Six-pack abs sell. (Photo: San Diego Shooter)
Once or twice in the past, I have referred to “someone” who has earned $5,000,000-$10,000,000 per year with e-books and cross promotion.
For that, I should apologize, as it’s not accurate: his numbers are now closer to $1,000,000 per month, and “e-book” doesn’t begin to explain what he does. That someone is named Mike Geary. He prefers to keep a low profile, skiing powder and refining his “muse,” or automated business, to a precise science. From strategic customer service in Germany, to testing for trending, it’s all piece of a well-planned puzzle and well-oiled machine.
For the first time, this post will explain how he built his business, some of the key lessons learned, and common mistakes with digital products.
As you read, keep in mind two things:
– He is, without a doubt, considered one of the smartest online marketers and traffic buyers (a key differentiator) in the world.
– He started off knowing nothing and got there through intelligent testing.
As Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, is famous for saying: “Nothing happens until someone sells something.” Planning is valuable, but–long-term–it’s your ability to improvise and adjust that makes the difference.
Enter Mike Geary
Can you describe your muse?
My “muse” (i.e. business) is composed of three main components:
- I sell a fitness information product called “The Truth about Six-Pack Abs,” which has sold more than 500,000 copies since 2005.
- I publish a fitness and health newsletter to about 680,000 subscribers (with subscribers in almost every country), and have built a large content based website that goes along with this fitness newsletter.
- I act as a media buyer, purchasing large amounts of traffic (mostly in the fitness/nutrition niche) that I funnel to a few select partners. This allows me to become integrated into several other large fitness and nutrition businesses (they promote my product extensively on their backend) since I act as a very large source of their overall traffic.
What is the website for your muse?
My main website, which has the sales process for my “Truth About Six Pack Abs” product, is: www.TruthAboutAbs.com
[Click here to see an affiliate landing page, click here to see the standard non-affiliate/PPC landing page]
How much revenue is your muse currently generating per month (on average)?
The business as a whole (all three components listed above) generates just shy of $1 million in revenue per month. Total revenue for last year was approximately $11 million.
While the financial freedom that this business has created has been amazing, it’s also been very rewarding to receive thousands of emails in our support center from customers who have literally changed their lives with the help of my fitness advice. I still get chills when I read a glowing email from a customer that has lost 100 lbs with my program, totally changed their confidence and energy, and just overall changed their life! So cool.
To get to this monthly revenue number, how long did it take after the idea struck?
To be honest, I was a little slow in learning marketing and building the business, so it took me about five years to get to those numbers. About two years into this venture, I was finally making about $50,000 per year with the online business. As I explained above, growth exploded once I quit my corporate job, and my earnings increased about 10x the following year. Growth in following years went to $3.6 million, then $6 million, and finally $11 million in annual revenue.
How did you decide on “Truth About Abs”?
It was simple really… A mentor told me to follow what I’m most passionate about, and that passion was fitness and nutrition. I can talk all day long about fitness and nutrition, so why not do what I love?
I initially bought an information product that was about $300 (a big investment for me at the time) from a marketer named Ryan Lee. The product was all about teaching fitness professionals how to build a more successful business, particularly online. To this day, I still give Ryan credit for being the guy that got me into this career and changed my life. Thanks, Ryan! [Ed: The product Mike is referring to is no longer available. For those interested, this course covers similar content.]
As I studied Ryan’s course, I thought about my ideas for a potential information product. Working as a personal trainer, I knew that about 90% of the questions I got from clients were always about “six pack abs” or getting a flatter stomach. I also knew that there was a load of crap out there on the internet and on TV infomercials for all sorts of garbage like ab machines, belts, and worthless pills. Finally, I’d seen a ton of bad exercise advice floating around online. That was where my initial idea for “The Truth about Six-Pack Abs” came from. Little did I know that the idea would eventually become such a phenomenal success!
What ideas did you consider but reject, and why?
