Josh is another well respected marketer that I’ve come to know, respect and have been following for a long time. He is another of the few marketers that aren’t out for a quick buck and truly have a desire to help people. Josh himself calls it ethical internet marketing. His blog EthicalIM.com is free for anyone to join and learn and share their successes and failures with making money online.
Josh just released a new product along with Jon Leger called Keyword Canine that is an amazing tool for finding low competition keywords that will rank easily.
And Now the Interview with Josh Spaulding
Get the entire interview series at http://www.RocketsToSuccess.com
Hi this is Joe Wilson from Rocketstosuccess.com. Today I’m interviewing Josh Spalding. I’m interviewing Josh in a special interview series on marketing breakthroughs and how to make $10,000 creating your own products that will rocket you to success. So Josh, welcome to the call.
JOSH: Thanks for having me.
JOE: Not a problem Josh. You’ve been a great mentor to me and have created a lot of great products and just wanted to have you here.
JOSH: Well thanks a lot. It’s great to be here. I know I’ve seen you a lot in all my dealings and I always like to help out anyone that supports me in any way. I’m here to help.
JOE: Thank you very much and I really appreciate it and I’m sure all our listeners are really going to love this interview. The main thing here is you have a lot of experience creating your own products. You’ve got everything from e-books to software and you’ve done coaching programs and membership sites. The big question I like to ask everyone is if you were starting over from scratch with no list; if you only had about three months to build up a new product and make a living, make ten thousand dollars, how would you go about it?
JOSH: First off, I think most of us realize that there’s several different business models out there and even internet marketing business models. Just because you are an internet marketer doesn’t mean we are all doing the same thing or should be doing the same thing. There are different things you can do. What I do is adopt several different models of the main business models out there. But you could easily go with one and be a huge success with that. Every person’s business model is going to be a little bit different. Mine is a little different from yours, yours is a little different from the next person’s. That’s the first thing that everyone should realize.
Once you realize that, then you pick what interests you. Actually for most people it’s what they find initial success in and then they go from there. For me and for a lot of people it was the list, an e-mail list. There’s not a whole lot to it. I think a lot of people make it harder than it is. It’s really figuring out how you’re going to build that list. You start off by finding your service you’re going to use like getresponse or AWeber, those are probably the top two.
Then it’s all about what value do you have in your head that you can put in a PDF or that you can create something of value that’s going to make people want to give you their name and e-mail. Getting their name and e-mail is a lot easier than getting into their wallet. I don’t want to say it’s easy because it’s not easy, obviously, or everybody would be rich. It’s not as hard as everyone thinks. I think everyone tries to dissect it and they worry about every little thing. The number one thing is coming up with enough value to be able to get a good deal and good amount of people’s names and e-mails to build that list. My main thing is the e-mail list.
JOE: We’re not necessarily talking internet marketing either. It’s any niche, anything you can think of.
JOSH: Absolutely. Obviously I’m pinpointing e-mail marketing. There’s a little more to it. You have to figure out how to create your e-books, and everything else and how you’re going to sell it. E-mail marketing is so effective, not just in internet marketing. I have e-mail lists in the geo-caching niche, the mortgage niche. I have lists in all different kinds of niches. If you think about it e-mail marketing is used by all kinds of huge companies. Pizza Hut just off the top of my head, all kinds of huge companies that you may not even realize it but they are using it.
JOE: To market to you, every day. What was your first product that you ever created?
JOSH: That’s a hard one. I started in 2004. My first product, you won’t even find it because it was complete crap. Well, it wasn’t crap but it didn’t provide a whole lot of value. I don’t even remember the name of it. My first real product that actually provided value and really made people money was Article Marketing Domination. It was a pretty simple e-book explaining how to successfully market with articles.
JOE: I have that one.
JOSH: A lot of people do. It turned out pretty well.
JOE: So it took you some trial and error before you finally figured out your voice so to speak, in creating a product.
