They would just do like a cross-promotion. They just did the JV partnership. He had to make money online, free course. She had a list of poor musicians and they blasted it out. I took his course. It was a 30 day course on basically SEO. I made a sale. It took me like 90 days and I made a $27 sale. I was excited and got hooked, and that was the very, very beginning. I did that for a few years, making not a lot of money but enough to make it worth my while. Then I ended up moving. My life was a mess. I was a drunk, I was a musician, I was out of control, I was in a lot of trouble all the time.
I moved to L.A. to kind of change my life. I didn’t have a job when I moved here, so I focused … For the first time ever, I focused on my SEO campaigns 100%. During that first three weeks, I was contacted out of nowhere by an affiliate manager. You know how they go look up websites and contact people and go, “Hey, it’s Steve from whatever network, and we’ve got the better payouts.” These days I don’t even respond to those people. But this was the first time I’d ever seen it and he hit me up out of nowhere. He had found one of my sites in a search engine and he contacted me and said, “Hey, I see you’re doing dating ads or something, dating blogs, and I wanted to introduce you to some of our offers.” I was perplexed, so I called the dude.
We had a conversation. He said, “I can help you with your dating offers, or there’s this other thing that people are doing.” He told me the numbers they were doing, and it was in the tens of thousands of dollars a day revenue. I was making maybe $3,000 a month with working all the time for years and I had built this SEO thing. He said, “Yeah, I’ve got guys doing like 50K a day.” I was like, “What? Doing what? What do I have to do?” He said, “I can help you expand on what you’re doing now, or you could pause what you’re doing there. Let me show you this other thing.” We spent the next week or so going over it. He showed me ad words, he showed me the offers, we signed up for the network, and he coached me along the way.
I think within 30 or 60 days, I was one of the biggest affiliates they had on their network. It just clicked with me and it exploded, and I rode the waves for years. Still, I’m riding the wave, really. What network was that? Oh, what were they called? I’m not going to say. Okay. Mine was Azoogle. I think Azoogle was the first one that I got in contacted with back in the day. I guess it’s no problem. They were called Motive. Motive Interactive. Oh, I know Motive, yeah, yeah. Nice. This was 10 years ago … Nine years ago. Good to hear they’re still around. I just noticed something. Do you have a pair of headphones you could slip on? Just because when I talk, I can hear it in your end here. Yeah. Let me see … I’ve never done this. This is so cool. Now I feel like I’m Rogan, because … Where is the input. We’ll need some edibles and some Caveman coffee.
If you just walk about three steps that way and we’ll be good. Nice. Well, I’m in Victoria, British Columbia, where there are more legal dispensaries than there are Starbucks. Oh cool, yeah. There’s like 20 legal dispensaries within a kilometer from where I am right now. It’s a weed lovers paradise. Yeah, it’s a big deal man. It’s been a game changer for me. Drinking didn’t work. Like I said before, I was a straight up lunatic drunk and I spent eight years completely, never did anything. And then I tried the legal marijuana on a doctor’s recommendation and it’s been a big help for me anyways. But I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t legal, there’s no way in hell I would even bother with it, if it wasn’t legal. But that’s cool. Really? I’m curious about that. Just because you wouldn’t want to risk that, basically, with all you’ve kind of built up. You’ve come from that place, now you’re here. You just wouldn’t want to risk the legal implications of the …
Yeah, it’s not worth it. Being able to get high is not worth risking a 10 year jail sentence or something. Yeah, it’s for real in the States too. In Canada, it’s always felt like it’s only gonna be a slap on the wrist anyway. ‘Cause I guess it’s been decriminalized here for quite a long time, so that’s pretty interesting. Yeah, well where I come from, I’m originally from Oklahoma and they’re still giving people life sentences and 30 years, 20 year sentences for a joint and stuff, so it’s not worth it. So for you, why was the move to LA so important. Was it just … I know people tend to like, it’s almost like in our DNA as like settlers. To go West, to go somewhere else. Why was it so important for you to head West my son, in order to restart your life? It was a move, a couple things. It was, my life was a train wreck. I had wrecked my life. I was 34 years old when I left, so I wasn’t a young guy really. I had lived a long life really, and it had gone really badly and I found myself in a position of either …
I didn’t know how much longer I would make it in the area I was in. I wanted to clean up my life and change it. And moving and getting away from all of the stuff that was around me, was the best bet that I had. I was dating a girl that lived here in Beverly Hills. We were doing a long distance thing. And so, and that was the other side of it. She invited me to move here. I moved here. And California just has this vibe. The day I got here, I woke up that first morning and I could breathe again. In Oklahoma, my allergies were really bad and here, they didn’t bother me. And I started meeting people and everyone was about like this universal energy and this weird art and music, and I was like, “This is the greatest place on earth.” But yeah, it was really two fold. I was pursuing a relationship and then, even more importantly, I was desperately in need of a change.
And I lucked out, man. I got here and within 60 days, I think that’s when my affiliate stuff exploded. Maybe even 40 days. From not knowing anything, to being a monster. Just on top of the whole industry, up there at the top. It was crazy. It happened really fast. It was amazing, kind of accidental. I wasn’t planning it or anything. It just all went boom and my whole life changed, in a matter of months. And your first big hits were in search engine marketing? Well I was doing SEO, making enough to get by. Yeah. But the big hit came from, it was Adwords. Yeah, PPC, search, Adwords. Nice. This was in 2008, late. And they were much more affiliate friendly back then. You could load up a campaign of just about anything, set the budget to a million dollars a day and just let it fly and they would just run it. And these days, it’s much more hard to run affiliate stuff on Adwords. But I loved it and I rode it hard while it lasted. But that was the first big hit, was Adwords.
