How easy is it to make money matching buyers and sellers online?

Imagine if you could find potential buyers online for a specific service, and you could find sellers wanting to sell the same service but at a significantly lower price.  hmmm…..$



If you matched up the buyer with the seller, you could stand in between the transaction and collect yourself a profit.


This is a standard business model known as arbitrage.

Arbitrage occurs because markets have imperfect information or there are constraints preventing buyers and sellers from dealing directly.

Common Types of Arbitrage

Retail Arbitrage: Buy low from retail stores and sell for a higher price online. Used where there is an inefficiency in supply and distribution.  Lots of profits are generated doing this by selling on Amazon, as well taking advantage of their FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) program.

Read more about retail arbitrage here… Arbitrage: The authoritative guide on how it works, why it works, and how it can work for you

PPC (pay per click) Arbitrage: A few years ago people starting buying pay-per-click ads on yahoo or bing to push traffic to their websites. Visitors would then click on google adsense ads, and a profit would be produced. The opportunity is now closed as search engines developed systems to stop this happening.

High Frequency Trading: A Wall Street style trading strategy dominated by geeky ‘quants’ running sophisticated software to profit from financial market imperfections.  Out of reach for most people to take advantage, not only due to skill but also large volumes of capital required.

Offline Arbitrage: Works well if you notice a product for sale in one geographical area at a lower price than another area.  This is what drives imports and exports from country to country.  A simple example is when mates of mine would buy a car and then drive it into another area, stick a sign on it and sell it for a profit in one day!

Services Arbitrage: This is where you find buyers offering to pay a higher price for a service than those offering to perform the exact service.   Read on and I’ll explain exactly how you can do this online yourself with buyer/seller matching software.

Buyer-Seller Matching Software

If you think about how to do online services arbitrage, you would have to:

  • Decide on a service to search for
  • Find a source of buyers for the service
  • Find a source of sellers for the service
  • Check if there is a difference in price to make it profitable to transact between the buyer and seller
  • Assess if the seller can provide the service in time
  • Contact the buyer and promote the seller’s services
  • Agree to do the transaction
  • Deliver the service
  • Handle any revisions of the service that may be required by the buyer
  • Pay the seller
  • Receive payment from the buyer

Whenever there is a systemized method that can be done over and over again – think automation by software.

I have been fortunate enough to be given review access to some very powerful software that automates most of the above steps.

Software Automation

Arbitrage Underdog desktop software has been used to efficiently search for buyers and sellers as well as co-ordinate the transaction process so that consistent profits can be made.

The software uses a sophisticated matching algorithm over the following buyer sources:

            • Craigslist
            • Odesk
            • Elance
            • Gumtree

You can search for any service wanted by potential buyers straight through the software, no messing about with different site interfaces through your browser.

This makes research on the buyer side very efficient saving a lot of time.

Your time is worth money especially with arbitrage based transactions where he/she who strikes first wins.

On the seller side, fiverr is being used to source the services required by buyers.  If you haven’t heard of fiverr, it’s a very successful site where sellers offer their services for 5 dollars as a base payment.

Found a Match!

When you find a buyer/seller match, the software helps you assess the seller’s capacity to deliver the service required and on-time.  It also assists with templates for contacting via email and a whole host of other time-saving features.

leadsUsing Arbitrage Underdog as a Research Tool

The searching algorithm is so effective that some users are simply using the software as a lead research tool and then providing the services themselves.

What Markets to Target?

The easiest markets to target are those that require the least amount of effort communicating back and forth between the buyer and seller.  Logo design is an example.

The best markets to target are where there are barriers to entry for other would-be abitragers. So if you have skills in a certain area you could target those services and value-add where most others cannot.  By choosing these sorts of markets there is much less prospect of competition and profits can be maintained.

So for me as a web architect, I would target basic web development/programming tasks and value-add using business process diagrams and other methods of interpreting business requirements to the seller.

A simpler idea would be if you were proficient in SEO style services and perhaps setup ongoing services with your own payment subscription systems.  Thinking on-the-fly here.

