Here’s the feedback. And then we’ll talk about it and you guys can tell me what you think. This comes from a guy named Jack at my help desk. He submitted it privately, which was really nice. He says the following….
I’m right along with Pat Flynn, and I hope you are too, regarding constructive criticism. I would hope along that line that people do the same with me if they have some criticisms for me. Just an FYI, your intro is way too long. You lost me at 20 seconds, I didn’t even listen to your conversation with Pat Flynn. It sounded somewhat negative and it brought out a negative side of Pat.
Way too much fluff – get to the point of your conversation already. Bad Bill Clinton impersonation too. I can appreciate you wanting to keep things interesting, but I’m here for information. Great website though, it looks professional. Please don’t take this wrong way, just critiquing. Good luck with your site. Wish you all the best, Jack.
So there are a couple of things here. The first is, thanks Jack. I really do mean that.
As you create your online business you will encounter people who don’t completely agree with something that you’ve said or the way you’re doing things, or the way you’ve presented information, or a position that you’ve taken on something that’s important to you. That’s okay. You cannot please everybody all of the time. And if you try to please everybody all the time, you will surely fail. You need to know what you’re about and you need to take a position. That’s what makes you unique in the marketplace.
If you’re an affiliate promoting a product, you should have an opinion about that product. Guess what? If you’re promoting Canon cameras, there are going to be Nikon guys out there who think Canon cameras are absolutely terrible. I can tell you because I’m a Canon camera guy and I get into debates with Nikon guys all the time.
It doesn’t matter what it is that you think and whether or not you’re correct or wrong, because there will be somebody out there who has completely the opposite position and they’re going to come talk to you, they’re going to find you. If you’re not in the right frame of mind when they find you that might really bug you. You need to be in the frame of mind to understand that you cannot please everybody all the time, that’s lesson number one.
Lesson number two is, to my way of thinking, it is always better to take the high road when replying to and processing these kind of comments and to look past whatever the communication method is and try to see if there’s real information in there. Jack does a really good job of sending in a nice polite comment. He doesn’t mince any words, it’s not a fluffy comment. You can tell he doesn’t like fluff and there’s no fluff in his comment. This guy is practicing what he preaches with regard to that.
I think if you were sensitive and not thick skinned it might be pretty easy to take that comment, get offended, and fire back an angry message to Jack, get on the podcast and rant. But, in my experience that’s always the wrong answer. The right answer is always to not shoot the messenger, not pay so much attention to the way the comment is delivered, but to dig in there and put yourself in Jack’s shoes and try to figure out what it is in there that’s useful.
Jack makes a couple of points and I think these are interesting points.
The first thing he wants to talk about is the length of the introduction. There are two things that usually happen in my introduction. One is I play what is now a cut down version of the theme song. Jack doesn’t know this, but when I first got the theme song it was a little over a minute long. Some of you will remember that I used to play the whole thing. I got some feedback that it was too long and I cut it down and now it’s the current version of the theme song that you just heard about five minutes ago.
I get an enormous amount of positive feedback about that theme song. In fact, that’s the thing that people remember about the show. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. When people talk to me they say, “You’re the guy with the theme song, I love the song, I sing the song, I hum the song all day long.”
That branding is important to me, so I’ve left it at the front of the show. I do recognize that it takes an extra 30 seconds to get the show going when I do that, and I know that there are people like Jack that wish that it was even shorter.
So that’s the first thing I’d like to ask you to do. I’d like you to go to LateNightIM.com/056, the show notes for this episode, and leave me a comment to let me know if you would like to see the beginning of the show be shorter or are you okay with the way it is.
The other thing Jack is referencing is that usually I start off the show with what’s been going on, like I did this show letting you know I’m on my way to Kuala Lumpur. That’s also not done accidentally, that is very purposeful. One of my marketing strategies for the show, one of the things that makes me tick and one of the things that I’m trying to accomplish with the show is to be relatable.
I think there are a lot of places you can go on the internet to get the top 10 list for this or that, for this procedure or that procedure. But I think the things that I really like, the podcasts that I really like, and the reason for the podcasting medium, the big lever, the big advantage that you get from podcasting is relatability. After all, I don’t know how you guys feel about me, but the podcasts that I usually listen to I feel like I know those people. I can tell you when I’ve had one-on-one conversation with listeners we enter into conversations and it’s like I’ve known them for years. They know stuff about my family, it’s just crazy, because they integrate up all this information that’s sprinkled across all of these episodes. I really value that.
So the question for you at LateNightIM.com/056 is; Do you think that we should do away with the theme song or maybe completely move it to the end of the show? I can tell you that I’m not going to do away completely with the theme song – sorry, Jack. Do you want me to cut down on the fluff, the useless banter, or do you kind of like the show the way it is?
