In the bloggers interview series today, we have Zac Johnson with us. Zac is a well known personality in the affiliate marketing and blogging niche. We all use to address him as super affiliate marketer and problogger.
Zac has been able to earn lots of money (more than $100000) every year without creating a product of his own (which really amazes me). Most of his earnings are coming from affiliate product sale.
I hope you guys will learn a lot from this interview and in case you want to ask any question from Zac, please do the same through comments section.
1. Hi Zac! First of all share few details about you, your online portals and how you entered into blogging and affiliate marketing world?
I first started making money online back in the mid 90s. Using the AOL Web Diner chat room, I was making 468×60 banners for other site owners and they would send me $1 in the mail. This was way before anything like Paypal was around.
I then found out about the Amazon affiliate program and started to build out a bunch of celebrity sites to rank in the search engines. I would promote Amazon products on these pages and went on to push over $100,000 in sales through their site.
Sticking with the affiliate marketing trend, I then came across WebSponsors and OnResponse, which were two of the first affiliate programs out there. I then realized I could make more getting people to complete free stuff offers, then requiring them to buy something on Amazon and make the same amount of money from it.
You can read by full bio story at Zacjohnson.com/about
2. Currently you are one of the best affiliate marketers on the internet. Please share some details about your journey in this direction and did you face any difficulties or challenging during the initial stages?
Over the past 18 years I’ve done pretty much everything. From pay per click marketing, building out my own sites, having a 2 million person mailing list, running my own affiliate programs and much more… the bottom line is that I’ve continually changed my business over time to adapt with the changes the internet and world of affiliate marketing have to offer.
3. Would you recommend any SEO tool or plugin (free or paid) to MakeBlogging.com readers that they can use to improve their blogs visibility on the internet?
Honestly I’m not huge on SEO or paid plugins… I mainly focus on great content and getting my name everywhere. Just build awesome stuff that gets people to link to you from everywhere.
4. Please share some tips that newbie’s can use to build connections with other bloggers in their niche?
Interview top people in your niche and use their names to grow interest on your blog. Once you have a blog with some nice content, start guest blogging on other sites to gain more backlinks and interest to your site.
5. From your website I came to know about the NeverBlue network and readers from your blog are able to earn more than Two Million Dollar from this single lead generation company. How you were able to achieve such big numbers? And what kind of websites or blogs can get maximum benefit from this network?
Neverblue has done very well through their advertising and placements on my blog. Since launching the blog I’ve been able to send over $5 million in new business to my ad partners.
One of the best ways to do this is through the use of of tutorials and guides that walk people through the process of how to do something. For example, with Neverblue I made a bunch of tutorials about starting your first PPC ad campaign and used their network as an example for finding offers to promote.
6. Did you notice any major change in the way affiliate marketing is done these days compared to what it was one year back? And are you expecting more changes the way affiliate marketers will be using this domain in the coming days?
A year ago?… not much. A lot has changed over the past decade plus since I started. The FTC is now more involved and you have to be careful about how you promote offers. Mobile marketing is also getting hot right now too. Lots of opportunities for ANYONE to start making money online.
7. Are You Following Any Affiliate Marketing or Blogging related blog, if yes, please share few?
I usually check affposts.com each day and see what the latest blog posts out there are. I also use Twitter to see what’s getting spread around as well.
8. Zac, you have been very active on major social media networks. Please share some tips bloggers should be using Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter type of websites to get maximum mileage.
I’ve never been as active as I should be. I was active on Facebook for a while, now I’m more active on Twitter. It’s tough to stay active on them all when you have a lot going on. Make sure you are connecting on all social networks and have them listed on your blog. Also try to get the same username across all sites.
9. Zac, you had already tried huge number of monetization methods for earning money from your blogs. Please share some monetization methods which you find most effective that you feel are good fit for bloggers and affiliate marketers.
The best way to make money with blogging is by growing out your brand and becoming an authority figure. This then leads to speaking opportunities, high end advertising, consulting and much more.
10. Most of bloggers find it hard to build good amount of traffic on their blogs, please share few tips they should follow to bring targeted traffic to their blogs.
Focus on quality over quantity. Getting 1,000 real qualified visitors to your blog that really listen to what you have to say is worth a lot more than 30,000 visitors that come and leave and never come back. Building your audience over time is hard, but focus on building a loyal audience that matters.
11. Zac, you have been using guest blogging in a great way to create awareness about your brand, for traffic building and for building high quality links for your blogs. Please share few tips or guide bloggers can follow to gain maximum advantage from this activity.
Create awesome content. Too many people are writing about the same garbage and just trying to sell links. Also make sure you use your real face and name in all posts for the author info. Get your name all over the place so people start to recognize and follow your stuff.
12. What is your biggest achievement as an affiliate marketer so far?
The blog and my personal brand has been awesome to grow. One of my favorite sites I made was a social resource site that made $800,000 profit in four months. Getting on Fox News and ABC News has also been a highlight. Lots of the most fascinating stuff has been a result of the blog.
13. You have been working on WordPress based websites for a long time now. Which are your favorite WordPress Themes and do you feel blog design can have any negative or positive impact on a blog visibility in search engines?
If it’s a big site, I’m always going to have a custom theme designed for my sites. I will get this outsourced and it usually costs a couple thousand dollars based on the quality. As for SEO and blog themes, I wouldn’t recommend using any low end free themes that aren’t from reputable sites, but in terms of rankings, I don’t think it will make a huge different. Again, focus on content and quality backlinks.
14. What kind of promotion activities you use to do after clicking the Publish button on a post on your blog?
I’ll share my latest posts with all of my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ followers. Sometimes I will use other social sharing promotions, but that is usually it.
15. You have already earned millions of dollar recommending affiliate products to your blog readers. What is the secret behind this success?
Create quality content and a brand that people trust. When building out ad campaigns, keep split testing your landing pages, target your audience and expand to new offers within the same niche (when you find success)
16. Which are your favorite web hosts and any particular reason for choosing them over others?
HostGator has been good. I’m working with WebSynthesis as well. I know the people at their company and they specialize in WordPress hosting, so that should be fun.
17. Zac if you are given a budget of just $100 to start a blog, how will you go about it?
Get a domain name ($10). Get Hosting ($7/m). Get a logo ($5 fiverr). Order a small Twitter promotion through Twiends ($29). Create awesome content, guest blog and comment on other big blogs.
18. Message for MakeBlogging readers and how can they get in touch with you.
I’m currently blogging daily on ZacJohnson.com, BloggingTips.com and Brand.com. Follow me on Twitter at @ZacJohnson.
Few Takeaways from Zac Interview
- Develop great content and be everywhere
- Best way to earn money from blogging is growing your brand and being an authority in your niche
- Don’t forget to share your latest blog posts on major social networks
I hope after today’s interview with Zac Johnson, we will have lots of lots of action elements. Want to discuss something or have any question for Zac, please share in the comments section below.