Author Archive

Outsourcing is the Best

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Marketer Matt's Musings

Awhile back I read The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. The greatest realization that I got out of the book is that nearly everything can be outsourced. This should have been obvious living in a city as I do. The division of labor where I live, while not quite as saturated as a bigger city, is still very evident. I don’t fix my own car, grow my own food, etc. I pay someone else to do so. But that this concept could be expanded to the workplace was a new idea to me. And it’s a powerful one. Over the past year or so, I’ve experimented with hiring several people to help me with various aspects of my business. I’ve hired developers mostly, but also data-entry workers, researchers, and graphic designers. And now, a year later, having had some successes and some failures, I can say that the successes far outweigh the risks. Here are a few examples: Outsourced 2 sliders for one of my latest website.
  • Time it would’ve taken me to do this myself = 10 hours+ (I hate doing design work and am no good at it)
  • Price I paid by hiring a company overseas trying to build its portfolio = $8
  • Savings at $50/hr. = $492
Outsourced mass editing of products on a website
  • Time and money it took to train and pay someone 1 hour / $100
  • Time it would’ve taken me = 6-10 hours
  •  Time savings = ~8 hours which has been much better spent working on more important things
Outsourcing latest client projects
  • Time and money it took to instruct and pay contractor = 3 hours / $400
  • Time it would’ve taken me = 50 hours
  • Time savings = 47 hours (at $50/hr that’s just over $2000 worth of my time)
So basically, I’ve come to think outsourcing is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Of course there are some things I’ve learned, but I’ll save those for another post :)

High Traffic Academy by Vick Strizheus Review – And Yes, I Actually Bought It

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog, Product Reviews

About a month ago I came across Vick Strizheus and his High Traffic Academy. This post contains my thoughts on the course since I’ve gone threw nearly all the modules so far. Here are some initial thoughts: Overview Overall, I think the course is worth the $500 I paid. It is a paid traffic course by which I mean it’s not an all-encompassing course teaching all manner of traffic, conversion, selecting a product, copywriting, etc. It is specifically a paid traffic course that overviews how to use about a dozen traffic methods. As long as you expect that, it’s worth the money. If you’re looking for a mega-course, this isn’t it. The biggest value in this course, by far, actually isn’t Vick. It’s Frank Kern teaching the 3rd Stage about how to build a relationship with your list as you build one. In case you didn’t know, Frank Kern is THE master at that in the industry and has since semi-retired. His part of the course was worth the $500 alone. He brings a lot of experience to the table, so it’s a bit harder to just Google that type of information. So on with the course review. The course is broken down into 3 levels of training as follows:
  1. Development – Stage 1
  2. Traffic – Stage 2
  3. List Control – Stage 3
Stage 1 Since I’ve been using WordPress for years, I skimmed through the first stage pretty quickly and didn’t bother going through all of the tutorials. If you’re an absolute beginner, that stage will be helpful since it goes through the ins and outs of getting a domain name, hosting, and using FTP and what not to get your site up. There isn’t really anything new in this stage, but it seemed pretty thorough. The biggest benefit was that Vick throws in an HTML template and a WordPress theme that allows you to quickly and easily create a capture page using whatever auto-responder you’d like. As a quick note though… the WordPress theme is a little buggy. It works fine, but it has some trouble saving your settings, so you have to refresh the settings page after you save it if you want to make an additional change. So just a heads up. It’s still quicker than making your own though. Stage 2 This is the meat of the course where Vick goes over 8 traffic strategies – Offline traffic, Penny Traffic, Underground PPC, Secret GIA (Google Image Ads) Traffic, E-mail Media Traffic, Banner Media Traffic, Ad Swap Traffic, and CPA Backdoor Traffic. Truth be told, you can probably find out about all of these strategies by Googling them, but Vick brings his experience about some things that do and don’t work for him that help to shortcut the process. I won’t give his secrets away since that wouldn’t be fair, but his insights are what make the modules worth it. For example, I had just started running some ads when I got to his method on banners and he said that I shouldn’t use the ad size I was using. Had I watched the video before I ran the ad, I probably would have done much better with that campaign then I did. And that’s what you’re paying for with this course, you’re paying for a list of what NOT to do with each method rather than what to do. Stage 3 Frank Kern is a boss. He talks about how to care for a list of subscribers and be really cool to them so that they actually like you and want to buy your stuff instead of you just stuffing it down their throats. He’s done it so many times himself you can tell he has the process down very well, and he doesn’t leave anything out. Again, this was by far the most valuable portion of the course. Course Bonuses Vick has put together a few tools that can help people with their campaigns which include a URL scarper, a link tracker, and a landing page maker. I haven’t used any other services of this type so I can’t really do a comparison at this point. I’ve found the tracker helpful since it allows you to rotate URLs so that you can split test. I use it for co-op campaigns so I can divvy the traffic up. The site also has a list of places to go to get everything you need to run the campaigns Vick talks about – sites, autoresponders, banners, solo ads, etc. Much of it’s useful, some of it just isn’t the best value for us customers. Stuff that Sucks about HTA It’s not all gold. As I went through the course, got the emails, etc. I got the impression that there was an alternative motive for the course… which there is/was depending on when you’re reading this. The whole course is somewhat of a set up for Vick’s Big Idea Mastermind which is getting a bunch of people to join the EmpowerNetwork with him. The EN is sweet and I promote it myself, so I don’t have a problem with him doing it, but it seems as if hardly anyone is actually using the course for the things he taught. Nearly everyone, at least those that are a part of the Facebook group, are only talking about BIM when I’d really like to know what’s working for them in their advertising which is why I bought the course. As I already mentioned, the WP theme didn’t work perfectly and the links for some of the resources are definitely not the most bang for your buck. Why pay $20-$35 for a banner when you can get one on Fiverr for $5? Come on Vick really? Oh wait, one of the two has an affiliate program… and it isn’t Fiverr. This stuff rubbed me the wrong way when added to the fact that it appears as if High Traffic Academy was initially launched as Instant Traffic Media so Vick mentions that name instead of HTA in almost every video. It’s just weird to watch a course that isn’t exactly the course you bought… you konw? But once I got passed them I realized the info is still good and Kern’s stuff is great, so I didn’t get a refund. One last thing though, if you do get it, don’t sign up for the continuity program, it doesn’t exist anymore so you’ll waste your dollar : ) Additional Thoughts and Conclusion Overall, I’ve learned a lot and am starting to implement some of the methods I’ve learned. I’ll keep you posted on how things turn out. In case you’re wondering, you can still purchase the course for $500 (instead of $2,000) if you are interested. I’d say it’s worth the money for someone looking to dive into paid advertising and doesn’t know much about it. That’s where I was, and that’s why I bought it. If you have any questions you want to ask me first, go ahead.