I’ll tell you, the numbers sort of suggest that people kind of like the show the way it is. But, who knows. Maybe if I had a very structured, very organized, quick and to the point, tip heavy kind of podcast that really quickly got into meaty stuff that there would be 10 times the number of listeners. I don’t know.
The challenge is that’s not really who I am and what I want for the show, so that’s something I have to recognize and reconcile. But I am interested to hear what you think. Go to LateNightIM.com/056.
The other thing Jack points out, and I think this is also really interesting, he says that he didn’t like the Bill Clinton impersonation, he thought it was cheesy. That’s on purpose too. Yes, I would like a better Bill Clinton impersonator – that’s a Fiverr gig and the guy is sort of mediocre, but it made me laugh and I hope it makes you laugh too. If you don’t remember that, all of this stuff about Pat Flynn and Bill Clinton is in Episode 50.
The show is lighthearted and it makes people smile. I get that feedback too, “You’re a funny guy and we like that.” Again, it’s possible to have a real dry show that drones on and on about SEO strategies and all this other kind of stuff. We need to cover that, and we do, but I also want to make it enjoyable and entertain as well as educate on this show.
As my friend Cliff Ravenscraft always talks about, he doesn’t think it’s just his job to educate people, he wants to entertain and inspire them as well. That’s what I want to do, too. That’s the reason for the yuck. If you don’t like the comedy that’s occasionally sprinkled into the podcast, let me know. I’d love to hear what you think about that over on the show notes.
Finally, he has a specific comment on Episode 50, and it goes to this relatability thing because the interview with Pat Flynn is not super meaty. I’m not revealing the 17 secrets that Pat has used to get where he is or the latest tips and tricks. It’s more of, “Hey this is Episode 50 and we’re hanging out reminiscing about what’s going on.” That’s what I intended for that episode and that was just special for Episode 50, so I don’t apologize for that at all.
If you have the time and the inclination, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this issue of whether or not you want the show to be more content heavy, do you like it kind of the way it is, do you want me to get into the show more quickly, are you okay with a little theme song at the beginning? Tell me what you think about what Jack had to say.
Once again, I want to say to Jack, thank you very much, I appreciate the feedback. I hope this also provides an example for you about how I think you should handle listener or customer feedback in your own business.
Corn Sheller Site Update
That gets me to an interesting update about the Corn Sheller site. I got some feedback from a listener about trying Adsense and I want to update you on Amazon and some other stuff. But when the mood struck me to record that I was in my car, so I want to apologize for the audio content. Since we already have crummy hotel room audio content, I guess adding in a little crummy automobile content won’t be that big of a stretch… so here we go.
I am in the car and I apologize for the background noise. Life is a little crazy around my house right now, I’m packing for an extended trip to Asia. It won’t be too long, but whenever I’m on the road and getting ready to travel it really jams up my schedule because there are a lot of things that need to be done around the house and a lot of things that need to be done at work.
On this trip I’m headed to Malaysia, which is exciting. I’ve been to Singapore quite a few times, which is next door to Malaysia, but I’ve never actually been to Malaysia. I’m really excited about that. I’ll be headed to Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. I’ll be working on internet marketing some while I’m on the road, but before I get on the airplane I wanted to give you an update on the Corn Sheller site because a couple of interesting things have happened.
The Corn Sheller continues to generate income passively, which is interesting. You’ll recall when I set this site up I didn’t target keywords that would translate into a site with a large income, like I normally would. The keywords were given to me as a challenge and I went ahead and built the site as a test.
Lo and behold, the site has generated as much as $50 per month, and right now it’s generating something around $30 per month. It usually generates between $25 and $50 per month. All of that income has been through eBay auctions, I’m funneling traffic into eBay and getting payments from the eBay affiliate program.
Those clicks that I’m sending to eBay are worth somewhere around a nickel per click, which is really horrible. So I’ve been trying two different experiments.
One experiment was I found a single product on Amazon that is related to corn shellers, so I added a page on the site to describe that product and promote it over to Amazon. That product is called an Easy Corn Creamer; it’s a gadget that you buy. It was shocking to me that such a thing even existed at Amazon, but that’s one of the cool things about affiliate marketing, even when you have a site as bizarre as CornSheller.net you can often find something to promote.
So I’ve created content for it. That content is already on the first page of Google and I’ve started to see a few clicks over into Amazon, but nothing very exciting yet. I will update you on that as that occurs. That’s one additional revenue stream that I wanted to demonstrate for you. If you go over to the CornSheller.net site you can see the Easy Creamer page.
