Is Kim Kardashian Really a Marketing Genius?





Kim Kardashian is probably best known for certain assets many women wish they had and many men desire. But her claim to fame doesn’t end there. More people probably know the name Kardashian than know why we call a signature a John Hancock. Many blame Kim’s sex tape, leaked in 2007, for the Kardashian fame. And while, yes, this put Kim and Ray J on the front page of every newspaper in the country, viral doesn’t always equate instant fame (just look at Rebecca Black).

It’s what you do with your sudden notoriety that counts. Kim pounced. She took a sex tape lawsuit and turned it into gold.

How did she do it? Let’s take a look.

1. No Publicity Is Bad Publicity

It’s how the most successful celebrities rise to the top. In fact, one such celebrity fuzzball is in the White House at this very moment because he adopted this motto. No publicity is bad publicity. And it works.

“Like water off a duck’s back” is the way my grandpa would have put it. A sex tape scandal would have sunk so many other people, but to the Kardashians, it was an opportunity.

Why is Kardashian a household name? Because there are just as many haters as there are lovers of the Kardashians. Just like Trump’s fanbase, the haters in the Kardashian world only serve to cement the lovers.

Every time controversy blows up in the Kardashian world (think divorcing a basketball player you married three months ago), Kim’s audience gets a treat. They get to watch all the haters both in media and outside media go wild. And they get to watch Kim and her family take it with the grace of Olympian ice skaters.

Many companies shy away from controversy and there are some subjects you just don’t touch. But stirring the pot isn’t necessarily a bad idea. And sometimes, you can get away with it, apologize, and come away with even more fans.

Just look at Kendall Jenner and her Pepsi stunt. I personally doubt she cared a whit about whitewashed protestors. She’s in it for the fame and the money.

2. Kim Plays to Her Audience

Who is Kim’s audience? It’s the people who wish they could be her or at least wish they could live “the life” (whatever that is).

Before the sex tape scandal, Kim and her sisters started a business geared toward rich people with too many clothes. They would raid a person’s closet and sell off their stuff on eBay. All for a pretty penny.

The Kardashians were already living a rich Californian lifestyle beforehand. And they knew that once fame kicked in, many would envy their way of life.

Kim delivers to her audience what they crave. Selfies in bathing suits. Vacations in exotic locations. Drama.

It’s pretty easy for Kim to define her audience. And she probably (no, definitely) has a marketing manager running her numbers. But that doesn’t mean you can’t emulate her (marketing manager’s) practices.

Give your audience what they want. If you’re an outdoor adventure company, your audience wants stories that inspire adventures. If you’re a web design company, your audience wants to know how to build an awesome website.

 

3. All the Different Baskets

Your audience may not be on only one social media app. They certainly consume more than one form of media. If you’re looking to influence the most people, you have to diversify your efforts.

This is exactly what Kim continues to do. If she had settled for the TV show and spin-off, she would still be rolling in fame. But Kim would not be satisfied.

Her name is on everything from diets to exercise videos to clothing lines and makeup. Heck, she even has her own mobile video game (you bet she’s indoctrinating young minds with that one!).

The lesson here is that with every market you enter, you gain that much more influence. But be careful. Don’t spread beyond what you can handle.

While diversifying will increase your audience, said audience expects a certain level of engagement. Growing beyond your ability to engage will make any effort to gain influence through diversification moot.

4. Feel Fully Invested Before Jumping In

Kim is sometimes late to the party. And she touts that as a good thing. When presented with a new marketing concept, Kim wants to fully investigate it before investing.

This is wisdom in the most unlikely of places. While an entrepreneur should take risks (they would never step out the door otherwise), they should also do their research.

What is the likelihood of failure? Is the reward worth it? Will it impact my brand?

A great example of Kim’s hesitancy paying off: Kimoji. The app was an idea long in the works. Think years.

Waiting for the app launch was the smart move. Mobile technology had evolved to the point where a custom emoji app could break the Apple Store.

The best entrepreneurs analyze trends and take calculated risks. They develop a promotion strategy based on real data and not entirely on gut instinct.

5. The Kardashian Brand Consistency

Every time Kim steps outside her door or puts a photo of herself (or parts of herself) out there, she’s instantly recognizable as “Kim.” Even her emoji app screams Kim Kardashian (just look at any screenshot of the thing–peaches anyone?).

It’s brand consistency that keeps people coming back for more. If one day you’re doing Let’s Play Videos and the next you’re doing a makeup tutorial, you’ll lose your audience.

Unless randomness is your M.O., then you’d better be freakin’ random all the time.

Don’t Take It Laying Down

Whatever you think of Kim Kardashian, she didn’t take her fame laying down. She made something of strange circumstances and launched a successful personal brand most envy.

Learn what you can from successful celebrities. If you can plug in their strategy, you might find yourself in a mansion on the coast some day.

Want more celebrity entrepreneur advice? Click here.

 

 

 

Why Warren Buffett Still Uses a Flip Phone





Why doesn’t Warren Buffett use a smartphone? Because he’s “out of touch.” His words. Not mine. But why are people even asking this question? Because Warren Buffett owns a large chunk of Apple. And Apple is best known for its iPhone. Even when the CEO of Apple asked Buffett if he wanted one of the famed iPhones, Buffet said “Nope!” Buffett isn’t alone among his generational peers. The early Baby Boomers and late Silent Generation are having a hard time keeping up with technology despite its relative ease of use.

Why is this? Why are flip-phones so much more comfortable than widgets? Let’s take a look.

1. It’s a Global Phenomenon

You would think that maybe our country was somehow “behind” technologically to countries like Japan. But the seniors in our country aren’t unique. In fact, an initiative in the Asia-Pacific region, Project Silverline, is attempting to connect seniors with used smartphones.

The tech industry is struggling to convince seniors in the region to adopt the not so nascent tech. Why do they care? Because the entire industry earned three trillion dollars this last year and it just keeps growing.

But some investors are skeptical that we will ever see the elderly adopt smartphone and tablet technology. But what they don’t realize is that their marketing the tech all wrong.

They’re attempting to create tech that marks a senior as “old.” Easy to use card systems, old-looking phones, etc. Instead, they should be figuring out ways to make seniors feel young again through technology.

They need to plug into actual desires and wants rather than making stereotypical assumptions.

2. Seniors Don’t Feel Safe

We’ve all gotten used to the idea that our information just isn’t private anymore. At least most of our information.

The only thing anyone could know about you fifty years ago was your address and phone number. You had to specifically meet people and tell them about your life. Yes, gossip happened, but that was just gossip.

Now, your entire life is on the cloud. Everything from your habits to your banking information in online somewhere stored in some server. We hear constantly about stolen data on the news.

Why would you feel safe? It’s not safe out there.

And when you don’t fully understand how a technology works, you feel even less safe when you use it.

Last time I was at my grandma’s house, she was trying to show me photos of family on her iPad. As she swiped through her apps, she got a notification that her OS was out of date. You could see the hesitation and fear in her eyes.

She told me that she didn’t understand the agreement they were trying to get her to sign. I tried to explain that the update would make her safer. She didn’t believe me.

Instead, she dismissed the notification and kept searching for her email app.

If it weren’t for her desire to keep up with family through e-mail, my grandmother would not own an iPad (a gift from my mother). It’s a scary device to her, too easy to mess up and too layered to use.

Coming Late to the Party

Many of us have had time to adapt to the ever complicated ecosystem of mobile technology. As companies pushed to add more and more functionality to phones, consumers adapted.

But a market remained for flip-phones and easier modes of communication. Thus a whole generation refused to move forward with technology, choosing instead the easier and available route of sticking with flip-phones.

Now that it’s becoming difficult to communicate without a smart device, many seniors are entering the market late. This makes the learning curve for seniors steeper than if they had gradually adopted the technology like the rest of us.

But seniors don’t want devices marketed as “simple and easy to use.” They want to be like the rest of us.

3. What is the Solution?

The market already created a solution. Its becoming prevalent little by little. And that’s technology you control with your voice.

Seniors don’t need devices specifically designed for them because technology is already moving toward simplicity. While we saw an uptick in feature cramming over the last ten years, voice technologies and smart home devices are reversing this trend.

Now, if you have the resources to convert your home, you can control nearly every aspect of your house with merely your voice. Since companies like Nest and Amazon have joined forces, you can do anything from turning on your lights to setting your security alarm all from the comfort of your recliner.

Seniors will be safer in a smart home. When I was a kid, commercials marketed an emergency device to seniors. The phrase “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” is cemented in my brain.

Now seniors won’t need to wear some cheap bit of plastic but be able to call 911 or a relative even if they’ve fallen. Smart sensors in the home will soon be able to monitor a person’s movements and alert a family member if someone has fallen.

For all of us, independence is a major concern. We all want to be able to make our own decisions in relative safety. This doesn’t change in later life. Smart technologies will allow seniors more autonomy in their own home and allow them to live on their own longer.

Should We Market to Seniors Differently?

Technological change is happening so rapidly today that it’s hard to keep up even if you are in “the know.” But seniors aren’t different than the rest of the population in their desire for ease and autonomy.

If you’re one of those companies marketing to seniors, stop trying so hard. The technology is already accessible. All you have to do is point the way.

What do you think? Should tech marketers treat seniors differently? Weigh in below.

 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Kylie Jenner





Last month, Snap Inc. lost $1 billion in market value. This was their worst trading day since they went public in 2017. Why? Because Kylie Jenner tweeted.

Whether this was a calculated move (does Kylie own stock in Instagram?) or not, that kind of power is astounding. 377,000 people liked her status. That’s like the size of the U.S. National Guard.

But what exactly does Kylie Jenner do with her marketing power? Let’s find out.

1. What Actually Happened with Snapchat?

When most of us have a #showerthought, a company doesn’t lose a billion dollars of worth overnight. But that’s the power of social media celebrity-hood.

By the time Kylie Jenner posted her tweet, Snapchat was actually worth $1 billion less than it had been, investors just hadn’t realized. The Snapchat user base has been dwindling for months thanks to other social media platforms like Instagram who copied Snap’s media model.

When Jenner tweeted, thousands of people said, “Oh, yeah, I have Snapchat on my phone! Meh.”

Kylie was one of the many celebrities who adopted the social media platform a few years ago. And when Snapchat began to officially recognize celebrities, Jenner received a crown emoji while other “Official” users received their own emoji.

This highlights one thing about social media that companies in the biz need to remember. Celebrities are the backbone of their user base. If they don’t have the endorsement of celebrities, they most likely won’t have the endorsement of the public.

This could mean real value loss for social media companies.

The power that Jenner wields? It’s essentially the ability to plug into the consciousness of her followers. If she abandons a platform, she brings thousands if not millions with her.

Twitter better hope they don’t do something to upset the Queen of social media. She’s got over 25 million followers there.

2. Kylie’s Cosmetics Victory

According to US Presort, 65% of consumers check online before deciding whether they trust a brand. But when a celebrity is behind a brand, a switch flips in their brains and trust becomes implicit for some. Which might be why Jenner’s makeup brand made $420 million in only 18 months.

But we can’t just chalk all of her marketing success up to her celebrity status.

When you have celebrity reach like Kylie Jenner, you might be tempted to rest on your laurels. “Sure!” You think, “I’ve always wanted to build a cosmetics company!” You build a product line and then in your hubris and overconfidence over produce and tank your company.

But Jenner was smart. She used basic economics to her advantage and produced a limited number of products for her first cosmetics line. The $29 Kylie Lip Kit immediately sold out and within six weeks of business, Jenner partnered with a manufacturer.

Forbes Fame

Kylie already had it all. But a lot of that was given to her. Making something herself was a big motivation for creating her cosmetics company.

And becoming the youngest celebrity on Forbes 100 isn’t an honor that’s easy to achieve. She received the honor for making $41 million with her company over a year.

Kylie says that her reach and fame was always background noise to her. She didn’t realize how much she had achieved until she made it on the Forbes 100.

Online Only

Kylie Cosmetics is toe-to-toe with other major cosmetics brands. But major brands like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder have one major cost Kylie Cosmetics doesn’t. Brick and mortar.

While Kylie plans on opening some pop-up stores in Chicago and Houston, her brand is entirely online. This eliminates an incredible amount of overhead from warehouse and store logistics to rent and store employees.

The accelerated rate at which Kylie Cosmetics can earn will possibly help them reach the coveted $1 billion dollar mark. This took other major companies decades to earn.

3. Business Woman and Mother

When Kylie was a child, the term businesswoman was a slight. Success-driven women weren’t seen as legitimate women who could raise a family. Jenner proved that stereotype wrong recently.

