How To Monetize Your Blog with Alex Nerney

Posted by John Livesay in podcast0 comments

Global Investing: An Entrepreneur’s Global Perspective With Sleem Hasan
College Success Habits with Jesse Mogle

Episode Summary:

Gone are the days when blogs are like their authors’ personal diaries. Today, blogging can be monetized just like any other business, if you know where to start. This is what health and wellness blogger, entrepreneur and adventure junkie, Alex Nerney, teaches to his community at Create and Go, a website that teaches people how to build a blogging business and make money from it. Alex also runs Avocadu, a health and wellness website that reaches over 3 million visitors yearly, as well as two YouTube channels that offer unique content in his two passions – blogging and wellness. Joining John Livesay on the podcast, Alex shares his personal blog monetization philosophy, which puts emphasis on finding a niche and dominating the one platform where you can find the people who will get the most value from your content. He also talks about affiliate marketing and creating products and services based on what your community wants. With Alex at your side, you won’t have to burn bridges anymore to focus on your blog; he’s already done that for you!

Listen To The Episode Here:

How To Monetize Your Blog with Alex Nerney

Our guest on the show is Alex Nerney. Alex is an adventure junkie and he shares with us his passion for sports, performance, taking action and not just writing captions. He said, “Actions speak so loud that I can’t hear what you’re saying.” It’s one of his favorite quotes from Emerson, so much so that he has it tattooed on his arm. He said, “Building a community and dominating one platform are the key to success.” Enjoy the episode.

Our guest is Alex Nerney, who is a highly successful internet entrepreneur running two separates million-dollar websites. It all started when Alex and his business partners quit their jobs, sold almost everything they own and went all-in on that first website. Thus, Avocadu was born within a year reach six figures. That inspired the creation of Create and Go his online business, which teaches others how to start a blog and monetize their passions. With those successes under his belt making over a $100,000 per month online, he saw the potential and started Create A Pro Website, which is a YouTube channel teaching people how to start their own website from scratch. He’s grown that company to over $60,000 a month with over 100,000 subscribers. Now he is helping other people live their dream. Alex, welcome to the show.

I’m glad to be here, John. Let’s do this.

I’m going to ask your own little story of origin. You can go back as far as you want, childhood, high school, college, whatever it was, where you got the sense of who you were, that the normal 9 to 5 was probably not going to be your world.

The most relevant place to come back all the way to would be 2010, where I had a similar experience as many entrepreneurs and many people who start in this space. I was in college at the time when I read The 4-Hour Workweek. At that time, I wanted to do something different. I felt different. I knew I was different. I had no idea what that was or would be, but that book led to opening my brain up. Thinking of the possibilities of internet entrepreneurship, trying something new, and living an uncommon life, those are the things that interested and inspired me at the time. When I graduated, I was like, “I do not want to work a corporate job. I don’t want to work a corporate life. I want to work for myself and try things.” There was a ton of failure before success between 2012 and 2015. When I graduated in 2012, I was working as a personal trainer. I was a bouncer for periods of times. I did end up working corporate for three months at a time and hated it both times. I’m constantly trying to find my way. There are lots of dark days and weird times in there. It was a big struggle in the beginning to figure it all out.

That’s important to say. I appreciate you being that vulnerable because when people see the successes and they don’t hear about the struggle or the challenges, then they can’t relate to you. There are probably some similarities from your expertise as a fitness trainer and an adrenaline junkie to entrepreneurship. Can you connect the dots for us? Are there any metaphors or analogies you have about trying to get more muscle? You have a whole very successful video about how to lose belly fat. Are there any similarities about letting go of negative thinking or anything around that you’ve been able to observed?

One of them that makes a lot of sense to me was a couple. The first is if you wanted to relate to the physical fitness aspect, you’re trying to gain muscle naturally, it takes an enormous amount of time. Most people don’t make it through what I called the poop phase where everything you do in life isn’t working. When you’re starting on a new business, you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know anything yet. Everything you do sucks. You haven’t learned or gotten any of the skills necessary to make your work any good. You have to earn that. That’s earned through experiences, time and effort. When it comes to gaining muscle, most people gain it incredibly slowly. What happens is most people give up well before any change or any difference can happen, which is a common problem.

Find your space and dominate it. Click To Tweet

Another big one that I think of is when you’ve done some bungee jumping, skydiving and things like that, we can all get in our heads at times. The secrete isn’t think about it as much. The secret is to do things and to trust that you’re going to figure it out when you take that jump or take the leap. We circle back to our story in 2015 when I was struggling through all this stuff. I started a website that gained some traction. I had a serious decision to make where I was working as a personal trainer at the time and my business partner was working as a CPA.