Yeah. For me too. I came up in the industry as an internal affiliate at Never Bloom and my first big win was e-cards. Making e-cards work. Building little mini sites that were putting a skin on IACE cards, fun cards. And I remember we did 28 grand one day on a Valentine’s e-card, little mini site. And I was, in order to like play with Google at that time, which I think was around 2007, 2008.
We were having to write blog posts about why e-cards are the best. Just to get content in to our little mini sites around e-cards. That rush. This wasn’t even my money. I was making good money at the time, but it wasn’t my money. It wasn’t my money I was putting on the line. Like I say, I was an internal affiliate. But that rush of hitting the refresh button and just seeing something take off is … Maybe I’m still chasing that, to some extent with what I’m doing now. We all are. I know exactly what you’re talking about and I have a massively addictive personality. No matter what it is, like pushing F5 and refreshing. When I to see sales come in that fast. You know, in the beginning, it wasn’t tremendously quick, but you could refresh and you’d have more clicks and maybe another sale.
It was just like, “Are you kidding me?” And then you’d push it again and 50 more dollars. And you’re like, “What?” I remember in the beginning, I never had access to the , so I was working online with Motive, making a little bit of money, a couple hundred bucks a day here and there. I would go out to the beach five days a week, and my favorite thing to do was sit there with my iPhone, and they didn’t have an app, but I would just log in to their site and I’d sit there on the beach and click refresh and it would go, “35 more.” And I’m looking around, going, “Cool.
70 more.” And it just blowed my mind. Here we are, nine years later, and I probably refresh my stats a hundred times a day. Like I still do it. It’s one of the most fun parts of the day. Especially when the numbers get crazy. We are full integrated with Slack and Stripe and Paypal, so we’re selling our Facebook Master Class and the six week affiliate mastery challenge, which is just about to start. And so we get notified every time a sale comes through. And now I’ve augmented it, so that I have a … ‘Cause one of my, my second big success or one of my other big successes was with Yahoo. Was with Yahoo Media buying a display media byte. So I got a nice . I got a Yahoo button, that I like to carry around with me, that does the old, “Yahoo,” kind of as a joke. So every time we get a sale, I’m slamming the Yahoo button and everyone in the office gets to hear that glorious cry from the early 2000s that everyone loves so much.
Yeah man, I did that for a while. I had a thing set up with Click Bank, really, really early on. Before the paid traffic, I was promoting some Click Bank offers. And it would email you every time you had a sale. Probably making like eight sales a day, and I could put a sound on that email, so it would sound like a cash register. Nice. So I’d be sitting there with my iPhone and I’d here, “Chaching.” And I’d just go, “Oh my God.” And then it would go, “buhbing,” another 10 minutes later and you’re just thinking, “This is insane.” But after a while, everybody I know that’s done a cash register sound, once you scale to a super high volume, it becomes, the novelty wears off, ’cause it’s like, “Caching caching caching caching,” all day long.
People are like, “What’s wrong with your phone?” I have an addictive personality. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Totally. I wanted to … What’s the art behind you? I don’t know if you’ve talked about that in your podcast. I just had to ask. What is that? I can’t tell you, to be honest. Interesting. It’s some stuff that- It’s personal. It’s personal, yeah. Fair enough. It’s no big deal, it’s not like Picasso’s or anything like that. They’re SOE prints of some amazing art that I just personally like. Very cool. I’ve got a lot of my grandfather’s art in here too.
He was a painter, an artist, and I have a bunch of his stuff. But behind me is just some prints of some other stuff. Nice. I wanted you to finish a little bit more about your story. So you got up to the point where you’re a super affiliate. Just killing it on a bunch of different traffic sources. Then, at what point did you decide that you wanted to create your own sort of, not guru … ‘Cause I think of you, you’re kind of like an anti-guru, in a way. ‘Cause it’s like, most of your videos that you even talk about, you’re not even really talking about marketing on most of your videos these days. You’re just sort of talking about life and inspirational things and stuff like that.
When did you decide that you wanted to first of all, create Mad Society? I didn’t. People asked me to build it, or I never would have built the format. No intention of building a form … Well, let’s go back a little bit. What happened with the guru type stuff, the only reason that I do this is, like two years ago or whenever it was, I had a blog and no one really read it. I had poetry and my little daily stuff that I was up to, and 10 people read it a week. Then one day, I wrote a post about affiliate marketing, about how … I forget what it was, but I wrote one post and I published it. And I usually, like I said, I got five or 10, maybe 15 views on an article that I would post.
And this one went live and I had, I watched it and like midway through the next day, all of a sudden I just had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people viewing this thing. I thought I was under attack, they were all from Asia. I didn’t know where this was coming from, I had never seen it like this. It took me about a day to figure it out, and what had happened was Charles had posted it on his Facebook and he had a pretty big blog building at that time as well. And he retweeted it and posted it on there, so I had like 900 people from all over the world.
Croatia and China and Korea and all these places. And I thought, and like any good addict, I was like, “Well, okay a thousand people read this post. Let’s do that again.” Like I wrote another one. You got any more of that traffic? Yeah, like let’s see what happens now. A bunch of people, maybe like 150 people signed up on my email list the day that I did that, so I posted another affiliate thing, and sure enough, just boom. It just swarmed and people signed up on my list. And then I got hooked on it. And I started doing it twice a week.