While still tackling her cosmetics business, Kylie is pivoting her brand to focus on mothers. Why? Because she’s becoming a mother.

Brands do have to pivot. But usually, that’s in relation to an outside force or internal growth. Kylie’s audience hasn’t changed and thus it’s an interesting thing she’s decided to focus on mothers.

But this might be a wise move on her part. She can continue to market to young people through her cosmetics brand. But her personal brand will now focus on mothers who are fashion conscious.

This is perfect because many brands are clamoring to sell their baby merchandise. Little Nike pumps? You bet Jenner’s gonna be hawking those on her social media when her kid can wear them.

Cosmetics Boost

But what’s really going to make Kylie mad cash is her “Baby Stormi-inspired” cosmetics collection. With new palettes like “Eye of the Storm” and “Calm Before the Storm” plus eyeshadows like “Starbaby,” Kylie Cosmetics is going to be selling out fast.

Branding for these new baby-inspired products is consistent from the silver lightning bolts on the packaging to the lightning bolts etched into the lipstick.

Kylie didn’t need to pivot her personal brand at all. She’s got enough in her cosmetics branding to last her a lifetime of extra revenue and fame.

Kylie Jenner Has Invested Well

Whether you admire or scoff at the 20-year-old Jenner’s fame and success, it’s undeniable that she’s taken her talents and put them to good use. If she continues in her endeavors as an entrepreneur, she will be forever known as a successful businesswoman, which today is no longer a slight.

If you’re interested in more celebrity entrepreneur news, check out more at shoemoney.com.

 

How To Make Passive Income Online (3 Business Models)





I’ve been building businesses since 2001 and have generated over $5M in earnings. In this post, I’ll distill what I’ve learned into three passive income business models you can choose from.

How To Make Passive Income Online (3 Business Models)

The internet is an amazing place, folks. I probably don’t need to tell you there’s more than one way to make money online. And today, I’m going to give you the lowdown on three strategies you can use to do just that! I’ve built several businesses since 2008 using one or more of these models. I’ve been featured in magazines and articles across the globe, and since I started my journey I’ve generated over $5M in earnings from these businesses. All of my income and expenses for those businesses dating back to October 2008 have been tracked publicly.

But you don’t have to read all of my income reports to learn how I’ve made these three strategies work for me—or how they can work for you.

In this post, I’ll distill what I’ve learned into three business models you can choose from to decide which path you want to go down.

Those three models are the FP, AA, and EP models.

“But those are just acronyms, Pat! Tell me what they meeeeeaan!”

Fear not. I’ll explain them all, and help you figure out which one suits you best.

A Quick Primer on Passive Income

But first, let’s about talk passive income! What is passive income? There are many different definitions out there, but mine goes something like this: Passive income is all about building online businesses that can work for you, that allow you to generate income, and grow and scale, without a real-time presence. In other words, you don’t trade time for money. You build something up front that can continue to work for you over time.

“But Pat,” you might be asking, “is this really possible?” It’s definitely possible. And you don’t need a huge investment, either. Unlike investments such as real estate or stocks, you don’t need a ton of money to start to build something.

But there’s one thing you need to be super clear on. It’s definitely not easy to do. Some people may tell you there’s a magic button or blueprint you can use to get rich, all by doing nothing. Don’t get me started on people who say you can make it happen overnight. No way, no how. It takes a lot of hard work. You’ve got to put in the hours.

You have to work hard now to build assets that will continue to work for you later. But once you start to build that passive income stream, you start to gain a little flexibility and freedom. You have a little more time to do more things, build even more passive income streams—or do fewer things, if that’s what you prefer!

So as I introduce these three business models to you, realize that yes, they all take time, but that time will also be very much worth it.

Cool? Okay, let’s get started.

The FP Model: Starting with Active Income

FP is the Freelance to Product model. In this model, you start by freelancing, then you find a problem that can be solved with a product.

Yes, we’re talking about passive income. And yes, freelancing is active income. So what’s the deal? To be perfectly honest, I believe freelancing is the #1 way to get started a building business of your own. You’ll learn a lot of skills, and you’ll get paid a lot quicker, too. You need some active income first!

But the biggest reason I recommend starting with freelancing is you’ll get to know the industry you’re in really well. You’ll learn it so well, that you’ll be able to find the holes, the opportunities, that allow you to create a successful product-based business.

Let me tell you about my friend Brian Casel. He was a freelance web designer who used to bill all his work by the project and sometimes by the hour; it was all tied to his time. He could only fit in a certain number of projects, and he was basically living project to project. It was not an ideal situation.

Brian had found a huge need for web design in the restaurant and food truck space. After getting tired of working with client after client, he decided to turn his service-based business into a product-based one. He made his services more standardized and productized. He eliminated all his client work and created templates and products to serve that market instead. And it’s been going great for him.

All active businesses can be turned into more passive businesses by using products you’ve already made, by using software to do a lot of the legwork, and even having other humans do some of the work, too.

The AA Model: Advertising Your Way to Income

Next up, I’ll tell you how I made my first bit of passive income in 2008 with business model #2: the AA Model.

AA stands for the Audience and Advertising Model. It’s one of the most-used models for building passive income online—but it does come with a fair number of warnings, which I’ll share with you in a minute.

If you’re a YouTube personality, this is how you generate your income. If you’re a blogger who gets a lot of traffic to your site and uses advertising or sponsorships, then you’re also following the AA Model. Got a podcast with sponsorships? Same deal. You have an audience, and you have advertisers that want to get in front of that audience, so you marry the two and get paid for it.

When I started building my architecture-related business in 2008, I made my first dollar through advertising. I’d spent a lot of time and money building the site and getting traffic. Then one day I threw an ad on the site one day, and I made $1.18. Sure, I could find that much under my couch cushions—but that’s not the point! The point is that I was able to build something online, put an ad up, and make money without having to do anything. I learned it was possible, and it motivated me to move forward.

Eventually, I put more ads on the site. Traffic continued to grow, and I started earning between $30 and $50 a day just from advertising.

Then I built a brand-new site, got even more traffic, put ads on it, and . . . didn’t make more than $50 after six months of advertising. And therein lies one of the downsides of the AA Model. Ads are not super-predictable, especially auto-generated ones like those through Google AdSense.

There’s a second downside to this model. Although I’ve done advertising and sponsorships in the past, and have made hundreds of thousands of dollars doing so, the truth is it takes a lot of time for this business model to start to generate income for you, because you need to build that audience first. In addition, what happens when you build your audience on a platform that ends up changing its algorithm, affecting how often you actually get seen by the audience you’ve built?

In order to build an audience, you need to have a platform. You need to have something worth following and sharing; something that’s valuable to others. And that, of course, takes time. That’s not to say you can’t build a huge audience in a short amount of time. But as much as we hear about the people who’ve succeeding at doing this, we don’t hear about the millions of others who are struggling every day to get just a few more fans and followers.

Long story short: the AA Model, while it can work for you, should be approached with care.

The EP Model: Making Money by Being Expert Enough

But the great thing is, you don’t need a huge audience to generate passive income and make money online!

That’s why if I had the choice, I’d go with the EP Model.

This is the Expert to Product Model. Now, don’t let the term “expert” scare you away—because it’s probably not what you think it is. Most people think an expert is someone who’s a master at something. Someone with a special degree or training, who’s put in those 10,000 hours, who is just great at what they do.

That’s not the kind of expert I’m talking about here.

What I mean is that you can be an expert in the eyes of someone else just by knowing a little more than they do. Because guess what? You have experiences, ideas, and opinions that are all unique to you. The goal is to become expert enough to earn the trust of others so that they’ll want to learn even more from you.

Quick story: Remember that $1.18 I found in the couch? Even when that increased to $30 to $50 a day, it still wasn’t enough to live on. So I looked for other options. In August 2008, after people started to know who I was and how I could help them pass the LEED certification exam through my blog, I wrote an ebook. It included all the information I knew about passing this exam, and I sold it on my blog for $19.95.

On October 2, 2008, when I finally put the book online, I sold my first copy, which was an amazing feeling. Fast-forward through October 2008, and I ended up making $7,126.91 just from ebook sales!

The craziest part of this was I’d wake up in the morning and there would be more money in my bank account, from people who had bought my book overnight. When you think about it, an online store that sells something that’s digital is something that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Using tools, software and systems, you can automate the delivery process so you literally don’t have to do anything to serve that audience. That’s super powerful.

What’s also really important to realize here is that when I took the exam I was teaching people to study for, I didn’t get a perfect score. In fact, I didn’t even get close to a perfect score. I passed. But I also knew a lot about this exam—way more than somebody who was just getting started diving into studying for it. And it was because of that, because I was just a few steps ahead of them, that they trusted me to help them with that information. To support this, I provided a lot of great free value to help them along the way. I engaged in conversations and interacted in comments sections and on forums. Most of all, I just really cared about those people, because I struggled big-time with that exam myself.

Here’s the truth: a successful business is something that successfully solves a problem. And that business can make more money in two ways: solving more people’s problems, or solving bigger problems. The cool thing about the EP Model is that sometimes these products don’t even have to be yours. You can generate income by recommending other people’s or companies’ services or products. This is called affiliate marketing. It’s actually how I’ve made most of my money since I started in 2008.

The first time I did affiliate marketing was way back in the day on my architecture exam website. I connected with a company that sold practice exams, which gave me $22 for every person who bought one of their exams via my site. Since then, I’ve generated over $250,000 simply by recommending that product alone. Again, this is a product that was not mine, but one that has still been helpful to my audience. This was all done with thousands of visitors a month. Not millions, or even hundreds of thousands.

So how do you get started with the EP Model? First, you need to be an expert in the eyes of those you’re looking to serve. And again, you don’t need all those qualifications and credentials. A lot of people gain expertise and credibility just by sharing their experience learning something, which is something I’ve done on SPI.com. If you think about it, many people in the personal finance or fitness space establish their authority by sharing their journey and their process. They do it by sharing their experiences—and you can do the same thing, too.

Another great way to get started is to identify an area of interest you have. Then, go out and start talking to people. Ask them, “What are you struggling with right now? What are your biggest pains? What’s something you wish existed that doesn’t?” That’ll give you some ideas about where to get started.

Active Problem Solving + Automation = Passive Income Success

Remember, a successful business solves people’s problems. At first, you’re going to have to do the legwork and put in the time. But it’s about building something now so you can reap the benefits later, with the help of software, tools, automation, and people you hire. In this way, you can then turn this business that solves people’s problems into something that generates passive income for you!

What model resonates with you most? Leave a comment below with your pick!

 

7 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2018





There are movers and shakers in every industry, but marketers tend to make a big name for themselves. After all, that’s their skill set — making cool things look even cooler and getting the word out about them. So what marketing influencers are on the horizon these days? Who are the next faces to watch, the big fish growing even bigger? In this article, we’ll give you a list of ten marketing influencers you should keep an eye on in 2018. These people are doing big things and plan to only make more waves in the coming year.

Read on for insight into what these experts in their field are up to. Keep tabs on their success as they move up in the world of marketing.

1. Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the most well known online marketers in the game today. He hosts regular webinars and hosts an informative blog on all things digital.

Those wishing to start a blog of their own or begin making money online can turn to Patel’s blog for in-depth articles on all steps of the blogging process.

His podcast, called Marketing School, is also a popular way to continue along one’s journey in the online marketing world.

Whether you don’t know the first thing about starting a blog or creating a website or you simply want to drive more revenue to your site, Patel likely has resources that are applicable to you.

2. Aaron Nosbisch

Aaron Nosbisch is a rising star in the world of digital marketing and startup development. He led MONQ, a multi-million dollar earning startup in the health and wellness world, to immense success as the Chief Marketing Officer.

However, his skills go much further back than the recent boom of startups in the modern economy. In fact, he launched his first company at the tender age of 13.

From there, he started a clothing line, toured the country in a hardcore band and was signed, then headed off on his own to carve his own path and put his technology skills to good use.

Nosbisch is the one person you’ll want to keep an eye on if you desire to keep current on startups, online marketing, and successful campaign strategies in the modern online economy.

Additionally, Nosbisch employs innovative techniques in fields like influencer marketing to grow businesses rapidly and make them popular across the Internet and beyond. His expertise in the e-commerce field is unparalleled, as is his experience in leading modern day businesses to thunderous profitability.

3. Greg Goodman

Greg Goodman, the founder of Goodman Creatives, has a background in marketing and communications.

He founded his digital marketing agency based on his passion for endowing each website and marketing campaign with a personal touch of creativity.

