A content creator I want to learn from

I remember a long time ago that there was this group of bloggers content creators who are making really good money. And I thought the whole movement frankly died and was replaced by Instagram and video content.

Well, today’s guest is making money with content–even in the competitive personal finance space. I want to learn how he’s doing it.

Deacon Hayes is the founder of Well Kept Wallet, a publication that helps people get out of debt.

Deacon Hayes

Deacon Hayes

Well Kept Wallet

Deacon Hayes is the founder of Well Kept Wallet, a publication that helps people get out of debt.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy, where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. I remember a long time ago that there was this group of bloggers content creators who are making really good money. And I thought that that whole thing frankly died and that they were replaced by I’m looking at this violent deacon space.

I thought that they were replaced by. Instagram stars, YouTube stars. And the blogging now is so saturated and such old technology that it’s not producing money. Joining me is yet another guest whose business is about creating content. You guys are using a blog format. Am I right? Fair to say that Tiquan.

Deacon: That’s correct.

Andrew: I feel like a lot of publishers are using blogs software, even as far as WordPress, but they still prefer not to call it a blog. And I would say that yours is not so much a blog. It’s just a publication. The fact that you happen to use the blog technology doesn’t mean much, but still blows me away.

Deacon Hayes is there. You’re, you’re making money in a C in content, which I thought was, was now moving towards video, but you’re doing a lot of texts. In a world where I thought that in personal finance, where I thought it was saturated and super competitive in your you’re doing well, all right, I should stop saying, how is this possible?

And just introduce my guests. Deacon Hayes is the founder of well-kept wallet. His goal is to transform people’s lives through personal finance education. He got into it when he discovered that he had a lot of debt and said, you know what, I’m just going to block my way through this thing. And as he did, he discovered a love for writing.

Which turned into this business that I am here to interview him about. I want to find out how he did this, obviously I’m in the content space. So I want to, I want to learn from you and many people in our audience who don’t have companies. Could have an easy entry into business with content. All right.

This interview, where we talk about that is founded by is sponsored by two phenomenal sponsors. The first, if you’re a systems person, the way deacon is, and we’re going to hear about his systems orientation, you’re going to want to know train you well it’s software that will make systemizing and organizing your business.

Beautiful.  dot com slash Mixergy. And the second, if you’re ready to hire a developer, I’m going to tell you that you should go to top talent.com/mixer. Do even someone as cheap as deacon will want to spend top money on top town, you can get happier. What’s a,

Deacon: It’s great to be here.

Andrew: what’s an article that you’re especially proud of having published recently.

Let’s give people a taste of what well, what well-kept wallet is doing.

Deacon: So recently. Oh, that’s a good question. Um, we, so, you know, as we’ve, uh, developed, we’ve published so much more content, um, I’ll say one that I’m really passionate about that not too distant is about passive income, because that was one thing that I did ever really realized. Um, what’s possible. I was very much in the W2 mindset of like, maybe I could, I could make more money doing sales and stuff like that, but I work, I get paid, I work, I get paid.

And so the idea of passive income really just intrigued me. Um, and so it shares a lot of personal experiences. It shares a lot of actual people that have done it in different industries. And so that’s, that’s one that I’m pretty proud of.

Andrew: You wrote that yourself a while back, you updated it just a few days ago. One of the items on the list is buy music rights. I can buy music rights.

Deacon: Yeah. So that’s the crazy thing is like there’s ways to make money where you’re like, Hey, I’m passionate about music, but how do I do that? I’m not talented. Well, maybe I could buy the rights of somebody that is selling their music rights and make the royalties off of it. It’s totally possible. And so, yeah, that the opportunities are just amazing, especially with technology and where we’re at today, apps, everything, you know, being remote.

It’s incredible.

Andrew: You actually linked over to a site? I didn’t know about this. There’s something called royalty exchange. It’s like, it’s a marketplace for people to royalty,

Deacon: Right.

Andrew: It looks like I could, for $8,800, I could have bought, um, the royalties to gospel R and B and global pop. And I’m guessing then it sells on now these, uh, music licensing sites, right.

Deacon: Yeah. And that one personally, I don’t know a lot about, um, a lot, these things were just researching or betting to make sure that they’re accurate and that they have third party validation, those kinds of things. But yeah, that’s, that’s my understanding of it as well.

Andrew: I see another one by a laundromat. I had a cousin and uncle, excuse me, growing up, you just saying, where do I put my money? I need to make money. And he decided to buy a laundromat, which seemed like such an out of left field type of thing. But apparently it’s just a bunch of machines. You all, you just have to empty out the quarters.

Make sure it works. It was, it was not the most passive business, but it was, it was a passive business.

Deacon: Yeah. And I actually considered it myself. Uh, I talked to a guy that owned some your mats and he’s like, unless you have a pickup truck and a bucket full of tools and want to go work on stuff or you hire somebody that does it. Right. Um, and so the part of the problem with something like that is it’s, it’s better on scale.

If you have multiple laundry mats and you have one person that does the handyman work, then it’s passive. Right. But if you’re like, I’m going to be a sole operator and I got to fix them myself. You’re right. Yeah. It’s

Andrew: Managing machines is the problem. Okay. And the way that you make your money from what I can see on your side is you get paid affiliate commissions. When you refer somebody to say Lyft to drive, or when you refer somebody to ally bank, when they put money there, right.

Deacon: Yeah, we have a lot of affiliated partnerships in the space and they definitely span the spectrum, but yeah, that’s, that’s how we primarily make money. And we do have display ads, but not, um, not as much of our revenue.

Andrew: What percentage would you say is affiliate.

Deacon: Like 80% is affiliate 20% display.

Andrew: And you’re a guy who told her producer the first sentence in my per my producer’s notes. Ari, who you talked to before this interview is, uh, she asked you, what were you like as a kid? She’s trying to get to know you. And you said I liked money. W what do you for you? What was the passion for money?

Was it just a, well, you tell me,

Deacon: So it’s freedom, I think is what I really

Andrew: even as a kid, you associated freedom with it.

Deacon: Yeah, well, I associated choice, right? Freedom of choice. And so if I have money, I can buy the kin. Yeah. I want, I can buy the Nintendo 64 game that I want. I could, um, I can go to the movie that I want. Right. So that, that freedom to choose. I come from a low income family, single mom.

So I didn’t have a lot of choice as a young young kid. And if I wanted extra opportunities, I had to make the money to make those happen.

Andrew: You had to take one of those scan Tron tests, where you have to fill in the bubble with a number two pencil. And if it’s not filled in all the way, you may not get credit for it. You saw an opportunity in that too, as a kid.

Deacon: Yeah. So I realized that, Hey, number two, pencils were a hot commodity on test days. So I’m like, I wonder if I could buy number two pencils in bulk and sell them on test day, you know? And so if you break it out, let’s say it was 5 cents a pencil, and I could sell it for 25 cents. Right. It’s like quintupling my money if that’s the word.

And so, um, yeah, so I definitely like to see those opportunities where, where value can be added.

Andrew: I would see those two and I love it. I feel like a lot of businesses having the guts to ask for the money and when you’re a kid having the guts to do anything is pretty hard. How did you even have to get over that? Or were you just so drawn to the math of this that you had to see it through?