And that’s been going on now for years. as often as I used to, but it just kind of happened by accident. And it wasn’t planned, I wasn’t like, “Well, I’m gonna start a blog and make some money with it.” I just literally wrote what I was up to that day, a thousand people viewed it and I just was like, “Okay.” I just kept doing it. And now it’s been two years. And the Mass Society thing was kind of the same. I was doing a Periscope show in the morning, called Morning Coffee With Malan Z, where I just turned on Periscope and talked to whoever showed up. And we ended up, it was mostly about marketing. Yeah man, coffee . Water cheers. Hydration cheers. Dehydration in my case. That’s where all this , was on Periscope. It was like three to five days a week. We were talking about life, campaigns, they were asking me questions. We were just having fun. And at some point, they said, “We want a place … We need somewhere to hang out when you’re not on Periscope.” I said, “I don’t know.” They said, “Make a Facebook group.” I was like, “Okay.” I made a Facebook group and a couple hundred people signed up for it instantly.
I said, “What is this?” And then they wanted me to hang out with them. I said, “Well, I don’t have time to hang out in there. There’s nothing, it’s not like … I spend my time on things that make money. This is just, this is fun, but there’s nothing in it for me.” And they said, “Well, charge us.” I said, “Well, what would you guys pay? What ?” They said, “Well, it would be a forum. We would pay you whatever a month.” They gave me different price ranges, they said, “You could post stuff here, and then you’ll be financially incentivized to hang out with us and spend time there.” And I said, “Okay. Okay.” I said, “If I build it, will you guys actually sign up?” And they said yes and I built it. One of the guys actually built it for me, one of the people. Darren, if you’re watching. This guy Darren got ahold of me and said, “I’ll help you build it.” So he built it for me.
We started letting in like five people a week, just to make sure it worked. And any time I would allow five people to sign up, like 50 people would sign up. Like what is this? And so slowly, it just open doors and several hundred people signed up, and it’s been running for two years and I never in my life would have imagined running an affiliate marketing forum.
But it kind of just, like I said, it built itself. And it did, to some … But the necessity was created by what? Your transparency, your honesty, all of the … Your crystal clear radio voice. All of these things. It was just, there was something that really drew people to you. Yeah, for sure. I’m definitely different. It’s a slippery slope, doing this kind of, when you talk about affiliate marketing, because everyone goes down the route of the dry erase board and number one, here we go. . And all this stuff.
And for me, I did slip in to that for a few months, but it just wasn’t sustainable. I couldn’t fake, I couldn’t make things up like that on a regular basis. And when the YouTube channel really took off, was when I stopped doing, “Today, we’re gonna talk about how to deal with low ROIs on mobile …” When I stopped doing that and didn’t prepare at all, and I just turned the camera on, no preparation, put the microphone in front of me and was like, “Hey, good morning. How are you guys doing?” We’d do coffee cheers and we’d just kind of sit around and talk. When I started doing that, my subscribers started growing five times as fast. Like instead of getting 10 a day, I’d start getting 50. Like, “I think I figured it out. I just talk. Sometimes it’s about affiliate marketing, sometimes it’s not.” And then in the forum, people tell me where they found me, is one of the things I like to know. Like how did you even get here? And a lot of them now say YouTube. Like, “Your YouTube marketing is really working.” I’m not marketing. Like I’m just talking and it seems to work.
But yeah, people like, I think the industry needs a real voice. They need some to see … Like I tell people when I lose something. I tell people about the bad times. ‘Cause way too many people just show sports cars and these freaking beach . Like, “I’m just living the dream.” And they’re not. Nine times out of 10, these guys have never done anything of significance, and the only money that they’ve ever made is by selling courses to new people, who don’t understand. There’s very few, like 1% of the people that talk about affiliate marketing, actually have done anything with it. The rest are just pretenders. And so, my name checks out. You can ask around. There’s no debate on whether I’m for real or not. And not to brag, I’m just saying ask anyone, as anyone that’s been in the industry for the last 10 years, and they can show you screenshots of numbers or whatever. And I think it’s important to have some real people talking about .
Like I said, most of it’s garbage. Jason’s great, Jason . Charles No is for real. All the guys fro Stack That Money are, they’ve all done incredible things, it’s all legit. But it’s the weird little side bloggers, are the people, the guys on YouTube that are older dudes, with cheap headphones. And you can see their house is falling apart in the background and they’re selling this million dollar system The system, right? Yeah. It’s funny, when we did our webinar for the last six weeks AMC, I had someone come in who had done a lot of webinars before and talked to me about them. I showed them the script. And he’s like, “In this script, when you talk here,” he’s like, “You’re gonna tell people that they’re going to lose money. And you say that way too much in this webinar.” And it was a highly successful webinar. We ended up selling a lot of seats for the six week AMC. But I think we probably said over 10 times, like, “Now remember, when you start affiliate marketing, you’re gonna lose money.
You’re gonna …” And it’s just like, I bet that is sort of an anti-webinar in that sense. Because that’s something we try to do in training, is really walk that line, let people know that this isn’t a system for money making. These are skills that you can build on over time and you can make a lot of money with it, if you really put yourself in to it, but it’s not a check the box system that has you making money at the end of it. Yeah, and that’s what everyone really is dying to see.
