“How I Would Make Money Online if I Was Starting from Scratch” .... The Blueprint
method is basically a step-by-step formula that takes email marketing - where.
ViperChill Podcast #1 // Transcript “How I Would Make Money Online if I Was Starting from Scratch” Welcome to the first ever ViperChill podcast. I'm Glen Allsopp, for those of you who don't know me. Firstly, I'd like to apologise for the lack of awesome introduction music and cheesy lines from some voiceover guy on Fiverr. Since many people are in New Year's resolution mode, now is a good time for a lot people to hear what I have to say in this podcast so I really wanted to get this out as quickly as I could. While everyone is a little more motivated and looking for some direction. I'll talk more about podcasting and why I started to do this in a future episode, but I will say that I'm very excited to get into another form of publishing and connecting with people. I've always preached that what you say matters far more than how you say it, so hopefully I can prove that theory and still provide a lot of value through this medium as well. I'm very new to podcasting, though it's something I've wanted to get into for quite a long time, and can already see some clear differences between producing audio compared to text. When I write a blog post, for example, I can easily edit it after publishing if I make any typos or have sentences that don't make any sense. There's a bit more work when editing an MP3 file. I can also be relaxed in the first draft of a blog post and not worry too much about how it flows, yet I don't want to have to record a podcast over and over again, so the first run through has to be of a pretty high standard. I picked up a nice little microphone here in Cape Town - the Samson C01U for anyone curious which is now sitting on my desk and kind of makes me feel like some sneaky pirate radio kid, but it means that this recording should hopefully be of a better quality than anything else you've heard from me. The topic I'm going to talk about today is what I would do if I was starting from scratch online and wanted to make money. This is something a lot of ViperChill readers have wanted me to cover in the past so I'm hoping a lot of you will find value in this. As many of you already know, my own journey with making money online has mostly involved affiliate marketing, though I've also had success with product creation and selling advertising, consulting and that kind of thing. To make money online you first need traffic, and my traffic has been built by creating mini sites around certain popular search phrases, building popular blogs on different topics and following what I cal the email marketing slash CloudBlueprint strategy where I have a static website with just a few pages, focused around getting subscribers on an email list. I've had success with each of these, and though they've made me various amounts of money, I don't think there's a huge difference between which one you go for. Sorry if you wanted me to say that you need to blog, or you need to build an affiliate site, but I don't think that is the case. There's money to be made in countless ways and different platforms suit different people.
Before I get more specific on what I would do personally right now, I want to tell you about one of my best friends here in Cape Town. For the last few years he was a professional poker player and made a large six-figure sum, purchasing multiple properties with his earnings and currently travelling around the globe, really living a freedom lifestyle. He's a very, very smart guy and he's just one of those people i'm sure you all know that seems to pick things up quickly. Around this time last year he was looking to get out of poker and into the IM field, where he knew that I and our other friends like Diggy at Upgradereality.com have had some success. As lucrative as poker can be, it's something that constantly involves his time. If he doesn't play for a month, he doesn't make money. Yet if you get your internet marketing efforts aligned properly, you can disappear for a month and your audience may be non the wiser, while your bank balance continues to grow. He's someone that's really big into personal development - whenever I go over to his house he'll be reading some finance or philosophy book and sometimes read paragraphs to me to see what I think. We'd always have deep conversations about life, happiness and general philosophy, so I wasn't surprised when he said that for his IM business he was going to go into the personal development niche. Remember, this is the guy who is naturally good at everything, and IM turned out to be no exception. Within his first year online, after never having even build a website before, he made close to $100,000 with nothing more than a couple of small websites and an email list. He was one of the people who inspired me to create the whole Blueprint video course, which many of you have watched. It wasn't just his strategy that helped him do so well, but I believe his success also came from positioning himself as an expert and laser-focusing on a much smaller niche. In this case, a small segment of the personal development field. His results opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities, and the strategies involved are something I've been focusing on a lot more over the last 6-8 months. Most importantly it became really clear to me how many people successful people there are online, focusing again on these things: Being the expert, and having a laser-focused niche. You can see this laser-focusing