Deacon: I always viewed it as value, right? Like I think if you’re selling something that’s valuable, it doesn’t, it kind of sells itself. Right. You’re like, Oh, I forgot my number two pencil. Like I need this, uh, Deakin’s providing me a solution for my problem right now it’s only a quarter. Right? Like he doesn’t care that I’m making 20 cents on

Andrew: Right, right.

Deacon: I will say there were times where I was like, I was selling Tempurpedic mattresses and I was like, I was broke and I’m like, who the heck will pay 2000, 3000 and $5,000 for a mattress. Right. So I didn’t leaving it back then. I believe in it now. And I’ve got one. I love it. But, um, and, uh, but, but yeah, you have to believe in it.


Andrew: As an adult, you did that.

Deacon: as an adult. Yeah.

Andrew: what do you, why do you, why do you believe in Tempurpedic mattresses? What is it about that?

Deacon: Uh, aches and pains. Like I’m a, I’m a Turner, you know, like I turn at night. And so with, uh, with a Tempurpedic mattress, like the pressure points aren’t there. So you’re not getting that the, you know, the coils poking you and you wanting to move to kind of get circulation. And still, like, after I got my first one, I bought it used from a buddy of mine that had, he had like a mattress type store, like a little one.

And, uh, it just changed my life. I was like, man, like I’m not tossing and turning. I don’t feel like some pains. And I’m like, okay, It was in my twenties, you know, I’m like, I didn’t know, this was a thing, you know,

Andrew: I didn’t know, it was a thing in your twenties. I still sleep on the cheapest mattress. I am so glad that it doesn’t bother me. I go to the store and I buy the cheapest mattress though. Now that I see that there’s some online places. I see the difference. I would just get one of the good ones delivered and forget this store.

You M

Deacon: And here’s the, here’s the challenge that like when you travel, if I go to a hotel it’s harder to sleep. Right. I don’t have my Tempurpedic mattress. I sleep, I sleep with a weighted blanket, which I’m not going to travel with a way

Andrew: got to tell me about this thing. So we were in Guatemala because I was working with an editor in Guatemala and I said, I got to go see this guy. I said, Olivia, do you want to come to Guatemala? She goes, this is, of course I want to come to Guatemala. We flew to Guatemala, enjoy the experience. He showed us around.

The best memory that I have of the place is the night’s sleep that I got because the blanket was incredibly heavy. It was a dubé that just weighed me down. I slept really well. And I was energized the next day, much more than I’m obviously energized. Already. Imagine this times three. I look online for weighted blankets.

These freaking things are tiny, right there. Just one person at a time. I want the whole you’re nodding. I want the whole, the whole debate to be heavy for both of us to be weighted down that doesn’t exist.

Deacon: It probably does, but that’s what I have. So we have a King size bed and I have a twin cause my wife, you know, she sleeps differently than I do. So I have it on top of my side and she doesn’t have one on her side.

Andrew: is it weird to have an extra thing just on your side of the bed?

Deacon: not anymore. Cause I think it’s all about value, right? Like the fact that I sleep better, right.

I toss and turn less. I have a, I get more REM sleep. So I track it on my Fitbit, you know? So I’m like the value’s there. So I don’t care how it looks necessarily.

Andrew: You know what? I should just buy one this winter from Amazon and see what it’s like, because with Amazon, I can just return it to the local, Amazon and store and see, I think it’s still a little weird. If the two of us are not sleeping under the same blanket. I would imagine that I either, I’m going to get blown away and say, this makes sense, forget us sharing it because it’s my own thing.

Or I might see an opportunity and say, somebody has got to make, do you know how, like their beds now, or you could yet the right firmness for your side and your, your partner gets the right firmness for theirs and you can feel it right. I wonder if there’s. If after I try it, I’m going to say somebody got to make a weighted blanket where it’s my way for me, her way for her.

Cause she weighs considerably less than me. Right. And you don’t want the same weight on top of right. I wonder if that’s the thing that maybe that’s my next business dude.

Deacon: It totally can be. It’s like e-commerce is huge. It’s blown up people way blankets. It’s yeah, that can be

Andrew: And none of these things make sense. Just get a day that wears you down. All right. I could see why you loved it. You didn’t like Cutco knives.

I, I feel like I would have loved selling Cutco knives temporarily, just to learn. Did you learn anything with this door to door knife, sales business that you did?

Deacon: I totally did. I learned that that companies can make a premium off of a product, um, based off its performance, right? Like these Cutco knives delivered, like you could cut a penny and you could do weird stuff. And you’re like, so it’s a sharp knife, you know, and last long durable. Uh, but right now we don’t, we use regular knives.

Like I think we got our knives at Walmart. Okay. So I

Andrew: don’t need nods that are that sharp.

Deacon: What’s that I don’t. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t need to cut a penny. I don’t have to cut a penny every

Andrew: Did you literally cut a penny as part of your, your shtick, your sales pitch?

Deacon: I don’t remember personally doing it, but I remember them doing that at like the demonstration, when they’re saying, Hey, do you want to be a rep here? We’ll show you how this knife works. That kind of thing. I think I cut other things like leathers, other stuff that I could, you know, it was a little bit easier to carry around.

Andrew: One of my best interviews with was with someone who sold Cutco knives, Howe L rod. I said, dude, how are you getting these strangers to buy it from you? I learned so much from him. Like one of the things that I learned was he would go in and he would say, I’m not here to sell you. I’m here to just get a list of your people who you think would want to buy this.

Right. That just takes off all the pressure to buy. And if they’re going to refer you, why wouldn’t they buy right. Number one, number two, have them make a list. And he would just go through, you’d have a list numbered one through 20 on a piece of paper and they would sit and they would just start to brainstorm who would want these Cutco knives.

Right. So now he’s got them trained to think about 20 the people instead of what they might do, which is like, here’s three people. Um, it’s like a bunch of stuff like that, that I learned from him that have been incredibly helpful over the years. You have any tips that you learned? I know your grandfather told you at an early age, learn to sell and you’ll never go hungry.


Deacon: Yeah, I mean, sales, I think it was, I, it was just kind of an evolution. I think I wanted to sell stuff that actually believed in. Right. And I just, I personally didn’t believe in knives, you know, like in the fact that there was added value that I would get in a Cutco knife versus a Walmart

Andrew: Still. Did you learn anything from them? Because they’re, they are an incredible sales operation.

Deacon: Yeah, I think it, I mean, really it was friends and family, right? So you go to all your friends and all your family and you say, Hey, look, it, this is this business opportunity that I’m getting into and, you know, want to show you what I’m doing. So very similar, like maybe I’m not selling it to you, but I just want to show it to you.

And then obviously they would buy. And then you say, Hey, could you refer a, you know, three to five people that I could talk to. Um, but then it started to get awkward, right? I think for me, once you start to get outside of the friends and family, And you’re like, now I’m going to go into, you know, a friend of a friend’s living room or teaching and do this demonstration.

Um, that was a little bit, um, more uncomfortable for me. So I had to kind of get outside my comfort zone.

Andrew: Okay. All right. It seems like where you ended up with selling hardwood floor after you graduated from school. Am I right?

Deacon: That’s right.

Andrew: And that’s when you got married 2008, you and your wife are going through your finances and you discover what.

Deacon: Uh, that we were deeply in debt and this was, you know, I mean, this is the right at the recession time, right? Like 2008, 2009. Um, so we’re, we’re realizing like my properties that were worth half of what I paid for them. We’ve got 52 grand in debt. Um, Hey, we’re, we’re in our twenties. Like, we shouldn’t be here.

