From fat ass and broke (Jeremy’s words) to multi million dollar website owner, the story of Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker is inspiring. Once $50 thousand in debt, weighing 420 lbs, smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day and living off a friends couch Jeremy somehow turned his life around going on to build several multi million dollar web businesses and a reputation as a shrewd entrepreneur.
- Jeremy’s incredible rise from nothing.
- The Google Adsense Discovery.
- Successful affiliate marketing.
- Success with E-bay Auction ads.
- Jeremy’s business mantra.
- Secrets to his rapid business success.
- Forums and why they are still important.
- Shoemoney traffic lessons.
- Building for Mobile Advertising Success.
- PAR Program.
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Hello welcome back! You’re tuned in to Traffic Jam episode#13, this is your host James Reynolds and I’m super happy that you’re tuning in to today’s show as I always am to have you here on Traffic Jam especially today since I’ve got such a great show lined up.
My guest today, he really just have such an amazing and inspiring story to share with all of you. A real kind of rags to riches story packed full not only of great marketing lessons but also lessons in life and crafting your own success and because he’s such a great storyteller, the delivery of the information is so engaging too so I know you are really going to enjoy today’s show.
But, before we get that interview, a couple of quick announcements at the top of the show, and the first one is a very exciting announcement, at least for me anyway. And that’s that this week I launched veravo.com, the brand new home to my daily training and tips video that used to go out to my two agency sites, ClickJam.com and SEOSherpa.com. Because we were sort of split between these sites, the idea was for veravo to be the central hub for all of the main content that we put out weekly across those two platforms and really that’s exactly what you can expect from the site, regular punchy traffic tips and training, posted three or four times a week, and a real sneak peak in to my own business, so you can take away the lessons that I’m learning and implement them in your own scenario. So I suggest you go and check that out, veravo.com. You can of course subscribe to receive the regular updates and you ge an email when we publish new content. But also on the site you can take advantage, at least for now anyway, of a website analysis report that we’re putting together for everyone, and that is about a 30+ point checklist which will assess your site based on its effectiveness for SEO, social media and just its general usability. That’s a really high quality, detailed report that my team will put together, and you’re welcome to receive one of those yourself and all you need to do is go and pop in there your website URL and your email address so that we can deliver that report to you and you don’t even need to put your name! So if you are sort of guarded about the websites that you own, or perhaps you are so embarrassed about the sites that you own that you don’t want to put your name in to it then that option is perfectly good for you, so a totally anonymous report, go and check that out and take advantage of that.
The second I have actually relates to Traffic Jam and the Traffic Jam jam that comes at the end of the show. I made a decision this week that I want to kind of make it a little bit more personalized, a little bit more fitting for each episode so from this week and ongoing I’m inviting my guest on each week’s show to actually pick that Traffic Jam jam to play out the episode. I am hoping that when we do that we’ll get a bit more personality coming across that really will be fitting of the interview and perhaps the kind of soundtrack that really summarizes that individual guest. In fact, my guest today has really recently written his own book which chronicled his own life story and I think if he ever chronicled that book in to a feature film the track that he’s chosen to play out today’s episode would have to be the soundtrack so stick around until the end of the show also for traffic Jam jam but also remember that coming up before that after the interview we have our regular segments, the one minute traffic tip and of course this week’s news in traffic. But now, I think it’s about time, without any further ado, to introduce today’s guest and to start our feature interview.
James: So I am joined today on Traffic Jam by Jeremy Schoemaker who’s known online as Shoemoney. He’s an entrepreneur and writer with an inspiring story. Using his own description, he went from fat ass and broke to owning multi-million dollar websites. Literally 50K in debt, weighing 420 lbs., smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day and sleeping on a friend’s couch, Jeremy turned his life around in 2003 and went on to build several successful companies including netpimp.com and auctionhous.com which he later sold and later on build his business PAR ProgrAM. Jeremy, you literally went from no money to multimillion dollar company owner. I would love you to start by sharing your story to how you got where you are today.
