Hello, Affiliate World! Thank you for coming to the talk. Today, I’m just going to take you through
my personal blueprint that I’ve developed over the last few years that’s generated,
as you can see on the screen, over $400,000 in affiliate commission over the last couple of years.
For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Matthew Woodward.
Right now, I’m 30 years old. I started creating content when I was 13.
And back then, I still had a paper round. I didn’t even really know that making
money online was a thing. And I eventually transitioned into e-commerce in the corporate world. Unfortunately, I’m not very good at mincing my words,
and I didn’t fit very well in a corporate environment. So in 2010, I decided to quit.
I built a number of businesses, and I’ve been blogging, and doing
a number of other things ever since. This is my blog, if you’re not familiar with it.
Quick show of hands, who dislikes the welcome gate pop-ups? Yeah, me too.
Who of you that put your hands up, actually used them? Yeah, right? They convert so well.
That pop-up converts at 12% and the quality of traffic that it sends
into the list is no less than anywhere else. That’s the blog.
Right now, over the last couple of years, its had nearly 2 million unique visitors,
nearly 10 million page views and actually, I didn’t realise it
until I put this presentation together but it has passed the million dollar mark in profit,
which is quite a surprise to me as anyone else. Today, I’m going to talk to you about
how I create the content that does that and the content is a secret sauce
to everything that you do. It’s how you engage people,
it’s how you move people from left to right, and I use it as a way to educate people.
And then from that, extract profit. There’s three distinct stages that I go through
when creating profitable content. First of all, it’s coming up with generating ideas,
then researching each of those ideas, and then finally, the actual writing.
I’m going to talk to you about each of those stages.
Step one is actually generating the ideas. Now, with the internet, it’s easier than ever before.
We’ve got a bunch of people out there telling you what they want.
And as a marketer, our job is to just give it to them. I like to look around forums.
When I first launch a blog, the tiered link building series
is what really blew it up, and I figured that out from BlackHat World.
Lots of people are asking questions about how to do it, the right way to do it, the wrong way to do it,
success with it, how they’ve got penalised, and everything like that and that
was really where I got the initial inspiration to do that. There’s a number of Facebook groups
out there that you can go. Whatever niche you’re in, there’s usually
some kind of Facebook groups or communities that you can go in to.
Just look at what kind of questions people are asking, make notes of that. It’s a great source of ideas.
Similar with Quora, and really, your existing customer base,
if you’ve got one, is a great place to start. In my email autoresponder series,
I actually just straight-up asked people, “What tutorial do you want me to make next?”
and that now drives about 80% of my content strategy. The replies that I get that,
well it’s people telling me what they want and if I just give it to them,
it makes it really easy. I don’t really have to do much research anymore.
But if you’re just starting out, look at forums, Facebook groups,
it’s a great place to find those ideas. Once you’ve generated a list of ideas for content to produce, I can’t stress enough to you how important it is to research them.
And really, when you’re creating content, my entire strategy is just focus on helping people.
If you can solve people’s problems, you create a connection with them
like no other. You can almost take the role of a teacher,
and it forges that teacher-student relationship that’s very powerful.
It allows you to really direct people in any direction that you want to take them,
and that can both be very used in good and used in bad. I try my best to use it
in the best way possible. So when researching each idea, I always want to know
what questions are people asking, what problems are people facing,
what are they looking for, a solution, what solutions are actually out there right now,
and then the last thing I look at is what products are available
that help people solve those problems. Here’s a few examples. If you look on BoardReader, you can type in any subject there. It’s a forum search engine, so you can see
very easily, without finding individual forums, a list of forums that people
are asking specific questions about. You can jump into each of those threads
and just make notes of what people are asking. That really is the life and soul
of your content. I can see a lot of you taking pictures of the slides.
At the end of the presentation, I’m going to give you a link
where you can download the entire presentation. I’ve got a bunch of links and resources
that support the presentation, along with some extra learning
that I’m not going to have time to fit into the talk today. One of my favourite places, once you’ve got an initial idea, whether it be for, I don’t know, something in a travel niche, or how to lose weight,
or how to do public speaking, you can use a service called AnswerThePublic.com.
Type in any topic in there, and you’ll see a list of questions
that people are asking about that specific subject, and there you can see, freezing when public speaking,
stuttering when public speaking, hives when public speaking,
and you can do that for any topic that you can think of and get
an immediate list of questions that people are asking. Make note of all of those questions.
When you create the content, it’s your job to answer every single one of those questions
in the best way that you can. Once you’ve got a list of your content, ideas,
and your research, I’m an SEO at heart, I’m a BlackHat SEO at heart.