Goodman is a wizard in the worlds of web design, photography, and marketing. He encourages finding opportunities born of a passion and zeal for what you’re doing.

What makes him an influencer worth watching? He began crafting websites with the dawn of the Internet, decades ago. In addition, after spending time in the corporate world, he left to travel the globe and kept a record of his adventures for all to enjoy.

He then starred in a television show on National Geographic before finally launching his digital agency to help clients around the world build their online presence in a way that represents their business the best way possible.

It’s anyone’s guess what he’ll get up to next!

4. Clinton Senkow

Clinton Senkow has garnered the attention of big names like Forbes, Inc., Mashable, and The Huffington Post.

Senkow’s current project is an online platform called Influencive, a new form of media that concentrates primarily on unconventional news in the worlds of entrepreneurship, blockchain, and other forms of modern success.

Senkow’s offerings include services like business development, personal branding, partnerships, blockchain advisory, and more.

If you want to keep up with news items like what works in the business world of today, keep tabs on Senkow’s next moves.

5. Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is known for his expertise in Facebook marketing. He is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics. This digital marketing company partners with schools to train young adults.

In addition, Yu often speaks at conferences and forums around the country to share his knowledge of online marketing and advertising techniques that truly work.

He even co-authored a book called Facebook Nation, which is now used as a textbook in schools and universities across the nation.

Yu’s concentration on mentoring young minds — those making up the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders — is a key part of his success as a leader and authority in the online marketing world.

6. Ryan Deiss

Ryan Deiss is the founder and CEO of popular online platform DigitalMarketer, a digital media, and e-commerce group.

Deiss is also a best selling author and popular speaker in the world of marketing in the digital age.

Through his company, Deiss has helped to grow big names like Uber, Harper Collins Publishers, and more. Digital marketing professionals all over the world turn to the resources found on Deiss’s site for information and insight they simply could not get anywhere else.

On a mission to grow businesses on a large scale, you’re sure to be hearing more and more of Deiss in the years to come.

7. Savvas Zortikis

If you’re looking for just the right combination of growth marketing, product development, and Scandinavian inspired design, Savvas Zortikis is your guy.

He founded companies Viral Loops and GrowthRocks as the main avenues through which he performs his work.

Zortikis offers growth marketing services to startups and established companies by creating viral campaigns and contests to win the attention of large audiences around the world.

His growth hacking techniques have garnered him attention from the likes of established publications like Forbes.

Why Watch Online Marketers

Looking to stay ahead in the marketing world? Watch these influencers and keep tabs on their next big moves.

The best way to keep on top of the trends is to keep up with the movers and shakers who are behind them.

Want more tips on making money online? Check out other articles.

 

 

The Hidden Power of Google Maps for SEO – Must Read For Online Marketing Pros (2018)





With the average small business spending $75,000 a year on digital marketing, that can be a serious chunk of your budget to gamble on questionable returns. If you don’t know much about SEO or digital advertising, you might suspect that the money you’re investing isn’t coming back to you. By taking advantage of Google Maps as a local SEO solution, you can make leaps in digital marketing at no cost. One of the major advantages of promoting your business with SEO is that most solutions have no cost of entry. Search engines use a tool called a web crawler to index every site on the internet and to rank them for certain criteria. They rank sites based on how well each site meets their criteria and their user searches.

As companies hustle to meet Google’s search criteria to get ranked highly, many companies overlook the hidden power of Google Maps. Get ahead of the competition by following these 6 steps.

1. Fix Your Google My Business Listing

Your first step for getting listed on Google Maps is to make sure you have a strong business listing on Google. Google My Business is their proprietary directory for finding businesses online. Your listing will have basic information about your business including your address, number, and hours of operation.

Take the time to be precise when you pick out your category. Take some photos and upload them to your profile. Make sure you’re using them to highlight the chosen category because you might only get one chance to show off on a Google Maps search.

If you’ve said you’re an Italian restaurant, don’t show off a cheeseburger as your main photo. People will search for you based on their interest in an Italian restaurant. Photos engage your viewers so take time to look your best.

You can do all of this without calling in your website administrator.

2. Get Some Reviews

Once you’ve made your ideal listing, reach out to your favorite customers to let them know about your listing. You can ask them individually to review you. This will help to move you up the rankings in Google Map searches.

Depending on the platform you use, you might be able to embed a Google review plug-in to make giving reviews easier. If you use WordPress for hosting your site, you should have access to their free plug-ins to make adding Google reviewing simple. The better it’s integrated into your customers’ experiences, the easier it’ll be to gather reviews.

If people check out your site often to see what’s new, offer a coupon for people who leave a review.

Should you decide to reach out to customers individually, space out your campaigns and keep them small scale. A sudden jump in the number of reviews you get will look suspicious to Google. You could end up getting penalized in searches for a suspiciously spammy looking results.

3. Get On Top of Google Posts

Google Posts are a fairly new feature of Google’s business directory services. Through this service, you can create content that will show up in your customers’ local search results.

If you make engaging enough content with images and videos, you can drive more traffic over to your site. This feature gives you one more way to get clicks on your site.

Be careful of posting duplicate content between your Google Posts and your own site. If there’s one thing that will get you dinged for spam, it’s posting the same content multiple times.

4. Get On Other Directories

Unleashing the power of Google Maps isn’t all about how many different Google apps and sites you use. Google appreciates SEO strategies that rely on other reputable sites and directories.

Along with managing your Google My Business account, you should claim any potential listings on Yelp, Yahoo! Local, or anywhere else your customers may be. Ask your colleagues and nearby businesses what sites they list on to get a good idea of where you should be.

This is the one time you won’t be punished for listing duplicate information. You should make sure that all of your listings are consistent in spelling, open hours, and that all the images look similar. If people suspect for a second that the listing they’ve come across isn’t the business they’re looking for, your reputation will be damaged.

5. Optimize Your Site Speed

Believe it or not, part of the hidden power of your Google Maps listing is under the hood of your site.

If you’re not using a reputable company like WordPress for hosting, you could be suffering from a dip in search results. Your clients and customers require your site to be fast and to load quickly. You should be checking your site speed on a monthly basis.

Problems with code or the architecture of your site could result in problems with media loading or payment processing. If customers perceive even the slightest problem in your e-commerce plug-in or any payment method, they’ll go running for the hills. With all of the major ransomware attacks in the news, no one wants their data to up for grabs.

6. Embed Google Maps

If you embed Google Maps on your site, you’ll be able to get ahead of your competitors. Not only will Google know that you have a local presence they should be communicating in searches, but it will give your customers vital information. They might remember your intersection or your highway exit next time they’re driving by and drop in.

Make your customers’ lives easier and just show them where to find you and how to get directions.

The Power of Google Maps Is In Your Hands

Most of your marketing efforts will cost at least a few thousands of dollars to implement. Using Google Maps to promote your business costs nothing but a little time. You’ll get so many advantages that it’s a wonder you never thought of it earlier.

If you want to get started today, follow Google’s own tips on how to manage your business listing or check our other articles.

 

 

How to Start Freelancing (And Get Your FIRST Client!)





Freelancing is the number one way to get started with online business. Here’s why, plus how you can make more money doing it and transform your side hustle into a full-time, scalable business.

The VGI community has been asking about the world of freelancing a lot lately, so I thought I’d share some recent thoughts on freelancing to guide you in how to start freelancing (and get your first client).

But first, I want to take you back to a post I shared in November 2017.

In that post, I explain that freelancing is one of the two quickest ways to generate online income (the other is affiliate marketing). Freelancing allows you to quickly get paid for a task that can actually help solve problems for people.

And when you’re first starting out, freelancing is the number one way to get started online. It’s not a passive stream of income, which is an important thing to understand. Freelancing is definitely not passive; it’s super active. If you don’t do the work, you’re not going to get paid. But if you are dedicated and put in the effort, freelancing is a great way to get your foot in the door of an industry or niche you’re interested in. It’s, quite simply, a great way to get started in business.

After all, think about this: You just need one client. One client to make a little money. One client to get the ball rolling. One client to make a difference. And then, as you’ll hear me talk more about later in this post, you can take what you learn working with clients, and turn it into something more passive—with tools, or even a team! But first, let’s figure out how to get that first client.

Let’s get started!

What Is Freelancing, and Why There’s Huge Opportunity in Freelancing

I think it’s important first to define what freelancing is. Freelancing is, at its core, offering a skill you have in exchange for payment. If you have a skill a particular client or brand or business needs to help them solve their problems, they will want to hire you to solve it. And you do so with your specialized skill.

The cool part about freelancing is that there are so many different types of freelancers out there, offering up a huge range of skills. Even if you don’t have that skill right this moment, who says you can’t learn it and eventually offer up that skill too?

Here’s just a sampling of some of the types of freelance skills out there:

  • Graphic design
  • Photo editing
  • UI design
  • UX design
  • Video editing
  • Video production
  • Voice acting
  • Web design
  • 2D animation
  • 3D animation
  • Ajax developer
  • Java developer
  • API developer
  • HTML developer
  • WordPress developer
  • Administrative support
  • Email tech support
  • Virtual assistant
  • Transcriptionist
  • Data entry
  • Academic writing
  • Copywriting
  • Copy editing
  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Creative writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Translation
  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Business analyst
  • Quickbooks
  • Excel
  • Advertising consultant
  • Google AdWords
  • Marketing strategy
  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Lead generation

And that’s just a small portion of the types of freelance skills available on the market. That’s a huge benefit when it comes to starting out in freelancing. You probably have a few of those skills already. And even if you don’t, you know that there’s a big opportunity for you to build your base of skills for your future clients.

Another benefit of freelancing is that it empowers you to enter a particular business space, get to know the people in there, and learn the ins and outs of that specific business type or industry. You may be hired for a specific skill, but you (or them or both) soon realize that there are other opportunities that you see, other areas where you can benefit the business.

You just need one client. Once you have your own client, the road ahead gets a little easier. Don’t get caught up in thinking you need ten clients out of the gate. You just need an audience of one to start.

To help guide you through what that’s like, I had a chat with Charli Marie of CharliMarieTV.

In the video (embedded below), Charli, a successful freelance designer, shares essential tips for how to get your first freelance client, best practices for working with that client to make sure that it’s a great experience, and advice for making sure you get paid on time.

Once you have your first freelance client, how do you start making more money? In the second video in my freelance series, I continue my conversation with Charli Marie on the topic of:

5 Ways to Make More Money (As a Freelancer & Entrepreneur)

So, you have your first freelance client. Now what? How do you start making your freelance life fruitful? There are many ways you can start making more money as a freelancer and entrepreneur, but we’re going to focus on just five ways for now.

1. Start building a reputation. As Charli says, building up your brand and getting your voice out there allows you to be “known for your craft.” A few great mediums to make yourself known is a blog, YouTube channel, and podcast—all platforms I use to build and grow my brand and reputation. The more you put out there, the more useful and relevant content and information you share with people online, the more you’re going to look like an expert in your particular craft or skill.

2. Have a good process in place. Know your process, and know it well. A good process means that you have an organized system and way to work with your clients from the start, the middle, and the end. If your process is non-existent, it’s just a disorganized mess, the less likely your clients are going to want to continue working with you, and probably won’t recommend you to their friends.

3. Serve the clients you already have. It can be tempting to want to always go after new clients, or to land the next great client. But when you’re too focused on new clients, you’re often forgetting about the clients you are already serving. Focus on your existing clients and the ways you can improve your service to them.

4. Authentic upselling. Upselling can be tricky, and in some cases has a bad reputation. But here’s how Charli does it for her freelance clients: a tier-based approach:

  • Tier 1: You do the basic work to meet the client’s stated need
  • Tier 2: You meet the basic needs of the client, but also provide additional value
  • Tier 3: You have a solution for the stated needs of the client, but then you also offer an additional service based on your review of the client’s situation and your experience

5. Increase your prices. Most freelancers undervalue or underprice themselves when they’re first starting out. It’s an easy thing to do because you’re just doing everything you can to get your foot in the door. But it doesn’t have to be that way—especially if you have your one client. Focus on what you do and your value.

Now that you’ve started freelancing, what’s next?

Freelancing, THEN WHAT? Career & Biz Options for Freelancers

As a freelancer, you’ve probably felt the pull to do more in your career. It’s totally natural. And so in this final section of this post, I am going to share a few ways you can expand on your freelance career and business. (And don’t forget to watch the video below for the full deep dive into your many options—with Charli Marie and Caleb, my videographer!)

1. Freelancing can transform into a full-time job. In the video, Charli shares how she got her first full-time design job after doing some design work for a company. If you do good work for your clients, and you have a good relationship with them, that’s a potential opportunity if the client is looking for a more long-term, stable solution.