It just takes some creative thinking, giving it a go, and then fine-tuning the process.

Bonus Software Available

I use Arbitrage Underdog software to source leads for my software development business, as well as match buyers and sellers in other markets.  I’ve decided to add a great bonus software to those that see how good this arbitrage software is and buy it. This bonus is only available from me :)


Retails for $57 (Developer version).  Yours free with full access to members area when you purchase Arbitrage Underdog.



Where the money is in mobile marketing

Everyone knows that mobile devices have completely taken over as the prime computing device for individuals worldwide.

So how do you position yourself to take advantage of this?  Where’s the $$$ at?

I remember when the same sort of thing happened in the late 90’s.  yeah.. age can be handy at times 😉

The internet was soaring, and everyone was scrambling to try and understand what was going on.

Some of us decided to learn programming so we could sell web services.  Others decided to get into web marketing, sell server space, get into web graphic design, move financial systems online, and so on.

Now that mobile is here, probably best to be smarter this time around.

Building Mobile Websites and Selling Them is Hard Yakka!

You could just build mobile websites and then try and sell them to local businesses.

This is the typical strategy that I see now, and frankly is an ‘old-world’ strategy and you are in for a world of pain with the rest of the mob doing the same thing.

There is no point using old methods in a new market – I know because I have tried pushing many dinosaurs up the hill, and it’s far easier to try thinking outside the box a bit.

So what are the mobile marketing methods I’m talking about?

I’m no expert on mobile marketing.  I’ve built a damn good mobile website creator that my customer’s love, but I too have searched far and wide for mobile marketing strategies that are closer to the money than just retailing mobile sites.

I found a few courses that pretty much went over the same thing, such as continually telling me that there is an opportunity in mobile and then demonstrating how to tick ‘mobile’ in my google adwords account.  Sorry, but I’m over buying courses that demo ad-buying websites for me, and just repeat the same thing over and over again.

I recently found a video that maps out a very interesting strategy that is part of a course run by Dan Hollings.  Yes, the same guy that has done mega-million dollar campaigns for smash hit movies, authors, and businesses.

In 60 minutes, he lays out a “Groupon-like” strategy that set my mind tingling.  You can watch the video for free here.

I should mention that if you decide to join his program, please send me an email with your transaction details and I’ll send you a free copy of IMS Commerce Mobile Website Builder software, the full version that normally retails for $67!

I hope you enjoy the video like I did.

Licensing and selling a commercial wordpress plugin

This article is really for:

  • WordPress theme and/or plugin developers, or
  • Marketers that outsource theme/plugin development, or
  • PHP programmers, or
  • Programmers that can pretty much code in any language.

If you don’t fit any of the above, you can stop reading now as you’re not really in a position to profit by licensing and selling commercial WordPress plugins or themes – but if you’re interested….

So Why WordPress?

WordPress as a CMS platform completely dominates the web.wordpress_logo

According to the founder Matt Mullenweg, WordPress now powers 18.9% of the web and has 46m downloads, and usage is still rapidly growing

Here’s an article that shows some very surprising statistics about WordPress usage.

Statistics about WordPress usage

  1. 48% of Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs Are Managed With WordPress
  2. 74.6 Million Sites Depend on WordPress
  3. WordPress-Related Keywords Score 37 Million Searches Per Month
  4. 40 Translations of WordPress
  5. 22% of New U.S. Registered Domains Run on WordPress
  6. Gets More Unique Visitors Than Amazon (Us)
  7. Employs Only 229 People
  8. 6 New Posts Every Second
  9. WordPress Developers Charge $50/hr
  10. 29,000 WordPress Plugins and Growing Daily
  11. 98 Versions of WordPress to Date
  12. 46 Million Downloads of
  13. WordPress Is Most Popular With Business Websites
  14. Akismet Is the Most Popular Plugin

WordPress Plugin and Theme Markets

Based on the above stats, there is lots of money being made, and to be made hopefully by you, selling WordPress plugins and/or themes.

The premium WordPress plugin market is extremely strong with a lot of money being made by both single authors as well as large companies such as wpmudev.

