You convince that traffic to take some action. That convincing of taking an action is called conversion. What you want to do is you want to get traffic, and you want to convert it either into a sale or to capture a lead, or some other thing that has value. You want to get people to take action on your website.
One of the things you can get people to do in terms of taking action is you can get them to click on a link that drives them to some other website where they might make a purchase. When they make that purchase, you can get what’s called an affiliate commission.
You can think of this as commission sales, just like someone in a store. If you buy a product that someone is pitching, then that person who is pitching the product can get a commission. On the internet it works the same way in a lot of cases. If I review a product, and you read my review, and you agree with me and like and buy that product, and you arrive at that destination where you buy that product through my affiliate link, that merchant will often times pay me a commission.
One of the reasons that I’m covering this first on the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast is that you’ve already been a victim of affiliate marketing on this podcast. I want to point that out to you. If you’re new to internet marketing it’s something that you really need to understand.
When I told you about Moonlighting on the Internet with Yanik Silver, I directed you to the link www.latenightim.com/silver. When I told you about Jimmy Brown’s report, I directed you to www.latenightim.com/10ways. The reason I did that, and the main reason to do that is because on a podcast it’s really hard to give links, so you want something that’s simple and easy to remember, because people are likely driving in their car or otherwise engaged.
The other reason you do that is because when you click through to those links, in the case of the Yanik Silver book, you’re forwarded to Amazon, and in the case of the Jimmy D. Brown book you are forwarded to a location where you’re able to download a copy of the book.
In both cases those transactions result in the placing of what’s called a cookie on your computer that will give me credit for the sale if you buy something. So, that’s something that you always need to watch out for in internet marketing. You need to deal with people that are transparent, that you trust, because the potential exists that someone might recommend a product to you just to get the commission and not because they believe in the product.
Now, in my case, my whole business is based around this idea of transparency and trust. That’s why I’m telling you about this affiliate marketing business first. So, you can understand that there is money to be gained in the recommending of products.
In the case of the Yanik Silver book, what happens is you go to Amazon.com. Again, if you go to MasonWorld.com/silver you can see this in action. You’re taken directly to the Amazon page, and it turns out if you buy that book within 24 hours of having come through my link, I’ll get a few dollars on the sale of that book, or probably even a few pennies in the case of the Silver book.
In the case of the Jimmy Brown report, that’s a more sophisticated technique where Jimmy Brown has links to his many outstanding, excellent products that he offers in the report. If you buy something through one of the links in the report that link will be tracked back to me and I will get a commission for that sale.
That’s using an affiliate technique called report rebranding, which means that report you downloaded is specific to MasonWorld.com, and anyone who downloads that report gets credit.
That’s an important idea that you need to understand. I tell you that for three reasons. One is it’s an absolutely great example of how affiliate marketing can work. You recommend products, hopefully you make honest recommendations. That’s valuable to people. When people buy those products based on your recommendations, you get a commission for the sale. It’s valuable for the merchant, it’s valuable for the customer, it’s win-win when it’s done with integrity.
The second reason I tell you about that is because my business is built around transparency, and I want to make sure that you know that if you buy those products that can result in a commission for me through those mechanisms that I described.
The third reason that I want to tell you about that is because it’s very important that you be aware about this issue with affiliate marketing, because currently the FTC is really starting to crack down on affiliate marketers. Particularly in the spaces like diet pills and Acai Berry, and these other things that claim to be able to sell you magic in a bottle.
These kind of things the FTC is really going to start to crack down on. They’ve got a position paper on how they intend to do this. We’ll cover that in a later episode. That’s a more sophisticated topic.
So, if you’re thinking about doing affiliate marketing, I’m not a lawyer, you should make sure you understand the rules around that as they come down from the FTC. I can tell you what I think, but as with all legal and accounting matters, you should get professional advice, because I’m not a lawyer. But, that’s the third reason. You want to be aware of what’s going on with the FTC.
There is an enormous amount of affiliate marketing going on online right now today. That is not anything that you should be afraid of. Just be aware of it, so you can make sure and run your business like a business in a way that makes sense.
That is way to make money on the internet number one, affiliate marketing. It’s actually number two in Jimmy Brown’s book, and it’s covered in Chapter Three or Four, I think, in Yanik Silver’s book. You can get that and take a look at it. It’s covered really well there.
Now, you might wonder, in terms of affiliate marketing, what is it that you can actually promote? Well, it turns out you can promote almost anything through affiliate marketing. It’s really amazing. Everything from automobiles on eBay to the smallest packs of gum, to anything on Amazon.com.