of niches in the blogosphere. Back in around 2003/4 when blogs were starting to really take off, they were primarily used for two things. Many were used as a form of online diary, those that's rarer today with the rise of Twitter and Tumblr. Blogs were also built to cover really broad topics like 'music' or 'technology'. These days, you can look at the tech industry and see wildly successful sites just based around patents, or Microsoft, or Apple, or spy equipment, or quirky gadgets. In the fashion industry there's blogs just about high heels, mens fashion, the styles of specific women and so on. In the IM niche there are not only blogs about SEO but blogs about local seo, or link building, or seo experiments. As the web gets bigger, people are looking for more specialised content, and the market is adapting to that. The start of a new year is as good a time as any to make sure you're adapting as well. The first thing you need to decide on is your platform. I could go on and on about blogs versus
affiliate sites versus email marketing, but instead I'll keep things simple. If you want to do something public and connect with people, then I would start a blog, I've got a huge free open resource on Blogging at BloggingCaseStudy.com if that's your kind of thing. If you're happy to do something private but still want to connect with an audience, then follow the blueprint method. And if you just want to do something in public without connecting with an audience, go for the affiliate site route. I've written more about how I make money with affiliate marketing at http://www.viperchill.com/thousands-of-dollars-online/ My blog posts aren't known for being too generic so I'll be really specific here, though I hope it doesn't totally alter your decision and you still have some personal input about whether this is for you. If I was to personally - right now - start online from total scratch, I would without-adoubt follow the Blueprint method. What I would do is create a very simple website, hypertargeted around a certain niche. I would have such an insane freebie that people are likely to share, and show come kind of social proof on the page like quotes from subscribers, any press I've had or success stories to go with whatever I'm giving away. For those of you who have watched the Blueprint videos already, I'm going to expand on the concept of it for the rest of this podcast, and reiterate some of its key points. For those of you who haven't watched them, found over at viperchill.com/blueprint, I'll quickly describe what they cover here, and you can watch the videos later on. You'll see instructions on the right sidebar of the site on how to download them, so you can watch them in your own time. The Blueprint method is basically a step-by-step formula that takes email marketing - where you capture someones email address and send them content they have opted-in for - and tells you days to email people, the types of products to promote and how to grow your audience. The websites themselves are very basic - often just static HTML or using a plugin on top of Wordpress and I show you how to set up all of that, with ease, in the videos as well. Since email subscribers have been viewed by myself and many, many other marketers for a long time as the best form of site visitor, this tactic focuses solely on growing your email list and making more money through continual split-testing of your conversions. Remember, This is not going to be everyones ideal way of building a website. This is simply what I would personally do if I was starting out online right now. With this method you probably aren't going to build some huge facebook brand, make any money from selling advertisements or pull in tons of search engine traffic. There are downsides to most strategies and this is no exception. You're also not going to get any ego boosts from being on any top bloggers lists or being mentioned by your favourite publications. One of the benefits though is that there's very little work in setting this up compared to a blog. You also don't have to keep rewriting content, you can just keep it in some sort of funnel, and then the rest of your time is purely focusing on conversions, increasing your offerings or making products that you can sell. Every step along the way is always built around making money. And that's what we're here for, right? I know it's not too common to come out and say yeah..I'm trying to make a lot of cash here, it's not my sole motivation, but it's a big reason I put in the work I did online. If you're
still listening to this then I guess you want to make money from the internet as well, and this method puts that as a top priority. Once you're clear on the kind of plan you're going to follow, you need to pick your niche. As you've probably heard millions of times, it's always recommended that you pick an industry you're naturally passionate about. You're likely to stick at this marketing thing longer, you'll be more willing to learn about your topic for the next step - which is being an expert, you'll have a lot more fun on the journey, and hopefully you'll already have a lot of value to share on that topic. Too many people these days are focusing on broad topics, whereas if I was starting out right now, as I've said, I would totally zone in on a subset of an industry. In the health niche I wouldn't just be the 'general fitness guy'. Nobody talks about him. Instead I'm the guy who knows how to get sick abs, or workout effectively with bodyweight exercises, or how to build muscle on a vegan diet. Now of course you're going