A few lessons from this program
The first time I interviewed Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker was at Blog World, and I could only talk to him for a couple of minutes because there was a constant swarm of people around asking him for advice.
This time I called Shoemoney at his office and he spent about an hour teaching some of the online marketing techniques that earned him the famous check from Google, how he tests business ideas cheaply before deciding whether to add them to his collection, and why readers are more passionate about his blog than the “professional” blogs that people try to write.
Here’s an edited excerpt of him giving an example of how he grows registrations for Netflix.
Netflix pays $30 or $40 every time you get someone to sign up for a free trial of their service.
You can be like all these other boneheads out there that just create ads and run them until they go broke buying ads with Google’s Ad Words. Or you can come up with a very, very unique angle on it.
Something that we do very well is target local markets.
It used to be easy. I wrote about this years ago. You could buy 5 cent clicks for all these crazy terms and convert them to $30 or $40 sales. And make 10 or 20 times return on your investment. You can’t do that any more. Now everyone knows how that works. Now it’s about getting on the local level, finding new angles.
I’m in Nebraska, where I think I’m the only one who knows how to do Internet marketing or affiliate marketing. So what my company does is cater offers to local interests.
We have this Cornhuskers quiz. Nebraska people are insane about the Cornhuskers. It’s all we have. That’s it! We don’t have prosport teams. This is all we got. So most people can’t name the mayor or congresspeople, but they can tell you every player on the football team.
So why not cater to that? We make a quiz that says, “let’s test your knowledge and see how you stack up to your friends.”
There’s usually 3 components to every business, whether it’s affiliate or whatever: 1) it’s got to have a way to make money, 2) it’s got to have a way to grow virally, and 3) it’s got to be a needed service.
So with this Cornhusker quiz, it’s a needed service because all these guys want to see where they are. It spreads virally, because they want to challenge their friends and see if they could do better than their friends. And the way to make money is, when they finish, if they score high enough, they’re presented with a free trial to Netflix.
Now that sounds funny–but that freakin’ converts like crazy. Now I know that as soon as people see this video, there’s going to be 80 Cornhusker quizzes. And that’s the thing that bugs me most. People will do exactly what I do. But I’m also okay with that, because I will be on to the next thing tomorrow.
I know a lot of people out there are going to toss up their Cornhusker quiz tomorrow and be smart asses. Go ahead. You’ll make some money at it.
It just goes back to our basic roots. What’s a needed service? What are people really into? How do we cater to that? How do we spread it? And how do we make money at it?
That’s the basic principals of everything that we do.