How Much Traffic Does Your Blog Need To Make $100,000 A Year?

In the first two lessons I explained how you don’t need as much traffic as you think you do and revealed a smarter, more advanced model of making money from a blog.

If you have not read this series from the start, I recommend you catch up here first:

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The Current and the Future Plans for my Businesses

I’ve always been low key with my operations since starting the blog.

I don’t really like to talk about my business, my motivations for the blog, or what I have planned for the future. I’ve always believed that secrecy is an asset in this industry.

But I’m starting to see the value of transparency when connecting with readers so I’m going to open up a bit on this post.

Building a Super Team

I built an in-house team to help me run affiliate marketing campaigns back in 2009. Business was amazing and I knew having a team would be a huge competitive advantage.

It failed miserably.

I haven’t really talked too much about that period because it was a dark time for me. Imagine teaching people everything you know, and watching them run off to compete against you. Worst of all is seeing them fail and go back to a 9 – 5  job a few months later.

Affiliate marketing looks easy when I hand you a campaign to maintain, but launching one from scratch and losing your own money is a different ballgame.

I could play the blame game, but I have to take responsibility in order to grow – I could’ve done things a little different. I was trying to apply traditional team concepts and applying it to the unique world of affiliate marketing.

Since then I’ve pretty much operated as a one man team with an army of virtual assistants. I traveled the world for a few years prior and this was the best solution for me.

But one person can only grow so much and now I’m giving the team concept another chance. We’ve been in operation for over a month now and things are going great. I am teaching them everything I know in hopes of them surpassing me one day. It’s great to be out of the trenches and to just focus on what I’m good at: strategy and optimizing.

I’m sure you guys have a bunch of questions. Where did I find them? Are they local or remote? What’s the pay structure? How can I ensure they stay loyal?

I rather wait until I have more experience before I share. But in the past month I’m operating 4x faster than with my old structure. It feels great to have other guys who can share the joys and the pains of running campaigns.

The Blog

It’s been roughly 1.5 years since I started the blog. I analyzed some of the stats to see blog growth.

alltime
The blog’s starting to hit a tipping point of growth. 

month
Last month was a record month with 12K+ uniques

geos

The top geos. I was surprised to see Germany and Netherlands in the top 10. I have a lot of new Singaporean / Malaysian fans thanks to  Ivan Ong ;-). Hello Indian readers!

I don’t have any “goals” for the blog. Instead everything’s completely system based. I write at least a post a week, and I post on my Facebook page daily.

As the blog grow it’s starting to take up a lot more time. Please don’t be offended if I ever ignore any of your emails, but I just can’t keep up sometimes.

Meetups / Speaking

I’m heading to Asia in May / June. I decided to do a little speaking tour while I’m over there. I travel to Asia twice a year to see my girlfriend and thought it’d be nice to get some branding done over there.

I linked up with some sponsors to cover the costs of the events and it will be 100% free for you guys to attend.

Formal announcements are coming soon, but here are the dates so you can plan accordingly.

Jakarta, Indonesia – May 5th
Bangkok, Thailand – May 9th
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – June 1st
Singapore – June 7th or 8th

Please RSVP as soon as it’s announced because there are a limited # of tickets available.

I’m still working on the topics, but I can promise you that a free 3 hour seminar with me will give you more value than most of these paid workshops in Asia.

Future Blog Stuff

I’d like to get some sort of a free newbie guide up. The ones out there now are either outdated, or full of wrong information. The industry needs an official place whenever someone asks “where do I start?”

ebook

I’m around 10% done. I’m probably going to release it chapter by chapter as it’s hard to stay motivated on such as long project.

I keep getting requests for Rise of Ngo, Chapter 9. Ok one more chapter.

I’m having fun with the audio recordings and  there will be more. Getting a lot of feedback on improving – Give me time guys as I’m new to it and will get better with practice.

After I come back from Asia I’ll officially launch my Podcast. I’m aiming for 2 recordings a month.

