You Can Still Profit From YouTube Videos

So the big news today is from YouTube. They’ve just announced that they are demonetising hundreds of thousands of YouTube channels so I am going to offer you an alternative way to profit from your YouTube videos.

In order to qualify for monetisation on YouTube, channels now have to generate 4,000 hours of watch time per year plus have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers.

It’s a big ask of channels.

But I’ve got an alternative for you. You can still use your YouTube videos to drive traffic.

The business model I’m going to talk about has consistently been the most profitable online business model since the 1990’s and it is literally responsible for billions of dollars in revenue every year.

If you are creating content uploading YouTube videos or blog posts or creating other types of creating content this is the perfect business model for you because you are already doing the hard part.

Here’s what you got to do:

Get Your Own Website

First of all you need your own website you need a domain name and professional hosting.

I know that it’s tempting to go to Blogger.com or WordPress.com and use a free website but don’t do that.

If you step out of line with their Terms of Service they can shut you down.

And today we have found out just how painful it can be when a company that you that you rely on comes along and says they’re changing the rules, so don’t make this mistake again.

Get a proper domain name and get proper hosting that you have complete control over – invest the $5 a month.

Build a List

Then you’re gonna need an email list.

The people on the email list will become your tribe. Think of them like your YouTube subscribers – so invest a lot of time and energy into building your email list.

In order to get them to subscribe to your email list you need to give them something really valuable and that’s usually  called a lead magnet.

It’s something that will help them to solve their problem and something that’s very desirable that speaks specifically to those people.

Promote an offer

Once they subscribe to your email list you ask them to make a small purchase.

Nothing too crazy, a $7 or $10 item is perfect.

After they make that small investment you can then you pitch them a more expensive product.

That’s the perfect business model for YouTubers and content creators.

Free Training

I’ve got some free training that will show you everything you need to know, you can follow along with it here.

It’s a simple process that anyone can do.

And I just thought I’d give you some hope today and some encouragement.

You see, when things like this happen, as entrepreneurs we always have to change and adapt.

I think it’s how you bounce back and deal with those changes is really what determines your level of success.

If you’re building your own website and your own email list then you will always own those assets.

That means you have complete control over everything in your business.

You’ll have something that will remain resilient bulletproof so any algorithm changes

And then you’re not relying on third parties to give you an income because you are making it for yourself.

That is true independence and freedom, isn’t it?

You can make thousands of dollars a month from an email list and you can do it on your own terms.

So carry on and don’t stop creating content because it’s one of the most valuable things that you can do.

And the YouTube changes might be a good opportunity for you to grow your business in different ways, that you might not have considered before today.

My personal opinion on the YouTube changes

I know there’s uproar about it, but I had to share my view on it because it might not be what you think.

As a smalltime YouTuber myself who has been affected by this, I’m in favour of what they’re doing… I think it’s a pretty good idea.

Okay so I won’t make any money from my YouTube videos for a long time to come.

Don’t build your business on someone else’s land

Listen, I know that if you are affected by this and you’re gonna lose revenue I sympathise with you… but don’t build your friggin’ business on YouTube, yeah?

I was talking to Ike Paz from Internet Marketing Gym this morning he said something really true about this.

He said that he does not own his channel – that no none of us own our YouTube channels.

YouTube can just shut down any channel they like, for whatever reason they like.

There are thousands of people out there who are trying to make a living on YouTube, who’s dreams have been destroyed.

But think about it.

Maybe this will make people wake up and realise they have to build their own resources and their own assets that they have complete control over.

Imagine if more people did that instead of creating all these wonderful pieces of content and just handing it over to YouTube and letting them decide what happens to it.

Seize control of your business

Maybe this will encourage people to set up their own systems their own websites, and have their own sales processes.

If people are trying to make money on the Internet maybe now they will realise that YouTube has never been a solid business model to invest your time into.

I invest an awful lot of time into YouTube as you know.

It’s a free video hosting platform for me and maybe I can get a bit of traffic from the videos I upload but I’ll be really honest with you.

A major reason why I upload so much to YouTube is to help with my social anxiety. Every time I upload it improves my social anxiety just a little bit.

It helps me get comfortable with the idea of  speaking in front of people.

And with the amount of videos you now have to upload to get to monetization… 4,000 hours of watch time per
year… that’s a crazy amount of videos.

So you gotta be real.

The rise of heart-centric YouTubers?

If you want to monetise your channel then you’ll have to use your passion, you’ll have to upload content that you feel strongly about – something that matters to you. Over and over, for a long time.

I think YouTube channels that focus creating heart-centric content will succeed.

We can still monetize from YouTube – we don’t need those little adverts. We just need the right mechanism running in the background.

You need:

  • A website
  • An email list
  • Something to promote

Maybe more people will start doing that, and start creating awesome products.

With the proper system in place, you can still profit from YouTube – just in a new, and potentially more lucrative way.

An entire persuasion course in a single sentence

Today I’m going to talk about the most persuasive sentence in history, at least in my opinion.

This is from a guy called Blair Warren who is one of the best persuasion gurus on the planet. Over the years I’ve learned a lot from his teachings.

The sentence that he’s created is one of the most persuasive ones you will ever hear:

“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears confirm, their suspicions, and help them to throw rocks at their enemies.” – Blair Warren

I’ll get into exactly why this is the most persuasive sentence you will ever hear. But first, let me let me ask you something.

Have you noticed something about this sentence? You might notice that at no point does this provide an opportunity for you to talk about yourself or your products.

This is not about you – it’s is ONLY about your audience.

This is about your market and that’s because your audience don’t really care about you. They only care about themselves, and what you can do for them. It’s an uncomfortable truth.

And that’s ok because when you use this correctly, it puts you in a really positive position. It lets you deliver awesome value to your audience, and actually help them with their problem in a meaningful way.

This is how you become the trusted adviser that we’re supposed to be.

By removing the focus away from you and your achievements, and moving it on to your audience to focus on their needs, you will be able to align yourself with them more effectively.

Encourage their dreams

So why should you encourage  people’s dreams?

Well, people need a belief in something and they need to feel that its possible to achieve their dreams.

When you tell them “yes it’s possible, and you can do it too”, you’re giving them something valuable – on a very deep emotional level that influences and changes their self-image.

When you do that, when you can change someone’s self-image even just a little bit, they will look to you because that kind of validation is addictive.

It’s your job to help your audience understand that they can achieve their dreams.

Justify their failures

Why should you justify their failures? People don’t really want to take responsibility for their mistakes.

So if you can give them a scapegoat or give them something else to blame then it means they don’t have to blame themselves.

And again, that emotion is addictive.

Allay their fears

Next why should you allay their fears?

Let me ask you something.

Think about a time when you were worried about something, or you were afraid and someone told you not to worry about it.

That probably didn’t mean much to you, and you probably didn’t look to that person for reassurance again, right?

They unintentionally minimised you feelings.

So instead of telling our prospects to not worry, it’s our job is to listen to their fears, accept that the fears are real and help them to work through those fears.

And maybe you have had the same fears too, and managed to overcome them. That’s another way to deliver value to your audience.

Confirm their suspicions

Why should we confirm their suspicions?

Simply put, people just want to feel right – they want to feel justified they want to be able to say to themselves “I knew I was right!”.

If you can help them to feel justified they’ll bond with you a lot quicker than someone who tries to tell them they were wrong.

Throw rocks at their enemies

The last thing is to help your audience to throw rocks at their enemies.

If you can discover an enemy that you both share then it’s just it’s a sign that you share the same values, on a subconscious level

Having a common enemy you will also help you to build rapport.

But let me say this; if you’re gonna find enemies in your marketplace then I wouldn’t pick on individuals.

I would encourage you to pick on ideas and values instead.

This prevents you from appearing like a bully or damaging people’s business.

