Why Discounting & Using Udemy Was An Awful Long-Term Strategy


Why Udemy's Discount Culture Is Bad for Growth



Oh boy.

It’s time for me to eat some crow.

And that’s REALLY difficult for me to do because I have a fear of certain birds. 🙂

Anyway…

There are articles all over the Web about why discounting your products is bad.

I ignored them and thought that was odd advice.

Some of you warned me about Udemy.

I ignored that too.

My goal was to make my courses affordable for people to learn, and many of you praised me for that.

But I didn’t really understand the long-term limitations of a pricing structure like Udemy’s.

If you have not launched your product yet and/or are considering Udemy to sell your online courses, please pay attention.

There’s also a podcast for this post. If you’d like to listen, scroll to the bottom.

Constant Discounting Creates a Price Ceiling

The ongoing discount strategy is NOT good for the long run, and it often creates a proverbial ceiling when it comes to what some people will pay.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Offering too-frequent discounts trains people to buy only when there’s a sale.” quote=”Offering too-frequent discounts trains people to buy only when there’s a sale.”]

When a large discount is the #1 motivating factor for purchasing, you attract a lot of people who…

  • Put off starting/completing the course
  • Don’t take action
  • Are less motivated (because they haven’t invested much money)
  • Are more likely to expect a coupon before buying again (This one is HUUUUUGE!)

As a result, you have to sell a lot of cheap products to make worthwhile money, and you often end up with a less engaged student due to the low risk/investment.

Of course this is not ALWAYS the case, but I have a good sample size of Udemy stats to study and the results are clear…

When I opted out of the Udemy promotions last Summer, it was amazing to see the increase in course engagement/completion and how the average ratings improved.

The bottom line is…

[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t price low. Pack your product with value, and charge what it’s worth.” quote=”Don’t price low. Pack your product with value, and charge what it’s worth.”]

Should You Avoid Udemy?

If you care more about the volume of students, and are not concerned with the amount you earn per sale, then Udemy is fine.

Just understand that your income will largely depend on how much Udemy promotes your course (if you cannot drive sales yourself). And many of your students will never pay more than a certain price.

Notice I didn’t say “ALL” but “MANY.”

There are instructors on Udemy who are doing very well and are happy with their model. So I would never say it’s bad for everyone.

It’s just not for ME anymore, and I won’t be uploading there again.

Even though I’ve opted out of the discounts, there is still an unspoken expectation for what my courses SHOULD sell for because they are on a notoriously discounted platform.

I know this to be true because I’ve gotten messages in my inbox from people begging for coupons.

Begging

One guy was so relentless, I had to block him after the 10th message in a 3 day period.

Another guy criticized me because my courses weren’t part of the promotions.

Oh the NERVE of me for not selling a 3 hour course for 15 bucks! 🙁

I had two emails this morning from someone asking for a coupon.

And when people on Udemy ask for a coupon, they don’t want $5 or $10 off.

They want 75 to 90% off.

I’m Done.

This is exactly why Udemy is a bad choice for people who want to sell courses over a certain amount. That discount expectation is a killer.

They tried to fix this last year with a limited discount structure, but it flopped badly.

Just like JCPenneys discovered when trying something similar, they realized people need to FEEL they’re getting a discount.

Udemy knew they had to change it back so they could keep profits up. It may not benefit all the instructors, but it benefits THEIR bottom line.

So it really doesn’t matter what you price your course if you’re opted in to the discounts.

In most people’s eyes the value is always under $25.

That expectation is always there, and if you don’t offer that, you may look sleazy or like you’re trying to rip someone off.

It doesn’t matter how detailed your course is or that it’s 3 hours long. It “should” be cheap because it’s on Udemy.

Students wait for the next promotion, and it’s typically just a few weeks away.

And who could blame them? Why wouldn’t they wait for a discount? That’s the precedent Udemy set.

I’m just glad we can opt out.

I do get full-price marketplace sales (referred by Udemy) quite often for my affiliate course, but I bet they are from new students who haven’t figured out the “Udemy system” yet.

I also hate how their pricing looks scammy. “Oh, let me price my 30 minute course at $200 when I know it will sell for $20.”

Nope.

When you opt out, YOU control your prices.

Think Long Term When Setting Prices

The decision to start cheap will always hurt my course sales in some way because I set a low price expectation.

So if you want to control how much your course will sell for, you should consider other options like Teachable (where my future courses will be uploaded).

My 2create courses will stay on Udemy (minus the Udemy promos, of course) for now, and existing students will always have access to them even if I stop selling there. It’s part of their terms.

The truth is, only a small percentage of Udemy instructors earn a substantial amount of money selling courses cheap.

If you happen to have a top course in an in-demand niche, you could make five figures per month selling courses at $10 or $15 due to Udemy promoting your course for you.

Just remember that if you rely on Udemy for your sales, a competitor could come along with a better course and Udemy may promote their course over yours.

Many instructors feel trapped and obligated to participate in the Promotions because without them, they would hardly make anything due to the fact the students look for the discounts and they don’t have an audience.

Well I don’t feel obligated at all — even if that means I earn less.

I have no regrets about opting out of the Promotions last year.

I would much rather have 5 students who pay $100 than 100 students who pay $10.

When people invest more into a course, they are far more likely to complete it, act on the content and buy ANOTHER course for the same price or more.

If you attract more students that really NEED your course and not just motivated by a discount, you’ll make more in the long run.

So you have to sell fewer courses to reach your income goals, and you’re getting paid for your work.

“I Can’t Afford That Price!”

So how do you deal with people who complain about price?

If people are used to discounts, no doubt those comments will come. I get this all the time now that I opted out of the Promotions.

You simply explain that you invested a lot of time into creating your product, and your price is set to reflect that.

Why should you disregard the work you put into creating something just because someone doesn’t want to pay?

A higher price will help communicate the value of those who are ready to commit time and money, and drive those away who aren’t.

It’s that simple.

I’m no longer afraid of driving people away like I was before.

It’s about learning to create a product that people NEED and WANT instead of trying to target anyone and everyone by dangling a cheap price in their face.

Private Groups Are Beneficial

Creating a private Facebook group for my Spreadshirt (and future POD T-shirt design students) has been a learning tool for me as a course creator.

It’s helped me learn where I need to improve with structuring my courses.

I am listening to the problems that people have and noticed a common theme with the challenges many of you face that I wouldn’t have picked up on without the group.

I’ve had several A-HA moments! 🙂

This gives me direction with my upcoming 101 print on demand course.

So it’s not just about jacking up your prices. You also have to improve, deliver and give people what they need and want.

It’s a two-way street.

So having a group where you can interact with your potential students is great because you can learn about what they want and where they struggle most.

I will certainly use this info for my future courses.

I’m working hard to ensure the courses are setup for optimal learning and easy implementation.

I have to do my part too.

Quantity Doesn’t Matter

This may be hard to believe, but I don’t care about high enrollment numbers right now.

True Dat!

If I did, I’d still be opted in to the Udemy promotions.

For me, it’s about removing that cheap course expectation and finding the right price point that…

  • reflects value and doesn’t look cheap
  • pays me back for the time invested
  • is affordable

And you know what?