We need to figure out how to get out. Um, and that was kind of this aha moment of like, okay, we gotta, we gotta do something about this.

Andrew: did you have.

Deacon: So we have 52 grand in consumer debt, outside of the houses. And then I probably had close to 400,000 in like mortgage debt on two different

Andrew: Wow. Okay. What ended up happening with the properties? Did you lose money on them when you sold them or the market turned around?

Deacon: So one, one I got foreclosed on. Unfortunately I lost my renters. Um, and my, I had a land lease, which this is crazy. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know

Andrew: Oh, you were leasing the land, owning the PR the box, the house on top of it, the box goes down in value because obviously people are using the house and it loses value. The land is where the value is and got it. And you’re kind of locked into a lease with them.

Deacon: Yeah, but the land lease went up. So you’re like how in the world could you increase the land lease? They’re like, Oh, it’s been 30 years since it’s been increased. So this

Andrew: he hit, he increased the rent.

Deacon: the lead and the property value goes down and I lose my renters and I’m like, Oh, this is horrible. You know? And so I tried to do a short sale.

Didn’t work out the other one I held on to. And I think I lost like. 60 grand or something like that. And now when I held it for like 11 years or whatever it was, it was just a, it was just, I learned a lot

Andrew: that much money.

Deacon: I still lost that much money. Yeah.

Andrew: me ask you something. When you’re going through the great recession, it was a terrible economic time with dad with these properties that aren’t working with, you selling, selling flooring. Do you look at yourself and say what happened to me? I’m the guy who aspired to do so much.

I even sold pencils as a kid. I learned how to do this. What happened?

Deacon: Yeah. I realized that something was off and that it needed to change. Right. I, I knew that I didn’t really like it working for other people. Um, so while I was selling wood floors, I was reading Tim Ferriss’s four hour workweek. Um, and I remember going to my boss, so I created this eBay store and I was selling stuff.

Um, I would buy stuff. For less than sell it for more, just kind of arbitrage. And what’s my boss. And I’m like, you know, I didn’t tell him that I was reading it for our work. I’m like, Hey, would it be possible that if I worked from home a couple days a week, because that was one of the things Tim Ferriss talked about, my boss was like, no, you need to come into the showroom.

And I’m like, but people come by appointment. So I could just come up to his he’s like, no, but I need you here. People just show up. And I’m like, so that was kind of aha moment of like, gosh, I don’t have freedom. I don’t have. The time and flexibility that I want. Um, so I gotta, I gotta do something about that.

Andrew: Alright. And you said, you said to your wife, we’re going to get rid of this debt. And you said to yourself, and I’m guessing also to your wife, we’re going to figure out a way for me to get more freedom. At what point did you start blogging about what you were going to do to get rid of the debt?

Deacon: Uh, so 2010. So it was right at the tail end of us paying off our debt. So it was, Hey, I realized that there was this blogging thing and I’m like, man, it’d be great to share the things that I’ve been learning and I’ve been doing. Cause I, I was really excited, but I was, I was more excited about. You know, paying off our debt and I wasn’t about selling wood floors.

And so I thought, Hey, I’ll start this website. And at the time it was like deacon Hayes, not wordpress.com or whatever it was. Um, and just kind of blog about my thoughts. And then eventually, you know, I thought, Hey, I need to come up with the name, came up with well-kept wallet and, um, Transitioning everything over, but yeah, it was really just journaling.

Like here’s how we, you bought a car used and here’s how we use it, that snowball. And here’s how I got, I, I delivered pizzas on the side to get extra income, to pay down our debt, you know, all that kind of stuff.

Andrew: It is kind of exciting when as a couple, you’ve got a goal to go for Olivia and I’ve been missing that this, she she’s been pushing for that too. What’s our goal. As a, as a couple, as a family, what are we aiming towards to have that zero debt is such. Clear goal to work towards, right.

Deacon: Oh, it totally was. And my wife was on board because her family was bad with money. I was on board. My family was bad with money, so we’re like, Hey, we gotta change this. Not just for us, but for like the future generations of our family.

Andrew: Ryan, you don’t want to set them up now. And plus just, did you feel like you got closer together through this.

Deacon: Oh, for sure. You know, I actually thought that we’d have a lot of challenges because we come from very different backgrounds. Like she comes from an affluent family. I come from a poor family, so we have very different tastes in like going out and stuff. But, uh, we very much working together towards a common goal and definitely grew us closer.

Andrew: All right. So then you’ve got this blogging thing you’re enjoying writing. Take me through how you ended up doing this professionally.

Deacon: So I’ll clarify. I didn’t necessarily enjoy writing, but I enjoyed the fact that I can help people through like a blog. Right. Um, cause I realized, I realized not too far into it that I’m like, I’m not the best writer. And I, I, I’m more like, I love podcasts. I love to talk. I love to do video. Like I love that stuff.

Um, but yeah, so I, I had a buddy that emailed me one day and he’s like, Hey deacon, I’ve got a client from USA that would like to advertise on your site. And I’m like, I buy say it, like, I don’t get 10 minutes there’s a month. Right. Like, um, but he’s like, yeah, you got to personal finance. He’s trying to get some more exposure or whatever, you know, for 150 bucks a month or whatever it was when you put a, you know, something in your sidebar.

And I’m like, sure. I’m like, I thought that’s cool. You know? And I’m like, then I found ad sense and I’m like, Oh, I want to play probably around with that. And, um, you know, so it’s kind of these little things where like, okay, what can I do now to get some more revenue? And then once I was, well, how do I get more revenue?

I gotta get more traffic, you know? So I started researching, how do we get more traffic? Like, well, there’s social media, but that goes up now. Well then there’s SEO will Google continue traffic on a consistent basis. And so I started learning that and so started getting traffic from all these different areas, started adding different revenue sources, testing them out, and that’s kind of how it all began.

Andrew: What was working for you on the, on the SEO side? I know that you got really good at that.

Deacon: Yeah. So, I mean, back in the day it was actually more PR. So I would do like news, like local news stuff that was really helpful. Um, but then, uh, actually that’s probably the best thing from an SEO standpoint now that I think about it and I didn’t, I wasn’t doing it intentionally for that. Right. Um, I had a, um, a local station and this is, this is something cool.

So Fox has all these affiliates around the United States. And so it’s the local Fox 10. They’re like, Hey, we want to come to your place and interview you about paying off your debt. And I’m like, sweet. You know, they come to our condo, it’s this tiny place. And they, you know, they have camera crew in there at the end.

They’re like, Hey, can we, do you mind if we like video your budget? And I had this budget that I created that, you know, to get out of that and I’m like, sure, why not? And they’re like, where can they find it? I’m like, well, they go to  dot com, you know? And so, so all of a sudden you get all these people coming to my website to download my budget for them, you know?

And I’m like, this is so cool. But the SEO side of it was I was getting all these links from all these really credible sources from around the United States taught, you know, linking to the well-kept wallet to buy, to get this budget for not bios free. Um, Many ways in that few days I made a few grand and I was like, Oh my gosh.

Like up to that point, maybe I made like a dollar a month in ad sense, you know? So I just started realize like, you know, Oh, there’s, there’s value in getting this traffic, getting these links to now, where are we going to start to get people coming to the site? So that’s probably the first thing from an SEO and PR standpoint.