Find something wrong with your industry and attack that.

Chances are whichever flaws or problems exist in your industry your potential customer will probably already feel like that is their enemy.

Tap into resentment that already exists, instead of trying to create new enemies.

Using these 5 persuasive insights

There you go, the most persuasive sentence in history, as I see it:

“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears confirm, their suspicions, and help them to throw rocks at their enemies.” – Blair Warren

Consider all of these insights, really do think it over and how each one applies to your industry.

Think about how you can inject more of these into your sales pages, blog posts, podcasts.

And when you do, I can almost guarantee that when you do, you will receive a better response from your audience as a result.

They will see you as someone who is on their side, and you might even become their champion.

When you have all of these five points spread throughout your overall message, you can use it to deliver more value to your niche. And that ultimately helps people see that you are the person they really need to be listening to.

Success online: 7 Reasons to build an authority website

Increasingly, the best way to obtain freedom and success from an online business is to build an authority website.

I’m going to walk you through some of the best reasons to do that right now.

But what is an authority website? It’s a widely trusted, and respected niche site that generates large scale traffic.

In the digital marketing world, they are most desirable and sought after commodity.

As you probably know, I’ve been a full time blogger since 2004, way back when I started my own authority website.

I’m going to tell you why it’s probably in your best interest to consider following me down a similar path through content creation, so you can see the full benefits of building your own authority website.

This is a topic I know inside out because after a few years my first authority website gained massive traction, receiving around 4 million hits per month – and resulted in its own TV show.

Firstly let me tell you building an authority website is hard, it takes time, and that’s why so few people succeed.

But if you stay the course when you look back say over the course for a couple of years, when you look back at how far you’ve come you’ll see why it was worth all that effort.

I’ve got seven 7 reasons why you should build an authority website – and that all starts with blogging.

Gain confidence & mastery

Your blog is the real seed of your authority website.

The first reason number one is to gain confidence And when you gain confidence in something you are well on your way to gaining mastery.

It’s a process that takes time, but through blogging and through content creation you will gain that confidence and niche mastery.

We all know what that means; a greater degree of trust and authority and ultimately more profit for you.

Build Awesome Relationships

The second reason is because you’re gonna meet some awesome people along the way.

You’re going to build some really amazing relationships – not just ones that end in some kind of financial reward.

No, it’s about much more than that; you’re gonna learn news skills that will benefit you for years to come.

When you connect with people who share your values, something brilliant happens. It can feel like you’ve become co-conspirators that are taking on the world, and attempting to improve and reshape it in your vision.

Gain self-discipline

When you commit to blogging or creating content on a frequent basis, through the process of building an authority website you become disciplined.

You’ve heard me say it so many times in my videos and in my blog posts that motivation is not the key to this Internet thing.

Its discipline that builds businesses. And obviously the more discipline you have, then the faster your business will
grow as a result.

Make more profit

The fourth thing that I like to talk about is profit.

Because you’re creating content on a regular basis, it’s easy to transition yourself from blogger into product creator.

You’re already doing it!

If you create content on a regular basis then you are creating information products.

You just have to package it in a certain way and add a bit more value, and you’ll have an information product to sell.

These are very profitable if you do it right.

A rewarding livelihood

Building an authority website is very rewarding. You get to spend your time creating content on things that you love, sharing your passion and your knowledge.

And that doesn’t feel like work very often.

Obviously it is work and you need the discipline but it feels good.

You know, when I’m creating videos and blog posts I know that the information I’m putting out there is going to impact people in some way for the better.

It’s going to assist them and that’s such a rewarding feeling.

It’s more valuable to me than the money –  of course you know we all need to survive, but when you are living your life in alignment with your true purpose and focusing on the things that you love and you feel passionate about,  you just feel rewarded and fulfilled everyday.

You actually wake up every day and feel really good and excited to get started on the days work because you know that it’s gonna be a day filled with fun and passion – and hard work too, of course.

Create lifetime Assets

And then the sixth thing that I’m gonna talk about is when you do this when you create content on a regular basis you’re creating lifetime assets.

Now, if you’ve ever read ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ then you’ll know all about the value of creating assets.

These pieces of content, these valuable assets that you creating, are going to reward you over and over again for many years to come.

When I create a video or a blog post, although I’m giving highly valuable content away for free, I know that over the course of the lifetime of my business, that content is going to pay for the time that it took to make thousands of times over because it’s going to bring new leads into my business.

That’s because through the free content, I am demonstrating that I actually know what I’m talking about.

It’s easy for people to see that I’m not doing Profit Copilot just to try and take their money.

I’d be silly to pass up the opportunity to make extra sales, but they can see that I’m doing this website to genuinely help them for free, because I’ve already built a legitimate business outside of the make money online niche.

Make a positive contribution

The seventh and final thing that I’d like to talk about is that you leave your niche in a better position than when you found it.

You contribute something positive to that niche, that will have impact on people’s lives to help them improve a situation – even if it’s just a little bit.

And that in itself adds to the whole feeling of reward, and that leads to more profit to your bottom line.

So there you go, if you’re still on the fence about building an authority website then go through these tips again because this stuff is so important for the longevity of your business.

If you want to be around in five years time, or in ten years so this is the mentality you have to get into. This is how you have to start thinking about your business.

Stop thinking in the short term and start thinking long term.

You might have to sacrifice short-term gains for long term rewards – and that’s the name of the game.

It’n no longer a case of creating an info product then running around asking a bunch of affiliates to promote it for you.

And then moving on to the next one once the sales dry up.

That is a dying industry and creating authority websites by adding real value to people’s lives irrespective if they buy from you is the way forward.

A weird, but stealthy pricing strategy that can boost your profit

Here I’m going to give you a stealth pricing strategy that you can use to immediately boost your sales.

It’s weird, and it’s illogical but it works.

You can file this one under either ‘pure customer persuasion’… or providing ‘pure customer clarity’, depending on your point of view.

Either way, it’s a powerful way to dramatically boost your profits.

There’s a very famous pricing strategy from The Economist, look at this:

The pricing options

As you can see there are three pricing options.

The first one is for a web-only subscription, and that is priced at $59.

The second one is a print-only subscription and that is for $125.

And then the third option is is both print and web subscription for $125 – which is the same price as the print option.

So what happened?

The most profitable pricing option

Well, an MIT study found some really interesting results when they ran their own experiment.

Using this formula they found that:

  • 16% of people chose the online subscription
  • 0% chose the print subscription
  • 84% of people chose both online and print

This tells us that the most expensive option is obviously the better value for money and the most desirable option available.

Things get weird

But what happened when the second option was removed?

Because nobody opted for it, there was no point in offering it, right?

Well, something  really interesting happened.

  • 68% people took the first option, web-only subscription
  • 32% took the most expensive one, print and web subscription

So what does this mean?

The ‘useless’ middle option that nobody wanted actually made the more expensive option look like a really good offer.

When we look at the bigger picture, it helped people to make up their mind more efficiently because they could seek they could clearly see which the which was the best deal on the table.

The next time you need to price a new product, if you throw this strategy into the mix you might find that it’s an easy way to boost your bottom line.

Dangers of affiliate marketing you’re not supposed to know

Affiliate marketing is massive. Really massive.

However big you think it is right now, double it. Quadruple it even, and you’re still nowhere close.

More than 40% of Amazon’s revenue comes from affiliate marketing – and 40% of all online purchases are made on Amazon.

And then we haven’t considered all the marketplaces devoted exclusively to affiliate marketing.

Even e-learning is a multi-billion dollar industry. Practically all online courses and digital products have affiliate programs.

So the amount of money is just mind-blowing.

And it’s easy to see why affiliate marketing is so attractive, especially to newbies.

It’s a great way to bring additional revenue into your business, if done correctly.