Jeremy: Sure, and I have given 2 hour talks on that so I’ll make it very condensed version so I might talk fast so I think this is being recorded so people might want to play back and listen to it slower. So I made a site named Next Pimp which was just a fun site and the site stood for Next Pimp with your phone, just pimping out your phone kind of thing. I have always been a little immature and stuff like that but – be careful what you call your site but they just might evolve in to something bigger. And so I basically, and this is sort of a mantra and motto of every site that I had ever had, I did not realize it during those times when I was building those mantra. Is there something out there that I desperately want? And at that time there was no way for average people – I was in this forum called powered forums which was the big thing at the time for cellphone users who wanted to hack their phone and I had a Nextel phone back then and people were talking about here’s a way to make wallpaper but it was so complicated and at that time it had to be a gif format, exact file size, exact height and width on your phone, and you also had to trick it that you are a Motorola developer and all this stuff. So at that time, I just started and I would get on their and I would help people and I wrote tutorials about how to do it but it was just way too complicated for people to do – for your average person. So I figured out how to do it automatically on a website and just made it. It was a horrible looking site but you just submitted an image and what kind of phone you have and a second later and a second later it would spit you back out the correct image and also in that image it also contained the directions, just a step-by-step, really, really simple way for people to do it. Then one day somebody said you should catalog these images and allow people to categorize them, now it’s referred to as tagging. So I did that, and before I know it, it got to be so popular and it grew to all kinds of other phones and keep in mind this was 2003. Basically while sitting on my couch and working on my underwear from home, single and whatever, basically in my free time I made this and over 5,000 images are being uploaded every day. Extremely popular, so fast forward, I did the same thing with ring tones. People had no idea how to load ring tones on their phone, it wasn’t easy how to be in certain formats in certain things, so I did the same thing. I wanted it, so I programmatically made a website, and I was not a programmer. And that would set people back, they were like, I’m not a programmer, and this leads in to some other thing like should I buy info product and stuff, and I always tell people, it depends on where you’re at. Like for me, an info product was a $30 book on how to do Php. That was my info product. That was my education, and that’s how I learned. I basically hacked away at stuff until it did what I wanted and from there, one day I got a call from Google and they said we have this product called Google Adsense. We can tell you had a lot of mobile traffic, we have a lot of mobile advertisers, and we like to make you a premium publisher, and they asked how much you’re making. And I was like, I was not making anything! So through the code of my sites, this must have been late 2004 and the site was making at least $1000 a day and I just was blown away. So fast forward to 2005, by September the site just exploded even more and it was doing enough sometimes $3,000 or sometimes $7,000 in a day, it depends on the advertisers and how much they are going to get up and I had lost my job a month before that and I was on unemployment and then I got on a $134,000 cheque and up until that point, it was only like the month before that I had started decent money that if you want to see a weird look on a teller’s face is when you have an unemployment cheque and a hundred and thirty – they held that cheque for a long time, like 90 days and they did not know Google paid people at that time so from there then, I was this huge success story with Google and I had lost weight around that time and they put me on the speaking circuit. So because I got to tell this wonderful story about how I was broke and on unemployment and because of Google I changed my life. They had me speak about Google Adsense, at that point I was transitioning from Google Adsense to Affiliate Marketing because I really followed the money and I was like gosh these people can afford to pay me $2-3 per click on this Google ads, then where are they making money and so I traced it down and they are all affiliates for ringtone offers and things like that. So when I went direct to my affiliate networks, what they were doing, just following the links, and sign up for accounts, and started making money with affiliate marketing a lot more from what I was making with Google Adsense. So it’s ironic because a lot of the panels with Google Adsense and I had a lot of negative things to say about them, a lot of it being you just don’t have control over what’s happening at your site, when someone clicks on Google Adsense, they are leaving your site and you’ve lost them as a customer or a website visitor and who knows of they’ll be back or not. There are just several ways, and then I got in to making money through donations and then also, because people were searching so much on my website, I had an instant database of what people were searching for. All the typos, all the misspellings, so Ieveraged that in to doing my own pay per click outside of my site to go direct to these ringtone offers and really started blowing it out, so I really learned and the whole time I was doing this that was when I started shoemoney in 2003 but as I was learning how to make money, it started as just like hey I met Paris Hilton, it was just about me and my life then it started to be like hey I discovered this Adsense, this thing is kind of crazy, then it’s like, hey affiliate marketing works like this and now it’s like hey here’s my experience in doing pay per click and here’s how you know. I was sharing what I was learning everything along the way. So then I got to be known as this guy who makes money online, and I wrote about these things and gave people value but I’ve always have the mantra of kind of like not telling people what to do but just sharing with them my experience and let them do what they want. From there, one day I have a site and I’m sitting there thinking gosh Apple has got such an amazing click through but I have no control over those ads, I can’t make them open a new window and I thought what if I just develop my own network that had the look and feel of Adsense but went to my own affiliate ads? So I created shoemoney ads and I had a lot of people using it, just a free thing that I offer to people, and again it’s something that I wanted so I built it for me and then built it for other people. And then I created a little reporting thing, different stats and different things and blah, blah, blah. So about four months after that I’m playing poker at affiliate summit or something, and this girl who’s next to me was like you’re that guy who owns shoemoney and she just happens to be the head of the e-bay affiliate program and she said you should build that around e-bay because our affiliates are using your ads and doing