Why Shoemoney’s Ads Make More Money Than Those Bonehead Marketers’

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.

Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker

Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker


Jeremy “ShoeMoney” Schoemaker is a web entrepreneur, founder of ShoeMoney Media and co-founder of the AuctionAds service. On his blog, ShoeMoney.com, Jeremy shares his ups and downs in the world of online marketing to daily readership of over 30,000 people.

A few lessons from this program

Here’s an edited excerpt of him giving an example of how Jeremy 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.


  • Great interview I'm still working through it, but I love this quote – “People will do exactly what I do. But I’m also okay with that, because I will be on to the next thing tomorrow.”

  • This was a great interview. I really enjoyed it.

  • MariusCiocanel

    ShoeMoney has some great ideas. I've been reading his blog for quite some time now and I've learned some useful things over the years from him and other affiliate marketers.
    I can't wait to watch the full interview. Even the video introduction provided information that most people would pay for.

    Andrew, thank you for doing such a great job with these interviews.
    You constantly provide us with quality content. Keep up the good work.

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  • Awesome interview! Shoe is the man.

  • Ahh, you can't end interviews like that! There's so much more I wanted to hear you ask him :) Great job on this interview though, loved it.

    I'm very interested in these kinds of interviews right now because I'm at that point where I can stop coding (for a moment) and try to sell what I currently offer.

    I must say I'm still a little confused where to begin with my startup since my target audience is very well defined and unique. What's the right way to market to a 'cultural niche' like the one I am targeting with OnMyMission.com ?

    So far Twitter has been a fantastic resource for finding an initial audience to help me test things and get feedback, but the real people I want aren't on twitter. Maybe I need to experiment with more direct marketing?

    I have a million more questions that I would love to bounce of both of you.

  • What a great interview. I was hoping you would post the full video, not just the audio, and was pleasantly surprised you did.

  • Good day,

    Sorry for intruding here.
    I just want to invite you to my seo contest hosted on my blog http://heartratewatchcompany.com/blog. I am new to blogging and i am hoping you could share any comments and suggestions. Negative or postive comments are very much welcome.

    Thank you and have a good day.

    Rusty Squire

  • Is it just me, or does this dude sound like Ben Affleck? :)

    Another great interview, thanks Jeremy / Andrew. I can empathize with how frustrating it is trying to coach those people who just don't want to get off their lazy backsides and do what needs to be done.

    And one of those things, that most people just can't be bothered with, but is super important as he mentioned is to TEST everything to death. I love that part of a project where you've got everything out there and money is coming in and now you just get to optimize. It's like the fine tuning that makes all the difference between a master piano player and a beginner.

    You learn never to take anything for granted when you start testing religiously and it probably generates the biggest ROI of any part of an online business when done correctly.

  • Great quote.

    I think that's why Seth Godin wouldn't get into tactics in the program he
    recorded with me. I think his thought was that people get so caught up in
    copying the tactics that they forget to think for themselves.

    Thanks for pointing this out Chris.

  • Great observation about testing.

    In Mike Jones's interview I asked him what kinds of entrepreneurs he likes
    to invest in and which ones do best online. His answer was the data guys,
    the ones who test, test, test.

  • I need to give Shoemoney credit for recording his side. He used a great

  • Damn good question!

    I need to find people to interview about how to get an audience. I've done a
    bunch of interviews with the SEO guys, but that's not the best way for

    I'll hunt around for someone to interview on this. Love any suggestions you

  • Zac, Thanks.

    Haven't talked to you in a while. Let's do an interview.

    Can I interview you by video Skype on Tuesday, April 14 @ 11 AM Pacific?

  • Isn't he? I can see why people like him so much.

  • I love getting comments like that. Fires me up to keep doing these
    interviews. Thanks!

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  • Andrew, awesome interview. I never paid much attention to Jeremy for some reason, not sure why.

    I watched the whole 50 minute vimeo interview and kept hooked by his straight shootingness and your many different angles of conversation.

    Your blog is on my must-read folder in my google reader. Thanks

  • Thanks Max.

