I really enjoyed this trip. The cool thing was that before I left for the Philippines when I was in Kuala Lumpur I posted on the Facebook fan page and said, “Hey, I’m in Kuala Lumpur. Where are you?” and I get these cool answers. Rick Scrimshaw said, “Hey, I’m in Atlanta.” I love Atlanta, and I love peaches and peach cobbler, so that’s a favorite place of mine.
Wilton Davis made me laugh when he said, “I’m in Staten Island, New York City.” It made me laugh because when I was 19, the first time I ever left Texas and went anywhere, I was driving in New York and wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty, which I thought was on Staten Island. I got on the Staten Island Ferry expecting to go to the Statue of Liberty and I steamed right by it and went to Staten Island. I didn’t really understand this whole boroughs thing.
Then Catherine Garcia said, “Hey, I’m in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.” I know exactly where Buffalo Grove is, it’s a suburb of Chicago. If you haven’t been to Chicago, it’s the windy city, not because of the wind that blows off of the north shore, which is amazing, but because of the history of politicians there that were considered windbags at the time. Celebrate on State, St. Patrick’s Day, Chicago is awesome, highly recommended.
I knew all those places, but then I started getting these answers like, “I’m in New South Wales, Australia,” that’s what Ann Day told me. Jake Olsen is in Turkey. And then people with names that I’ll never be able to pronounce correctly, like Adil Nasser in Tangier and Morocco area, and Majekodunmi Abiola is in Nigeria.
(Majekodunmi, I am really sorry about how I mangled your name. If you would like to call into the show at 214-444-8655 and correctly pronounce your name, I will play it on the air for the next show.)
Thanks to everyone that replied. I was a little frustrated, my buddy Jason Van Orden – I know some of you know Jason from Internet Business Mastery – he replies and says, “I’m in Venice, Italy.” I love Kuala Lumpur, but he one-upped me with the whole Venice, Italy thing.
Thanks for your feedback. It makes me really appreciate the reach that this show has. How cool is it that a random guy like me can have a show like this and reach people as far away as Morocco and Nigeria. That’s amazing. I thank you very much for that and it’s really great to hear from all of you.
It made me thing, the other thing that I hadn’t done in a long time, when I login to iTunes I see reviews from the United States and I don’t see reviews in the Australia iTunes store and all these other iTunes stores. To those of you who have been leaving reviews in the Mexico iTunes store and so forth, thank you so much. I really do appreciate it.
The iTunes reviews make a huge difference to the reach of the show, because that’s part of how iTunes decides how to rank the show and when to return it to iTunes searchers. Thank you so much for those reviews. I would really appreciate if you enjoy the show and you have a moment to go to iTunes and leave a review that would be wonderful. You can do that at LateNightIM.com/itunes. I’d love that, no matter where you live in the world.
Affiliate Marketing Example
The next thing that I want to talk about is an example of the best kind of affiliate marketing that you can ever possibly do. If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, listen closely because this is the whole secret sauce.
This example is not something that I did, it’s something that you did – a listener did. I want to tell you exactly how this went down so that you can understand the kind of way that you can do affiliate marketing that really benefits people, that creates value, and you’ll get paid for that. Here we go.
Last week I mentioned that I was researching Beachbody, that I had been involved in P90X, that I was taking Shakology and I really like Shakeology. I like it for a lot of reasons; it’s absolutely brain-dead easy to use, it tastes pretty good, it has a long list of vitamins in it that seem reasonable to me, and it’s a relatively low carb way for me to start my day and get some protein. I’m the kind of the guy when I get up early in the morning and I need to get into work to beat the traffic, I’m not going to cook eggs every morning. So for my lifestyle, 12 ounces of almond milk and a scoop of magical powder is good for me, because that gets me out the door and that’s just awesome.