2. Your side hustle can transform into a full hustle. Caleb, my videographer, used to work at Fizzle doing video work. He loved that part of his full-time job so much that he set out doing videography as a side hustle. And that side hustle is now a full-time hustle! In the video below, Caleb shares how he prepared for that transition, and how he masterfully worked his way to a successful videography business owner.

3. If you want to scale, you have to hire people. I know this very well, as I tried to do everything myself for a while before realizing that I needed to bring in a team to free me up to do bigger and brighter things for Smart Passive Income. The same is true for Caleb’s business. He wanted to grow and push the limits, and he realized he couldn’t take that journey alone.

Happy freelancing!

How Barbara Corcoran Turned $1,000 into an Empire – Entrepreneur Wisdom You Have To Read (2018)





I genuinely wish Barbara Corcoran would run for President. Not because she’s rich. Not because she has any kind of political experience (she doesn’t). But because of her humility and wisdom. Barbara Corcoran did not grow up rich. She lived in a two-bedroom apartment with ten siblings. She struggled through school due to her undiagnosed dyslexia and was often considered the “dumb kid” in school. She worked 22 different jobs before she became rich. It wasn’t until she met a guy in real estate that her life began to change.

1. Where Is Barbara Corcoran Now?

Now, everybody knows Barbara Corcoran for Shark Tank, a TV show where entrants get to compete for the attention of investors. Corcoran is one of those investors.

Her years of experience in real estate gave her a keen eye to suss out the best investment opportunities and shy away from bad deals. She’s the kind of investor Trump wishes he could be.

When sizing up contestants, Cocoran looks at whether the contestants can stand up to the scrutiny of the “sharks.” She herself muscled through a hard life when she was younger and always hires people who can do the same.

But before you start to think that Corcoran is some hard-ass with a penchant to hold herself above others, know that Corcoran never forgets where she came from.

While she is worth millions, she flies economy instead of first class. She even saves up her airline miles for relatives rather than use them for possible upgrades. Although, Corcoran does bring a gourmet meal onto the plane. She believes that it’s your responsibility to make the best out of every situation you’re in.

She waited until her 40’s to have children, but once she did, they were taught humility. When her son was five, he asked on a plane, “Why can’t we sit in those big seats?” Her reply? “Get a job.”

It sounds harsh, but when you’re raising children who never knew want or worry, you have to teach them the value of work. Gordon Ramsey treats his children similarly. He doesn’t let his children sit in first class with him because they “haven’t worked nearly hard enough to afford [it].”

Sold Her Company

Corcoran sold her real estate company for $66 million in 2001. It was a company of over 800 employees that she had built from the ground up.

She sold the company because she wanted to focus more on her children. But Corcoran, having lived a life of hard work, couldn’t just stay home. She began making appearances on shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show.

Then, in 2009, Mark Burnett asked her to join a reality TV show Shark Tank. This is the Barbara Corcoran we know now. Successful, rich, and a full-fledged TV personality.

But how did Corcoran get here? It all began with a $1k loan and a budding romance.

2. How Barbara Corcoran Turned $1k Into an Empire

In the 1970’s, Barbara Corcoran was a waitress at the Fort Lee Diner. She was only 21. She met a guy named Ramone Simone who offered her a ride home.

The two became friends and about a year later, Ramone suggested they start a real estate company together. They pulled out a one thousand dollar loan and split it evenly.

Naturally, they called the company Corcoran-Simone.

The off and on romance only lasted seven years. They broke up the company when Simone decided to marry Corcoran’s secretary.

At that point, Corcoran had one thousand dollars to invest again and she began her own company, the Corcoran Group.

Her First Sale on Her Own

Every entrepreneur remembers when they made their first dollar on their own without the help of a boss or a partner. It’s usually a fond memory.

Corcoran’s first sale was an apartment rental for the Gifunni Brothers, a building where she secretaried previously. It was an L-shaped studio apartment.

When she went to place the ad, she noticed that every other apartment offer read the same. She went to Gifunni and asked if they’d be willing to build a partition so she could advertise a den. The super agreed and she placed an ad that said, “1 BR Plus Den: 340.”

All other ads read, “One bedroom 320 a month.” She got 80 calls the next day.

Splitting the Business

Corcoran-Simone hadn’t officially split off at this point. And Simone showed up looking for his half of the new business. They split the clients 50-50 and Corcoran eventually moved a floor above.

She says that her choice to move up a floor was a positive psychological move. Being below the guy that dumped her for her secretary would have hampered both her mood and her ability to work.

Over the next twenty years, the Corcoran Group went from a one-woman show to a company of over 800 employees. Barbara Corcoran built an insanely successful career off of that one sale.

What Can We Learn From Barbara Corcoran?

Corcoran saw something other people didn’t. While her move to build a partition to create a “den” in her apartment rental was a gimmick, it set her offer apart from others.

When selling either a product or yourself, find a way to set what you’re doing apart. This could mean honing in on a vertical or merely flaunting what you’ve got. Are you better at something than most people? How can you use that to help or impress others?

Barbara Corcoran devoted her later years to setting herself apart. She claims that even now she works harder than anyone her age.

If you want more entrepreneurial advice, check out our other articles!

 

 

The Secret to Saving Money in California





I have a friend who works for YouTube and lives in the Bay Area. He tells me that the income inequality there is so bad that he doesn’t understand how low-income workers even survive. It’s such a concern that he tips double when he eats out.

And what he says is absolutely true. The median home value in California is over $500k and the median one-bedroom rent is $1,750. And wages haven’t caught up.

If you’re a middle-class joe trying to eke out an existence in California, chances are you’re struggling to even pay for your life let alone save. But it’s not impossible to get ahead of the paycheck and make life more affordable in California. Here are a few ways to do that.

1. Automate Your Savings

One money-saving tenant is the principle of paying yourself first. Running your life like a business might be a foreign and maybe stressful concept. But when you realize that you’re your own employee in your business, it can be kinda fun.

Think of savings as payment instead of a burden. That money is still yours and it will feel even more like yours when you pretend it’s a payment to yourself.

Set a small goal for savings at first. This doesn’t even have to be very much, maybe one to two percent. And then over the course of the next year, slowly raise that amount.

Ideally, you should have six months’ worth of income saved up. But obviously, you can’t build that quickly unless you’re a billionaire. Make it a goal to have six months’ worth of income saved up in two years.

Yeah, emergencies in that time might come up and slow you down, but you can recover. Budgets are meant to be flexible.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll be in the habit of paying yourself first. You can move on to saving for retirement or things you want to do such as vacations or home improvements.

2. Rent Out an RV or a Rental

Alright, this one takes a bit of money in the first place. But if you can get a loan, you can quickly recover the money and start having residual income.

For an RV, you can buy one for a few thousand dollars and fix it up or you can buy a new one. But renting an RV out is actually pretty easy. There’s a site that’s essentially the Airbnb of the RV world.

It’s called Outdoorsy and you can make a minimum of $1k per rental depending on the kind of RV you’re renting out. That’s almost a month’s rent for a small apartment. And it’s money you can make with minimal effort.

And the plus side of renting an RV is having an RV. If your goal is having money to travel, then you’ll be able to travel California when the RV isn’t rented instead of fretting about money in California.

3. Rental

This one is even more work than an RV rental, but it could yield more money. One of the best ways to rent a place is to go in on it with a friend. Now, you want to make sure you get along with your friend in all situations because business deals can be stressful.

There are two ways you could go about this. Either rent out an entire house or apartment on something like VRBO or rent out a room in your house with Airbnb.

The first option will require some major investment. And you might not see great returns on your investment for a year or two. But if your rental is successful, you could pay off the mortgage and eventually have residual income outside of your job.

Be sure to research the rules in your city, however. Some towns are moving to ban or regulate AirBnBs and VRBOs. You don’t want to fall into the trap of owning something you could never use.

4. Move to a Cheaper Part of California

My friend at YouTube lives in Silicon Valley. He’s considered moving out to the New York HQ where life would be a lot cheaper. But he likes where he lives and works.

For some people, moving to a cheaper place may not be an option. But if you want to stay in California, there are some cheaper options than the Bay Area or San Diego. California is a massive state with plenty of room for cheaper living.

Chico

If you’re looking for a place that boasts almost half the median home value for California, look no farther than Chico, CA. It’s a small town just 90 miles north of Sacramento and it has a small college town vibe to it.

Chico State University sits nearby and universities often increase the cultural value of an area. While agriculture is the main industry there, plenty of jobs exist in other industries including the beer industry.

Eureka

While it sounds like something you might shout once you’ve found your lost keys, Eureka is another vibrant inland California town. It’s an old Gold Rush town and the architecture still feels wild west.

Historic Victorian buildings litter the downtown. But sadly, the biggest industry is tourism and health care. This means that job choices are limited.

But if you can figure out ways to make money outside of the typical 9-5, then Eureka might be your town. It too has a median home value of less than $250k.

Temecula

Wine is a big deal in California and everybody knows about Sonoma, but few know about Temecula. While the wine rush has blown up certain economies in California, some regions remain fairly untouched.

Temecula is one of those places with only 40 wineries. And it’s a beautiful valley to live in.

It’s a little more expensive than Chico or Eureka, but the jobs market is a bit better than either. It also boasts the biggest casino in California.

Saving Money in California Takes Dedication

You may not be able to live the life of your dreams immediately. It may take a few years of saving and digging deep to get out of debt or build up your life. But it’s entirely possible if you have the know-how and the dedication.

Want more advice on how to save or make money? Check out some more Shoemoney here.

How to Make Money on YouTube in 5 Easy Steps





YouTube is a completely different place than it was only a few years ago. Back in the heyday of YouTube, even the smallest YouTuber could make a little bit of side cash. Now, it’s harder than ever to make money directly from YouTube.

Why?

Because YouTube decided to fight for justice. Well…sorta. For a while, YouTube has struggled with fake accounts, troll accounts, and upset advertisers. The only way to clean up the riff-raff was to raise the bar for entry.

Previously, the only requirement for a channel to remain an active partner was 10k lifetime views. That’s it. Now, you must have a total watch time of 4k hours in 12 months and a minimum of 1k subscribers.

In essence, to make money directly from YouTube ads, you have to work a little longer and gain a decent audience. But in the interim, there are a few things you can do to make money with YouTube without relying on YouTube’s Partner Program.

Start Selling Merch

If you’ve built an audience and they’re loyal, they’re gonna want to show it off. But what are the things that people sell on their YouTube channels that actually make money?

Not all popular YouTubers sell merchandise. Only 9% of channels with 10,000 subscribers sell merchandise. But the more popular the YouTuber, the more likely they are to sell merch. A full 78% of YouTubers who have five million subscribers or more sell merchandise.

What’s this mean? It means that you should do what the popular YouTubers are doing. It’s the surest way to gain an audience.

Clothing is the most popular merchandise sold out there. It makes sense because the easiest merchandise to show off is clothing. Most people won’t see your VSauce mug, but they’ll definitely see your Run Steep hat.

Other popular items include bags, backpacks, posters (almost as popular as clothing), and mugs (least popular).

Few YouTubers have their own shop. And most of them have a Redbubble shop.

Fan Funding

Say you’re a bitcoin mining maven and you give valuable information that makes your fans thousand to millions of dollars. You’re giving this information for “free.” Why not ask your fans to give back?

If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, go check out Twitch. The streaming platform is free for anyone to get on and watch just like YouTube. But the site has given users the power to “cheer” on their favorite streamers.

Cheers are essentially tips. Twitch gets a portion of the money and the streamer gets a cut as well. You’ll quickly notice as you wander through various streamer’s profiles that people are more than willing to give back to their favorite streamers.

YouTube does the same thing. It’s called Fan Funding and it’s essentially a tipping jar you can add to your videos. Just make sure you point it out if you’re going to place it on your profile or video. A simple call to action will suffice.

Other tipping sites exist. Patreon is another popular platform for creators and artists. Fans can subscribe to their YouTuber and receive perks for doing so. Just know that you will have to follow through on delivering the perks you promise.

People won’t give you money if you fail to give them what you promised. They’ll think you’re a liar.

Content Licensing

Ok, I’ll admit that this one is far-fetched. But, if you are able to make it big and go viral (doesn’t always help your channel much), you can do some content licensing.

What is content licensing? It’s essentially when other entities such as news outlets and talk shows and other YouTube channels want to use your video because it’s so totally awesome (or because you did something stupid on YouTube).

