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Hey it's Matt

From: Matt
Sent on: Friday, May 4, 2012 11:01 AM



What's going on over there? Are you still working hard on your business? I just got sent this article below. It's pretty long, but it kinda just goes to show that people are still doing extremely well online, even with some of the crappiest looking websites.


So I just wanted to pass it on in case you got a moment to read about this guys online success. Kind of an interesting tale from what I read so far.


Also just in case you haven't rsvp'd for our next meeting please do so at the link below. It's on May 14th at 7pm at the Franco's Lounge. (177st and 69ave behind the McDonalds) I've been there before and it's got a lot more space so I think it will work out well for us.



Organizer     RSVP


Anyway here's that artcle:


Building Massive Web Traffic

Raymond Aaron Interviews Steve Pavlina

Generating income from your blog is easier than you might think!

Steve Pavlina back doored into creating the world's most successful blog of all


I was absolutely ecstatic when Steve agreed to do this interview because I

wanted you to learn from the best - and he is definitely the best. I wanted you to

learn the easiest, fastest and most creative ways to monetize your own blog. I

wanted you to benefit from his wisdom, tips and experiences. And yes, he does


Steve's passion and talent shines throughout this interview as he generously

shares his 3 growth accelerators, the blocks that will hinder your success, and

the surprises he incurred along the way.

You will discover:

How to build traffic to your site from all over the "planet".

Affiliate programs and whether they are "right" for you.

The amazing story of his "donation box" and how that generates income.

How to get passive income by selling advertising on your site - you will not

believe this one!

Workshops and the amazing income they will generate for you.

JV deals and how they can bring in royalties month after month.

After listening to Steve I know that you will have the confidence, ability and

enthusiasm to profit from your own blog.

Building Massive Web Traffic

About Steve Pavlina

Talented and innovative, Steve is recognized as one of

the most successful personal development bloggers on

the internet, attracting more than 2 million monthly

readers to his website. Steve also founded a

successful software company, developed awardwinning

computer games and created one of the most

popular personal development websites in the world

without spending a dime on marketing or promotion. He

is a frequent guest on radio and internet radio shows

and is quoted as an expert by the New York Times,

USA Today, US News World Report and numerous

other media outlets.

Steve has authored: Personal Development for Smart People

Action Steps You Can Take Right Now

Do an objective review of your current path. Ask someone who can be

objective to give you an honest assessment - where they believe your

income is headed, where your habits are taking you.

You need to get strong evidence that you are growing in the right


Do an assessment of your social circle and determine who the most

disempowering person in your life is and distance yourself from them. Find

relationships that are going to help you achieve your vision. Join new

clubs, volunteer etc.

Take one of your goals, financial or any other kind, break it down and turn

it into a daily habit.

Go to and check out his blog. Subscribe to his


Building Massive Web Traffic

Raymond Aaron Interviews Steve Pavlina

Intro – Steve Pavlina

Hello. My name is Raymond Aaron and welcoming to this exciting issue of the

Wealth Creator Source, a series of powerful monthly interviews with world

leaders in their field, to enhance your ability to understand and profit from the

events and changes in the world around us. Why, it’s like having the world’s

smartest self-made millionaires mailed to your door every single month. Why

bother learning from your own mistakes when you can learn from the mistakes

and experiences of the very wise and powerful people that I bring to you every

single month.

I am very excited to introduce my guest today. He’s both talented and innovative

in his thinking and I know you’ll be fascinated when you hear him speak. His

name is Steve Pavlina and he runs a blog. Indeed, it’s possibly the most

successful personal growth blog in the entire internet, attracting over two and a

half million readers every single month who read, in total, ten million pages of his

blog every single month. And his blog is Steve, P, as in papa,

A, V as in Victor, L, I, N, A., Steve is actually multi-talented,

having written more than 1,000 articles on many different subjects, produced lots

of audio tapes on lots of different programs. He’s founded a software company,

developed award-winning computer games. He’s written a book, “Personal

Development for Smart People.” It’s been translated into 12 languages. I could

go on and on and on. I belong to an organization that Steve and I are members

of and at the last time we met I said, “You know what? I’ve got to know you

better.” And we went to Starbucks together and just laughed and talked for an

hour. I was so moved I said, “You’ve got to be on my show.” And he said he’d

be honored to, and so here he is, at least I hope he is.


Steve, are you on the line?