I keep getting questions about my motivations with this. What’s the point of everything? Why go around speaking for free? Why are there no ads on the blog? Why would I write a course and give it away for free?

Some of My Motivations

  • I like having a voice in this world. There are 7 billion people on Earth and I don’t want to be invisible.
  • It feels good to help people. I don’t really see the impact of my writings on a day to day basis. But when I go to conferences and people come up to me saying I’ve changed their lives, that’s deep shit.
  • A brand will help me in the future. Whatever I plan to do next after affiliate marketing, I know I have an army of people willing to support me.
  • It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. I fucking love this industry and I was born for it. I will do whatever I can to help grow it.

Some of my biggest influencers in life include Tim Ferris, Eben Pagan, and Bruce Lee. What are they known for? Teaching. Helping others is a core value in my life.

Next Level

I’m not going to be an affiliate marketer forever.

The money is good and isn’t going away anytime soon, but after 6 years in the industry I’m ready for some new challenges.

There’s quite a few options from here I can take, and often I’ve consulted the book Good to Great.

good-to-great

I’m not interested in starting an affiliate network at all. Read this post Jason Akatiff on the risks of an affiliate network.

I’ve thought about startups or apps, but they don’t really leverage my current skill sets as well.

There are two paths I’m interested in taking:

Advertiser

I want to develop my own products. I’ll have the advantage of my optimization abilities and the ability to drive traffic to the offer internally. Looking forward to dealing with the backend stuff such as merchants processing, CRM’s,  and calculating lifetime customer values.

Teaching Affiliate Marketing

As side business I would love to pursue teaching affiliate marketing. The industry is rapidly growing and it’s becoming more difficult. There’s really not too many options to learn this other than private forums.

Of course there are going to be some negative connotations of “selling out”, “those who can’t do, teach”, “ngos going guru” , blah blah.

I don’t care. I know my shit, and there is a demand for it.

If you wanna be a Chess champion you hire a coach. Want to improve at fighting? You join an MMA gym. Unfortunately the industry has been plagued with so many shitty gurus that I gotta find ways to separate myself from them.

None of these will take place in 2014. Right now I just want to keep growing my brand, and take my team to the next level.

I need to get back to work.

Thanks for your support,

- Charles Ngo

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You Don’t Need As Much Traffic As You Think

In the previous lesson I debunked the myth that you need to be everywhere, on many different platforms, to succeed with a blogging business.

If you have not read it, begin here:

Now in part two we continue to explore a better model to grow a Read the rest of this entry »

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[Audio Post] Question and Answer Session 4/10/2014

audio_podcast_thumb
I decided to do a Q&A session for my Facebook Fans. (You should follow my Facebook page because I update it daily with unique content. It’s not me uploading a random motivational picture everyday like everyone else does.)

Charles Ngo’s Facebook Page

I went with an audio format because I want more practice with speaking on a mic. It’s a completely different skill set than talking to a person and I’d like to improve at it.

It only took 20 minutes to record since I did it in one take, and only 5 minutes to upload on Soundcloud. I love keeping things simple. Going forward I’d like to do more of these since articles can take me a few hours to write. Also some readers prefer the audio format.

I consider these to be “audio posts” rather than podcast. Technically they are the same thing, but the term podcast gives me the weird feeling of responsibility.

I have to make a fancy intro, get proper editing, find guests, record on a regular schedule, etc. With these audio posts I feel no pressure and can just record them whenever I want.

[Dropbox Download Link]

It’s 20 minutes where I covered 5 topics

  1. How to start with $500 in affiliate marketing
  2. 5 mistakes that stop intermediate affiliates from becoming Super Affiliates
  3. Tips on clean bulking
  4. Teams / VA’s / responsibilities
  5. What do I invest in, my future in the industry

Does anyone have any recommendations for SIMPLE audio transcription? I want to go through a service that makes it easy such as OneHourTranslation.

I’m doing another Q & A recording next week on Wednesday.