We were deciding on, do we go all-in with this business or not? We had this moment of clarity. We’re hiking in Seattle. We are on this trail. I had this thought of, “What if we quit? What if we burn the bridges? What if we went all-in for it?” At the time, we weren’t making any money. We’re making $0 online. It was a moment of, “What if we burn the bridges and made it our only way out?” That’s what we did. We sold all our things. We sold everything. I remember I have a photo of five bags worth of stuff to our name. We quit our great paying jobs. We had some savings. I moved into my dad’s house in Seattle. We ate eggs and rice every day to save money. We blogged harder than anybody else because we had burned those bridges. We had given ourselves only one way out. It was easy to wake up and work 12, 14 hours a day while building the business and building the dream. Those are some analogies.

I’ve heard Tim Ferriss quote, The Daily Stoic and Gary Vaynerchuk about being willing to do things. When I got to meet Michael Phelps, I said to him, “Everyone says, you’re such a great swimmer because of your physique, but I’m guessing there’s something else.” He said, “My coach said to me, ‘Are you willing to work out on Sundays?’ I said, Yes. He said, ‘We got 52 more workouts in a year than the competition.’” This willingness to do something that other people are not willing to do or haven’t thought to do is a constant story I keep hearing over and over again. It’s a secret to success that a lot of people aren’t willing to do or haven’t thought that they need to do. This is a choice. Someone once said, “You could work for someone for eight hours or for yourself for twelve every day.” It’s that willingness because you’re passionate about it. If someone is thinking of starting a blog to make money, which is what your first real niche was.

Our first niche was health and wellness.

They should pick a topic they know a lot about. What are two tips you have for people like don’t start a blog on anything? Any mistakes you would tell people to avoid?

Starting any business, any blog or any website without passion, true desire and true interest in the topic, you’re going to fail. The big thing there is the hard times ahead of you, you can get through those a lot by self-motivation, watching Gary Vaynerchuk, and grind and hustle. There’s no substituting an actual, true and real passionate interest in a topic. My interest in health and wellness was something I always had carried with me. I played football in Arkansas. I’d worked out naturally on my own. I enjoy the topic. When it came down to blogging and talking about the topic, it wasn’t always in the exact same space.

Sometimes I was talking about things that weren’t as relevant to a guy like me that wanted to lift weights and get huge. It was enough of a relation and enough of an interest that kept me in it even when the times were tough. It’s important. I don’t want to scare people off into thinking that you can’t start about a topic you don’t know about. It’s not about your current state of knowledge, it’s your interest. When you build something new, you will learn as you go. I use the example, Creative Pro Website. Dale who’s the face of the channel and the videographer didn’t know much about building websites when we started out. We knew there was a great niche and a great market there. He was interested in the topic though. By building that business, he knows well better than 99.9% of people on the planet about building websites. Because he’s taught 60-plus hour-long videos on the topic, he learned it as he went.

Is there something that a common mistake you see people making when they create their own personal websites or websites to try and sell a product?

TSP Alex | Blog Monetization

If you really want to make money, it doesn’t help to do things just to feed your ego. Always think about what other people want.

Focusing too much on themselves is the big one. I know that’s weird like a Spiderman meme where one guy’s pointing at the other guy. People come to your website, they might be interested in you, but they’re more interested in what you can do for them. The biggest business mistake most people make is they constantly are self-interested in doing things that feed their ego instead of concentrating. If you want to make money, you think about what other people want. That’s what I’d say.

What is your philosophy when you’re trying to scale a business to make a lot of money? Is it have a low price point and try to get a lot of clients? Have a high price point and try to get a few clients? How have you done it?

It’s either-or. I sell low-price products on Avocadu. I sell high priced products on Create and Go. We’ve sold $27 products to $650 products. That might not be a high price for some people reading this. You might think of $10,000 products is very high priced. The philosophy on the scale is simple for me. It is what I’m doing scalable. I constantly am asking myself, am I ever going to be able to outsource this one day to somebody so I can continue to leverage things and move forward? If I can’t, I don’t do that thing. There are lots of instances where we ignore something in order to focus on the scaling.

Let’s talk about scaling. There are a lot of people who’ve created online courses, myself included, and there are lots of different ways to scale that. You can either run ads on Facebook or you can create an affiliate program where people promote your course for you and share the revenue. What suggestions do you have for people who want to scale an online course?

The two big ones are going to be a dedicated traffic driver. You need to find your space, your world essentially and dominate that. I’m against the Gary Vee philosophy of, “Do everything, be everywhere constantly in Snapchat, Twitter, Tiktok.” I don’t do that. I don’t advise that. I don’t like that. My philosophy is different. When we’re starting Avocadu, it’s a health and wellness blog. I was trying to do Facebook ads and try to do everything. I saw that one source in particular that was doing well. That was Pinterest. I decided that we’re going to spend all of our time on Pinterest. We ended up getting 300,000 organic visitors per month from that one traffic source because we were dedicated to it. It was where our people were and we were focused on it. That’s a big one because you need the traffic in order to make the sales and the conversions. Affiliate marketing is the other big one, treating your affiliates well.

