We created a list of interesting questions and interviewed TOP marketers. Hope these answers will help to understand the main trends in digital marketing and find some hacks those improve your efficiency.
This is an interview with Zac Johnson. Zac is entrepreneur and internet marketer with 20+ years of experience. He worked at all periods of the formation and development of digital marketing. And his answers will interested for marketers at all levels.
1. How many years of experience in digital marketing do you have?
I’ve always had a passion for making money and having a business of my own. I first started making money online back in the mid-to-late 90s. What started off with making 468×90 banners for a dollar each for site owners in the AOL Web Diner chat room, to making money with affiliate marketing, and growing my expertise and brand into what it is today — it’s been more than 20+ years in the making. You can read all about those early days and how I got started, here.
2. In which branch of digital marketing do you have the strongest skills?
I’ve always enjoyed making money with affiliate marketing, building out sites and ranking content in the search results. As the internet environment continually changes, it’s a good idea to expand your expertise and skills in the process. With that said, I’ve continually had to adapt my brand and business over the years, along with the ways in which revenue has been generated through affiliate marketing (email, SEO, content).
3. What projects are you proud of?
When I launched my blog in 2007 at ZacJohnson.com, that was a big deal. I had already been making money online for over ten years at this point and wanted to focus on building a brand of my own and not being held hostage to the world of affiliate marketing or my next successful ad campaign or site. Since launching the blog, it’s resulted in a ton of amazing new opportunities and a whole new business in itself.
4. What is your most profitable project?
Right before I launched ZacJohnson.com, I actually had a pretty successful social networking resource website that was generating a ton of traffic and money during its peak. In just a three month span, the site went on to generate over $800,000 in profit. You can also read that whole story here.
5. What motivates you most of all?
Enjoying what I do. I’ve always had a passion for entrepreneurship and making money. Luckily, the internet came along at the right time and I was able to start building something pretty cool while I was in high school. Today I still work from home, get to speak at different conferences around the world, while also working on some cool projects and still enjoy what I do. Businesswise, that’s what matters most.
6. Most likely you always have more tasks than you have time. How do you prioritize your plans?
This is something everyone needs to work on and will struggle with at some point. Shiny objects are everywhere on the internet, and you need to stay focused on the main core of your business and not jump from project to project. Know what is making you the most money, and stay on the path. This is more about lessons learned, than having a quick fix.
7. Do you divide projects for money and for fun?
Since I run my own business, I get to manage my time as I like. Working from home makes that even more flexible. I also love playing basketball and make sure I get in a few hours of playing at least 2-4 times per week.
8. Do you have consulting experience? Who are your clients? What problems do they have most of all?
Consulting is great when you have decent clients. I usually stay away from consulting and open accept opportunities that are too good to pass up. Usually, these are with startups or organizations, and not individuals. However, to cater to the demands and requests for consulting, I do offer online courses for individuals who want to start an online business, and have had thousands of students take part in these online video courses and training webinars.
9. Which 3 tools do you use most of the time (analytics or SEO tools)?
I personally like SEMRush, TheHoth (and their on-site tools), and Ahrefs.
10. What are the TOP-3 errors you made in the beginning of your digital marketing career?
11. Which SEO strategy do you like the most and why?: To start a lot of projects and wait some time to see Google’s reaction or to start a 1-2 projects and work with them from the beginning?
Content creation and promotion have always worked best for me. I’m really good at creating great content and getting it to rank. To find the most success with a new project and SEO, you really need to put in the time, work, and effort to make sure you are going after a niche market and keywords that you can rank, monetize, and compete in.
12. Which strategy do you like the most and why?: To work in a niche with less money but face low competition or to work in big markets with high competition?
Guest blogging and content contributions on other sites work best. Not just for the backlinks and social shares, but also because it’s putting your brand and expertise in front of a whole new audience. This is still one of the best ways to grow a successful brand and business online.
13. Which method of education do you prefer and why?: To take some courses before you start practicing or to start practicing first and then taking some courses?
Online video tutorials and case studies. I’ve never been a big fan of reading books, but I can watch and read online tutorials, guides, and case studies all the time. I love seeing what other people are working on, and how the different test results and campaigns have worked for them.
14. Which ranking factors are currently the most undervalued in SEO (in your opinion)?
Unfortunately, Google SEO and desktop search are on the decline and mobile/social media is in. If your business or brand isn’t adapting to these changes, you will likely be wiped out.
15. How do you see the future of SEO (in 5 years)?
SEO will still matter for Google and desktop search, but the numbers are going to continue to decline. Mobile will be more important than ever, and social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook will be key. People want instant gratification through visuals (images and video), and aren’t looking to read long-form content anymore.
16. What do you think about promoting a couple of websites in one niche in order to monopolize the top of the SERP?
It’s best to have one master website and getting it to rank, so you don’t need to keep doing all the same work over and over again. Think about how hard it is to get one site to rank, then think about accomplishing the same for another three or four sites.
17. Have you used ppc traffic sources in your projects (adwords, facebook etc.)? For which purpose?
I used to rely on PPC marketing a lot more than I do now. Facebook Ads is always fun to work with because of their targeting and demographic options. Remarketing is also great for anyone willing to spend the time on getting it set up and working for them.
18. Nowadays almost every company uses email marketing. And each of us receive hundreds of emails that aren’t of interest to us. What do you think about the future of email? Which companies have a bigger chance of keeping this method as one of the most effective?
Email is still great. If you have a solid list of people that really care what you have to say, you don’t need a massive list to make a lot of money. Any business can win with email marketing if they are working with good data, have great landing pages, a solid autoresponder in place and also a business model that makes money and provides value to the end user.
19. Did you ever buy/sell websites? How successful were your transactions? How do you estimate the cost of the website?
I use Flippa for pretty much all of my buying and selling. I’ve done six-figures in transactions on their site. Over ten years ago I purchased BloggingTips.com for a decent amount, and it’s been a nice little side project ever since. I also pick up a lot of expired/premium domain names as well, using platforms like Pool or Namejet.
20. Which marketing/seo blogs do you like most of all and why?
There are so many out there. I really just find the latest articles and news through people I follow on Twitter and Facebook, and the content they are sharing. For affiliate marketing and SEO, I recommend following these blogs.
21. Which type of job do you like the most and why?: Fulltime employment, freelance, your individual projects etc.?
Depending on your time and skills, it will vary. Having your own business is best, but this is also the most work and isn’t for everyone. I think freelancing is a great way to start out, while also building a side business through blogging and online marketing at the same time. This is very scalable, and there is no reason why someone can’t start making $1,000+ a month working from home after six months of really dedicated work. From there, it’s just about scaling and improving growth and revenue.
22. What advice can you give those who are just starting their career in digital marketing?
My best advice is to just get started. Way too many people are spending way too much time reading what others are doing or trying to figure out how to make money overnight. It’s easy to get started with an online business or blog, but it’s not easy to make money or find long-term success. That is why this industry is so amazing. Anyone can find personal or financial success if they are truly dedicated. In short, treat your online business like a business — and do the necessary research before jumping into a new niche market.