Andrew: I see the spreadsheet here and in their report. It’s um, Oh, it’s on your, your site. It’s one of the few YouTube videos that you’ve got up, but it’s car insurance, $200 gym, $40, dry cleaners, $30. It’s a spreadsheet with your itemized expenses and people were coming to your site to buy that spreadsheet.

Deacon: Well, they get it for free. Yeah, I misspoke. Yeah, they weren’t buying it, but to get it for free. Yeah.

Andrew: And then when they get it for free, how do you end up making money from that? Because of all the ad sense revenue.

Deacon: The AdSense revenue. Yeah. And my thought was, yeah, it was kind of a lead magnet and I didn’t know what a lead magnet was back then.

Andrew: Look at you. Look at you in the video here. Wow. Um, I could, I could see it. You were good on camera though. Alright, let me take a moment to talk about my first sponsor and then we’ll get back into the story. My first sponsor is a company called top Cal. Have you hired top talent? You deacon.

Deacon: I haven’t

Andrew: Are you on

Deacon: used the Upwork and stuff.

Andrew: Yeah. So here’s the thing. Work, low price, obviously they’re good people, but imagine if you want to make, since you’re on a WordPress site, imagine if there’s something especially powerful that you want to add to your WordPress site, especially custom. The Upwork. People are going to be really hard to find somebody who’s who’s good.

You have to then spend time also going through and vetting the people who are in there. Because even if they have high ratings, they can have high ratings just doing basic stuff, like installing a plugin. They do, they do the installation, they get their five star ratings. They get to look good on the platform.

But if you have something, especially, um, Yeah, especially tough. Like for us, it was search. I had over a thousand interviews on the site. I needed search that worked quickly. I needed the search that worked be tags. I need to search to work with keywords, but not all keywords. Right. This whole thing. We just went to top tile.

I said, I know you have people who work on all these other platforms. Yeah. Somebody works with, with WordPress. They said, sure. They got me on a call with two different people. Actually, they got my brother on a call with two different people. He picked the right person for us. I thought this was going to be a longterm project within days.

The guy solved this problem that had been dogging us years, where people were really struggling to find stuff on the site. And that’s the power of hiring the best of the best of it. If you’re out there listening to me, and there’s a little project, a little part of your project, anything that you have not been able to get done, challenge top tout to get it done.

We’re talking about getting Google level developers, especially these days. There are people who don’t want to live in Silicon Valley anymore. The way that they used to. They just want to live wherever. And if they can’t do it with their current company, if they can do it with their current setup, they want to have the freedom to be able to do it with companies through top towns.

So great developers on top tower, more and more these days available to you to hire often within days and they will get work done. Like you’d never seen it before. Really Tenex developers available. If you go to top towel.com/mixergy deacon, I know you like a good deal. They will give you 80 hours of developer credit when you pay for your first aid, when you pay for your first 80 hours, in addition to a no risk trial period, that’s top isn’t top of your head towels and talent.

T O P T a l.com/m I N E R G Y toptal.com/mixergy. Let’s continue with the story that started sending people over to your site. Things were starting to go. And then you started researching SEO. You started learning from Ray and Fishkin from Neil Patel. What did you do that was especially effective. What was working for you and SEO?

Deacon: what I realized was my, my skillset was the. 500 word post. Right. And, uh, cause I was more like, Hey, here’s my ideas, but fleshing them out and kind of research and all, I just wasn’t that good at it. So one of the things I did was I hired a writer who was a mom of four kids and she was a personal finance writer and she still works for me today.

Um, and she is amazing. So she would write these longer posts, you know, thousand, 1500 words back then. Um, whereas more. More fleshed out, more researched. Um, and, and you know, that really, I mean, in 2011, 2012, whatever timeframe that was, uh, kind of set us apart. Cause a lot of people were doing the 500, you know, 700 word posts.

Um, so really the longer form. Articles researched, citing the sources and linking to them. Um, you know, that was kind of the initial phase of figuring out SEO and just saying, Hey, how can we answer the per the user’s query as best we can, you know, within this thousand to 1500 word, you

Andrew: Yeah, Neil for a long time was pushing for longer articles, longer articles. And I didn’t listen because frankly, I don’t want to listen. I don’t want to read long articles. I feel like if you’re the writer. Unless we’re talking about a book, unless we’re talking about a few rare cases, I feel like the writer’s job should be to sum it up for me.

Give it to me. In fewer words, I should be more excited about 500 word article than about a 5,000 word article. But Neil convinced me that people really will bookmark they’ll share. They’ll save the longer articles and, uh, and people don’t need to read all 500. They want is hunt through what they’re looking for.

And Google certainly valued that more. Right? Yeah.

Deacon: They do. I think Google has changed dramatically. So I used to have, um, word count was a major factor in what we did. Um, but basically now it is more about what’s necessary for the user’s query. So we’re actually making some posts shorter, but. That, that being said, we’re still usually over 2000 words.

Right. Um, we’ve had posts that are 8,000 words. Like it’s just, it’s all over the board, but, um, really, it comes down to like, how do you answer the user’s query the most effectively, right. They come to your page, they get exactly what they’re looking for. They don’t bounce off. Um,

Andrew: your, what’s your writing process? How does it

Deacon: of.

Andrew: Sorry, we’ve got a little bit of a lag. I, uh, I’m sensing it here with the zoom, but what’s your process? Where does, where does the idea for an article come from and take me through this ideation towards publishing, towards updating, et cetera.

Deacon: Yeah. So, I mean, really, we started off with these three categories, make money, save money, pay off debts, and then we’re looking for different ideas within those categories that we want to write for. So I would go and I would research. I use. Um, forget what the plugin, I think it’s called keyword surfer now, or SEO surfer, but it’s like an extension for Chrome.

And it’ll tell you how many people are searching for a given keyword. They’re like, Oh, there’s, you know, a thousand people searching for this, you know, and it fits within our categories. Let’s write it. Um, then it gets assigned to a writer who is good in that category. So, um, Laurie who writes for us as a licensed realtor.

So if it’s a real estate. You know, making money in real estate, she gets it. Um, Josh Patoka is really good at doing investing articles. So if it’s more investing like in a stock market, he gets it. So if people that have different kind of skill sets and knowledge base, um, and so then they have a template that we have in a sauna, which is our project management software, um, that they got to go by that says, Hey, this is what it needs to look like.

Here’s the, you know, header two header one. Um, this is what the different, you know, um, Yeah. Say summary at the bottom. Like here’s just a template that we have basically. Um, and we can massage it basing on, on what it is, but, um, yeah. So then, so then they get it assigned in a sauna. Um, and we have a bunch of different peoples, so we have just the works on the images and Patty that does SEO stuff.

And Julie does like the overall management of everything, but she’ll go in there and just make sure that the process keeps moving. Everybody has a due date. And so. This person will submit a, uh, an outline, this person approves the outline, this person, you know, um, writes the content. This person submits, the content gets approved by this person.

You know, so it’s really, um, there’s a system around how the content is built, which is very different than when I started where it was literally, I would just, I would type in publish, you know, that was, that, that was, is that simple, but now that’s kind of more, what we do today is, uh, use a sauna kind of managed process.

Andrew: Are you also documenting beyond a sauna or is it just everything’s in a checklist?

Deacon: Yeah, so we use Google docs. So all of the articles are within their own perspective, Google docs, and then they’re edited with, um, you know, the suggested, changes, all that kind of stuff. Track changes, that kind of thing.