Some WordPress plugin markets

The WordPress theme market is just massive, with well known heavy-hitters such as:

  • Theme Forest
  • Elegant Themes
  • Woo Themes
  • Studiopress


Any search for wordpress premium themes shows an obvious very large demand and supply in the commercial theme market.

So how do you cash in on this market?

  • Are you already a theme or plugin developer?
  • Are you a PHP developer?
  • Are you a marketer that outsources plugin/theme development?
  • Do you have a plugin/theme you want to market and make some money from your efforts?


Get This >> You’re really selling licenses, not software

Very import concept to understand about selling any type of software is that you are not really selling software but rather licenses to use that software.

The reason it’s important is because the focus now needs to be on selling and managing software licenses.

This is the shift from being a software creator to one who sells and gets rewarded for his or her efforts by selling in the marketplace.

Setting up a License Manager is the next step

A license manager is online software that is responsible for:

  • Generating licenses for trial users and paying customers
  • Validating existing licenses to deter piracy of your product
  • Customer administration such as email, lost passwords, refunds and site membership functionality.

Before you think ‘Oh No, not more work!’, I’m going to run through some software that makes the shift from developer to plugin/theme marketer a whole lot easier.

CopyProtectSoftware (CPS)

copy protect logo 030913

CPS is license manager software that I developed based on the core license protection systems I have used over the years both for my own products and then for clients.

Most license managers are custom built in-house affairs which can be good, but mostly a headache, with one more thing to maintain.

As well as being a consultant programmer, I’m also an internet marketer, so I am very familiar with WordPress.

The most natural thing then was to create a license manager plugin. In this way you can install the plugin and manage software licenses right through the WordPress admin framework.

I actually have a license manager plugin on that manages licenses for the License Manager!


What the CPS License Manager does

You can quickly setup licenses for products with CPS so that you are up and running.  There are also a lot more ‘bells and whistles’ you can also take advantage of if you want to.

The basics on how to implement CPS licensing

  1. Update your plugin or theme code with a code component supplied by CPS
  2. Encrypt part of your code so that the component is locked to it
  3. Install the license manager plugin on a wordpress site
  4. Configure the license manager so that your plugin or theme can communicate with it, send out emails, provide product downloads, etc…
  5. Market your plugin or theme, and let the license manager do it’s thing.

Here’s some highlights of what CPS does for you

Sell and manage software licenses

Install CPS as a wordpress plugin. Quick and configurable admin screens to manage products, licenses and license generators.

Easy Trial & Full License Config

Create licenses that expire after any period after activation. Licenses can be configured to be valid on 1 or more machines or website domains.

Generate from Paypal IPN

Automate license generation from Paypal instant payment notifications (IPN).Configure Paypal IPN settings. Copy and paste auto generated IPN url when creating Paypal buttons.

Move Prospects & Buyers onto Autoresponder Lists

Add users to an Aweber autoresponder list after they download a trial, and let email sequences sell the full version for you.

Generate Licenses from Download Forms

Pre-made HTML form code can be placed on any site so potential customers can download your software with a trial license you define.

Control License Holder Site Membership

Setup different license generation and site membership configurations. Set WordPress registration to only accept registrations if the user has a valid software license.


Have a look at to get an idea of what the License Manager screens look like.

Step-by-Step Setup Docs & Videos has a members area that contains:

Videos and a PDF manual for the License Manager.

  • Installing & Activating the License Manager
  • License Manager Versions
  • Configuring the License Manager for Your Software
  • Products
  • License Generators
  • Generator Details
  • Email Settings
  • Paypal Settings
  • Creating a Paypal Button
  • Testing IPN Setup
  • Using a 3rd Party Intermediary or Membership System
  • Email Autoresponder Settings
  • Optin Form
  • Licenses
  • Add New License
  • Import Licenses (Pro & Enterprise)
  • View Email
  • Software Protection

There’s also a step-by-step video, and a PDF on how to integrate your plugin or theme.