All kinds of offers where the only thing that’s required for you to get a commission is for the person to actually leave their name and address. That would be a different kind of affiliate offer, but an offer nonetheless that’s available in affiliate marketing.
You can use traffic that you get from search engines. We’ll talk about that in future episodes. Or you can use traffic that you pay for. The bottom line in all these things is for affiliate marketing to work, you need to make more money than you spend to make the money.
It’s just like any other business opportunity. You have costs associated with getting the traffic in some cases. Those costs need to be less than the money that you make when you are successful with affiliate marketing.
If you’re interested in checking out some affiliate marketing opportunities out there, one of the places that I like to recommend is the Pepperjam Network. It’s easy to manage and easy to understand. Amazon.com has an affiliate program. As well as the granddaddy of them all, Commission Junction. You’ll be shocked and amazed at all the things that are for sale and that are available for you to promote on Commission Junction.
Now, these first 10 episodes or so we’re getting an overview of internet marketing, so you can kind of understand what’s possible on the internet. As past of that, I’ve promised you an ongoing series of interviews with top internet marketers about the most important things that they wish they had known when they started.
What I’d like to offer you now is an interview with a fantastic internet marketer and personal friend of mine, Josh Spaulding. Josh runs an outstanding blog about internet marketing and making money online over at Easy-OnlineMoney.com. You can find his blog where he’s writing about all of his experiences at Easy-OnlineMoney.com/blog.
Josh is a full time internet marketer. He’s incredibly successful. He’s run membership sites, article directories, he does affiliate marketing, he’s an expert at email marketing, he’s an information marketer with a bunch of successful paid and free products. Josh has pretty much done it all.
I got Josh on the phone and I asked him to tell me what the three most important things that he wished he knew about internet marketing when he started, and this is what he had to say.
And now the feature interview.
Mark Mason: Okay. Today we have on the line noted internet marketer, Josh Spaulding. Josh, of course, runs a blog over at Easy-OnlineMoney.com/blog. He’s also got a viral ebook that I know a lot of people have read on how to make money with Adsense called The 5 Dollar Formula. That’s available at 5dollarformula.com.
Josh has been doing internet marketing for a long time. Josh, how are you doing today?
Josh Spaulding: Pretty good.
Mark Mason: I really appreciate you being here. I think we talked a little bit before the call, and I told you the focus of this podcast is really, at least initially, about how people can get started online, how they can build an internet business, and particularly do it like I did, part time and in the evenings, investing a little bit at a time over time.
One of the things that I’m doing is talking to successful internet marketers and trying to extract those sort of special nuggets of wisdom. What is that you wish you had known, what are the most important three things?
But, before we get to that, tell me a little bit about what’s going on in your internet business, maybe about how you got where you are, just real briefly, and what you’re up to these days.
Josh Spaulding: Well, I started off, as you know, in the Army about 5 years ago. I was a Section Chief in the Army, stationed in Germany. So, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to dedicate to my business. But, just the dream of working at home and not having to answer to a boss, all of that just attracted me to it. So, I dedicated myself to doing it.
It took a little while. I couldn’t work too much, so I had to really concentrate on what I was doing and really make sure I was doing the right thing and be specific as to who I listened to and what I did. Anyway, I did it. I never gave up. Here I am today, 5 years later, spending as much time as I want with my family , sitting on my butt at home.
Mark Mason: That’s great. Now, I understand that you’ve got several business models going simultaneously. You have membership sites, products, Adsense sites. Can you just briefly kind of go through that list of different business models that you’ve worked with, either now or in the past?
Josh Spaulding: Well, I’ve done just about every internet marketing business model there is, with the exception pay per click. Even that, I know the basics. I’ve done a little pay per click here and there. I do a lot of email marketing, blogging, niche marketing, to include Adsense. Those are probably the primary business models I do.
Mark Mason: Okay, great.
Josh Spaulding: There’s a lot of good ones out there.
Mark Mason: Yeah. Excellent. Let’s talk about that a little bit. There’s so much noise out there, so much stuff going on. I was wondering how you would answer the following question, and this is really the reason why I have you on the phone today.
If you were a new internet marketer getting started, and there were three things that you could know, three things that maybe you wish you had known when you got started, or three most important lessons that you’ve learned that you’d like to pass onto somebody that’s just getting started. What are those three things?
Josh Spaulding: Number one would definitely be pick a business model and stick with it. That’s the biggest problem I think a lot of people face when they’re trying to start an online business, or even offline business.