The other thing that I’ve done is I had a reader that said, “Hey, why haven’t you tried Adsense on this site?” The answer was that a couple years ago my account was banned from Adsense. I’ve talked about that on the show before. I’ve been able to work around that and I have Adsense on the site’s homepage as a test.
When I did the research in Adsense – and this is one of the things that I wanted to tell you about so that you could know about this – it showed that corn sheller keyword cost per click was on the order of $0.25 to $0.50 and that there was some keyword completion for that ad.
Now, as we’ve talked about in the past, keyword competition there are advertisers bidding for that ad. So I went ahead and set up Adsense on the homepage. You can see that. Please do not click on the ad that’s on the homepage, that will get me banned from Adsense again.
What I found was there are ads related to corn shellers in the Adsense program, but none of those advertisers are bidding on the content side of the network.
For those of you that are not familiar with Adsense, there are two parts to Adsense. There are the ads that get placed in search through Adwords and then also when you create an Adwords campaign you can also create an ad for the content network. The content network is exactly what it sounds like, it’s guys like me who have a blog who put Adsense ads on their blogs. When you hear about people making money on the internet from Adsense they’re advertising in the content network side of Google’s ad program.
The thing is when you buy an ad in Adwords you can specify whether you want the ad to show up on the search side or on the content network side. There are some things that are true about these two different parts of the program. One is that it is generally true, although not always true, that the quality of traffic that you get on the search side is higher and more targeted than the quality of traffic that you get on the content side.
After all, if you place an ad for when someone is searching, ie. they’re looking for something, and you placed an ad that has to do with what they already just said they were looking for, then chances are you’re going to have a good market to message match for that particular customer.
On the other hand, if your customer happens to be browsing a website for whatever reason and they see an ad that may or may not be well targeted to the content of the page that they’re on, that person may or may not be interested in what you’re offering in the ad but they might click on it anyway.
Generally speaking, you can say that the quality of the traffic coming from the search side of the Adwords program is more targeted and higher quality than the content network. As a result of that, ads on the search side generally (but not always) cost more than ads on the content side of the network. By the way, advertisers can even specify the exact URLs that they want to place their ads on. Maybe you want your ads on some blogs on the content network, but not all of them because you’re not interested in getting your ads on spam blogs and other places that you might find them in that part of the network.
The point of all this with regard to corn shellers, while there are ads in the Adsense network for corn shellers, there is no one advertising on the content side of the network so there are no corn sheller related ads. The last couple of times that I’ve checked the CornSheller.net site what I’ve seen are completely unrelated ads, lately an ad regarding learning how to sing, which has absolutely nothing to do with corn shellers. Even so, it turns out that ad has an enormous cost per click, something on the order of $0.50 to $1.00, so the site has generated four or five clicks off of that ad and that has resulted in some Adsense income.
The bottom line is I intend to take that down, that’s not a good match. After several hundred impressions only having a few clicks, that’s a terrible click through rate. So that will be coming down and no Adsense for the Corn Sheller site. But I did want to give you that update and let you know what was going on there. I hope that’s a helpful tutorial for you and gives you a little peek into how the Adsense program works.
The last thing I want to talk about is some listener feedback that I got via the SpeakPipe hotline at LateNightIM.com/feedback from Shawn. Shawn is local here in the Dallas area and he has a lot of online projects, one of which is a really cool side called TexasMountainBikeTrails.com. If you go there right now he has a funny article and one of the sentences in the article reads, “I’m kind of a sweaty guy,” and he’s reviewing a sweatband there. He’s a really neat guy and he comes to the Late Night Internet Marketing meet-ups and I’ve known him for awhile now.
I saw him on Facebook saying he was just down in the dumps and feeling bummed out about his internet business, and then I get this voicemail from him…
Hey, Mark. This is Shawn with TexasMountainBikeTrails.com. I wanted to send you this little message to ask this question, because I think that it can relate to everybody who is starting their own business or is trying to get started in this.
Some background on me: I’ve been running the Texas Mountain Bike Trails website for two years. It helped to fundamentally build a lot of information for me that I used to then branch off on my own venture where I teach real estate agents and also manage their online presence for them.
Last night and today especially I’ve been in this funk. If you want to cue that awesome funk music that you had whenever you talked about your funk, you can. I’ve had this funk for the past few days and it’s just a different kind of funk. It’s not that I don’t feel motivated to do it, I’m still motivated to do it.
This funk is I feel like I’m not adding value. I’ve always done my best to add as much as value as I can for both my readers, my viewers on the YouTube channel, and everybody else. It’s really hard for me to deal with this feeling that I’m not adding any value to the people who are paying attention – and that people aren’t paying attention.