Planning An Internet Business

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog, Entrepreneurship

There is opportunity everywhere online. EVERYWHERE. It has to be the 10th wonder of the world that anyone with an internet connection can start generating money using the internet in one of dozens – maybe even hundreds – of ways for free. It makes traditional businesses look much less appealing with their lower margins, higher start up costs, and more planning. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be any planning that goes into internet businesses. Of course there should be a measure of planning, but it looks a lot different online than it does offline. Here are just a few differences:
  • 5 year plan vs 6 month plan: Things move so fast online that it can be difficult to plan out strategies to far in advance. Sure, there are evergreen principles, but techniques and methods are here today and gone a few hours from now.
  • Ready, Aim, Fire vs Ready, Fire, Aim: Online, being first to market is more important than doing everything 100% right. Jumping in and starting something is often pretty easy and so it behooves entrepreneurs to just get started and figure things out as they go rather than putting too much time in getting everything perfect before launch.
  • Focusing on one thing vs focusing on multiple things: Let’s be real, your business (or mine) could be done tomorrow. There is no small number of businesses that have been put out of business by one of Google’s algorithm changes or by another company with a better idea, cheaper prices, or a different perspective on the same services. As soon as possible, it’s good to diversify your offerings so one change doesn’t put you out on the street. Also work to cultivate your skills and the skills of your workers so that you can quickly adapt to whatever changes need to happen.
Again, opportunity is everywhere online, and one of the best things you can do is just get moving!

Balancing Act

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog

This year is just getting started and things are already crazy. I have client work coming in from everywhere, a new network marketing company that I’m promoting, and the next iteration of my WordPress project. While it hasn’t always proven to be a good thing, I love shortcuts. I’m always looking for a way to do things better, quicker, and more efficiently. Sometimes this is brilliant, and sometimes it’s stupid. Without this attribute, I wouldn’t have stumbled across internet marketing in the first place and God only knows what I’d be doing – probably still working on starting a grocery delivery business or something. On the flip side though, I find myself loathing tasks that take too much time and sometimes spend more time thinking about how to shortcut the tasks instead of doing them (SEO comes to mind!). Closely related to this shortcut mentality is scatterbrain syndrome which quickly leads to frustration and overwhelm. For anyone else out there that feels me on this one, there is hope. I wanted to give out a few tips and tricks for dealing with focus.
  1. Write out a list of everything that actually has to be done – I like creating bulleted lists, one for each area of business or life (ex. Website #1, bullet points a, b, c, d)
  2. Think through this list and flesh out the individual steps of each item – Inevitably, there are going to be things you write down like “do SEO for xyz website” or “prepare for meeting with so-n-so.” Try to break these things down into what you actually need to do. Ask yourself which tasks are involved in each step.
  3. Go for a walk – no seriously. Take a break for a second and get some fresh air. When you come back. Start on the most important todo list. If you don’t know which is important, do the easiest one first so you can at least get started.
Boom. Keep it simple. Go do it.

