The Gurus Don’t Know It All

This is an updated post from many years ago. It’s still a legitimate topic and I’ve updated it a bit. So yes, there are some old comments on it, but the updates I’ve made have freshened it up a bit; at least that’s my story. 🙂

me-in-orange
Not a guru…
but know some things…

In the years that I’ve been on Twitter I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a few of the top internet marketers in the world. I’ve read their blog posts, seen some of their videos, and even caught an occasional podcast or two. I think it’s a good thing to have the opportunity to cull from a vast amount of sources who’ve found a way to make a great living via their online presence. I’ve learned a few things from some of them, and I hope that some of those lessons I’ve learned will work very well later on… because they haven’t yet.
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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016-2018 Mitch Mitchell

No Popups From Me; Mobile’s Happy About That

Many years ago I read a blog post called Customers Won’t Discount Your Dishonesty, where the author was basically talking about internet tricks a lot of online marketers try. The article specifically mentioned this sneakiness when you’re trying to leave a website, only to have a pop up window stop you with a discounted offer without just letting you go. I didn’t like it then and I’m still not a fan of popups.

pop-up windows hate

I remember when my wife and I first moved into this house and we thought we needed new windows. This guy came to the house and was here for 3 hours, first measuring the windows, then supposedly doing all the calculations he had to do so that he could talk to us further. He then dropped the price on us; $36,000. I actually laughed out loud, which is so unlike me, but it was more than 1/3rd of what we’d paid for the house.

He left, but three days later we got a call offering the same package for $16,000; once again we said no. Then four days later we were offered the same package for $9,000. At that point I told the person that I didn’t want their company calling me anymore because I didn’t trust them.

A couple years later, my wife contacted one of the big home improvement chains and asked someone to come look at our windows. This guy gave us a quote where most of our windows came to $70 each, with the big bay window coming to $1,000 on its own; I could understand that, as it’s a different style. We didn’t go for that one, but we did replace a lot of the other windows, at a very affordable price.

You’re probably wondering why I told the story about the windows after introducing my issue with popups. Suffice it to say that I’m not a fan of popups, which used to be referred to as popup windows. I’m the guy who’s gone so far as to eliminate javascript from all the browsers on my computer so I would stop getting those stupid newsletter popups that so many people are using these days.

That’s actually worked quite well on my main computer… but it’s done nothing for me as it pertains to my smartphone. And Google was supposed to take care of that for me.

The thing is, it’s much worse having popups on the phone than it was on my computer… for the most part. The problem is that often one of two things happens way too soon. The first is that you’ve just arrived on a page and you’re ready to check out the content when suddenly this long thing pops in from the top, totally obliterating what you were about to read to smack you in the face with a newsletter or product offer. The second is that you actually get to start reading when this popup appears and not only blocks the content but is so big that you can’t even X it out.

It’s in these moments when I think back on my initial windows issue back in 2000 and makes me not want to trust the people whose content I was hoping to read. I spend a lot of time online and on Flipboard looking for content to read and later share with my online audience. I hate having my time wasted because I got sucked in by a blog or article title that looked intriguing, only to get a bait and switch that won’t let me see what I thought I was going to see.

Do Not Trust Robots
Creative Commons License Matt Brown via Compfight

It brings two thoughts into my mind. The first is that the content might not be all that good, which is why the owner is trying to get me to sign up for something without being able to read it first. The second is that now I don’t trust them because it seems they’re more concerned with getting subscribers than is catering to their audience.

Just so you know, even though I hate all popups, I do understand why people use them. Some studies have shown that one can increase their subscribers by as much as 40% by using them. Those same studies have shown that traffic and visits to those sites decreases by about 10% over time. If you’re running a large site or making money from your newsletter that’s probably negligible. If not, why are so many so willing to alienate visitors so early?

I may hate popups, but because I understand why some people use them I’d like to put in a request for using them more responsibly.

First, stop making them so big that we can’t close them out on our smartphones. All you have to do is check your own site on your phone to see if it’s bothering people.