That’s why ads like one weird trick work so well because everyone wants the blueprint but there’s a special secret sauce like private system that I’ve used for years. And like you said, it does … there are systems that work, and the money that’s being made is real, but in the beginning you will lose money. Like I lost 3 grand my first month and the best part of that is, what I tell people is, you’re definitely going to lose money, maybe even all of it but the reason … it’s not because it’s a scam or because it doesn’t work, it’s because you suck at affiliate marketing right now and you’re going to suck until you’ve spent some time and put some money in the game and learn some lessons and that can take 30, 60, 90 days at minimum. And you can speed that up … It’s going to be …
I was going to say you can speed that up by joining MAD Society, joining STM, taking one of the courses. Like these are ways that you can … there are ways that you can speed up that learning curve, which is important to know, but the thing is you still have to go through all that stuff yourself. Yeah, yeah. Working with a mentor or someone legit, like a lot of mentors are even worse. They’re charging people 10, 15 thousand dollars to work with them and they don’t teach them … they confuse people and that’s their game. But a Stack That Money … when I started there was no resources like Stack That Money or Mad Society or Aff Playbook or anything like that. You were on your own, you know, it was like you and if the affiliate manager wouldn’t help you, you were … but yeah the forums can definitely shortcut you, but there’s still going to be that period where you launch … even if I posted exact campaign that I’m running right now, let’s say it’s making $1000 a day …
Even if you launch it you’re going to lose money on it in the beginning, because there’s no … you cannot just copy and paste something and make it work immediately. It’s weird like that, it’s almost like there’s a weird magic in … 3 people could launch the same campaign the same day, 2 of them fail miserable, and 1 for some reason makes all the money. It’s a very strange thing that I’ve seen many, many times but you will lose money, yeah. People have to know that. And they do, but you’re not going to hear that from all the Ferrari drivers out there. That’s not part of their sales pitch, which is why they probably have a wider funnel. A wider and like … but a shorter customer life cycle maybe, they don’t … because people get disillusioned and then they bounce out or whatever, but that’s something were trying to walk with because we want to … Affiliate media buying, like your whole intro where you talked about coming from SEO into affiliate media buying where you sort of decided okay, I’m going to force the issue. I want to stop having to rely on people to come to properties and build stuff up over time.
I want to buy traffic and really, you know, force the issue as I say. This is what I talked with Lorenzo about last week and it’s just … yeah, it allows you to accelerate your learnings that much quicker, but it also accelerates the risk for potential losing as well. Yeah, yeah. The SEO thing is faith, it’s hard to lose all you lose is time, but you lose a lot of time. And the potential upside is so small, like you, I don’t know anyone whose built a multi-million dollar SEO business in the last half a decade, or decade. Maybe they’re out there, I don’t know any of them. Yeah. If you do scale SEO it’s usually so black hat that it’s short lived, you know? Yeah. So with this stuff, yeah, you can force the issue but you will lose money fast as well. For sure, but that’s good too because sometimes …
Every dollar you lose is like another lesson learned, and so, you shouldn’t race out … and this is important … you should not race out and try to lose money, because you know, everybody is so stupid. These guys like, who would be a good … Gary Vaynerchuk, is a good idea. Not that he’s stupid, he’s awesome, but I’m not a fan of his … some of the things that he says, but they say … they talk about failure a lot. “Oh you’ve got to get out there and fail. Failure is a part of success. It’s part of the process, if you’re going to strive…” So, everyone goes out and starts celebrating at their failures. Like those contact meetings really go … “I’ve lost $6,000 man I’m on my way!” I’m like dude, while failure is a part of the process, it’s not the goal.
Like you should be trying to get out of losing money as quickly as possible. You know you’re going to lose some in the beginning but there’s no pride in losing money in this game. There’s no pride in failure unless it’s a step. So I think it’s a real dangerous thing to just say like “Get out there and fail, the steps to success is fail, fail, fail.” It’s like I don’t know man … Yeah the whole check thing, it’s all the grind right? Like you’ve gotta … you’re not winning unless you’re working yourself to death more or less. That whole idea is a little bit difficult to swallow, like, I don’t know if it’s a West Coast thing but work life balance …
I’m working my ass off in what I’m doing now but work life balance is a very important thing and that’s … obviously I’ve got a kid too so that’s something that I’m hyper focused about but yeah … there are … some of those higher end gurus … him and Grant Cardone is someone that’s like … I remember I saw an infomercial with him where he’s just like “every time you are out having a drink with a buddy, I was grinding.” And all of this stuff and I’m like uh I don’t know if that’s for me.
Yeah, I don’t know anything … I watched just a part of Grant Cardone one time and it wasn’t my thing. But Gary is entertaining, but he just does push the … exhaustion route, which is true. I mean in the beginning I’d say I worked 18 hours a day for the first 6 months. Like I slept maybe 6 hours, and I slept with a laptop in my bed and I was just so enveloped in the whole thing, like I was obsessed.
When new people … there’s a point where you can slack off but in the beginning you really have to go crazy and put in those hard hours. But long term you’ll burn yourself out and fall apart, and you look at some of these guys that promote the exhaust yourself to success lifestyle and they don’t look good. Their face is pale, maybe they’re hair starts falling out, they’re putting on weight or something … it’s like I don’t know if that’s what I want to do.