As crazy as it sounds, “The Truth about Six Pack Abs” was my very first idea, and it’s been the product I’ve continued to focus on throughout the years. I haven’t strayed into other businesses or distracted myself from the product that I knew would be a best-seller. I wanted to keep my focus on one main product. With that said, I do have a couple other products that sell okay, such as my skiing fitness product (AvalancheSkiTraining.com), which I produced solely because it was a labor of love. But to this day, the “Truth about Abs” product remains my bread and butter.
How did you get started? What ultimately lead you to your current lifestyle?
I started my internet business in 2004 because I had become fed up with the time and freedom constraints that came with my old 9-5 corporate lifestyle. My main goals in designing my “new life” were:
- To build more time freedom into my life. I desperately wanted to design my new life with much more free time to enjoy my hobbies, friends, and family. This “time freedom” was actually a higher priority for me than the financial rewards of starting a web-based business. And this may sound funny, but I also had a goal to eventually NEVER have to wake up to an alarm again (aside from traveling). I despise waking up to an alarm!
- The ability to travel as much as I wanted, to anywhere in the world, with no financial or time constraints.
- More financial security for myself and my family.
When I set these goals back in 2004, I was basically working three jobs. I worked an engineering consulting job from 9-5 at an office. I also worked 15-20 extra hours per week as a personal trainer at a local gym, and I was attempting to build my online fitness business.
From 2004 to 2006, I made consistent but SLOW progress on my internet business. By the end of 2006, the internet business was making just as much money as my corporate job. I quit my corporate job in January 2007, and never looked back. Quitting my job at that critical point in time was the best decision I could have made as that freed up the time I needed to dedicate solely to my internet business, which started to boom in the months that followed.
Within another year, my internet business grew into a 7-figure annual business and, eventually, an 8-figure annual business in revenue.
It may have taken a few years to achieve, but I eventually successfully reached all three of those goals… time freedom, ability to travel anywhere/anytime, and financial freedom. Oh, and — except for when making flights — I haven’t had to wake up to an alarm clock in over four years now!
What does your daily/weekly routine look like? Where do you live and what does your lifestyle look like?
It has really been a dream come true. After I quit my corporate job in 2007, I moved to the mountains of Colorado and skied almost every day that next winter. I don’t ski every day anymore in the winter (I’m more picky about the ski conditions now), but I never ever miss a powder day. For those who aren’t hard core skiers: a powder day is like the holy grail of skiing. If you love skiing, you never want to miss a powder day!
In the summer, I do a lot of hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor fun. And because of my time freedom, friends and family can come out to visit me anytime in Colorado, so I love to host friends and act as a tour guide.
As for traveling, my girlfriend and I now travel at least 10-15 days every month. We’ve traveled to dozens of countries and done all sorts of fun stuff, like heli-skiing in Chile, ATVing and ziplining in Costa Rica, dry suit scuba diving in the Silfra Ravine in Iceland, and tropical scuba diving throughout the Carribean. We’ve also traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Central America, South America, and lots of islands! We plan to do more traveling through Europe and Asia soon.
When I travel, I still work on my business about 1-2 hours per day. That’s what I’ve decided personally is a good schedule to allow me to enjoy traveling and still keep up with my business. When I’m not traveling, I basically allow myself complete freedom of schedule. Some days I’ll feel like I’m “in the zone” and just work all day long, maybe 10-12 hours or more. Other days, I might only work two hours and enjoy the rest of the time doing fun outdoorsy stuff, going to a nice dinner, or golfing with friends.
What were some of the main tipping points or”A-ha!” moments? How did they come about?
In the very beginning, I had this foolish idea in my head that this flood of people would automatically rush to my website, buy my product, and I’d be a millionaire within months. Reality struck when I had a whopping 5 visitors to my site in the first month. At the time, I didn’t understand that you actually have to DRIVE traffic to your site, as people won’t just magically find you.
After about six weeks of having my site “live” and still having yet to make a single sale, I started to get discouraged and thought that this whole internet marketing thing just didn’t work. Then I had a tipping point: I got my first sale! But when I looked at the details of the sale, I noticed that the buyer was one of my mom’s good friends. I had to laugh, but at the same time, it gave me the motivation to push forward, as I saw that the website could make sales if I just produced traffic.