    I happened to be CC'd on some emails between Jeremy and an entrepreneur who
    asked him for help.

    In the way that he helped the entrepreneur think through his business, I saw
    how much practical experience Jeremy has.

    Many of my entrepreneur friends run venture-backed startups. I love them,
    but I doubt they understand conversion or marketing the way Jeremy does.
    They understand how to raise millions in funding. I wish they'd spend some
    time with Jeremy and learn how to use that money well.

    There's much more to what he's doing than holding up a big check and
    blogging about his love of TV shows like Lost.

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  • Wow, watched the whole thing even though I have a ton of work to do… What a freat (freaking great!) interview! (was a type at first, but made sense to define the word after I caught it) :)
    Shoe likes to give up secrets sometimes, I love it! I would love to see if you could ask him a question about affiliate networks and why he chooses one over another… I know he likes azoogle for some reason, which I tried and lost some money with them since they disabled my NetFlix ad without me knowing about it and I was still having ads running for a few days until it finally hit me why it was not converting… :) I think I got carried away here… the question I'd want to hear him talk about is why does he choose certain affiliate network over the other and what drives his decision.
    Once Again, Thank you for the great interview!

  • This is a great interview!! Very educational. Thanks!

    I just subscribed to you blog and Twitter, I look forward seeing more from you.


  • Fascinating, fascinating interview. I love Jeremy's creativity with these things!

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  • fas

    Cool interview. Are you sitting in your library? Downloading it now.

  • I look forward to listening to it! Thanks for taking the time Andrew!

  • Awesome interview Andrew. It's really nice seeing interviews where the interviewer stays away from the same questions that everyone else asks, which usually makes it boring and way to repetitive to watch.

    You kept my attention the whole time, and I can't wait til your next one!

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Great interview and refreshing answers from a successful guy who is as eager to share his mistakes as he is his success stories!

  • I'm going to start doing these interviews live with audience participation.
    That way, when I interview Shoemoney again, you can help me ask questions!

    I'll test the system out tomorrow.

    Thanks for asking this!

  • Thanks Terrence!

    Keep letting me know who to interview.

  • Eric, hearing that means the world to me.

    I'm still working on being a better interviewer, but I'm glad I'm getting
    what you need.

    Keep the feedback coming (even if it's ever negative).

  • My office.

    This is the office I always wanted. When I was building my company, I was
    too busy working to even unbox my books. After I sold the company, I was too
    busy traveling to care about my books.

    Now that I'm settled, I'm living out my dream. Reading my books and asking
    my questions.

    Thanks for the comment fas!

  • Thanks!

  • Thanks for subscribing Vincent.

    Keep holding me accountable. If I don't deliver interesting and useful info,
    please tell me.

    Looking forward to seeing your site when you relaunch it.

  • fas

    Thanks for the explanation Andrew. You are one big book collector. Why not get a kindle, easier to store the books then :)

  • I do love reading books electronically. I prefer it to paper.

    But, to be honest, ever since I started doing these interviews and talking
    about my love of books, book publishers have been sending me old fashioned,
    paper books so I can interview their authors.

    It's one of my favorite parts of doing these videos.

  • fas

    Thats great going. You have an awesome job. Now i think I should start something on these lines too :p

  • Very informative interview. I wish you would post more of these videos I know you record them ;)

    Very good podcast! Keep them coming Andrew! Good work!


  • You're right Marcel. I do record them. I can't believe I haven't posted them
    yet. Seems to be the #1 request right now. Thanks for telling me.

  • No problem, I guess I'm not the first.
    Your enthusiasm to go out and do something is infective ;) Gotta start a business I guess :)

  • Right!

    Start the empire.

  • johannduplessis

    Awesome interview, I will most certainly be trying to implement some of what was discussed into my online business. I am very new in this business, and I'm absorbing as much information on online advertising, SEO, etc as I possibly can. I recently launched a South African classifieds site (http://www.vendoo.co.za), which is very similar to oodle.com. I'm really excited about launching any kind of online business at this time, as South Africa will be going through an internet revolution in the next two years, as the price of bandwidth will drop dramatically. The great thing about SA is that we are a couple of years behind the US and UK with regards to web applications, so the opportunities are huge.

