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Hey it's Matt

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

Hey,

 

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.

 

Matt

Organizer

http://www.meetup.com/edmontonentrepreneur     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


time!!


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


deliver.


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


direction.


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 www.stevepavlina.com and check out his blog. Subscribe to his


newsletter.


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 stevepavlina.com. Steve, P, as in papa,


A, V as in Victor, L, I, N, A., stevepavlina.com. 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.


Raymond:

Steve, are you on the line?


Steve:

Yes. Yes, I’m here, Raymond.


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.


Steve:

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


Raymond:

Tell us the current metrics of your business.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

72,000 websites have a back link to stevepavlina.com.


Steve:

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


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


Raymond:

72,000?


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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


Steve:

[Laughs]


Raymond:

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 stevepavlina.com/ 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.


Steve:

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


marketing.


Noticing The Spike


Raymond:

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?


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

Yes.


Steve:

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.”


Steve:

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


products.


Raymond:

Right.


Steve:

So I did that and my income went up massively.


Raymond:

Right.


Steve:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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.”


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

Right.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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.”


Steve:

But either way, they link to it.


Raymond:

That’s right.


Steve:

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


Raymond:

Right. Now what is your blog about?


Steve:

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


it.


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.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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


different topics.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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


They experienced it with you.


Steve:

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


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


Raymond:

Yes.


Steve:

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


through.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

Right.


Steve:

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


this.


Raymond:

[Laughs]


Steve:

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


had to go through these experiences.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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?


Steve:

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.


Steve:

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?”


Raymond:

Like Wikipedia asks for donations.


Steve:

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


little donate link with PayPal. And people started donating.


Raymond:

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


product?


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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


press it and they donate?


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

[Laughs]


Steve:

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


articles.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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


course, too.


Raymond:

That is hilarious.


Steve:

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


take any work to support it.


Raymond:

[Laughs]


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

That is wonderful. Oh my gosh.


Steve:

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


income.


Raymond:

No, but it’s fun.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

Of course.


Steve:

If they get some value out of it.


Sources


Raymond:

So let’s get the big ones now.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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


$9,000 a month.


Steve:

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


passive.


Raymond:

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.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

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.


Steve:

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.


Steve:

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?


Raymond:

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


your own live workshops.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

Okay.


Joint Ventures:


Raymond:

Do you have another way you monetize your website?


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

Okay. Tell us what that is.


Steve:

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.


Raymond:

Right.


Steve

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