Good for you man. Enjoy your 5th Ferrari, or whatever it is you’re going for but it’s not the route I take these days anyway. Yeah. One of the things I wanted to bring up here … I don’t know if you know Paul Jay Paul, but he’s one of my close friends and he’s … we’ve been working with him on a couple things. He met you at one event and was chatting with you and he said one of the things he likes about you and your affiliate marketing sort of background is you’ve made a lot of random shit work. He said that there’s a lot … you’re good at like … because its like when you look at an affiliate network, they have 100 offers or something like that, but they have only 5 or something that are really driving the bulk of the money. But he said that you’ve had … in your experience and what he knew of you, is that you’ve been able to take things, you’ve been that first mover on some things where, you know, tried a new thing and you found a …
Make it work. Is that, first of all is that true? Would you own up to that description as someone who goes out there and tries new things. And then what do you have to say about that? Well it’s a weird thing because … yeah, I’ve done some things that were original ideas and even if they weren’t original I was with the guy who we were kind of talking about it and came up with a concept. Maybe it was his idea, maybe I innovated on his idea, but I’ve been a first mover in some cases, but not all the cases. But ill say … like 20% of the time they’re brand new ideas, 80% I’m following everyone else and then just innovating and making it better. That being said, that 20% of original ideas I came up with probably made the 80% of the money. The ideas that no one’s thought of exploded so big and it transformed the industry in a way that almost to this day if I go online and click through on ads, in 2017 I still see my images and graphics that I made on peoples landing pages.
These are things I made in 2008. 9 years later the banner ads, or whatever, the graphic, the blinking button, it’s still on people’s website, it’s the funniest thing. But yeah man, so, the original ideas are way harder to make them work because they’re just not proven but when you can make them work, when I’ve made them work they’ve been bombs, bombs go off, like unbelievable type of stuff. But the rest of the time its just doing the normal find what’s working, launch that and try to make it better and then I’ll scale those things into oblivion. But it seems like its worth peoples … if nothing else, just because that 20% that you created ends up being 8-% of what other people try as well because they’ll fast follow you and copy it as well, so we need these prime movers. So I think it behooves affiliates out there to be like … to spend some of their time trying to be original. That’s not … a lot of the message is just figure out what’s working and replicate it but there’s got to be some effort put into thinking outside the box and creating shit or the industry is going to stagnate.
Yeah and it’s where the most money is, like when you come up … and I’ve read a story about a guy that came up with the survey lander … or it was one of the sweepstakes, the original sweepstakes lander in like 2007 he came with it. And I was able to … this is the other thing. He was able to run it in obscurity, like no one knew about it. It takes about 3 or 4 months for people to catch on and he talked about how his numbers went from losing a little bit to making 500 a day to 5,000 to 25,000. And then when you scale it that big, everyone sees what you’re doing, copies it and they flood the market copying your campaign and you can feel the numbers go. They’re going up and you can feel it just kind of go … starts to get weird, like what’s going on, and you look around the web and everyone’s running your page or your ads and you go oh no they got me.
But you know that grace period of about 90 to 120 days when no one knows what you’re doing – those are … that’s what dreams are made of man. Nice. I forget where I read that. It was either in Stack That Money or on a something way back in the day. Its a good time … and that’s the downside is when people see what you’re doing they will copy it. It’s sort of inevitable right? Like you yourself 80% of what you’re doing is building on what other affiliates … it’s sort of understood I think in this space to some extent but it doesn’t stop it from sucking when you see, you know … even back to my eCards example. I have a friend here in town who became a friend later who used to leave comments on our blogs to be like … our eCards blogs to be like “hey good idea, don’t mind if I do.” And he’d literally like leave a comment and then I knew that we were going to see a clone of our site up a little bit later and … right now this comes to me when I go out there and I look at the courses were putting on and I see …
This is actually totally different but I see all the pirates out there who are pirating the courses that we create and all the places that you can get hard courses for 90% discount … I’m talking to you. Get us off of there. But yeah it’s a very interesting space because it’s still in some sense it’s still the Wild West. There’s still this … you can totally just jump on board and copy people but at the same time you’re not going to really succeed until you can create something original. You’re not going to get to those really high levels unless you can kind of innovate I think. Yeah and innovation is the key word. A friend told me a long time ago. He said “the moneys not an invention, it’s an innovation.” The person who comes up with the idea never makes as much money as the guy who takes that idea and then innovates it.
Yeah. I notice that all the time like you know back in the day you could copy and paste a campaign and have a pretty good chance of making money, but these days what I do is I’ll copy someone else campaign … and this is good advice for anyone … I’ll copy the campaign and all it is a baseline for me to operate against. So, if I and I see that they’re flow has a 50 cent EPC or whatever, then my job is to work against it, start changing things, but use it as a bar.
So my job is just to beat the bar. So ill only use their page, or their images, or their headline or whatever, until I come up with what beats it and then I’ll try to beat that … so by the end it’s completely different than what I started with. And then people start stealing that idea from me. Heres another thing, once I get it to the point to where it’s dominating the original and 700 people steal the best version that I have and they start running it I don’t even get mad because what I’ll do is I sometimes I get an alert that such and such domain is using your page. You can set up scripts to tell you. And then I’ll just put them on a watch list and I can monitor their domains to see when they change my page. And when I get an alert that says they’ve changed something, like lets say they have a new headline, I’ll just take the headline and put it on my page to test it and many, many thousand times there’s will blow mine out of the water so yeah they stole it from me and it pissed me off, but they ended up being …
I used them like employees. They’re my split testers now and I watch them and if it’s new images I get an email that says “new images have been added to whatever.com” and I’ll go grab it and stick it on my page hey that’s an extra $400 a day, thank you sir, or whoever you are. It’s inverted ad spying. Yes, they’re my employees and I’ve been in that situation where I innovated a new lander and it was taken by literally hundreds of people all at once it blew up and I got really mad. But after that experience it taught me like, okay, what’s the script that tells you if someone jacks your lander, okay, let me put that one. Now let me set this up to email me and you can get kind of innovative with it, so when they steal it instead of getting pissed off you go “sweet, another one, another tester.” Nice. So, what do you think this is … what do you think is the … everyone talks about eCommerce these days, everyone … a lot of people are jumping on Facebook. What’s your person stance on sort of, like where you’re going to be putting your energies in the coming months in affiliate marketing.
