Inside our interview he talks about blogging from an entrepreneurial point of view, and shares his unique “six-figure” approach and methods.
I’ve read your inspiring story on how you firstly got started as an entrepreneur on eBay back in Junior High School, selling Pokemon cards. You’ve said you never played the game, yet made $1,000 in the summer, selling those cards.
Then in University, you got hooked on Halo 2 game, and this is what led you to Internet marketing.
Could you share what you took from your eBay/gaming/IM experience and brought into blogging that led you to where you are today?
The main thing I’ve learned is that you truly need to have a passion to succeed on your own if you ever are going to have a chance to make it as a self employed / entrepreneur type of individual.
Throughout all my successes and countless failures I always tried to find what worked and what didn’t and continually refined that process as I’ve built my businesses.
For example, when I got started trying to make money online I tried literally everything I read about from forum websites, directories, top list websites and everything in between. It wasn’t until I really sat down and really planned out how each project could truly make money that things started working out and last year I earned well into the six figure range.
As most people reading this, I’m keen to know which were your (major) challenges when you firstly started online: from eBay, to Halo experience and then to Internet marketing, and more recently, to blogging; and how you overcome, each.
The biggest struggle each time was trying to deal with the countless failures from various projects that came up. Just last year I launched 10 websites I had BIG plans for and most of them failed. For example, I had an idea to make a fail blog type website but to use in game footage (from games like Halo) and because it was centered around games I used the word pwned in the name. I called the blog pwnedblog.com and did a few different things to try and drive traffic before I stepped back and realized there just wasn’t nearly a large enough audience to support the niche and make it worth my while to pursue. I could list dozens of examples like this over the past several years but with each failure it’s so important to learn from the mistakes.
I know you have quite a few projects (web sites, blogs and products). Could you select one of your favorite blogs, and scratch a run down on how (often) you manage that blog and how (why) you monetize it (and maybe share the results in terms of traffic, subscribers and cash flow)?
95% of the websites I run I don’t discuss publically because the people that read my blog are often times just like me – looking to make money online in various niches with little competition.
So after laying that out there I’d have to just use my makemoneyontheinternet.com blog as an example. I started that blog in January of 2010 and it has nearly 5,000 RSS readers which is pretty fast growth for the (relatively) small niche of online business blogs.
I started this blog because I kept reading absolute trash online from people that had blogs where they were trying to tell people how to make money online and yet the only way they were making money online was by talking about it.
I took the exact opposite approach with that blog in the beginning because I was making most of my money just building cool websites people would be happy to visit and less concerned about making money with that blog.
Now after sharing some of my income reports and talking about some of my tactics for making money with websites people started emailing me asking for more detailed info and that’s when I decided to release a product focusing on making money with physical product focused websites.
I called it NicheProfitCourse.com and that was the only real direct way the blog had made money although it was still much smaller than actually just running my online business of setting up websites etc.
If you’re asking me about the post frequency; I don’t have one. I post when I have something to say that’s worth saying. I try not to fill my blog with worthless crap i.e. 3 Things You’re Not Doing On Twitter That You HAVE TO! And stupid crap like that because that is all fluff. I like to write stuff like, here’s some data I collected and found to show that these 7 Strategies Related To $43k In Earnings From Amazon.com etc.
I work probably 3 hours a week on the blog or less.
What mistakes did you make in the beginning with the blog above, how did you overcome them and what’s next for this project?
In 2007 I started a blog about how to make money online and after about 14 months of trying to build it and not having any success I realized that I was a complete fool for running a blog on a subject I knew nothing about. After all, who would want to read tips from someone about how to make money online who doesn’t even make much money online right? So I stopped that blog and went out into other niches with a lot less competition and started doing really well. That old blog with only a handful of RSS readers is what I converted into MakeMoneyontheInternet.com.
As for the blog, I really want to start doing more case studies documenting how I make money and inviting guests on to speak to talk about how they’re making money as well.
I’m impressed to read in your blog income report mentioning that you’re making three times more money as an Amazon associate compared with ClickBank vendor sales.
What is the secret to your Amazon affiliate approach, what does it really take to generate the volume of sales you are making that others are completely missing?
The biggest thing I hear from people when they talk about Amazon affiliate marketing is that they say something like “Oh, I tried them but have only made a few dollars” and my response is always, “What websites did you try to market products from Amazon on?” The answer is almost never a website focused on physical products. I could be making money with another online retailer or with an entirely different method, the point is that you really need to think about the best way to monetize your website and then use those methods. So if I’m running a website focused on physical products then obviously putting up links to those physical products for people to buy is a natural choice.
If you can’t figure out what the best way is to monetize your website and you’ve tried a ton of different things you should ask yourself “Is this even a good niche to be in?” if the answer is no stop wasting your time and move onto something with an actual business model.
Is there’s anything else you’d like to mention?
The final thing I’d like to say is that if you’re reading this interview and haven’t even tried to make money online with some type of method stop reading this interview and any other blogs for that matter and get out there and do something. The absolute worst thing you could do is to try and live your life vicariously through successful people you read about online. I’m not saying I’m anything special because I have plenty of online friends that make 10 – 20 times more than me. I just want you to go out there and do something. I can explain it even better with an example:
The Biggest Loser TV show documents people that try and lose weight. It would be a safe thing to assume that the vast majority of the people that watch this TV show would like to lose some weight as well or get in shape. But instead of spending the 2 hours this show lasts to actually go work out they’d rather just watch other people do it on TV. This is stupid to me. Why watch people workout for 2 hours when you can go workout for 2 hours? I believe the answer is probably laziness and if you want to make money online I suggest you get out there and start trying to do it.
*** Now, before you read the next interview or do something else, please jot down the best idea YOU got from this interview (something you could implement today and experience significantly greater results in your blogging and social media approach)
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