Second, stop adding things that have nothing to do with your site as a popup. I have no idea how this happens, but sometimes I’m either getting affiliate program popups or that weird window talking about some type of Facebook survey where I can either win some prize or that I need to take in order to read more of the content. I mean… what the heck?!?!?

Third, stop having popups go live within that stupid 30-second window. If your content is actually good (which means it’s got some meat) then you could set it to go live 60-90 seconds after someone’s been on your site.

Fourth, stop having your popup drop from the top seconds after someone’s gotten to your site or, better yet, block all content immediately unless you click on a stupid X or a stupid link telling someone you don’t want to play right now (I’m talking to you Neil Patel lol). My favorite request, the one thing that could get me to add javascript back to my computer (nah; ain’t gonna happen…) is to have something pop “in” from the side as the reader is getting close to the end of the article. For those of you doing this… yay! 🙂

I know mobile’s happy with me because I don’t have any popups on any of my sites. I’m not sure that’s translating to more visitors since only 15% of my traffic comes from mobile (more than half of those being Apple phones; I should be nicer to Apple people lol). I’m also not sure if Google’s supposed mobile penalty is actually working against anyone because it seems to still be prevalent based on what I’m seeing.

If you’re a content publisher using popups, have you modified what you’re doing since Google made its proclamation?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Mitch Mitchell

I Know Nothing About Affiliate Marketing

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about affiliate marketing, something I’ve been a part of for at least 5 years by now, and wondering “what the heck am I doing wrong?” I’ve made few affiliate sales over the years, but at least I can say I’ve made some. I guess that puts me ahead of a few people, but so many others are really rocking the industry. Then, after yesterday’s escapade and thinking about it some more, I realized one very interesting fact; I know nothing about affiliate marketing!


Going Crazy
by Frédéric Dupont

That’s a very disconcerting thing to come to, and though it’s probably over the top, especially since I once wrote an article on how affiliate marketing works, truth be told I’ve been looking for answers for a long time. I’ve read a lot of stuff; I even put together a post where folks could download free ebooks on the subject.

Last night on Zac Johnson’s site, as he was talking about another affiliate marketing program, I left a comment saying that it was nice for him to profile, but I wondered how he did things, even though I had read his book Six Figure Affiliate Blogging and even wrote a review on it. No answer yet, but he’s probably still asleep since I wrote it around 2AM.

You know what the problem is? Well, it’s actually twofold. One, I’m not innovative when it comes to marketing in the first place. It’s never been my strong suit, even though I’ve been working independently for almost 10 years now. I’m okay at networking, which has saved my behind over all these years, but marketing; nope. Two, with all the books and such that I’ve read over all these years, information I’ve eaten up and memorized and understood, I’ve never picked up that one big nugget that I’ve really been looking for, and that’s the first 3 steps of it all. And no, I don’t need to read “create a product” or “set up an autoresponder” or “capture emails for lists” again; none of that tells me a thing. I once asked Willie Crawford this question and he said he’d think about it and get back to me on it; didn’t happen, unfortunately.

I belong to Commission Junction as one of my affiliate programs, as you know. I used to pop one of their products or banner ads into every post up until the new year began. At least half of the time the product or banner ad had something to do with the topic of the day. Obviously just showing something that no one was interested in on that day didn’t work, as I rarely made sales from doing all that work, though I did get a few clicks here and there. My question was what the heck was I really supposed to do when I either selected a product or a banner ad from one of these advertisers; that’s the step I’ve never really gotten.

At least I did get one question answered a few days ago on Lisa Irby’s blog, where she had a post, along with a video, titled Why Some Blogs Don’t Perform Will Affiliate Marketing. It wasn’t in the video, which was still neat to watch, but in her response to the comment I made on the blog. I said it sounded expensive to do what she did, having to buy a lot of domain names, and after a back and forth she said she doesn’t buy a bunch of domains, but drives people to an existing site where she markets her items.

That was an aha moment for me because she’s the first person to ever say that from all that I’ve read. It takes a load off my mind to know that I don’t have to do like some of these big time marketers, create a product, buy a new domain name and push it like crazy. Whew! At least stage one is set; I’ve finally learned something useful, so thanks Lisa. That one nugget gave me other things to think about, and really that’s what it’s all about. I now have a better idea for what I could be doing.