But even if your content doesn’t go viral, you can list it on a marketplace. Places like Jukin Media will take your video if they think it’s quality material and sell it to places like NBC and CNN to cut up and use in their own media campaigns. You get royalties on this.

But if you see other people taking your content and using it without your permission, don’t be afraid to speak up. Facebook is notorious for letting their users steal YouTube creator’s videos and using them to get likes and views.

Crowdfunding to Create Something Even Bigger

This one takes a bit of a following. You should probably at least have 1000 subscribers or a larger following on Instagram before you attempt this one. Crowdfunding works only if you have something awesome to offer.

If you’re an author and you’ve written other books, you could crowdfund your next book through YouTube. If you’re video game designer like my friend Matt Bromley, you could fund your next board game.

Crowdfunding is a tough route to go, however. You must know you can follow through on your commitments. If you aren’t sure you could finish the project you’re purporting to crowdfund, don’t even start. You’ll ruin your reputation and possibly sink your YouTube channel.

Affiliate Marketing on YouTube

There are thousands upon thousands of affiliate programs out there waiting to let you become their cheap advertising method. We’ve talked about affiliate marketing on Shoemoney before, but let’s do a little refresher.

Affiliate marketing is essentially how brands can sell things outside of ads. You put links in your content that point to specific products or services, users click on the links, buy the product, and you get a portion of the money. Depending on the brand, you might get more or less of the sales profits.

You can place links in your YouTube videos and in your video descriptions. You can also link a blog to your YouTube channel and place links and ads there.

The Online Game is Constantly Shifting

It’s getting harder to make money online. You must be creative and find various new avenues of making money. Soon the blockchain revolution will change everything. But until then keep being creative.

If you liked this advice, check out more online entrepreneur wisdom with Shoemoney’s Shoeintology.

 

10 Billionaires Who Started with Nothing





When people imagine a billionaire, they typically think of the Donald Trumps of the world. Come from money and continued in wealth and fame. But for some people with wealth, this isn’t the case. I recently wrote about Barbara Corcoran. She grew up in a two bedroom apartment with ten siblings. Today she is worth millions as both a business person and a TV personality.

There are plenty of other examples, so let’s dig in and find out who of the 2,208 billionaires in the world grew up poor and ended up sitting on top of a pile of money.

1. Ralph Lauren

You know the man from his clothing line. But did you know that he grew up in the Bronx and dropped out of college to join the army?

He was the son of two immigrants from Belarus and the youngest of four. His parents were artists and house painters.

Ralph began his career as a tie salesman for a tie company. He then began the Ralph Lauren Corporation and sold ties under his own name. Lauren was 28 years old.

His “store” was a single drawer in a showroom in the Empire Stae Building. He delivered the ties himself.

A year later, his tie line got picked up by the Manhattan Bloomingdales. He then went on to launch a line of tailored shirts for women and open a store in Beverly Hills, CA.

2. Oprah Winfrey

We all know Oprah from her television fame and her acting career. We’ve also heard she might run for president of the United States.

While she is worth over two billion dollars now, she began her life in Mississippi under the roof of a poor family. She worked hard and won a scholarship to Tennessee State University.

At age 19, Oprah became the first African American TV correspondent in the state of Tennessee.

It’s not well known, but the Oprah Winfrey Show began as a Chicago AM talk radio show. She would later move the show to television and launch an incredible journey to stardom.

3. George Soros

George Soros is worth over 8 billion dollars. And yet, one of the most powerful and rich men in the world had to pose as someone else in his teens to stay safe from the Nazis in Hungary.

In 47, he went to the London School of Economics. He paid for it with money he made as a railway porter and a waiter.

But he didn’t make money for a while. He got a job as a souvenir shop clerk. And then he worked as a banker in New York City. It wasn’t until 1992 that he made a billion dollars betting against the British pound.

4. John Paul DeJoria

If you love Patron Tequila, you might know who John Paul DeJoria is. His iconic profile shows up on magazine covers every once in a while.

An investor, John Paul started his salesmanship as a 10-year-old selling Christmas cards and newspapers. This money went to help support his immigrant family.

He ended up living in a foster home, spent several years as part of a gang, and then joined the military. He later started the John Paul Mitchel Systems company and sold shampoo. He did this with a $700 credit loan.

He is now worth almost $3 billion dollars and owns one of the most popular tequila companies in the world.

5. Li Ka-shing

Hong Kong has an uncomfortable kinship with China. They aren’t communist like the rest of the country and many times in the history between the two strife was the norm.

Ka-shing found rescue in Hong Kong in the forties with his family. His father died soon after when he was 15 and the man was suddenly in charge of his family as a teenager.

The man is now worth $35 billion dollars. He started his own company in his 20s that manufactured plastics and later went into real estate.

6. Leonardo Del Vecchio

Many of these billionaires seem to have a Charles Dickens writing their life story. Del Vecchio’s life is no different. His widowed mother sent him to live at an orphanage because she couldn’t care for him and his five siblings.

He began his working life in a factory making molds for auto parts and eyeglasses. He used the knowledge he gained working there to build the world’s largest sunglass and prescription glasses company.

7. Sheldon Adelson

Sometimes you hear of college dropouts becoming famous or rich. This proves you don’t need an expensive education to become either. And Sheldon Adelson, the owner of a $41 billion fortune, dropped out of the City College of New York.

How did he make his billions? He began by running vending machines, selling new ads, learning how to help businesses go public, hosting trade shows, etc. He basically became a “jack-of-all-trades.”

Like some investors, he’s lost some and won some. But now he runs one of the largest casino companies in the world.

8. Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshimi Mittal is CEO at the largest steel company in the world. He was born to a poor family in India. He worked as a steelworker and pushed his way up until he began selling steel.

He’s worth over $18 billion.

9. Roman Abramovich

Anyone who pulled themselves out of poverty during the Cold War deserves an accolade. Roman Abramovich is one such person. He was born in southern Russia and was an orphan from the age of two.

His uncle raised him in Northern Russia. During college, he began a small company that produced plastic toys. He used the money he made there to begin an oil business.

In 2005, he sold his company for $13 billion.

He now owns both the Chelsea Football Club and the world’s largest yacht.

10. The Richest Man in the World: Larry Ellison

Yep. The richest man in the world gets to tell a rags to riches tale. Larry Ellison was born in Brooklyn to a single mother. His aunt and uncle raised him in Chicago.

Ellison dropped out of college and worked odd jobs in California for eight years. In the late seventies, he founded Oracle and it’s now one of the largest tech companies in the world.

How much is he worth? $64.1 billion dollars.

You Don’t Need to Be From Money to Make Money

That’s the essential lesson here. We often whine and feel sorry for ourselves if we’re not rolling in money. But the question is, have you actually put your nose to the grindstone?

People like those on my list did not take what life handed them and do nothing with it. They sucked the marrow out of life and came up rich.

You can either be like them or you can feel sorry for yourself? Make your choice.

If you liked this please share it and check out more of our articles.

 

How To Create and Sell an Online Course: The Ultimate Guide





My ultimate guide to creating online courses! Here are the three principles and ten practical steps you need for creating amazing, profitable, and life-changing online courses.

How To Create and Sell an Online Course: The Ultimate Guide

Online courses can help you make more money, save more time, and help more people. In 2017, I hit one million dollars in revenue from online courses alone! And I’ve made lots of money serving as an affiliate for other people’s courses too.

Today, I want to share the keys—the three crucial psychological principles, plus the ten practical steps—that will help you do the same.

This post has been crafted to be the ultimate guide (it’s there in the title!) to creating and selling your own online course, so it’s a bit of a long one. But if you’re looking for a one-stop shop on what it takes to create and sell a great online course, stick around, because you’re in for a treat!

Why You Shouldn’t Create Your Own Online Course

Before we get into it, though, we need to talk a little bit about why online courses are great—as well as who they’re not for and why you shouldn’t do them. The truth is, courses really aren’t for all people and all businesses. I think the most important thing is to first realize: what are the problems and the pains and the needs of your audience? And then ask yourself, “Does it make sense for me to build an online course, and to sell it in order to help them through those problems?”

I hesitated for so long to build online courses because I was too afraid to sell to my audience. Here’s the big realization: you can sell and serve at the same time. The other part of this is, I realized that by creating courses for people who just wanted to go deeper with me, I wasn’t taking anything away from that segment of my audience who is more keen to take advantage of my free and lower-cost material.

That realization was huge for me. It pushed me past my fear of selling my online courses to other people, which was a huge relief, and allowed me to create better courses to better help and serve my audience. Now I see that I’m able to serve even more people, especially those who are willing to invest in themselves to achieve their goals. And for each course I create, my newfound confidence shows through in my sales pages, emails, and in the course material itself.

Okay! Now that’s out of the way, let’s cover the three psychological principles behind why people buy online courses. These are the things you have to know about the psychology that motivates people’s purchase decisions, before you try to sell any online course of your own.

The 3 Must-Know Principles of Selling Online Courses

So, you want to learn how to sell online courses? Maybe they’re your own courses or you’re an affiliate for somebody else’s courses. I’m really excited for you, because there’s an incredible amount of opportunity with online courses!

Over the years of building and selling my own courses, as well as promoting other people’s courses, I’ve learned a ton by experimenting with different ways to promote online courses. There are lots of tactics to choose from when it comes to promoting an online course, from emails to funnels to Facebook ads to podcasts, blogging, videos, and more—but the tactics don’t matter unless you get three things right. These are the three psychological principles you need to bake into everything you do, or you’re not going to be selling anything.

And they are . . .

#1: Sell Outcomes, Not Courses

People don’t want to buy online courses. Wait, what? It’s true, though. Nobody wakes up and says “You know, I think I’m gonna buy an online course today.” What people really want are the outcomes and the results that an online course can potentially give them. And so, the secret to selling anything, is to convey the results, the outcome, the way someone’s life will be different after taking your course. If those outcomes are not clear, then your work promoting that course is going to be much harder.

For your sales page, don’t focus on the features of the course, but the outcome. For example, with my Power-Up Podcasting course, I promise students they will have a podcast up and running with subscribed listeners on the day they publish their podcast. It’s a very specific and achievable outcome.

#2: Trust and Proof Are Key

Selling an online course is not easy. When it comes to selling online courses, trust and proof are going to be your best friends. Let’s take in contrast, for example, something like a software application that does a specific job in a very convenient way. If a potential customer has the problem that software can solve, that customer will be able to easily imagine using that software to get the result they’re looking for right out of the box. But with online courses, which is usually information, you can’t really demonstrate that and the results aren’t clear and people aren’t necessarily going to get results the moment they buy. They have to actually take action to see the results.

Now, when you’re selling an online course, you need to build trust before selling your course. You can do it over a long period of time, through content marketing, for example. You can also do it in a shorter period of time, perhaps through ads or webinars. Whichever option you choose, the proof is really important. You need to demonstrate real-life evidence that this course actually works, and the best way to do that is typically by sharing testimonials and success stories of previous students who’ve taken the course.

A special note for establishing trust with affiliate courses: The most important thing to do is to convince your audience that the person creating the course is the right person to teach them that material, and that your audience can trust them. There are a few ways I like to do that it. Most of the time, I promote courses that I’ve used myself, so I can talk about my own experience and what I loved about it. I’ve also interviewed the founders or creators of courses on my podcast, which is a great relationship-building tool. And again, proof and testimonials from other people too, specifically those in your audience, is valuable here.

#3: It’s Not About the Information

When it comes to most online courses out there, the information in those courses can be already found elsewhere on the internet. So why would people ever buy these courses? I learned this important lesson back in 2008 when I sold my first online product, which was an ebook study guide to help people pass the LEED exam, a specific exam in the architecture space. That e-book was comprised of 95 percent of the same material that could be found for free on my blog. In fact, right before I sold that product, I remember being scared to death thinking that every person who bought it would ask for a refund and complain about that very fact. Not one did. Not one person out of tens of thousands ever complained about it.

So does this mean people are just too lazy to complain and ask for a refund? Not at all. Trust me: if people are unhappy with their purchase, they’re going to be quick to ask you for a refund. A big reason people buy online courses is because they’re convenient. You’re saving people time by having all that information they need, and only the information they need, collected and compressed in one place for them to take action and get results.

Also, people often want their hand held, and they want accountability through the process, whether it’s through things like weekly office hours, or just structurally through the framework of the course. When a purchase is made and dollars are spent, it’s that person saying, “Yes, I want to do this. I’ve put skin in the game, and I’m going to make it happen.” And it’s your responsibility, as a course creator or as the person who’s promoting another person’s course, to make sure that they achieve that result.