I was told not to speak about that too much, but go into keyword research.
I imagine if you guys are here, you’re probably familiar with how to do some basic keyword search.
It doesn’t need to be complicated, and really, the tool that you use
isn’t that important. You can use SEMrush, LongTail Pro, Keyword.io,
you’re just looking for a primary keyword phrase that you can rank for, and maybe
one or two secondary and tertiary phrases. So, to recap on the research,
I can’t stress enough how you must focus on solving people’s problems.
It’s your job to help people. It’s one of the best tips that I can give you right now.
Well don’t forget about monetisation, but really, you should.
You shouldn’t be really focused on making money at all, just focus on helping people
and eventually, over time, the money will follow.
If you can just build that teacher-student relationship with people over the long-term,
you will make a lot of money. And to recap: What questions are people asking?
What problems are people facing? Why are they looking for a solution?
What solutions are offered? And what products are available?
That is my blueprint for success. The final thing, the final step in the process
is really writing the content. And this is where I find a lot of my readers
struggle and fall down. And really, to me, it’s pretty straightforward.
You’ve got a list of questions and problems that are people are facing in your research,
now you’ve just got to write and tell people how to fix those problems.
You’ve got to keep it short, snappy, straight-to-the-point.
A lot of people try and bulk out word count or use big fancy words. Just keep it simple.
There’s no need to sound like you’re writing for the New York Times.
You want to write it in a fashion like you’re talking to your friend in a bar.
You don’t want to make it complicated. Easy to digest.
Quite often, when I write a blog post, lets say it’s 2,000 words after the initial draft,
I’ll go through it and try and condense it, and say the same thing in less words.
and I usually shave around a third of the total word count off, once I go
through that editing process. So I’m still delivering the same value
but in a much more condensed amount of time. And I get a lot of positive feedback
about the way in which I deliver that content, and that’s how I do it.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality in your content. That has, on quite a few occasions,
got me in trouble with quite a few companies. If anyone’s read the blog,
you might have read some of my posts with Majestic or WP Engine,
they don’t like me very much. Do everything you can to make it
the very best content on the web. Google the questions, Google the problems,
look at those top ten results. What have other people done? How have they
structured it? How have they positioned it? Look for those opportunities where they’ve got a
weakness and where you can capitalise on it. You can always make better content
than what’s already out there, unless I wrote it. So I want to give you a few examples, this post is about survey sites. It opens
with a “what you will learn” section and immediately comes down into answering
some of the top questions that I found in my research. After that I’m listing
all of the best survey sites, which is essentially just a list of affiliate
links with a bit of value provided in each one and then guiding them
step-by-step through the process of how they can make money with the survey
sites. I’m scrolling a little quick but there’s a link to this in the resources
that I’ll give you at the end to see how it’s structured. At the end of the post, I
like to end with frequently asked questions. That’s for a couple of reasons.
One, because we’re trying to help people but number two, in the last kind of year
or so, Google have started putting out a lot of these featured snippet boxes like,
if you type a query and like “what is link building?” you’ll see that at the top
is dominated by a result, it’s called position zero. So you could actually be
ranking number eight on the page but just by answering a question like
in this example was, “what is the best paid survey site?” you can jump into
that position zero and take nearly the top third of the fold of the
page and that absolutely dominates it. As a quick side tip, if any of you guys have
got SEMrush, you can go and plug your competitors websites in and see where
they rank for those featured snippets and then you can go into your content
and just put a H2 tag, “what is link building” and then underneath, “link
building is” and about 50 words and you’d be surprised, most of the time you can
steal that position zero box from your competitors within 24 hours. It’s a very
effective technique and that’s why I like adding the frequently asked
questions and answering questions directly within the content. It’s a
really good shortcut that takes no effort at all. I’m going to show you next
a post which was a review for SEMrush, it’s purely an affiliate promotion and
essentially it was just a list of 68 ways or well, 68 problems that SEMrush
solves and you can see I’ve got it broken down by different categories there,
and we’re going to look at the social media aspect, and this is just a list of
problems that SEMRush solves. So you can see how to measure your performance
against competitors, how to find out what and when to post, how to steal your
competitions most effective posts, and then again the list of frequently asked
questions at the end. Now I want to point out, this is a review of a product and
normally reviews of products don’t get that much engagement but this had over
1,700 social shares and SEMRush pays 40% recurring commission. So by just making a
list of problems that a product solves and using that as your basis for your
content, I mean this post weighs in it like 12,000 words. It
took a long time to put together but it ranks for a bunch of keywords, it ranks
in a bunch of featured boxes, as you can see the engagements great, I think it’s
got like 400 comments on it and it’s 40% recurring commission for a premium price
product, which adds up very quickly. Especially when it’s ranking and is
going to continue to generate that profit over and over and over and over
again. So that’s how I like to put my content together. There’s no secret to it.