Do you have a story of how you’ve done that with one of your websites? Any affiliate marketing stories?

We’ve tried different affiliate programs and affiliate plans, and there are certain ones that don’t work like ClickBank. Back in the day, we tried putting our products on there and got all these spammy and shady characters trying to sell our products. I remember going and looking at some of these sites that were sending traffic and being like, “That’s not what I’m happy with.” Later on, we made our own through Teachable and have gotten people making a good $2,000, $3,000 a month selling our courses, which has been cool to see because that’s a full-time income for a lot of people.

You don't have to burn the bridges, but you do have to almost have that mindset in order to succeed. Click To Tweet

What kind of courses do you sell?

The first course we made was this course called The Yoga Fat Loss Bible. Back in the day, we had a health and wellness website. We’re getting a lot of yoga content and we were selling a yoga product that we didn’t like. It’s an okay product, but we don’t particularly believe in it. We’re like, “We’ll make our own.” That started our journey into making these courses. We made that course. I remember that we immediately went from making $5 a sale on an affiliate program to making $37 a sale. If you’re doing things in volume like I am, that leads to $3,000, $4,000 a month. That’s all the money. We made The 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge, which did way more eventually for us, where Avocadu eventually scaled to doing $20,000 to $30,000 per month.

People are buying that course to learn how to lose weight in a short amount of time. There are videos. Any other support that goes with it that makes your course different than all the other weight-loss courses?

The most important part is the community. You build a Facebook group and Facebook community. My mom is our dedicated manager. We have people who have succeeded in the course. We pay them to stay in the course and to help people along in their journey as well. Because in that community, people buy weight-loss courses. It’s not a new original thought but it’s how you treat the customer, and the community ends up mattering the most. We have those two, but then we also have a launch blog business, which teaches people how to launch a blog and get started making their first $1,000 to $3,000 a month.

Let’s talk about the blog for a minute before we jump into the other. There’s a lot of people out there that have an idea for a blog. I know somebody who wants to do a blog and created a blog on surviving cancer that would target cancer survivors. How would someone who has blogged about their journey join, inspire and help other people who want to make the decision whether to have chemo or not? What do they get from going to your course? Is create a blog a course that people buy and that’s how you’re making money?

It’s one of the ways. We make the primary amount through affiliate marketing. A large percentage does come through course sales.

For those people reading, affiliate marketing means people are paying to advertise on your blog because you have a certain number of viewers.

Essentially, we’re recommending products and services and we get a small percentage of what we recommend. We recommend hosting or a theme that we use to our readers. When they go purchase that theme, we get a small or large percentage from that.

TSP Alex | Blog Monetization

Blog Monetization: Create the products that your people want by asking them simple questions.

 

Let’s stay with this example. Someone’s written a blog about surviving cancer. It’s a topic that a lot of people would be interested in, especially if you’re going through it or know someone. How do you scale that? How does anybody find that so that you could sell a course or an affiliate marketing for it? I know you train this, but I want to give people a little appetizer to want to go find out more. What is the first step someone takes besides going to your site and which I’m encouraging everyone to do? What would be your headline that would make me want to click to go find that out besides creating a blog?

We’ve had students go from $0 to $2,700 per month in mental health issues, helping people solve anxiety and depression, and tough topics. The how-to, the steps are a little more granular and things like you find your target audience. That would be a good blog for Pinterest. You create sales centered content that will eventually lead to a sale one day. You create the products that your people want by asking them simple questions. A big a-ha for us is at the time we were creating courses, we started to ask our audience. We’re like, “How much would you pay for this? What would you like to see? What do you need from us?” That helped a lot.

If a lot of people try to change their eating when they are dealing with cancer. They suddenly go vegan or vegetarian. Maybe the blog would say, “Would you buy a vegetarian cookbook?” That’s what I’m trying to give people a little insight into creating the blog, find your audience, dominate one platform, build a community. From there, you can start to make money with an online business because the biggest mistake people make is, they don’t know who their audience is or how to find them.

A big thing too on what helps people succeed a lot is that everything changes all the time. The internet is in a constant state of flux and evolution. What we do differently is we are focused on the community aspect because the community helps when it changes. Pinterest went under serious algorithmic changes. Lauren, my business partner, was absolutely on top of editing, changing our entire course to help modify for those changes. The whole community talks about, “Pinterest is doing this. This is working. This isn’t working anymore.” That community is what helps solve those problems. The course itself and I tell anybody that information is everywhere online. You don’t pay for the information. You pay for the structure. You pay for the organization. You pay for the philosophies and the mindsets that you need to come at this to be successful. As I said at the very beginning, you don’t have to burn the bridges to be successful, but you do have to have that mindset and that state in order to succeed. Those are the things we focus on. We focus on teaching people how to be successful humans as much as bloggers.