Yes. Yes, I’m here, Raymond.


You have an impressive resume and I haven’t even spoken about

some of the things that have amazed me the most about you. I

want to get into it. Tell me how you started being possibly the

world’s most successful blog of all time. Because I understand you

back doored into it.


Yeah. Actually what happened is straight out of college I decided I

wanted to start my own business. And I majored in computer

science and mathematics and I went straight to starting my own

computer game development business. And I did that for about ten

years. But near the end of it I started getting interested in

branching out more and doing some writing to help other game

developers. And I just did that on the side. I had it published in a

software industry newsletter and I found that I really enjoyed writing

and I was helping people. And then I decided to put up a little

section just on my gaming website to add those articles to it.

And what happened is that over time those articles started getting

picked up in search engines. And this was around 1999 that I

started doing this. And I wrote these articles, maybe from then until

about 2004 or so. And eventually what happened is that the

articles became more and more popular and I had more people

coming to my website to read the articles than would come and

download and play my games. So I thought, “Huh, maybe there’s

something more general I am tapping into here.

Another thing is that I was broadening my market that I was

reaching, instead of just reaching gamers or game developers.

People who weren’t even interested in my games were coming to

my website. So I thought maybe I’m a better writer than I am a

game developer. And so that’s when I started thinking about a

career change and in 2004 I went to Hay House’s “I Can Do It”

seminar and I saw Dr. Wayne Dyer speak. And he gave a three

hour talk about discovering your life purpose and using the power

of intention and it really moved me. I was kind of in tears by the

end of his talk. And that’s when I really dug deep in my spirit and

decided I really needed to do this. I really need to make a full-time

career shift.

So I committed to shutting down my games business and just

pulling out of the industry entirely. And in late 2004 I started a blog

and just decided to start writing these articles as really my main

career, instead of doing it on the side. And fortunately it was great

timing. It aligned with the taking off of the blog-a-sphere and

everything was golden since then. It was just amazing.

I didn’t even have a clear business plan. I didn’t exactly know how I

was going to monetize it. I had some ideas, but eventually it

became financially successful, too.

Getting Traffic


Tell us the current metrics of your business.


Well, it’s doing well financially, makes tens of thousands of dollars a

month. It varies. My current goal is get up to about $100,000.00 a

month. Right now in terms of traffic, it usually varies between two

and two and a half million visitors a month, just past ten million

page views a month, earlier this year. I mean, it’s doing great.

Our forums, I think, have something like 850,000 messages posted.

I’ve written a little over 1,000 articles over about six years.

In terms of search traffic, what’s interesting is that the blog’s traffic

is very decentralized. Search engine traffic is maybe about 5 to

10% of the total traffic to the site. It’s actually getting a lot of traffic

that’s very decentralized. The traffic comes from all over the place.

Last month I checked it and there were incoming links from more

than 72,000 other websites.


72,000 websites have a back link to


Actually it’s more than that. That’s just the number that generated

an actual click-through to my site in the past month.




Yeah. So the traffic to the site is coming from all over the place, all

over the planet. Only about 40% of my visitors in the U.S.A. The

rest are scattered all around the world. So it’s been really amazing

and I think one of the things that really helped to do that is write

content that is universally appealing to people and so lots and lots

of other people link to it. And it’s those links - just the aggregate

amount of traffic. No single site really generates that much, aside

from the big players like Google and Facebook and so on, Twitter.

But it’s just having these thousands and thousands of links out

there from all these smaller sites that just generates a lot of traffic.

So it’s a very stable business and I don’t have to worry so much

about, you know, when Google changes it algorithm it doesn’t upset

my business model.


Hold on. I’m still stuck a few minutes ago at 72,000.




What that means is that at least 72,000, maybe 100,000 or 200,000

websites, actually said to their webmaster, or typed it in

themselves, “You’ve got to go to whatever” , in

order to see this article or that article. Like maybe 100,000 or

200,000 people actually typed in your URL to direct their clients or

readers to go to your site.


Yep. And in fact what’s also happening now, with the takeoff of

social media in the past years, especially with Twitter and

Facebook, that now every single day people are telling their Twitter

followers about my articles and they are telling their Facebook

friends about my articles and they are clicking the “like” buttons on

my articles, which puts the link to my article on their Facebook

page. So it’s not just individual websites; it’s all individual pages on

people’s Facebook accounts and their Twitter accounts. All these

extra links that are being generated out there.