It’s just solving people’s problems. Find out what people want and give it to them.
I’d like to tell you it was more complicated or there’s some super secret to it
but we’re all people, think about when a person’s helped you in your life, how
that change your perspective of them and how it made you feel closer to them. With
the internet, we can do that and we only have to write a piece of content once.
There are, however, a few little tricks that I like to weave into things that
really make a big difference with a little bit of effort and that’s my
favourite type of work. Doing the little, minimum things that have a big impact
much like optimising for the featured snippet box. Nice and easy.
Split test your title. You’ll be amazed at the difference that makes and if you look at
the stats right here, you can see on that second title there, the click-through
rate had an 80% increase and really, it’s pretty much to say it says the same
thing but instead of saying reliable income on the end, it says huge profits.
Kind of sounded spammy when I wrote it but the proofs in the pudding and these
kind of tests, you don’t have to spend any money to to run them. This is
actually done with a free WordPress plugin called Title Experiments Free,
there’s a pro version that gives you some extra stats and things but you
don’t need it. Just go and install that plug-in, you can add three or four
different titles, it will automatically split test them for you and it will
automatically choose a winner. It’s a set and forget thing and then it also means
that once that plug-in’s decided which title is the winner, when people share
your post on social media, you know the most effective captivating title is
getting shared that’s going to attract the most clicks from social media. I
always add a minimum of three different titles to every post and often just
changing one word, like if you were going to say “get your” or “claim your”, “claim your”
is always going to perform better than “get your” because claim your infers that
you’ve got to take an action to do something, whereas “get your” is very
passive. You’re just like, okay well give it to me. “Claim” invokes the action, and
there’s lots of little word plays that you’ll learn as you kind of go through
and split test your titles, which you can then use to refine your future
content and your titles. And again, it takes five minutes to write those
different titles out for a free plug-in, you don’t have to spend any money, it’s
just five minutes of your time. The other strategy that I like to use is
with social lockers. Now you’ve probably seen these scattered around the web.
Personally, I kind of find them a bit annoying but the proofs in the pudding
of the stats. Here you can see, I’m adding extra resources that are relevant to the
post and I mean, these are the kind of numbers you get. That top one, 27% of
people that view the post, share it to unlock the extra resource. That makes a
huge difference to your overall traffic and one of the big SEO myths is “do social
signals improve your search rankings?” Absolutely. They do without a shadow of a
doubt. If you can drive significant social signals to a page, you will rank
in the top five on Google with no backlinks. I mean, I’m a blackhat SEO at
heart but I’m telling you, social signals are much more powerful than people give
you credit for and just by setting up these social lockers, you can leverage
that and you know 1 in 4 people are coming to your page and sharing it
socially, not only you’re going to get that traffic from social media and all the
extra engagement that brings, but you’re going to build long-term
sustainable rankings, without any investment on SEO whatsoever. If you’re
stuck for ideas of what to do with these social lockers, I’ve experimented with
lots of different things. The most the most powerful one that you can do are
post specific content upgrades. Now these take a little bit of time to put
together. Cheat sheets, spreadsheets, resource lists, they’re the ones that are
going to get you that 27% conversion rate consistently. If you’re
reviewing a product speak to the the actual merchants themselves and see if
you can arrange an exclusive coupon that you can give out your readers. I like
just getting the coupon, “Matthew Woodward” because again, that kind of provides that
value to people and it really buries it in their head that that value
came from me and I mean, the coupon doesn’t need to be anything special. It
could just be a 10% discount or perhaps they get, I don’t know,
double the amount of social signals or whatever it is. You’ll be
surprised how many merchants are open to providing you exclusive discount coupons.
It’s for you to then embed behind a social locker and they convert, not only
do they convert like crazy in terms of how people share the content but in
terms of affiliate sales as well . It drives people wild. The least effective
but the easiest one to produce is a PDF version of the post. So you can go on a
website called print-friendly.com, put in your URL and it will spit out a PDF
version of the post in like a second, which you can then upload and put behind
a social locker but I find that only converts between 3% and 5% so the
payoff is much less and really I like to do the post-specific content upgrades
where possible and you can also use another software but it’s paid, called
Beacon and that allows you to create really well-styled PDF’s. It’ll look really
nice but it still converts pretty poorly as well. So with your social lockers and
I use a plug-in called, I think it’s called Socla Locker actually, and
there’s a link to it in the resources in the URL I’m gonna give you. It just costs
I think it’s like $20 but it pays for itself in no time at all and really does
drive those social signals, rankings, and traffic, and affiliate sales home. So
that’s pretty much my content strategy from end to end. You want to just find
out what problems people are facing, look at all of the different questions that
they’re asking, couple that with keyword research and then just write the content.