Andrew: And we tried doing that in a, in a WordPress site. We had our own little WordPress site that you had to log in using your mixer G email address. And then you see an article. The problem with that was people couldn’t edit it. They couldn’t give suggestions and the stakes would just stay in there. The reason I’m asking you is because I know that you run your company largely through these types of systems, right?

Deacon: Yeah. And I mean, we’ve tried it all too. I would love to just do it in WordPress, but then you’d have like where WordPress forever, whatever reason it won’t save it, it’s like you have this like spinning wheel of death that just never goes away. And you’re like, I just made all these changes, you know? And, uh, so that, so it’s like just having a Google doc seems to be the easiest.

Andrew: I didn’t have that. I had that. It was, nobody feels like they should edit it a word doc, excuse me, a WordPress doc. Right? They have, they hit the edit button, no matter how much you tell them that it could be undone. Don’t worry about it. They don’t want to hit the edit button and they have to go find it in the, in the doc.

And then they have to go submit and then publish. And it’s just, no one was doing it. And we finally switched over to, we did Google docs for awhile. We were just doing all kinds of different things. Why don’t you have a bigger team? I know that you told our producer, it’s just a one there’s one employee, right?

Is it you or you and one other person?

Deacon: Well, no. So technically I’m the only employee. Um, I have all subcontractors. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s one of those things where I kind of looked at, you know, are you familiar with the Mexican American fishermen story?

Andrew: No. What is it?

Deacon: So, um, I’ll make it really short. So, you know, this American goes down to Mexico for vacation.

He sees this, this guy fishing, and, you know, he could seize, you know, he’s got one boat and he’s only out for a couple hours, comes back. And the American, you know, with his, your capitalist ways, like, you know, you know, you could, you could, you could actually go out for longer and get more fish. And then the men, the Mexicans like, well, so then what do I do?

Well, then if you have more fish, you make more money. You buy another boat. Well, then when you do well, then you hire somebody else to do the next boat and you do this until you have a fleet of boats, right? It’s like, how do you spend your time right now? And he’s like, well, I go out and I fish for a couple of days or a couple of hours.

And then I come home and I play with my kids. I play a little guitar. I, I take a siesta, I have lunch. Like I spend time with my wife and he’s like, man, you’re wasting a lot of time. Like you could be going out there and building this empire. Right. And so he’s like, well, okay. So after I build this empire, what I do, you sell it?

Well, okay. What do I do when I sell it? He’s like, well, then you go home, you play with your kids, you have a, so you played guitar. He already had what he wanted. Right. Why am I going to go build? So it’s like, I could build this big thing and I could have all these employees and be a nerd wallet or okay. Um, but there is a lot more that comes with that, you know?

And at the end of the day, I kind of have what I want, you

Andrew: What about this though? If you did have other people, you could take some time away and know that the company would continue, you could. Get hit by a bus. You can get COVID and be out of commission for four months and still get back into work.

Deacon: Yeah. So here’s where these books really, um, change that. Right. So I read the one thing by Gary Keller. I read essential ism and then four hour workweek. I think those are probably the three books where it’s like, how do you automate your business where you’re not necessary? Um, and so I did that, so I I’m actually not necessary to do that day to day operations.

If I was to get hit by a bus, Julie could still run it. My wife has her contact info. Like the show would go on like,

Andrew: Ah, okay. So you’re saying the system works so well that it, that the system is running the company. Not you, even though I see your name in the byline, it’s not because you need to be there. It’s because you just do them. One of the jobs,

Deacon: Yeah. Well, even in the, like, if you look at the article, I mean, the stuff that’s on there now, like you said earlier is cause it’s been updated, right. I’ll go in and I’ll say, Hey, let’s add something about music, royalties. Cause that’s a new thing, you know, or at least new to me. So, um, so I think that, uh, Yeah.

I mean, there’s, I still am involved, but on the day to day stuff, it’s not necessarily for me.

Andrew: Alright, did you hire people? Did you go through this bad process and then get burned and decide? You’re going to have to go to scale back.

Deacon: Uh, yeah, so, uh, I’ve gone through a lot of people. Um, I shouldn’t say that people buy over a course of eight years of hiring people. Um, but I will say I’ve got some people that have been pretty consistent for multiple years. So when I find them, they seem to stick around because they just enjoy what they do.

Um, and so that’s one of the things I’ve learned about like hiring the right people, um, and, and being kind of. A gatekeeper there. Cause those people, um, are very important to me and to the vision of well-kept wallet and helping people transform their lives. So, um, so yeah, now we have a pretty good process about that.

A lot of people that work for us are actually referred by friends or family. So it’s, um, most of the people, there’s a, there’s a pretty. Close connection. And from like, my editor is the cousin of one of my main writers. Um, the lady that runs my website went through a class that I taught like 10 years ago called financial peace university.

Um, so it’s like, all these people are, um, closely recommended.

Andrew: What I mean is, did you try to hire people and build a bigger business, be in nerd wallet and then realize it’s not for you? Or did you just know that from the beginning?

Deacon: Oh, no. So, uh, part of the story we didn’t really talk about, but when I, when I quit my job to do well-kept wallet, I wasn’t making like stable income. Um, and so I had this SEO. Skillset. And I used, decided to create an SEO company, a search engine optimization company. And, uh, I had employees in that and it was a grind.

It was a customer service business. It was, um, you know, managing employees. And I was like, man, this is, this is not. Really how I am wired or what I want to do. Uh, so I had to, to have it on a smaller scale and I was like, man, I can only imagine if I had 40 or 50 employees. Right? Like what, what would this look like?

What would my time be like, you know, what would I, what fires, what I’d be putting out. And, um, and so I just kind of had a glimpse of it, uh, when I had that business.

Andrew: No. I hired a consultant to come in and give me some feedback on my business. One of the things she said in her report was said, nobody cares about mixer. Do you like Andrew does? And I thought about it. It’s true. And it was painful. This sense that there’s nobody here who cares as much about the work who’s there for it like me.

It is, it is hampering the growth. It is, it means that everyone’s coming in to get their salad. And now maybe it’s an exaggeration. At this point, you met Ari, our producer, she clearly care. She clearly spends a lot of her emotional energy on the conversation with you, right? She’s not just trying to fill in a form for me for the pre-interview and same goes for other parts, but it is kind of maybe not lonely, but alone ish.

To not have somebody care as much to not have somebody whose financial wellbeing and dreams are tied up in Mixergy. Don’t you feel that for you too?

Deacon: I can definitely resonate with the loneliness cause everybody, except one is a remote. You know, con subcontractor. So I don’t see people on a regular, uh, but I will say I have the lady that runs my blog. It shares our content on her personal Facebook page all the time. And I’m like, I don’t even do that.

I’ve like, I’m really impressed with like her level of buy in. Like she’ll read something and she’ll want to share it with people. Like it’s like revolutionary to her. And I’m like, so I feel blessed that she’s on our team because she’s. She literally does like love this stuff and she loves sharing it with other people.

And so I think it is a lot, a lot has to do with the right people that, you know, in the res the Julies of the world that really care about it, you know? Um, but yeah, there is a loneliness. I being a kind of soul, I’m technically a solo preneur. Right. Um, and I definitely liked the idea of, of having, you know, The ability to have that, but I also know the weight that comes with it as well.