The best part is I don’t have to pay for any of this. It’s all free


Noticing The Spike


Okay. My listeners are excited. How do they get it? What is it that

you did? I know you backdoored into it. We got that. But

nevertheless, there is something that you’re doing. What is the

topic of your articles? What is the theme? What is your secret

sauce? What is it that you’ve got that others don’t have?


Well, many, many years ago when I was running my computer

games business, I met this gentleman who was a successful

entrepreneur and he ran a windows business. Not Microsoft

Windows, but actually installing glass windows.




And he had taken his business from earning $40,000.00 a year to

earning $400,000.00 a year over a period of two years. So ten

times increase in his income over two years. And he asked if I

wanted to know how he did it. And I said yes. And he said, “Okay.

Here’s how I did it.” And he said, “This is going to sound really

stupid. You’re not going to want to do it. You’re not going to think

it’s the right answer or you’re going to think it’s just obvious and you

are already doing it. But trust me. This is the right answer.”


He said, “You’ve been running your business for a while, Steve,

right?” And I said yeah. And he said, “So you have some sales

data and some metrics?” And I said yeah. He said, “Take a look at

those and notice that sometimes you had an increase in your sales

or your income. And sometimes you had a decrease or it stayed

flat.” And he said, “Pay attention and notice what caused those

increases and do more of it.” And I thought, “Okay. That’s it?” And

he said, “That’s it.” And he said, “Figure out what’s causing it to

stay flat or decrease and do less of that.” And I thought, “Well,

that’s stupid.” And he said, “I told you.” [Laughs]

But he got me thinking and I went back and I actually looked at the

metrics and for my games business I thought, well, okay. What I

am noticing here is that my sales go up every time I release a

game. So that seemed obvious. Every time I had a new product

released, the sales went up. And they stayed flat when I was

spending so much time developing games. So I thought, well,

okay, but I have to develop games in order to release them. And

then I thought, “Or do I?” So that got me into the idea of maybe I

can license other developers’ games and publish them and then I

can have more releases, even though I am not creating the





So I did that and my income went up massively.




So that was where I learned the lesson. After I’d been blogging for

a while I started noticing that sometimes I got a mysterious spike in

my traffic. But I didn’t know what caused it. It would just be a huge

spike and I would get a lot of extra visitors. And so I kept looking at

this and I eventually noticed that there were some patterns here.

The spike was always related to the publication of a certain article.

And I found that these certain articles, if I wrote them, they could

generate a very big spike in traffic. And sometimes it would

generate such a huge spike it would just take my traffic to a whole

new level and I was at a much higher then I was ever before. Sort

of a new break through level of traffic.

And what I found was, after a couple years of doing this - it took a

while to figure it out - was that the articles that were generating all

these big spikes were ones that on some level, they really violated

people’s expectations. It was not what people expected to see

from me.


When you write and you blog what people expect to see from you,

even if you’re writing really good, quality content that provides a lot

of value, people tend to digest it, they receive the value, but then

they don’t write about it. They don’t share it. They don’t link to it.

So you don’t get any gain in traffic from that. You may provide a lot

of value. You may generate some loyalty and some repeat visitors,

but they’re not passing it on.

And the key to getting lots and lots of traffic, without spending tons

of money of marketing, is you need to generate referrals. And one

of the key things that generates referrals is when you get into

people’s minds; when they remember what you wrote. And the

only way they’re going to remember what you wrote is if you

surprise them. Because people remember is these salient

experiences that are surprising, that are different from the normal,

everyday experience. So if you are constantly triggering the

patterns that they already know and what they already expect to

see from you, even if you are doing really good, quality content,

they’re not likely to pass it on as much. But if you surprise them on

some level, it sticks in their mind and they remember it.

The question to ask yourself is, when you’re writing a blog post, ask

yourself, “Will people still remember this blog post a year from

now? Or even five years from now?” And I’ve been able to write

articles that do that. They stick in people’s minds to such a degree,

sometimes even upsetting them - although you don’t have to be

intentionally controversial. But it sticks in their mind to such a

degree that they are more likely to refer it to people because they’re

thinking about it. And when they think about it they are more likely

to talk about it and share it with others.