very, very well. So, I was like, interesting! And so I started an auction ad which was purely powered by the e-bay API. If you had a site like Darren Rowse who has this photography blog which is doing well, he can put images of cameras and how long the auction is – we powered all of that! And because we were doing so much volume, within four months we were doing like $2 million a month in gross that was paid out to our publishers. And I know something you want to get in to is how to grow and build traffic and all that which I am happy to share with people but we can get to that but it really was crazy. Because we were getting so much money we could pay out on the highest tier so if you started on e-bay you got somebody to sign up for like $12 we were getting like $20 so we were able to pay out 100% because I just want to grow it superfast. And so now you could go through e-bay or you could go through us at almost double the payout. So that was one reason why auction ads grew, there’s many- but from that, I built up products, there’s been many along the way, shoemoney tools and free seo report, just a ton of things. I sold next pimp to a ringtone company. Shoemoney tools became deprecated of the APIs going down. The SEO Report I sold and then I came up with the shoemoney system which is a training product to help people learn about marketing and learn the basics of all that. Several other things, and through that I had a secret way if you will, not really a secret but which is why these companies grew so fast after auction ads and why they became so successful and really why I was able to crush my competition and in 2012, the early phase of that, I started thinking I just don’t want to do this affiliate stuff anymore, I just don’t want to make tons of money in one month and then try to figure out what I want to do next, I had never owned a company for more than four months and I sold it! That was really a confidence thing! With auction ads I was paying $2 million a month with paypal with a csv file doing a mass pay. We had 20,000 people on the database and around 4,000 people are getting payments. That’s something you don’t have a margin for error on. And then I got in to stuff like currency hedging, just way out of my league and it was me and a $20/hr programmer. We did no customer service; it was like if you could not figure it out then you’re dumb. I did not know how to do it. So looking back on that, I know I sold it way too cheap because I had gotten to be friends with the company’s owner, they are willing to pay a lot more than what I sold it for but anyway, I basically in another situation of four in the morning drinking with friends and told them I want to build a real company, or I’m just going to write. I have put enough money from the companies I have sold to live a good lifestyle for the rest of my life! I’m either going to take a run and build a good stable company –but I don’t know what that stable company is. My friends were like you’ve had this one thing that helped you grow your companies and all these companies don’t know how to do that and so why don’t you just do that for other companies so that’s the PAR Program.
James: And that’s where you’re at now. Wow! That’s a miraculous story, I mean just hearing you really just make it sound in hindsight so simple but I am sure there are a lot of mechanics behind it. I’d like to start I guess with the first big public success which was next pimp and the six figure cheques from Google that followed. That if I understand was getting somewhere near 200,000 unique visitors a day at one point. Perhaps correct me with the numbers, how do you get about an audience that fast and that large to a website in the fashion that you did?
Jeremy: You know, and this is something that always works for me, is giving value and not focusing on the money to start with, but more on like what can I build that is something that would improve my life? And that was ringtones – what I cared about. And just improving that and improving that, everything else took care of itself. I never bought traffic to that site; it all came to me and it was because you could go and buy ringtones or you could go to this site that had millions of ringtones submitted by users and download them free and all this stuff. But actually to answer your question, it was featured on many newspapers, it was featured in Dig which was a big thing at that time, it made the front page of Dig many times which that would bring in at that time, you would get the users in addition to what you had, all the Nextel stores I could go to any Nextel stores anywhere and they would know the site well and they would actually know me as the owner. I was actually sued in Federal court by Nextel because the site looked pretty much identical to Nextel in yellow and black. At that time and they were saying people were getting confused because I outranked Nextel for Nextel ringtones – they sold ringtones and I was just like third from Nextel so if you are looking for ringtones and you type in Nextel where are you going to go? They took me to Federal court and we had over 6,000 pages from logs of Nextel stores accessing the website and even affidavits from Nextel’s employees saying that because of that site they were making sales because they showed people where they can get ringtones for their phones. My big secret to growing the site was engaging with my audience so I was on every form that had to do with cellphones and my signature was getting ringtones and I would help people because a lot of people just did not know. For every person that found the site, they just blew up from there. And another thing too is leveraging. Before I ever ranked for free ringtones or ringtones or anything like that, I would leverage the domain of these forums and in the title I would put how to load ringtones on your Nextel phone and then I would go to Sprint forum and I would write the complete guide not like telling people to go to my site but just saying I went to next pimp I downloaded the ringtone and then here’s the steps and of course people went to the site and people have got away from the whole – they were buying all these products that just spam everywhere. Just give people value and you can drop in your stuff in there. I am sure that just by listening to this people are going to go and buy something I sell or probably contact me about the PAR Program or something and it’s just because of talking to people and just giving them value, opening their eyes to things and it comes back to you. So that was my big secret to growing the site. Did it get a hundred thousand visitors? No. again, I built it for me. And just the same thing my blog started with nobody reading it and it was just because I gave people value over time. Everything, including auction ads, did not make a ton of money the first day. But just as people found out how good it was, then it just spread rapidly.
James: Well, it is interesting that you touched on things like forums because that was some years back now but forums are still a fantastic way to get traffic and really just dive in and get in to that watering hole of passionate users who are going to devour your stuff when you find the right target market and that sort of same stuff still works today; the tried and tested methods that still work.