I teach affiliate marketing to most of my students, so they can learn the ropes. They learn valuable skills that can be applied later on, when they start creating their own assets.

In my opinion, affiliate marketing is just the first step on a long journey.

The ultimate goal is to create a high traffic authority site, that has multiple revenue streams.

The Danger of Affiliate Marketing

There’s a flip side to affiliate marketing.

Sure, you don’t have to create your own products, you don’t have to write brand new sales copy, you don’t have customer support issues to deal with.

In most cases, you’re not building an asset.

If you’re doing things the smart way, you’re building an email list, at least.

But here’s the trap a lot of people fall into.

They invest too much time and energy into promoting other people’s products, instead of building their own sales system.

And then, even when the small percentage manage to create their own products, they believe they are dependant on other affiliates to promote it for them.

This creates a cycle of non-stop promotion, regardless if you believe in the product or not.

This landed in my inbox the other day:

Mick, I think I’m trapped. For the last year I have been making my own products. Affiliate marketers promote them for me, and I promote theirs in return. Most of the products I’m expected to promote are junk. But I’m worried if I stop promoting their products then they won’t promote mine.

A lot of people end up in a situation like this.

It’s the main reason why I avoided going ‘all in’ to the affiliate marketing business model.

What’s the Solution?

Ultimately, it’s your business and you should decide what’s acceptable for you, and what’s not.

If you don’t want to promote a product because you don’t believe in it, then don’t. Your reputation is worth more than a few thousand dollars in commission.

Why do we build online businesses in the first place? For the freedom it gives us, right?

So there’s no point in just switching the kind of chains you wear.

You might take a hit later on, but if your EPC is good enough and the numbers work for them, no sensible affiliate is going to let their emotions cloud their decision.

In either case, you should be looking at the bigger picture; multiple revenue streams.

To become truly successful, we need to diversify almost everything in our businesses. Income sources are no different.

Affiliate marketing should not be your only source of income.

There’s no shortage of revenue models, so there’s no reason to become trapped, longterm.

For me, I intentionally use service that restrict the amount of affiliate commission I can make, or refer. This forces me to find other ways to monetize my websites, which ultimately makes my business stronger.

When it comes to monetization we’re spoilt for choice; coaching, providing services, advertising, product creation and probably a bunch more that I forgot.

So, now there’s no excuse for you to feel trapped in any single business model.

7 New Habits for Success

In 1988 Stephen R. Covey published a book called ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’.

I’ve never read it.

Until then, here are my own 7 habits for success.

1. Have a Purpose

This is single most important habit for success.

If you have a reason that’s bigger than yourself, or your own needs, you look stop looking for short term gains. Instead, you’ll see how you fit into a much bigger picture, and how your purpose can impact others.

This is especially true for info-marketers; bloggers, email list builders, content creations, etc.

2. Think Backwards

Successful people always start at the end result, and work backwards from there. This not only gives you clear direction on where you’re going, but you’ll truly understand how all the pieces fit together.

If you’re building a sales funnel, start with the end product and build your system out from that point.

3. Embrace Disciplined

I’ve ranted spoken about this multiple times in the past.

People talk about motivation, but motivation is not your friend. It gives you an excuse, a reason to fail.

Discipline is the key.

Discipline forces you to get up and do the work, regardless of how you feel. Discipline builds businesses and discipline will create your success.

4. Use Failure

Successful people see opportunity in failure. It shows us the areas we need to improve.

So if people are unsubscribing from your email list, find out why, and then fix it. By recognising patterns like this, we have the opportunity to make our businesses stronger.

Imagine success is like a radio signal that you’re trying to find. You turn the dial one way, and nothing, turn it the other way and you might hit on something.

Then you have to continue to fine tune and tweak over time. Failure lets you know what to focus on, or what to avoid.

5. Become Selective

Successful people won’t endorse any old product, and they won’t work with just anybody.

They have standards, and value to uphold. They understand that only by working with people who share the same values, amazing things can happen.

Not only does the opportunity for cross-promotion arise, but because you share the same values, you may well share the same purpose.

And we already know how essential having a purpose can be.

6. Meditate

Meditation is an essential part in success. Having the ability to clearly visualise what you want, and how you can achieve it can put you in the right mindset.

Although there are many different types of mediation, visualisation has persistently been the best one for me.

This also helps me to experience gratitude for my blessings.

So often we’re focused on achieving, growing, obtaining more, it’s easy to forget about how much we have already achieved in the journey.

7. Give more

Giving more than you take is just good advice, in general. It’s something my father said to me when I was growing up and it’s always stuck with me.

Because its second nature for me to give of myself freely, it’s paid off in business. Info marketers and content marketers rely on the ability to produce and share information without any exceptions in return.

Having that instilled in me at an early age has allowed me to do exactly that, as you can (hopefully) tell by this website.

But I’l let you be the judge of that. And if this has helped you or inspired you, please pass it forward and share this post with people who might benefit from it too. They might be thankful that you did.

3 easy ways to future-proof your website

It’s no secret that our websites need to work on mobile devices, right?

And you might have a nice website theme. It might be responsive and look awesome.

But is that enough?

This is dominating my thoughts because I just read a report that said Home Depot’s website received more mobile traffic than desktop.

And that got me thinking about how this shift might impact infopreneurs. In the not too distant future, our businesses will depend on mobile traffic. To support that claim, I stumbled across an interesting statistic while researching this blog post:

Mobile phones influenced more than $1 trillion in U.S. offline retail sales in 2016, and 65% of U.S. adult smartphone owners researched products on their smartphones in the past three months.

So we can’t ignore mobile, and a responsive theme might not be enough.

Some retailers have released apps that enhance user experience, but I have a problem with that approach because it’s not practical for small businesses.

Sure, if you’re a well known brand then a percentage of your customers might be willing to download yours.

But for smaller sites, we can’t expect people to install apps just to have a good user experience. So we gotta meet them on their own turf and improve our sites.

Beyond responsive design

According to a study by Forrester Research, Home Depot provides the best mobile experience of all retailers. So immediately, it’a already set itself part from everybody else.

So what can we learn from them?

Firstly, the speed of their mobile version is impressive. They’re using cloud based technology so the website loads quickly.

Next, they’ve managed to segment their customer base – this provides a better user experience by increasing the relevance of the content.

And they’ve also embraced voice search. With these three major developments, they have managed to dramatically improve the overall usability of their website.

That’s having a direct impact on the companies profits.

So what can you do?

Moving your site to a cloud based hosting environment is not only good for the end user, it’s also a smart move for SEO.

Google and other search engines use page speed as a signal to determine ranking.

As soon as I figure out how to run WordPress on Amazon AWS, I’m moving all my sites to the cloud.

Amazon AWS isn’t the only option, but it’s the one I’m holding out for.

Next is voice search.

This is something we should all be aware of. The amount of voice searches is growing each year, and with all those smart speaker devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home, it looks set to increase.

Take a look at this:

Thankfully, if you’re already following SEO best practises then you’re all set.

But what about adding voice search to your site?

If you’re using WordPress then you might be in luck. There are a few plugins available, but I’m not entirely sure if any are ready for prime time just yet.

This might be something to keep an eye for the future.

And now for my favourite bit; segmentation.

Most of us are already segmenting our email lists. Usually when someone buys a product, they are seamlessly moved onto the ‘buyers only’ email list.

These guys get the REALLY good stuff, and are treated like royalty.

But we can take segmentation further, and in my own way, I do it on Profit Copilot too.

One of the ways I do it here, is to display a different navigation system depending on how you use the website.

If you visit the site and it recognises you as a member, you’ll have more options in the nav bar. But if you’re not a member, you’ll only see the basic stuff.

And for that, I use a plugin called If Menu. It’s a little technical to use, but it’s very powerful.

But for now I hope you’ve got some ideas or inspiration.

