions.  Well, I’ve recently purchased a copy myself, so I wanted to take the time to answer some of your questions and explain what went into the decision for me.  We’ve had a similar skepticism with regards to Twitter Rocket, so, while my decision to buy myself a copy isn’t a complete 180, it’s definitely a shift in gears.

First of all, a little bit about where I’m coming from…

I am a graphic/web designer.  A little over 2 years ago, I quit a fairly cushy cubicle farm job where I made over $40k a year with full benefits doing server and client PC support for a major grocery chain to start building websites from home and spend more time with my wife and 2 kids. I’ve been blogging for about five years.  My blog has never been high in traffic, though sometimes I entertained the thought that maybe it could be, but for most of that time, I didn’t really care.  I wasn’t particularly writing for an audience.

However, since launching our business, I’ve been increasingly conscious of how much traffic our site gets and, by proxy, how much traffic my blog gets.  I think both can do better, and have been trying a variety of things to try to help that process along.  I’ve had some success, but progress is slow and a lot of work.  It would be a full time job just to get our regular traffic to where I want it to be, and I already have a full time job, making websites.

So this is my backstory, and this is the foundation for my curiosity about Twitter Rocket.  It sounds like the perfect solution for what I want to do.  Assuming it’s not a scam.

How did you hear about the Twitter Rocket, and when?
Did you hear about it from people who were known to you, either through the internet or in person?
I heard about it via Ashley Morgan’s blog, Upstart Blogger.  So, inasmuch as anyone knows anyone by their blog, I suppose I knew of Ashley, but don’t know him personally.

Do you personally know anyone directly responsible for the development of the Twitter Rocket?
No.  I’ve had a few direct correspondences with Ashley, but as stated above, I don’t know him personally.

Have you personally purchased the Twitter Rocket for the full advertised price?
If you did, do you have receipts of proof of purchase?

I personally purchased Twitter Rocket, but I purchased it at a special discounted price to his newsletter subscribers.  I have the PayPal receipt.

Did you already have an established website or blog of at least a year before your purchase?
Both my blog, jazzsequence.com and my company’s website arcanepalette.com have been around for much longer than 1 year (although my blog moved to jazzsequence.com several years ago from a free domain at jazzsequence.zapto.org).

How many posts does your website blog have now?
How many did it have before the purchase?

386, not including pages, not including the post that I will make from this letter.

How soon after your purchase did you receive the eBook?
About 6 hours after purchase.

Do you have affiliate links or adsense or any other marketing income from your site besides the Twitter Rocket?
Yes.  I have some amazon affiliate links, Jinx clothing affiliate links, 1and1.com affiliate links, some others.  None of them get a whole lot of conversion.  In fact, none of them get any conversion.

How often do you post on your site, and how many of your posts are content driven, and how many are affiliate driven?
I post a couple times a week generally, though there have been dry spells.  I do not post affiliate-driven content.

How many of your posts are related to the Twitter Rocket, and how many are not?
I have several blog posts that talk about the ongoing debate I’ve had with myself about Twitter Rocket.  None of them are what you would consider to be great advertising because I myself was not sold.  It’s a small handful, however, compared to the hundreds of other posts on the site over the last 5 years.

Are you using AN Hosting as your host?
If not, who is your host?

No.  I use 1and1 currently.

Are you using a variation of the Upstart Blogger website style?
No.  I like Ashley’s theme, but I’m not overly fond of solely typographic blog designs for myself.  Plus, as a designer who builds wordpress themes for a living, it annoys me to see a whole network of people using modifications of the same general layout/theme.

Are you a musician?
Um.  Sort of.  The jury is out whether you can call what I do music, but I have a bandcamp page, and I participated in RPM 09.  jazzsequence.bandcamp.com

Has your previous website been shut down for any reason?
Only when I’ve pulled things down or moved them myself.

What is your blog/site about?
Various things.  Stuff I’m interested in. I don’t really have a specific topic other than “geek.”

Do you sell products or provide a service other than promoting the Twitter Rocket?
Did you sell products or provide a service before you bought the Twitter Rocket?
Yes and yes.  I haven’t really promoted Twitter Rocket to date, there’s only a handful of tweets on a secondary account that I used to try to plug my affiliate link.  My main product or service is our web design company.

Are you promoting the Twitter Rocket without having a website or blog at all?

If you had a preexisting business before your purchase, how were you marketing your product?
We use Elance.com to find  jobs, and a lot of our work is word of mouth and referrals.  And a lot of our business is ongoing or repeat customers.

Do you use Twitter to promote the Twitter Rocket?
If not, how do you promote it?
To a small degree.  There’s also an affiliate link on my blog.

How many Tweets do you do a day/week to promote it?
Maybe one or two a week.

How many sales a day/week have you made from the Twitter Rocket, at $47 commission each?
How many total sales have you made?
How many of those sales would be willing to take this survey?
How can you prove how many sales you claim?
How many of the sales you’ve made have posted on the internet about their purchase and their success?
How many of those sales are people who aren’t going to sell the Twitter Rocket, and are just using it to get more sales for their products?
How many of those people are willing to take this survey?
How many affiliate sales have you made for AN Hosting?
I have made exactly 0 sales to date.  I do not have an affiliate link for AN Hosting.

What were the numbers of your Twitter followers and who you follow before you used the Twitter Rocket, and how have those numbers increased by day/week?
My secondary account that I was using to collect followers currently has 493 followers.  @ArcanePalette has 228.

Do you believe it not possible to get Twitter followers any other way?
No.  but having done it the hard way, I’ve come to realize that getting 500-1000 followers is very time consuming.