I STILL don’t have the perfect formula for pricing a product. I’m going to be testing and welcome you to share what you’ve learned.

But I can tell you this…

Giving products away for cheap is NOT the answer for me.

If you’ve benefited from my discounts then you might not like this. It might look greedy or that I’ve changed.

Well you’re right.

I have changed.

I’ve learned that it makes no business sense to price below the value for the long run.

As you can see, I’m such a work in progress when it comes to all this selling stuff, but I wanted to share what I’ve learned.

Listen To The Podcast

This topic was so important that I decided to also do a podcast. You can listen below or right-click this link and download the mp3 file here.

How WordPress Exposes Your Admin Username & How to Fix It!


How WordPress Might Reveal Your Login Info



I received an alarming DM from one of my e-buddies, Darren of Small Biz Geek.

This is what it said…

Tweet From Darren

Say whaaaaaaaaat?

Now, I will say this…

I know not to ever use “admin” for my username, and I’m aware of the nickname issue.

What’s the nickname issue, you ask?

Always change your admin nickname to something else, otherwise the name shown with your comments will be your username.

Go into Users from your dashboard, and edit your Admin user account. Make sure you change your nickname to something other than your username.






But I had already done that, so I wasn’t aware of any other username vulnerabilities.

Well there’s another one, and it’s a biggy!

The Byline Might Be Exposing Your Username

Darren figured out my login username for my new site, and he didn’t have to hack the database or go to great lengths to figure it out.

All he did was hover over a link in my author byline.

You might have the same vulnerability on your WordPress site, and there’s a very easy fix.

If you have “By [Name]” in your byline that usually shows up underneath your WordPress title, you might be exposing your admin username.

So I wouldn’t risk exposing anyone’s site that was vulnerable, the byline in the above example is not even hyperlinked, but I just wanted to show an example of what it would look like since I ended up removing my byline altogether.

Anywho…

Hover over that name in your byline. (Not all themes show the byline.)

You will notice it goes to http://yoursite.com/author/[name] 

Whatever you see in the [name] is your login username.

How crazy is it that WordPress has not addressed this yet???? As if WordPress is not vulnerable enough!

And since most of us post using our Admin accounts, this is dangerous. You are basically telling the hackers of the world what your WordPress admin login username is.

So all they have to do is run their script to figure out your password. And if it’s super simple then it’s not hard for them to crack into your account.

For the record, hackers easily crack some passwords by running scripts that attempt to figure them out. They typically start alphabetically and go down the list.

a… aa… aaa… aaab… aaabbb and then they had numbers to the end.

Sounds tedious, right? But here’s the deal…

This is happening at a rate of million of attempts per second because it’s a script, so they can go through the millions of combinations VERY quickly.

It’s not like John (or Jane) 🙂 is sitting at your login screen manually entering each option. This process is totally automated!

Many WP blogs get hacked because they use “admin” as the username and then a super simple password.  That’s why you should always use lowercase, numbers, uppercase and symbols.

If you’re using a password like happy123, then you’re begging to get hacked — especially if your username is exposed in the byline.

For the record, words that can be found in the dictionary are a big no-no — even if you add numbers at the end.

How to Hide Your Username In The Byline

This may seem intimidating at first, but it’s super easy and should only take you about 3-5 minutes.

Darren created a video that explains all this and shows you how to fix the problem. There are also text instructions below.

I would highly recommend you backup your database before making any changes. Pleeeeease!

Text Instructions

If you prefer text instructions, here ya go…

1. Login to your cpanel or hosting account control panel.

2. Go to PHPMyAdmin or whatever database software your host uses. It might just say “Databases.”

Your interface may also look slightly different. I’m on dedicated hosting, and my cpanel just got upgraded. The point is to find phpMyAdmin or your database icon.

phpMyAdmin

You will see your WordPress database name(s) and any other databases you have setup. It should look similar to the image below.

3. Click the name of your database (or the plus sign next to it), and it will expand a list of all the tables inside that database.


database



4. Look for a table called wp_users (or something similar) and click it. This is where all your blog’s users are stored.

This will bring up a table of all the users in your WordPress database.

5. Find your username for your admin account and click Edit.

You should see a field called user_nicename and it will be the same as your login.

This is the culprit and what you should change IMMEDIATELY! Change it to “webmaster” or anything other than your login username.

6. Click “Go” or “Save” and that should be it.

Now if you use the byline on your posts, your username will no longer be displayed in the hyperlink.

It will show the name you just changed it to, which is OK because it’s not tied to any of your login details.

What Is The Purpose of The User_Nicename Field?

In case you’re worried about breaking something with this change, here’s some reassurance.

The user_nicename field was only created to simplify the URL of the author archives.

It’s a slug to make the author post archive link appear “nicer”, hence the name.

So if your username is something funky with symbols and hyphens, then the user_nicename will simplify the author post archive link (URL).

If you change the user_nicename, you are changing the URL of the author’s archives.

The good news is WordPress will automatically make this change dynamically so you won’t have broken links in your bylines.

But if you happen to manually link to all your author posts somewhere else on your site (rare), then you will have to change those links to the new one.

There really is no need for a byline when you have a single-author blog anyway.  If you use Genesis themes like me, you can easily get rid of it by installing The Simple Edits plugin.

What If Your Theme Doesn’t Have a Byline?

This is pretty common today. A byline might not be coded into your particular theme.

However, even if the byline is not displayed, the author URL still exists because it’s part of WordPress’ dynamic code.

So you can still go to http://yoursite.com/author/[admin_username]. But if your theme doesn’t link to your author archives, then it would be nearly impossible to find.

Nevertheless, it still exists if you go to it manually. So I’ll leave that up to you to decide if you are going to change it or not.

—————-

Thank you, Darren for alerting me of this! This is such an important issue so I want to spread the word as you have done on your blog.

I can’t believe I’ve used WordPress all these years and have never come across this info! 😮

Look-a-here, ladies and gents! All WordPress users need to know about this. Please spread the word by tweeting the link below, especially if you have a website that targets bloggers.

[clickToTweet tweet=”WordPress is exposing your admin username! Here’s how to fix it!” quote=”WordPress is exposing your admin username! Here’s how to fix it.”]

My Income Evolution Online, Personal Growth & More!


My Income Evolution Online



Ya know… it’s been so long since I blogged here, I almost forgot my WordPress password. 🙂

How’s your 2018 been going for you? Mine has been super busy but extremely productive and more profitable than I expected.

So I thought I’d catch you up on lessons I’ve learned with my new site, struggles, personal growth and other insights.

The Golden Ticket

The year started off on a fun note. I received a Golden Ticket and was invited, along with a few other high-volume sellers, to meet with Amazon about the Merch By Amazon (MBA) program!

We had to sign NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements), but I CAN say that it made me even more proud and excited to be a part of this amazing passive income opportunity.

They even created a shirt design for us that we got to print ourselves!

Golden Ticket

The team was super cool and treated us to a nice dinner with some delicious desserts! We were all pretty vocal about the things we like/didn’t like, suggestions, etc.

I can’t lie…

Before the meetup, certain things about Merch would really frustrate me. But after talking to the team it made realize how hard they’re working to improve on many different fronts.

