In todays interview we are going to be talking with Jon Rhodes from AffiliateHelp.Info. He is a full time Internet Marketer from the UK. A former musician and hypnotherapist now he shares and helps others make money online.
1. Hi Jon, can you tell my readers and me more about yourself? What do you do in the world of online marketing for anyone who isn’t already familiar?
Hi Nancy. My main niche is hypnotherapy. I provide therapeutic audio sessions, under the brand name HypnoBusters. These sessions are only available in MP3 format.
The idea is to make this therapy as accessible as possible. Visiting a hypnotherapist can be expensive, and there’s not always one available in every area. People can download my sessions almost immediately, no matter where they live in the world. They are also inexpensive because all the costs of packaging and posting are stripped back.
I also run a blog which shares what I’ve learned about online marketing. It covers quite a wide range of topics, such as SEO, traffic, blogging and even personal development.
2. When and where did you make your first dollar in Internet Marketing?
I made my first dollar in 2007. I started a website that gave away free hypnotherapy sessions. This proved popular very quickly. I decided to monetize it by joining an affiliate program selling hypnotherapy mp3s, which paid 35% commission.
These sold really well because of the trust and goodwill created by my free sessions. However I soon realized that I was missing out on 65% of the money, so I created my own sessions, and HypnoBusters was born!
3. What strategies are Evergreen and help generating revenue month after month despite what some big search does?
The one thing that has stuck around for the last 15 years is email. MySpace came and went, and there are signs that Facebook is on the wane. Email is still here. If you can collect your customers emails and communicate with them regularly, then you are immune to all these changes.
At one point I thought that Facebook was going to crush emails with their messaging system, but they seem to be focussing more on instant chat than emails.
You can send your list an email with a great offer, and this will generate you revenue, regardless of search engines or social networks.
4. What is your biggest online marketing challenge?
The biggest challenge is probably getting traffic. Without traffic you don’t have a business. It’s true you can sell more with a well optimized site, but traffic is the life blood. Since it’s more difficult to guarantee good rankings in the search engines, you have to look other places for traffic.
5. What are your top “must follow” Internet marketing blogs?
I’m really liking Jon Morrow at the moment. He encouraged me to study copywriting, saying it was essential to learn if you’re involved in online business. He was dead right. You can use copywriting principals in practically everything you write, whether it’s a sales pitch, a blog post, or a social media update. This has been the biggest game changer for me.
So sites such as CopyBlogger and BoostBlogTraffic are must reads for me at the minute.
6. How do you communicate your trustworthiness?
I do this by getting out there and being a real person who talks to people, answers questions, and helps people. Customers rightly want reassurance when buying from someone they don’t know.
I write a lot, appear in videos and audio’s, and have several pictures of me. This helps people feel that they “know” me, which improves trust.
Goodwill also seems to translate into trustworthiness to some degree. I give away a lot of free hypnotherapy on YouTube. People seem grateful for this, and often buy a session or two because I have helped them for free in the past.
7. What is the biggest mistake I can avoid starting out in Internet Marketing?
I think the biggest and most common mistake is to focus on gaming the system and looking for short cuts. You’re almost certainly doomed to failure. I see people spend so much time, money and energy looking for sneaky ways to make money – and they nearly always fail. If they put that same energy into creating a legitimate business, they’d have a far greater chance of getting somewhere. That’s why I advocate “Ethical Affiliate Marketing” on my blog.
Play the long game. Build yourself a solid reputation and get well known as an expert in your niche. This will secure your business for years to come.
8. How can we find out what your audience is really looking for?
Of course you should check out your competitors to see what’s working for them, but every site is slightly different. Listen to your audience and ask them if necessary. Online business is great for stats. You can analyze your sales, page views etc. and get a pretty good picture of what is popular.
9. What is next for Jon, What can we be expecting this coming year?
Lately I’ve been putting a greater emphasis on building email lists. On my hypnotherapy site I now give away 3 free sessions for a sign up. This has rocketed my subscription rate by 5 times. On my marketing blog I’m giving away a copy of my e book. Things are so turbulent in the search engines, I’m going to ignore them and focus on list building instead. I wouldn’t be surprised if this causes me to rank better anyway!
10. What area of online marketing do you consider yourself an expert in?
In the past I always thought of myself as good at building links. However search is changing so I have shifted my focus to social networking. I wouldn’t call myself an expert at it, but I’m learning and improving all the time. I simply try and be social, respond to comments, and get discussions going.
I’ll tell you what – it is far more enjoyable talking to people, helping them, and getting help back – than trying to grab links to please Google. Ultimately it is people that read and share you content, and buy your products. That’s something we always need to remember.
Thank you Jon for the interview! It’s greatly appreciated. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Make sure to stop at AffiliateHelp.Info today to learn all about Online Marketing.