Having run a company with employees before.

Andrew: Alright, let me take a moment. Talk about my second sponsor train. You will. I think you’re going to like train. You will tell me what you think it is. Here’s the idea behind training. They created an app that’s customized towards a systems oriented thinking that you and I have when you go to train you’ll, you could have like an onboarding training manual, right.

With all the different things that people need to know about how to work with your company, like how do they submit their invoices? How, what do you need back from them so that you can send the money? Do you do a wire? Do you do checks? And so on, you have these policies, you put it in there. It’s as easy as writing in a word doc or a Google doc.

Actually it’s as easy as filling out a form because they tell you step by step. Here’s what you need. And the beauty of it is when somebody goes through it, you have a record of him having gone through it. And when you make an adjustment to the process, everyone went through the old system can now get an update that says you now need to go through and see this new, improved, new change process.

Even if they hadn’t worked with you for six months, you know, when they come back, there’s just one piece that’s brand new to them that they need to be aware of. That’s the beauty of trainable. What do you think of that?

Deacon: That’s awesome. Yeah. I love that. I mean, the ability to be able to say, Hey, I’ve got this process and it’s updated. And for anybody that’s a subcontractor or I guess if they’re an employee too. Yeah, that’s cool.

Andrew: And where Google docs fails is they don’t let you embed properly. They make it hard to embed gifts, which sometimes you want, right? If you want somebody to know drag from here to there, I do a GIF and then I have to host it somewhere. And then I have them bet. It’s just a pain. They don’t allow you to embed videos, especially easily.

And they don’t give you a record of who’s gone through this process and who hasn’t alright. Anyone out there who’s like us who believes in systems? My whole company is systemized. It needs to know about train. You will. If you go to train, you will.com/mixergy. They’ve got a video that explains to you immediately, why this software makes sense, why it will allow you to run your team in an organized way, no matter where they are.

And these days everybody is remote and how often they work with you, right? Somebody work with you only once a month. You still want them to have the process down right. And organized. Well,  dot com slash Mixergy. I always slap and make noise like, boom. I think earlier I also got a little bit loud and I yelled into my microphone and this green thing goes red, but I don’t notice it.

What it should do is just go flash my eyes, red, Andrew, your yellow they’re there now. It’s orange. Should I go? Let me see train. Oh, sorry guys. Did that hurt your ears? No, you’re not. And listening to like the earphones, so you’re fine. Good. I wonder if it hurt our list? Mmm. Let’s come back into the story.

What I’m curious about with you is how do you get your, your affiliates? Are you working directly with companies like Lyft or using a network?

Deacon: Uh, with a lot of the brands, we do work directly with them now. Um, but I mean, for the people starting out right at network is where we, we still have a lot of our relationships. So like cj.com or impact.com, like these places that have a bunch of different brands that just live there. Right. Um, and it’s like, if you want to, you know, Find a brand that’s good for your site.

Like that’s where you can go and search different categories. And so we’ve got a lot of our affiliates there now just because of what we rank for and just the, you know, having been doing it for 10 years, a lot of the brands will reach out to us and say, Hey, we’d love. We had a brand reach out to us. And I was like, Oh, this is kind of cool.

It’s like a clothing flipping company. And they wanted us to put them on certain pages and I’m like, well, we don’t do that. But if you had an affiliate program, we would consider signing up and you know, that kind of thing. So, um, yeah, so we do have a mix of, you know, these networks and a lot of direct

Andrew: You’re actually asking them for an affiliate program.

Deacon: Yeah. So there’s a lot of people in my industry that will do sponsored content. And I used to do that, but I felt like once again, that freedom wasn’t there. It’s like, Hey, you’re paying me a fixed amount of money and you have that expectations. I’m going to share it on Pinterest and Facebook. And it’s going to get this many impressions and you know, I’m going to send you this many visitors and this many conversions and I’m like, but that’s, it’s short lit.

It’s like, you pay me this fixed fee for a one time

Andrew: And now I’m fighting for this one article to do especially well, and if I do well, I can build on that. Right. You

Deacon: I don’t, I don’t get any revenue in the future. Yeah. So I’m like, so it’s a win, win deal. It’s like, Hey, why don’t we do an affiliate program? Which costs you nothing brands. Right. And we’re going to create the content. And our upside is, Hey, if we rank it and we get visitors, we’re going to get ongoing passive revenue.

Right. And the headwinds, because they’re going to get this ongoing source of leads, you know? Um, so yeah, we typically will. We’ll say, Hey, we don’t do sponsored content anymore, but if you want to work with us, you know, if you have an affiliate program, we’d love to sign up.

Andrew: No. What I noticed that you don’t have a link on your site for sponsoring. I have one on my site. It’s been eyeopening saturate, who is running our ads for a long time and said, Andrew, I need a break. I said, great. I’ll take over. I want to get connected to the sponsors. So I had the, the, the form that’s on our site.

mixergy.com/sponsor. I think it is. But the link is on every page. I had to go into my personal inbox. I’m pretty freaking impressed by the companies that are coming through that, just filling in the form. I used to think. So it was going out and just like drumming up new business on his own. I wonder how many he was getting because they were coming to the forum, not to put down his words, even if it’s 50% is coming from him.

And I know a lot are the other 50% would be coming from the side. Yeah. And that’s pretty impressive. Gusto, Gusto, no.com you know them, right? The, the payment company.

Deacon: Yeah. They’re one of our affiliates.

Andrew: I thought I saw them on your site. They came to ours. They came in as, as a sponsor, as a potential sponsor. I filling out the form. You don’t, I guess people are using your contact form when they’re interested in sponsoring.

Deacon: Yeah, they do. And like I said, we don’t really offer it anymore, so we kind of steered away from it. I

Andrew: But what about affiliates? If they’ve got an affiliate program and they’re looking for you the way they find you is by coming through to your site and hitting the contact form.

Deacon: Yeah, which is buried down at the bottom of the site. Yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, but once again, and this is what’s, it’s, it’s interesting because I’ve, I’ve fluctuated, right? Like it’s, it’s more of a lifestyle business for me. It’s like, Hey, I have this passion to help people to transform their lives with personal finance education.

Um, I’m not interested in the. Brand has this agenda and this brand has that agenda. Like for me personally, I’m like, because that just causes a lot of work that I don’t necessarily want to do. Right. Cause a lot of it sometimes involves me. Right. And so I’m like, how can I, how can I build a business that can run itself?

And I can be involved as much or as little as I want, and it’s not dependent on that type of stuff.

Andrew: And the answer is for you. It’s affiliate it’s content and largely affiliate products. That’s it.

Deacon: it.

Andrew: And the affiliate products are largely on the site. You and I talked before about penny hoarder, which we both know I interviewed the founder. Um, I guess we both got his socks. I love that. He sent me those socks.

He sent me a bunch of nice stuff. Yeah. I was surprised by how many times I wore the penny hoarder socks. I thought it’d be some cheap piece of garbage because he’s, you know, like trying to save money. No, he’s really generous. Um, penny hoarder, socks are great. Um, but he’s got that big mailing list, right?

That’s a big source of his revenue. You’re not doing that right.

Deacon: No. When I was listening to Harry Campbell on one of your interviews, and he’s talking about how he’s charging for different, you know, email

Andrew: You will never say no to a sponsor. Harriet, the rideshare guy. If somebody comes in and says, can I sponsor? And he can’t do it because he’s running something else. He’ll say not that, but let’s make something new up. Right.