One thing’s for sure…

These people LOVE THEIR COMPANY. You can see Amazon has a certain standard for the kind of people they hire.

The Merch team is extremely passionate and dedicated to the program, and it was really cool to see their energy and positive outlook on the future of (MBA).

Detour Ahead

Merch By Amazon caused a COMPLETE detour with my business in late 2016. I saw the potential and knew I had to focus on it as soon as I got in.

To date, I’ve sold nearly 10,000 shirts on Amazon alone, and never dreamed T-shirts would be a big part of my income stream.

But I’m actually glad Merch distracted me because I was about to make a BIG mistake by creating the site about selling online courses from your WordPress site.

I was trying to force myself into a niche that I wasn’t really passionate about JUST to have a more focused/niche site.

Bad idea.

I also felt some pressure to start a new site because I really wanted to see what it was like to begin TODAY so I could share more relevant lessons. I was definitely forcing ideas for that reason as well.

Thank you, Amazon, for rescuing me from THAT inevitable failure! 🙂

The PSP Journey Begins

When I launched Passive Shirt Profits in June of last year, I knew that social media wasn’t going to be a big part of my marketing strategy.

That may sound crazy to you in 2018, but if you know me, you already know that social media marketing has NEVER been a strength OR favorite of mine.

As a matter of fact, MARKETING IN GENERAL has never been a strength.

What you need to understand is that being proficient at teaching, making videos, and being admired online doesn’t automatically qualify you as a great Internet marketer who knows how to sell their own products.

All I knew was that I wasn’t going to stress myself out trying to grow another social media account I would probably abandon.

So I decided to start with podcasting. I really wanted to see how much traction I could gain with doing nothing but focusing on that.

I also wanted to challenge the “Be Everywhere” strategy that a lot of newcomers feel they need to adhere to when starting a website.

My goal was to commit to podcasting weekly to see if it would drive people into my courses. I launched my first show in May, 2017.

Sales Were Off To a Great Start!

You may remember that the initial launch for PSP was great.

It was a good decision to offer a bundle package that was priced lower than the total price of all courses individually because most people bought the bundle.

I made more in the first 3 days of launch than I typically made on Udemy in a month (WITHOUT Udemy discounts.)

But let’s be real.

The sales were mostly from people who found out about PSP from THIS site.

The REAL tell would be the results AFTER the initial launch.

Well let me just say that after launch, things were slow.

Veeeeeery slow!

So slow that I wondered if I should keep podcasting.

But the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it so I decided to keep going in spite of doubts creeping up.

It’s funny how I’m always giving you all pep talks about never giving up, and I had to remember and start using my own advice! 🙂

Then in December, things started to slowly turn around.

Suddenly sales went from very sporadic to several per week.

Then in January it was like someone flipped a switch. (I think it had a lot to do with Merch accepting people into the program again.)

So my listeners and email list subscribers who had been waiting to get approved, decided to enroll.

My podcast downloads started increasing and so did my course sales!

podcast traffic

I launch a show every Monday so those are the peaks you see. I think it’s very important to maintain a rhythm with podcasting.

I took a 6 week break between Thanksgiving and the New Year, so that’s why you see the spike on January 8th.

But here’s the cool part….

Thinkific

I recently had my BEST. WEEK. EVER. for the PSP courses, and it was really encouraging to finally have a bit more momentum.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not getting numbers like this all the time, but compared to how things started, I’ll take it!

Also notice…

PSP doesn’t get many comments or social shares.

And if that’s what you view to judge the success of a website, well then you’d see it as a complete failure.

But ironically, it’s converting better with courses than this site did with a larger traffic base!

So yeah, no complaints here!

The lesson?

Don’t get caught up in social shares, traffic and comments. They don’t always equate to more income.

Keep Pushing No Matter What!

Let me tell you. It gets quite discouraging in the early days of building a new site as many of you know!

It was a VERY humbling experience after having instant success with 2 Create a Website.

This site just TOOK OFF like a rocket thanks to Google back in the day, and PSP has been NOTHING like that.

I knew I wasn’t going to have the luxury of building up my search engine traffic to 2,000 visits per day in the first two months like I did with 2Create years ago.

Even though I was prepared for a slow start, it doesn’t mean it was easy to swallow.

It took 8 months for me to really feel like momentum was picking up, and I know many people would have given up LONG before then.

That’s why you have to keep pushing and give it time.

And that’s EXACTLY why I wanted to share this.

I think it’s equally important you hear when things are challenging, and not just when they’re great.

You Don’t Have to Be Everywhere

I know how overwhelming some of you feel when you’re just starting online today.

With Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and so many options to choose from, it can feel like you have a gigantic hill to climb.

But I’m here to tell you to START SMALL.

Most people are never GREAT with every social media site. They typically focus on one or two.

You have to remember, when you see big influencers with 5 and 6-digit followers on multiple sites, usually it’s because they focused on one or two and the other accounts grew because of the success of the initial accounts.

So it’s not like they are spending that much time and energy on every site.

And who cares about the number of followers if you aren’t turning those followers into customers!

Be careful of getting distracted by looking or being popular on social media.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Just because people are clicking LIKE doesn’t mean they will click ‘BUY.’” quote=”Just because people are clicking LIKE doesn’t mean they will also click ‘BUY.’”]

Now THAT’s what I need on a T-shirt! 🙂

So focus on ONE platform that fits your style and audience, and commit yourself to growing that for the next 6 months.

The beauty of concentrating on one strategy is it will very clear if it’s working or not.

Kim George wrote a really good article on follower obsessions, and how to choose your best social platform. I envy her commitment and dedication to social media. I just don’t have it. 🙂

Set Realistic Goals

I was so proud of myself for setting a podcast goal that I stuck to EVERY SINGLE MONDAY until the Holidays. (I did miss one other week due to a death in the family.)

Staying focused is often a challenge for me, but I stuck with podcasting, even when I wasn’t sure it was the best thing to do.

And the great thing about my show is every episode is only 5-10 minutes long. So it only takes me an hour or so to record, edit and publish each episode.

I set a realistic goal for myself that I knew I could meet, and that is so important.

Plus, it feels sooooooo good to know I don’t HAVE to be on every platform. I no longer get social media marketing FOMO (fear of missing out).

For the record, I’m not suggesting that you ignore social media. I believe most people SHOULD consider using it today. This was just a personal decision for ME. I have a unique situation with multiple income sources (some are recurring), so I didn’t feel like social media was something I HAD to do. Having said that, I TOTALLY APPROVE the podcast-only strategy for starting out — especially if you’re in a niche where podcasting is hot.

Just remember, you don’t have to be everywhere. It’s a myth.

What I Need to Work On & My Personal Growth

Even though I feel PSP has earned what I put into it now (effort wise), there’s so much more I COULD be doing to earn even more.

I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished, but I still have a ways to go.

I haven’t setup many marketing funnels, don’t do much with landing pages, my email list, etc.

I am now getting help with those aspects of marketing.

Entrepreneurs who are incredibly successful focus on what they do best and outsource the rest. And I’m JUST now getting comfortable with doing more of that.

I’ve also grown a lot personally and professionally in the last year.

I’ve learned to be comfortable saying “NO” to unreasonable requests and being OK with not pleasing everyone (limiting certain levels of help to students only, no coupon expectations, pricing etc.)

