I had spent countless hours and more money than I could really afford in order to get the Water4gas campaign off the ground. I was very optimistic and the hardest part for me was waiting for my ads to post in the various papers.

I had hoped that maybe I would get a few calls from people who had seen some of the flyers I had put up all over town. Three weeks went by and nothing. I kept checking my Clickbank account hoping for some activity.

Nothing, Nada, Zip!

A month went by and two months and still not one sale. I couldn’t believe it. after all that effort and diversification and dedication this could not be happening. With all the advertising I had been doing it just did not seem possible that there would not be at least one sale by now.

At this point I was beginning to think that this internet marketing thing was nothing more than a pipe dream.

I was crushed, deflated, deleted, depleted, and any other “d” word you want to throw in.

And then I got a phone call from a friend who had bought the manual through my link and then another call. Now I’m starting to get excited a little bit. Two Sales! I couldn’t get to my Clickbank account fast enough!

I quickly logged in and eagerly took a look at a bunch of Big, Fat, Zeros!

What was wrong? I KNEW  there were at least two sales and yet this account was showing absolutely NOTHING! (sorry for shouting, it’s not you)

Now I had done this a number of times before, to check if everything was set up properly and now I did it again.

I went to my website and clicked on the link and scrolled down to the bottom of the Clickbank order form.

To my HORROR  where my affiliate id used to be there was instead, a meaningless string of variables that meant absolutely nothing to me.

My affiliate id was gone! It had been replaced with someone else’s id.

Who Was this person?

Who could be so heartless? Didn’t they know how hard I had worked for this? Didn’t they even care?

“Wait a minute.”, I thought, “Maybe I went to this other persons website by mistake.”

I went back to my browser and carefully typed in my url. I checked it a couple times to be sure, and my site opened up.

I again followed the link to the Clickbank order form and scrolled to the bottom and there it was a gain. That vile, gut wrenching, unscrupulous  persons affiliate id instead of my own.

I did not know anything about cb pirates at that time. Nobody told me and I was totally green when I took on this campaign. The Water4Gas movement was in it’s infancy and I doubt the creator of the program even knew that there were these leeches lurking in the shadows.

He probably didn’t know enough to tell me about cloaking affiliate links and that  there was reasonably priced software available to easily do this.

It was not long after this tragic incident that I found out  that I had been hijacked by

CLICKBANK PIRATES!….It  was too late to run for my life… They already had me.

pirates looting

The tragedy is that avoidance is the only solution, at least back then it was.

Oh,  I contacted Clickbank about the situation thinking that they would surely be able to get into their files and figure out what had happened and fix things but they just kept giving me the runaround. I could not reach Clickbank on a telephone.

Every thing was handled through e-mails and they kept changing the rep on me and every time they did that I had to start all over again and go through the same list of canned responses they had already sent to me.

I went around in circles with Clickbank for another month Until I finally accepted the fact that I had been ripped off and that there was really nothing I could do about it, nor could they.

I never was one to sit on the pity pot for long.

After any major upheaval in my life I take a little time to cool off. I take a step back and access the situation from an objective point of view and look at it from a different perspective.

To this end, I visited some of the many parks in and around Portland Oregon. The sound of the wind rustling through the leaves, watching the birds fluttering around chasing each other through the trees, the smell of the cherry blossoms, all of these things soothed my soul and I smiled inside and out. I took a deep breath and held it for a few seconds. I exhaled a huge sigh of relief. I was at peace with myself and the world in that instant.

Finally, I went bowling. Don’t laugh, bowling is like a meditation for me as it requires me to shut out all distractions and focus on allowing my body to do what it needs to do to knock down ten pins. When a bowler reaches a point where he seems to be locked into a pattern and is able to deliver strike after strike, he is said to be “In the zone”.

In this trance like state he no longer has to think about what he is doing, he does not have to make it happen. He is on a type of auto-pilot, allowing his subconscious mind and muscle memory to deliver the ball in the same way at the same speed shot after shot.

So you see, bowling can be an excellent way to get your mind off of whatever it is in life that is troubling you if only for a short time. And sometimes that is all it takes to set you free.

I stopped at a local restaurant for supper. I had just polished off the last of my pot roast and was diving into a large piece of peach pie when it hit me.

I had not failed in my first attempt to make money online.

The pirates attacked MY Clickbank account because they were attracted to it by the activity!

I have no way of knowing how many sales my campaign was converting, but it was obviously enough to to attract some attention, enough to make it worth going through the trouble of hacking into the system and stealing my commissions.

Who knows? This may well have been my best campaign ever!

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