How to succeed when you feel like quitting

Last night I was surfing Youtube and stumbled across something from Tim Schmoyer that resinated with me. It was a video about how to push through those hard times when you feel like giving up on a project.

It’s an idea that comes from a book called The Dip, by Seth Godin.

Now, I’ve haven’t read the book, but Tim presented the concept in a really cool way. I’ll try to explain it as good as he did, complete with diagram.

What is the dip?

The idea is this; when you start a new project that requires dedication and hard work, we feel a range of emotions.

It doesn’t matter what the project is, it might be a new business, a sales funnel, a new blog, learning a new language, or learning to play an instrument.

The pattern is always the same:

Things move from excitement, to depression, and finally to confidence and mastery.

If you’ve tried to get a website off the ground, maybe you’ve experienced this too?

You launch your website but nobody cares. You don’t get any traffic, there are no leads, no customers, and it feels like you’re out there on your own.

Its cold and it’s lonely.

Every person who starts a website has felt like that, so you’re not along.

Yup, they are normal emotions that everyone feels, regardless of how successful they become.

The dip explained

Things start off really good, you feel excited and there’s a honeymoon period where you’re happy.

Then uncertainty starts to creep in, and you begin to lose confidence.

Ultimately, you feel confused, depressed and you feel like quitting.

This is the bottom of the dip, and it’s where most people give up.

But some people push through those feelings.

They accept that things are difficult and it’s going to take hard work.

They start exploring new ideas and experimenting with them.

Finally, they start testing things, with that comes renewed confidence, and the mastery they’ve been seeking.

How do you push through the dip?

Most of the time, failure happens because people quit before they see success.

And they usually quit because they either:

Run out of time, run out of money, or they lose interest.

So what’s the solution? The Next Web has a list, and here’s my interpretation of it.

Here are the 6 things you can do to prevent failure:

Find your purpose. You know why I’m forever saying you need to focus on your passions? Because when things get tough (and they will) you’re gonna need a reason that’s bigger than your own needs.

Know its possible. Having the belief that what you’re doing is achievable, is vital. So surround yourself with people who’ve already done it, and learn from them

Drop the ego. When you stop caring what other people think, you embrace a ‘growth mindset’ that allows you to truly focus on improving your skills.

Schedule. Forget about using ‘to do’ lists, and create schedules instead. Get your priorities straight, and do the tasks that produce the highest longterm rewards first.

Share. When you start teaching people what you’ve learned, you begin to retain the information – and contribute something positive to other people, as a result.

Set limits. Know what you’re prepared to pay for the success, and what your limits are.

Decide how much time you’re prepared to give a project, how much money you’re prepared to invest, and how what lengths you’re willing to do to in order to succeed.

And that’s because not all dips lead to success. Some lead to a dead end, while others lead to a cliff. Both result in failure.

When to quit?

I don’t know if it’s mentioned in the book itself, but from my research into this I’m getting the impression that 2 years could be a good length of time to determine if a project is going to be a winner or not.

You see, another video I watched about this gave an awesome analogy.

If you’re running a marathon you know you’re gonna feel pain, your legs are gonna hurt, you’re gonna get dehydrated and it’s gonna be tough.

That’s all part of the deal.

Building an email list, driving traffic to your blog, it’s all the same. It all requires work and persistence to truly succeed.

Anything worth having is difficult.

The dip is good for us

But this process, although difficult, has a very positive impact on us, and our environment.

In a video by Graham Brown, the dip is actually a good thing for us. Without it, we’d just exist in a race to the bottom in price.

Persevering through the dip is what allows to command more attention in our market, allows us to charge more, and face less competition.

So that’s pretty cool, if you’re willing to put in the work and push through.

The ugly truth about going pro online

I’ve noticed an interesting pattern recently.

Obviously there’s no shortage of people who want to make a living online, but it’s no secret that the number who actually achieve it is small, in comparison.

I’ve seen patterns emerge in both groups, and I think I’ve found a few common threads.

So what gives?

What’s stopping the majority of people from succeeding online?

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, because if I can figure it out, my students will achieve more. And that’s enough motivation for me to dive into things.

It’s kinda difficult to sum-up because there isn’t a single answer. Instead it’s a series of small thoughts and actions that hold people back – often without them realising it.

But because they’re small, it means they can be easily changed.

So first, I’m going to list the attributes that prevent digital marketers from going pro.

Then I’m going to list the attributes that can turn an amateur into a pro digital marketer.

And this applies to bloggers, affiliate marketers, copywriters, product creators, it doesn’t matter. The mindset is always the same.

Listen some of what I’m going to tell you might be painful, but we’ve all been there.

Don’t feel dejected. If any of this stuff is difficult to hear, maybe that’s an indication that something needs to change.

And you know me, Profit Copilot isn’t going to sugarcoat anything or be one of those guys that only tells you what you wanna hear, while trying to sell you the latest shiny magic button. Not on my watch, compadre.

So use this info to your benefit, and see this as an opportunity to improve your situation, to grow your business or even to just make sure you’re giving yourself the right foundations to make a decent start.

We’ve all gone through this, and everyone who’s eventually made it to the pro-level, has experienced some or all of these things.

So you’re not alone, and if other people can overcome this stuff, then so can you.

Amateur Traps

It’s easy to fall into these traps.

You’ve probably seen dozens of products that make all kind of insane claims – so don’t  worry if you’ve fallen victim to the hype and promises of instant wealth. A lot of people have.

When people learn the ugly truth about this, they usually go either 1 of 2 ways.

  1. They think it’s all a big scam, give up and carry on working for somebody else.
  2. Or they get serious, knuckle down and commit to building their business.

Yes, there are scams out there. Plenty of them, and some even have a smiling ‘guru’, with one hand on the whiteboard and the other in your pocket.

As a general rule, if something makes an income claim or income guarantees, it’s bad news.

Ask yourself; why is somebody promoting this, instead of using it for themselves?

The world is full of people who are willing to rip you off. But it’s also full of people who really do want to help you and see you succeed. It takes time to recognise who is who.

 

So, the common traps that amateurs fall into:

Amateurs consume more than they produce

They invest more time into acquiring products than utilising the ones they already have, or creating new ones from scratch.

If you notice yourself buying lots of products and not using them, or not getting much value from them, it’s something to keep an eye on because it’s easy to start blaming external things for your failure.

For example if you find yourself repeatedly blaming a training course, software, or other people for your lack of progress, it’s a bad sign.

Amateurs look for hacks, shortcuts and magic buttons

They look for that one solution that will do all the work for them. No matter how many times they’ve been it just doesn’t exist, they keep buying hyped-up nonsense.

Ben Mack once asked me why people buy lottery tickets, when there’s almost zero chance they’ll win.

I thought the answer was obvious – because they want the millionaire lifestyle?

He told me that people buy lottery tickets ritualistically because it gives them permission to fantasise about living the millionaire lifestyle.

People do the same thing with weight loss products, with make money products, with dating products… you name it.

Are you buying products, but then only fantasising instead of actually using them?

Do you spend more time reading about successful people or business, instead of building one?

Amateurs think software matters

Sometimes a piece of software comes along that makes me wonder how I ever managed without it.

Building a website before WordPress came along would take hours, maybe even days.

We don’t need WordPress, we’re not dependant on it but it is convenient.

Amateur marketers that become dependant on the software they use are restricting themselves and their full potential.

Sales funnel makers, social media managers, article spinners; these are all tools that make life convenient – but some marketers rely on them to the extent that it’s damaging to their business.

Do you spin every article before you post it? What’s wrong with using your brain, instead?

Yes, it takes time. Yes, it’s hard work.

But it delivers a crap-ton more value to your audience than publishing a piece of garbled broken English that only exists to trick Google.