Be sure simple, straight to the point, don’t fluff it out for word count,
there’s no need and just help people. That’s all you’ve got to do. A lot of
people, I get questions all the time like, “Oh, how can I make $5,000 in a week?” and
those kinds of people never succeed. I’ve never seen anyone that wrote me an email
that said that, that succeeded. Very rarely do I get someone that says, “Oh I’m
really passionate about running marathons, I really wish I could help
people learn how to run a marathon”, very rarely did I get those emails, but when I
do, those are the people that have long-term success. So please, whatever you
do, just focus on helping. Forget about the money, the money’s not important and
I know we’re at an affiliate conference ,which is all about making money and I’m
telling you to forget about money, it’s kind of, you know, goes against the grain
over the sand but in this world, it’s very busy right now. There’s a lot of
noise. We live in continuous promotion marketing. There’s people trying to get
you to separate you from the money. There’s great opportunity to just
provide real tangible value to people and help them, I can’t stress that enough
to you. So I’ve kind of gone a little bit too quick than I should have done. That’s
absolutely fine, I have quite a lot of questions. Okay and if you hit, oh I broke it.
Yeah if you hit that URL, you can get a copy of this presentation and there’s
some links or some other stuff that I help you, link list to all the plug-ins,
there’s a call to action to join the email list, which you should definitely do,
and that’s it, you’ve been great. I’m happy to answer all of your questions, and see if I can provide some some value
to you right now. Fantastic. Thank you very much. Well, I must admit, I have a few questions to grill you before our audience comes up.
I guess my first one and my biggest one is, if you are not already an
internationally known superstar, such as yourself or if you are not already a
black hat SEO mastermind such as yourself, if you’re just some guy and
he’s starting out a new blog on your passion and you want to end up
monetising this, how do you get the traffic? How would you recommend people
get the traffic to begin with when they’re a nobody, they have no social proof, they haven’t been heard of. What do you do to get that
initial traction? Because that’s often the hardest bit. Okay so, I was in that
position, August 2012 is when I launched a blog. It was nothing. I went through
forums, much like I’ve just taught you right now. At the time tiered link
building was a hot topic, people were asking all kinds of questions about it,
and it was something that I was doing in my daily life and I just decided, okay
well I’m just gonna record what I do, I already do it. So I recorded what I did, I
went into the forums, made a list of the questions that people are asking and
made sure that the content answered those questions. Once I had that content
there and it was done to the highest possible standard that I could do, I mean
people have told me I was stupid for giving it away for free.
They’d seen paid products offered worse content and I went back into those same
forums that I’ve used for research and engage the people, when they’re asking
the questions, with the answer and then a link to the content. Now that’s a
strategy. There’s a post on the blog that teaches that strategy. A lot of
people make the same mistake.They’ll go to a forum and they’ll just post a link
to the post. That gets you banned very, very quickly. If you actually take time
to answer people couple of paragraphs, understand their pain, solve that pain,
and then link to your post, you very quickly build a reputation between not
just the users but the moderators as well, as someone that
adds value into the community. And as long as you do that, you can then
use that value to extract traffic back to your site, into your email list and
then the cycle continues. That’s interesting. That’s actually something
I’ve heard a bunch of times but never really put it together before you
mentioned it. It’s kind of a good signal for an authority post that you’re going
to use to build your site around, is if people are starting to tell you that,
“man you shouldn’t be sharing that, you should be making
people pay for that.” Yeah and that helps build your authority as well, just the fact that
you’re taking time out to help people instantly separates you from the crowd. I
mean, it takes work. It’s a lot of effort. I mean, when I launch a blog I was
working 16 hours a day killing myself, killing myself really, but the
opportunity is there. Not many people are willing to put in that grind and if you do it, eventually the success will come.
So when you say forums, because I also find that forms are a really successful strategy
for sharing content. Do you literally mean like phpBB style forums, or do you also
mean, have you tried like Reddit or Vote, God help us, or Facebook. Or?
I’ve tried Reddit, Reddit are a tough crowd to crack. Even
when you provide inherent value, over the long term, they don’t really like you
sharing your own links too much and it’s very hard to build an influencer base
there. So I prefer to stick in forums. Make friends with the moderators, it helps.