Do you know, one of my friends has a blog in which she talks about

organic health food, living a vegetarian life. And there was a recent

TV show of Oprah’s in which she talked about a vegetarian lifestyle

and there were certain aspects of the show that my friend, Marnie,

didn’t like. And instead of going on her blog and saying, “Wow.

Even Oprah loves vegetarian food,” she said, “Oprah, I’m

disappointed. It was beneath you. You talked about processed

cheese even though it is definitely vegetarian, it is not the healthiest

kind of food.”


And so she talked about how disappointed she was in what Oprah

did and her traffic skyrocketed. She got roughly ten times the

amount of traffic that she ever had and it lasted for seven days. I

see that that’s completely consistent and I thought it was just a blip.

I thought it had to do with Oprah and cheese. And now what I

realize it has to do with surprise.


Yes. In politics there’s a rule that says, ‘Thou shall not take a

stand.” Because whenever you take a clear, committed stand on

an issue, you invariably alienate people, which is a bad thing,

usually, when you’re a politician.




But in blogging it’s the opposite rule. You must take a stand,

strongly, on just about everything you write about. Because when

you write in a wishy-washy way, trying not to offend people, you

don’t get any links. When you write where you take a strong,

committed stand…you write an article say, like “Why vegetarians

are better than non-vegetarians,” okay? You are taking a strong

stand. And because you are saying something like that, you are

going to polarize people. You will have some people strongly

agreeing with you and you will have other people strongly

disagreeing with you.

And so then what happens is you have other bloggers out there

who blog about your article because they agree with it so strongly

that they want to share it and pass it on and say, “Here. This is

what I’m saying.” They tell that to their visitors.


Or disagree. If they disagree, they’ll blog. Or they’ll go to

Facebook and Twitter and say, “I didn’t like Steve’s article.” And

people say, “You didn’t? Oh, let’s go see it.”


But either way, they link to it.


That’s right.


Either way, that helps you. So that’s the thing is that the worst

thing you can do is to be too vanilla. To be too mediocre.

Your Blog


Right. Now what is your blog about?


My blog is about basically all different aspects of personal growth.

It is not a niche site. One of the reasons I avoided creating a niche

for myself is that I felt that I would get bored too easily. And that’s

one of the things that happened with my computer games business

is that I felt a little bit too limited in my ability to express myself. So

I thought, “You know what? I’m just going to create a site that’s

about all things personal growth related.” So I write about health

and relationships and finances and career development and life

purpose and spirituality. Anything that falls vaguely within the

realm of personal growth, I have probably written something about


And even though that seems to fly in the face of the idea that we

have to narrow our focus we have to be very limiting there. But

having a very focused, narrow site is only one way of many to

differentiate yourself. There’s other ways to differentiate yourself,

too. I can differentiate myself my going deeper into these topics

than other people do. One of the ways to differentiate myself is that

I do write about all kinds of different topics while everyone else is

picking a more narrow focus.


But also it wouldn’t have worked for you personally because you

would have gotten bored. You wouldn’t have liked it. So you have

to identify what you love and do what you love.


Right. And the truth is that I am interested in all these

different topics.


Right. Now just for fun, I want you to talk a little bit about what you

startled me with in our long discussion at Starbucks. And that is

when you heard the idea of sleeping just for a couple of hours, and

being awake for a couple hours and you decided to test it on

yourself and you blogged about it relentlessly for about six months

in order for people to actually experience it with you, and I’m sure

your traffic skyrocketed because you were doing that unusual

experiment on yourself. Tell us about that so we can get some

ideas on how we could do unusual things and dramatically increase

our traffic.


Sure. One of the things I like to do is these 30-day trials, because,

for one, it’s a good way to install a new habit, but it’s also a good

way to test a new habit or a new type of lifestyle factor that you

want to see how it fits for you, whether it works or not.


So I’ve done a lot of experiments with sleep. And one experiment I

did, this was around late 2005, going into 2006. And it was called

polyphasic sleep. And essentially what this is you sleep only 20

minutes at a time, every four hours, around the clock. So let’s say

you might have a nap at 12:00 p.m. Then at 4:00 p.m. Then at

8:00 p.m. Then at midnight. Then at midnight. Then at 4:00 a.m.

Then at 8:00 a.m. And you just keep doing that. 20 minute naps all

around the clock. So you’re only sleeping for six 20-minute periods

out of every 24 hours. That’s just two hours total out of every 24-

hour period. And apparently some people can adapt to this. It’s

very, very difficult, though, especially the first week. You go

through massive sleep deprivation until your body is able to adapt

to these sorts of sleep cycles.