JOSH: Absolutely. I started like a lot of people and it took a couple of years before I made any decent money. I think a lot of people are hesitant to create a good serious product and put a lot of time and effort into it, especially in the internet marketing niche. That’s my main niche, internet marketing, so that’s what I kind of go back to a lot. But like I said before, it’s not just internet marketing niche. I go back to that because it’s my main thing but it’s definitely not just that. Particularly in the internet marketing niche I think a lot of people are hesitant to get started. They think here’s an internet marketing product but I’m not making a million dollars this year with my internet marketing so should I be creating this. In some cases the answer is no, but in a lot of cases the answer is yes. Like my Article Marketing Domination; I wasn’t making a million dollars with article marketing but I did have some success with it. I had confidence with it. I knew when I wrote an article and submitted it to article directories I was doing it a way that drew traffic to my website. From there, I could turn that traffic into a sale and to more leads in my e-mail list. That was my first hurdle that I had to get over was realizing that I actually do have value even though I’m not making a million dollars. I have value to provide. I can help people. I’m glad I got over that because I ended up making a lot of money with that e-book. I still do to this day make sales on that e-book. It’s because I got over that hurdle and I realized that I have value whether I’m making a bunch of money or not. I have value to offer.
JOE: Since it’s been around for a long time and you still make sales, do ever you use any of those other products to leverage new products that are coming out as bonuses?
JOSH: Yes, absolutely. When you get to the point where I am; I have quite a few different products, you see some of them aren’t quite as successful as others, some make more money, some make you less, and some make you hardly any. You kind of figure out after time what the best use is for that e-book. Some e-books are better to just give away to build your list even bigger. Some e-books do excellent as direct sales with an OTO at the end of them. You definitely can use one or the other to offer as a bonus for another product, your new product, or whatever. There’s definitely a lot more use to e-books than just direct sales.
JOE: Have you noticed a decline in people signing up to your newsletter or your e-mail list just for your pdfs? It seems like there are a lot of people just putting up free crap just to hope people will come by and sign up to their e-mail list.
JOSH: I haven’t noticed a decline because I try to offer only stuff that’s going to help people. I think that’s the problem a lot of people have starting off is they’re thinking of the money. It’s Obvious. It’s about the money for everyone. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, we do this to make money. But it’s like Google. Google is a good example. They are a big, enormous, huge, profitable company. Obviously their number one thing is to make money. Everyone knows that, they know that. But they never say that. They’re always talking about the end user. “How can you get ranked in Google?” You do what people are searching for, you do what they want. Do what’s going to help them. And they mean that, because whenever you do that, that helps improve their business. That goes over to everything that we do as internet marketers. It’s all about money, but you’re going to get that trust and you’re going to get those op-tins by helping people and by providing value.
Now, back to your question; I haven’t noticed a decline and I don’t envision it. I think that as long as you’re providing value, you’re going to get those opt-ins.
JOE: I would agree. I guess my point is that people seem to be a lot more wary of what they sign up for. They are looking at these free give always as “does this have value?”
JOSH: Is this going to help me?
JOE: And it only helps people who do have good products out there.
JOSH: My number one piece of advice is to really truly – I know everyone says it and it’s kind of cliché – but really truly try your best not to think about the money. I know it’s hard not to think about the money. But think about what I can provide to my mother, father, sister, or brother that would really help them if they were my target customer. If they were the end user, what can I provide that would really help them. If you can do that and really think about a family member or someone you care a lot for, you will go far.
JOE: That kind of goes hand in hand with treating people like people, not just another number on the list.
JOSH: Exactly. That’s going to build trust and that’s going to make you a lot of money in the long run.
JOE: I noticed now since I’ve been following you for a while, you’ve been venturing into doing a lot more software type of products. You had Hot Niche Spy which was a web based application. You had Deep Linker Pro and a few other things that were software based. What got you going in that direction?
JOSH: E-books and reports are excellent. I would definitely never lower the value of them. I learned a lot of good things that helped me make money through e-books. But the problem is, a good majority of the people who buy or download e-books, whether they pay for them or get them for free, don’t put them into action. There’s such a small amount of people that you’re actually helping with e-books and reports that it’s kind of disheartening. You’re really not helping a whole lot of people because not many people put it into action.