  • Great interview! Great interview style.

    Excellent job of locking on to testing of ideas that Jeremy comes up with. I agree that it is all about thinking creatively and a process to test for success/failure without blowing a huge wad of cash and then growing.

    I also enjoyed the working at Wells Fargo and working/growing his business at night and weekends. I love my day job, but also really like the challenge of trying to figure out the affiliate marketing gig as well so can really relate to that day/night family experience, though I am not close to the success levels discussed…….. yet.

    Looking forward to the second interview.

  • We can come home and play XBox, or we can come home and build a business. I
    know which I think is more fun.

    Keep building that company.

  • How are you going to market the site?

  • johannduplessis

    Well, I will just be doing some SEO, Google adwords and very targeted Facebook ads. Then I'll just be engaging with other South Africans running internet businesses with Twitter and LinkedIn, and spread the word that way. Maybe start a blog about the site. So in other words just normal internet advertising.

  • Great interview, very informative! Thanks guys…

  • Thanks. Loved doing it.

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  • I think you should start a blog at the very least. Send me a link when it's

  • Ram

    I seriously feel that this guy is joking. may be works with affliiate programs like netflix. ingeneral.. people dont care for a quiz program.

  • alexhoule

    Affiliate marketing is hard simply because of the black hat competition. If you want to play it legit, you really have to be creative. Perhaps, that's what makes it addictive.

    Superb interview. You really have precise questions.

  • Ram, I used to think that. But I used to do something similar. I promoted
    products like that through greeting cards. It's a much warmer way to
    introduce an advertiser to users.

    It's cool if this method is not a good fit for you though. I just want to
    expose people to what's going on online.

  • Thanks Alex.

    This is a very tough business. But I'm hoping people can take away some of
    these methods and use them in other places.

  • Ram

    I completely understand your intentions & I apprecitate the same. but at the same time..if very important for readers to understand that they have to take various approach to sell their produtcs only.. as a successful startup business man.. i feel the people needs to think about various angels before they finalise their best yeild approach. there are n number of options to sell products and services online. people need experts advices to understand the same. it save time and huge money. ); i like your blogs a lot.. keep doin the great job. – Ram

  • alexhoule

    That would be brilliant.

  • Yup. If you know of any approaches that I should look at, let me know. Maybe
    I'll even put together some interviews around them. I'm always looking to
    learn more.

  • Thanks!

  • Ram

    it will be great if you could come up with some real time examples how to make it big… some oef the approaches that i have followed are comes below..
    look for a market place where you can find look of like minded people
    use ebay and alibaba platform to reach the targeted audiences.
    buy media in the niche where you can find the relevant groups
    Participate in affiliate networks to get more sellers than buyers
    last and very important.. learn from others but never follow anybody try and take your own approaches. USE COMMON SENSE);
    thanks -Ram

  • Thanks for the suggestions.

    Andrew Warner
    Founder, Mixergy.com

  • I think this is the most useful interview I have seen on Mixergy thus far. Great questions and specific answers.

  • Thank you. Jeremy is a superstar in this space. Glad he was willing to come
    teach us here.

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  • Andrew

    Great interview, one of the best you have done of mixergy.

  • Interesting post. I have stumbled and twittered this for my friends. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.

  • jimfmunro

    Hi Andrew, I have to comment after the second time watching this interview. (I have watched several of your videos many times, and I usually learn something new each time.)

    Great interview, great info as usual and stuff you can take out and use immediately. I love this stuff!

    Is there any word on part 2 of this interview since Jeremy had to drop off so fast? I would love to not only hear more, but maybe ask a couple questions directly.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Jeremy Shoemaker is a legit fellow.

  • Jeremy Shoemaker is a legit fellow.

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  • Fabulous post. I also shared this post for my friends. So they can also take benefit from this interview.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.