Are you trying to break into the eCommerce game or are you really focused on whatever you’ve been traditionally running? I’m not focused on it at all, I thought about it like a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago people started talking about it. Some of my friends are the biggest guys in that space now. But I learned a lesson a long time ago, and that is for me to stick with what I’m good at, and what I’m really good at is running traffic and creating customers for less money than I get paid. That’s what I’m good at. I jumped off … actually no one knows this but in the very, very beginning I was doing SEO, I was running an eBook and it was doing really well.
I copied the product, changed the name, came up with my own version of it and started promoting it but unfortunately it was too close to the original and they shut me down. But, I tried running my own product way back in the day and then maybe 2010 I became a product owner. I stopped doing affiliate stuff and built my own version of the product that I was running traffic for and I tried that for a year. After a year working on it and I think I broke about even for the whole year and it was a disaster.
I didn’t have any funds, I was on the phone with banks, post offices and all this crap and it just didn’t interest me at all. I went back to doing CPA, Arbitrage marketing, and everything exploded again. It just taught me a lesson like no matter what people are doing I don’t care. I know what I’m good at and as long as it’s still working I’m just going to continue doing it. The downside is you can’t … you hear a lot of these eCommerce guys talk about building a business they can sell someday and you can’t sell a CPA marketing persons … I don’t even have a team or anything. So you do miss out on that side of it, like the exit side where the huge moneys at, but I don’t even care.
I make more money right now that it’s all good. As far as eCommerce I haven’t done any of it yet. I was there when it started, like the first flashlight campaign, I was one of the first affiliates to run it and that basically created that whole industry so, I have run those offers but I’ve never built one. Interesting. Yeah I was just listening to your podcast about Johnny Depp, about … it’s not about how much money you make it’s how much money you keep as well, right? That’s the metric that matters the most. It is mind boggling to think how Johnny Depp has spent that much money, or Mike Tyson … your story about Mike Tyson and his Vegas trips. All these peak experiences. That’s sort of my next question, I wanted to get into a little bit about your lifestyle. That’s something that you kind of put on display a little bit in some of your podcasts.
One thing, I’d like an update on your closet. I’d like to know whether your closet minimalism has maintained because you took us on a tour on your podcast of the way your closet was. You had like 8 t-shirts, like 1 pair of jeans and this idea of … it’s something my wife and I are going through right now. We’ve got a kid and so we’ve just brought so much stuff into the house, so many games, so many plastic things. I’m kind of bad like I buy clothes and my closet is just this ever growing thing. So I’m interested in sort of applying some of these minimalist techniques. But I’m interested to hear from you whether you’ve maintained this minimalist approach. I’ve sort of maintained it.
That video is hilarious because I just heard about this thing called … the condo something, the merry condo. And I did the video about it not knowing that it was a massive trend happening in the world. That video … my videos usually get about 1,000 to 15 hundred plays. That video has like 115,000 views because people are so into it. I showed my closet, I went through the system and did it. If I showed it to you now it looks exactly the same but I did hang up some pants, some shirts and stuff so instead of just the 4 folded items of clothing and using her special folding method I did go back to … I have some sweaters and sweatshirts and things hung in the closet.
But other than that it’s pretty much the same. The thing I didn’t tell everyone in that video was that I took everything and just put it in another closet. That other closet does still exist but I literally haven’t used … maybe pulled 2 things out of there in the last year, so at some point it’s all going to go but for now it’s still there. . I have a 2 closet system too where I put a bunch of stuff that I … but then … but what I’m trying to do is go through that second closet like … and be like “have I touched this in a year?” If I haven’t touched it in a year then it’s gone kind of thing. That’s the key, like if you want to minimalize your life and live more of a minimal lifestyle, you do exactly that.
Like with a desk, I’m seeing situations … I read an article where … and I did this with my desk. You take everything off the desk, everything, there’s nothing on the desk. And then you think what do I need? And you slowly as you need it you bring things back. Like, okay, I’m going to need a laptop right? So you have your laptop, and then maybe you want a mouse, but only if you need it. Not that you might use it in the future, if you’re missing the mouse then you bring … you go to the box, you take the mouse and you put it there. If that’s it, that’s it, but then if you go okay I need a pencil and a piece of paper.
Now that’s going to be here, but you only bring back things as they’re needed. You’d be surprised man, like 80% of the things in your desk you won’t even bring back. Like why did I have that cactus, why did I have that superman toy? Why was there a magnifying glass? A Yahoo button? Purple Yahoo button. 7 sets of headphones and all these cables and it’s a cool experiment to take everything, put it in a box and then bring it back as needed. You could do that with your kitchen, with your bedroom, with your bathroom, whatever and you’ll be surprised how many things stay in the box and you just at some point throw them away or donate them. And I think you … yeah its like I look at our closets and its like we don’t touch … we don’t go into our closets hardly, they’ve just become these static like stacks of shit that we don’t use.
And it’s like we’ve talked about moving into a new house and it’s like why would we move into a new house when were not using … were not even properly using or engaging the space that we have. So, I think it’s a really interesting thing for people to be conscious of. And I think affiliate marketers in general are people that are sort of outside the box thinkers. They’re living sort of non-standard professional lives, so I imagine it’s something that people think about. And it’s cool that your video caught that trend. It’s funny when I watched that video this afternoon, I just saw a thousand other videos on the side each all this specific minimalist thing. Yeah. So that was interesting. I wonder if you converted any of those into affiliates? I had to of because the subscriber rate went through the roof.