Outsourcing Adventures

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog, Marketer Matt's Musings

Late last year, I began hiring some independent contractors to do some work for me on one of my sites. I got to the point where I was working more “in” my business rather than “on” my business which is usually about the time businesses stop growing. I’ve unfortunately got to see this type of thing play out in other organizations, and so I decided it was high time I started hiring some people to help out. It’s a huge realization, especially for entrepreneurs like me, that we don’t have to do everything ourselves. In fact we can’t. That’s why God made other people with other gifts, talents, desires, dreams, strengths, etc. We are supposed to compliment each other. Anyway… So far things have gone pretty well with the contractors. I started with 12 applications which resulted in 8 responses which resulted in 5 trial jobs which resulted in 2 steady reliable workers. We have accomplished quite a bit over the last three months, and I’m grateful for their help. Now it’s time to take it to the next level…. I finally jumped on oDesk this week and started looking for people to hire to help me with some product descriptions on an e-commerce type site that I have. As anyone in the internet marketing world knows, unique content is key to successful SEO and the product descriptions on my site were just the ones that the manufacturer’s put out. No bueno. So I’ve started testing with a few people on oDesk to see if I can get these descriptions done at a price that won’t break the bank. I am a bit torn though… I like working “in” my business almost as much as I like working “on” it. I love learning to code in PHP and to create, edit, or re-brand a website. These things can take so much time though, and I get way more leverage by utilizing the division of labor that exists in the world and finding experts to do in minutes what it takes me days to do. It keeps things moving forward, but I look back at my brief time working “in” my business and I miss it at times. I’m sure I’ll get over it though. All systems are a Go! I have so many projects going on that I literally do not have time to actually do all of the tasks myself if I wanted to. Maybe I’ll get around to coding again as a hobby later…

Diving into Paid Ads

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog, Paid Advertising

Up to this point, my internet marketing career has mostly consisted of SEO-related marketing tactics such as link building, creating content around keywords, etc. Over the last month though, I’ve been experimenting with various forms of paid advertising including Twitter Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Facebook Ads, and Google PPC (text) ads. I’ve dropped Facebook and LinkedIn already since they were much too expensive to warrant further exploration at this point (33 cents and $2+ respectively). Google’s ads are actually a bit more than I’d like to pay too (80 cents/click), but I had $100 of free ads, so I don’t really care as much. Twitter clicks have been closer to 8 cents which I can handle : ) I’m gearing up to try a round of newsletter ads, google image ads, and some banner ads. I’ve never done any of them, but I got a course recently that I hope to review once I’ve tried all of the various traffic methods to see if, when, and how well they work. If it proves to be a useful program, I’ll probably promote it here. Anyway, I’m getting started with banner ads on BuySell Ads and looking at spending about $250 to get things started. I’m pretty confident I’ll break even with the ads, but it’s hard to track since I’m promoting affiliate products where I don’t have access to the sales pages so that I can track a person from an ad, through my site, to the affiliate, to the sale. If I could do this, I could figure out which advertising is actually making me money and focus more on that. Being what it is though, I just have general numbers. Of course this is why I’m only planning on dumping a couple of hundred bucks and not a grand. My list of email newsletters that I might be able to advertise in is growing. I hope to have compiled 50+ by the end of the day today and to do a bit of research in the niche to figure out what types of products they are actually looking for instead of assuming they want mine. I’m learning a lot, and I’m thankful for how much I’ve learned already over the last 2 years to make some of this stuff a bit easier for me than it would a complete newbie. If there’s one thing this process is pressing home to me though, it’s that one actually needs to apply oneself to learning this stuff and getting good at it. Once I get good, I can see how it would be easy to throw up campaigns quickly, run ads everywhere, and pull in hundreds of thousands of visitors in a matter of a few days like I’ve seen “gurus” do. I’m pretty confident I’ll get there soon. And if I do… let’s just say it’ll be pretty sweet.