Maybe you have some advice for that. I thought this would be something cool that all of the people who are new to the industry and also those of us who have been doing it for awhile, like myself, who are going through a problem like this and just feel like they’re not adding value. What kind of advice do you have for us? What would you do in this situation?
Thanks so much for all you do, Mark. I really enjoyed the meet-up that we had at The Londoner Pub not too long ago, can’t wait until the next one. Keep up all the great work on LateNightIM.com and on the podcast. Thanks. Have a great day.
I think there are a lot of ways to deal with the blues. When you’re a solopreneur running an online business this is going to happen to you. Even if you’re the happiest person in the world, you’re going to get discouraged and things are going to feel like they’re not going your way. By the way, there will be other days where it feels like you’re setting the whole world on fire. So know that those days are coming as well.
I totally relate to what Shawn had to say in this voicemail. I’ve felt this way many times about the podcast, I’ve felt this way about the blog, I’ve felt this way about different projects that I’ve been working both in my online life and in my day job. I think it’s just part of the human condition to feel this way about things and to have this uncertainty.
When it comes to funks in general, I think I covered this pretty well a couple episodes ago in Episode 41 and Episode 42 where I talked about my own funk and how I have gotten into the habit of watching TV instead of working on my business and how to get out that. I talk about the different things that you can do to get out of those funks and all of them involve exercise, mindset, and all of these things. Those are covered in Episode 42 and I encourage you to go back and listen to that if you’re looking for that kind of information.
back and listen to that if you’re looking for that kind of information.
The other thing that struck me here is I went and had lunch with Shawn and we talked over this a little bit about what’s going on in his internet business that he has with Texas Mountain Bike Trails and his internet business that he has related to local SEO work here in the Dallas area, that’s a new startup for him and he’s working through all of those issues.
We started talking about all the things that he is working on and by the time we had got around to having lunch his funk had passed and he was ready to tear up the world again.
But we got to talking about the stuff that he’s working on locally in the Dallas area, related to his Texas Mountain Bike Trails blog and the passion that he has around that, and I was just struck by how comical it was for this guy who is accomplishing all this stuff – he has a business with clients, he has this great blog on mountain biking, he’s doing things in the Dallas area that are related to the blog where he’s reaching out to other racers and creating new races in the Dallas area, and all this stuff.
The guy is setting the world on fire. The idea that this guy who I’m sitting across the table from thinking, “How is this guy getting all this stuff done?” that this guy would ever imagine that he was not adding value. You look at his content at TexasMountainBikeTrails.com and it’s a great blog, he has engagement there, he has engagement on Facebook.
I think one of the other key things that I didn’t mention in Episode 42 that Shawn reminded of is that sometimes you need perspective. I think one of the key things that is important to understand is it might be true if you’re not feeling great about what you’re doing that you need a second opinion. I think this is where it’s really important that you surround yourself with likeminded individuals that you can reach out to and say things like, “Does this make sense? Am I moving in the right direction? Is this awesome or terrible? What do you think?”
I’ll tell you some of the things that we do in masterminds – I’m in two mastermind groups right now, one is a very private mastermind group with people that you’ve heard of, and then I have a larger mastermind group that I’m a part of over at PodcastMastermind.com. In those mastermind calls one of the things that we do in those calls is talk about the win of the week; everyone has to say what’s happened to them this week that was really good, what they did this week that they feel good about.
Those are always so inspiring. Being around those likeminded people creates these ideas, it creates positive momentum, it gives you an opportunity to get feedback from people about sometimes just the very small wins that you might have had in the last few days.
My advice to Shawn and to people like Shawn is that you need some other people’s perspective on the value that you’re delivering in these cases. When I look at a guy like Shawn, he’s delivering value. If there is a day when he doesn’t see that, that’s a day when he needs to get some feedback from someone else who has an objective view that can see what’s going on and help him remember all the great things that are going on in his business.
That’s my advice for you; seek likeminded people and get their feedback. That will help you be successful in your business.
Wrapping Things Up…
That wraps this show up. I’m on the road and my next communication to you will be from the beautiful city of Malacca, Malaysia and I will be talking about keyword research. I really owed you that for this episode, but the way things worked out I wasn’t quite finished outlining that show.
That’s going to be a show that maybe Jack would like a little better, that’s going to be a highly organized thing with lots of points to go through about my views on the right way and why to do keyword research. We’ll be doing that in the next episode.
This episode I just wanted to hit these things that I thought would be helpful to you and that were on my mind. I hope you’ve enjoyed that. I’ll be in touch with you as soon as I get on the other side of the world.