The next tipping point came about 18 months later when I started playing with Google Adwords, and learning how to purposely drive traffic instead of just hoping people would find the site. I’m very technically minded, and Adwords is a numbers game, so that fascinated me. Within a couple months, I started learning how to split test ads, find what converted best for my site, and get massive amounts of traffic for reasonable prices (at least reasonable enough to break even, or make a small profit on the front end). Running a massive amount of traffic on Adwords and doing lots of testing taught me how to buy traffic in other places too, beyond Google’s network.
Another big tipping point came in early 2007, when I finally put my product on the affiliate network, Clickbank. The biggest thing that I did was set my affiliate program apart from the crowd. Here’s how…
At the time, I noticed that most vendors on the Clickbank marketplace were only paying affiliates 35-50% commissions. Even the highest paying vendors were paying 55% to 60% commissions max. To some, that might seem very generous. But at the same time, we’re selling digital products, so we don’t have as many overhead costs as with a physical product and can be more generous.
I decided to be OVERLY generous with affiliates and truly set myself apart from the crowd. Instead of the normal 35-60% commissions, I set my commissions at 75% (which is the maximum percentage you can pay to affiliates in Clickbank). Immediately, this made my product more lucrative for most affiliates than other products that were paying lower commissions. I had hundreds of affiliates shift their traffic to my site instead of some of my competitors. Within a couple months, I jumped up to one of the best selling products on the entire Clickbank marketplace, out of more than 10,000 products.
[Tim postscript: As Mike mentions in the comments, this means:
“For a clarification on revenue, the way that Clickbank works is to take the processing fee and the affiliate fee out before the revenue ever flows into my account, so that $11MM ‘per year’ actually did not include gross sales numbers. With gross sales, it would be more around $20MM-$25MM per year, I’m guessing.”]
Within 6-12 months, most other top selling Clickbank vendors followed suit and switched to 75% payouts. Currently, as a vendor (product creator), if you pay affiliates any less than 75% (as that’s now the standard), it’s very hard to be competitive, because most affiliates will only promote products that pay 75% commissions.
Some vendors still have the wrong mindset and can’t stand the idea of the affiliate making more per sale than they make as the creator of their own product. That’s foolish, however, because the math is simple: would you rather get 10 sales and make $30 per sale ($300), or get 1,000 sales at $10 per sale ($10,000)? Better yet, how about 500,000 sales at only $2 per sale in profit ($1,000,000)? The answer should be obvious. The more generous you can be with affiliates and other business partners, the more sales VOLUME they can send you, especially if they’re buying traffic and incurring that cost. Plus, there’s more backend revenue potential with a higher volume of customers.
The above was a huge takeaway for me, and it led to the development of two priorities that are still at the heart of my business today:
- Treat my customers like gold. Without happy customers, any business will eventually die. I wanted people to get RESULTS! I don’t just want to sell them some fad or gimmick that doesn’t work.
- Treat my affiliates (and other business partners) like gold. Going above and beyond while being overly generous with business partners and affiliates effectively jumpstarted my business success. In fact, in additon to being one of the first vendors to pay affiliates 75% commissions, I was also one of the first vendors on the Clickbank marketplace that started to reward affiliates that sent over a certain number of sales each month with bonuses up to 85% or even 90% commissions. The additional percentage points had to be paid manually at the end of the month as a bonus.
What resources or tools did you find most helpful when you were getting started?
I remember buying lots of low priced marketing e-books about search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC marketing). Those e-books that I bought 5-6 years ago are mostly outdated now, given the techniques change so rapidly. Regardless, the benefit was that I learned how to use both SEO and PPC and stumbled onto new discoveries as I worked with both.
What were your biggest mistakes, or biggest wastes of time/money?