If I could ban just 3 pieces of software from the digital marketing community it would be: spam bots, scrapers and spinners. That’s a rant for another day.

Amateurs are afraid of making mistakes

‘Someone who never made a mistake never made anything’, is the old saying.

Listen, you’re going to make mistakes and that’s ok.

Success isn’t possible without failure. Its part of the process, so roll with it.

If you watched the video at the top of this post you’ll get a behind the scenes view of my Youtube channel. Its FULL of mistakes. They outweigh the successes.

I keep them to remind me that it’s ok to screw-up. Over time, fewer and fewer mistakes are made.

So fail fast.

Amateurs focus on what they can get

They persistently complain about not having enough money. They worry about their lack of success, instead of focusing on their small victories and building on what they’ve already got.

Amateurs are concerned about their needs, only. They can’t see beyond their own problems and panic as a result of fear-based decisions.

If something isn’t working after a few days, or weeks, they move onto something else. And then something else, and on and on the cycle goes.

Attributes of a Professional

On the flip side of that, we’ve got a whole bunch of attributes that professional digital marketers embrace.

Learn, Do, Teach

Professional digital marketers usually follow a 3-step process called ‘Learn, Do, Teach’.

We figure out how to do something (Learn), then we try it out and get results – or fail (Do), and then we show it to our students (Teach).

This simple process is incredibly powerful. In all the top restaurants the best chefs use every single part of their ingredients – nothing goes to waste.

It’s the same online.

We make sure that even the act of learning something new – that will benefit ourselves, is also beneficial to our students.

Show up everyday

Professionals show up every day and do the work. Ok, you might not see them every day, you might not hear from them every day, but they are always working in the background and slowly moving their business forward.

You don’t have to spend hours every day creating new content or promoting what you’ve got. But do something that increases your reach a little further.

If you don’t have the time, outsource it.

Hit a moving target

Digital marketing professionals know that achieving massive success online can take years.

And the cool thing is, what you consider ‘success’ today, won’t be the same in a years time.

Success is a moving target.

And that’s great, because it means you’re constantly progressing.

Think about this. Imagine the first time you wrote a blog post, hit publish, and waited for traffic to show up. Nothing happened, right?

It feels terrible when you pour your heart into something, and nobody even knows it’s there.

At that time, you might consider ‘success’ as someone sharing your post, or commenting on it.

After your 10th post, you might have a few shares and a comment or two appearing on some.

So your perception of ‘success’ shifts a little. And you do a little bit more, and then a bit more, building on the success you’ve achieved.

Studying and testing

Instead of listening to what people are saying, pro digital marketers watch what people are doing.

They constantly test, tweak and experiment – knowing that some of their ideas won’t work as expected.

Give more than they take

There’s one unifying thing that almost every professional digital marketer has in common, it’s their devotion to delivering outstanding value to their audience.

Their focus is on how they can improve people’s lives. They aim to become a positive influence that leaves a marketplace in better shape than they found it.

The Golden Rule

Going pro online is just like anything else in life. You have to start at zero and go from there.

You gain mastery from doing. It takes time and repetition.

In the video at the top of this post I talk about Jimi Hendrix. Even he started learning how to play guitar with a single note on a single string. His persistence paid off and inspired a generation of new guitar players.

If you want to see success, understand that it’s all around you, in the small victories. Build on those and in time, when you look back you’ll see how far you’ve come.

And if you’ve found this useful, please pay it forward and share it with people who might also benefit.

Secrets to Success: Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey & Warren Buffett

What can you learn about creating a strong and profitable online business, from three of the greatest entrepreneurs in history, whose combined personal wealth, is well over 100 billion dollars? Well, we’re going to find out and you’ll get some fresh ideas, motivation, and inspiration that you can use to move your business forward, especially if you’re thinking about creating and selling digital information products. This will show you how to find your passion, so you can build a business that you love and a brand that you can be proud of.

Listen to Podcast

Rush Transcript

Today we’re going to look at advice from three of the most successful and most recognised names in the business world, and draw a common parallel between each of them, so you can see what their number one secret to success is, and how you can use that knowledge for yourself to produce the biggest long-term rewards.

Then, I’m going to show you how to actually implement that advice, because it’s ok learning this stuff but if you don’t use it, if you don’t do anything with it, then it becomes useless, right? So I’m going to give you an exercise that will help you to take the action you need to get the results you want and build a strong business you can be proud of.  

 

So today we’re going to start off by checking out a few short clips and we’re going to learn a single ‘lesson for success’, from three entrepreneurs, and see how it fits into the bigger picture of your online business. Let’s start with the legendary Warren Buffett, who is one of the most profitable investors of all time and one of the richest men on the planet.

We’re also going to see if that lesson resonated as true with the late, iconic Steve Jobs, whose lasting influence has changed the way we use technology forever, and turned Apple into the biggest company on earth as a result.  

And finally, we’re also going to see if the multi-billionaire, Oprah… Winfrey who’s been labeled the ‘Queen of ALL media’, and is frequently listed as the most influential woman in the world, shares the same perspective as Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs. Here’s a hint, when it comes to success, they all say the same thing.

And because their approach to business obviously works, I’m going to give you a hands-on exercise you can do, to pull it all together.

But listen, as usual, this stuff isn’t for everybody, this isn’t for the people who want something for nothing. Just like anything else worth having, it’s going to take time, and it’s going to take hard work.

So with that disclaimer out of the way, I’ve selected three of the most successful entrepreneurs that I believe we can all learn from. So you’re going to learn what they all have in common and how that enabled them to grow their businesses, and how you can use that knowledge to make your business more successful too.

You see, when we study the masters, in any practice or discipline, we look to those who’ve blazed a trail before us, in the hope of finding golden nuggets of valuable information that might help us to achieve similar results. The truth is, the titans of industry all have one thing in common. They all focused on delivering value to their markets, first and foremost, above their own needs.  

And as a reflection of that, the great thing about the global business community that we are in right now, is the majority of successful people understand that ‘success breeds success’, that means when we share and exchange knowledge and ideas, it’s actually good for everybody.

So the great thing about entrepreneurship is, successful people actively encourage other people to become successful. They focus on serving other people first, they focus on delivering absolute value to their market. And that’s why people like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffet share their knowledge. Each one delivers absolute value to their industries. So let’s see what we can learn from them.

Let’s start with Warren Buffett and find out what he has to say. Just check out this short clip and see what he says.

Ok, Warren Buffett believes that finding your passion is key. So let’s see what Oprah Winfrey has to say.

Right, as we can see Oprah believes that success starts with finding your true calling, which is very similar to what we’ve learned from Warren Buffett, right?

So now let’s find out what the late Steve Jobs had to say.

Ok, so Steve Jobs also said that we need to have a passion for what we do. Now we’ve got three of the wealthiest and most influential entrepreneurs, of all time, all saying the same thing.

It’s pretty clear that, in order to become successful, we have to start doing what we love. Finding something we believe in and building a business around it, that seems to be the starting point. 

That’s actually how I started Profit Copilot, you see, years before I started this website, I built another site that I believed in. Some of you probably know it, that site exposed corruption and injustice, things like modern day slavery and that kinda stuff. And that website made me feel good because I was contributing something positive back into the world.

Anyway, over the next 15 years or so, I noticed that I also felt passionate about the marketing side of things, that, my interest had shifted into the technical and psychological stuff, so things like getting traffic, copywriting, figuring out how to sell without being weird, creating products, shooting videos, and all that stuff. I’d noticed that those activities turned out to be a lot of fun, I’d become equally as passionate about the marketing side of thing and because I’d already grown a website from nothing to millions of hits, I felt qualified to share what I’d learnt over the years, and the end result of that, is Profit Copilot.