Especially if they’re around a conference that you go to, buy him a beer
or tequila or a few and usually that helps. A lot of the complaints I get on
BlackHatWorld is that I just post a – now I have the ability where I can just post
a thread that like intros my tutorial and links to it, and a moderator is sticking
it to the top of the forum. Well people have to pay for that and they kind of
get a bit annoyed that I have that opportunity but that’s because I put the
time into adding value into the community and now I’m at a position
where I can extract value from the community. What about Facebook groups? Facebook
groups, not so much. I like to use them for research. The reason I don’t like
Facebook groups is because always pings on the phone, it annoys me and I’ve
always got like a million friend requests off people. I’ve got no idea who
they are I’m sorry if any of you have tried to add me and I’ve ignored you, but
Facebook groups I prefer to use for research only. Right, right. What about
video or audio? I mean you’ve mentioned pure text up there. Have you
tried? Do you recommend? You know, obviously there’s dedicated
places for that like YouTube and Vimeo for video. Have you try building anything on there?
Yeah the initial tutorials that I launched, were video-based but that
was only because the content lent itself to video, more than it did text. If I was
trying to teach people how to use some software and put things together
in a certain way, it’s very hard to do with text. Video is great and a couple of
little extra video tips, if you publish videos on your blog, get them transcribed.
I use a little collapsible piece of text that says “click
here to read the transcript” and that expands out. That’s for two reasons. One
not everyone that visits my blog, English is their primary language, and
with an English accent, people struggle, even Americans struggle
over that sometimes. So people come from India, often have the problem of being
able to understand my voice, and I get a lot of positive feedback, thank you for
putting those transcriptions in. Secondly, that opens up a whole world of longtail
keywords for Google to find you. It really helps with the SEO there, you’ll
also find if you look across a blog, every single video I had it
converted into a text and image based tutorial as well and everyone likes
video. I hate video. I can’t be bothered to sit through it. I just want to cut to
the chase you know. So I make sure every video is available with a transcript and
then a unique text and image version of the tutorial as well,
and that caters for both types of audience and brain. Okay, so obviously the
next question, given where we are, a lot of us are paid traffic experts like
myself. Would you recommend using paid traffic to boost signal to
your blog initially? I know some people have done it both successfully.
Have you experimented with that? Okay if you’re just starting out
with your blog, it’s likely you don’t have that much budget to play with but
if you do have budget to play with, you should certainly be looking at Facebook
retargeting ads. For example, if someone has read a post about link building that
you should have some kind of link building-related lead magnet on offer to
build your email list. I mean, retargeting cost have gone up a little
bit now, but you can build your email list for between 50 and 60 cents per
user and as long as you’ve got a decent engagement sequence off the back of that,
that keeps people engaged with your content, you and your brand again, you can
see how I use the list to ask people watch tutorial do they want me to make
next, that brings value to me and allows me to bring value back to the people. So
yeah, if you’re just starting out use Facebook, not to necessarily build
traffic but to capitalise on the traffic you building from forums. Okay, well I
have quite a few more questions but I think it’s about time I shut up and
let’s the audience as a couple. So as always, we have microphones down in the aisles here.
If you have a question, please make your way to the microphone.
Hey, what’s up Matt! What’s going on. I have a question about your income
reports I’m Johnny FD, I’m actually the one kind of chasing you on all the
different rankings. I’m right below you. Oh really? Yeah, so my goal is to –
Wait, which blog? Johnnyfd.com. Okay I’ll take care of that.
Right. But I read in your recent one, you saying that are you gonna stop doing
income reports, soon? Yes. My question is has it been beneficial
for you and why are you stopping now? Okay, I’ve got two sides to that
story. The income reports I publish because way back when, when I was kind of
learning, John Chow like before he started, well when he was publishing good
content like seven or eight years ago. Someone challenged him if could he
make money on published income reports. I was fascinated by that, it really
inspired me beyond belief and I decided to build on that by actually cataloging
what I was doing that month, why I did it, how I did it, if it failed, if it
succeeded, and then listed the income. That captivates people and it inspires
people and there’s been a couple of people around the conference that
have stopped me and said thank you for those. However, it does also cause me
problems both professionally and personally. Professionally it causes
problems for example, once people know how much money you make, they know how
much they can get out of you. You know if you get quoted for work, you usually find
the quotes quite a bit bigger once they know how much money that you’re making.
It’s also opened me up to a lot of trolling, especially on BlackHatWorld.