Basically you:

  • Add the CopyProtectSoftware class folder to your plugin
  • Set your license server URL, your product software code, and the type of validation required
  • Lock your menu setup with a validation call
  • Add an ‘Activation’ screen for your customers to enter their license details
  • Call ‘Deactivate’ in your uninstall method (optional)
  • Encrypt or obfuscate your implementation code (optional)

All the instructional videos are available on youtube, so you can watch them there before buying a license to use CPS if you like.

How Much?

CPS currently comes in 3 versions: Standard $97, Professional $197 and Enterprise $297.

The main difference is how many sites you can install the license manager on at one time, and how many products you want to manage for each install.

The Enterprise version has a license import facility and is more suited to a company type setup.


Where to get it from?


Start selling licenses for your plugin or theme.

I use CPS a lot for both my own products and for client work, and it makes it a whole lot easier and quicker to get a product to market or to meet a client deadline.

Comment here if you have any questions about CPS or commercial plugin and theme licensing.




Daily Fresh Proxies Sites. How to Separate the Good From the Bad

Have you ever come across one of those sites that have daily lists of proxy IP addresses?

They have to have daily lists because free proxies tend to have a very limited shelf life, getting burned out very quickly.

If you’re looking for a quick way to check which proxies are still working before someone else gets them banned, then there are a few options available.

But first, let’s look at why you might need to use proxies.

There are basically 2 types of people that have a need for a constant supply of proxies.

The first are people that want to browse the Internet and not use their own ip address because maybe they are in a region that blocks access to certain sites, or they want to stop have their browsing behaviour tracked.

Another reason could be that sites may have banned their ip address due to someone else on their network contravening the site’s rules, and to get around this a new ip address is needed to access the site or use certain functionalities such as uploading videos.

This sort of proxy user only needs a few proxy ip addresses to put into their browser settings as long as they work well enough.

The other type of proxy user is an internet marketer. A lot of Internet marketers use software to automate their activities online, some in a whitehat way and others in a blackhat way.  Either way both of their activities include such things as creating accounts at web 2.0 sites, posting articles on blogs, commenting on blogs, researching niche markets and analysing web site competition.

Lots of software is available to do all these sorts of activities and more, and most of the good software requires a constant supply of fresh proxies to carry out their functions efficiently. If an internet marketer just copies daily fresh proxies off a forum and pastes them into their software, then the software may not run very well at all if some of those proxies don’t work anymore.

It’s a bit like putting gas in your car and not being sure if the gas station owner has mixed water with it – your car is going to cough and splutter and may even break down.

One solution is to increase the quality of your proxies by paying for exclusive private usage, and while this works it can become quite expensive [update: check below for a deal I now use].

The free way to filter out the good from the bad proxies is to get your hands on proxy checker software, using free proxies from proxy sites and not pay a monthly charge.

Some proxy checker software is free, some paid and some actually comes bundled with other types of software.

When you are looking to download a good proxy checker you need to make sure that it is fast enough to handle large volumes of proxies at a time – multi-threaded is best, with the ability to increase or decrease the number of worker threads being used depending on the speed of your computer.

Search Google for ‘powerful proxy checker’, or have a look at the proxy checker demo video.

[Update]: I personally use a paid service for proxies now which is extremely good value (I’m talking $10/month only) and small change to spend each month.

If you click this link and end up using them, I’ll send you a free copy of the proxy checker software that normally retails at $27.00, so you can quickly check your proxies.

Send an email to proxies[at] with your transaction detail.

Mass updating wordpress posts with a Songkick artist ID

I recently had the task of updating a wordpress site to show the latest tour dates for artists on

The site had over 100 posts on different DJs so I needed an automated way of showing updated tour dates as a widget in the right hand column.

Songkick has an API that provides tour date info in the form of a JSON response if you make the request with an artist ID – problem was that all I had was a DJ name in the subject line of each post.

This is what I did so that only one call was made to songkick for tour dates.

Signup for a songkick developer API key

You’ll need to provide a website that can be approved by songkick and then a few days later you should be sent a developer key.

How to get the artist ID for each DJ?