I mentioned this and Joe Canon, one of you who listens to the show, says, “Hey, I’m not a Beachbody coach,” which unfortunately Beachbody coaches have a little bit of a reputation for being overzealous about their products. Please don’t be offended if you’re a Beachbody coach, I’m sure you’re not like this.
One of the challenges, for example if you go and look at reviews of Beachbody products a lot of them are written by Beachbody coaches, which have a financial interest in the sale of Beachbody products. That’s an issue. That’s always an issue with any kind of affiliate marketing. It’s even a bigger issue, I believe, with Beachbody marketing because of the multilevel marketing strategy that they employ. Not only do you make money on your own sales, but you make money on the people that you recruit.
Nothing wrong with that, it’s awesome. But Beachbody doesn’t have control of all these people; some people are more authentic and transparent than others, some people are less so. A lot of times you’ll get this disclaimer, “I’m not a Beachbody coach,” which is code for “I’m not an overzealous advocate of this product.”
Joe says, “Hey, I’m not a Beachbody coach, I’m an exercise physiologist,” which is super cool, “Here’s my unbiased review of Shakeology, in case you missed it. Take care. I hope this is helpful to you.”
First of all, there’s this approach that Joe takes, which is a perfect approach for social media. I saw you talking about this, one Twitter, or saw a post on Facebook, or whatever, my search tool found you, or in Joe’s case it was “I happened to listen to your podcast,” and “here’s some helpful information that I have created that is relevant to what you’re talking about,” or what you need help with. That’s the magic.
Basically Joe is saying, “I don’t have an agenda, I’m not trying to sell you anything, but I do have an opinion and useful information about what you’re interested in, and here it is. Have a nice day.” End of discussion.
That’s a great approach. That is almost always a fantastic way. If you really want to add value, offer your content in that way.
So Joe has this thing that he describes as an unbiased review of Shakeology. It’s very impressive. (http://supplement-geek.com/shakeology-review/) I didn’t actually count the number of words, I estimate it to be around 2,000 words but I’m not sure exactly.
In this Shakeology review Joe talks all about Shakeology as a standalone product, which they often this as a standalone product for weight loss purposes. Shakeology really has two marketing vectors. One is “drink Shakeology and lsoe weight.” The other is “drink Shakeology and use it as a companion to your workout regime.” Those are sort of their two marketing vectors.
He goes through this review, he researches all about Shakeology, even including what the word “Shakeology” means and what it implies. He goes through the ingredients, the main ingredients, which include the nutrition label type stuff. He talks about the super-fruit blend. That’s one of the main marketing angles on Shakeology is that it would cost you $50 if you went to the grocery store and bought all the stuff you needed to jam into the shake.
He identifies ingredients, including ginkgo, that are in Shakeology that have a documented history of reacting with medications and he calls those out to people – that is super helpful. He also talks about some stuff that I don’t really understand, exercise physiology stuff, different nutritional chemicals and their effect on exercise physiology. He talks about the probiotics and the enzymes, the other ingredients. He explains these one by one, including stuff that I’ve never even heard of before, like Holy Basil and Barley Grass, and all this stuff that I don’t know anything about.
Then he breaks down clinical trials, or the lack thereof, including videos that the company has published, what you can get from the video and what is missing from the video, and what the side effects might be. He compares it to other shakes and talks about weight loss, taste, who makes it, and the coaching phenomenon that I was discussing earlier.
It’s a fantastic article.
I’ll tell you, this blog of Joe’s is not a pretty slicked up blog with tons of fancy design and stuff, it’s just a blog. It’s cram packed with useful information.
Yes, he has some affiliate links on there. I’m sure this blog generates some money. He even has some Adsense ads. It’s all good.
This is a super useful piece of content. I encourage you to go over to http://supplement-geek.com/shakeology-review/ and read this Shakeology review. Look at how many comments it has. It has comments, no doubt, because it’s such a great article that people are linking to it and it’s ranking well in the search engines. People are finding it useful.
I think that is the magical secret sauce when it comes to creating awesome affiliate marketing content.