You have this wonderful bucket list of things you’re focused on and want to do. I see that you gave a talk in front of a thousand people. Is that something you want to do or is that something you’ve done?

It’s on the list of to-dos. Unfortunately, it has to be changed and updated.

There’s not a lot of people gathering around anymore.

Don’t just write captions. Take action! Click To Tweet

I am getting my skydiving license very soon and that is on the horizon.

That’s a license to jump without somebody strapped on you.

You can jump without somebody strap on you while you’re training, but the license means you can go up at any time without a coach or anybody around you and hop out of a plane.

People love to repeat experiences. Some people like the adrenaline rush, some people love swimming like I do, or some people love golf. What is the thrill? I’ve met some people who skydive and they talk about how many dives they’ve done, and they keep doing it over and over again. I’ve heard other people say, “Once is enough. It was fun but I don’t need to keep doing that.” What for you is the attraction to keep repeating it?

I only got this feeling whenever I would play football at a serious level. It was the intense adrenaline dump with fear. It’s a perverse thing, but I love the feeling of being afraid and conquering that fear. How we grow and evolve as humans is that we have to do things that terrify us. That can happen physically, emotionally, and mentally. Skydiving is a very obvious one. Most people would look at that and be like, “That terrifies me.”

Some people got terrified speaking in front of crowds.

My best friend is a base jumper. The end goal is I want to go base jumping in Norway. They have this popular spot called Heliboogie, where they take you up in a helicopter up these giant cliff faces and you jump into the fjords in Norway. My friend who’s a base jumper is terrified of doing karaoke. We all come with these internal fears and weird things. The goal in life is to continually look at those things and continually conquer those things. Because every single time you do, at least for myself, I feel like I grow and evolve as a person tremendously.

It’s getting out of our comfort zone a little bit. Even taking a cold shower every day. One of the benefits besides burning fat is you’re telling yourself, “I can tolerate discomfort for a few minutes.” Does it get any easier on your 10th or 100th jump to conquer that fear?

TSP Alex | Blog Monetization

Blog Monetization: Having a community helps you thrive in the constantly changing world of the internet.

 

It does. It gets normalized. I have a motorcycle and the first few times riding that thing, I was like, “This is terrifying. I’m probably going to die.” Over time you learn to conquer the fear. You learn to love the skill that you’ve gained.

I remember, when I skydived, they have you waiting your turn to jump, you see somebody standing in the doorway and then they’re suddenly gone like a magic trick and they’ve literally disappeared. I don’t see them anymore. How did that happen? They did that and they’re gone. You don’t see them falling. Your mind is tripping because you’ve never seen somebody where they are there in one second and they’re gone the next. The smell and the G-force on your face. There are many sensations. You are fully alive. That’s what I would say Is what I love most about speaking as well. When I’m in front of a crowd talking about storytelling, I’m not thinking about what my grocery list is.

That’s the motorcycle. Motorcycle involves all four ligaments. Both hands and both feet are working. You are focused on the road because everybody’s had the experience of driving on the highway and there’s some crap in the highway, you go around it. You hit that on a motorcycle, you die. That makes me want to public speak hearing you say that.

That’s the liveliness. Doing that virtually you still have to become 100% and the energy you’re putting out is different because people are on mute many times, but you still have to be completely present and connect with them in a whole another way. Do you have a favorite book or a quote you want to leave us with?

Books are great depending on the place that you’re in. My favorite quote, I’ve got tattooed on my arm. It’s an old Emerson quote. It says, “Your actions speak so loud, I cannot hear what you say.” I’m big into that. Drake said it in a song, “You spend too much time on captions, not enough time on actions.” I am 100% all-in for the people who want to do things and take action. I’m not as much into the talking and theorizing about things. It’s like, “We’ll talk for a little bit.” I’m like, “Let’s go do it. Let’s go get it.” Because in those years, early on that I was struggling and suffering, I was spending a lot of time in my head. I was spending a lot of my time on like, “The wheels were running up there.”

It’s a great way to end because you started off with “Let’s do this.” Taking action, everything from deciding to lose weight and stopping, talking about all the excuses to trying something that gets us out of our comfort zone, whether that’s a blog or skydiving. Alex, thanks for sharing your passion and enthusiasm, not just for life but letting us all feel we have a shot at following our passion and making money doing it too.

We all do. I appreciate you, John.