The 10 Steps to Build an Amazing Online Course

Now that we’ve covered the psychology, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of creating your course! Here are the ten steps you need to follow to create an online course from scratch that people will love.

Step #1: Define the Transformation

In the beginning, you might not know exactly what to do. The best thing you can do is start to have conversations with your audience, to understand exactly what they’re going through and where they could use your help. This will help you understand what you can potentially create a course about.

The key here is to know and define the transformation that your customers are going to experience when they take your course. What will your course help them achieve? Once you know that, you’ll have your selling point. You can draw a clear picture in the mind of the customer of, “Wow, if I get this, then I get that.”

For example, here’s the transformation I promise people when they take my 1·2·3 Affiliate Marketing course. I promise they will earn their first dollars through affiliate marketing, which is generating an income and a commission by selling and recommending other people’s products rather than products of your own. The people who take the course will see a direct impact in their earnings and income as a result of promoting specific products in specific ways. If you do the work, you follow directions, you’re going to earn your first dollars through affiliate marketing. If it does not do that, the course will have failed.

Whatever the course, it doesn’t matter how great the information is; if it doesn’t provide that transformation, then what is the point and why would people buy it? If you’re having a hard time defining the transformation for yourself, well then, there’s a problem, because guess what? Your customers are having a hard time understanding it too. I think of Ramit Sethi’s courses, such as Earn Your First Thousand Dollars, or Land Your Dream Job. Those are very clear promises about what will happen if you follow the course correctly—and they’re baked right into the name.

Step #2: Brainstorm the Content

We started at a higher level, identifying our audience’s pains and problems and figuring out the transformation we want to help them achieve. Now we have to figure out the steps they need to take to get to that transformation. Once you’ve defined the transformation your course will provide, you can start to define the pieces that lead to that transformation. What stories do you need to tell? What facts and case studies do you need to share? What exercises does the student need to do to get on the path toward that transformation?

To do that—to reverse-engineer that transformation and figure out exactly what needs to happen for them to achieve that transformation—we first have to do some brainstorming.

You may have some ideas in your head about what should go into your course, but unless you do this brainstorming stage the right way, you’re either going to miss a lot of things, or you’re going to go out of order. The way I would recommend doing this is with my favorite tool in the world: Post-it notes. Post-it notes are my favorite tool for brainstorming, because they’re great for getting what’s in your brain out onto paper, and they’re small (so you can only include one idea per note).

Our brains do a great job of coming up with new ideas, but a terrible job at organizing and prioritizing them. Writing down those ideas on Post-it notes lets you bring them out into the world, where you can see them and start to organize them. Just remember, in this step, you’re basically “throwing up” the contents of your brain onto these notes—you’re not organizing yet!

Cool things happen when you are in that kind of creative mindset—you can just let your creative brain get into the flow. I like to structure my brainstorming according to what I call the “triple 10” exercise. In this exercise, you spend ten minutes brainstorming as much as you can, then you rest for ten minutes. Then after that rest period, you come back to where you were, and brainstorm for another ten minutes.

I’ve found that the final ten minutes in that total thirty minutes is often when the best ideas come out. Why’s this? What happens during that break? Yes, you are resting, but your brain is also absorbing and processing everything it’s just done. When you come back from that break, your brain has just processed it in a way that you couldn’t have if you hadn’t taken the break.

So Step 2 is to brainstorm, using Post-it notes, by letting anything in your brain come out then posting those ideas onto your table or wall. Just let it happen.

Step #3: Organize Your Thoughts

Now, you need to take all those Post-it notes and put them into some kind of order. The key in this next step is to organize the notes into different clusters or hierarchies related to your core topic.

Eventually, you might find that these clusters essentially become modules in your course, and each of these Post-it notes will become your lessons. That’s the magic of this process. This process also makes it easy to find the right order of all the pieces. You can ask, “Would it make sense to put this before that, in the eyes of my customer?” That’s the beauty of Post-it notes again: you can simply move them around on the desk or whiteboard to reorder things.

As you go through this process, you’re going to have a few Post-it notes that will make you say, “Why did I even write that?” Just throw them out. You’re also going to find where there might be some holes, some things missing. In that case, just create more Post-it notes to cover those missing topics and add them to the appropriate clusters.

Step #4: Make the Outline

Now you’ve gone through the brainstorming and organization phases, you can create an outline for your course. The work is mostly done; you just need to review the re-ordered Post-it notes and “extract” the details of how you’ve organized them to create your outline.

The key here is what you do with that outline. And what’s that? You’re go to share it with others to get their feedback. Perhaps you have superfans, people in your audience who would benefit and feel great with you trusting them with this, and could provide some amazing feedback. Maybe it’s people in your mastermind group, or other colleagues or friends who might be looking for the kind of transformation you’re offering with your course. Whoever it is, share your outline with them and say something like, “Hey guys, here’s the tentative outline for this course that’s going to help you [transformation]. Look over it, and let me know what you think. Does it make sense? What else would you include? What would you remove?”

Now, you’re going to get feedback, and some of it you might not want to hear. Your team might suggest cutting things you really like. That’s a hard thing to do. This is what in the book writing space is called “killing your darlings.” And you have to be willing to do the same thing with your courses. You’re going to have to kill the lessons that aren’t necessary in order for that transformation to happen.

So it’s super important to ask your reviewers, “What lessons in here are not necessary to achieve this goal?” That allows you to make sure you only have what you need in your course. Doing the sometimes painful work of identifying and cutting unnecessary material helps in several ways. It’ll save you valuable production time, and it’ll help the course participants by reducing the amount of unnecessary fluff they have to wade through in the course.

Step #5: Pre-Sell the Course

You have an outline, and you’ve collected feedback to validate the concept and the outline. Now, you’re going to pre-sell this bad boy to a limited number of people in your audience, if you have one already. If you don’t, it’s going to be a little bit harder, but you can still do things like run ads for webinars to promote your course.

I talk about validation a lot in my book Will It Fly?. If you want an in-depth treatment of validation, check out the book. But today I’m going to keep it higher-level, so you know the steps. If you have an audience already, you can simply let them know, “Hey, I’m coming out with this course. I haven’t made it yet, but I want to share a little bit about the course and how it might be helpful for you.”

Then you can go on to pre-sell it, explaining, “I haven’t made this yet, but I’m going to give access to twenty people who are willing to work with me as I build this course, so I can make sure it meets your needs exactly. I’m also going to give you some extra time with me to help you through this content. If we get twenty people, I’m going to create it. If not, don’t worry. I’ll refund your money.”

Pre-selling in this way lets you validate what you’re trying to do with your course. If people are willing to buy at this early stage, this information helps solidify that you are going in the right direction. It allows your audience and your potential customers to vote with their dollars that it’s something they want, and something you need to do.

What do you need to do to pre-sell? A number of people I’ve interviewed on the podcast have simply pre-sold their courses by saying, “Hey, if this is something you want, shoot this much money over to my PayPal, and I’ll put you in a Facebook group to communicate next steps.” That’s one way to do it. You don’t even need a landing page or anything like that.

Step #6: Communicate

Step 6 builds on what we just talked about in the pre-selling step. The last thing you want to do when you sell anything is to have a person buy it and then not know what happens next. No matter what, always make sure you have a great onboarding process. You want to make sure your customers know you didn’t just take their money and leave.

So, once you pre-sell the course, you have to make sure that you keep your customers up-to-date. Communication is crucial. For instance, if you’ve promised entry to a Facebook group to communicate with people as you are building the course, then set that up.

With 1·2·3 Affiliate Marketing, because I have a team and a lot of resources in place, we created a landing page with a video that explained the transformation, what people are going to get, the fact that it was a beta launch, that it was going to be pre-sold, and that there was nothing to get access to yet. We had a button on there that connected to a shopping cart through Teachable, where the course was hosted. Once they got access to the course, they saw one lesson in there, a welcome video thanking them for being in the course and telling them what would happen next.

Follow through, stay in touch, and most importantly, be honest. Simple, but crucial.

Step #7: Build the Course

Finally, we’re on to product creation! You’ve validated the course through pre-selling. Hopefully you still have your Post-it notes, because they’re going to be your guides for the next step here. This stage—production—is a difficult one, because it takes the most work.

My first recommendation is to plan ahead in terms of how and when you’re going to create your course content. Whether you decide to use video, audio, text, or a combination to create the content for your course, you need to plan what needs to be created, and when. Then, make sure to really honor that time.

Even if it’s just one lesson per day because you’re strapped for time, really honor that time you’re blocking out to create those course videos and lessons.

The best tip I can offer you related to the production of these lessons is to take things one lesson at a time, and plan out how many you’re going to record or create in a given time period. Depending on the length of your course, the amount of time to produce all the course material could range significantly. We recorded the videos for 1·2·3 Affiliate Marketing over the course of two days that we blocked out just for creating the course. It was great to batch-process it that way, because I’d wake up each day and know exactly what that day would be about.

Now, let’s talk production. Quality-wise, video is generally the form of media for most of your course material. But if video is out of your budget, you can create audio versions of the lessons, or simply written ones. In terms of other things that can go into your lessons, you may want to add worksheets to certain lessons to help reinforce the material. Another thing I like to do in all of my courses is have a list of action items at the end of each video the participant should complete before moving on to the next one.

Next, you should also consider what needs to go into the creation of the beta version of your course—the one you share with the early adopters, the ones you pre-sold the course to—compared to the final version that most people will be experiencing. Thankfully, you can get away with a “lighter” version of your course for the beta, which you can then enhance later on to create the final version.

There are a few ways you can get away with going “lighter” in the beta, particularly when it comes to video. If you’re going to create videos, you don’t need the highest production values in the beta. When I create final versions of videos for my courses, I do them in my video studio with a high-end camera. But for the beta versions, I typically record in my home office, just using a basic DSLR camera. You can even use a video camera from your phone, as long as the audio quality is good. You could also use a portable recorder such as a Zoom H4n or a Zoom H6 to record audio separately could benefit you. You could also run a wired mic to your phone using a Rode smartLav or something like that.

In the beta, I also don’t include a lot of elements in the videos other than just me talking and what’s on my Screenflow on the computer. In the final version, though, I might add things to the videos like layovers (text that pops up when you say certain things) and B-roll (camera footage that demonstrates things you’re talking about). But these things take time and effort to create, so it doesn’t make sense to create them until you have all the inputs and feedback you need to make them perfect. So, in the beta, as long as the videos and the lessons do what they need to do to help a person achieve that transformation, then you’ll be okay.

Finally, although Step 7 is all about content creation for your course, you also want to make sure during this whole time that you’re keeping your pre-paid students updated. You can share tidbits and little hints of the course content. You can even give them a little “homework” to help them prepare for the first lesson. I actually did that for 1·2·3 Affiliate Marketing, and a lot of the students appreciated being able to get a head start on the course.

Step #8: Collect Feedback

Once the course is up and running, you want to have a way to collect feedback from your students to improve the course. Email and surveys are two good ways to do this you wanted to do that, but honestly, the best feedback has come from one-on-one conversations and group conversations, like those that take place during group office hours.

It’s important to collect both positive and constructive feedback. This lets you identify what’s working well, what’s not so great and needs to be fixed, and what could be added to make things even better. Something I’ve gotten better with over time, thanks to student feedback. is not including too much information in my courses. I got a lot of great feedback from my students saying, “You know what? I didn’t feel like I needed this to help me get there.”

Your students are the perfect ones to provide this feedback, because they are your target audience, so listen to them more than anybody. They are the ones who need you to make this great, but your audience out there who wants this course, you’re going to get that greatness coming from the voices of your current students. Collect that feedback.

In addition, some of the best feedback I’ve gotten is simply from direct messages on Facebook. Sometimes I’ll just direct message somebody and say, “Hey, I saw that comment you made on Facebook earlier, and I just want to make sure you’re good. What else could I do to improve your experience with this course?” A lot of great feedback can come from a simple action like that.

Finally, as you’re collecting feedback, be sure to ask for testimonials too, because those are going to come in handy in the next step. The best way to collect testimonials, in my experience, is to just approach someone individually and say, “Hey, if you enjoyed this, and you’ve gotten some great results from it, I would love it so much if you’d take a few moments to leave me a testimonial.”

The more testimonials you can get, the better. The more diverse those groups of people who are leaving testimonials, the better, because they’re going to be able to help relate to more people. And people are not likely to give you testimonials out of the blue. Some may, but most people will only give you testimonials if you ask, and it is 100 percent okay to do that.