My recommendation to you is that you look at this article and think about it in the context of what we talked about last week. Here I am talking about Shakeology, listener guy Joe makes a helpful comment and says, “Hey, I have this article that can help you. I’m an expert, by the way. Here, have this stuff.” I read it, it’s incredibly helpful, and then all of a sudden now I’m telling you about this on the podcast and I’m driving traffic. If I’m a regular person who is interested in nutrition, I’m bookmarking it in social media, I’m driving my Facebook friends to the article, and all of a sudden you have traffic on this thing and people are building links to it, it ranks in Google. Probably for the rest of forever this article will rank for Shakeology review.
That’s what you want to do when you’re doing affiliate marketing; you want to create incredibly valuable content that helps people make a buying decision and then let the rest take care of itself.
Joe, thanks for the article. Awesome job. I think this is a great example for everybody about how they can build an affiliate marketing based business, or even an ad placement business using Adsense, by writing about something that they really care about. Great job.
Late Night Listener Feedback
While we’re on the topic of cool things that happen on Facebook, I wanted to address one more piece of listener feedback. That was from Dave Tudor.
Dave writes in and says he’s been following the podcast for some time now and he wants to ask, in true Pat Flynn transparency fashion, am I prepared to divulge how much money I make from internet marketing, with the exception of the money I make as an affiliate from other internet marketing courses like Forever Affiliate. In other words, the question he’s asking, which I have been asked many times, is if I take away the money I make from talking about how to make money online, how much money is that, how much money can you really make doing this.
My policy has been completely opposite from Pat Flynn’s. I have two reasons that, with the exception of the Corn Sheller site, I don’t talk about the kind of money you can make or that I make from affiliate marketing.
One reason is I still have my day job, I don’t want to create confusion with my employer about who I think is paying my light bill. So I choose not to make this show about money and to not make this a show about leaving your day job and all that kind of stuff. That’s not what this show is about and I choose not to talk about that.
We’re going to get into this and I’m going to devote a whole show to legal stuff, but I’ve made a decision also that I don’t want to talk about earnings because I don’t want this to be an FTC matter about me telling you how much you can expect to make. I know that’s exactly the question Dave has asked, but right now at this point my policy is and remains that I don’t divulge my income from affiliate marketing.
Having said that, I can tell you some helpful things. I think another question that Dave is getting at is, “Can I feel pretty confident that I can really make some serious money with affiliate marketing? Is it possible?” There are some things I can tell you in this context that could be pretty helpful for all of us.
The first thing is I did a survey a long time ago, I should resurrect the survey and do it annually, that has been on my list of things to do that I have not done for a long time now. I asked people the simple question, “If you listen to my show or you found this survey some way, I want to know about you. Tell me how long you’ve been trying to make money online and whether or not you’ve made any.”
Link to the Internet Marketing Income Survey: https://www.latenightim.com/internet-marketing-income-survey/
The hard truth is the way big time vast majority of people had tried to make money online or were in the process of trying to make money online, but were not successful.
I looked at Forever Affiliate and I talked to 60 or so of the people that were in Forever Affiliate and the vast majority of those people did not make profit on Forever Affiliate. That’s a course that I sold/promoted, and we went through that in some excruciating detail for about three episodes (about 20 episodes ago).
The first thing I’ll say about making money on the internet is the vast majority of people who try to make money on the internet, try and subsequently fail. This is just a fact. As far as what I’ve observed and people that I’ve talked to, it is a fact.
If you look at something, if you’re buying products and you look at them and say, “This is probably going to work for me because it works for most people,” that’s wrong. The fact of the matter is that just based on pure statistics, programs for you to make money on the internet are probably not going to work for you.
Think about that. Here’s a guy who talks about making money online and affiliate marketing, and I’m telling you that if you’re new to affiliate marketing and you go and buy some product that it’s probably not going to work for you. That’s what the math says.