I’d noticed that those activities turned out to be a lot of fun, I’d become equally as passionate about the marketing side of thing and because I’d already grown a website from nothing to millions of hits, I felt qualified to share what I’d learnt over the years, and the end result of that, is Profit Copilot.

But what if you don’t know what your passion is, what if you’re stuck for ideas? Well, I’ve got a quick exercise you can do right now that will help you to unlock your passion so you can start to move forward.

I’m going to ask you to answer a few questions, and when you answer them, you’ll have the building blocks you need to discover what kind of information product to make, or what kind website to make, or what kind of videos to shoot, or the type of podcast to start.

And then once you know that, we’re going to drill down and find out EXACTLY who should be targeted, we’re going to find out exactly who wants to buy the product YOU WANT to make.

You’re going to find ways to deliver value to your marketplace and deliver reliable information that works, that genuinely helps people to improve their situation and genuinely helps people to solve a problem. I’m going to ask you just four questions, and when you answer them, you’ll have found your passion.

So this exercise will help you to find out HOW you can do all of those awesome things. Ok, so think about all the things you love doing, maybe you love cooking, or writing, or teaching, or maybe you love talking, maybe you love creating things, maybe you enjoy surfing, or playing guitar, maybe it’s sewing and stitching, maybe it’s running, or working out, maybe you enjoy maintaining a fish tank, or playing golf. Think about how you spend your time, what you’ve invested your time into, think about the activities that make you feel happy, the things that you love talking about.

So make a big long list of all the activities that matter to you, and now ask yourself this question:

Of all of these awesome things, which topics do you feel like you can help other people to learn more about? And you don’t have to know a lot. You don’t have to be an expert, you don’t have to know everything about it, you just have to know enough to help someone get started, to just help someone understand the basics.

Ok, once you know what you’d like to help people with, ask yourself who are they? Who are the people you want to help? They might be people just like you. They might be people who are now, where you once had been. Think about the circumstances they’re in, what questions they have, they problem they need to overcome.

Then ask yourself, WHAT do they need that will help them to overcome that problem? What’s the solution, how would you solve the problem?

Ok, now ask yourself, once you’ve given them the solution, HOW do they change? What happens afterward? What’s the end result they’ll get once they apply your advice?

Now write down the answers and have a look at what you’ve got. You now know what you feel passionate about, you know who needs your help, you know how to help them, and you know how it changes their lives.

So you’ve got the outline, the formula, the template you can use to build a business that you’ll enjoy, that makes you feel complete, and that gives you a purpose. And that’s amazing, but what makes this so powerful? Well, out of these four questions, only one is about you. The other three questions are about other people.

Most of the questions are about the people you can help. They are: who are the people you can help? What do they need? And how they change? These questions force you to look beyond yourself and your own needs, and they force you to look for ways to deliver value to your market. Just like we learned at the beginning, the most successful people, all put their own needs aside and deliver value to their market first.

Now before I go, I’ve got an extra bonus for you here. I’ll show you how to find your ideal customers. So, let’s drill down and find out specifically who’s going to buy your stuff.

Here, we’re going to narrow down the number of people in your niche, we’re going to reduce the number of people in your marketplace. And I know this might sound counter-productive, I mean, why would you want to limit the number of customers, right? Well, there’s a very good reason for that, you see, the Internet is so big we only need to target the people who are most likely to buy. Online, we do better by selling to a specific group of people.

I’ve got three more questions you need to answer to help you do that. So for this exercise I want you to decide, inside your niche, of all the people that exist in it, and there’s probably millions, – ask yourself; are there a lot of people who are motivated to buy a solution? Are they spending money?

Then ask yourself, are they actively looking for the solution? Are they motivated enough to start searching for help?

And finally, ask yourself, are they having trouble finding a good solution?

So what’s happening here, at each stage, we’re narrowing down, we’re only targeting the people who are more likely to buy from us.

And when we do this, it means we don’t have to use any marketing hype or high-pressure sales tactics because you’re only dealing with people who already want a solution. And we also cut out a large portion of the competition when we do it like this too. And we save money on advertising because we’re only targeting a small group of highly motivated buyers.

Ok, so today you’ve learned a lot from this. And now you should have a roadmap on how to deliver value to your market because when you do, you instantly become more attractive to the people in your niche. When you demonstrate that you can help them, by actually helping them, you create trust, which in turn creates profit, and happy, loyal customers who become repeat buyers year after year.

You’ve also seen what three of the world’s most iconic business minds all have in common. You’ve learned that the strongest businesses all start with a passion and you’ve answered the four vital questions every responsible entrepreneur needs to ask themselves.

So you know which area to focus on, which area will produce the highest reward for you because it’s something you believe in and something you feel passionate about.

You know who your customers are, you know who needs your help, you know how to help them and you know what kind of result you can give them.

Then, as a bonus, we figured out how to narrow down the marketplace and find out who’s most likely to buy your stuff – and as a result, you don’t have to worry about competing in crowded markets or having to use weird sales tricks.

Ok, so that’s a lot of stuff and I think I’ll leave it there for today guys, I hope you’ve found this to be immensely valuable and I hope you’re filled with fresh ideas, motivation, and inspiration.

Aweber vs ActiveCampaign – Why I Moved From Aweber

I’ve been an Aweber customer since 2009… that’s a long time in Internet years.

Back then it was the autoresponder to use.

And during those years, every time I was asked about email marketing I proudly recommended Aweber.

But that all changed in 2017.

A year previously, in 2016, a friend told me about a little-known company called ActiveCampaign.

“It’s almost an InfusionSoft-level CRM, but without the price tag,” she said.

Obviously, I was skeptical.

She wasn’t wrong though. Well, it’s very close – at least it gives us a taste of what’s possible.

And it planted a seed of doubt in my mind. Maybe Aweber wasn’t the holy grail of mid-budget autoresponders, after all?

So I started an afternoon of intense caffeine-fueled research.

Not Your Grandfathers Autoresponder

To my amazement, the email marketing scene had changed since I last took the time to look. And Aweber’s leading position had slipped, considerably.

Now, I’m not one to jump onto the latest and greatest shiny objects. If you’re familiar with my videos, blog posts and podcast then you’ll know I favor using methods, techniques, and technology that can stand the test of time. I like things to be consistent, predictable and reliable.

I’m a creature of habit and I know what I like.

I also believe in brand loyalty and Aweber had always been good to me.

It had always worked as I expected it to. I didn’t feel like there was any real reason to jump ship.

It’s not like I felt that I was missing out on anything – I’d never seen any of that fancy automation stuff in action and truthfully, I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about anyway.

So, maybe if things started going wrong with Aweber, on then would I think about moving.

Then a few weeks later, a turning point came when I read a post on the Thrive Themes blog. As soon as I hit the page, a lightbox popup took over the browser window and gave me three choices – it asked me to choose which area of my business I was currently focused on.

When I made my choice, it showed an opt-in form, so I signed up. I was in awe of the lightbox, the way it made things interactive. Of course, it was only a standard two-step opt-in form, but it was presented in such a way that I felt involved.

It was the first time I had been given a choice about the type of content I wanted to receive.

So then, curious to learn how it was done, I went back and repeated the process twice more, for each of the options I didn’t choose the first time around.

I was amazed to see that behind the scenes, I was being sent to different stages of the same funnel.

Theme envy, I think it’s called.

So I contacted Thrive Themes and asked them directly how they did it. A combination of Thrive Leads and ActiveCampaign, they told me.

This was now the exact set up I wanted for my sites. At the time, the doors to Profit Copilot had been shut, but I immediately saw how it could benefit my main site, RINF.

I imagined the millions of people who visit my site now being given not just one insentive to subscribe to my list, but three. The numbers made me drool.

Straight to Aweber I go, looking for a way to achieve it.

But all I find is frustration.

A long chat with a member of the support team didn’t help much either. It turns out that it’s impossible with Aweber, unless I created three separate email lists, with a sequence for each one.