Jeremy: Absolutely! There are things that people don’t think about; now people are really spamming the crap out of stuff and I know there have been products out there about how to make money on e-books and stuff but I can tell you one of the key things for my company now which is part of retention and stuff- I accidentally discovered something; I put a guide on Amazon called The Ultimate Email Marketing System and lo and behold it started ranking for email marketing and I sold it for 99cents. Amazon allows you to give it away for 4 days a month and when I gave it away for free it’s got tons and it would go all the way to number1 and all these stuff but really what it lead you to do is I gave them so much value about how to approach people and how to really relate to your customer and all these – whether they are bloggers or whatever, they read about oh you build a list and then you slam them with all your offers and all these stuff. They don’t even understand your story and how you – I mean do I hit people with offers and make a ton of money from my list? Absolutely! But I tell people when I speak at conferences I’m like if you want to see me in action get on my list at shoemoney.com and I guarantee that I’ll see your name, and you’re going to buy something from me. And they all laugh and I’ll say you laugh! But I know the average dollar value of a person who gets on my list organically is worth $80 on average the lifetime value of a person and that is attributed to – and believe it or not, that is low! For the clients that we have that are e-commerce people, somewhere around $160 per email which is pretty amazing and very eye- opening.
James: Well coming forward from Next Pimp to your second public success if you like, the e-bay affiliate marketing service, that in comparison to Next Pimp a totally different business model. Would you say that you’ve got this natural ability to find natural angle and exploit them for profit?
Jeremy: Yeah and I wrote a book which talks about it, and I am not here to talk about my book but I always saw angles and they always got me in to trouble as a kid but now in business the way my mind works, not only seeing angles but not being afraid, and I talk about this constantly – of being in that gray area and it’s not for everyone. But for me where I found success is crossing lines or bending rules legally, morally, ethically – what other people might not be willing to do and that is the difference no matter who I talk to, if you look at the success of any major company, I don’t care what the major company is, they’ve done that. And that’s the difference between a successful company and others – it’s just fact. There’s people who want to work 9-5 and then there’s people who want to do their own business but just don’t know how to grow it. Look at Steve Jobs, or Microsoft or all those guys, they have borderline criminal backgrounds of the lines they put. It’s another thing to be a criminal but they were very brave and even Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, look what he did. Look at the MySpace guys, started as massive spammers and look at plenty of fish who did some pretty wild stuff and putting up allegedly a lot fake female profiles to get people interested. In a way I am saying that these guys started at some angle and took a step that most people will not be willing to do and with auction ads, I had a 10 point plan which was insane, nobody in their right mind would do what I did but because I did it, I was able to grow that company within four months to 2 million a month in revenue. And what I did was – #1 I gave everyone who signed up and implemented the code $5. I just put $5 in their account. Behind the scenes, in the fine print, you don’t get paid unless you make $10 and if you make $10 I knew that you are going to be worth it because the hardest thing to get people to do when you are on an advertising network is implement it. And people who are so complacent, whether it’s Google adwords or whatever it’s to just do it. That was like step one. Step two is market penetration. So I would go to Tech Crunch and I would say, what are you getting with Adsense? I will pay you 10% more to implement auction ads and I don’t even care what you’re making. So I did that and it cost me a lot but everyone followed suit though. Because all of a sudden Mashable is running auction ads as a regular publisher because they saw Tech Crunch was doing it. And then all these other sites started running Auction ads because Tech Crunch was doing it and then I penetrated the mix martial arts industry which I am a huge fan of so I went to the biggest site there and I said the same thing – I will give you 10% more than your best month of Adsense and I just routinely did that which was very, very brave. Another thing I did is I paid out Net 0 terms which was crazy! I paid out people 90 days before I got paid. So by the time it was hitting millions a month that was very scary because if e-bay decided for whatever reason they don’t want to pay me I’m in trouble. So I am a little extreme at that time but you’ve got to be willing to do what others are not and there are 8 companies doing what auction ads was doing when I launched it including e-bay who had over $5million in development and 5 years in to it. And here I am, I launched it 8 weeks after I met with that girl in e-bay and so many weeks later the publishing network. So the things I did that I did to grow, and now I’m on step 4 of my marketing plan and I am not a big planner, I have never written a business plan and I don’t even have an MBA in fact. So I am not a big planner I fly by the seam of my pants and sometimes I come up with an idea and I take action. I don’t sit and think a lot about things a lot. In fact it drives me crazy when I am sitting and talking to someone and a lot of people are like, hey let’s chat about stuff and I’m like hey let’s do something. I am not chatter; if we talked about something and I have not acted on it within the next couple of days, it’s not going to happen.