A couple that I can think of right off the top of my head…
I got approached once to buy an “email drop” in a list that supposedly had 5 million names. The list was apparently built through credit card surveys or something like that. I think it only cost $600 to run an ad to this list, so I thought it HAD to be a winner, and I tested it. I ended up getting 1 sale ($40) from that $600 test. Even with a list of 5 million names, that list was basically worthless since there was no relationship, and it had been built solely from credit card surveys. Compare that to a JV (joint venture) partner who has a great relationship with their list. We’ve had some affiliates get hundreds of sales from relatively small lists of maybe 10,000 emails.
I know that buying “email drops” can sometimes work (and I’ve made other successful ad buys in newsletters), but you have to know exactly how the list was built, if it’s maintained regularly, and if it has a loyal following. Otherwise, it could be a garbage list.
Another failed test was a direct mail postcard we tested. The whole campaign cost me about $30,000 to implement (postage costs, postcard creation costs, copywriting, list rental, etc). It seemed like a viable test as I had friends that had moderate success with direct mail pieces before. The postcard tried to get the user to go to a website from the postcard and purchase our fitness product. It backfired big time, as we only made back about $3,000 out of the $30,000 investment in the test. A 90% loss to the tune of $27k… No fun.
Now, I’m not saying that a postcard-to-website sales process can’t work. However, in our example, we obviously had a big missing link to the puzzle and it just didn’t produce sales. I think it’s a trickier process than someone who’s coming to your site after clicking on a PPC ad or banner ad.
What have been your key marketing and/or manufacturing lessons learned?
I haven’t manufactured any products, so I can’t comment on that. As for marketing, my biggest lessons (as mentioned above) were being overly generous with affiliates and paying them every possible penny that I could. This is the only way to be competitive with affiliates: to be the business with the biggest payout to them. Even if you have to pay affiliates 100% of your front end revenue, at least you know that you obtained those customers without incurring a loss (which doesn’t happen with every type of advertising), and now you have the opportunity to build a long term relationship with those customers and sell them your other products in the future.
Another key marketing lesson I learned is that when buying traffic, be prepared to not make any profit on the front end. Sometimes, in order to compete with other advertisers, you need to be willing to take a small loss on your advertising spend in order to bring in lots of customers. You just need to be careful to know your backend numbers (average future revenue amount per customer) well enough to ensure that your front-end losses aren’t so steep that you can’t make back the advertising loss after a certain period of time.
Any key PR wins? Media, well-known users, or company partnerships, etc.? How did they happen?
I’ve had various radio interviews, and had content picked up by popular websites, blogs, etc. However, some of my best relationships have been companies that I’ve partnered with on media buying (think AOL, MSN, etc.) Spending a boatload of money with certain big companies, and building a long term relationship with them by advertising for years has resulted in special deals for cheaper traffic. If you think about it from the publisher’s perspective, it helps to save them administrative costs by dealing with fewer advertisers, so sometimes I’ve been able to get better deals by agreeing to large contracts upfront. Another advertiser might only buy 1-2 ads, instead of the 50 ad placements that I would buy.
Where did you register your domain (URL)?
Where did you decide to host your domain?
I host with a company called Rackco. It was just a referral from a friend at the time, but I’ve stuck with them for years.
If you used a web designer, where did you find them?
The only thing I had “designed” was my cartoon based header graphics. Again, this was simply a referral from a friend, and the guy I used was a talented cartoon designer named Vince Palko. I’ve also heard that 99designs is a great place to get designs.
Do you have any employees?
I have customer service representatives in a few different countries and major markets. Specifically, I have one person in France, one Swiss for German translation help, an English-language affiliate support rep in Trinidad (he also handles Spanish translation), and one German-based woman who handles German affiliates. Finally, I have a webmaster who helps with site maintenance.
If you were to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I’ve learned so much, even from my mistakes, and everything has happened for a reason.
What are some common mistakes when buying media/traffic?
The most common mistake is not letting enough traffic flow to see true trends. Some people shut down their campaigns after only a couple hundred clicks thinking that it won’t be profitable, but they haven’t let it run long enough to see for sure. For example, a newbie might shut down their campaign after only 500 clicks and 1 sale. But what if they would have made 3 sales in the next 500 clicks, for a total of 4 sales in 1,000 clicks? Data can be pretty variable when you’re still under 1,000 clicks. I generally test an ad for at least a couple thousand clicks. However, keep in mind that I deal mostly with the fitness and nutrition niches and they require high volumes of clicks to see true data.
