Surely Not! is the marketing yin to my BritishBonus business yang. Originally conceived as a guide to help to teach friends to master the art of “bonus bagging”, Surely Not! soon morphed into an advertising vehicle to drive traffic to BritishBonus.
BritishBonus did a great job of saving me from telling friends and acquaintances which casinos to play, but it didn’t save me from the torture of explaining how bonus bagging works in the first place. I couldn’t explain the process on my main website: affiliate marketing doesn’t work so well when you explain how to profit at the expense of your sponsors. Instead, I hosted a guide on a separate website.
Once Surely Not! was active and helping people out, I solicited a few rounds of feedback and made it as straightforward to use as possible. With improvements in place, I was ready to take the site to the next level.
I designed a poster campaign in order to promote the scheme and help spread the word around campus. The core message was simple:
Make £30/hour online while listening to music. Surely Not! www.surely-not.com
It worked, the traffic flowed freely, and plenty of people made a whole lot of money. I didn’t put my name on the site, but that didn’t stop random people from finding me and buying me drinks. I didn’t get a single complaint. Spurred on by my success, I put up posters around other campuses nationwide. Without a core loyal userbase to evangelise and spread the word the reaction wasn’t quite as intense, but I still got a lot of traffic and it was money well spent.
This project was quick and simple. It taught me the value of clear communication and simple advertising. I never did figure out how to effectively advertise beyond the level of university campuses, but so be it. The project was limited, but it was a success.
I shut the site down in late 2006 when it became clear that all the good bonuses had dried up. The times of profitable bonus bagging were over and it wasn’t fair to continue promoting BritishBonus under the guise of easy money. RIP, Surely Not!
- Start date: 16 Feb 2006
- End date: 01 Nov 2006
- Status: Complete