James: Looking back at Auction ads, do you think you kind of pushed the boundaries as far and as hard as you did if you did not have Next Pimp behind you? Because if you kind of look at the history of the likes of Steve Jobs – the example that you made, I mean he really pushed things close with lawsuits but kind of always cited the fact that because Apple is so liquid you can kind of push things to the edge a little bit. Do you think you kind of had a little bit security behind you knowing that perhaps if something went badly wrong it would not be too much of a downfall for you?
Jeremy: I’m glad you asked that because a lot of people assume that because I had the revenue from Next Pimp that I was safe. Imagine you’re getting tens of thousands of ring tones uploaded a day. Hoe much of that content do you think are copyrighted? How many cease and desist orders a day do you think I was getting? I was strategically planning for it, my bills to my attorneys were five figures a month because we had large record companies if one of those would have gotten in to a lawsuit together in a class action I was broke! I can’t even tell you how many sleepless nights I had; yeah I made money with that but could that be over? Not only could they take all of that in a minute but also take my house and everything I had ever built? Absolutely! I was very fortunate that all that time right up to when I sold the site that none of the companies really want to punish me and make an example of me even though I was a pain. This was before the DMC act; this was before you could say this is third party content, I can’t control it, I am doing everything I can! Anyway to answer your question, I had no security. The site I was running was a huge liability, a massive liability! It’s kind of all relative because a lot of people start out but yeah you had this so use your money you could do this and I’m like you know what, this is not for you. If you can come up with excuses why you can’t be successful to start with, it’s never going to work. Because I was paying out a hundred percent I had a really cool affiliate program but it did not cost me anything but time to do auction ads, and I programmed out about 80% of it and the funny thing is it wasn’t that secure, the code was very bad! I was a horrible programmer! But it’s funny I built a multi-million dollar a month website from books I got from Barnes and Nobles and really just taking code that was copy and paste but changing a little bit of it to make it do what I wanted it to do, something simple, like making usernames and this and that. That’s not that hard! There’s all these examples that show how to do it like how to make an upload thing. I already had the backend stuff, those are programmer’s stuff which is a horrible security but I had registered globals on because those programmers understand how a horrible programmer I am but it worked and that’s the thing. I had a million dollar company operating on a completely insecure site. I’ve always had the thing where it does not matter until it matters so lets worry about security if we run in to an issue. Instead let’s do great backups and if we get hacked we’ll roll it out and figure out what happened. So let’s keep great logs. I don’t even know if that answered your question but with me I find that it’s about the security of what I had built before, oftentimes people ask me, if you were to start tomorrow, what would you do? And I have found myself in that exact situation in the last year because every year- I have money, I put money away, but it’s invested in a lot of hard assets, I bought farmland, and I bought buildings. And my wife is very frugal and likes having a nest egg. And last year was the first time since I started my company that I lost money. It was very humbling for me because I’m shoemoney I don’t do anything wrong. But it was because I focused on the long term company that happened and for me to go to my wife and say that I maxed on a credit line and need to take money out, she was completely against it. She was like, I want to see a plan because when I come down to your office, you guys are all playing video games, you guys are all watching YouTube videos and you’re throwing parties. In my office I have a stripper pole, I have arcades and I wanted to build a very fun place where everyone loves working here. We have a fund that changed and I had to show her. People say, so what did you do? Well I started this company in debt. Anyone can take small business loan right now. I started less than what everyone could get with a small business loan who had a good plan. And it’s funny because I did not want to do the hoops that everyone had to. They’re basically letting you do unsecured loans for an enormous amount I am really surprised with that! So if people ask me what would you do if you started over again, it’s like I just did, I just totally did. And a lot of people are actually in a better position than I am. When I wake up every day, I have to make three grand today to break even. You think you are in a better position than I am right now? Imagine not having the money coming in that you did but having all the expenses. I’ve got $100,000 a month right now in expenses. I’ve got to make $2,798 a day to break even. So fortunately this new company, once we had it developed and everything has taken off like a rocket, we’re doing fantastic. But it really made me think like am I cut out for this? Am I the fly by night guy that I have always been in making companies and selling them or making companies and making a ton of money and then having a load of crap because I just moved on to the next thing or can I really do this and it was a very humbling experience for me; it was a very educational experience for me.
James: I’d like to talk Jeremy about the shoemoney blog for a little while. That itself has become extremely established and certainly established your name. It does pretty well with traffic as well. According to my notes, well within the top 10,000 or so most trafficked websites in most major countries, I think you’ve got a readership somewhere near 30,000 people daily. How has that result been achieved? Is there any tactic involved with the blog or was that again more of a long term strategy that helped you build that thing up?