Deacon: Yeah. And it’s, it’s a model, right? Like there, there’s a lot of opportunity, I think, for increased revenue. Um, it’s just, I did a day. I had to think, what do I want? Right. Um, and I I’ve had a lot of brands where it’s just the back and forth, the compliance, the there’s just so much sometimes that go with it in the personal finance space where I’m like, man, I just don’t want it.

I’ve kind of gotten past that when I was growing up. No, I would, I would take anything I could get. Right. Um, I’d be like, yeah, you pay me 500 bucks to do this. Okay. Yeah. You know? Um, and so we’ve just had the privilege now of being more selective in how we, how we make revenue.

Andrew: So how much of your revenue are you getting to keep it? What flows into the bottom line?

Deacon: Um, so it’s interesting, right? Cause you’re like, Hey, as a business owner, like I bought this laptop and I bought, you know, this monitor and stuff in my office and the standing desk. And there’s all sorts of things like where you’re like, Hey, I, I probably have a lot of business expenses. Right. But, um, but they’re for quality of life.

So, um, you know, I’d say our margins are probably 70, 80%. I

Andrew: 70, 80% flows to the bottom line. Even after you buy a nice computer for yourself.

Deacon: Yeah. I mean, you’re talking about writers, um, that are freelancers that are making, you know, between, let’s say a thousand to 2000 bucks a month. Um, you’ve got the blog manager. Um, I don’t want to really say her thing, but the expenses are

Andrew: it. You’re talking about it’s it’s because you decided to keep it light. You get to keep more of the more the revenue. I don’t know if we talked about it on camera or not, but what’s the revenue, the annual revenue.

Deacon: Yeah. So it’s a little over a million a year.

Andrew: That’s phenomenal. All right. The majority of your traffic comes from Google, according to similar web, right? We’re looking at what? 85% Google on the social media front. It’s largely, um, Pinterest, right? YouTube. Number two, somehow. Why is YouTube sending you traffic?

Deacon: Yeah. So that’s a love, hate relationship. I’ve really wanted you to, to be like, to work for me. Um, and, and so we’ve created some really good stuff. Um, and so it’s starting to pay off and I started including it in my email newsletter, which is kind of a double whammy, right. Where you’re like, Hey, I created these videos.

I think they’re good. Like I want to get, we have 20,000 people on our email list. Why don’t we send them out to them? So, um, that’s that started to pick up for us.

Andrew: Got it. Okay. And so that’s, that says easy as you keep your model, what’s your version of get to play guitar play with my kids after, after school, like in the analogy that you gave of the Mexican fishermen, who decided he didn’t want to work hard, just so we can have time to spend with his kids later on, you want to do it now?

What’s your version.

Deacon: Yeah. So I’d say I’m living it. You know, I, I, I go home early on Fridays on Mondays. My wife’s taking a class. She wants to get another degree so she can teach, um, At a college level someday. And so I come home early and hang out with the kids. Um, we’re traveling, you know, let me cope. It’s really put it down in front of it, but we get to travel more and things like that.

So, um, I don’t really have the tie-downs that, like I told you when I worked for Harvard flooring and I’m like, could I, could I take this time off? No. Or work from home. I worked for as a, for a financial planner for awhile. And I remember, um, my, my family wanted to go to. Disneyland. And it was the day after Thanksgiving.

And they’re like, actually, we need you to work that day because the market is open half a day. And I did all the trading for the branch and I’m like, you’re kidding me. They’re like, well, you can go, but you have to work like you have to have from your laptop. Do all the trades. And I’m like, so here I am at Disneyland in a hotel room, trading trades for people.

And I’m like, I feel like a slave, you know? And so I don’t have that anymore. Right. Like I have those, those restraints are all lifted, did, so I don’t feel like I, I have those restrictions. So, um, I think I’m kind of there.

Andrew: where do you, where do you invest your money?

Deacon: Uh, so this is, this is interesting. Um, I have on the stock market obviously is, is a place I, I did have an air B and B for awhile, and I was like, ah, that’s not for me. Um, so really websites, um, I’ve really, I’m fascinated with how websites. Operate grow sub created a portfolio of sites. Um, and so really that’s one of the things we’re, and I know how to do it.

So, um, that’s a, that’s a place where, you know, outside of the

Andrew: So you’ve got other sites that you’re investing in. You’re buying them off of a marketplace. I’m assuming.

Deacon: No, we, we kind of do them off market. Uh, I did buy one. I did buy one from like a broker, but typically we’ll we’ll approach people directly.

Andrew: What type of sites? You know what? I had someone in my audience who came to me and said, I have this idea. I’m going to buy a bunch of sites and I’m going to run them, Michael, that’s way too distracting. Why don’t you just pick one and make it work? And he, he heard me out and they said, no, But he stayed in touch.

He says, Andrew, we’re getting close to hitting a million dollars in annual revenue from this thing that you didn’t think was going to work out. I’m going to wait till we hit a million. I’ll be on mixer. Jim, we’ll talk about it.

Deacon: That’s awesome.

Andrew: What are the sites that you’re doing? He’s not going to tell me until he comes on.

What are you

Deacon: Yeah, so it’s, it’s a mixed bag. So I have a home electronic sites, like a tech site, um, a mental

Andrew: sites where it’s affiliate commission.

Deacon: Yeah. Yeah. That’d be typically review products and stuff. I’ve got a mental health site. I have a buddy that’s getting his PhD in clinical psychology. He really wants to help people with mental health issues.

He’s like deacon, how can I get in this website thing? So we bought the site together. Um, so I have a coupon site it’s kind of more of like a deal site. Um, so just kind of a mixed bag and really it’s more about. You know, I don’t want to be in the same vertical. Like I don’t want to be all in personal finance.

So I’m kind of like, what are these other places where we can add value and help people that can help transform their lives? Not just in personal finance.

Andrew: We’re basically looking at the same model. It seems like in different verticals,

Deacon: Right. Yeah. And I, and I think here’s the thing for people listening. If you’re like, Hey, I want to start a personal finance site. The thing that’s kind of difficult about where I am is it’s considered a Y M Y L site, which is your money or your life when it comes to Google. And so Google has a heavy. Like just, um, criteria for those types of sites, right?

Cause you’re giving advice that is going to affect people’s investments, their, their, their life, their, their medical advice, stuff like that. If you know that your money, your life. And so it’s super, it’s a lot harder to do today than it was say even three years ago. Um, but some of these other niches aren’t as difficult that don’t talk about that stuff.

So that’s kinda where I’m excited. I’m like, Hey, where can I kind of grow in a new industry that doesn’t fit in that category?

Andrew: one that you hadn’t, that you haven’t gotten into that you’d recommend someone who’s listening to us consider.

Deacon: So one that I heard that was interesting and I thought about it and I probably won’t do it. So that’s why I say, uh, the coffee niche, like home brewing. Like, I didn’t realize how many people like to kind of brew coffee from home, especially during COVID where you’re like, maybe not a lot of people are going to Starbucks or whatever.

Um, and I, yeah, and I, I saw a site I want to say. He was doing like $300,000 a year. Something ridiculous like that off of coffee,

Andrew: And what they’re doing is they’re writing articles about how to make coffee, right. And then they’re linking to the products that they’re, that they’re using. Right.

