This week I’m extremely excited to feature one of my favorite pro-bloggers on the interwebs Zac Johnson in another exclusive guest post by Sriram a teenage blogger who’s flat out crushing it in 2014.
by Sri Ram
There could be no affiliate marketers under the sun that doesn’t know about the guy I’m going to interview.
The reason is here. He’s been making money from the internet for over 18 years.
He earns tremendously, over $800k in just 4 months!
It is a no-brainer why people call him the Super Affiliate!
He’s none other than Zac Johnson, here’s some stats on his main site ZacJohnson.com:
- Pagerank: 4
- Alexa rank: 42,721
- Facebook fans: 11,916
- Twitter Followers: 21.4K
- Google+ Followers: 4,816
Let’s go to the discussion…
Disclaimer: This interview is intended to be non-formal and frank.
Sri: Please tell us about your earlier experience in the internet and affiliate marketing and how you mastered the marketing skill?
My name is Zac Johnson and I’ve been making money online since 1995. I started out with affiliate marketing and continued to scale it to a million dollar business.
Then in 2007 I launched my own blog at ZacJohnson.com which exploded my personal brand and business.
My most recent business can be found at blogging.org, which is a private training and community site to help others learn how to make money online through blogging and affiliate marketing.
Sri: If you are asked to explain affiliate marketing in 4 words, what it would be?
Zac: Make money online opportunity.
Sri: What made people buy things through your affiliate links? How you made your readers have a trust in you?
Zac: I would create ad campaigns that would get my affiliate links and landing pages in front of the right audiences. This would be done through site creation, email marketing and search marketing.
Many of the affiliate offers I would promote would already have their own brand or product.
The end customer would never know, see or have any idea I was involved in the promotion of the offer. I was simply the marketer for the product and got paid for leads that were as a result of my marketing.
Sri: What is the best place to promote affiliate products – Social networks, blogs or forums?
Zac: All of these methods work. It depends what your preference is for running ad campaigns. I personally like social and search right now.
Sri: What is the thing that made you so successful in affiliate marketing?
Zac: I live, sleep and breathe this stuff. If it isn’t your life and passion, you aren’t going to find as much success.
Sri: What are the affiliate networks that worked best for you?
Zac: Lots of networks to choose from these days. Google Adsense, Neverblue and Shareasale have done well for me over the years.
Sri: Do you use any special affiliate tools for your blog?
Zac: I have a few plugins for email capture, such as OptinMonster and also use PrettyLink to setup redirects for affiliate links.
Sri: Why this is the best time to get into affiliate marketing?
Zac: Affiliate marketing is nearly 20 years old now, but it’s still only the beginning. Better to start earlier than later.
Sri: What is the worst mistake you did in your business that you so badly want to get a chance to undo that?
Zac: I’ve had a few, but something was learned from them all.
I would say the worst has been spreading myself too thin on various projects and not going full force into new ideas and projects that should have went live earlier.
Most successful entrepreneurs won’t talk about money they lost, because it doesn’t matter in comparison to other projects and ideas that could have been.
Sri: Do you think affiliate marketing works well even if you don’t own a blog?
Zac: If I was going to focus on affiliate marketing full time, I wouldn’t bother with a blog – I would just create ad campaigns all the time.
Sri: Do you think interacting with blog readers has anything to do with affiliate marketing?
Zac: On a blog that uses affiliate marketing to monetize their traffic, yes. Comments can help solidify the authenticity of a product or site by the comments and testimonials shown on a site.
Sri: What is the most common mistake that bloggers do in affiliate marketing?
Zac: Getting blinded by all of the success stories and trying to make too much money too fast. It’s not easy to make money online and it must be done properly. Start small and scale your campaigns over time.
Sri: Do you think affiliate marketing works for all seasons? I mean, is affiliate marketing evergreen?
Zac: Sure, there will always be thousands of ways to make money with affiliate marketing no matter where you live or what time of the year it is.
As long as there is money and business, there will be opportunities for affiliate marketing.
Sri: How to make your readers tempt to buy things through your affiliate link?
Zac: It’s not about tricking or convincing people to buy through your link, it’s about providing what they want and making it easy for them to get it.
Sri: What is the worst thing an affiliate marketer could do and could face?
Zac: Lie and promote scammy offers that ruin the experience for the customer.
Sri: From your experience, what is the best product you have ever promoted?
Zac: Creating content sites that have a never ending supply of traffic is one of the best ways to make money online. It’s not easy, but once accomplished, you can make money through on site ads and affiliate marketing for the life of the site.
Sri: What types of products do you promote generally?
Zac: I don’t promote as many affiliate offers as I used to. Now I focus on my own brand and sites. I still use the same methods I used to promote affiliate offers to promote my own sites and brands today.
Sri: Who is your business inspiration?
Zac: My dad has always been a huge inspiration to myself and my success. He’s always there for me and went to ton of conferences with me when I was younger.
Sri: Do you create any paid products?
Zac: Blogging.org is my main product and focus right now. It’s a membership based site for learning how to make money online with blogging and affiliate marketing.
Sri: What’s your work schedule?
Zac: Work work work… I’m not going to say I sit back and collect checks, because I don’t. The good thing is that I get to live my life and run my business on my own schedule.
Sri: What you would be if you never come across the internet?
Zac: Good question. Probably be in real estate or have some other type of business of my own.
Sri: What’s your personal interest?
Zac: I love playing basketball.
Sri: Your favorite book?
Zac: Not a huge book reader… I love online content and reading case studies.
Sri: What will you prefer? Paperbacks or e-readers?
Zac: I suppose I will go with ereaders on this one.
Sri: What’s your favorite blog and who’s your favorite blogger?
Zac: I don’t really have any favorite blogs either, it’s just a matter of finding what’s new and good out there.
Sri: What is the thing you need so badly that you are ready to spend any money to get that?
Zac: Time and health. Money is good, but even money can’t buy you time, happiness and extend your life.
Sri: What’s your future plan?
Zac: My main focus is on blogging.org right now and building a huge community around the site. I’m also doing weekly shows through my Rise of the Entrepreneur podcast, which you can hear on iTunes and at http://zacjohnson.com/rise
Sri: Did you have any experience in which the people you never know before ask you “Are you the Super Affiliate Zac? I want your autograph”?
Zac: Sure, this mostly happens at conferences and it’s always cool to meet people who read my stuff. A few times in regular life as well… the guy who rebuilt our house actually knew who I was and that was kinda funny!
What I learned from Zac Johnson
#1 – You don’t need to team up to achieve success:
Zac describes himself as a one man company. It’s true that teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. But you don’t necessarily be working as a team to get success.
#2 – Not teaming up don’t mean not NETWORKING:
Yep, team working is not necessary, but networking is. Networking is nothing but to help each other even though their objectives are different.
Zac told that his decision about attending the CJU 2000 meeting and networking with Ola Edvardsson made a big change in his business perspective.
It happened to me too. There’s a Facebook group named CommentDX where bloggers share their posts and asking the members to comment there and promising to reciprocate. After joining that group, I was able to connect with many bloggers and my whole view of blogging got changed. My traffic increased and I got few loyal readers.
If I hadn’t joined the CommentDX group, I wouldn’t have networked with many like-minded bloggers.
#3 – Money is not the EVERYTHING:
When you feel like money is everything, just remember Zac saying “Time and health. Money is good, but even money can’t buy you time, happiness and extend your life.”
Thanks so much Zac Johnson for accepting my interview request and answering the questions.
For readers: I hope you found this interview useful and entertaining.
Let me know what you learned from Zac.
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