MTO16- In the spirit of full transparency, know that this podcast with Jeff and Ben from Dollarsprout contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
You probably know that making passive income online is a great way to create the lifestyle you want.
But most people struggle to make money online or even know where to start. I would like to tell you that all you have to do is work hard and you can do it. But in reality, finding the right strategy is more important to see results.
In this podcast with Jeff Proctor and Ben Huber we chat about:
Buckle up pumpkin, this is a long one with insane value bombs! (Be sure to check out the video below… it’s a game changer)
Be sure to pin this for later…
As you start to listen to this podcast you will realise that Jeff and Ben are just 2 normal guys.
In the next 5 minutes you’ll find out:
It was in February 2015 that they decided to give an online business a shot…
During this section, you’ll find out why Jeff quit his job with no proven business model in place…
Of course, you’ve heard that starting a business is tough. But after reading the title for this podcast, Jeff and Ben’s story may just surprise you.
Here is the stage VTX Capital was at by May 2016:
Now, let me ask you this… Would you have the cahoonas to persevere if you worked for 14 months before seeing your first taste of success?
It wasn’t until Jeff went back to work when their lightbulb moment happened for them:
Are you beginning to see how this was not a “get rich quick” thing that Jeff and Ben started?
Affiliate marketing was a huge eye-opener for Jeff and Ben. They realised they had been working hard using the wrong strategy. They hadn’t even heard of it when they started so you will know more than they did just by reading “Affiliate Marketing Online: The Secrets Revealed“.
If you have ever heard bloggers mention the best “social media” to drive traffic (I use quotes here because it’s not really a social media platform) then you will no doubt have heard of Pinterest.
But you may not have heard of BTOP’s Pinterest strategy.
Find out my own experience of using Jeff and Bens Pinterest course including:
Jeff explains more about why they created the course in the first place and why it only costs $9. If you haven’t used Pinterest before then check out “How to Use Pinterest for Beginners” for an overview of why it beats other social media platforms and the basics for starting.
You’re about to see that Ben is literally the Pinterest Don. Imagine what you could do if you really understood how Pinterest works.
In the next 2 minutes you will learn:
Little by little you begin to realise that “engaging pins” with “high volume keywords” will always win!
However, the design is what will make your pin stand out when all else is equal.
I was cheeky and asked if these Pinterest criminal geniuses could check out a pin that was gaining some traction for me…
Hopefully, this advice will be able to help you too!
So here are some of Jeffs top tips…
Are you beginning to notice that Pinterest has no issue with using different pictures and multiple pins for one post?
Some ideas for what background image to use to add context were:
Here are some of the new pins I have created using his advice.
I’ll let you know the stats after a week or so (please do ask… I have a tendency to forget to update these things!)
There’s really just one main piece of advice here:
Think about what your goals are for a piece of content before you write it.
There’s a few different goals you may have for every article you write:
Are you beginning to see how it’s much easier to do this before you write the article rather than going back over it? Check out BTOP’s article on repurposing content if you still want more.
There was one amazing piece of advice Ben gave here if you are interested in getting more traffic from Pinterest:
Aim to reach a targeted audience rather than a large audience
Quality always wins on Pinterest in the battle between hyper quality vs audience size!
The boards that your pins are pinned to really matter i.e. if it’s on a “spam board” it will be really unlikely to feature on the smart feed.
Group boards in the past were phenomenal, but they have been toned down due to people abusing them.
As you absorb this information you will realise that group boards have not been phased out altogether. But they won’t have the impact that they used to!
Hence it’s important to use:
As you continue to listen to this podcast you’ll start to get excited about what Pinterest can do for you.
It’s important to note:
This video on how well the group board is still performing shows you what Ben was referring to:
Ben and Jeff only use boards with a virality score of 1 or higher. Therefore, pins should get re-pinned at least once on here.
Note- Ben mentions this is slightly superficial as it only shows repins and not clicks on your pin. You may be getting 10 clicks per pin on a group board but this metric is not possible to track.
You probably know that group boards with dozens or hundreds of contributors tend to perform poorly.
But if they have less than 15 contributors they tend to perform better as a general rule. However, this doesn’t mean they’ll be high quality!