Step #9: Refine the Course

This one might seem obvious, but once you’ve collected all that great feedback, the next step is to refine the course. Redo the videos that need to be redone. Add worksheets where they’d be helpful. Remove anything that need to be removed. Add text, animations, and B-roll to your videos to spice them up. Refine the course and make it great so that when you go public with it, it’s going to rock.

This step also that includes refining the sales page. You’ve already gone through one round of sales, and you’ve likely helped some of your early students achieve those transformations. Hopefully you’ve also collected some great testimonials by now, and you can use them to adjust the messaging on the sales page. You can even include a new section with some of the best testimonials. Remember what we talked about in the first part of this post? When it comes to selling an online course, trust and proof are key, and testimonials are a great way to demonstrate that proof and cement that trust.

Step #10: Be Confident

The tenth and final step is a small one, but a very important one. It’s a tiny phrase you’ll take with you moving forward, and it’s a big, big deal. What’s that phrase? It’s this: be confident. Through this whole process, you’ve created a lot. You’ve brainstormed and organized and outlined. You’ve done a ton of research. You’ve collected feedback. You’ve created a huge amount of content. You’ve done a lot of work to make sure that this course is something that can truly help people, that it’s a great solution for the problem you’re trying to help them solve, and that it can help them achieve the transformation you’ve identified.

That transformation you promised them is now your responsibility, and you need to have the confidence that you can deliver that transformation for them. If you had a cure for a disease, wouldn’t you want to make sure that you get it in front of as many people who have that disease as possible? Obviously, you haven’t created a cure for a disease, but you’ve still come up with a way to solve a specific problem through your course. So you should approach it in the same way, in terms of your certainty that it can help, your drive to make sure that as many people as possible can find it, and your confidence in the messaging you use to sell it.

And guess what? Some people are not going to be a good fit, or be ready for your course. And that’s great. When you can confidently say, “This is what my course will do for you,” you make it easier to weed out those who won’t benefit from it. You won’t be wasting anyone’s time, or upset anyone when they realize they’re getting something different from what they initially thought.

But when you mess around with the messaging, and try to please everybody, the result is that nobody will understand if the course for them. They either won’t buy because they’re confused, or they’ll buy and say, “This is not what I signed up for.” You have to make it crystal clear for them, and that requires confidence in what you have to offer.

So go out there, and be confident. Make some sales, and then serve. Remember, you can sell and serve at the same time!

Now, go forth and create some amazing courses!

The Million Dollar Tweet: 8 Lessons to Grow a Successful Business





Nathan Barry bootstrapped ConvertKit to $1 million monthly recurring revenue in a little over five years. Here are 8 critical lessons he learned along the way.

 

The Million Dollar Tweet: 8 Lessons to Grow a Successful Business

Nathan Barry is the founder of ConvertKit, and a good friend of mine. Just the other day he tweeted

This is a huge milestone, and I want to give huge kudos to Nathan and his team for achieving it!

[Full disclosure as we dive in to this post: I am both an affiliate and an advisor for ConvertKit, and I do earn a commission if you choose to use my affiliate link (the links back to ConvertKit on this page) and stay on after the free trial. I’m proud to be an advisor, so if you have any questions about the product, please let me know!]

Now, if you don’t know what MRR is, it’s monthly recurring revenue. That means ConvertKit is now making one million dollars per month, and it took them exactly 1,902 days to get there.

After sharing this exciting tweet, Nathan followed up on Twitter with some thank-you messages for the people who helped him and ConvertKit reach this milestone. In these tweets, he talked about the eight specific lessons he learned from these folks that have helped his business grow and succeed.

In today’s post, I wanted to share those eight lessons Nathan and ConvertKit followed to reach this amazing milestone. These lessons are ones you can also take with you as you build your business, no matter what kind of business it is.

Lesson 1: Go All In

One of the people Nathan credited for the success of ConvertKit is Hiten Shah, the amazingly successful entrepreneur who’s founded companies like KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Hello Bar.

About a year and a half into ConvertKit, Nathan was at a conference in Las Vegas, where he was having dinner with Hiten and a few other people. He and Hiten were walking and talking on the way back from dinner when Hiten stopped, looked at Nathan, and said, “You know, Nathan, I’ve been thinking. You should shut down ConvertKit. You’re a year and a half in. You’re still at $2,000 a month in revenue. It hasn’t taken off, and you’re going to be successful at other things. So you should shut it down and move on.”

Nathan was stunned. But Hiten continued, “Or you can give it the time, money, and attention it deserves and build it into a real business. But right now you’re trying to run a few different side projects, and the focus isn’t working for you. So you need to either go all in, or shut it down.”

Nathan thought about this for the next few months, then finally decided that ConvertKit wasn’t going to go anywhere unless he made it go somewhere. That’s when he made the decision to go all in. At the time he had another business, NathanBarry.com, where he sold books and courses. He stopped working on NathanBarry.com, then took all his savings and put it into ConvertKit. He hired a full-time team, and started doing more direct sales. The other big thing he did was pick a niche for ConvertKit, focusing on providing email marketing for professional bloggers. (Remember, the riches are in the niches!)

From that point on, ConvertKit has only looked up. It was a lack of single-minded focus that was holding the company back from reaching its full potential, but once Nathan made the decision to focus only on ConvertKit, the sky became the limit. If you want your business to reach the next level, you need to be willing to go all in.

Lesson 2: Build a Great Product

Nathan also credits ConvertKit co-founder David Wheeler for helping ConvertKit become a great product. This is another one of the biggest reasons why ConvertKit has been so successful. You can have all the pieces in place to sell and support your product—the tactics, the strategies, the team, the influencers to promote it—but if that product isn’t great to begin with, it’s not going to be successful.

Thankfully, ConvertKit is a great product. What drew me to ConvertKit in the first place was the fact that it’s a product that just works. It’s easy to use and reliable, and most importantly, it fits into everything I’m doing in my business too. It’s why I recommend ConvertKit as an affiliate, and why I’m an advisor for the company.

So make sure, as much as anything, you build a great product.

Lesson 3: Get Feedback

Early on in the process of creating ConvertKit, Nathan sought feedback from a number of influencers on how to build the product the right way. Nathan called out two people—Ryan Delk and myself—as key influencers, people he connected with early on to get direct feedback on how to build his product the right way. Since I was already in the blogging space when Nathan reached out to me, I was able to contribute a lot of valuable feedback about what would make this product successful. And Ryan, having so much experience in the startup world, was able to do just the same.

So the big lesson here is that you cannot do this alone. And because of that fact, you need to connect with the right people who can give you honest feedback that’ll help make your product the best it can be.

Lesson 4: Be Transparent

Another key lesson Nathan has applied since the beginning is the idea of being transparent. Much like I do on Smart Passive Income with my income reports, Nathan does the exact same thing—just with a software company. He’s connected ConvertKit’s metrics to a site called Baremetrics, where anyone can track the company’s income growth, all the way back to the beginning. You can even see new customers signing up in real time.

When you do business with other people online, whether it’s with individuals or other companies, trust is a crucial factor, and there’s no better way to build that trust than to be fully upfront and transparent. That’s exactly what Nathan has done with ConvertKit.

Lesson 5: Focus on Sales

The next big lesson is that you need to really focus on sales if you want to grow. Nathan credits Darrell Vesterfelt, who he hired back when ConvertKit was starting to focus heavily on sales. By putting a lot of time, effort, and money into building an effective sales team and process, Darrell was able to bring the company from $100,000 to $500,000 in MRR.

Now, sometimes when you’re starting a business, you just don’t have the resources to do that. In that case, the most important thing is to focus your resources wisely so you can land your first big customer. This is why Nathan also thanks Joel Runyon, who was that “first big customer” for ConvertKit.

Focusing on sales also means not just finding customers, but influencers who can help bring your product to a wider audience. Not to toot my own horn too much, but I also helped push ConvertKit out there in a big way as an affiliate. I know that with my large audience and the trust I’ve built with them, if I promote a product I really believe in—like ConvertKit—it’s going to help that company grow. So, Nathan very strategically had coffee with me one day a number of years ago. He showed me the product and how great it was, and helped me actually get started with it. It became obvious to me at that point that ConvertKit was something I needed to push out to my audience too.

So, focus on sales, both by finding new customers directly and via influencers who can help you do the same.

Lesson 6: Build a Great Team

When ConvertKit started out, the company had a really small team. As Nathan has grown and scaled the company, it’s grown to thirty-four people. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the ConvertKit team well at events, and they all say nothing but amazing things about being a part of this company. They absolutely love what they do. A lot of them get to work remotely, they go on retreats, and do a lot of fun things together. And most importantly, they’ve all told me that they feel like they’re a part of the ConvertKit family.

So the big lesson is, as you’re building a team, make sure you’re also building the company for the team. Create a culture and an environment that people will love to be a part of, because that will really amplify your mission.

Lesson 7: Care About Your Customers

ConvertKit does an excellent job of educating their subscribers along the way as they’re learning to use the product so that they’ll find success with the product. But this support and care starts right after the moment of purchase—and it’s something you can do in your business too.

One thing I’ve always loved about ConvertKit is they don’t just have people sign up then forget about them after that point of purchase. In fact, right after the purchase is when the fun starts with ConvertKit. Right after you sign up, a member of the ConvertKit records and sends a custom, personalized video greeting, using an app called Bonjoro, welcoming you to ConvertKit and letting you know they’re there to support you as you’re getting started. It’s an incredible way to welcome someone to the fold and make them feel like part of the family. And it takes just thirty seconds to do.

How has creating these individualized onboarding videos helped the company’s metrics? It’s actually helped decrease churn in the company—people who don’t continue their subscription—by a whopping 16 percent.

Lesson 8: Be Grateful

Gratitude—being appreciative of the journey and how far you’ve come—is a really important factor in your success as a business owner. One thing that’s been apparent since the beginning is the fact that Nathan is grateful for his experience—for the people who he’s worked with, and most importantly, for his customers.

It’s really tough when you’re in the trenches, grinding away on your business, and easy to forget why you’re doing this in the first place. But when you remember why you started, and can appreciate the journey and the small wins that eventually lead up to bigger ones, it can make a huge difference.

I hope this post has pushed you to continue moving forward in your business, no matter where you’re at with it. Very few businesses become overnight successes, and ConvertKit under Nathan Barry definitely wasn’t one. But by applying these eight lessons, Nathan has been able to create a great company with a great team, a great product, and great customers. And so can you.

 

Top 10 SEO Blogs to Read If You Want to Increase Website Search Traffic 2018 / 2019





Whether you agree it or not, most SEO strategies are constantly changing. The SEO factors that worked an year ago won’t work today and the things that are working now won’t work year after! SEO is a BIG industry where you need to constantly learn latest SEO trends to master the game of SEO. Without keeping an eye on SEO updates, you are going to fail miserably in increasing your website search traffic. If you are searching for best SEO blogs, this post is a one stop guide for you where I’m going to share few top SEO blogs that you must read.

The main reason for me to write this post was not only to compile the most influential SEO blogs but also to help you in saving your time for finding the best content on creating a search engine friendly blog. Make sure to subscribe to all the SEO blogs mentioned in this post if you want to get the most out of them.

Note: The following list of top SEO blogs are listed in no particular order. And I’ll be updating this page whenever I find a blog on SEO that’s really useful, so make sure to bookmark this post.

Also read my article about BLOGS WITH THE HIGHEST MONTHLY INCOME

 

Top SEO Blogs You Shouldn’t Miss Out

 

1. Moz

If you are aware of the term SEO, you should have probably heard the name “Moz”. Moz is one of the most influential SEO blogs around the web right now. It is not only backed by industry leading SEO data but it has the largest SEO community on the globe!

Moz also has a lot of SEO tools that will help you increase your search traffic and understand your audience better. Their Beginner’s Guide to SEO is probably the most read page on the Internet (read by over a million people worldwide). They also have a “Pro” version that includes tools and forum support that will help you reach your SEO goals.

Blog owner: Rand Fishkin (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2004

2. Search Engine Watch

Search Engine Watch is well-known for its articles and frequent updates on SEO. It is one of the oldest SEO blogs on Internet that was founded back in 1996 by Danny Sullivan.

If you want to learn the latest SEO trends, this blog is for you. This top SEO blog mostly covers the best SEO tools and frequent Google changes to help people better understand the SEO trends.

Blog owner: Danny Sullivan (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 1996

3. Backlinko

Who else wants to take their SEO to the next level? Backlinko is the place to go if you are searching for proven SEO methods to increase your website traffic.

Not only Brian Dean (Owner of Backlinko) covers actionable SEO tips but he also shares the most insightful case studies on SEO that will open the floodgates for your organic traffic if you implement!