Jeremy: Like I said, I just wanted to write it for me. I know everyone does not want to hear that. So as the site built up, we almost had to start at 2003 or 2004 when actually someone else besides my mom would read it. And as I started giving value to people, the biggest reason – and I have large, large companies coming to me and they’re like, nobody reads our blog. They’re like, we get 500 people that read our blog and I read it and it’s just like, why would anyone want to read this? You’re talking about company news and how you’ve just partnered with this company. Why the hell would anyone want to read that? Why are you talking about how this company is doing it wrong? And I’m not talking about what everyone says – 10 ways to do this or 5 ways. Just titling the thing like that sucks. Be polarizing- positively or negatively. Either you want people to love or hate you. I have picked fights a lot of companies including Google and I have been in about 12 different lawsuits because of what I have said or because of whatever but I can tell you that I’ve never come out cash flow negative on a yearly basis on a legal issue. I’ve actually made a video if anyone ever cares called Affiliate Legal Issues, it’s free, and it goes through a lot of the legal cases I have been in whether I have been sued or I have sued other people and the legal system is a tremendous tool to not only, I mean everyone loves lawsuits and reading about them. And people say check this out, it’s not just about Facebook and Twitter and all that but in the end people still will just forward stuff. If people out there were to start a blog, give value to people and be you. Everyone has opinions and they’re so scared about writing something. I can tell you when I posted about how I was fat and the pain of kids making fun of me, just the whole thing – I was scared to post that! And also I talked about my addiction to online games and how I basically lost 2 years of my life in all this stuff. Those are some of my most popular posts because I put my heart out there and I was just like this is going to be ammo for all my haters but it wasn’t. it just drastically increased readership because you’re relating to your reader. I can’t tell you how many people since I wrote my blog have written me and was like I went through the same thing. Everyone has opinion on stuff but when people post about it, they’re like featured in everything. And the best part about this is whether I have written negatively or positively about a company, people forget about it two weeks later. But they’ve been to my site they know who I am and they subscribe.
James: One of the things I was reading on your blog was your whole philosophy around embracing new trends in everything you do. What sort of interesting traffic messages would you say you’re embracing right now and exploiting to your best advantage? I think you were telling me before a little bit about something to do with the mobile app network you are getting great results with. Tell us about about that.
Jeremy: Yeah absolutely! I want to look at the name so I can tell you people about it, there’s a mobile ad network that I discovered through a friend and so I signed up and he said, dude, put $100 on your account and look at how much traffic you are going to get from it so I was like alright, I put $100 in there, I got like 60,000 clicks. I know there’s a lot of fraud in there because on a we gen that I was doing, I only got like 40 submits out of 60,000 clicks so obviously that’s not adding up. But I came out very casual and positive about that. I have explored a lot more mobile themes we found and this is kind of embracing something, is actually building out. If you want to see an interesting example of how companies like myself, if you go to shoemoneytraining.com and you’re on an iPhone, you will see an iPhone very, very, looks like a native application and it caters to mobile people. And people don’t think about on your email submits or however you collect leads on your site if you do that and we have some clients that do that, some do other stuff but they think like you need your name and email horizontally, it does not work that way on a mobile phone, you need to do things vertically. And you’re going to see a huge difference and the thing is, it’s kind of going against what I normally do, that’s my experience and you’ve got to test it and figure out how it works for you but on all these things, mobile traffic right now is so I am getting away from the fly by night building a company, I can’t help it. So as my hobby, I still do a lot of affiliate stuff on the side, like at home or when I’m in between talks and working with clients and stuff, I love it! I love affiliate marketing, and also, I know that there is a very limited shelf life on affiliate marketing. You are coming down with all these FTC logs, you are coming down with all these taxes that are the nexus tax which is all these companies kill their affiliate programs so it’s a very limited time for people to make from home for no investment or little investment, an enormous amount of capital and I look at his company I’m building and I realize in the first year if I could make as much as I made in three or four weeks in some years, I am supposed to be happy. Most companies would freak out if they did half a million or a million in a year in profit and I am sitting there and I am going god this is so much work I’ve got so many employees I am managing and I know people listening are probably like this guy’s so cocky but this is the way it is. There’s so many guys out there that are 16 ,21, no education, dropped out of school, but they are millionaires – because of the time we live in right now and that if there’s one thing I can pound home with people it’s no matter if you are getting traffic when you see in facebook you are completely ruined for guys like us trying to advertise because brands have moved in. it takes a while, so like this mobile thing I just mentioned, that’s got a very limited shelf life. Mobile advertising is a new cutting edge thing, you can go to digital forms and they talk about it and it will take a year for big brands to recognize how profitable and they will jump in to it and they will destroy guys like us because they have big money and they don’t even care if they’re making money on it, they just want to brand out more.
James: Let’s close out Jeremy by talking about this new business venture of yours which is called the PAR System which stands for People Acquisition and Retention Program. You described it yourself as kind of a big brand personal marketing and it kind of looks to me very much like an intelligent auto responders and message sequencing system. Tell us a little bit about all of that, it sounds super exciting.