Everyone that watched that video subscribed and it went on and on … the first day it had like 6,000 views and I would hit refresh and it would go 7. I’m like what is happening? But yeah I picked up a lot of followers and people … but mainly women, and mainly people interested in minimalism so it didn’t really like back out at the mad society forum or anything like that. But I think one thing to bring up too about affiliate marketing and this stuff is what … you know affiliate marketers can make way more money than they’re used to, you know, way more money than doctors and attorneys and stuff.
And what happens in the beginning … I’ve seen it happen a lot, people will make tremendous amounts of money and they start buying stuff, because it feels good. Especially if you’ve been broke as a child and when you were growing up like I was. It feels fantastic to be able to buy like a Rolex or a Ferrari. You know you start thinking about … I need a Bentley Tesla helicopter and all these things and I went through that phase and I bought some Louis Vuitton crap and some Dulce Gabbana bags and some things … a bunch of clothes, just thousands and thousands … Your Versace shirts? It was going to make me feel good. Yeah I actually had some Versace shirts. I remember you talked about those. I don’t have them anymore. But what I ended up doing was I ended up giving most of that stuff away, put it in a trash bag and put it on Craigslist and just gave it to a guy and he was ecstatic.
But what I learned is that the buying things … that’s why everyone has so much stuff is because were trying to make ourselves happy and you keep thinking you can buy … if I had the new MacBook with the cool toolbar on there, man my life would be great. Then you get it and you go okay my life still sucks. Maybe I need a Ferrari. And then you get a Ferrari and you’re happy for like 2 days and then you’re in the Ferrari like wanting to blow your brains out. Then you start to realize that all these things that you’re buying, and that we stick in our closets and on storage shelters and all these places – they don’t do anything for you. They make you happy for a minute and then you feel like an idiot. I did anyway. You think you’re going to complete your ego in some way right? Like “oh I need a new pair of shoes for Fall.” I was just in the shoe store looking at a pair of Nike’s …
I’ve got an issue with shoes, and I’m like oh I don’t have this kind of Nike and once I put that into my repertoire it’ll really like, really do what? Will someone notice oh he’s got those shoes versus those shoes. Like how does that make your life any better really, you know? It’s stupid. I carried that Luis Vuitton bag through an airport one time and it had wheels on it, you know a suitcase. I was so embarrassed. For some reason it just made me feel terrible, like an idiot, and I never used it on a flight again. Plus, it was so expensive I was terrified to let them check it. Yeah. I’m like this bag costs more than your car. Like you’re going to take it … you know they’re going to throw it and so you’re so scared. These days you know what I use now? I went to Walmart and I got like a $suitcase and when it breaks in half I’ll go get another one and just use that. And I don’t really care.
I think you go through … everyone goes through that phase when they get a couple extra bucks. You just want to blow it. Yeah. But at the same time … there are some things that you do want good shit for, you know? Like instead of buying a lot of shitty things it’s maybe sometimes better to buy one quality something, you know? Or am I deluding myself in that? No I … but the delusion I think … and an ex girlfriend told me this. She wanted everything Luis Vuitton she said “oh because the craftsmanship, it lasts so much longer.” Its just not, there’s very well made cheaper stuff that you can buy.
But I do think when I made my first big haul or whatever, I was able to pay off my crappy little car and get a new, nice BMW car that I’ve driven now for 8 years. And I got a nicer place to live, so there are these certain things that of course you want to upgrade. You don’t want to have a crappy computer and you’re making 4 million dollars a year, you know? There’s no shame in going out and getting a new MacBook Pro and stuff. But its when you see the guys with the Rolex on each arm, the diamonds here, diamonds there. They’re doing bottle service everywhere. Number one, to me that says I see an unhappy person whose like really trying to fill a hole left by their parents or something not loving them or not being around. And then number two they go broke. Like you see those guys who really start spending like crazy, immediately, they’re all back at jobs now man.
I’ve seen guys that were making a million, 2 million dollars a year in 2008 and 2009, and now you talk to them now, and they live in an apartment in Alaska and they’re working at an oil field, and you’re like what happened? They spent it all, you know? Luis Vuitton man. Nice. So, I want to … this kind of leads into my next thing I wanted to talk about which is … I like to end these things by talking a little bit about peak experiences and like why people are you know … you have an addictive personality, you’re addicted to winning, a little bit. You’re addicted to like the winning feeling you get when you make campaigns work. But like why do you do it? What is it that affiliate marketing grants you? What do you do with your freedom that really like fulfills you or gives …
Even if it is just that dopamine hit. Like what is it that you’re sort of after in life? Oh this is a … that’s a tough one. Let me say, this is the first thing that pops into my head is the reason I was so focused on it in the beginning … and I’m gonna be real honest with you here, this isn’t gonna … I’m gonna be honest. I needed something to transfix my crazy brain on so that I could stay sober. In a weird way. Like I was newly sober, lived here, didn’t know anybody and the affiliate marketing game and all the numbers and stats and pushing all the buttons – it really just controlled my crazy brain at first. See that’s why I was able to sit in the room for 16 hours a day or 18 hours a day and do it. So that was the first thing that it gave me, was just a … and when I’m working its almost like a meditation. That’s why I like doing the work myself, I don’t want to hire people to do it because when I’m working on these numbers it sucks your whole mind into it.