The request to songkick to get a JSON response for artist info is in the form of:[artist name]&apikey=[your developer key]

[artist name] is used to search the songkick database to return one or more artist entries.

[developer key] is the api key received from songkick.

The idea was to use the title of a wordpress post as the [artist name], and then added a custom field to the post when an artist id was returned.

Here’s the function to set the artist ID in a post’s custom field.

function set_songkickid_from_title($post_ID)
  $title = get_the_title($post_ID);
  $urltitle = urlencode($title);

  //build the url request
  $jsonurl = ''.$urltitle.'&apikey=[your developer key]';

  $json = file_get_contents($jsonurl);
  $jsonarr = json_decode($json,true); //as an associative array

  $resultsarr = $jsonarr["resultsPage"]["results"];

  //check if any results returned
  if(count($resultsarr) > 0)
    $songkickid = $resultsarr["artist"][0]["id"];
    return "Post: ".$title." songkickID:".$songkickid;
  return  "Post: ".$title." songkickID:none";

Cycling through all the posts

The above code updates a given post, so to update all posts I used the following:

function set_songkickid_all_posts()
  global $post;
  $args = array( 'numberposts' => -1, 'orderby'=> 'ID' );
  $posts = get_posts('numberposts=-1');

  foreach($posts as $post) : setup_postdata($post);
    //check if custom field has not been set
    $songkickid = get_post_meta($post->ID,'songkickid', true);
    if($songkickid == '')
      $result = set_songkickid_from_title($post->ID);
      echo '<br />'.$result;

Running the code over wordpress

This is a long running process as each request needs to be made to songkick, so the code is not really suited to attaching the plugin to an action – it really needed to be separate from normal WordPress functionality for a one-time update.

I created a separate php file in the root of the site that includes the necessary wordpress files in order to access wordpress functions.

require_once( dirname(__FILE__) . '/wp-load.php' );
require_once( dirname(__FILE__) . '/wp-admin/admin-functions.php' );

Here’s the full code for the file that outputs the post title and artist ID for each when you access the file through the browser.

require_once( dirname(__FILE__) . '/wp-load.php' );
require_once( dirname(__FILE__) . '/wp-admin/admin-functions.php' );


function set_songkickid_all_posts()
  global $post;
  $args = array( 'numberposts' => -1, 'orderby'=> 'ID' );
  $posts = get_posts('numberposts=-1');

  foreach($posts as $post) : setup_postdata($post);
    //check if custom field has not been set
    $songkickid = get_post_meta($post->ID,'songkickid', true);
    if($songkickid == '')
      $result = set_songkickid_from_title($post->ID);
      echo '<br />'.$result;

function set_songkickid_from_title($post_ID)
  $title = get_the_title($post_ID);
  $urltitle = urlencode($title);

  //build the url request
  $jsonurl = ''.$urltitle.'&apikey=[your developer key]';

  $json = file_get_contents($jsonurl);
  $jsonarr = json_decode($json,true); //as an associative array

  $resultsarr = $jsonarr["resultsPage"]["results"];

  //check if any results returned
  if(count($resultsarr) > 0)
    $songkickid = $resultsarr["artist"][0]["id"];
    return "Post: ".$title." songkickID:".$songkickid;
  return  "Post: ".$title." songkickID:none";

Where an artist ID was not found, you should just see a ‘none’ output.

You may have to run the file a few times if the script times out due to the max php timeout being exceeded.
A check is made on each post to see if the artist id custom field has already been set.

Displaying the tour dates for each artist

Now comes the easy part.

There is a songkick plugin that displays tour dates for a given artist ID at by using a shortcode.

I placed the following into a text widget with php and shortcodes enabled.

global $post;
$songkickid = get_post_meta($post->ID,'songkickid', true);
$output = do_shortcode('[songkick_concerts_and_festivals songkick_id='.$songkickid.' songkick_id_type=artist]'); 
echo $output;
else {
echo "Browse to a DJ to get their tour dates";

The widget now displays tour dates for each artist post based on the custom field artist ID we populated.

The songkick plugin only needs to make 1 call to songkick now, and results are cached.