I’ve set boundaries for what I will and won’t do in my business both online AND offline.

Boundaries are something a lot of women entrepreneurs struggle with. Google it. It’s like an epidemic!

Maintaining that boundary without feeling selfish or mean has often been a challenge for me. But I had to do something because things were getting out of balance in my business.

Don’t feel sorry for me. I created that monster by operating in “people pleasing” mode.

I just recorded a podcast on this very subject. Stay tuned.

Diversification Continues

It’s also been incredibly rewarding to create additional income streams. That’s something you HAVE to do as an entrepreneur.

My income sources look a LOT different from when I started online, and thanks to Etsy, PSP and Amazon, I’ve developed some new ones in the last 14 months.

And I have to mention AdSense because I’m always asked about it.

My response to that is…

What’s AdSense? 🙂

Seriously, if I make a $1,000 month, I’m having a good month. Fortunately, I’ve more than replaced those earnings with other income streams.

One thing’s for sure…

If you expect everything to remain the same out here, you’re in the wrong place. The only constant is change!

Three years from now, I might be talking about Merch in past tense and on to something else. That’s just how it goes.

But I’m going to ride this Merch train ’til the wheels fall off! 🙂 And it’s been a fun ride!

Anywho, I just wanted to update you all because it’s been a minute since I blogged.

Let me know what you are up to these days, and I hope your 2018 is going grrrrrreat!! 🙂

Passive Income Shifts & What My Marketing DNA Test Results Revealed


Passive Income Shifts & More Entrepreneur Lessons



Whew!

Life took an unexpected turn in early March, and my focus went from being a full-time entrepreneur to a full-time caretaker.

My dad, who has lived a life with near perfect health, got very sick, very quickly.

He went from being in perfect health on a Friday, March 2nd, to being near death the following Tuesday evening, thanks to a severe kidney infection.

He thought he had the flu. Unfortunately, it was much worse than that.

The infection got into his bloodstream and his body went into septic shock, and every single organ began shutting down one by one.

Before he knew he had the infection, he got dizzy and fell in the bathroom and broke BOTH of his ankles.

Yes… both!

So he cannot put any weight on either leg and is in a wheelchair.

He’s been this way for nearly two months because he had to get clearance for ankle surgery by several different doctors.

As you can imagine, for a man who was very active, this is driving him nuts having to sit all day and be so dependent on family.

He was finally approved for surgery this Wednesday. So hopefully the therapy will begin a few weeks after that and he can get back to walking.

Nevertheless, it all could have been so much worse. I’m just so grateful he is alive and his health is good!

Thank Goodness For The Biz!

In the meantime, I feel very lucky and blessed to have this online business… especially when I’ve needed “time off.”

Most of March was a wash in terms of getting anything done for the biz.

In spite of all that’s been going on, this is shaping up to be one of my best years in some time.

In February, I had a $10K revenue month with Merch By Amazon and over $13K in total print on demand revenue (Amazon, Etsy, RedBubble, Spreadshirt, Zazzle, etc.)

That was the first time my print on demand income surpassed my largest affiliate income source (GoDaddy’s reseller program).

As great as those numbers look, you have to know that Merch By Amazon is far from being a sure thing. I have invested an insane amount of time on this in the last year, and income is up and down like a roller coaster.

So please do not join Merch expecting your income to grow every month. Mine sure hasn’t. As one of my students said, you have to treat Merch as your vacation money and never rely on it! Nevertheless, I’m completely obsessed with this opportunity!

I also just had another record month with my PSP courses.

Course Sign Ups

As you may remember, my main method for promoting my courses is through podcasting.

For the longest time, affiliate income was my primary focus. Now it’s taking a backseat to course income, and this has been a long-time business goal of mine.

For too many years I was relying very heavily on affiliate income, and I wanted to see a shift.

Just Launched a Course? You’re Not Done!

One thing I’ve learned from my students on Passive Shirt Profits is that your work does not end when you launch your courses.

How many of you have ever thought, “If I can just get my course launched then the hardest part will be over.”

WRONG!!!!

That’s actually when the real work begins.

Creating the course videos was the easy part for me.  The bigger and ongoing challenge has been making sure students can execute!

Just because your course is live doesn’t mean it’s optimized for the best learning experience.

Some people get stuck in areas you might breeze through, or we assume certain things are clearer than they truly are.

Typically your first version of the course is going to be your worst, but your student feedback and questions should help you improve it.

Staying In Touch With Students

I tried something new this year with my Merch Course, and it’s really helped myself as a teacher and several students.

I began sending out weekly strategy tips to students, and many of the tips are very personal to my ongoing experiences with Merch By Amazon.

At first I worried about sending too many emails, but the responses have been awesome!

Students who weren’t selling anything are starting to see sales. I started receiving more “success” emails, and a few even began posting testimonials in my private group!

Shout Out

(I blurred out the name since it’s a private group and I didn’t get permission to share the name.)

Then I woke up to this today….

Course Testimonial

I eventually want to do one-on-one coaching/training for Merch due to requests, but I’m not ready yet.

However, this feedback and ongoing correspondence with students is prepping me for that when the time is right.

I may experiment with that once things settle down with my dad.

I Took a Marketing DNA Test

If you’ve ever struggled with how you should be marketing your business or even what kind of work you should be doing online, I’d highly recommend The Marketing DNA Test by Perry Marshall (I am NOT an affiliate.)

It revealed a lot about myself as an entrepreneur AND an online teacher.

It was recommended by one of my followers. (Shout out to Mitch!) I thought it would be fun to take. 🙂

Based on how you answer 15-20 questions, the test gives you guidance on the best methods to market your site.

It also gives you insight into the kind of work you should be doing based on your strengths and weaknesses.

I’ve always known that I’m doing the kind of work that fits me, but I wanted to see if the results aligned with what I believe about myself.

The results revealed that I excel more with right-brained, creative work and I connect with people best through video.
Marketing DNA



It also said I have a way of getting inside my visitor’s heads that is almost “psychic and sometimes a little bit scary.”
Marketing DNA Test



However, I’m NOT so great at analytical work that requires a lot of attention to detail.

I’m also not good with thinking on the spot. I need time to gather my thoughts.


Marketing DNA



That explains why I fall in love with work like writing/blogging, video and T-shirt design creation, but hate overly analytical work.

That also must be why I abandoned my Accounting major in college. 🙂

With SEO, I wonder if that’s why I’d always start off using keyword research software but abandon it after I found a niche.

I could never make myself use it to research every keyword I wanted to write about. I always wanted to follow my gut and common sense.

With Amazon, I have my process I use to find a niche/keywords for Merch. But I spend waaaaaaay more time coming up with my actual shirt ideas and working in Photoshop than I do obsessing over research.

The other reason why these Marketing DNA results were so interesting to me is it made me realize the disconnect that exists between how I learn and operate versus some of my students.

Right-brained people learn differently than left-brained people.

Left brained/analytical people prefer structure when learning. They take notes, like to plan everything out, and need to have all their ducks in a row before uploading/launching anything.

I’m the complete opposite.