In 2009 I wrote a post called Let’s Learn Affiliate Marketing Together; seems we still need to learn that lesson.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011-2018 Mitch Mitchell

Frank Kern’s Core Influence – The Beginning

My friend Kelvin swears by this guy named Frank Kern, who’s one of the top internet marketers in the world. I have to admit that I don’t know as much about him as I probably should. Anyway, Kelvin’s been trying to get me to look at this guy’s stuff for awhile now, and I’ve kind of poo-poo’d it off, not because I thought it was a sham or anything, but because time is not always my friend.

Anyway, I decided to finally follow him up on one of the links he provided where I could check out a short free video. It’s a link like this one, and let me get through this post before you think about clicking on it.

I clicked on the link and it took me to a 90 second video with Frank standing in front of water with waves splashing on the beach asking me to opt-in to this site so they can provide me with a link to a video. He also says I’ll have to do the double opt-in, as they’re going to send me an email so I can fully confirm.

That part is done, and now there’s a second page that comes up. Truthfully, as I write this, that’s where I am. There’s a short 2 1/2 minute video I’m supposed to watch first, then the main Core Influence video, which I guess is pretty long. Kelvin says it’s a great start and fully endorses it, so I figure I’ll go ahead and give it a shot. For full disclosure, by the time you read this I should have finished the video, as it’s the long holiday weekend here in the United States, and y’all know I write some of these ahead of time.

This means that at some future point I may have something more to say about it all. Now, about that link I gave you before. It turns out that there’s a Core Influence 2, and to get to see that you have to have at least 3 people click that link and decide they want to opt-in to see the original Core Influence video. Now, I’m not sure yet whether I’ll even want to see the second video, but you know, both videos are free, and it’s only the second video you have to do a little bit of work to see. So, if any of you are predisposed to click on that first link, all I’ll say is I’ve provided the conduit, and I’m good to go.

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010-2011 Mitch Mitchell

An Interview With Mirko Gosch

You know, most of the time we tend to think that the only people worth interviewing are people who have accomplished great things. I think the interviews I’ve given have proven that not everyone has to be great to be fascinating, or to be able to learn something from.

I was on Twitter one night & saw Mirko’s post saying he could give some advice on internet marketing. I threw out a question, he answered, and it was a good answer. We talked, and he gave me some more answers; all good stuff. I asked him to take the standard interview questions, assuming he was someone who’d made a lot of money, and instead he revealed that he’s in the process of studying before figuring out where he wants to go. But his advice was still good. Thus, this interview:

1. How long did it take you to make your first $10,000 via internet marketing?

Come back in 3-6 months time and I’ll be able to tell you 🙂 I have spent the last 6 months crawling the internet marketing scene to learn, learn, learn. I’ve spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to dig deep into the abundance of possibilities to make money online and I’ve only just begun to implement what I have learned. I took the time to weed out the crap of which there is a lot of to be discovered and I am now confident to have found a system to deliver high valuable service and products without tricking people into buying stuff they don´t need.

2. When you first began, what kind of mistakes did you make that impeded you?

The biggest mistake by far was that it took me 6 months to get myself a mentor to guide me with a proven system. But then you know, it also took time to find the right mentor for me, as what I have written to question #1 applies to this one here as well. There is an abundance of people offering advice and it takes time to check them out before you commit yourself to one person, doesn’t it?

Another mistake I’d like to mention is that due to the fact that I was shining my flashlight into every single corner of this online marketing world I lost my focus and was spinning around in circles trying to absorb all the information available. I subscribed to dozens upon dozens of email lists from marketers and I found myself bombarded with emails every day. More than a single person can read or least of all follow up any of the gazillions of links. So for me it was time to reduce the noise in my email inbox, unsubscribe from the majority and stick only to the very best I had discovered.

3. For someone brand new who has a product to sell, whether it’s their own or not, what are the first three steps they need to do to drive traffic to their product, or is that the most important thing to begin with in the first place?

