Let’s learn from his experience and start the interview.
I’ve been making money online for about 15 years now and blogging at ZacJohnson.com for the past 5 years. From the early days of creating web sites and making money with affiliate marketing, to growing out large blogs and full service web sites, I’d like to think I’ve had my share of internet marketing experiences. Through my blog at ZacJohnson.com I share all of my stories, case studies and tips which hopefully inspire others to start making money online and take the steps to eventually become their own boss.
It wasn’t til 2007 that I started my first blog at ZacJohnson.com, which coincidentally is my most popular blog today. Many people fool around with a few different sites and blogs before they find a successful model, but I was fortunate enough to hit a winner with my first site. My good friend Jim Kukral was on me for years to start my own blog and once I finally did, it was completely worth it.
As mentioned, I’ve been making money online for quite a while now and my friend Jim was pushing me to make a blog of my own to share my stories and advice. Once I finally got around to actually doing it, I was enjoying every minute of it. I knew I had a ton of stories and experiences to share with my audiences, but never really thought about what it would turn into five years later. Everything from keynote speaking in Australia, appearing on ABC and FOX news and so much more… all simply because I made the decision to start my own blog.
The affiliate marketing world and blogging world is quite funny. You never really know who you will meet or come across and how they will act. You will definitely connect with some people more than others. I remember reading John Chow’s blog when he first came out with his monthly income reports and I was totally blown away with the site. I was watching his site and everything he posted about… then a few months later we connected and have been great friends since. The same thing with Jeremy Schoemaker… I originally met with him at Affiliate Summit many years back and introduced myself, then again we became very close friends. If you ever wanted to connect with some of the top bloggers and people in the industry, you definitely need to attend events like BlogWorld (now NMX) and Affiliate Summit.
Like most people I had some web sites whacked. Fortunately they were all sites that I haven’t touched in quite a while. I’ve since narrowed my focus and have been letting hundreds of domains and sites expire simply because my time and efforts need to be elsewhere. I think the major hits to site owners was all of the incoming links for targeted keywords, which is what I was mainly hit on. There was nothing wrong with the links, but not enough of them were diversified and linking to inner page content.
There is nothing better than referrals from friends and meeting with people at conferences. I don’t travel and speak around the country like I used to, but even from the one or two events a year that I do hit, there is always some long term value and new partnerships that are made. These conferences are located across the country all year round, so there is no excuse why anyone couldn’t make it to a show or two. I will usually get to any shows going on in NY, and depending on what else is going on I might make it over to some West coast shows as well.
Right now my main focus is on Blogging.org, which I am running with John Rampton (Entrepreneur, PPC Master, Writer, Online Marketing Guy, Blogger, Husband and Full Time Computer Nerd – Palo Alto, CA · http://www.jsrampton.com ). We are very dedicated to this one and looking to make it one of the web’s best sources for freelance writers and blog owners to connect to create original content. I also have my first book (print) coming out soon!
The easy answer is to have bought a ton of domain names back in 2000! However a more realistic answer is that I would have liked to start blogging a bit earlier, and also come out with a book of my own a few years back. Unfortunately we all get so busy and things get pushed aside, so if you have anything going on that you want to complete… get it done asap!
I think blogging and WordPress will just keep getting bigger. This is the focus of my new book coming out soon, and it’s all about the importance of creating your own brand and not relying on ad networks or other solutions to make money online… you need to be the brand. Blogging is so ridiculously easy and the cost of entry is so small that I only see it growing with time.