If you’re paying for software, you’re using it. Software can be really valuable. There’s a lot of software out there that helps my business run more efficiently and saves me a lot of time. It goes back to what I think of in the first place when I’m coming up with a product is “how can I help people?” Software is something that helps me a lot and always has. Actually Hot Niche Spy for example was developed for me. There were a few tools that I needed that I couldn’t find so I just had a developer create them. So I thought it’s helping me, why not offer it to other people. So that’s what I did and I offered new tools every month. It helps people and that’s what it’s all about.
JOE: When you went about that, you outsourced the development or did you hire somebody?
JOSH: No I outsourced it all completely. I just hired a new developer to take all of my software development over. Outsourcing is the way to go unless you are a top notch developer. It’s kind of hard to be a top notch developer and a marketer. It’s possible, several people do it. Outsourcing is the way to go in my book.
JOE: Do you have any recommendations for anyone who’s thinking about doing outsourcing to help them out? A lot of people do the Philippines thing.
JOSH: I really don’t have any excellent advice, unfortunately. For me it’s been going to ScriptLance a lot and word of mouth from other internet marketers. The one thing I would say is once you do find someone that does good work; keep them because it is hard to find good developers. That’s developer specific. Designers, it hasn’t been too hard. It’s hard to find a designer that’s really, really good. I have Shawn Lawry and he’s just top notch. I’ll never get rid of him. I use him for everything. As far as development, coding, and creating software, it’s hard to find a good reliable developer. Unfortunately you have to take people’s word for it and just try them out. Give them small projects at first, see how the handle it, see how they communicate, see how the software works, or the script or whatever you have them do. Then work your way up gradually. Don’t just take on a new developer and have them do a big project. You’ll most likely regret it.
JOE: I feel the same way. I use ScriptLance for finding writers too. A good writer is hard too. They might write an article for you but does it really sound good?
JOSH: Developers and writers are two of the most difficult to find so once you find one or two good ones, hold on to them.
JOE: Absolutely. So what are you working on today? I know you’ve got the latest thing is Easy Review Cash.
JOSH: That is my newest report. Actually it’s my first report in quite a while, since Central Product Success Formula. I wasn’t even planning on writing that report until not long ago. I created a review site that did pretty well. I was just sitting here and decided to write a quick blog post. I wrote it and had a crazy response. So I decided to write a report on it and sell it. It sold very well and I think that the people who take it and put it into action will make some pretty decent money with it. That’s kind of how it happens, my ideas for creating e-books. I have just sat here and brainstormed for a couple of hours and come up with a couple of good ideas but my best ones are always just from my own little successes. Like this Easy Review Cash report. I made a review site. I’ve never been a huge review site type guy. This is my first serious review site. I came up with an idea for one and put it up and it’s made me a thousand dollars in a couple of months off of a day’s work. So you don’t have to make a million dollars to have the knowledge that people want. I think my selling point on this was $800 in two months. I was being conservative with that. Under $1,000 profit, people don’t expect you to make $100,000. $800, that’s pretty good and they buy it because it helps them.
JOE: I think that’s damn good.
JOSH: My point is that it’s not unreachable. It’s not unbelievable. It’s an honest statement. I honestly made that. It’s not going to pay off my mortgage. But it’s a good amount and it’s reasonable. People can do it.
JOE: Then you replicate that, right?
JOSH: Exactly, that’s what it’s all about.
JOE: You’ve done a lot of things with finding niches. From my point of view getting the site up and getting content up is the easy part. The hard part is getting the traffic and choosing the niche. Those are two things that are the most difficult out of the whole process.
JOSH: As far as that goes, that’s another thing where a lot of people shoot themselves in the foot by overanalyzing and worrying about every little thing. A lot of my success with niche marketing with targeting these small niches and replicating is I don’t worry about it being perfect. If this site’s a failure, oh well. I’m not going to spend two weeks on it. I’m going to spend maybe a day on it. Then if it starts making me a little money, then I’ll spend more time on it. So you’re planting seeds and these seeds should not require a whole lot of time and effort. You want to plant a bunch of seeds and wait until they start growing. The ones that start growing, you fertilize them. You submit articles and put more time into them.
What a lot of people do is they will spend weeks or even months on one little site. They will worry about this and that and don’t concentrate on what really matters. Then it fails or it doesn’t do nearly as well as they thought and they say this doesn’t work. So they’re on to the next thing and they spend $1,000 on the next product. And that’s the problem.