Talking about traffic, the life-blood of any website offering something to sell, this involves many aspects and I don’t have a short answer to this very good and important question. There is basically three types of traffic: Paid traffic (such as Google Adwords and other forms of advertising on other websites), Free traffic (such as traffic from the search engines, social media sites you engage on, like Facebook e.g, social bookmarking and more) and there is Borrowed traffic (traffic from joint venture partners who have a list of email subscribers to whom they can offer your product).

If you have a product (doesn’t matter whether it is your own or an affiliate product) you first will have to do some deep keyword research using the Google keyword tool or any of the good keyword tool software products to find out if you have a demand for your product in the market. If your search tells you there is a substantial amount of people looking for your kind of product, move on to find a good keyword related name for your blog or website that is still available and register a .com, .org or .net domain. Set up the blog/website and start adding valuable content to your blog. Then use any of the three types of traffic.

4. What’s your general opinion on trying to make money selling affiliate products through companies like Clickbank, Commission Junction, etc?

This is a good way to start making money online as you do not have to handle the product creation part, not the billing part, not the service part nor anything else like that. You don’t even need a website as you can direct the traffic directly to the affiliate offer (e.g. an ad linking to the offer).

But it is a competitive market and you certainly have to learn the basics before you go out and try and make a buck with affiliate marketing.

5. Do you believe an autoresponder is important even for those who don’t have much traffic at the beginning?

Yes, you should start as soon as possible. Your growing list can and will be a vital part of your websites traffic if you manage to build a good relationship with your list. Imagine sending out an email, asking your list to read your latest blog post, asking them questions and so on. If you’ve built up an relationship with your list, people will hop over to your blog. They will leave comments and this will attract other people and Google as well.

6. Do you believe that most people have the opportunity to make good money via their blogs, or do you believe it’s best to have a website, then possibly direct traffic through a blog to the websites?

The blogs (WordPress) are so good and basically easy to handle nowadays that I believe they will replace the majority of websites some time in the near future. Blogs are an excellent CMS (content management system) and I believe you can use a blog for everything you need online. I especially love the fact that you hardly need any knowledge of any computer language to set them up and maintain them.

7. What do you think of programs like Jeff Paul’s Internet Millions that bring a lot of people into internet marketing, promising millions, that don’t really know what the internet is to begin with?

Too much hype for me. I never bought nor liked any of those products.

8. Do you believe the market is getting too crowded, or is there room for everyone to make money online?

There is plenty of room for years upon years to come. In fact there will always be enough room. Mind you; there is a saying, that 95-97 % of the attempts to make a living online do fail. This might sound scary at first but it leaves us with 3-5 % who are obviously succeeding with their efforts.

And this is why I focus on finding out what makes those who do succeed different from the majority and follow their footsteps.

9. Take a moment for yourself; what are you working on now, or what would you like to promote?

Right now I am a proud student of Alex Jeffreys and I am so thankful that with the help of Alex and a great community of like-minded students I have regained my focus. I have my first product – a Alex Jeffreys course on you guessed it, internet marketing – up and running on my blog Easy Cash Webinar. Next and parallel to the ongoing coaching of Alex Jeffreys, I am working on my first own product to be released to the market – for free – within the next 28 days. So make sure to stop by on my blog Mirko Gosch. My blog is there to make a difference and it is a B.S. free area I’d like to invite you to. I am interacting and exchanging a lot with my fellow coaching students at the moment and there will be joint ventures coming up soon I expect.

10. Any final words of encouragement you’d like to give to my visitors?

Go and get yourself a mentor and prepare yourself for success by following a proven system. Make a plan and work on that plan daily. Be consistent and get your stuff out there. It can be done, you can do it but you have to DO it. Take action. If you ever need a helping hand, pop over to my blog. I am German but I will not shoot 🙂

I thank Mirko for sharing that information with us. And lest you think this is just some young guy who hasn’t done anything with his life yet, Mirko’s 41 years old and a lawyer who’s looking at a career change so he can do more things with his life and with his family. So, this is a driven guy who I hope makes it rich so I can play off his fame and tell the world I interviewed him first! 🙂

The Super Affiliate Handbook
by Rosalind Gardner