I’m trying to build up my email list this year, so the next one is only going to be released to be my email subscribers. If you’re not on the list, then sign up for free below.

Some of my best content this year will be available via email only by the way.



Have any questions? Feel free to comment below.

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Learn the Best Marketing in the World…For Free

The following is a guest post by my friend Malan Darras. You can find him on twitter and he blogs regularly at malandarras.com

As an affiliate marketer, part of your job is to constantly upgrade your skills and adapt with the times. You probably read some blogs, some books and emails to stay up to date on what’s working best right now.

Malan Darras - Time and Skills

But what you may not realize, is that one of the best resources for finding new marketing tricks (that actually work) is in your own experience online every day and even right now.

At this moment, the web is filled with powerful marketing tricks and tactics. You encounter them all day long. If you pay close attention to your personal experience online, you can capture these tactics and use them in your own campaigns.

Mind Control

Websites, apps and games are getting really good at messing with our heads. They’re so good at it that we spend all day checking for new emails and refreshing social network feeds hoping to see any new information.

Why? Because it’s exciting. And at this point, it’s as addictive as a drug.

red-dotExample: Doesn’t your heart jump when you see that red circle pop up with new activity on Facebook?

Mine does too.

That’s why 1000s of affiliates use that exact graphic in their ads. For some reason that little red circle with a number in it makes people go nuts and click like crazy.

My Experiment

Not so long ago I started paying attention to my reactions to these kinds of things. Any time something made me react in any way, I wrote it down or saved it to a swipe file.

Swipe File: A folder on your computer used to save and catalog ideas found on the web

My thinking was that if these things make me react, then there is a pretty good chance I could use the same tactics, verbatim on other people for my own gain.

So I started saving everything that made me react and testing it on my own campaigns.

The results of these experiments have been pretty shocking.

Results From The Last Few Weeks

#1 ‘Urgency’ Spam

I was checking email and saw a spam message with the subject line: “Urgency: This offer may expire in the next 24 hours”. I knew it was spam. But the word urgency made my heart jump and I clicked the email hard and fast anyway.

I had to see what was inside.

After I read the email, I realized what happened, took a screen shot of the subject line, stuck in my swipe file and decided to test it for myself.

The Experiment:
I added the words from the email verbatim: “Urgency: This offer may expire in the next 24 hours” directly beneath my landing page’s main call to action (CTA) button. I had tried other phrases below the CTA but nothing had made any real impact.

The Result:
CTR went up about 20% and ROI went up by 15%.

It wasn’t just me. The word Urgency makes people flip out.

#2 I Love This Guy!

I am subscribed to a handful of email lists. A few of them are really good and others are just selling their services. I mainly stay subscribed to find ideas.

One day a blogger sent out an email that gave out an insane amount of detailed information about getting more traffic. He gave away so much great content that I couldn’t believe it. When I got to the end of the email I said, out loud in a room by myself:

“I F#cking LOVE This Guy”

Right after the words came out of my mouth I stopped and realized what had just happened. If you give away so much value that it’s almost unreal, people will love you.

I said out loud that I loved the guy.

For an email marketer, that is the DREAM reaction you want from your readers. If you can get your email list subscribers to say, out loud that they love you… You can probably sell them anything you want for the rest of your life.

The Experiment:
I’ve been experimenting with adding email opt-in boxes to my affiliate campaigns and I have a few small a lists. I initially created a really weak 10-day auto-responder series to see if I could get some extra sales. The content was terrible and it wasn’t making money at all.

I spent an entire evening re-writing the auto responder series. This time I provided an overwhelming amount of value. Some of the emails went from 100 words to 1000 words.

The Results:
On day one I got my first sale. Within a week subscribers were sending me personal emails to thank me for all the help I was giving them. Instead of reporting me for spam, they started forwarding my emails to their friends.

Now, sales are starting to trickle in and I think I can turn it into something.