Endless people always question it, always fake, you know, he’s a guru, bullshit and
all of that and personally it’s opened up to problems. I live a very quiet life,
I don’t really, I mean I kind of look like a beach bum cause I am and I don’t
really speak about it with friends too much, but then friends start discovering
it and it has really changed how friends speak to me. Some people become more
distant and then you’re kind of questioning, are you just talking to me
because you know how much money I make. It’s kind of difficult. So I’ve decided that
right now the million dollar figure I gave you, included a product launched
off the back of the blog. Right now, I think without the product launch, it’s
about $830,000 once it gets to $1 million
without the product launch, I’m gonna stop publishing the income. I’m still
gonna share the lessons but I’m going to stop the income part of it. Yeah, okay.
Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah, no problem. I actually have a follow-up question on that, if you are in one of the making
money online niches, if it’s the kind of thing where it will be relevant,
obviously if you’re doing like a computer games blog or something it
doesn’t matter but if you’re in a niche where it will be relevant, would you
advise people to start doing income reports? I’d do it in any niche and one of
the posts that are published every month is an income report roundup, where I look
at all different blogs from all nature of niches that publish them, and pinchofyum.com are usually at the top. They’re a food blog, a niche where people say you
can’t make money and they’re making like $30,000, $50,000 a month
consistently and I read those reports and I learn a lesson and I’m like oh,
yeah I can do that in this niche. So whatever niche you’re in,
just provide value to people and just captivate people in an entirely
unique way for sure. There’s a follow up on that one I
want to ask but I’ll first see if anyone else
has got any questions? Great. Hi, I’m Mike from
Poland and I have one question about researching because it’s easy to be over your head when the research has many good things on the internet. Every app, so many
webinars or video blogs everything. How do research? Because it’s not very easy for me
to overcome to create the best possible content. Okay so you got to pick a topic
in mind. Give me a topic. Yeah I’m mostly social media in Poland.
Into what? Social media in Poland. Social media in Polland, okay so within
social media you can break that down. You might have how to
advertise on Facebook. Okay, so go on to AnswerThePublic.com, go into Warrior
Forum, any of the social media and look for specific questions that people are
asking and within that and the research really just boils down to what questions
are people asking? What problems are people facing? And just make as long of a
relevant list as you can and then just write your content. It’s not
hard for me to find the questions but to find that content to improve quality of
your content. Okay, so to find the answer. Okay, that’s why you need to be in a niche that you kind of know about. You can find answers in
the same way that you can find the questions, you can often find the answers
in the same places. So you could also make notes of the answers and then use
all of that as a source of inspiration to then write your master post, where you
bring it all together because you might find five forum threads on Warrior Forum,
two on BlackHatWorld, some in a Facebook group but then you can bring that all
together into one one definitive post in your blog. Okay thank you No problem. That’s
interesting, that’s something very similar to one of the things I did on
one of my companies. Basically I felt like it was cheating cause I just went and
found badly written content and they were with it wrote it as well-written
content and then it was really popular for some reason. Strange. Yeah it’s
really simple. Which actually brings me to another question I wanted to ask.
How much of an expert do you need to be to start doing this on a specific subject? Okay I’ve met experts that hate what
they’re experts at. Like you talk to them and they’re just like a zombie when
they’ve talk. What’s more important is to have the passion for it. You can learn
expertise but you can’t really learn passion. You either love it or you hate
it that’s it. There’s no in-between. So I mean, like let’s say you wanted to, I use
the example again, learn how to run a marathon right now. You might have never
run a marathon but you might have that passion and drive for it
and you can start documenting your experience from day zero. Eventually
you’ll become an expert at how to run a marathon. It may be two or three years
down the line. You can release a product but up until that point you can document
your journey, your changes, your lessons, and everything that you’ve learned in a
very personal one-on-one manner that just provides inherent value for anyone.
So it’s less about being an expert and more about having the passion.
That makes sense. it’s an interesting thing I saw from
Patrick McKenzie, who’s one of the guys I follow on you know how to write really
good blogs. He said that there’s nowhere near enough people who have a day two of
learning something, explaining how to solve the problems that they hit on day
one. Yeah okay another question? Let’s come up to the mic. We’ll give you a
minute or two if not, I have plenty. Yeah come on, don’t be shy. Okay I’ll ask another one.
I think some people in here may already think they know the
answer to, are there any niches, although there are
a lot of niches, where it’s just impossible to make a significant living
like your level of living? I mean, I can’t say onstage I’ll get in trouble but
I’ve seen niches from really obscure poor niches all the way through to
healthy living. Okay I’ve got two good examples, actually and I met a girl at a
conference once and her blog is called Fat Girls Guide To Running. She started
it because she was a larger lady. She started running and kids would point and
laugh at her in the street like her look at that fatty running, you know, and it
really demoralised her and really, really took it personally, but she used that to
create the blog. Now I think she’s making like 6-figures a month after that.