Another big mistake is not split testing enough variations of ads. Many advertisers give up on losing campaigns after testing only a couple ad creatives. However, I’ve found that simple modifications — such as a one word variation in a headline or a slightly different image or background color — can be the difference between a losing campaign and a profitable campaign. In some instances, I’ve used the exact same ad text combined with slightly different pictures and seen DOUBLE the click-through rate (CTR).
The last mistake is also very common: most advertisers aren’t willing to lose money to find what works. I EXPECT to lose money the first time I test a campaign. Then I tweak the ad copy, offer, etc. based on our testing results, and we see if we can restart the campaign a second time and make it profitable based on what we learned [i.e. what lost the least money, etc.] For example, if I do a $10,000 traffic buy test on a new website that we haven’t worked with before, we’ll usually only make back maybe $6,000 to $7,000 for a net loss of about $3,000. But we also usually learn that one of our ad variations performed MUCH better than the others, and we can work with that specific ad from that point forward and possibly negotiate lower rates. Sometimes we find that the numbers are too far off to work in the future, so we just decide to cut all ties with that particular website and not buy traffic from them again if they can’t offer lower rates.
Any tips for Facebook media buying? Common wastes of money or newbie screwups?
The three mistakes that I listed in the previous question apply to buying Facebook traffic, as well. I’ve found that the most important aspect of Facebook ads is the image, so it’s necessary to test at least 6-10 variations of images for each ad. The image attracts the eyeballs first, then your headline needs to finish the job and get the person to click your ad. One thing I’ve found is that images that have done well for ads on other sites may not always be effective on Facebook. Each site is unique with its style, colors, and layout, and I’ve been surprised by some images that work well on Facebook and others that don’t.
One common mistake I’ve seen with people buying ads on Facebook is paying WAY too much per click. In my experience, you almost NEVER need to pay the recommended bid amount that Facebook displays when you set up your ad. For example, I’ve set up ads where the recommended bid amount was $1.12 per click. I’d bid $0.30 cents instead, and would still be able to get large amounts of traffic (assuming that I was able to get a high enough click through rate on the ad). In order to pay a lot less than the recommended bid price per click, you need to get an above average click through rate, so it takes good ad copy, good images, and the right targeting.
If you had $5K to start media buying, what would you do right now, assuming all sites/platforms (e.g. AdWords) were available to you?
The best quality and cheapest traffic is available on Google’s content network. That’s easier said than done, as Google is currently very picky about what offers they will allow to run. In certain industries, it’s not even worth trying anymore, because Google won’t allow some types of websites to advertise at all. But if you are advertising in an industry that Google still accepts, the content network is wide open, and it’s the cheapest source of quality traffic available in most cases. It’s also one of the highest volume traffic sources available (along with Facebook), but in some industries, the Google content network can be easier to advertise profitably compared to Facebook.
Sometimes you’ll hear marketing “gurus” say that the search network is better quality traffic than the content network. This is false, as it’s industry specific. In my case, I spent over $5 million advertising on Google over the years with fitness and nutrition products, and I can say without a doubt that content network traffic is MUCH cheaper than search traffic, and converts even higher than search traffic in many cases.
What would you do if you had $20K to start media buying?
At this spend level, you can do test campaigns on nearly any major website, as most major sites require test campaigns of around $5k to $10k minimum to get started. We’re talking about big news websites, politics sites, weather sites, and major sites like Yahoo, MSN, and AOL. From my experience with media buying, testing is all that matters as it’s hard to compare CPM rates from one site to another, since placement locations, sizes, etc. are all different. For instance, I’ve had CPM campaigns that were profitable on some sites at super high rates of $6.00 CPM or more, and on other sites, a price as low as $0.50 CPM resulted in a loss. You never know how an individual site will perform until you test.