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John Livesay, The Pitch Whisperer

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Global Investing: An Entrepreneur’s Global Perspective With Sleem Hasan
College Success Habits with Jesse Mogle
Tags: Affiliate Marketing, Avocadu, Blog Monetization, Community Building, Create And Go, Health And Wellness Blogging

How To Monetize Your Blog with Alex Nerney

Posted by Brandcasters in podcast0 comments

How To Monetize Your Blog with Alex Nerney
College Success Habits with Jesse Mogle

Episode Summary:

Gone are the days when blogs are like their authors’ personal diaries. Today, blogging can be monetized just like any other business, if you know where to start. This is what health and wellness blogger, entrepreneur and adventure junkie, Alex Nerney, teaches to his community at Create and Go, a website that teaches people how to build a blogging business and make money from it. Alex also runs Avocadu, a health and wellness website that reaches over 3 million visitors yearly, as well as two YouTube channels that offer unique content in his two passions – blogging and wellness. Joining John Livesay on the podcast, Alex shares his personal blog monetization philosophy, which puts emphasis on finding a niche and dominating the one platform where you can find the people who will get the most value from your content. He also talks about affiliate marketing and creating products and services based on what your community wants. With Alex at your side, you won’t have to burn bridges anymore to focus on your blog; he’s already done that for you!

Listen To The Episode Here:

How To Monetize Your Blog with Alex Nerney

Our guest on the show is Alex Nerney. Alex is an adventure junkie and he shares with us his passion for sports, performance, taking action and not just writing captions. He said, “Actions speak so loud that I can’t hear what you’re saying.” It’s one of his favorite quotes from Emerson, so much so that he has it tattooed on his arm. He said, “Building a community and dominating one platform are the key to success.” Enjoy the episode.

Our guest is Alex Nerney, who is a highly successful internet entrepreneur running two separates million-dollar websites. It all started when Alex and his business partners quit their jobs, sold almost everything they own and went all-in on that first website. Thus, Avocadu was born within a year reach six figures. That inspired the creation of Create and Go his online business, which teaches others how to start a blog and monetize their passions. With those successes under his belt making over a $100,000 per month online, he saw the potential and started Create A Pro Website, which is a YouTube channel teaching people how to start their own website from scratch. He’s grown that company to over $60,000 a month with over 100,000 subscribers. Now he is helping other people live their dream. Alex, welcome to the show.

I’m glad to be here, John. Let’s do this.

I’m going to ask your own little story of origin. You can go back as far as you want, childhood, high school, college, whatever it was, where you got the sense of who you were, that the normal 9 to 5 was probably not going to be your world.

The most relevant place to come back all the way to would be 2010, where I had a similar experience as many entrepreneurs and many people who start in this space. I was in college at the time when I read The 4-Hour Workweek. At that time, I wanted to do something different. I felt different. I knew I was different. I had no idea what that was or would be, but that book led to opening my brain up. Thinking of the possibilities of internet entrepreneurship, trying something new, and living an uncommon life, those are the things that interested and inspired me at the time. When I graduated, I was like, “I do not want to work a corporate job. I don’t want to work a corporate life. I want to work for myself and try things.” There was a ton of failure before success between 2012 and 2015. When I graduated in 2012, I was working as a personal trainer. I was a bouncer for periods of times. I did end up working corporate for three months at a time and hated it both times. I’m constantly trying to find my way. There are lots of dark days and weird times in there. It was a big struggle in the beginning to figure it all out.

That’s important to say. I appreciate you being that vulnerable because when people see the successes and they don’t hear about the struggle or the challenges, then they can’t relate to you. There are probably some similarities from your expertise as a fitness trainer and an adrenaline junkie to entrepreneurship. Can you connect the dots for us? Are there any metaphors or analogies you have about trying to get more muscle? You have a whole very successful video about how to lose belly fat. Are there any similarities about letting go of negative thinking or anything around that you’ve been able to observed?

One of them that makes a lot of sense to me was a couple. The first is if you wanted to relate to the physical fitness aspect, you’re trying to gain muscle naturally, it takes an enormous amount of time. Most people don’t make it through what I called the poop phase where everything you do in life isn’t working. When you’re starting on a new business, you don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know anything yet. Everything you do sucks. You haven’t learned or gotten any of the skills necessary to make your work any good. You have to earn that. That’s earned through experiences, time and effort. When it comes to gaining muscle, most people gain it incredibly slowly. What happens is most people give up well before any change or any difference can happen, which is a common problem.

Find your space and dominate it. Click To Tweet

Another big one that I think of is when you’ve done some bungee jumping, skydiving and things like that, we can all get in our heads at times. The secrete isn’t think about it as much. The secret is to do things and to trust that you’re going to figure it out when you take that jump or take the leap. We circle back to our story in 2015 when I was struggling through all this stuff. I started a website that gained some traction. I had a serious decision to make where I was working as a personal trainer at the time and my business partner was working as a CPA.