Of course, you may be better than average, you may be luckier than average, you may work harder than the average bear, and you may very well make it work. And people do. We’re going to talk about that here in a second.
The truth of the matter is that it’s not this locked up 100% thing.
The things that I see get in the way are people say they want to build an online business, but they don’t really even know what that means, so those people never figure it out and they fail. People buy the wrong products, get the wrong advice, do the wrong thing, follow the wrong guy, and they fail. People realize that making money online takes time and they give up too soon, and they fail.
People realize that making money online takes effort, and they fail. People make mistakes, they pick the wrong niche, they use the wrong traffic strategy, they get penalized by Google, they make some mistakes and rather than starting over they quit, and they fail. Then there are the people where it takes a long time and their wife or husband gets frustrated with all the time that they’re spending on it and so they quit to save their marriage, and they fail.
When you add up all those reasons that they fail, you end up with most people. That’s most people, they fail. There’s just no getting around that.
If you’re listening to somebody who is telling you that most people don’t fail, that’s not true. I don’t know what else to tell you, it’s just not true.
Now that you’re pumped up, fired up, and motivated, can you succeed? Absolutely, you can succeed. You can totally succeed.
You need all the opposite qualities of everything that I just discussed. You need to follow people who know what they’re talking about and who are honest with you. You need to do the hard work. You need to be smart. You need to stay at it. You need to not give up. You need to stay focused. You need to do something that is proven and that works.
In the case of creating website properties and making money, absolutely you can do it. I’ll give you a couple of examples that are well known and published.
We’ve talked about ad nauseam the Corn Sheller site. What a dumb luck sort of site. Talk about blind hog finds an acorn (that’s something we say here in the south,) you just throw a keyword out that I have no idea how to monetize it, I build a site, it ranks and it makes a non-zero amount of money. To date it’s made about $1,000 over two years. It’s not retirement money, but definitely proof positive that this works.
Google is paying out billions of dollars in Adsense revenue each year, to my recollection, I don’t remember the exact number. That’s a lot of money and they’re paying that to real people who are placing Adsense ads on websites. Those people are making money. One of those people is Pat Flynn.
I will tell you that Pat Flynn is the real deal, he really built that Security Guard website, he built it in the way that he said he built it, there’s no tricks and nothing hidden up his sleeve. And he makes thousands of dollars a month on that website and he doesn’t touch it. That’s a real example of a guy who went out and found a niche, he didn’t know anything about it, he got a lot of content created for the site, he promoted it in the way that he promoted it, which some of those techniques are outdated now but it worked at the time. He was using the current techniques at the time, which I think he used article marketing. He was able to build the site successfully.
There are lots of other success stories out there. I think it’s definitely true that normal people can build websites and make hundreds to thousands of dollars per month. I think you can do that. I think normal people can do that with all the caveats that I’ve said above.
I can’t tell you whether or not you’re going to be successful, because as much as I try to know each and every listener, I really do try and I love getting to know listeners, I don’t know you. I don’t know Dave, I don’t know you, I don’t know all of you. I’d like to, but I don’t. So I don’t know what your personal situation is, how good you’re going to be at this, so I can’t really tell you.
I can tell you that on average people will fail. Really, in this business failure means quit. If it takes your four years to figure it out and then you make $5,000 a month after that four years, is that a failure or a success? Four years sounds like a really long time to me. I don’t know.
Maybe that’s another thing – what’s the definition of failure? I think nominally the biggest part of failure is “I quit,” and you stop paying your hosting fees and shut your website down and go away; you quit and you fail.
Dave, that’s a long winded answer. I would tell you also that there are certainly hundreds of thousands of people out there that are making six figure incomes online, in my estimation. I don’t really know, but there are a lot. By six figure, I mean just over $10,000 a month. That can be done. I don’t know that many of them, but they’re out there. I legitimately know a few of them. I know a couple of seven figure guys.