The usual steps for a media buy on a large site are:
- Run $5-10k test campaign (most times, initial test loses money). Smaller sites accept much lower test amounts.
- Optimize the ads that performed best and delete the ads that performed worst.
- Negotiate a lower CPM rate if the publisher can go any lower (sometimes they can, and sometimes they can’t go lower — depends what other advertisers are paying on average and how much inventory they have available).
- Re-launch campaign when you’re confident that you will be able to profit.
What are your recommendations for developing information products?
Sell the customers what they want, but give them what they NEED. In my market, what people want are six-pack abs exercises. But that’s not what I give them, because that’s not what they need. They need the right nutrition, the right full body training program, and the right mindset to be dedicated to their goal. Basically, I sell six pack abs, but I teach them how to live healthier and adopt a fitness lifestyle in order to lower their body fat for life.
What have you learned about price points?
It’s been really interesting to see some of the testing for pricing. We’ve tested price points for various fitness info products at $29.95, $39.95, $47.00, $67.00, $77.00, $79.00, and $97.00. I’ve found a sweet spot in the $47.00 price point for most online fitness info products that seems to maximize front end revenue and the total number of customers. Lower price points can sometimes bring in more customers on the front end, but the backend marketing plan needs to be solid in order to make up for the lower price (especially if you’re buying traffic and need that front-end revenue to come close to break even on your ad buys).
How have you tried to minimize requests for refunds?
Truthfully, I’ve just focused on producing a great quality product, which goes a long way to reduce refunds. I know that some people are dishonest and will request refunds even though they liked the product. But I feel that, overall, most people are honest and won’t take advantage of someone on purpose.
A surprisingly common scenario for requesting a refund is when people don’t understand that the program is downloadable, even though it’s spelled out on the site. They think they’re getting something in the mail, then request a refund when they don’t. It’s best to be as clear as possible to make sure people understand that this is a downloadable program. This can prevent loads of customer service requests from confused customers. Of course, if you sell a physical product, this isn’t a problem, though shipping and delivery time may be more of an issue.
How do you test for your content pages?
At this point, it’s fairly easy to test the interest in content pages. I simply come up with an idea, prepare the article, and send it to my email list of about 680,000 readers. The open rates of the email give a good representation of how interesting that topic (email subject line) was to most people.
Also, on each content page, I have the social media sharing buttons (Facebook, Twitter, and Stumbleupon). I can guage how much people like a particular topic based on how much social media sharing occurs. I have some pages with over 40,000 Facebook likes and others with only a couple dozen likes.
Best and worst performers? Most unexpected winners or losers?
My best content pages are typically topics that surprise or shock people in some way, or clear up a confusing topic. Take note of the amount of Facebook likes, tweets, etc. on some of these pages below:
Successful example #1: “Are Whole Eggs or Egg Whites Better for You?”
In this article, I surprise people with my arguments as to why egg yolks are actually the healthiest part of the egg, and anybody eating only egg whites is making a foolish decision. This is a great example of the type of information that goes against the grain and shows how people have been misinformed by the media.
Successful example #2: “The Salad Dressing You Should NEVER Eat.”
This is another good example of a content page that shocks people. Before reading this article, a lot of people had no idea that most salad dressings at the grocery store are a health disaster, full of additives like corn syrup, unhealthy soybean and canola oils, etc. People want to share articles like this.
Successful example #3: “Does Canned Food and Bottled Water Increase Your Abdominal Fat Through Hidden Chemicals?”
This is another article that shocks most people, as it teaches them about a rather unknown chemical that they might be exposed to in canned foods and plastics. These types of surprising articles help people to want to share the article with their friends to help protect their health.
And now for an example of a content page that didn’t seem to work that well:
“The Nutrition Benefits of Kale.”
You can see this page got less than 100 Facebook likes, compared to the examples above that have thousands, or even tens of thousands of “likes.” What’s the difference? Well, I think the main difference is that kale is just not a “sexy” topic. People already know that kale is good for you, so there’s nothing shocking in this article. Compare that to the egg yolks article, where most people think egg yolks are horrible for you, and I give an argument to show why that’s wrong. It’s more shocking and therefore something people want to share with friends.