Tailwind saves so much time. It’s possible to schedule a whole months worth of pins within a few hours and use Tailwind Tribes to find that super targeted audience Ben was talking about. You can try 100 pins for free and get $15 worth of credit when you join Tailwind through this link (affiliate link).
The key takeaway from this section is:
Pinterest helps with SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has “exploded” within the last year for Dollarsprout. But it can take 3-12 months+ to rank well for any given keyword.
Pinterest is a great way to accelerate this process and get traffic early on.
Jeff and Ben ended up doing the exact same thing they did with Pinterest for SEO on Dollarsprout…
They studied the pants off it!
Ben says that finding medium volume keywords with low competition has been a crucial part of rapidly scaling their business.
This has helped Dollarsprout go from 30,000 search users/month to over 1 million organic searches every month!
Shut the front door! I know right…
The key was then to turn readers into email subscribers
And then turn them into paying customers. Simples…
If you’d like to learn more about keyword research then check out “How to Find Keywords for Your Website“. Their research into this has been a huge factor for scaling their business.
Once Dollarsprout started earning more money they could scale and start to employ more people.
Personally, I think this is where Jeff and Ben have shone compared to other online marketers who have started to make a bit of money online.
Jeff mentions how he remembers hearing Kyle Taylor from thepennyhoarder.com recommend that online businesses should invest half of their income back into the business. So that is what the Dollarsprout has done.
This is how Dollarsprout looks now:
The more you listen to the podcast the more you will realise that they don’t have all their eggs in one basket. So if one affiliate partner removes their services Dollarsprout won’t get burnt.
Have you noticed that Ben and Jeff utilise their time and outsource more and more work to give them more time to do high-level thinking? Check out “Save Hours of Time with these Resources” to find more apps, websites and plugins that will save you much more time, hence, make you much more money!
Jeff makes a disclaimer here:
You do not need to go for the same targets and size of business they have built.
Saying that here’s the bit you’ve probably been waiting for. Dollarsprout’s current stats (May 2019):
Do you remember they try to operate at a 50% profit margin? However, because they are growing so quick they are keeping more than 50% currently.
Now, let me ask you this… Would you be comfortable spending $120k in one month on expenses?
They admit they never thought they would be in this position this time 2 years ago.
So what are Dollarsprout’s goals?
But it is clear to see that they are really enjoying giving other people opportunities for meaningful work and making a difference to peoples lives.
And are you beginning to realise how modest and down to earth these guys are?
So it was at this stage that they were talking about how it’s not really about the money aspect as much any more.
It begged the question… what does a normal day look like for you now? Are they just sipping cocktails on the beach?
You’ll have to listen in to this part to see what their day is like.
It’s probably not what you think…
Here are 5 amazing takeaways that can help you in whatever venture you are thinking of starting.
This is what Jeff and Ben would tell themselves if they had a time machine
This obviously depends on where you are at:
This may apply to you if you are either of these people:
Disclaimer- DO NOT sign up to this email if you are looking to get rich quick without putting time and effort in.
If you have an online business (or blog) already but you are looking to grow your traffic, then there’s only one place I would recommend people go!
Once you try this course out you will see why so many people recommend it to their friends.
For $9 it is a steal (I’ve spent over $25 a whack for Pinterest books before, that offer a smidge of value)
To be honest I put this off for a long time because I thought you can’t get that much value from $9… I was wrong!
Dollarsprout – Save and make money online and from home
Breaking The One Percent– tips and tricks for bloggers (some of their best articles have been linked to throughout these show notes)
BTOP Facebook Group (amazing community)
Well, this has been an absolute beast of a “podcast show notes”.
I genuinely think there is too much information in here not to access it so hopefully the podcast, written content and videos may help you take some of their amazing wisdom away with you.
To summarise my main takeaways:
Drop a comment below to let me know what your main takeaways are.
On a personal note, I felt like these guys were so humble and genuine. They started the podcast by saying we have all day, there were no time limits on their end.
They even went as far as to say that they were grateful to be on the podcast!
If you’re like me, then you’re probably very excited to see how far they will go on this journey.
Keep changing for the better,
P.S. Please remember to subscribe and leave a review on the podcast (click here to do that on iTunes) and please share this with someone if you think it may help them.
Mike has built a passive income online whilst working as a full-time PE teacher without any marketing or technical experience. Learn more about how he's done it here.