But I did this and I kept it up for five and half months and it was just

a crazy experience. It was something I actually learned about from

another blogger who had done it and they wrote about their

experience. And I ended up actually getting a lot of traffic about it

from my logs because I wrote very thorough log entries about what

the experience was like, both physically and emotionally and how it

affected my relationships with my family, all those kinds of things.


And people followed you and they wanted to see what it was like.

They experienced it with you.


Yeah. In a way, they are living vicariously through me. Kind of like

if you’ve heard of that movie, “The Truman Show”?




Jim Carrey. Everybody watching him on TV, watching his life

unfold. That’s kind of how it was and that was one of the things I

discovered about blogging is that you can really build some

personal relationships with your readers that way, by opening up

and sharing more about your own life and what you’re going



In the month that I was doing Polar Race, the race organizer sent a

message to my webmaster every single day saying what I was

doing and where I was and my webmaster wrote it up and put it on

my blog and in that one month period, from nothing, we had 20,000

people coming to my blog. And I’m not comparing myself to you.

I’m saying from nothing 20,000 people showed up in order to follow

me each day.


See? That’s wonderful. Because what you’re attempting is

something that most people are not going to do in their entire lives.

I certainly wasn’t thinking that’s something I want to do, especially

after I saw your DVD about the Polar Race you did.




And I’m watching it and I’m just freezing, sitting in a comfortable

living room watching it, and I’m freezing with you while you’re doing





Thinking how cold it is and how much endurance you must have

had to go through these experiences.


And so I want to alert my readers to the fact that we’re not talking

about sleeping for 20 minutes and we’re not walking about racing to

the North Pole at minus 40 degrees. What we’re talking about is

any experience that you have. For example, there’s a very famous

radio personality in the town in which I live and she was fired from

her job after being the sound of morning radio on the major radio

station in this city for like 30 years. They just fired her and she

started a blog that day and got millions, millions of people writing in

every day, making comments, listening to her, how she felt, what

he thoughts were and who she was applying for a job with and what

was going on. It was fascinating.

And so what’s going on in your life? Anything that’s going on. Are

you getting married? Is there going to be the birth of a child? Is

there going to a wedding? A bat mitzvah? Is there going to be a

graduation? Anything that’s going on in your life, write about it in

your blog and people will feel far more connected to you.


Absolutely. And another benefit is that you get yourself out of that

guru role, where you’re the guru on the pedestal and you know

everything there is to know about a certain topic and now you’re

just conveying your wisdom to people. Well, that creates a sense

of disconnect with your audience. They don’t relate to you as well

when it happens. But when you’re experiencing something new for

yourself and you don’t know how it’s going to turn out, it creates a

sense of suspense.


It’s like every new blog post is a cliffhanger. You don’t know what’s

going to happen next. And so it creates more excitement and

especially allows people to relate to you because they try to picture

themselves and your experience. Just like you’re watching a movie

and you get involved into the role of the protagonist in the movie

and you get sucked into it. It’s the same thing with reading a

compelling blog post about somebody doing a trial as it unfolds.

You get sucked into their life and you’re with them as they go

though each failure and success experience.

That’s the real key is writing about your failures, too. Not just your

successes. Showing that you’re human. Showing that you’re trying

this and you’re turning around and sharing it.


It’s the television equivalent of reality TV or soap operas that totally

glue people to the screen.

Monetizing It

How do you make money at this?


Okay. The monetization. So first of all, we have that traffic

building. The nice thing is that once you build a certain level of

traffic, then the monetization part is pretty easy. Okay. That’s

definitely not the limiting step. The limiting step is building that web

traffic in the first place.

Once you build the traffic, though, how do you monetize it? Well,

I’ve experimented with a number of different business models over

the years and I found that it doesn’t necessarily matter that much,

as long as you just try a lot of different things and you find out what

works for you.

So when I first started, I tried affiliate programs. So that’s when you

join, let’s say, Amazon’s affiliate programs and you recommend

books on your website. I have a recommended reading page on

my website and that generated some money. That doesn’t really

bring in that much, though. I haven’t had great success with the

affiliate programs overall. Sometimes they can work okay. I know

some bloggers swear by them. But for me that’s a fairly minor part

of my income. Generally less that 5% of my income comes from

affiliate programs.