Blog owner: Brian Dean (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2012

4. Search Engine Land

Want to find out the latest trends in SEM (Search Engine Marketing), PPC (Paid Search Advertising) and SEO? Then, make sure to bookmark Search Engine Land. This is one of the industry’s most trusted SEO blogs on the web that is read by millions of people every month.

Blog owner: Danny Sullivan (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2006 by Sullivan after he left Search Engine Watch

5. Search Engine Journal

SEJ (Search Engine Journal) generally uses a community based approach to search marketing content to attract visitors from search engines. Almost every article that gets published on SEJ is from marketing experts who share their thoughts.

This blog mainly focuses on important SEO trends, news, SEO strategies etc. They also frequently provide in-depth subject guides to help marketers succeed in the space of SEO.

Blog owner: Loren Baker (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2003

6. SEO Book

If you want to learn the best SEO practices, then Aaron Wall’s SEOBook is for you. This is the must read SEO blog if you want to boost your traffic from search engines. This top SEO blog not only covers all the actionable SEO guides but also provides an inside training program that will help you increase your search traffic.

SEO book also offers the industry leading SEO training program that covers

  • over 100 custom training modules
  • a private support community that is simply unmatched by any other SEO conference or SEO forum
  • exclusive premium tools
  • monthly newsletters, member’s only videos, process flowcharts & custom SEO spreadsheets and many more

Blog owner: Aaron Wall (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2003

7. Search Engine Roundtable

The mission of Search Engine Roundtable is to provide a single source for the reader to locate the most interesting threads covered at the SEM forums. This blog also shares latest updates from Google like ranking and algorithm factors, link building tips to help marketers to grow their search engine traffic.

Blog owner: Barry Schwartz (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2003

8. SEO Nick

If you are looking for real case studies on SEO that will explode your search traffic, SEO Nick is the perfect blog for you. If you love SEO case studies, real data and articles that include actual insights, SEO Nick is the right fit. This is an emerging yet most insightful blog on SEO that is a wealth of SEO knowledge.

Blog owner: Nick Eubanks (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2012

9. Yoast

Have you lately started using WordPress SEO by Yoast? It is one of the widely used SEO plugin (Free) to perform on-page optimization to boost your blog traffic. Yoast covers SEO, WordPress optimization, online marketing and content strategies to help marketers succeed in SEO.

Blog owner: Joost de Valk (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2010

10. SEO Chat

If you want to stay up to date with the trendy algorithm updates about SEO along with the most insightful analysis posts on SEO, SEO Chat is for you. SEO Chat covers mostly SEO strategies and latest updates. They also provide a lot of free SEO tools to discover what SEO strategies work best for your site. Make sure to check out their free tools if you want to find the common issues on your websites.

Blog owner: Jim Boykin (Twitter Id)

Founded in: 2003

Final Thoughts About Top SEO Blogs in the Industry

SEO is not SEO anymore.

You have to build engaging user community on your blogs if you want to bring massive traffic from search engines. For that, you not only need to create great content but you also have to follow the latest SEO trends and best SEO practices. This is where reading top blogs on SEO helps you reach your goals.

Read my Article: SEMrush VS. MOZ

I guarantee that by following the list of best SEO blogs mentioned in this page, you’ll definitely get a better idea about the SEO changes.

Which top SEO blogs do you follow regularly? Did I miss any of your favorite SEO blog in this post? Please leave your comment if I did so.

 

How Six Blogs Increased Their Traffic to Millions of Visitors





Mashable, ProBlogger, and KISSmetrics didn’t reach millions of people by accident. Their founders were smart, or more importantly, had smart strategies. In researching this article, I found out that Mashable wrote one article last month that generated more links and shares than 87 of their posts from 2013 combined. I found out how KISSmetrics systematically increased their weekly traffic by 18.6%. I also learned how unconventional strategies, such as building a blog in Asian languages, opened the floodgates to millions of visits in under six months.

This post is about effective blogging, and going beyond the 80/20 rule to reach the 52/1 rule, where 1% of your effort drives 52% of the outcome. Knowing your 1%, like these bloggers did, is one hell of a competitive advantage.

How Mashable reached two million readers in 18 months

Pete Cashmore launched Mashable.com at age 19 and grew it to two million readers within 18 months. In the first year, he worked 20 hour-long days writing articles about technology – with no advertisers. In 2012, Mashable was valued at $200 million.

Mashable.com had the advantage of being an early adopter in a rapidly growing industry that was becoming of mainstream interest. But what really stood out was how frequently Pete blogged from the very start. A look through their archives shows that in the early days Pete would write between 1-5 blog posts per day, usually averaging two or three a day.

Mashable Archives

In an interview with Inc.com, Pete explained that his persistence was fueled by an obsession over seeing his numbers increase, and a lack of desire to go to university or be employed.

“I would look at the stats everyday and say, “Have I beaten yesterday?” And almost every day I would have beaten yesterday in terms of the number of people who were reading the site. So, that kind of kept me going.” – Pete Cashmore

Within two years, Mashable established itself as the leading blog in technology and digital media and had built an audience of over two million monthly readers. Today, Mashable attracts 10x the amount of traffic it did back then, so how did they bridge the gap from 2m visitors to 22m visitors?

Mashable hired 43 editorial staff members, increasing their editorial output from 1-5 articles to 7-15 articles per day. They also shifted their focus towards infographics for a few years (they’ve posted over 900 of them), and started ‘utilising‘ their domain’s strength a little bit more.

Mashable infographics

While controversial (but not unusual), Mashable.com have been able to exponentially grow their traffic by ranking for the names of the brands that they write about. With over 35,000 indexed category pages, Mashable generates millions of visits from people searching in Google for brands like ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Gmail’.  In fact, the keyword ‘Facebook’ is the highest traffic-driving keyword to Mashable.com.

Mashable brand terms (SEMrush)

So what can we learn from Mashable.com’s growth?

To me, the key lessons here are persistance, frequency, and timing. If Pete launched Mashable.com today rather than in 2005, I doubt it’d be anywhere near as successful, his timing was great. But lots of other tech blogs were also launched in or before 2005 – that’s where frequency and persistance set Mashable apart.

How did ProBlogger reach millions of readers?

Since launching Problogger in 2004, Darren Rowse and his team have posted over 8,000 blog posts. What’s particularly impressive is that Problogger is just one of 20 or so blogs that Darren runs.

Darren puts his success down to a combination of being among the first to blog about blogging, writing actionable content, having authenticity, and sticking to it over the long run. Oh, and he also had a motivating ultimatum from his wife:

“You’ve got 6 months to make blogging full time” – Darren’s wife

So what did Darren do that worked so well?

Like Mashable, Darren grew Problogger by writing superhuman volumes of content (5-10 posts per day). Over the years, this accumulated to become an archive of 8,000+ individual articles. However, unlike Mashable, Problogger focused on creating evergreen content (content that does not go out of date), not topical news.

Because of this, Problogger has been able to reduce their posting frequency to 3/4 articles per week, while still maintaining traffic growth. Using tools like SEMrush, we can clearly see that Darren’s highest performing content is nothing but actionable and helpful resources that will remain relevant for a long time.

Problogger top content

So, there we have another strategy for building a 7-figure blog audience. By being helpful and providing other bloggers with actionable tips, Darren’s slow and steady approach ultimately attracted millions of visitors, and established him as one of the most authoritative bloggers in the World.

“The key to success in blogging (and in many areas of life) is small but regular and consistent actions over a long period of time.” – Darren Rowse

How a Japanese blog reached 1.4m readers in six months

To mix things up a bit, I thought I’d shine the spotlight on a really fascinating case study, by Nick Eubanks, on how despite not speaking Japanese, he built a Japanese blog that almost broke 100,000 visitors in the first month after launch, and reached 1.4 million visits in just six months.

Japanese website traffic

While the identity of the website is undisclosed, we do know that it targeted the Japanese market.

Traffic by Country

Nick’s strategy was based on a mathematical approach of building an algorithm that weighted the opportunity and difficulty of over 50,000 Japanese keywords. From there, Nick’s team identified the top 100 keywords, and then calculated which ones would generate the highest returns in a short period of time.

In other words, he applied the 80/20 rule to the 80/20 rule of SEO to find the absolute minimum amount of work needed to generate huge results, and it worked.

While this may seem very different to the other strategies we’ve deconstructed, it’s not all that different to be honest, just more precise.

Nick knew that a high frequency of posting was important, so he posted 2-4 pieces of content per day. He also capitalised on topical content, but not by writing about breaking news, but instead by writing about events that were sure to happen, in advance.

The result of Nick’s planning strategy meant that he was able to achieve an amazing result in very little time by working smarter, not harder, than his competition.

How GetRichSlowly.org reached one million readers per month

Since launching GetRichSlowly.org in 2006, JD’s become a TIME Magazine Top 25 Blogger and has grown his blog to receive over one million monthly visitors.

What’s interesting about JD is that he’s the self-proclaimed “worst marketer in the World“. In an interview with Maneesh Sethi, JD admitted to never paying much attention to SEO or any of the trends that his blogger friends used to tell him about. Even today, GRS’s design is out-dated, the site’s SEO is mediocre, and there’s loads of room for optimising sign up rates. But none of this matters to JD – because his strategy is simple. His strategy is content is king.

Get Rich Slowly

For years, JD posted 1-10 posts per week, offering excellent personal finance advice. A deeper dig into what spurred on the blog’s success suggests that his most shared and linked-to content is, similarly to Problogger, actionable evergreen content. Not one-off viral hits or infographics, just fairly dull topic but incredibly helpful articles like ‘Best High-Yield Money Market & High-Interest Savings Account‘.

So like the Problogger story, JD succeeded by being useful for long enough that his blog reached a tipping point and became the authority in his niche. Best of all, JD debunks the myth that you need to be a good marketer to build a popular blog.

How ConversionXL reached 1,000,000s of readers

ConversionXL is one of my favourite blogs about conversion optimization. It took Peep Laja just over a year to get ConversionXL past the 100,000 visitors / month mark.

Similar to Nick’s approach, prior to launching ConversionXL, Peep did a considerable amount of planning and research to identify what niche he wanted to write about, and what kind of content would generate results. He concluded that there was a gap in the market for an evidence based, data-driven marketing advice blog that focused on conversion optimization.

What’s interesting about Peep’s approach is that he didn’t post frequently. For the first year, he averaged one post every 4.8 days. Then it slowed down to once every two weeks.

Peep’s success came from picking an interesting niche, writing highly linkable and shareable content, and getting lucky with a few viral hits.

ConversionXL Traffic

Peep’s case once again highlights the benefits of planning ahead and working smart.

How KISSmetrics reached 2.5 million+ readers in 20 months

It took Neil Patel twenty months to get the KISSmetrics blog to over 100,000 monthly readers. According to a write-up on his blog, Neil started by writing two posts per week on KISSmetrics – but the blog didn’t really see any significant uplift in traffic until he increased this frequency to five posts per week.

From there he experimented with six posts and noticed an 18.6% increase in traffic for writing one additional blog post per week.

While this growth isn’t as aggressive as some of the earlier blogs reviewed, it’s worth bearing in mind that Neil also runs Quicksprout and CrazyEgg, both of which have blogs with a 7-figure readership.

How has Neil repeatedly built 3x blogs with millions of readers?
Well, there’s the recurring theme of frequency and consistency. Neil’s also seriously hard working – the guy’s output and energy is borderline superhuman, so we should probably take that into account. Besides these intangibles, what specifically made KISSmetrics so successful?

Like Mashable, KISSmetrics had a lot of success with infographics. In two years, they created 47 infographics, which generated 2,512,596 visitors and 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domains.

On top of this, KISSmetrics receive 6% of their blog traffic from emailing subscribers about new posts.

I have no doubt that the lesser mentioned ‘secret sauce’ to Neil’s success is also the compounding ease and quality / magnitude of cross-promotions and partnership opportunities. By owning two digital marketing technology companies, an agency, and his own marketing blog, i’m sure there’s a lot of leverage between the various lists, client relationships, and case studies.

What we can learn about building a 7-figure audience

What I found so fascinating while researching this post was how varied the approaches were for each of the blogs, yet how many similarities they shared. It shows how the opposite of what works can also work.

While everyone will take away something a bit different, this is what I took away:

But the most difficult and upraised step that all of these successful bloggers took is getting started. If you want to follow in the footsteps of these successful bloggers and haven’t yet started – I urge you to do so today. If you’re not sure how to do so, you can follow our guides on how to find the best web hosting, and then a guide on how to start blogging.

Best of luck.