I don’t like to do extensive planning and preparation. I’m not a note taker and prefer to jump in and figure it out as I go — even if I know everything is not perfect.

I rely on my gut with a lot of decisions I make, whereas left-brained people use more logic and research before they are comfortable moving forward.

One way is not better than the other, and they both have their pros and cons.

However, as a course creator, I’ve had to learn to focus more on the details and methodical steps for people who prefer that type of learning.

I wouldn’t have been able to improve on that if I hadn’t stayed in touch with my students.

So remember, your course is never, ever complete. It should continue to evolve based on the feedback from your students.

I’ve been selling courses for nearly four years and I’m STILL learning.

Anywho, just thought I’d update you all on what’s going on with me. It’s been an up and down year for sure, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

I hope life is treating you well! 🙂

Why I Removed My 2Create Courses & More Updates!


What Happened to My Courses



Heeeeey everyone! Long time no “see!”

I wanted to update you all on some things since it’s been a while since I’ve posted.

The number one email I’ve received in the last few months has been regarding my 2Create courses. You may have noticed that most of them have been set to “private.”

After my dad got sick in March, I knew I wasn’t going to have time to focus on supporting students for two websites. PSP was my main focus, and I also have a private student group to support.

So I decided to set the 2Create courses to “private” to prevent new students from enrolling.

Then once things returned to normal in my personal life, I had to be honest with myself.

I wasn’t doing much with website building or marketing, other than passively using my podcast to promote PSP courses.

I’m making waaaaay more money selling my T-shirt designs than I am with the actual courses that teach what I’m doing. 

I’ve had about 500 students enroll in my PSP courses. While that’s not bad, it could have been so much better if I did more marketing.

I’ve never been comfortable or efficient with marketing my products. It intimidates me. That’s one business hump I’ve never been able to get over.

I admire people who are diligent with tracking email campaigns and conversions. It all just makes my head spin.

I’d rather make a T-shirt. 🙂

Why The T-Shirt Biz is So Rewarding to Me

For a long time, affiliate marketing and AdSense were my favorite and most rewarding ways to earn online.

However, POD now holds that top spot.

I don’t come from a design background so I’ve had to learn a lot.

When I worked as an HTML Analyst for American Airlines over 10 years ago, my team lead forced us to use Photoshop, but the company provided us ZERO training.

I remember staring at the blank Photoshop interface wondering what the heck I was supposed to do with all those tools and buttons as they stared back at me. 🙂

I never actually learned much about Photoshop until I quit my full-time job in 2006 to work on this site.

Fast forward 12 years later, I’m now using Photoshop and Illustrator to create some very detailed art that I never thought I would be able to do.

To see how far I’ve come, and then to have people buy my designs by the thousands, is incredibly rewarding and slightly addictive. 🙂

It also goes to show anyone can do this regardless of your design background.

I have one T-shirt that has netted over $20,000 in royalties.  Yes, from ONE T-shirt design!

Think Before You Leap

With all the income potential, print on Demand is not for everyone. Just like anything else, don’t get into this just because you are in desperate need of money.

You need the desire to learn the POD business and even something about software if you want to scale your income.

And for long-term success, you should be thinking of building a brand instead of relying on passive traffic and income like I’ve been.

Even if you’re a talented designer, you will quickly learn that’s just the beginning. You also have to understand keywords and find niches to design for.

It’s getting very competitive, so make sure you jump in for the right reasons.

If I’m honest, I was drawn to this venture for the money, but I’ve STAYED because of my love for the work.

When my dad was sick, I was super stressed. I found the creation process to be therapeutic.

A lot of my success has come because of creative ideas that just haven’t been done, and the creative work is what makes this fun for me.

On the flip side, you also have to be prepared for theft. That’s been the biggest disappointment of this whole experience. It’s why I use an alias for my POD accounts, and don’t share much of my work.

As a result of Amazon and other PODs not protecting our work with a wrinkle or watermark, my images have been stolen and re-uploaded to numerous sites.

Things have gotten a little better since using watermarks, wrinkles, etc., but you’re never going to be able to fully protect your work. As long as it’s online, someone will find a way to grab it if they want it. 🙁

I Enrolled in An Art Class

One of my goals for POD is to scan hand-drawn work. Then I could “ink it” (color it) after importing it into Illustrator, but I had to learn to draw first. LOL

Up until now, most of my designs have been created through shapes in software. Believe me. You can do a lot with this. That’s what I teach in my PSP Photoshop course.

Now I’m doing this more with Illustrator as I improve.

However, I wanted to learn how to draw free hand. So I enrolled in an art class.

We’re learning some basic drawing principles and how to shade using graphite, charcoal, and colored pencils.

Here are some cherries I drew with colored pencils. I was pretty proud of this because I was struggling with shading earlier in the semester.






I’m too embarrassed to show my first shading attempt. It was absolutely awful. LOL

So as you can see, I am now knee-deep in learning about drawing and T-shirt design. It has been a nice change of pace.

That’s All For Now

Anywho, I know most of you did not subscribe for all this print on demand stuff.

That’s why I haven’t been blogging much. I didn’t have anything noteworthy to share in this space. However, I wanted to update you on why I took down my 2Create courses since many have asked.

Those who have enrolled can still access them, but I have no plans to enable them for new students any time soon.

I DO plan to make updates for the existing students, however.

By the way, my dad is doing great!

He is walking again, and his ankles are doing well considering how severely he injured them.

Other than some initial stiffness when he first stands up, he’s walking well now! We feel so blessed and lucky he came through all that.

Thanks to all who reached out to inquire about his health. I really appreciate it!

Hope you’re doing well! Drop me a line below and let me know what’s up with you!

Amazon Sidewalk: Should You Be Co-Opted Into A Private Neighbourhood LoRa Network? – Hackaday

WiFi just isn’t very good at going through buildings. It’s fine for the main living areas of an average home, but once we venture towards the periphery of our domains it starts to become less reliable.  For connected devices outside the core of a home, this presents a problem, and it’s one Amazon hope to solve with their Sidewalk product.

It’s a low-bandwidth networking system that uses capability already built into some Echo and Ring devices, plus a portion of the owner’s broadband connection to the Internet.  The idea is to provide basic connectivity over longer distances to compatible devices even when the WiFi network is not available, but of most interest and concern is that it will also expose itself to devices owned by other people. If your Internet connection goes down, then your Ring devices will still provide a basic version of their functionality via a local low-bandwidth wide-area wireless network provided by the Amazon devices owned by your neighbours.

I Can See Your Amazon Ring From Here

It looks so harmless, doesn't it. A Ring doorbell once installed.
It looks so harmless, doesn’t it. Amin, CC BY-SA 4.0

The massive online retailer and IoT cloud provider would like to open up a portion of your home broadband connection via your home security devices over a wireless network to other similar devices owned by strangers. In the Amazon literature it is touted as providing all sorts of useful benefits to Ring and Echo owners, but it has obvious implications for both the privacy of your data should it be carried by other people’s devices, and for the security of your own network when devices you don’t own pass traffic over it. For the curious there’s a whitepaper offering more insights into the system, and aside from revealing that it uses 900 MHz FSK and LoRa as its RF layer there is not a lot information on how it works. As you might expect they have addressed the privacy and security issues through encryption, minimising the data transmitted, and constantly changing identifiers. To read the Amazon document at face value is to enter a world in which some confidence can be gained in the product.