Jeremy: Yeah it is very exciting and from a very, very high level. We have amazing technology and we can do a hundred percent email deliverability like nobody else and I am happy to talk to anyone who wants to talk about that because there’s got a lot of guts in that but the end big picture is this: I have built companies around connecting with my customers and giving them value. And somewhere along the line, these big brands have lost that. So the PAR Program is all about that, and I have been selling somewhere around $10million through my own list of building that relationship and I am not shoemoney so much as I am Jeremy. When I email people, if they respond to that 120,000 list that goes to somebody at my office who will answer and if it’s too technical for them, they give it to me and I answer. The best way I have ever come up with explaining things is called You Don’t Know Jack and it is about a guy named Jack Keifer who has a company called Baby Age, one of our clients, and I am using him as an example and it’s like – and you don’t know Jack but I know Jack because Jack met my wife one time and told her about what to watch out for when buying a stroller. And so my wife buys from Baby Age even though Amazon is 30% cheaper. But she knows Jack and she does not care because Jack is there for her. It’s not Baby Age, it’s Jack. And somewhere along the line these companies think they’ve got to do these. The stats that we have are mind blowing and I’ve been writing and selling stuff through email. You show me one company who actually sells an e-commerce product. So we have experience doing it. Another one of our clients is blue electronic cigarettes, twice as much as their competitors but they just sold for $100 million and their revenues are ridiculous because their CEO is out their all the time. When you think of it, you think of Jason Hellie because he’s the president and when you think of Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, they’re people behind a brand. And they’ve got a story. I know I am going really long here but the point I’m trying to make is, and trust me I am not trying to sell my company to you guys because we only take on about 4-5 clients a month just because I do all the copywriting so we are very selective on who we take on and stuff but everyone out there can do it. You can go to Aweber, it will cost you a buck, and if you are a company out there drastically improves – for some of these companies we improve their sales 20% to 50% and I am just stunned because all they do is email out an image, not even text usually, a huge image – I’ll give you a staggering, quantifiable fact, on desktop clients, we can see 70% never load an image of desktop clients so nobody is even seeing anything, just a blank white page. It’s like somebody coming up to your booth and they have to touch a button to actually see what the hell you do, it’s like all of a sudden all these big brands have lost the whole thing and when we talk to them and they’re just seeing returns through email, and I am like, yeah because you are sending people a special offer every time. That’s all you do. When I get an email from Dell, I don’t engage with that, but when I get an email from Jason at Dell, he is my rep, and he is emailing me because they’ve got a special or one of my warranties is expiring or something like that, he’s there and I can call him and email him. And people can use a guide I wrote called Email Acquisition and Retention, it’s free and it goes through like what’s the persona, what’s this and I give all the qualified stats and the reason I do this is that those people who can do these themselves are not who we’re looking for as clients but I give away exactly what we do for these big brands and so those who just want but do not have the time to do this, those companies are the ones who we just take it all off their plates.
James: Awesome, I am definitely going to include a link to the PAR system in our show notes as well as a bunch of other stuff you mentioned today including the shoemoneysystem.com, shoemoney.com and of course shoemoneytraining.com. Jeremy, any other links that we should place in the show notes for our listeners today?
Jeremy: You might just want to note that the shoe money training is actually the shoe money system I created a couple of years ago and it is absolutely free, so you sign up and it gives you your name and your password and it’s got a hundred and some hours of content plus all my radio interviews and it’s really great stuff and I spent a lot of time building it and I just give it away to everybody.
James: And you’ll be in good company when you download that because you have over 5 million downloads of it already so it’s really good information there.
Jeremy: Yeah and the funny thing is that exact same thing sells in You Do Me for $200 and it is always within the Top 5 percentile of You Do Me’s gross email. So they always want me to do something and that’s a whole other story.
James: Awesome! I am also going to recommend people check out your recently published book called Nothing’s Changed But My Change which is kind of an overview of your back story and based on what you shared with us today I think will be a fantastic read, so I am assuming Jeremy that is available on Amazon?
Jeremy: It is Amazon, select Barnes and Nobles and also public libraries and I have been getting letters recently from prisons so evidently if you’re in prison you can pick it up too! But Amazon is the best price. I wrote it for my kids and I did not want it to filter stuff so I have to warn people out there, it is raw, it is mine, and I wrote it, it is five years in the making and the reviews are interesting. It is not a how to make a money online book, I talk about building the companies I built but in no way I want people to be confused about that. So it’s not that, it’s basically just about a crazy kid who had a semi criminal at times background and I say nothing has changed but my change because I am still the same guy I just have a lot more change in my pocket.
James: Fantastic! Well you did warn me at the start of this interview that there may be some sort of profanities but we managed to stay pretty clean. I suggest that our listeners check out the book for the uncensored version. Jeremy thanks for your time today, I had a whole lot of fun listening to your story and perhaps we can do it again sometime in the future.