For me, don’t overanalyze. Find a profitable niche. Find a niche that has a high cost per click. Come up with an easy and fairly accurate way to determine the competition. I use an average pay drink of the top ten competitors as a tool. If it’s below three, then it’s worth targeting. If it’s above then you throw out that key word.
JOE: Project Spy figures that out for you.
JOSH: We just added a bulk tool just now and you can just paste your key words in there and it will show you the average pay drink of the top ten competitors. So it’s that easy. So finding your niche, for me, I just find a profitable niche. A niche people are paying a lot of money to advertise for. Use the Google AdWords tool to show you what the average cost per click is for that main market. If it’s high then go for it. Then generate a bunch of key words with at least 500 to 1,000 monthly searches. Do the average pay drink check. Throw out the key words that are above three.
Don’t make marketing too difficult either. The basic stuff applies. There are no secrets for getting traffic. Article marketing is extremely effective. I do a good majority of my mini-site promotion is just article marketing. Web directory links still work as long as you’re submitting to the right directories. Forum links as long as they’re followed. Blog comment links. It’s all basic stuff that most of us know. If you don’t, if you’re brand new, you will. Don’t spend the time doing that stuff on a site that isn’t going to convert. Wait! Just submit a couple of articles at first, maybe five or ten articles at first. See if it starts profiting. If it does, then put more time and effort into it.
JOE: I’ve noticed on some of the sites I’ve built, the ones that didn’t do as well were ones where I did one or two articles out there and I’ve done sort of a shotgun effect across all the article directories. They’ve kind of withered on the vine.
JOSH: You can’t worry too much about those. Not every site is going to be a success. It doesn’t matter who it is; me or whoever you think is the most successful niche marketer. They have sites that fail. It’s just planting the seeds and picking only the successful, the ones that start making money to spend the time on.
JOE: I don’t because I can’t afford to but I know a lot of some of the bigger guys will do one hundred sites at one time and just see what sticks.
JOSH: That can work. I don’t do it. I’ve never done it. I may do it in the future, it all depends. It can work. It depends on how you do it and what you use to do it. I wouldn’t recommend it or go the other way with it. It all depends, it could work.
JOE: I guess it comes down to that one thing. If there’s a need, find a solution and give it to them in your niche, whatever niche it is.
JOSH: Right. At the beginning of the call when we were talking about different business models, that’s a different business model that the niche marketing that we’ve been talking about. For the e-books, reports, product creation and marketing, that’s extremely important that you are providing useful information. You’re solving a problem or helping someone in some way. You always want to help people out. Obviously you don’t want throw out a bunch of garbage. With the niche marketing it’s not as crucial because with the niche marketing you’re giving away free information basically. It doesn’t have to be ground breaking information. Although the better it is the better. You don’t have to worry quite so much about solving problems with a little niche site when you are just giving away free information as you do with products.
JOE: Yes and that’s where the product needs to really stand on its own.
JOSH: Right, exactly.
JOSH: Yes, it’s doing great. Like I said we just hired a new developer to take it on. I have big plans for that. I think it helps a lot of people. We are going to try to add a new tool every month
JOE: Do you have one last piece of advice that you want to give to anybody who is considering creating their own product that might help them out?
JOSH: My number one piece of advice for anything, for internet marketing, business, or even just in life, it don’t let failures detour you. Every single successful person has come across failures. Failure is kind of the beginning of success. There’s a quote I wish I had memorized from Randy Posh about not letting the brick walls keep you back. The brick walls are there to keep the people out who don’t want it bad enough. And that’s so true. If you just think that it’s too hard and I tried this and it didn’t work. That’s how people think that are never successful. You just have to be confident no matter how much you know or how much success you had, the successful people were at that exact point at one point in time. They’re not necessarily geniuses, or anything special, they just didn’t quit. My main thing is just don’t quit. Just keep driving on no matter what and you’ll make it.
JOE: Absolutely, I fully agree. Josh thank you so much. I know you are busy and I really appreciate your time here today and I’m sure that everyone else here who is listening appreciates it also.
JOSH: No problem at all. I’m glad to be here. Take care.