to totally limit the size of your potential audience when you do this, but the aim here isn't to own a site getting tens of thousands of uniques per day. It's a huge misconception that you need tons of traffic to make a lot of money online. *Targeted* traffic is where it's at. The Huffington Post are pulling in nearly 30million uniques per month and until very recently haven't had a profitable month in years. The case study I just featured on ViperChill about Cameron making $10k per month is with a site that just gets a couple of hundred visitors per day. Anyone who follows blogging case study will know that we've just revealed the case study website, Butterflyist.com and the niche of the site, a travel / personal development site aimed primarily towards women. Andrea, who I'm doing the case study with, is probably never going to have 200k subscribers like designmilk, digitalphotographyschool or zenhabits, at least not anytime soon, but her audience is going to be ultra targeted. If my mom ever wanted to travel on her own I would know exactly where to send her to get advice and information and ideas. With Butterflyist, Andrea isn't trying to attract everyone, but she's going to really wow the people who are looking for what she has to offer. Pick a niche that you live and breath. A niche you can really get involved in. When the right people think of a specific section of your industry, you want to be the person that comes to mind. And that's really the aim here. To be like the iPod is to MP3 players or the George Foreman is to Grills. Once you have a few topic ideas in mind, find out everything you can about that industry. And I mean everything. It's worth taking the time to do this. I've written a huge post on how you can go about analysing your industry at viperchill.com/niche-research/. It'll help you see what your audience is really responding to and you'll know if there are people interested in what you want to talk about. I've received numerous success stories since the launch of CloudBlueprint on May 20th, my 22nd birthday, all of which are great to read and I'm very happy for the people that send me them, but none can compare to Kevins. Kevin, one of the course followers, revealed that within 24 hours of launching his CloudBlueprint site, he had over 40,000 opt-ins. 40,000. To put that
into perspective, the email service provider that I and hundreds of thousands of other marketers use, Aweber, doesn't even have a pricing scale past 25,000 subscribers. He maxed out all of their options in a single day and pays them a custom fee. He also recently revealed to me that his list is at over 85,000 subscriber right now. And he was totally skeptical of the CloudBlueprint method before getting involved. I wont reveal his URL though he did announce it publicly, but I will say that his niche was personal protection, self defence. A clearly laser-focused topic that a lot of people want more information on. A female friend of mine says that she's heard my personal story enough times that she could answer interview questions for me, but since one aim of this podcast was to reach an entirely new audience (hello iTunes listeners) I'm going to quickly share some of it. I dropped out of college at 18 to move to Cape Town, South Africa, where I was the social media manager for some big companies like Hewlett Packard and Land Rover and a few other companies I'm sure you've heard of. I also did some cool side projects for the likes of Bacardi as well. Moving to Africa, from the UK at 18 was a huge step for me, so I decided to start a personal development blog, which was called PluginID to write about some of my experiences and life changes. The blog ended up being a big success and I later sold it. It's actually had about three owners since I let it go, each one surprisingly still making a profit from the sales. I've dabbled in literally every type of website you can think of since then, failing more times than I would like to admit, before eventually finding numerous industries where I madee a good income as an affiliate marketer. There's two reasons I'm telling you this. The first is because I was far from being a marketing expert when I first started writing about SEO at 16. I didn't claim to be, but with a lot of reading and most importantly testing, I started getting some great rankings that I could show off, and I had more knowledge to share which increased my credibility. Credibility which led to a job offer, which led to the rest of my story. You don't have to be the number 1 expert in the world on your topic, but if you want to have value to offer, you need to become more knowledgable on your subject. Read books, listen to podcasts, speak to people. Ask questions. Test. And then share whatever it is you want to share. The other reason I shared my story is because it's really important to have one. This stuff is personal, and people want someone and something about them to connect with. I don't even mean that you have to tell people everything about yourself, because in some industries that's totally not relevant. But with whatever niche you're involved in, where applicable, share your fears, excitement, struggles, breakthroughs and successes. Your audience will really connect with that. Not all of my readers are college drop-outs or younger than 23, but I receive countless emails from the people who are in my exact situation. Young, wanting to do things online, and not sure about continuing in regular education. They relate to my story, and that's the kind of person I'm going to connect with more than any other.