She’s obviously backed it up with a product but that’s kind of really
obscure niche, but again, she’s solving problems that people face. She’s
making that connection with people. Another one is, I forget the URL off the
top of my head but a guy introduced himself to me and he made a blog cause he
split up with his girlfriend and he had no idea how to cook. He was starving and
every time he looks for recipes online, he’d go, and he’d buy the ingredients, and
he’d end up making like a week’s worth of the same food, and he got fed up of
eating spaghetti bolognese seven days a week. So he made like, the single guys
guide to cooking where you could just buy the ingredients you need. If
you go to a supermarket and you can’t just buy one chicken
breast, you got buy four. So he came up with recipes that specifically tailor to
single men that want to cook and not eat the same meal every night, once you’ve
cooked it. So yeah, I mean it doesn’t matter how obscure your niche is as long
as there’s people with problems, you can make money.
There’s this famous sort of triangle of health wealth and wellness, where wellness kind
of covers love life and other stuff that’s really deep, personal needs.
What about niches that are less about the need, like for example car enthusiast,
audio enthusiast or something else and more about that just the want. Is
there a difference in how hard they are to monetise? Do you have an example of a
want? A want. Well let’s say a want would be a blog on audio,
a blog on nice audio equipment, how they how they like to
listen to their music, and a blog on need would be make making money online.
Okay well whether it’s a need or a want there’s still problems that you gonna
solve right.You know you want to be healthier, you need some people
need to be helping medically and yeah people there’s still problems that
people face and again, just that same level of research you can go out and
find what those problems are. It really doesn’t make a difference, no. So another
thing that’s interesting is you’re spending, basically entirely talking
about creating the content and the social outreach is basically going to
the forums and saying, I’ve now solved this problem, which is a really neat
technique. But do you do anything more to socially outreach these posts? Do you do
complicated interesting link, go and tell people about this, and get links
coming in or social media outreach or all this kind of things? I know some
people like I think Rand Fishkin says you should spend 50% of your time
on content outreach and 50% time on the content. Yeah he doesn’t like
me either. So really, just promoting it out to an audience
it’s got the problem. I don’t do anything and when I created the blog
part of it was an SEO experiment cause I’m a black hat SEO at heart and Google map
code specifically, had always been banging on about forget about links,
forget about that, just focus on the content, and I hate to admit he’s kind of right/
So I didn’t go out and do any additional promotion. I didn’t go out and do
anything really on social to much other than our forums and when I write a new
post right now, I’ll create a little social schedule and usually upon publish,
it goes out and then three days later it will go out two weeks later, it will go
out four months later, it will go out and a year later it will go out. So I create
all of that before I publish it and that just keeps you know an evergreen cycle
of promotion, content, and new users coming in. That’s
pretty much it. But you’re not you’re not doing any kind of link building or at
least white hat style link building? Zero link building, the
entire blog was a case study to see what would happen with zero link building. If
you google zero link building you’ll find the case study. The number one
result. I’ve not done anything and again that’s kind of the benefit of
creating that student-teacher relationship with your content is that
once you help people, the next time they see someone facing the same problem,
they’re like whoa check out this content. This content is what helps solve my
problem and that inherently brings more people brings more links and it does
naturally grow on its own without you doing anything at all. I’ve been very
tempted to leverage some of the link building but I know that I’m being
watched closely, so I don’t do any link building on it at all.
Would you would you advise someone else who wasn’t in your highly surveilled
position to do additional link building as well? It depends.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all glove for that. I’m not allowed to talk about
my approach to link building here but it doesn’t hurt and if you’re gonna go out,
if you’re building like an Amazon affiliate site and you’ve created the
content that helps people going out and doing that link building isn’t gonna
hurt it will help you climb up those rankings. Especially if you put in those
over level strategies like testing your title and social lockers. It will help
but it shouldn’t be a main focus. I often find that people, they’ll build a site in
fact, before they’ve even built a site that like, right, how can I rank it. I’m
like well okay, you’ve not actually built the foundation level of content, you
racing out to build links before you’ve even built content like you know with
chicken in the egg. Yeah but quite obviously the
content have got to come first. So if you’re just starting out link building
techniques SEO, it’s a lot to learn. You’ve already got a lot any plate of
content email, how to you know make a logo, all of these kind of things, I
wouldn’t worry about link building until maybe month six, seven, eight, or nine when
you’ve got that solid base, you’ve got that first hundred email subscribers,
you’ve got a constant flow of traffic, then leverage your content with lingo
right. That makes sense. Okay do we have a any other questions at the moment? Just come down to the microphones at the front, if you do. If not, I will
continue to quiz. Okay, I’m gonna keep quizzing. Offers, affiliates
always like talking about offers. So two questions, one of them I’m gonna be a bit
blunt. First one, how do you
source your offers? How do you find them and the second one is how much attention
do you pay for the quality of the offer as in how much is it going to help you
end users? Okay so I don’t look for offers. I look again at like a broken
record. I look for problems and solutions. Sometimes the solution is a product. A paid product often. It’s not like a free
plugin like the title experiments and so I don’t really focus on if there is a
product there. It’s secondary, alright. Sometimes there is I think probably
maybe 20% or 30% of the content I produce recommends a product and a paid product.