Should the same person subscribe to all three lists, then I’ll be charged X3 for that one subscriber.

I thought it was a raw deal. Disappointed, I put the idea on the back burner and carry on as normal – for another few weeks.

The final straw came when my emails had stopped going to my subscribers’ inbox and started landing in their junk folders instead.

Aweber’s response was to change the subject line of the confirmation email, even though I was using their recommended default one.

It didn’t make a difference, so I decided to jump ship.

And then something amazing happened.

Almost immediately, my open rates increased – which meant my click through rates climbed and my email list became more responsive.

Suddenly I had a whole new set of tools to use. My email campaigns could now use advanced behavioral technology – so a campaign can change and adapt according to subscriber actions.

Powerful stuff.

How Is It For Affiliate Marketers?

But as good as this sounds, ActiveCampagin isn’t the right solution for everybody. There are some instances when Aweber is the best option.

If your business model is dependent on affiliate marketing, then avoid ActiveCampaign. They don’t like affiliate marketers.

Aweber welcomes this practice with open arms, so if you send a lot of affiliate links to your list, stay put.

I can’t express this enough. If you’re an affiliate marketer you should avoid ActiveCampaign at all costs – it will damage your business.

Imagine logging into your account to see that it’s been frozen. No email notification to warn you, nothing to let you know that your campaigns have stopped running.

That actually happened to one of my friends.

Despite that, this is my only issue with ActiveCampaign. In my experience, all other areas of their support have been top notch so far, but this a major flaw that’s impossible to overlook.

But if you’re a content creator, if you’re a blogger, a YouTuber, Podcaster etc, and don’t send overly promotional emails, then ActiveCampaign is worth a look.

What Does It Do?

Right now, almost every autoresponder on the market has advanced behavioral technology, besides Aweber. So ConvertKit, GetResponse, and even Mailchimp all out-perform Aweber.

I chose ActiveCampaign because it was recommended by my friend who raved about it. We have similar businesses models, so if it works for her then it will probably work for me too.

So here are some of the things it can do, and Aweber can’t:

  • A/B split testing
  • Campaign segmentation
  • Activity logging and tracking
  • Behaviour tracking
  • Visitor tracking
  • Lead scoring
  • Pipeline management
  • Data filtering
  • Advanced automation
  • SMS marketing
  • Real-time tracking and reporting

You might not think you need all of this, but just the ability to run A/B split tests is now essential for any business that’s using email marketing.

Email marketing as a whole has changed and Aweber has failed to keep up.

So, how exactly can all these new shiny objects help your business?

Well, let’s pretend that you sell apples and oranges. On Monday, you send an email that’s all about apples, and on Tuesday you send another one all about oranges.

If your subscriber opens the email about apples, ActiveCampaign knows and you can automatically trigger for more emails about apples to be sent. If they don’t open the email about oranges, you can automatically stop them from receiving any future emails about oranges.

This level of automation is powerful, it makes sure that your subscribers only receive the type of content they’re interested in. This can make your email list more responsive and can increase the overall engagement of your subscribers.

When I say it’s changed how I run my business, I’m serious. It’s also brought in more revenue, as I’ve been able to re-engage subscribers that I wouldn’t have been able to re-connect with, with Aweber.

So to sum up and to put it bluntly, if you’re a content creator who’s still using Aweber, then you’re losing money.

How To Protect Your Business From Google – Before It’s Too Late

It was a scorching hot summers day in 1998, I was 18 years old and it was my first ‘proper’ job interview.

The guy sitting on the other side the desk, my potential boss, was just a few years older than me.

Smiling from ear to ear, he looked at the computer monitor as he beamed “your websites look good. You’d be a good fit here”.

All those months of hard work were about to pay off and I could feel my heart pounding through my chest.

Then he looked at me and narrowed his eyes, “but can you optimize them for search engines?”.

There was a long silence between us. I could feel the panic creeping in.

“Erm… I don’t know.. Uh.. I don’t what that means, is it important?” I asked nervously.

He started laughing, shaking his head in dismay as he stood up to shake my hand.

“Thank you for your time Mick but I’m sorry, we need someone who actually understands web marketing”.

My heart sank. I felt humiliated and dejected. I’d spent months learning how to build websites.

Back then if you wanted to build a website you had to code in Notepad by hand. There was no WordPress, no themes, not even any WYSIWYG software like Macromedia Dreamweaver.

I left the building feeling like a complete failure. And then on my walk home, I got angry.

But I wasn’t angry at him, I was angry at myself for not being prepared, for not understanding an important part of ‘this Internet stuff’. I was going to use this anger to my advantage, to improve my skillset.

The problem with being self-taught is that you never know where the gaps in your knowledge are until it’s too late. And then it can be a painful lesson to learn.

Immediately, that very same day I consumed as much information about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as I could. In the following days, I learned how to do it, and it was pretty easy at first.

In fact, I never stopped learning. Years went by and I still paid close attention to changes in the search engine algorithms, how websites fluctuate as a result, then adapting and refining the optimization process to make sure my client’s websites stayed where they were supposed to – at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Over time, everyone in the SEO industry had to experiment through trial and error. Seeing results for a short period, then re-engineering sites to make them climb back up the ranking.

Through examining the Google patents, finding potential correlations between them and taking educated guesses at how each signal influenced the SERPs, we eventually figured out what worked and what didn’t.

And before long, I’d spent an entire decade getting websites to the top.

Then after around 15 years of SEO, I started to notice a disturbing pattern emerging across the industry; legitimate high-quality websites were being penalized by Google. Clean websites with authoritative backlinks from good neighborhoods were dropping like flies.

It didn’t make any sense.

White-hat SEO techniques had suddenly become black-hat.

It wasn’t the first time it had happened, but this time it enabled me to understand something important; You shouldn’t build your home on someone else’s land.

Especially in business.

Google has a history of doing this; encouraging particular techniques and touting them as a great way to SEO a website, only to punish websites for going along with it.

We have plenty examples to choose from, but the one that caught the attention of bloggers everywhere is guest blogging. In 2014 Google decided that guest blogging was no longer a viable option, after encouraging the practice for years.

Guest blogging, like most promotional methods, has been abused by unethical marketers. However, Google’s algorithm clearly isn’t smart enough to tell the difference between legitimate guest posts and spam posts.

The collateral damage to small businesses that depended on SEO was immense.

Risky Business

So it hit me.

There are millions of businesses out there, all dependent on Google to drive conversions to their website.

It freaked me out. I became deeply concerned for any blog, e-commerce store, affiliate, any website that needed Google to survive.

Almost every single one of them oblivious to the enormous risk they’re taking.

Should the big G make a slight change to the algorithm, then BOOM – thousands of businesses destroyed in a flash, and potentially thousands of lives ruined.

A common mantra from bloggers is “algorithm changes are good, they weed out bad sites”.

If that was true, I’d agree with them.

Another one I often hear; to stay in Google’s good graces, all you need to do is “have good content and have good backlinks”.

This is naive.

But I can’t blame them for believing it. Google are fantastic at PR, they push this idea and a lot of bloggers simply accept it without question.

In some ways, this gives us an advantage – while they’re all falling over themselves to appease the Google Gods, the rest of us can get on with getting the kind of traffic that matters.

I’ll tell you how to get that kind of traffic in a minute, but first, when it comes to SEO, there are 2 core practices you need to be aware of.

On-site SEO and off-site SEO.

On-site SEO is the stuff you can control; page title, meta data – the page description and keywords. SILO, keyword density, and sitemaps are all under your control too, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Off-site SEO is largely the things you can’t control; things like the number and quality of inbound links to your site, media mentions, reviews etc.

Control is vitally important for maintaining longevity in your business.

Traffic That Matters

We know that when comes to SEO you have no control over the position that Google chooses to give you.