Andrea at Butterflyist also has a great story and I've even had tweets today from people saying how much they connected with her after reading it. Once you've honed in on your niche, built up your site and you're ready to grow your audience, you have to get out there. Again, we're not trying to get millions of visitors, we're just trying to build a targeted, passionate audience. How do you get out there? Well you can do the manual stuff like article marketing for certain long-tail keyphrases, buying ads on sites, doing list swaps or buying solo ads - i talk more about this in the actual video series if you're confused. You can also do the personal stuff like leaving blog comments, writing guest posts and interacting with people through their personal 'hubs' like Twitter, Facebook or whichever forums the members of your niche interact on. This CloudBlueprint model is not some strategy invented, I just put what I knew into a logical formula after lots of reading and lots of testing. And I'm still testing to this day. There's always room for improvement. Here's a quirky idea that might give you some motivation. Since we have thousands of blogging success stories out there, let's be able to highlight more success stories of people running personal email lists like this. The blogosphere is hugely saturated with blogs talking about marketing and making money online, but one opportunity for successful people outside the niche is that marketing blogs love using people in varied industries as examples. I love featuring people that are doing well in other industries. Be our success story. Get on the radars of marketers who have a large audience. Anytime a marketing guy talks about finance they think of Adam Baker at ManvsDebt, or language learning Benny the Irish Polyglot comes to mine. Fitness, I think of Steve Kamb. There are tons of people just as successful as them, they just don't get on the same radars. Do your research and figure out which influencers in your field and elsewhere that you want to get on the radar of. Keep in mind as well that you don't have to be everywhere and try every traffic strategy. Andrea left dozens of blog comments in order to get more traffic to her site yet most bought in just a couple of clicks, if any at all. Yet, just one post she made on a forum sent her over 80 visitors in 24 hours. It involved far less writing, and far more traffic. It would be stupid if she didn't keep that in mind when looking to get more site visitors in the future. There's another good example from when I was blogging in the personal development niche also. I wrote a guest post for Zen Habits, one of the largest blogs in the field and instantly gained 400 new subscribers overnight. I was blown away. I wrote there again and the same thing happened. Zen habits ended up becoming - and still is to this day - a website that everyone wanted to write for.
Jonathan Mead from IlluminatedMind was one of the lucky people that was close with Leo and got to contribute to the site on a far more regular basis than the random lucky guest poster. He started growing his site by thousands of subscribers every single month whilst doing so. Writing for the site was without a doubt the best thing he could be doing. Find out what works for you and keep working on it. Cloudblueprint follows a specific strategy but you don't have to. One of the key things I iterated in the course was that you should test everything as much as possible. Focus on the concept - having an email list, becoming an expert, and picking a specific niche - and then be creative with the rest. See what kind of freebies get more people to subscribe, discover which traffic strategies work best. Find blogs you can write for that bring you more traffic than any other. You don't even have to follow the same timing formula. Just a few days ago a company named Codeacademy released their latest project, CodeYear.com. A simple, weekly email newsletter where followers will slowly learn how to program via information sent to their inboxes. Is the idea simple? Sure. Did that hurt the offering? CodeYear has over 200,000 subscribers in just a couple of days. Do that with a blog. If you're a designer you could try creating a course on how to convert PSD's to HTML. If you love cooking show me how to eat amazing food on a tiny budget. Golf? Give me a guide on improving my swing. Whatever it is...do it to an extreme measure. Make your offering so good that even though people can compete, they can't even come close, or it's gonna take a lot of work for them to do so. Make it so I just feel obliged to buy something from you because you've given out so much. I've already admitted that this strategy wont be for everyone. But if something about the concept makes you come alive...excites you in some way, then go for it and give it all you've got. Not half efforts or half measures. No trying, just doing. If you have any more questions about this strategy, definitely check out the Cloud Blueprint videos at viperchill.com/blueprint, then head on over to our facebook page and leave any comments or questions there. I'll personally reply to that. We're coming to the end of the podcast now and since I don't have anything to sell you I'm going to instead recommend that you check out some of the following sites. Shout out to Pat Flynn, who was a big motivator in getting me to start this Podcast since he's had so much success with his own. Pat is one of the most transparent marketers online and always willing to share how he's making a lot of money, so definitely check out his site at http://www.smartpassiveincome.com Chris Ducker is also producing a great podcast over at http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com and he's a fellow Brit so I'm kind of obliged to mention him. Cody McKibben at ThrillingHeroics.com is travelling the world and doing some cool things online. His friend Dan Andrews at TropicalMBA.com is also up to some similar adventures and has a lot of good advice to offer. Two great marketing blogs are as always, Rishi's site http://explicitly.me which offers tons of
unique SEO strategies, and Adam Singer's site over at http://thefuturebuzz.com Adam is one of the few people who actually works with big clients so he really knows what he's talking about. That's it for this first podcast. I really hope you've gotten a lot of value out of this and you'll tune in for the next episode. If you don't come back then I've just wasted $80 on a microphone, so please do. If you want to get notified when there's a new one, head on over to ViperChill.com and enter your email address in the right sidebar, or in the yellow box at the bottom of any post. You'll get some cool free niche ideas in profitable industries, and it wont cost you a penny. As you would expect, you can also unsubscribe at any time.