Jeremy: Alright sounds good! Thank you so much for having me on James.
First of all, Gmail, the much loved solution from Google has been rearranging its inbox. The interface is now in a tab style arrangement with filters in place to push email to the relevant tab. As standard, there is a tab for primary email, social email, promotions, updates and forums. The functionality that Google have just introduced with Gmail was pretty much available before with filters and labels but now with this new setup Google really are encouraging people to get organized with their email management which from a user standpoint I think is a very good thing trying to manage their email but from a marketer’s standpoint this probably could be seen as a bit of a hindrance because we do like those marketing emails that we send to land up in that primary email inbox whereas now with this new Google functionality inside of Gmail it looks like they may be getting pushed away from attention.
In other Google news, Tech Crunch is reporting that Google is developing an e-commerce platform called Helpouts. The platform is currently being tested and according to Tech Crunch may get a release sometime next month.
From Facebook, they’ve just announced their Q2 numbers and the numbers are in growth. Active montly users have grown from 1.11 Billion to 1.15 Billion. Mobile users have also increased, as have daily active users, they’re both up from the Q1 numbers. Whilst all these numbers are up, most of the growth comes from Asia where Facebook actually make less money per user so it may not be entirely the good news that’s being reported.
Youtube: they’ve released a range of subscribe buttons that authors can put on their website to encourage subscription to their YouTube channels. Previously, there was only available a subscribe widget which did not have much functionality for customization, it was pretty much standard. The subscribe button should offer a range of cool designs will maybe encourage more people to subscribe to your channel so go check that out.
In Twitter news, Twitter have finally killed off auto follow functionality. The practice of auto follow was used by new Twitter users who wanted a quickly inflate their follower numbers and from these spam type services from which you could go and buy maybe 10,000 or 20,000 Twitter followers at a time. Twitter of course has been getting a lot of rap for this and they are reported to be the most spammed of all social platforms and they are trying to do this to clean it up and to make it more social and make it more real again. This obviously is a good move, so as of now, auto follow functionality has now been stopped.
Thank you to you if you are one of the commenters on the Andrew Warner episode, the last episode of Traffic Jam. We had some really great feedback which is absolutely no surprise because Andrew is a fantastic guest. If you want to interact more with the show, please go ahead I would love to hear your comments and feedback and questions that you have for our guests here on Traffic Jam and you can do that as always in a number of ways, you can comment on the show notes page itself over at TrafficJamCast.com, you can leave a voice message which you can do by again visiting Traffic Jam and then going to the speak pipe functionality to the base of the site or of course you can head on over to iTunes and leave a review there. I’d love to get your feedback and if there’s any particular great comments and reviews, they’re bound to get read out here at TrafficJamCast.com so if you’d like to get yourself a little bit of extra exposure, pop on over, leave us a comment, maybe even leave your website address as well and we’ll make sure that’s read out on a future show.
The one minute traffic tip; this week’s traffic tip is as much as a leverage tip as it is a traffic tip and it’s all about taking one piece of content and then leveraging that in to multiple modalities to attract different types of traffic. We all know the power of video so start with a video piece of content that’s engaging and compelling to your audience. Then what you do is you take that video, upload it to YouTube and embed that YouTube video on to your blog. You then transcribe the video so it then goes in to text format, paste that in to your blog post and then also attach a PDF version for people to download. Then from the video you strip out the audio, upload it to your server and then syndicate it with iTunes so now you have an iTunes podcast going out as a different version here. So the end result here we’ve got a well searched optimized blog post, lots of rich content, you’ve got a video which can be found via search and also within YouTube and you’ve got a version of that post in iTunes. So you’ve got their three fantastic sources: YouTube, search traffic, and iTunes. Of course if you go and announce that post on to your social channels, you are also tapping in to social traffic. If you want to see an example of this I suggest you head on over to my new site, veravo.com where we’re just putting the finishing touches to the iTunes aspect of that process and you’ll see that coming in to play real soon. This is all about leverage – taking one input and then leveraging it in to multiple modalities to attract different types of traffic.
That’s it! That’s a wrap for episode#13 of Traffic Jam. We’ll be back again soon with another episode and joining me on episode 14 a good friend of mine and we’ll be discussing not only traffic but also conversions too. So stay on the lookout for that episode.
To close out the episode this week is a track chosen by Jeremy which is a metaphor for his life story and his life journey so far. The track is by Drake and the title of the track is Started from the Bottom. Enjoy!
THIS WEEKS NEWS IN TRAFFIC
- Gmail’s Inbox Rearrangement
- Helpouts – Google’s e-commerce platform
- Facebook’s Q2 Numbers Report
- YouTube New Subscribe Buttons
- Twitter Kills Autofollow Functions
ONE MINUTE TRAFFIC TIP
- Leveraging content for for bigger results
THE TRAFFIC JAM
- Drake – Started From The Bottom
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