Another thing I tried was donations and I just put up a donation link

and even though I’m running a for-profit business - I don’t have a

charity. People know that. up a link to donate and one of the

reasons I did that is that I don’t make a secret of it. I put people

were starting asking me to donate. Within the first year I was

blogging, I didn’t really have any revenue sources and so people

thought, “I’ve gotten so much value out of your site already; I want

to give something back to you. Can I send you a donation?”


Like Wikipedia asks for donations.


Exactly. Much like Wikipedia does. I thought, all right. I’ll put up a

little donate link with PayPal. And people started donating.


No. They just gave you money? And you didn’t give them any



I didn’t give them any product; they just started donating. In fact,

just this morning I got $100.00 donation. And I’ve gotten $100.00

donations and $200.00 donations. I think the biggest I’ve got was a

$300.00 donation. But I’ve gotten many for $100.00 and $200.00.

The average donation is about $11.00. So… and some people

have donated 50 cents. [Laughs] Which mostly gets chewed up by

the processing fees, but I do get a lot of donations for $20.00,

$30.00, $50.00.


Just because you put up a button that says, “Donate here,” they

press it and they donate?


Yes. Now the conversion rate is absolutely hideous. I mean it’s

just a tiny, tiny fraction of 1%. Way, way below a percentage. So I

just get a handful of donations each day, typically. With two and

half million visitors a month, that’s a pretty shabby conversion rate.

But the thing is that it’s just yet another source of easy income.


But not just that. It’s the greatest talking point you can have. It’s

unbelievable. It’s hard enough to get somebody to buy something

that you want them to buy, but to just give you money for no

reason, voluntarily is hilarious.


Now, financially speaking, typically in a year if I have the donation

button up for a year… Sometimes I’ve experimenting with taking it

off because I thought maybe it’s detracting from other revenue

sources. Right now I have it up. And typically I can expect to make

about $20,000 a year.




So that’s no product. Just donations. Just on the existing



Well, let me just explain something. In USA Today newspaper on

the second page, just a few days ago, there was an article that

showed the average income, per American by state, and then they

gave the total for all of the United States. And the average income,

per earner - like the average income for every worker, if you

average it all out, comes to $40,000 a year. People work 40 hours

a week for 50 weeks a year for $40,000 across the entire United

States of America and you get half of that for fun.


Yeah. Just for donations. And that’s all passive income, of

course, too.


That is hilarious.


And people don’t expect any customer support, either. It doesn’t

take any work to support it.




Because you’ve done a donation. There’s no service to deliver.

The service has already been rendered. They’re just giving us

payment for what they believe is fair for the value they received.


That is wonderful. Oh my gosh.


That’s an easy thing. I don’t want to get too far down that path

because I don’t think that’s one of the most effective sources of



No, but it’s fun.


It can work. Yeah. The main thing is that people have to feel that

you deserve it. That they appreciate your content. If they

appreciate your content then they are more likely to donate.


Of course.


If they get some value out of it.



So let’s get the big ones now.


Okay. Another revenue model - and this is one of the bigger ones -

is advertising. So I experimented with that. I used to sell some

direct ads on my site. I sold text link ads. But the one that brought

in the most money was Google AdSense. I don’t use that anymore,

but I was using that a lot in 2006, 2007, around that time. That was

bringing in - I think at its peak it got to about, consistently around

$9,000.00 a month it was bringing in. Just from advertising. And

that’s 100% passive income because all it does is just sit there on

the site and Google deposits the money each month.


Now just to make sure everyone understands, you give Google

permission to put ads on your website and their little bot goes

through your website to figure out what you talk about and then

they look at all of their customers that want to place ads and they

try to find the most relevant ads. They do all that work. They put

the ads on your site. People click on it. They calculate how much

you get and they send you the money at the end of the month.


Absolutely. That’s how it works. And I can log into my Google

AdSense account and look at all the stats as they come in, pretty

much in real time. So I can see how it’s doing day by day. I can

see which pages are generating the most ad clicks and ad revenue

and that works pretty well for a while. I eventually stopped using it,

though, because I just felt more of a disconnect with that type of

business model. I felt that that model was not really me.


Now I want everyone to understand this. Google is mailing him

$9,000 a month.


