SVIP 1 - Zac Johnson: Millionaire Affiliate Marketer and Blogger
Engaging entrepreneurs to share their business skills and experiences. Connect:
Zac Johnson IntroductionZac is a name synonymous with theaffiliate marketing world. One of his sitesmade him $860,538 in 4 months!He lives in NJ, USA and has spent thelast 17 years making money online andhelping other achieve success.Zac has also been featured on ABC andFOX News, and is a published author onAmazon. His WebsitesZacJohnson.comBloggingTips.com
From creating $1 website banners to earning $860,538 in 4 months (WOW!), how was the journey?I’ll say it’s definitely been quite the journey but it’s been extremely fun along the way. I’vereally been all over the place.As exciting as these days are, I really did enjoy discovering new ways to make money when Iwas a teenager and building out my own sites for Amazon.com and making 5-15% on allreferred sales… it was just so new and exciting back then.These days it’s more of a process and figuring out what’s next and continuing to grow mybrand and audience.From when I first started making banners for a dollar each, to creating my killer MySpacesite, to running my blog and everything else today – well, there’s a ton of stuff in between, soI will share some stories on the two you mentioned.
Creating banners for $1 each…Really?Yes!This was the first way I discovered how to make money online and it was around 1995-96 I’mguessing when it all started.I was in the AOL chat room called the Web Diner and everyone in the room had their ownfree sites on Geocities, AOL and Angel Fire.None of them really knew how to make 468x60 banners and I was pretty good at it.I became well known in the chat room for creating banners for people for $1 each and theywould have to send it through the mail since PayPal or any other online payment methodsdidn’t exist.A bunch of them never sent the dollar!
Zac’s Million Dollar Site $800K in 120 Days!!! MySpace was getting pretty huge and no one was really talking about Facebook yet. I had already been making money online with affiliate marketing for several years now and I knew there was a way to make money off all this social media traffic, but I just had to find out. Eventually, I created a MySpace resource site that would allow people to post pictures to their site by copying code from my site. The image would get posted to their MySpace page along with a link back to my site. It eventually became a huge resource site. Hosting costs were over $10,000 a month, but the site did go on to make $800K in profit in just four months.
Affiliate Marketing = Zac Johnson | What makes him different from other affiliate marketers?I’ve been making money online for over 15 years and blogging since 2007.I travelled across the country with dad to attend my first IM conference at CommissionJunction University in 2000. Later, I spoke at Affiliate Force in 2001. Since then, I’veattended many conferences and have spoken all around the world.I have kind of been all over the place over the years and I’ve met with a ton of people. 15years of experience in the world of online marketing world is like an eternity.When I launched my blog in 2007, I wanted to make sure that I did it the right way andcreated a well known identity and brand to grow my name and reach.In addition to putting my name and content out there, I always make sure that I lend a helpinghand and advice to anyone that needs it. I don’t care how advanced or new you are, whatcountry you are from or how old you are; I’m all about helping others succeed.It looks like it’s working out quite well!
Growth of Affiliate Industry & Its FutureFrom when I first started, it’s grown amazingly!I remember there were just a handful of networks out there, but now they are all over theplace. Amazon.com was one of the first affiliate programs I used and WebSponsors.comwas one of the first ad networks I used to promote free stuff offers.Now anyone can start an ad network if they wanted to. While this may seem like a goodthing, it can also be pretty bad. In short, not everyone should have an ad network, it’sserious business and you are dealing with a lot of money.Affiliate marketing is also getting a bad name lately as there are so many unethical ways tomake money, such as the rebill offers that hurt so many customers, and the fake testimonialpages to sell stuff.It all works extremely well and a lot of people made millions but then lawyers and the FTCgot involved…lots of ugly stuff.On the flip side, affiliate marketing is now everywhere and it seems like every web site andbusiness has some form of affiliate program of their own. It’s not going anywhere any timesoon and I’m excited for what the future holds.
97% of Affiliates Fail, Why?It all depends on the product affiliate marketers are trying to push and how they are goingto do it.When I was pushing six figures in sales for Amazon.com it was kind of easy because I wasgetting ranked very well in the search engines and everyone knows the Amazon name, soit wasn’t hard to gain the trust from the customer.This is exactly what affiliate marketers need to do. They need to create quality web sites,blogs and services that people can trust…….then it won’t be so hard to gain their trust and make sales.
5 Skills of an Affiliate Time Effort Mindset Patience DedicationYou will notice that MONEY is NOT on the list.You don’t need a lot of money to get started in the world of online marketing.Times are a lot different now, but I didn’t put any money into my online business for the firsttwo years of making money online.
Recommended Affiliate NetworksAs mentioned, there are a ton of networks out there now and only a few that should betrusted.You can’t go wrong with any of the big players like Share A Sale, Commission Junction andGoogle… but there are some other great affiliate networks out there as well.
Pre-Requisites of an Affiliate BusinessStarting an online business is nothing like starting a local or retail business.You need to know who your target audience is, building the right web sites and adcampaigns and manage your money.On top of all that you need to know what you are promoting and how to make it profitable.It’s way too easy to lose money in the world of affiliate marketing and you can blow throughyour initial budget really fast if you aren’t careful.Don’t spend a lifetime trying to learn how to make money, the best method is to actually getstarted and do it.Don’t be afraid to fail.
Role of Blogging in Affiliate MarketingBlogging is an excellent way to build and promote affiliate related products.Since blogs are completely based around content, that should be the main focus when tryingto create an affiliate niche site.Choose a specific niche or product, then create as much content around it as possible.Focus on long tail keywords and rank for as much related content as possible.The best way to get conversions is by answering and solving problems that people might besearching for in the search results.Also try creating review sites, as these works well for many products and services as well.
Affiliate Marketing ToolsThere are tons of tools and services out there and most are garbage.There is nothing I would say everyone needs, as plenty of them are free, such as GoogleKeyword Tool.There is also so much free information, tutorials and videos out there as well, so it’s notalways necessary for you to pull out a credit card to find success and training.
Building a BrandBranding is all about creating an identity that people can relate to and go to for information.Before you can build a brand, you need to become a resource that people find value in.When I created ZacJohnson.com, I made sure I launched with a unique blog design and amascot (logo) that people would remember.Years later and it’s one of the most recognized logos in the affiliate marketing space. Createcontent that goes viral, provide case studies and free tutorials.These quick tips will help you grow your brand.
Being an Affiliate vs. Developing Own ProductUnless you already have something established, start by promoting other products andaffiliate programs to see if you can make money.This will allow you to test the market without needing to actually create your own product,site, creative and ad campaigns.Once you find success, you can expand into your own products and services.
If Not a Marketer, What Would Zac Be?I often wonder what it would be like if the internet hadn’t existed.When I first got into online marketing I was still in high school, so it came at a perfect time.I’ve always had a business mindset and knew I would work for myself or run a business, butnever knew exactly what it was…….good thing I never had to find out!
Rapid Fire Website Visited Daily – Drudge Report (best news site) Best SEO Tool – Long Tail Pro (best tool for finding niche long tail keywords) Best Startup Tip – Get used to failing to find success. Preferred Social Media Site – Facebook (less busy and easier to manage) Your Inspiration – Always to do better and enjoy life. ~ Zac Johnson
Your HostI am a freelancing consultant, blog content manager, blogger and content strategist, apublished Amazon editor and social media geek.~ Chitraparna Sinha ~ SocialVani.com