Most common mistakes and/or easy fixes for content pages?
Assuming the content is interesting and well-written, one mistake I see is that people don’t always make it easy for people to share things on their website. For example, they might just have a Facebook like button at the top of the page, but not the bottom. I like to have sharing buttons at the top and the bottom so that people see the buttons right as they finish the article. I think it’s important to have the social media buttons at the top of the page too so that people see that the page has social proof and is popular right at the beginning.
I also think some site owners can use too many sharing buttons, even more than a dozen total. I like to use the “Big 3” (Facebook, Twitter, and Stumbleupon) to keep things uncluttered.
What’s next for you?
Honestly, I just want to continue simplifying my business more and more as time goes on.
I have plans for a couple new small projects, one of which is an upcoming healthy fat-burning recipe book that I’m working on with a co-author. Other than that, one of my main goals is to maintain my current lifestyle without getting bogged down by too many business projects. I want to continue pumping out great fitness and nutrition content that helps my readers live healthier lives.
Related and Suggested Posts:
Engineering the “Muse”: Case Studies, Volume 1
Engineering the “Muse”: Case Studies, Volume 2
Engineering the “Muse”: Case Studies, Volume 3
Engineering the “Muse”: Case Studies, Volume 4
Odds and Ends: Noah Kagan competition results
Thank you so much to everyone who participated in Noah Kagan’s contest! For those who haven’t read his post, Noah made a simple offer: The reader who generated the most profit in two weeks with their new business or product would win $1,000 of AppSumo credit and RT airfare for a romantic candlelit taco dinner in Austin, Texas.
We had some truly amazing entries, and ended up having to split the prizes. Here were the results:
WINNER: Tom from RaceCrowds.com, who made $600 profit in 4 days. Tom ran a sale on his site over the weekend, using many of the tips Noah suggested in the post:
“I basically did a Motorsports version of AppSumo. I did a 50/50 split with my promotional partner and Chompon takes 10%.
Stats from Chompon.com
Total Views: 981
Total Shares: 23
Total Purchases: 6
Total Revenue: $1,350.00”
Runner-ups: Adam Nolan and Russell Ruffino from ultimatesalesfunnel.net. These two made $17,867.64 in profit… “WTF?!” Yes, they did. However, according to the rules in the post, each competing business/product had to be brand new. Their product, while new, was created four days before the contest was announced. Either way: BIG congrats, guys!
All entrants: For everyone who made an attempt at starting up their million dollar business: Be sure to check your inbox for complimentary credit to AppSumo 🙂
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.
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451 Replies to “The Truth About Abs: How To Make $1,000,000 Per Month with Digital Products (Plus: Noah Kagan results)”
Amazing share…however, I wonder why you aren’t using Google+ as part of your social strategy?
I’m curious to know why you chose the $47 price point…do you have different tiers as well?
If you’re selling in Asia, you might want to go for 8’s…and stay away from 4…anyone who does business there, or has Asian heritage, will know why.
Stellar article! Thank you, Tim, for asking the questions that matter. This is a blueprint post if ever there was one. Love seeing these details and tips at this depth. It’s rare and truly valuable stuff!
another great piece, thank you so much.
I made my first dollars with an outdoor affiliate site. Even though it’S working well there are some flaws. For example, it’s very seasonal, the company I’m affiliating for has limited capacities and customers have a lot of questions. I’m looking at improving this with my next business.
Keep it up
Tim and Mike – actually two of my favorite names. This is great stuff. Tim this is why people love your site and book. You give more than you ask for. Mike likewise you sincerity shines through in your book, in this article, and on your website. Thanks.
thank you for sharing such wonderful information. I got a real clear understanding of how someone runs a 8 figure business without killing themselves in the process…lol ! This is the best article I have read this year….
Do you have any suggestions for outsourcing the online marketing process?