The quality of the product is inherently important, if you’re going to attach your
name to a product and a recommendation and then someone buys it and it sucks,
they didn’t blame the product that sucks they blame you for recommending it. So
you can’t blindly recommend products. I don’t recommend anything I haven’t used
touched or wouldn’t meddle with, usually I break stuff and send the developers
a bunch of hate mail and then they have to fix it all and eventually I’ll
recommend it, but yeah if you just recommend crap product after crap
product, eventually you’re gonna lose a trust of that audience and this is so
hard to build up. You pour all that effort into producing a content to build that
trust, don’t just risk it by recommending a junk product or something
you’re not even used in and that’s in any niche physical products. Digital
products the same thing. So what would you do in the case that
someone chooses an obscure niche and then it turns out all the problems they
are solving on 99% of them don’t have products with affiliate programs
attached? How would you monetise them? Okay so when I got started, when I first
took the corporate leap I got into a niche where affiliate programs didn’t exist
but companies did. So I just knocked on the doors, well me and a couple of
guys and installed affiliate programs for them and then that then opened up,
unfortunately that opened up the competition because then everyone knew
that you could make money on it. So if affiliate networks exists, make
them. Secondary to that just make your own product, you’re in full control of
your destiny then from end to end. Often in obscure niches, products don’t
exist and again that’s an opportunity for you to capitalise and really stand
out from the crowd, especially if you can then build your own affiliate program
and get other people in a niche or in relevant leashes to promote it for you. I
guess you can use the same kind of research and writing strategy to build.
Exactly the same, exactly the same. My product launch, I wrote a case study, it was about building private blog networks and within that, I mean, it launched in
six days, it did $130,000 to sales and ended a secondary launch of two, which I
didn’t publish on the blog actually the numbers from the second launch, our 48-hour
launch and we did over $70,000 in sales. That came from
the research, that came from my own knowledge but then I actually sent an
email out to the list just asking people what’s what questions have you got and
that really come taken my own knowledge, combined with the questions that people
had that allow me to build the best product on the market by far. Cool, so I
have one one final question for you unless anyone in the audience has one? We
have time for like maybe one more, so this is gonna be your last chance okay.
if no one else wants it, I’ll take it. Oh we have someone? Oh cool. You talk about a lot about solving
problems and giving out all your quality content for free. Please speak a bit louder
sorry? ou talk a lot about giving out content for free and solving problems
and all that, but ultimately you want to sell you information too, so how do you
approach that? Any ratio you have any stuff you hold back for your bias or
how do you approach that problem? So honestly it’s not something I’ve thought
about actively. You can give away 90% of accounts. For example, when I did the
private blog network launch, I went Jeff Walker product launch formula style
with it, where basically you’ve got three videos. Introduces a problem, solution, the
next problem, the solution to that problem, and so on.
Now with those three videos, I gave away about 90% of the strategy and without
buying a course, people could quite comfortably go away implement that, and
have great success, but I didn’t tell them how to tie it all together. So
although it provided inherent value to everyone, it just took out that last
little bit of information and that helped because I provided so much value
upfront for free, people went crazy in buying it. I mean it did
$130,000 of a list of 4,000 people. So that’s quite a big return. So in
general, you would recommend like soft teaching. Teaching them what to do, but
not how to do it? What’s that sorry? Teaching them what to do but
not how to do it in detail. No, I even told them how to do it in detail, even told them to come over my shoulder and how to build a site but I didn’t give them the overall
strategy of how that plugs in together. So at the end, they knew exactly what
they were, how to use them, how to build, them but not how to use that as a
complete strategy for ranking that was sustainable over the long term. Thanks.
No problem, that was a great last question. Thank you and thank you very much to
Matthew for this has been fantastic. No problem, thanks for having me.