We were deciding on, do we go all-in with this business or not? We had this moment of clarity. We’re hiking in Seattle. We are on this trail. I had this thought of, “What if we quit? What if we burn the bridges? What if we went all-in for it?” At the time, we weren’t making any money. We’re making $0 online. It was a moment of, “What if we burn the bridges and made it our only way out?” That’s what we did. We sold all our things. We sold everything. I remember I have a photo of five bags worth of stuff to our name. We quit our great paying jobs. We had some savings. I moved into my dad’s house in Seattle. We ate eggs and rice every day to save money. We blogged harder than anybody else because we had burned those bridges. We had given ourselves only one way out. It was easy to wake up and work 12, 14 hours a day while building the business and building the dream. Those are some analogies.

I’ve heard Tim Ferriss quote, The Daily Stoic and Gary Vaynerchuk about being willing to do things. When I got to meet Michael Phelps, I said to him, “Everyone says, you’re such a great swimmer because of your physique, but I’m guessing there’s something else.” He said, “My coach said to me, ‘Are you willing to work out on Sundays?’ I said, Yes. He said, ‘We got 52 more workouts in a year than the competition.’” This willingness to do something that other people are not willing to do or haven’t thought to do is a constant story I keep hearing over and over again. It’s a secret to success that a lot of people aren’t willing to do or haven’t thought that they need to do. This is a choice. Someone once said, “You could work for someone for eight hours or for yourself for twelve every day.” It’s that willingness because you’re passionate about it. If someone is thinking of starting a blog to make money, which is what your first real niche was.

Our first niche was health and wellness.

They should pick a topic they know a lot about. What are two tips you have for people like don’t start a blog on anything? Any mistakes you would tell people to avoid?

Starting any business, any blog or any website without passion, true desire and true interest in the topic, you’re going to fail. The big thing there is the hard times ahead of you, you can get through those a lot by self-motivation, watching Gary Vaynerchuk, and grind and hustle. There’s no substituting an actual, true and real passionate interest in a topic. My interest in health and wellness was something I always had carried with me. I played football in Arkansas. I’d worked out naturally on my own. I enjoy the topic. When it came down to blogging and talking about the topic, it wasn’t always in the exact same space.

Sometimes I was talking about things that weren’t as relevant to a guy like me that wanted to lift weights and get huge. It was enough of a relation and enough of an interest that kept me in it even when the times were tough. It’s important. I don’t want to scare people off into thinking that you can’t start about a topic you don’t know about. It’s not about your current state of knowledge, it’s your interest. When you build something new, you will learn as you go. I use the example, Creative Pro Website. Dale who’s the face of the channel and the videographer didn’t know much about building websites when we started out. We knew there was a great niche and a great market there. He was interested in the topic though. By building that business, he knows well better than 99.9% of people on the planet about building websites. Because he’s taught 60-plus hour-long videos on the topic, he learned it as he went.

Is there something that a common mistake you see people making when they create their own personal websites or websites to try and sell a product?

TSP Alex | Blog Monetization

If you really want to make money, it doesn’t help to do things just to feed your ego. Always think about what other people want.

Focusing too much on themselves is the big one. I know that’s weird like a Spiderman meme where one guy’s pointing at the other guy. People come to your website, they might be interested in you, but they’re more interested in what you can do for them. The biggest business mistake most people make is they constantly are self-interested in doing things that feed their ego instead of concentrating. If you want to make money, you think about what other people want. That’s what I’d say.

What is your philosophy when you’re trying to scale a business to make a lot of money? Is it have a low price point and try to get a lot of clients? Have a high price point and try to get a few clients? How have you done it?

It’s either-or. I sell low-price products on Avocadu. I sell high priced products on Create and Go. We’ve sold $27 products to $650 products. That might not be a high price for some people reading this. You might think of $10,000 products is very high priced. The philosophy on the scale is simple for me. It is what I’m doing scalable. I constantly am asking myself, am I ever going to be able to outsource this one day to somebody so I can continue to leverage things and move forward? If I can’t, I don’t do that thing. There are lots of instances where we ignore something in order to focus on the scaling.

Let’s talk about scaling. There are a lot of people who’ve created online courses, myself included, and there are lots of different ways to scale that. You can either run ads on Facebook or you can create an affiliate program where people promote your course for you and share the revenue. What suggestions do you have for people who want to scale an online course?

The two big ones are going to be a dedicated traffic driver. You need to find your space, your world essentially and dominate that. I’m against the Gary Vee philosophy of, “Do everything, be everywhere constantly in Snapchat, Twitter, Tiktok.” I don’t do that. I don’t advise that. I don’t like that. My philosophy is different. When we’re starting Avocadu, it’s a health and wellness blog. I was trying to do Facebook ads and try to do everything. I saw that one source in particular that was doing well. That was Pinterest. I decided that we’re going to spend all of our time on Pinterest. We ended up getting 300,000 organic visitors per month from that one traffic source because we were dedicated to it. It was where our people were and we were focused on it. That’s a big one because you need the traffic in order to make the sales and the conversions. Affiliate marketing is the other big one, treating your affiliates well.