Have a look at this page to see the result.

Network Nazis Strike Again!

A lot of us have had our share of IT Support experiences, I know I have – deep breaths required 😉

I saw this skit on an ABC comedy program in Australia which really cracked me up.


Mark Samms Interviews Yours Truly

Just recorded an interview with Mark Samms from

Mark covers a lot of areas re my business journey, programming,  internet marketing, personal development – have a listen when you have a spare 40 minutes – you should be able to get something out of it for your own journey.


You can succeed if you…

Sometimes things can get rough, with what feels like life throwing you curve ball after curve ball.

If you’re ever feeling like this, check out this quote which can help you rise above the crap.

PLAN while others are playing.
STUDY while others are sleeping.
DECIDE while others are delaying.
PREPARE while others are daydreaming.
BEGIN while others are procrastinating.
WORK while others are wishing.
SAVE while others are wasting.
LISTEN while others are talking.
SMILE while others are frowning.
COMMEND while others are criticizing.
PERSIST while others are quitting.”
William Arthur Ward

Backup files on your VPS using SimpleFileBackup software

simple backup softwareDon’t kid yourself.  It will happen sometime, and all your best intentions will mean nothing.  Sure, it’s only data but it still hurts right?

I built SimpleFileBackup to auto backup files on my VPS.

I heard horror stories about how a VPS can suddenly restart or crash and all your data can be lost due to the virtualization software used to make a VPS.

First thing I did was search for something I could buy, as it is usually a much better use of my time to buy vs build.

Everything I found was just waaay too expensive.  I mean, who wants to spend big dollars on boring old backup utility software when I could buy some shiny new software like IMSCommerce to build mobile sites and sell – shameful plug :)

A  lot of the software I found was over $100 bucks, and the cheaper stuff looked like it had been built in 1983 by some big hairy dude with a soldering iron!

Thought about using Dropbox but this was a pain because I have files and folders all over the place on my VPS and don’t want to have to have multiple copies in a dropbox folder – seemed too painful to deal with.

So the brief was: I just wanted to be able to setup the files and folder once only to backup, push a button to make sure a scheduled task was created, push another button to create the firewall rules to transfer files by FTP, and be done with it.

If you host many websites like me you probably have masses of storage space on hostgator or other web hosts that you’re not using but paying for, so SimpleFileBackup can put backups on web hosts by FTP.

So every morning I now get an email that tells me if the backup worked or not, and I can get warm fuzzies that my files are safe.

Currently sells for $27, as one of the cheapest no fuss backup systems you can get.

Also works for your windows desktop, laptop, dedicated server… but you must have a place for it to FTP the files to, such as a web host (shared web host ok)

Edit: SFB has now been updated to backup files to external drives, Dropbox folders, network locations, as well as to web servers via FTP.

Also, the scheduling has been updated so that you can edit it to be weekly, change the backup time, and so on.

SFB is still as simple as :)


Build software quickly with AutoIT

If you have an idea for some software and want to quickly build it without the hassle of full blown software development, then you should consider using the AutoIT framework.
As a commercial programmer, sometime I just want to create some software very quickly, and I have used AutoIT to just get the job done.

When you don’t want to worry about installers, making sure that users have the latest version of .NET on their systems, creating project solutions, etc.. you can quickly create an AutoIT script to surprisingly create some great software.
You can find out more about AutoIT here.

It’s a totally free scripting language that has great help documentation, and will run on pretty much any Windows environment.

You can create great GUI’s (graphical user interfaces) if you need to (hint: use Koda freeware to generate the code) .

Massive help forum available to help you pretty much do anything you want the software to do.

You do need to understand programming concepts, however if you have the patience to learn, you will be making great software in no time, and totally for free.

Examples of apps that I have coded with AutoIT are:

  • Backup utilities
  • Web 2.0 account creators
  • Report document generators
  • Database migration utilities
  • Data formatters

I really encourage both hard-core programmers and novices to look at AutoIT as a way to very quickly release software that would normally take much longer to produce.  Also very good for prototyping.