I have a potential product and would be happy to give away 25% of my profits to someone who could do the leg work of setting up and testing the online marketing. I could take the time to learn, but I’d much rather simply give up part of my revenue to have someone else do it.
If my idea sells, they get money simply for doing the work of learning online marketing and I make money for my idea without all of the unnecessary learning.
Seems like a win-win situation to me. Two people get muses from one idea, and both only have to do half the work in their area of specialty!
Thanks for the continually actionable content!
This is one of my favourite interviews on this topic I have read or PAID for. I love Mike Geary’s story and its difficult to find truthful info about media buying….This could be ‘The Truth About Media’….thnx
Dear sir,thanks for all,
I am totally new with online marketing. I find it hard to understand but exhilarating at the same time. I know it’s possible to get the numbers I read about and Tim Ferris always has some-sort of incite on what I’m looking for at the time I think about it. This article is one of those. Mike breaks down each movement and explains it in detail, my problem is when I know zero about a subject, such as SEO or PPC it’s hard to know if I’m stumbling in the right direction. Part of the process is messing up and even losing money but when you’re in a sinking ship (like I am monetarily) a wrong decision can be devastating to my wallet, lol. I’m going to read the article again and again until I can start to under stand more, and yes I’ll research other readings. I just wanted to say Cu do’s to Tim and Mike for start my journey, Coach G
Google PPC University for free training. I would have added the link but it’s frowned upon.
I did a ClickBank, Mike Geary’s “truth about abs” program on google adwords and it got my account permanently suspended. Google labeled truth about abs a fraud and anyone who promotes his program through adwords PPC will get suspended.
I don’t even know how I found this article but I’m glad I did. It convinced me I was totally heading down the right path. Thanks.
Dear sir, Thanks for all,
yes i agree to do the work
Dear Sir, Thanks For ur Nice co-operation,
I went to the site but was concerned to see that WOT users have marked it as a dangerous site due to spam. While WOT is not always accurate, as many people can sometimes just simply not like a site or the views it espouses, I thought I should share it for the consideration of those here.
This is the easiest way to make money
Man, I just found this article. I have read about Mike before through Craig Ballentyne stuff but this was a great read.
Social proof helps. It’s interesting how colleges take credit for mass education but the internet in some respects should probably get the medal. Thanks Tim
i want to join this digital profit course to share ideas to support
Fantastic guest post, Tim. The answer to the question regarding pricing is pure gold. I myself have 4 published ebooks on my blog and am constantly experimenting with different prices to see what works best. I also agree 100% the creating a quality product is the best way to minimize returns.
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In this article you refer to a fitness course (The product Mike is referring to is no longer available. For those interested, this course covers similar content). When i click on it, the site isn’t working any longer. Do you know where i can find this course or a similar course? Much appreciated. Greetings from the Netherlands
dear sir, thanks for all.
Like Napoleon Hill said “The starting point of all achievement is desire”!
Thanks for this Tim! I would like to test a product idea using the method you outlines in FHWW – set up a website, try driving traffic with adwords, and see if it’s a viable idea. Is that process still valid, or do you have any updates? Would $200-$250 be enough for an initial viability test, or does it require more to really be effective? Thanks!
Not only simplifying business, but also simplifying Fitness. For me Fitness is like brushing teeths. 5 minutes hardchor per day an it’s finished. Every day one muscel and body will ‘thank you’.
thanks for the information keep it up guys
This interview is such a motivation for a new as well as old people who want start a online business make 5 digit income per month.
Amazing!! really feeling motivated.
All it takes to get a flat belly are some good ab workouts, a healthy diet, and a few smart lifestyle choices. Getting a flat tummy shouldn’t be complicated at all!
Only doing sit-ups is not going to help as you have to include different kinds of exercises that hit different muscle groups such as the frontal, sagittal, and transverse.
Also, HIIT is an exercise that really makes your muscles work extra hard and helps get rid of the love handles that isn’t what you can call a sight for sore eyes.
The organic traffic of the site Truthaboutabs.com dropped to zero since Sep,2018. What happened?