Do you have a story of how you’ve done that with one of your websites? Any affiliate marketing stories?

We’ve tried different affiliate programs and affiliate plans, and there are certain ones that don’t work like ClickBank. Back in the day, we tried putting our products on there and got all these spammy and shady characters trying to sell our products. I remember going and looking at some of these sites that were sending traffic and being like, “That’s not what I’m happy with.” Later on, we made our own through Teachable and have gotten people making a good $2,000, $3,000 a month selling our courses, which has been cool to see because that’s a full-time income for a lot of people.

You don't have to burn the bridges, but you do have to almost have that mindset in order to succeed. Click To Tweet

What kind of courses do you sell?

The first course we made was this course called The Yoga Fat Loss Bible. Back in the day, we had a health and wellness website. We’re getting a lot of yoga content and we were selling a yoga product that we didn’t like. It’s an okay product, but we don’t particularly believe in it. We’re like, “We’ll make our own.” That started our journey into making these courses. We made that course. I remember that we immediately went from making $5 a sale on an affiliate program to making $37 a sale. If you’re doing things in volume like I am, that leads to $3,000, $4,000 a month. That’s all the money. We made The 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge, which did way more eventually for us, where Avocadu eventually scaled to doing $20,000 to $30,000 per month.

People are buying that course to learn how to lose weight in a short amount of time. There are videos. Any other support that goes with it that makes your course different than all the other weight-loss courses?

The most important part is the community. You build a Facebook group and Facebook community. My mom is our dedicated manager. We have people who have succeeded in the course. We pay them to stay in the course and to help people along in their journey as well. Because in that community, people buy weight-loss courses. It’s not a new original thought but it’s how you treat the customer, and the community ends up mattering the most. We have those two, but then we also have a launch blog business, which teaches people how to launch a blog and get started making their first $1,000 to $3,000 a month.

Let’s talk about the blog for a minute before we jump into the other. There’s a lot of people out there that have an idea for a blog. I know somebody who wants to do a blog and created a blog on surviving cancer that would target cancer survivors. How would someone who has blogged about their journey join, inspire and help other people who want to make the decision whether to have chemo or not? What do they get from going to your course? Is create a blog a course that people buy and that’s how you’re making money?

It’s one of the ways. We make the primary amount through affiliate marketing. A large percentage does come through course sales.

For those people reading, affiliate marketing means people are paying to advertise on your blog because you have a certain number of viewers.

Essentially, we’re recommending products and services and we get a small percentage of what we recommend. We recommend hosting or a theme that we use to our readers. When they go purchase that theme, we get a small or large percentage from that.

TSP Alex | Blog Monetization

Blog Monetization: Create the products that your people want by asking them simple questions.

 

Let’s stay with this example. Someone’s written a blog about surviving cancer. It’s a topic that a lot of people would be interested in, especially if you’re going through it or know someone. How do you scale that? How does anybody find that so that you could sell a course or an affiliate marketing for it? I know you train this, but I want to give people a little appetizer to want to go find out more. What is the first step someone takes besides going to your site and which I’m encouraging everyone to do? What would be your headline that would make me want to click to go find that out besides creating a blog?

We’ve had students go from $0 to $2,700 per month in mental health issues, helping people solve anxiety and depression, and tough topics. The how-to, the steps are a little more granular and things like you find your target audience. That would be a good blog for Pinterest. You create sales centered content that will eventually lead to a sale one day. You create the products that your people want by asking them simple questions. A big a-ha for us is at the time we were creating courses, we started to ask our audience. We’re like, “How much would you pay for this? What would you like to see? What do you need from us?” That helped a lot.

If a lot of people try to change their eating when they are dealing with cancer. They suddenly go vegan or vegetarian. Maybe the blog would say, “Would you buy a vegetarian cookbook?” That’s what I’m trying to give people a little insight into creating the blog, find your audience, dominate one platform, build a community. From there, you can start to make money with an online business because the biggest mistake people make is, they don’t know who their audience is or how to find them.

A big thing too on what helps people succeed a lot is that everything changes all the time. The internet is in a constant state of flux and evolution. What we do differently is we are focused on the community aspect because the community helps when it changes. Pinterest went under serious algorithmic changes. Lauren, my business partner, was absolutely on top of editing, changing our entire course to help modify for those changes. The whole community talks about, “Pinterest is doing this. This is working. This isn’t working anymore.” That community is what helps solve those problems. The course itself and I tell anybody that information is everywhere online. You don’t pay for the information. You pay for the structure. You pay for the organization. You pay for the philosophies and the mindsets that you need to come at this to be successful. As I said at the very beginning, you don’t have to burn the bridges to be successful, but you do have to have that mindset and that state in order to succeed. Those are the things we focus on. We focus on teaching people how to be successful humans as much as bloggers.