The question on the lips of skeptical readers will no doubt be this: what could possibly go wrong? We would expect that the devices themselves and the radio portion of the network will be investigated thoroughly by those who make it their business to do such things, and while there is always the chance that somebody could discover a flaw in them it’s more probable that weaknesses could be found in the applications that sit atop the system. It’s something that has plagued Amazon’s IoT offerings before, such as last year when their Neighbors app was found to sit atop a far more garrulous API than expected, leading to a little more neighbourly information being shared than they bargained for. If Amazon’s blurb is to be believed then this system is to be opened up for third-party IoT device and app developers, and with each one of those the possibility of holes waiting to be discovered increases. We’ll keep you posted as they emerge.

Products such as Amazon Echo and Ring are incredible showcases of 21st century technology. They’re the living embodiment of an automated Jetsons future, and we’d be lying if we said we didn’t want a little slice of that future. But as you all know, the version of that future peddled by them and their competitors is a deeply flawed one in which the consumers who buy the products are largely unaware of how much data is created from them. From a purely technical perspective the idea of home security products that automatically form a low bandwidth network for use in case of main network failure is an exceptionally cool one, but when coupled with the monster data slurp of the Amazon behemoth it assumes a slightly more worrying set of possibilities. Is it possible to be George Jetson without Mr. Spacely gazing over your shoulder?

Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer isn’t just a mode, it’s a ‘standalone product’ – VG247

CD Projekt Red has revealed more information about the Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer component that’s due to arrive sometime after the main game’s launch.

Joint CEO at CD Projekt Red, Adam Kicinski, explained during the studio’s latest earnings briefing that calling the multiplayer facet of the game a ‘mode’ is, in fact, something of a misnomer.

According to Kicinski, CD Projekt Red is actually viewing multiplayer more as a ‘standalone product’.

“So, first, we don’t call it modes,” Kicinski stated during an earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “It’s a separate dedicated production, a big production. We think about it as a standalone product.”

The multiplayer part of the game will be connected to the single-player release, but will operate individually – with a separate team working to provide on-going content for the multiplayer mode. We know that the multiplayer side started out as concept exploration and later entered into full development.

The fact that you haven’t heard anything about the Cyberpunk 2077  multiplayer just yet is also by design, with the studio wanting to keep quiet about the mode until people have had a chance to enjoy what the main game has to offer.

We’ve previously heard that the multiplayer portion of the game is unlikely to arrive in 2021, so expect the news to drip through quite slowly on this one.

All in all, it sounds fairly similar to what Rockstar does with Red Dead Online and GTA Online, but we’ll have to wait until we see the game in action before we draw any direct comparisons.

Kicinski says we can expect to hear more about Cyberpunk 2077 multiplayer sometime during Q1 2021.

Cyberpunk 2077 is out December 10 on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Stadia, and CD Projekt Red has promised (again) not to delay the game any further.

Stay-at-home mom makes a fortune by flipping old furniture – Daily Mail

A crafty mom who transforms old furniture into incredible works-of-art in budget DIYs has revealed she sells the pieces on for four times what she spent on them – raking in hundreds of dollars per sale.  

Maggie McGaugh, 25, from Fort Worth, Texas, left her day job and became a stay-at-home mother after having her 10-month-old son, Harrison.

Just a few weeks after giving birth, Maggie found herself with extra time on her hands and decided to get busy with a project.

Flipped! A stay-at-home mother from Texas has revealed how she rakes in hundreds of dollars by transforming old rundown furniture into stunning interior pieces

Flipped! A stay-at-home mother from Texas has revealed how she rakes in hundreds of dollars by transforming old rundown furniture into stunning interior pieces

Flipped! A stay-at-home mother from Texas has revealed how she rakes in hundreds of dollars by transforming old rundown furniture into stunning interior pieces

Flipped! A stay-at-home mother from Texas has revealed how she rakes in hundreds of dollars by transforming old rundown furniture into stunning interior pieces

Flipped! A stay-at-home mother from Texas has revealed how she rakes in hundreds of dollars by transforming old rundown furniture into stunning interior pieces 

Before: Maggie McGaugh, 25, began transforming furniture just a few weeks after giving birth, when she discovered she had plenty of spare time on her hands while caring for her baby son Harrison, now ten months old

Before: Maggie McGaugh, 25, began transforming furniture just a few weeks after giving birth, when she discovered she had plenty of spare time on her hands while caring for her baby son Harrison, now ten months old

Before: Maggie McGaugh, 25, began transforming furniture just a few weeks after giving birth, when she discovered she had plenty of spare time on her hands while caring for her baby son Harrison, now ten months old 

After: The Fort Worth resident overhauls pieces that she finds abandoned on the street or buys from thrift stores for a tiny amount, like this nine-drawer dresser that she copmletely transformed

After: The Fort Worth resident overhauls pieces that she finds abandoned on the street or buys from thrift stores for a tiny amount, like this nine-drawer dresser that she copmletely transformed

After: The Fort Worth resident overhauls pieces that she finds abandoned on the street or buys from thrift stores for a tiny amount, like this nine-drawer dresser that she copmletely transformed 

Size doesn't matter: Maggie's first project was a wooden bread box, however she now works with pieces of all different shapes and sizes, from side tables to dining room sets

Size doesn't matter: Maggie's first project was a wooden bread box, however she now works with pieces of all different shapes and sizes, from side tables to dining room sets

Size doesn't matter: Maggie's first project was a wooden bread box, however she now works with pieces of all different shapes and sizes, from side tables to dining room sets

Size doesn't matter: Maggie's first project was a wooden bread box, however she now works with pieces of all different shapes and sizes, from side tables to dining room sets

Size doesn’t matter: Maggie’s first project was a wooden bread box, however she now works with pieces of all different shapes and sizes, from side tables to dining room sets 

Popular: The mother-of-one's DIY talents have also helped her to earn viral fame on Instagram, where she regularly shares step-by-step posts about each transformation

Popular: The mother-of-one's DIY talents have also helped her to earn viral fame on Instagram, where she regularly shares step-by-step posts about each transformation

Popular: The mother-of-one’s DIY talents have also helped her to earn viral fame on Instagram, where she regularly shares step-by-step posts about each transformation 

Green with envy? The transformation process varies from piece to piece, with some - like this dresser - requiring nothing more than a lick of fresh paint, while others need much more work

Green with envy? The transformation process varies from piece to piece, with some - like this dresser - requiring nothing more than a lick of fresh paint, while others need much more work

Green with envy? The transformation process varies from piece to piece, with some – like this dresser – requiring nothing more than a lick of fresh paint, while others need much more work 

Not so easy does it! The projects take anywhere between 15 minutes and six hours of work to complete. This piece in particular was one of the tougher items Maggie overhauled

Not so easy does it! The projects take anywhere between 15 minutes and six hours of work to complete. This piece in particular was one of the tougher items Maggie overhauled

Not so easy does it! The projects take anywhere between 15 minutes and six hours of work to complete. This piece in particular was one of the tougher items Maggie overhauled

Not so easy does it! The projects take anywhere between 15 minutes and six hours of work to complete. This piece in particular was one of the tougher items Maggie overhauled

Not so easy does it! The projects take anywhere between 15 minutes and six hours of work to complete. This piece in particular was one of the tougher items Maggie overhauled

She purchased a wooden bread box from a thrift store and transformed it, quickly realizing that she had a talent for DIY projects. So, she expanded her work on a much larger scale.