Deacon: exactly. Yeah. They’re like, Hey, we use this type of co I don’t really know much about the homeroom, but this type of coffee maker or this type of mixer or this type of strain or

Andrew: There was a guy on YouTube who was doing that. He just really into coffee and what he did was I’m not, I never want to make coffee. I don’t want to go through the trouble. I don’t care how great it is. I’m not spending more than five minutes. I think spending more than one minute making copy, but I, I liked watching him because there was craftsmanship to it and he was creative.

So he would go into Ikea and buy. Now, Ikea has those cheapo coffee, things that look really nice, but they actually, it turns out they actually don’t work very well. He’d go and get one and then he’d explain. Here’s why it doesn’t grind the coffee. Well, look at the grounds. Suddenly I care about that.

You’re saying the same thing except in text form on your own site. So you don’t have to. You obviously don’t get the leg up that you get from YouTube, but you also get the ownership that you get from having your own site and you, if you’re not linking to the Ikea one or not making money from the link to the Ikea one, you can also say, well, you shouldn’t buy that.

I wrote this other article about the one grinder that you should get. Here’s a link to go buy it. If that’s what you’re considering, that’s what you’re, that’s what you’re suggesting.

Deacon: Absolutely. And that’s the cool thing as far as entrepreneurs is you could just say, what are you passionate about? I mean, some people, if you’re passionate about mountain biking, like you could literally just have a, a best mountain bikes for, uh, you know, grown men, best mountain bikes for Todd or for young kids.

Like whatever. Like you can, you can make these sites and monetize them doing stuff that you’re interested in.

Andrew: I didn’t think that that was possible. I thought that it was just too competitive SEO wise, and that YouTube is where all the sexy time is. Right? Like, I’m thinking about someone in my, my kind of friendship circle, chase Reeves. He’s got a thing, a site that is for backpacks and I can’t stop watching them talk about backpacks and a few other things that are, uh, like almost artisan and made and well cared for.

But his YouTube channel is the beast. That’s the sexy part where he’ll spend 30 minutes going over a backpack feature for feature. And then I’ll say by the way, go check out my site. I feel like YouTube is sending them traffic. YouTube is where my eyeballs tend to be. I’m not reading blogs anymore.

There’s no RSS feed isn’t, but you’re telling me no, Andrew, even to this day, blogs and well, well maintained personal sites will do well too.

Deacon: I think it’s harder. I’ll say they can do well. They can do well. And I think the niches matter, right. You have to see what the competition is, but yeah, there’s still opportunity there. I will say though, video it personally, like I was watching a YouTube video before this, like I think that YouTube is going to be a huge opportunity for explosion, but here’s where it comes.

Here’s where it, both of it works together. Right. And say, Hey, let’s just say, you’re going to make a coffee home brewing site. Well, then have the YouTube channel with the blog. Right. Don’t just have this one property, have them work together and then embed your YouTube video on the content. And they’re sending traffic to each other, you know?

Um, and so that’s kinda what we do at well-kept wallet. We, uh, we have the, the YouTube channel. We, I also have a podcast, but it’s kind of been. I haven’t done one in a year or two. Um, but for, for me, yeah, it was, I have audio to go along with the relevant blog posts. I have video to go along with relevant blog post to kind of add value to them.

Andrew: All right. The website is well-kept wallet. And of course you guys are on YouTube too. I love how in the YouTube videos, it’s you, you, you not you a lot, but it’s, it’s you the way that I’m seeing you now, and then the. Here’s how to make money as a team. It’s you wearing a backward baseball cap, which I know why you’re doing it.

And I still think you are right to do it definitely would look less relatable if you were, if, if you look like my college professor,

Deacon: That one has some of my favorite B roll of all time. I have, like, I was like, what could I do to pretend like I’m a teenager. I was like, I was like, mom, can you get me another mountain Dew? Like just random stuff where I was like, well, what did teenagers say? You know? And I suppose that was a fun one to make.

Andrew: I do feel there was a period there where you were really getting into videos, where there was one about the books that changed your life. There was, there was clear care, you know, you can sometimes see when someone’s making a run for YouTube because they feel the passion. I saw that you felt the artistry in it.

It became a hot hobby. Am I right?

Deacon: I did. Yeah. I talked to this guy, NATO, Brian. He has like 600,000 subscribers and I was like really inspired by him. Cause he’s really good at it. Really enjoyed it. And so I was like, I started doing video. I was like, okay, I don’t care if I’m gonna rank in YouTube. I’m like, I just want to do this video of like a millionaire habits to change my life for five books that changed whatever.

And I did really enjoy it, but then I start to get burnt out when I’m like, wow, I’m not getting the views that I would hope. Right. I’m not, I’m not reaching the people that I want to reach, you know?

Andrew: You put an effort and suddenly you see 64 views. What is this? Why do you have to even like, why can’t they not show the view count until you hit 2000? Why does the world need to know that this is only a 64 view? Don’t embarrass me really a tip for YouTube is. Don’t show the view count until somebody hits 5,000.

I mean, those are all publicly. The person should see what it is. The world has no interest in knowing whether it’s one or 1000, let them let the people decide whether they like it or not. Without seeing the view count until it hits until it hits 5,000. It’s intimidating already. Right. And even if you be happy to have it up on there, if, if people would like the video without seeing the negative number next to it.

Deacon: So true. I’m with you. If you want to put together a petition, I’ll sign it with you, man.

Andrew: I don’t think they care. They don’t even listen to their top creators on YouTube. The top creators are all angry, you know? All right. Thank you so much for being on here. The website then I should say is, well, kept wallet. I should say that my, my kids, we were so anti screens, but because of COVID, they’re, they’re going through zoom.

I can’t not teach my kid. If he’s curious about something, I have to go the extra mile. So I showed my six year, six year old, how to send text messages from the iPad. I’m getting text messages while I’m talking to you with nothing. It’s like freaking emoji.

Deacon: That I have a kindergartener. He does the same thing. He’s like, can I, can I text somebody? And all he does is emojis.

Andrew: And I would never have done that if not for COVID. I would never, we’re not into giving it to them. Frankly. My thing is I come home, I take my phone, I put it in my, in the drawer next to my bed, which has a charger built in and leave it alone. I don’t need the world there for me and I don’t want to be distracted.

I want to model for them that I’m on the phone. Now. They need the iPad for schoolwork. Which means I’m going to get messages. All right. We’ll live. Alright. Thank you so much for doing this interview. I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen, guys, if you’re listening to me and you need to hire a developer of any kind, or if you know someone who needs to hire a developer, give them this deal, but please don’t put it online.

Apparently deacon. I told people, this is a great deal. You should put it online, right? It’s people putting it online top down. I said, no, we’re not looking to give 80 hours of developer credit to anyone in the world. We’re just trying to test out Andrew D do your ads work, we’re doing your courtesy stopped, like screwing us.

Don’t don’t post it online, please. Um, but do tell your friends if they need to hire developers, they should go to top.  dot com slash mixer. Do you really go research? You’ll see. This is the best deal they have. And if you want to try train UIL, you’ll get a big discount. If you use train, you will.com/mixergy.

Since I’m a fast talking, not in new Yorker anymore, but new Yorker at heart, I’m going to give you the spelling. It’s T R our a I N U a l.com/  dot com slash Mixergy. Alright, this was great deacon.

Deacon: thanks so much for having me on.

Andrew: Thanks. Bye.

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