And So It Begins…

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog

Last year was an incredible year. 2013 is already looking to be 20x as good! I have three projects on the docket, all of which will be taking things to a level that I always thought was possible, but that always seemed just out of my reach or just beyond my knowledge. By the grace of God, 2012 saw me grab a small foothold in the online world. It was one small step for Matt, one giant leap for Matt’s internet marketing business. With this foothold that has proven to be stable, there is not opportunity to try things that I never had the resources (time or money or skills) to attempt. And by God, I’m going to try them all. As I dive into other types of internet marketing and web businesses beyond my initial knowledge of SEO, I plan to talk about some of my journey and successes here. I have more work on my plate than ever before, and I am BEYOND excited for the journey I’m embarking on this year. I have 3 separate businesses that I’ll be working on. The three projects are as follows:
  • WordPress Themes – has been a successful site so far. We’ve just cleared an Alexa rank of 130,000 and average about 6,000 visitors a month. I’ll be working on expanding this project by creating a content strategy, a better marketing strategy, and expanding the idea of the site as well.
  • Network Marketing – I finally joined another network marketing company, and I’m actually more excited than I thought I could be about this industry after my past attempts. I’m working with a pretty good group of guys, and we have plans to do things in a new way.
  • Internet Marketing – I have 3 website projects on the table currently, with one marketing and one more website in negotiations. In addition to this though, a friend and I have a meeting this week with a sales guy who runs his own company who is looking to outsource his work to people like us.
All of this essentially means that I’ll be putting myself through a crash course in everything from copywriting to list building to affiliate marketing to creating products to banner ads to ad networks to social media to outsourcing to team building. And of course, everyone (including me) wants to move as fast as possible. This feeling is a little nostalgic. I got my first introduction to the possibilities of the internet in March of 2009 and have been thinking, trying, and planning since then. Back then, I was broke, had no skills, and had no idea how to do anything. Today I have all three. Everything has providentially converged to focus in on this moment. So let’s roll…

Companies Cannibalizing Their Affiliates

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog, Entrepreneurship

Today I found out that a company that I helped make thousands of dollars over the last few months has gone into business against me. They have duplicated some of the same types of content that I have on my site in an effort to promote themselves and other companies in nearly the exact same way as myself. Needless to say, I’m not very happy right now. The web is an incredibly fast moving pace, and that’s part of why I love it. But the downside of being able to create a thriving business in a few months is that someone else can probably do the exact same thing. If they have more resources – more time, money, developers, designers, experience – Using your new business as a model, they can often duplicate your stuff quickly and efficiently. Google is becoming fairly well known for this though they aren’t cannibalizing affiliates but entire websites. Witness what happens when you type in, “definition of…” whatever word and Google displays the results for you. This happens more and more with searches for the weather, your IP address, local businesses (with their map), and more and more things. Of course, it’s in their best interest to do this – they are offering a shortcut to the information. But there are businesses that suffer (think!), but it’s all part of the business cycle. I guess I can’t be too upset. After all, I’m sure I’ve displaced a few people for top rankings for some keyword terms that they were shooting for. I hope to displace plenty more before all is said and done. It’s the art of war to stay a few clicks and a few lines of code ahead of the competition. I’m glad I caught this early so I can take preventative measures myself to keep pages like this ranking highly. So much for taking the weekend off…

Latest Project – WordPress Theme Search Site

Written by marketermatt on . Posted in Archives, Blog

Back in April I wrote a blog post that made me $75 for the month of April comparing a few WP themes together and giving my opinion on which was the best. Since then, the site has grown to have over 4,000 visitors per day and has made nearly $10,000 for the affiliate companies that I refer traffic and buyers too. Yesterday, I launched the latest version of this website with several new features, a new design, and high hopes that it will quickly become a household name in the WP community. But, it’s not easy to break into the WordPress space. With nearly nearly 200 companies/sites that produce themes alone, it’s a pretty competitive niche, but that’s because when you win, you win big. Rumor has it that WordPress now boasts to power 17% of all the sites on the internet. (How they calculate that I have no idea). Needless to say, the community is HUGE and is growing with more and more new sites opting to use WordPress rather than one if it’s less popular competitors or straight HTML/CSS. Knowing this, my team and I have brought together over 1500 themes (and counting) from over 100 different theme makers, designers, and companies all into one convenient location that is well organized, up to date, and easily searchable. I’m proud of the new site after having put months of effort into it. You can check it out here: There is a Theme for That