Desperate times! Maggie (pictured) said she was 'bored out of her mind' at home without a full-time job, and that pushed her to try out a new hobby

Desperate times! Maggie (pictured) said she was 'bored out of her mind' at home without a full-time job, and that pushed her to try out a new hobby

Desperate times! Maggie (pictured) said she was ‘bored out of her mind’ at home without a full-time job, and that pushed her to try out a new hobby 

‘I started flipping furniture out of desperation, honestly!’ Maggie told Jam Press. ‘I was a new stay-at-home mom and bored out of my mind.

‘A few weeks after giving birth, I purchased a wood bread box at a thrift store. I took it home and sanded/painted it.

‘It was in love after the first project. While I texted a few friends for tips, I am almost entirely self-taught.

‘You learn from experience, both the good and the bad!

Maggie has since become a social media sensation with 121,000 followers on Instagram, where she documents her step-by-step process of each piece and how she gives it a complete makeover. 

‘I was tired of spending money on expensive furniture. We just bought a home last year, so I understand how much costs add up,’ she explained.

‘I wanted to provide affordable furniture locally, teach people how to do this skill worldwide and as my hobby, and it’s so much fun!’

Maggie purchases used furniture from yard sales, estate sales, Facebook Marketplace and other online sellers – and most of the time, she gets them for free – meaning that she only has to spend money on her DIY supplies, which don’t cost much. 

Then: This set of drawers was run down and creaking when Maggie got hold of it, however she managed to make it look just like new again in no time

Then: This set of drawers was run down and creaking when Maggie got hold of it, however she managed to make it look just like new again in no time

Then: This set of drawers was run down and creaking when Maggie got hold of it, however she managed to make it look just like new again in no time 

Now: Maggie stripped the wood and repainted the piece to give it a fresher, more modern feel

Now: Maggie stripped the wood and repainted the piece to give it a fresher, more modern feel

Now: Maggie stripped the wood and repainted the piece to give it a fresher, more modern feel 

Voila! This dining room table and chair set looked old and tired when Maggie found it, however she managed to completely transform the pieces to make them look like new once again

Voila! This dining room table and chair set looked old and tired when Maggie found it, however she managed to completely transform the pieces to make them look like new once again

Voila! This dining room table and chair set looked old and tired when Maggie found it, however she managed to completely transform the pieces to make them look like new once again

Voila! This dining room table and chair set looked old and tired when Maggie found it, however she managed to completely transform the pieces to make them look like new once again

Voila! This dining room table and chair set looked old and tired when Maggie found it, however she managed to completely transform the pieces to make them look like new once again 

Crumbling: Some of the biggest items that Maggie works with are large dressers like this one, which can go for thousands when bought new in store

Crumbling: Some of the biggest items that Maggie works with are large dressers like this one, which can go for thousands when bought new in store

Crumbling: Some of the biggest items that Maggie works with are large dressers like this one, which can go for thousands when bought new in store 

So fresh and so clean: Without needing to do any over-the-top work to the piece, Maggie still manages to leave it looking worthy of a storefront

So fresh and so clean: Without needing to do any over-the-top work to the piece, Maggie still manages to leave it looking worthy of a storefront

So fresh and so clean: Without needing to do any over-the-top work to the piece, Maggie still manages to leave it looking worthy of a storefront 

Cute! On a few pieces, Maggie will update the hardware, like the gold handles on this small desk, which she gave an update

Cute! On a few pieces, Maggie will update the hardware, like the gold handles on this small desk, which she gave an update

Cute! On a few pieces, Maggie will update the hardware, like the gold handles on this small desk, which she gave an update

Cute! On a few pieces, Maggie will update the hardware, like the gold handles on this small desk, which she gave an update

Cute! On a few pieces, Maggie will update the hardware, like the gold handles on this small desk, which she gave an update 

She then fixes the damage, non-working parts, tears or scratches on the item, and sands down the piece with the option of painting the entire piece using interior latex paint.

Maggie then seals the paint in with a sponge, using polyacrylic and leaving it for a few days so it sets.

It can take anywhere between 15 minutes to six hours to transform a piece depending on the size or the amount of work that needs to be done.

Maggie makes between $50 to $300 per item, and rakes in hundreds per month doing what she loves.

In a few words of advice to others who want to do the same, she added: ‘If you want to give this a try, my biggest tip is to just do it!

‘Find something cheap or free and paint it white. Start simple.

‘Each time you do a new project, make it a little harder by adding a new skill.

‘Learn from trial and error. You will make mistakes but it will make you better.’

Helper: Maggie has only been doing her DIY projects for the last ten months - since giving birth to her son Harrison - however she has already established an enormous fan base on Instagram

Helper: Maggie has only been doing her DIY projects for the last ten months - since giving birth to her son Harrison - however she has already established an enormous fan base on Instagram

Helper: Maggie has only been doing her DIY projects for the last ten months - since giving birth to her son Harrison - however she has already established an enormous fan base on Instagram

Helper: Maggie has only been doing her DIY projects for the last ten months - since giving birth to her son Harrison - however she has already established an enormous fan base on Instagram

Helper: Maggie has only been doing her DIY projects for the last ten months – since giving birth to her son Harrison – however she has already established an enormous fan base on Instagram 

Something old: Maggie found these side tables on an estate sale app, and then spruced them up for a client who made a custom request

Something old: Maggie found these side tables on an estate sale app, and then spruced them up for a client who made a custom request

Something old: Maggie found these side tables on an estate sale app, and then spruced them up for a client who made a custom request 

Something new and blue! Although Maggie said she 'doesn't do many navy pieces', she was thrilled with how these turned out

Something new and blue! Although Maggie said she 'doesn't do many navy pieces', she was thrilled with how these turned out

Something new and blue! Although Maggie said she ‘doesn’t do many navy pieces’, she was thrilled with how these turned out

Hard work: On Instagram, Maggie revealed that this piece was 'missing a leg' and was 'covered in what appeared to be green nail polish' when she first got her hands on it, however the final result couldn't look more different

Hard work: On Instagram, Maggie revealed that this piece was 'missing a leg' and was 'covered in what appeared to be green nail polish' when she first got her hands on it, however the final result couldn't look more different

Hard work: On Instagram, Maggie revealed that this piece was 'missing a leg' and was 'covered in what appeared to be green nail polish' when she first got her hands on it, however the final result couldn't look more different

Hard work: On Instagram, Maggie revealed that this piece was 'missing a leg' and was 'covered in what appeared to be green nail polish' when she first got her hands on it, however the final result couldn't look more different

Hard work: On Instagram, Maggie revealed that this piece was ‘missing a leg’ and was ‘covered in what appeared to be green nail polish’ when she first got her hands on it, however the final result couldn’t look more different 

Bargain! This small piece cost Maggie just $10 at a yard sale - however she was able to sell it on for much more money