But do you have control over ANYTHING?

Facebook accounts can be banned, the same with Adwords, blogs can refuse to do business with you. Does control exist?

Well, yes it does.

I learned from Russell Brunson that there are 3 types of web traffic:

  • Traffic that you don’t control.
  • Traffic that you do control.
  • Traffic that you own.

It’s the aim of the game to own as much relevant traffic as we can.

I’ll explain this to you in more detail.

Traffic that you don’t control

This is traffic from search engines, social media, and other websites. This is the traffic that you have no control over. Someone can link to you, stop linking to you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

SEO, if you’re lucky, results entirely in traffic you can’t control. This is organic traffic and people proudly boast about it.

It’s free traffic, which is great. But it should be considered as supplemental and not the main source.

Every time I hear someone boast about how their traffic is organic, all I’m really hearing them say is “I have no control over the longevity of my business, and its survival is at the mercy of other companies”.

Traffic that you do control

These are traffic sources that you can influence. Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, YouTube Ads, solo ads, etc all provide traffic that you control.

You decide on what degree of targeting you want, you decide on the entry points into your funnel, and you decide how your message is framed.

Given a choice between this kind of traffic, and organic, this is more valuable.

Traffic that you own

Both of the previous traffic types can become the third type; traffic that you own.

This is the best, most valuable type of traffic to have and it’s what gives your business longevity. It also gives you predictable and consistent results.

This kind of traffic is made up of your email subscribers, your RSS subscribers, your followers, the people who’ve taken direct action and made a commitment to receiving more of your content.

These are typically, but not exclusively, the people who become your customers.

So obviously the smart thing to do is to focus on getting more traffic that you control.

SEO does have a place in the equation, it can generate supplemental free traffic so it shouldn’t be ignored – but it absolutely should not be your sole promotional vehicle or only source of traffic.

Unstable Results

Just today I was speaking to someone who told me he’s making almost $60,000 per month just from SEO traffic.

It’s a major achievement and something to be immensely proud of.

I asked him how much of that was going back into other areas of promotion. Nothing, it turned out.

That’s understandable – when the sun is shining it’s hard to think about rainy days.

But for his business, right now there is no safety net.

I asked him to think about the way Google’s algorithms frequently change.

He’s placing a lot of trust into a company that has a track record of being highly unpredictable.

Only a few hundred high profile websites are seemingly immune to Google updates, and his website isn’t one of them. Chances are neither is yours.

Maybe you’re doing everything ‘right’ and you’re playing by whatever ‘rules guidelines’ Google are enforcing this year.

But what happens in 2, 5, 10 years down the road when Google’s algorithm is nothing like it is today, even if you’re doing everything ‘right’?

SEO is temporary.

I’ll give you an example. Let’s pretend that your website benefits hugely from one of the ways Google ranks a site, called Clustering.

I’ll give you an example. Let’s pretend that your website benefits hugely from one of the ways Google ranks a site, called Clustering.

Should Google change the way it handles Clustering, that is likely to have a massive impact on your business.

You haven’t been penalized. You haven’t done anything wrong. Google just changed their recipe slightly and you got hit in the fallout as collateral damage.

This happened a while ago and many businesses suffered.

You can adapt and experiment to find out what changed, and maybe recover in time if you’re one of the lucky ones.

But what about the stuff you have no control over or can’t make any changes to?

Google likes to keep an eye on your websites past.

If Google decides to change the way it handles things like Document Inception, or how it likes Growth Profiles to look or the way it expects Historical Data to read, then you’re in serious trouble.

No amount of fresh content and no amount of authoritative backlink can save you. The only thing that can, is a time machine – or a new website.

The Saftey Net

The good news is that we have a multitude of other traffic sources that are more reliable. They’re also cheaper than SEO, faster and you can track your results more effectively.

How did businesses generate sales before the Internet? They advertised.

That word, advertising, scares a lot of bloggers. It used to scare me too.

It seemed like an expensive and risky option while the thought of free organic traffic was more appealing. But apart from the issues I’ve mentioned already, I also found another big problem with organic traffic; they’re not buyers.

Unless you’re specifically targeting, and achieving a good rank for purchase orientated keywords, then most of the people who visit your site aren’t in buy-mode, because they’re in research mode. You can siphon a small percentage of them into your funnel but conversion rates are always low.

In my experience, it’s easier, quicker and more profitable to just go directly to the people who want to buy, help them for free (really), and then ask for the sale.

I’ll explain more about this process in a minute.

If you’re doing this in addition to your SEO efforts, then you’re building a safety net for your business. Should anything happen to your position in the SERPs, it won’t impact your bottom line as much.

It means you’re taking control back of your business.

But where to advertise? That’s the easy bit.

Find out where the people who need your stuff hang out online. Find the blogs, forums, groups, where they look for help and put your advert in front of them.

The tricky part is getting them to click on the ad.

That’s why solid ad copy that grabs their attention and piques their curiosity is essential.

And even that isn’t too difficult once you include the main benefit of your product in the headline.

The New Lead Acquisition

Once you stop relying on Google to keep your business alive, things become a lot more steamlined and a lot less confusing.

Things also become predictable and you can clearly see which methods are providing you with a good Return On Investment (ROI)

This means you’ll know exactly how much traffic you need in order to break even.

The great thing about advertising on the Internet is that we can follow up with website visitors – I’ll call them leads from this point onwards.

Before the Internet, advertising was hit and miss – and the main way to track the effectiveness of an ad was to use a coupon.

The reader had two choices; either seek out your product and buy it or ignore the ad. If they chose to ignore it, you would have probably lost the sale forever with no way to re-engage with them.

Today we have a third choice, and it’s the smart way to do things.

We turn visitors into leads – they have the opportunity to become a prospective buyer.

This doesn’t work for all business models, but if you’re a blogger then you’ll want to sit up and take notice.

Here is how it works:

  1. A visitor clicks on your ad
  2. They are offered free content
  3. They are offered a product

It’s simple, right?

We ask them to opt-in to our mailing list, where they can receive high-value content that will help them to solve part of their problem. At this point, they become a lead.

Once we’ve demonstrated that we can help them, we offer them an upgrade option to buy if they feel our stuff is a good match for their needs.

If they decide not to purchase, we can follow up with them via email, and we can retarget through Facebook and through Adwords, to entice them to take action.

If we want to, we can blitz their online experience with our message – you can place your offer at their every turn. It’s incredibly powerful.

Automation

Becoming their virtual stalker isn’t something I feel comfortable with, and it’s my opinion that they will either buy from you or they won’t and no amount of advertising can convince someone to buy a product they don’t want.

But staying in regular touch with them, the way a friend does is smart.

And we can ramp things up yet again by understanding the behavior of our leads.

The great thing about this; most of it can be automated.

That means that once you create a campaign, it can be hands-off and run automatically in the background while you get on with running the parts of the business that you enjoy.

For me, it’s creating content and that’s where I like to put my focus. I automate the ‘selling’ side of things.

We can create automated campaigns that speak directly to our leads. With email marketing, it’s possible to trigger sequences based on the actions that a lead takes.

For example, if your lead expresses interest in one type of content over another, we can automatically send them more of that type of content.

Let’s pretend that you’ve sent 2 emails to your list. The first one on Monday, and it’s all about apples. The second email on Tuesday is about oranges.

If your lead opens on the email about apples and ignores the one about oranges, it’s possible to make sure the lead receives ONLY emails about apples.

This results in a refined, laser targeted campaign that speaks directly to the needs your prospects.

All this gives you a lot more control over your business than SEO, and it’s easy to see why so many bloggers are no longer investing so much time and money into the practice.

And when you think about it, if you’re investing your time and energy into creating awesome content that your visitors want and value, then you’re already doing everything that Google says it wants you to.