I’m not making six figures a year from my non-IM internet business, which is what you specifically asked about. I think I might be able to if I was doing it full time. I don’t think I can do that part time and do this podcast and do everything else that I’m doing.
Maybe that gives you a little box and kind of gives you a little more idea of where I’m at. I definitely do know that it is possible to make a six figure incomes online in affiliate marketing and people are doing it.
I know a lot more people that have added in some sort of niche specialization and they have information products for sale – not in the make money online niche, but information products about things that they really care about – and they’re doing really well. I have an online buddy who sells guitar lessons, I know people who do yoga, and all kinds of stuff. So you can make money doing information products as well.
I think the truth of the matter is the thing you need to understand from all of this is the likely outcome is failure. If you’re going to rise above that, it’s pretty likely if you get past failure that you can make hundreds to maybe thousands of dollars a month. I think that’s achievable. It’s more rarified to get above that.
If you talk to Andrew Hansen or somebody who really has this figured out – Andrew Hansen could take any website almost, he could go pick a niche at random, and in fact he just did this in some case study that he and Alex were doing as part of the Rankings Institute, just pick the niche and use traffic techniques and start generating over $3,000 a month in revenue on a site within a few months. He just did it and disclosed all the data. I see the data – there’s no hidden trick, no smoke, no mirrors. They did it and I’m aware of it, it’s real.
So it can absolutely be done. The question that you need to calibrate with this is, “Is that normal?” Absolutely not, it’s not normal. But you can do it and the risk is pretty low. That’s one of the things that is so attractive about this.
Dave, I hope that helps answer your question. It was a really long answer, but I hope that was helpful. If nothing else, it’s honest. It’s really what I think.
To those of you who might be thinking, “It’s really hard for me to trust what Mark says because he doesn’t disclose a Schedule-C like Pat does where he gives every nano-penny of income that he makes every month,” that’s cool. I’m totally cool with that. I totally understand that. You can take it for what it’s worth. You should weigh all of these things accordingly if that’s really important to you.
Dave, I hope that helps. If you have any further questions, please feel free to follow up on the Facebook fan page. I would be happy to continue this dialogue with you and the rest of the listeners out there.
Is Market Samurai Still a Good Keyword Tool?
Last thing before I let you go. One more question from Dave that came in, “What about Market Samurai, is that still a good tool?”
As far as I know, Market Samurai is still a good tool. I still recommend it, but I don’t personally use it anymore.
Market Samurai, at least the last time I used it, was a relatively slow tool and it was not good at studying 100 keywords at a time, or showing the 300 best keywords and giving a quick indication of what are the 20 I should go look at in detail. Market Samurai for me is “here’s a bunch of keywords, I can’t really tell you too much very quickly about whether or not they’re good, but if you want to drill into one of them at random then I can tell you a lot about it.”
That’s how I feel about Market Samurai. I think it’s a fine tool and it’s affordable, it’s not a bad place to start.
I prefer Keyword Canine. I will tell you that Keyword Canine is not perfect, it has bugs from time to time. Jon tells me that he’s working on Keyword Canine 3.0, which would be awesome. We’ve talked a little bit about what those features might be. If he follows through on that, that’s going to be just off the hook amazing.
Right now Keyword Canine 2.0 is my favorite tool that’s in this price range. My second favorite would probably be Long Tail Pro, although I don’t use that very much at all. I’m kind of a Keyword Canine guy and that meets my needs.
I hope that helps you out.
Wrapping Things Up…
Thanks a lot. That was a quick episode dealing with some listener feedback. I love that listener feedback, I love recorded messages. If you want to send me a message at 214-444-8655 and ask your question, I would love to deal with it on the air. If you’re listening on your cell phone, why don’t you go ahead and pause this podcast and give me a call; I’ll wait while you do that.
Thank you so much. I’ll get to those messages as soon as I can and I look forward to dealing with that feedback on a subsequent episode of Late Night Internet Marketing.