Bargain! This small piece cost Maggie just $10 at a yard sale - however she was able to sell it on for much more money

Bargain! This small piece cost Maggie just $10 at a yard sale - however she was able to sell it on for much more money

Bargain! This small piece cost Maggie just $10 at a yard sale - however she was able to sell it on for much more money

Bargain! This small piece cost Maggie just $10 at a yard sale – however she was able to sell it on for much more money 

History: Maggie revealed that this dresser was originally made in 1981, and spent years being moved around by its most recent owner - who even took it to college with him

History: Maggie revealed that this dresser was originally made in 1981, and spent years being moved around by its most recent owner - who even took it to college with him

History: Maggie revealed that this dresser was originally made in 1981, and spent years being moved around by its most recent owner – who even took it to college with him 

Overhaul: Instead of revamping the piece with paint, Maggie instead decided to restore the chipped laminate, before sanding down the drawers to reveal a more natural wood

Overhaul: Instead of revamping the piece with paint, Maggie instead decided to restore the chipped laminate, before sanding down the drawers to reveal a more natural wood

Overhaul: Instead of revamping the piece with paint, Maggie instead decided to restore the chipped laminate, before sanding down the drawers to reveal a more natural wood 

At home: As well as making money from her DIY transformations, Maggie has also been able to fill her own house with stunning pieces of furniture

At home: As well as making money from her DIY transformations, Maggie has also been able to fill her own house with stunning pieces of furniture

At home: As well as making money from her DIY transformations, Maggie has also been able to fill her own house with stunning pieces of furniture

At home: As well as making money from her DIY transformations, Maggie has also been able to fill her own house with stunning pieces of furniture

At home: As well as making money from her DIY transformations, Maggie has also been able to fill her own house with stunning pieces of furniture 

Keeping it simple: Maggie explained that she was tempted to transform this piece by painting it a 'fun color' however she knew that something more low-key would sell quicker

Keeping it simple: Maggie explained that she was tempted to transform this piece by painting it a 'fun color' however she knew that something more low-key would sell quicker

Keeping it simple: Maggie explained that she was tempted to transform this piece by painting it a ‘fun color’ however she knew that something more low-key would sell quicker 

Chic: She opted for black and wood instead of funky paint, after sanding the piece down to get rid of the original coloring

Chic: She opted for black and wood instead of funky paint, after sanding the piece down to get rid of the original coloring

Chic: She opted for black and wood instead of funky paint, after sanding the piece down to get rid of the original coloring 

Say what? Maggie turned this old TV set into an incredible - and very unique - bed for her pets

Say what? Maggie turned this old TV set into an incredible - and very unique - bed for her pets

Say what? Maggie turned this old TV set into an incredible - and very unique - bed for her pets

Say what? Maggie turned this old TV set into an incredible - and very unique - bed for her pets

Say what? Maggie turned this old TV set into an incredible – and very unique – bed for her pets 

Unrecognizable: This piece was made to look like an entirely different design courtesy of Maggie's DIY skills

Unrecognizable: This piece was made to look like an entirely different design courtesy of Maggie's DIY skills

Unrecognizable: This piece was made to look like an entirely different design courtesy of Maggie's DIY skills

Unrecognizable: This piece was made to look like an entirely different design courtesy of Maggie's DIY skills

Unrecognizable: This piece was made to look like an entirely different design courtesy of Maggie’s DIY skills  

The Best Sonos Speakers Are on Sale for Cyber Monday (2020) – WIRED

Sonos is one of those brands. Like Nintendo, Apple, and Tesla, Sonos makes gear that looks incredible, performs well, and basically never goes on sale. If you asked anyone on the WIRED Gear team how to save money on Sonos speakers, we’d say that your best bet is to check for refurbished or open-box stock, because discounts are just that rare.

Except for today. It’s Cyber Monday, and there are great deals to be had on hundreds of products—including Sonos speakers. You can save on Sonos One, Sonos Beam, Sonos Move, and more as part of the company’s Cyber Monday sale. Find details for each discount below. These deals will likely end tonight, and some may sell out during the day, so if you’re in the market for Sonos, it is a good time to get them. It’s always a good idea to check back again if your coveted item sells out, since stores occasionally add more stock.

Sonos was the original wireless smart speaker company, and its a favorite because its products sound amazing, connect to most every app and voice assistant, and easily network together. We highly recommend checking out our Sonos Buying Guide for tips on which speakers may work best for you.

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Sonos One Speakers

Sonos One

Photograph: Sonos 

Sonos One (Gen 2) Smart Speaker for $149 ($50 off)

Amazon, Sonos Store

This is the Best Sonos Speaker, and it’s also one of the Best Smart Speakers. It’s compact, it works with voice assistants, and the sound is powerful enough to fill most rooms. You can read more about it in our review.

If you’re shopping for multiples, you can pick up a two-pack for $100 off.

Sonos one SL

Sonos One SL

Photograph: Sonos

Sonos One SL for $129 ($50 off)

Sonos Store, Amazon

Black Ops Cold War’s poor visibility gets player killed by user camouflaged as a wall – CharlieINTEL.com

It’s unclear as to why BOCW’s visibility is so poor, but one fan will want to know why. A video posted on Reddit has demonstrated just how baffling the game’s scenery and colors can be sometimes as at first glance, the player is killed by no one.

There’s nothing worse than heading towards the main area of conflict and getting ready to dive headfirst into a firefight. But it’s frustrating when you don’t even make it there because you’ve been killed by an apparent ghost.

There’s absolutely no shame in losing a 1 vs 1 to someone when you’re both aware of each other, but when you’re looking dead straight at someone and you still can’t see them… Well, that’s a problem.

Clumsy camouflage?

Character wearing a ghillie suit in COD4

Character wearing a ghillie suit in COD4

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s multiplayer was designed so that if you had a sniper rifle equipped, you would wear a ghillie suit, and could easily blend in with some of the grassy environments. That was a deliberate mechanic to encourage stealthy sniping.

An enemy blatantly out in the open with an AK-47 and being impervious to sight is not a deliberate design choice – it’s an eye-opening flaw. So when poor Reddit user Yannivzp was happily running around the Moscow map and suddenly died, it was a mystery.

They posted the video on Reddit which you can see below.

It even took us a couple of views to fully realize what happens. The enemy player momentarily appears, we think, and Yannivzp is completely oblivious to their sudden appearance due to the color similarities. As a result, this basically just becomes a free kill for their opponent. The clip also inspired some hilarious comments below the video too.

One user said: “Holy f**k, and I wondered why people were looking invisible in that spot, they are literally using the invisibility cloak from Harry Potter.” Another one also made a good point too: “Wow. They have to know visibility is horrible in this game. Idk why they won’t fix it.”

an enemy hidden in bocw multiplayer

an enemy hidden in bocw multiplayer

Not only that, but it’s the kind of scenario that raises awareness to the ease of camping in Call of Duty.

This ideology is especially rife in Hardcore Modes. Unless a camper’s position is compromised fairly quickly then they can remain undetected and reel off an easy streak of kills without breaking a sweat.

Visibility is proving to be one of the main sore points for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Hopefully Treyarch are fully aware of this and will be updating it in the future.