You have this wonderful bucket list of things you’re focused on and want to do. I see that you gave a talk in front of a thousand people. Is that something you want to do or is that something you’ve done?

It’s on the list of to-dos. Unfortunately, it has to be changed and updated.

There’s not a lot of people gathering around anymore.

Don’t just write captions. Take action! Click To Tweet

I am getting my skydiving license very soon and that is on the horizon.

That’s a license to jump without somebody strapped on you.

You can jump without somebody strap on you while you’re training, but the license means you can go up at any time without a coach or anybody around you and hop out of a plane.

People love to repeat experiences. Some people like the adrenaline rush, some people love swimming like I do, or some people love golf. What is the thrill? I’ve met some people who skydive and they talk about how many dives they’ve done, and they keep doing it over and over again. I’ve heard other people say, “Once is enough. It was fun but I don’t need to keep doing that.” What for you is the attraction to keep repeating it?

I only got this feeling whenever I would play football at a serious level. It was the intense adrenaline dump with fear. It’s a perverse thing, but I love the feeling of being afraid and conquering that fear. How we grow and evolve as humans is that we have to do things that terrify us. That can happen physically, emotionally, and mentally. Skydiving is a very obvious one. Most people would look at that and be like, “That terrifies me.”

Some people got terrified speaking in front of crowds.

My best friend is a base jumper. The end goal is I want to go base jumping in Norway. They have this popular spot called Heliboogie, where they take you up in a helicopter up these giant cliff faces and you jump into the fjords in Norway. My friend who’s a base jumper is terrified of doing karaoke. We all come with these internal fears and weird things. The goal in life is to continually look at those things and continually conquer those things. Because every single time you do, at least for myself, I feel like I grow and evolve as a person tremendously.

It’s getting out of our comfort zone a little bit. Even taking a cold shower every day. One of the benefits besides burning fat is you’re telling yourself, “I can tolerate discomfort for a few minutes.” Does it get any easier on your 10th or 100th jump to conquer that fear?

TSP Alex | Blog Monetization

Blog Monetization: Having a community helps you thrive in the constantly changing world of the internet.

 

It does. It gets normalized. I have a motorcycle and the first few times riding that thing, I was like, “This is terrifying. I’m probably going to die.” Over time you learn to conquer the fear. You learn to love the skill that you’ve gained.

I remember, when I skydived, they have you waiting your turn to jump, you see somebody standing in the doorway and then they’re suddenly gone like a magic trick and they’ve literally disappeared. I don’t see them anymore. How did that happen? They did that and they’re gone. You don’t see them falling. Your mind is tripping because you’ve never seen somebody where they are there in one second and they’re gone the next. The smell and the G-force on your face. There are many sensations. You are fully alive. That’s what I would say Is what I love most about speaking as well. When I’m in front of a crowd talking about storytelling, I’m not thinking about what my grocery list is.

That’s the motorcycle. Motorcycle involves all four ligaments. Both hands and both feet are working. You are focused on the road because everybody’s had the experience of driving on the highway and there’s some crap in the highway, you go around it. You hit that on a motorcycle, you die. That makes me want to public speak hearing you say that.

That’s the liveliness. Doing that virtually you still have to become 100% and the energy you’re putting out is different because people are on mute many times, but you still have to be completely present and connect with them in a whole another way. Do you have a favorite book or a quote you want to leave us with?

Books are great depending on the place that you’re in. My favorite quote, I’ve got tattooed on my arm. It’s an old Emerson quote. It says, “Your actions speak so loud, I cannot hear what you say.” I’m big into that. Drake said it in a song, “You spend too much time on captions, not enough time on actions.” I am 100% all-in for the people who want to do things and take action. I’m not as much into the talking and theorizing about things. It’s like, “We’ll talk for a little bit.” I’m like, “Let’s go do it. Let’s go get it.” Because in those years, early on that I was struggling and suffering, I was spending a lot of time in my head. I was spending a lot of my time on like, “The wheels were running up there.”

It’s a great way to end because you started off with “Let’s do this.” Taking action, everything from deciding to lose weight and stopping, talking about all the excuses to trying something that gets us out of our comfort zone, whether that’s a blog or skydiving. Alex, thanks for sharing your passion and enthusiasm, not just for life but letting us all feel we have a shot at following our passion and making money doing it too.

We all do. I appreciate you, John.

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John Livesay, The Pitch Whisperer

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How To Monetize Your Blog with Alex Nerney
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Tags: Affiliate Marketing, Avocadu, Blog Monetization, Community Building, Create And Go, Health And Wellness Blogging

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