If you provide an overwhelming amount of value to your email list. They will love you. If they love you, they’ll buy your stuff.

#3 Amazon Scarcity

I was looking at something on Amazon. It was something I was interested in, but didn’t really need… and I was on the fence about whether or not to order it, until…

I saw this red text that said “Hurry! Only 3 Remain”.

My hand jerked and I clicked the Add to Cart button so fast I didn’t know what happened.

After my purchase was complete I looked back at the events that led me to buy. It was that red text that said “Hurry! Only 3 Remain” that pushed me over the edge.

The Test:
I added the exact same text under the product image for a campaign I’m running. The only thing I changed was adding the single line of scarcity text verbatim from Amazon.

The Result:
Sure enough, CTR and Conversion rate went through the roof. Just like my experience on Amazon, many of my visitors saw the text, freaked out and decided to buy.

Well isn’t this obvious?

I know, I know… Everybody knows that scarcity text increases sales and providing lots of value for your email list is a no brainer.

But… this is different.

Scarcity text is a theory, (it works “in theory”). To make it work you have to put in the time and effort to split test copy and find the right scarcity text that will cause people to react and increases your profits.

That’s not what I’m doing. I’m not testing theories.

I am taking copy and images directly from other sites and using them verbatim on my pages. There is no testing required because if it worked on me… the test is over.

It works.

How to Do It:

If you’re an affiliate you probably spend 6–15 hours a day online. All you have to do is pick up cues as they happen to you throughout the day and write them down.

Pay close attention to anything that makes you react. When it happens save it or write it down and try it on your own campaign.

Fill your swipe file with ideas:

  • Screenshots
  • Copy / Headlines / Text
  • Photographs
  • Graphics / Ads
  • Audio

In conclusion:

If something online makes you to react, there is a pretty good chance you can use it on others for your own gain.

Keep an eye out for any marketing tactic, design or text that causes you to take notice. In time, you become a vessel for more new tricks and ideas than you ever thought possible.

It’s free, it’s fun and all you have to do is Pay Attention.

About the Author:

malan-coffee

Hello. I’m Malan. I live in Hollywood, CA.

I am a musician, fitness enthusiast and one of the top affiliate marketers in the world.

On my site I write about:

  1. How to use online marketing to escape the 9-5 world forever
  2. How to use simple nutrition and workout tweaks to get into peak physical condition
  3. How to replace negative habits with healthy rituals that help us live better lives

I don’t have all the answers, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned so far. And I’m always looking for new ideas, which you can share with me via comments and email anytime you wish.

You can find me at @malandarras or at my site: malandarras.com

I’ll see you there,
Malan

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The Myth Of “Being Everywhere” And The Smarter Path To Traffic

I may make enemies of some of my fellow bloggers by saying this, but it has to be said…

The current best-practice idea that you need to “be everywhere” in order to build traffic is bad advice.

It’s bad advice because most people follow it at the wrong stage of their business development and lack the capabilities to pull it … Read the rest of this entry »

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Charles Ngo Gets Interviewed on Two Podcasts

I was recently featured in two podcasts and wanted to share them with you. They are must listen if you are fans of my knowledge.

Episode 3 of The Affplaybook Podcast

David Ford interviewed me and grilled me on affiliate marketing theory, my favorite books, motivational theory, and more. 

Affplaybook Podcast Episode 3: Charles Ngo

Transcript

The “Lost” Interview by AsianEfficiency

This interview took place around 2-3 years ago when I was living in Bangkok, Thailand. It slipped through the cracked over at AE.com, and I assumed it was posted the whole time ;-).

Plenty of talk on business, productivity, and traveling.

Keep in mind the interview took place a few years ago so some of my practices and thoughts might have changed since then. But overall the information is solid.

AsianEfficiency Interviews Charles Ngo on Business, traveling, and productivity. 

Interested in me starting a podcast? Let me know in the comments – I could use a motivation boost to get me started.

Do you have a podcast and want me on it? Email me.

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