There’s so many different ways to make money online and offline. You get on all these newsletters, and you follow all these blogs, and each one of these people are doing something different. This guy isn’t going to make his money exactly the same way as this guy.
So, you have to first understand the different business models. Pick one, start off with one, understand it and go from there. Definitely the first and foremost.
Mark Mason: That’s awesome, because the first several, maybe five or 10 episodes of this podcast are going to be all about the different business models that are available out there, just to give people an overview so they can understand what the landscape is.
Then, of course, we’re going to niche down to some of the business models that you and I are more familiar with around email marketing, niche blogging, and niche site creation. But, I want to make sure, as you say, people understand what business models are out there so they can get a feel for the landscape.
So, what’s number two?
Josh Spaulding: Number two, invest in knowledge and tools, but be selective. Just like I said, you’re going to be on a lot of mailing lists, and you’re going to be reading a lot of blogs, and there’s going to be a lot of people pitching different products to you.
That’s another business model, business to business, internet marketers trying to sell to internet marketers. 99 out of 100 people get into that web, and they get sold to all the time. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. It can expedite your learning and your education. But, know what you’re spending money on.
If you’re concentrating on niche marketing and someone is promoting a pay per click product, don’t buy it, because that’s not what you’re concentrating on. A lot of people do that. There’s a lot of good people out there that are good at copywriting, that are good at convincing you that you really need this. It may be a good product, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need it for what you’re doing right now.
Mark Mason: It’s funny that you mention that. I call that getting distracted by bright shiny objects. That’s a problem that I used to have, and I completely resonate with that one.
So, the third one then, what would the third one be?
Josh Spaulding: The third one, never, ever give up. You’re going to fail. It doesn’t matter what you do, if it’s worth doing you’re going to fail.
No one is perfect in this world. There are very few people who are going to start a business and just start making money right away. 99.99 percent of everyone who starts a business, whether it’s online or offline, they fail. Most of us fail over and over and over again.
That’s where a lot of people go wrong. That’s why a lot of people quit. They say, like, 99 or 98 percent of everyone who tries to start an internet business, quits. The reason why is they fail just like everyone else, just like the 2 percent that don’t, but the only difference is they quit where the others didn’t.
You have to understand that you’re going to fail no matter what. You’re going to fail. You just have to pick yourself up and keep going. That’s what makes a difference.
Mark Mason: Very good. That’s good advice for anything, I think it extends far beyond internet marketing.
Josh Spaulding: Yes, absolutely.
Mark Mason: Very good. I’ve told people this in the past, but Josh, you’re one of the internet marketers that I was following when I started out and I still follow you. How can people find you? Where’s the place to go if they’re looking for you on Twitter or on the web?
Can you throw down a couple of places where people can seek you out, or maybe even some of your products that you think could help people that are starting out online.
Josh Spaulding: Sure. Twitter, it’s getting so popular these days, I’m Josh_Spaulding. That’s twitter.com/Josh_Spaulding.
Then, as you said at the beginning of the podcast, I have a blog at Easy-OnlineMoney.com/blog. From there you can find all my products and all my free information, and basically everything.
Mark Mason: You’ve got a number of free products. I know I’ve read each and every one of them, they’re outstanding. I’ll be recommending those on future podcasts as we get to those topics, like SEO, and some of the other things that you’ve done.
I really appreciate your time today. I know you’re a busy guy, so I’m going to let you go. I appreciate it, and I hope you have a fantastic day.
Josh Spaulding: No problem at all. Thank you.
Mark Mason: Thank you, very much.
All right. That wraps it up for the second episode of the Mason World Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast.
Just as a reminder, we’re very interested in your feedback and questions. Please give us a call on our digital voice line, we’d love to play your call on the show. The number is 214-444-8655.
We’ve already got a question from Tony. We’ll be looking at that on the next episode of the Mason World Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast. Thanks, and have a fantastic day.
Thanks for listening to the Mason World Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast. For more information about this program, and to get the show notes, be sure to visit our website at MasonWorld.com/podcast. Follow @MasonWorld on Twitter.
Have you got a question or comment for Mark? Let us know by leaving us a voicemail on our digital recording line at 214-444-8655. We may use your message on a future episode of the Mason World Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast.
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Finally, always remember that all business involves risk. Internet business is no exception. Your ability to make money with the concepts discussed in this program and on MasonWorld.com depends on many things, including your effort and capability. Since these factors according to individuals, we cannot guarantee your success or income level, and we are not responsible for any of your actions.
Thanks again for listening to the Mason World Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast, building internet businesses one night at a time. Have a great day.