Not even mailing. I don’t even have to go to the bank and deposit a

check. They direct deposited it into my bank account. Totally



So all he does is he goes online, opens up a Google AdSense

account. Google, on its own, figures out the most relevant ads and

puts them on all his different pages and then Google collects the

money and Google deposits the money.


He does absolutely nothing after opening the account. He’s up to

$9,000 a month, which is not bad. It’s $100,000 a year. And he

stopped it. He voluntarily said, “No. I won’t do it any longer.”

That’s a giant big, interesting step. Tell us the idea behind that.


Okay. Well, that was something when I blogged about it that other

bloggers told me I was crazy because I was making more than

$100,000 a year in totally passive income from these Google

AdSense ads. The one thing is that it was beginning to conflict with

my values, with my personal values, not something related to the

business, per se.

And I just felt like a lot of the ads that were being shown on my site,

they seemed like were becoming increasingly spammy and they

didn’t really seem to align well with the nature of the content I was

creating. So I’d write content about things like finding your life’s

purpose and there might be ads for different info products from

other people and sometimes it looked like what they were selling

was a little bit shady or a low quality. And yet I was making money

off of that. And I thought, you know what, I just don’t have enough

control over all these advertisers.

There were thousands of different advertisers on my site and while

if somebody reported one that was obviously not a good match for

my site, I could go in and block them individually, it was just

impossible to even see all the ads that were showing on my site. I

mean, you can’t look at all the millions of page views each month

and see what ads they’re showing because sometimes it’s viewer

targeted, meaning that different people will see different ads

depending on what city they live in. So I wouldn’t even see the ads

that other people were seeing sometimes.


Well, also there is a daily limit and so that ad might show just until

2:00 p.m. If you come in at 4:00 p.m., you’d never see it.


Sure. Sure. So I couldn’t administrate the ads as well as I wanted

to. So in a way you’re giving away a lot of control there. And I just

felt like I wanted to have more control over my branding, for one

thing. The deeper reason was just that I felt, ‘This is not really the

business model for me. Yes, it’s making me a lot of money, but

that’s not what was most important to me.” I felt like I would enjoy

my business more and I would feel more congruent about it if I

found a different business model.


And that this one just wasn’t the best match for me. Yes, it was

lucrative. Yes, it was making money. But that was not the most

important factor for me. As far as upholding my own integrity, I

needed to find something else. And so without even knowing what

I was going to do to replace this income, I just chopped it.

Now, I still was okay because I had other income sources by that

point, but I let go of that income sources, not knowing how I was

going to replace it, just sort of trusting that I was going to find

something better. And eventually I did find something better and

that’s when I got into doing live workshops. I’m working on creating

my own info products. And that’s what I realized is that I had this

valuable advertising space here, but what people really want is not

to be referred to some other website to buy a product that only

loosely matches what they’re really looking for.

I developed such a personal relationship with the people reading

my work that I realized I needed to be the one creating content for

them, in the form of products. I need to be the one advertising on

my own site, advertising my own workshops, my own content, my

own products, which I felt I could create things of higher quality

than what the average Google AdSense ads were doing. Does that

make sense?


So that’s a fifth way you’ve now told us to monetize is to advertise

your own live workshops.


Yeah. You can do your own live workshops. I created this

workshop called the “Conscious Growth Workshop” and it was

based on my book. It was a three-day workshop and I did it in Las

Vegas, where I live, right on the Las Vegas strip. We got about 100

people for each workshop and the ticket price is just under $500.00.

So that would be, say, $50,000.00 for a three-day weekend

workshop. Again, not too bad. That was easily

enough to replace the lost income and I did four of those workshops last year.



Joint Ventures:


Do you have another way you monetize your website?


The way I’m doing it right now is doing venture deals. That’s been,

I’d say, my primary income earner over the past several years.

Probably from 2006 until present day.


Okay. Tell us what that is.


Okay. A joint venture deal is, in a way, like a fancy affiliate

program. It’s like a more customized affiliate program. Here’s how

it works. Let’s say there’s a publisher that creates an information

product and I think this would be a great product for my visitors. I

have seen the product. I have used it myself and I feel highly about

it. Let’s say it’s a speed-reading course. And I think, okay, a lot of

my visitors would benefit from this information. Then what I do is I

work out a deal with the publisher. Oftentimes they are able to offer

my visitors a discount or a bonus, and many of them are happy to

do that for access to such a large audience.




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