Do you use Twitter to drive sales to your site, or use Twitter directly for sales?
Not overly so.  Mostly I’m just trying to drive traffic at this point.

Have you heard of any coverage of the Twitter Rocket other than the Upstart Blogger, people advertising as affiliates, or people questioning the eBook?
Other than your blog, myself, and various twitter rocket users who blog about it, no.

If you initially purchased the eBook at $97, and the AN Hosting, have you made your money back yet?
No, and I don’t really care at this point.  I didn’t pay the full $97, and if I don’t make my money back I’ll at least have learned something from the ebook (even if that something is that I’m a big schmuck).

How many sales of the Twitter Rocket and An hosting would you need to achieve to call the eBook a success for you?
How few in order to consider it a failure for you?

I don’t really think in those terms.  If I learn something and attract an organic following of Twitter users that actually care about what I have to say or what my business offers, I will consider it a success.  If that does not happen, I will consider it a failure.  If someone clicks on an affiliate link along the way, so much the better, but I’m not banking on that.

How long do you imagine it will take you to determine whether it has been a success or a failure for you?
Well supposedly it’s supposed to work within a month…

Would you sell this eBook to a family member or a friend?
We shall see…

What do you think of the people who express concern or skepticism about the Twitter Rocket or it’s longterm viability?
What do you think their motivation is?
Being one of these people I can say that I understand the skepticism and I can empathize with not wanting to pay for something shrouded in secrecy.

Why do you think they have not purchased the eBook?
Because it sounds too good to be true.

Do you think people expressing criticism of the Twitter Rocket have the freedom of speech to bring up questions about it, or does it make you mad?
I think the people attacking people who bring up questions about it are only making the product look more sketchy to those of us who were skeptical.

Do you consider yourself a hard worker?

Are you working fulltime in a 9-5 job?
If not, what combination of working do you do?
I spend my day juggling two kids, several ongoing clients, and new design work.  To say my life is busy would be an understatement.

Would you feel bad if you made money selling the eBook, but the people who bought it from you did not?
Maybe only if their sole intent was to make money from it and they failed.

Because it is an intangible one time purchase, do you think there might be a time when the Twitter Rocket becomes too saturated in the market to sell?
Possibly, but I think that day is a long way away.  There are a lot of twitter users.  I’m more concerned with twitter evolving into a tool used solely for marketing and advertising.

many of your questions I don’t have answers to because I have not started using it yet, and I only just made the purchase today.  If you want, I would be more than happy to do a follow up that talked about my experience using it.  Assuming I get the ebook sometime today I just got the eBook today, so, I would probably be able to comment on using it after a week or so from now.

twitter schoolbus, day 3 and 4

i’ve really enjoyed the discussion that my experiment has generated.  this has always been a really low traffic blog, although i’ve always felt like it could do better.  in the last few days i’ve somehow attracted the attention of people who would never have come here before, and i credit that, largely, to twitter.  so it’s true, you can use twitter to increase your site’s traffic (presuming you have stuff on your site that’s always being updated).

here are my twitter schoolbus notes from the weekend:

day 3

today i tried something different. i tried another trick that other people do which is follow who your friends are following. since this whole experiment came out of the twitter rocket thing, i decided to start with the source: @morganzero. except, @morganzero is following over 10,000 people, and has said that he follows everyone back (excluding, i assume, the spambots). how do i find anything relevant in that mess? i’m sure not going to go through all 10,000 (although, i’m also sure that if i did, i’d have a straight shot to a massive following). so instead, i went through his twitter stream and found anyone he @mentioned and followed them. the people he deems worthy of having a conversation with are probably worthwhile and fairly relevant. i went all the way through his feed back before twitter rocket existed.

then i had another idea.

after reading a couple posts on glorybug’s blog, i was inspired to to a twitter search for “twitter rocket.” as expected, most of the results were affiliates. a few were folks annoyed by all the twitter rocket spam. since that’s still topical (at least to my current topic), i followed all of them, too, again, going 5 pages deep into the search results (granted, as a rule, twitter rocket affiliates post multiple times about twitter rocket, so there were some repeats in there). that bumped my following count to 462. at the end of the day (midnight, MST), i had 204 followers.

day 4

today i searched for “indie art”. this was my favorite search yet as i saw a LOT of awesome twitter backgrounds. i got a few design inspirations for making twitter backgrounds for arcane palette in the process. this tells me that this is really the type of thing i should be doing, not only for my own blog, but for arcane palette, too. it would be easy to find followers in our niche by doing searches like this.

again i went 5 pages deep into the search results, although this time, if i noticed they @mentioned someone in the last tweet or two, i followed them, too. at the end of that process, i was following 524 people. i decided it was time to chart my progress. since it was too early for twitterholic to start showing stuff (since i hadn’t indexed teh_s3quence yet), i googled for a graph-making tool and found this.

following depicted by the triangle, followers depicted by the diamond

as you can see from the graph, though there’s a big gap between how many people i’m following vs. being followed by, the progression is pretty much equal (except for day 4, where the followers tapered off. i blame this either on it being the weekend, lower user activity and older tweets from the search results, or possibly twitter rocket users who don’t appreciate my skepticism). this is all i ask for, in fact, this means that everything is working perfectly.

from this point on, i’ll be tracking the data but reporting on the progress less often. it’s boring blogging about stats and i can’t imagine it makes a good read. and anyway, you get the idea: do a search for something you’re interested in or is in your niche, and follow people who are talking about it. it’s not rocket science. (pun intended.)