You’re not really thinking about other things. You could get drawn into this thing. And it’s like a meditation, so instead of me worrying about what am I gonna do … I should have done this in high school. Why didn’t I you know do this thing in life … instead of that drives me crazy and makes you want to drink booze to block it all out, I just get on the computer and I’m like in my world and in my stats I’m not thinking about anything and I go to sleep and I made it through another day.
So originally, that was the big pay off. You know, the money was fun too, but it afforded me a freedom of … From my own mind for the first year or so that I was trying to staff off of the booze. But the other thing is the freedom. I hate … let me just say this and this is going to be truthful too. If I had to work a 9-5 job now and I had been and this had never happened, I would have blown my brains out by now, man. I don’t think I could handle it, even fun jobs like marketing jobs, agencies working for my friends making a bunch of money. Yeah. I hated it man, I hated it. It just does not work for me to have to put on an outfit and go to a place for 8 hours and do that.
But for me this … its given me the freedom. Number 1 I get to be myself every day. I get to wear whatever I want. I don’t have to report to anyone for any reason for anything. And even if it wasn’t making a bunch of money I’d still do it even if I was broke. If I could do this and get by I would, because the freedom … there’s no underestimating the freedom of getting to be yourself all the time, and you don’t realize it until you make that transformation. Like I look back and I’m like how did I even go to that place and work and go to meetings and all this stuff. When you pull yourself out you don’t realize it at first but you just feel this big weight lifted off, like wait a minute, if I want to tattoo my face with puzzle pieces I could do it. If I want to wear drag if I want to put on a dress and walk around in high heels I can do it and no one can tell me I can’t.
You give some examples there that are extreme but I also, after watching your videos, you’re a bit of a life hacker. You’re someone who likes to be able to say okay what happens when I get up at 4 and start working, or what happens if I get up … it seems like you really earned the ability to do whatever the fuck you want with your life. And you’re someone who uses that as well. You’ve hacked your life in all sorts of ways. By quitting booze, by jumping onto this and that so I see it as sort of being essential to your origin as well that you need this ability to experiment with what’s going to really work for you.
Yeah, yeah. And as far as like origin story goes, my dream was always to be a rockstar in … but the real thing was I just wanted freedom. I wanted to be able to be me. I didn’t want to have to do anything to like wear … put on an Arby’s uniform or something like. I worked at Subway for a couple years. That just didn’t fit for me. Sandwich Artist. Yeah and when you free yourself up from the job because working a job is like 90% of your life man, you’re there most of the time and when you don’t have to do that anymore then you get to start having fun.
Like sleep hacking, and let me see what happens when I wake up at 4 am and 6 am or what if I take a nap at 1 and wake up at 3 and then go back to sleep at 4 and then get stoned at 5 and then go for a walk at 6. You get to program your life into whatever works for you. You can’t do that with a job because when you’re working a job you only really have between the hours of what 5-11 to be you, maybe 6-11 if you get home a little later. You get like 5 hours a day to try to be yourself so its nice to have all that time, and yeah why not use it man. I’m testing every element of my life and I still do, you know. You said you used to want to be a rock star, but I don’t think that’s true, because I’ve more and more of your music pop up onto your YouTube feed and you are, you’re an active rocker right? Like you have a band and you play music.
Is that … would you consider that one of your peak experiences? Is that one of the places that you’re happiest, like on stage performing? 100% and what I realize is … when I was broke and I was a kid I read an article, I think it was Madonna said something like “no one should play music unless they have to,” and to me that meant … it made sense to me because you know why should some guy from a really well-to-do family and rich kid from a rich family why should he play music, he’s taking the spot of someone who can’t do anything else, who has no other option.
And I lived my whole life by that rule. And then when I made a bunch of money I kind of reconsidered like I don’t need to play music anymore, but then as the years went by that hole grew bigger and bigger and I realized I had the wrong definition of the word need. And instead of needing the money or the stardom or whatever, it’s just the need to play and to sing and to record and just be an artist in that way.
And so over the last 3 years or so its really started to pick at me like what are you doing, why aren’t you doing any music? And so when I say I used to want to be a rockstar, I still do. I guarantee you if I were to tell you honestly, its still the … maybe I’m delusional but it’s still my major push in life, it’s the thing I want to do the most. And yeah, I’ve been tinkering around with music again, been writing with a guy every week here recently and it’s starting to flood it’s way back into the mix. But yeah, used to want to be is not truthful. Still want to be, I just was interrupted in my path, luckily, by affiliate marketing. By great success. Which gave me … yeah it gave me all the freedom I wanted, but none of the release of playing music I guess I should say.
But yeah man, music is still a part of my like 100%, I love it. Music is one of those things … I grew up in a boy’s choir, this is ridiculous but all through like grade school … Me too, me too. Yeah, I was in a boy’s choir and I remember singing the hallelujah chorus in a church in Montreal and it was … I’m not a Christian person necessarily, but it had this deep sense of like spiritual oneness of being … having these perfect acoustics, and having 50 people all singing precise notes and the way it was composed and it was great. I haven’t like … I don’t have … I listen to music incessantly, I’m a huge audio file but I don’t perform it or I don’t … and I find myself whistling and thinking about it all the time, like I got to get … I got to just start figuring out some ableton and throwing some tracks down and starting to experiment with it because I think that could really be a fulfilling aspect of the creative aspect of my life.
How old were you when you did that? I was in grade … my biggest were in grade 6, 7 and 8 … so I was like 13, 14, 15. Yeah, yeah. And that sound when everyone sings together. I used to … I was in choir in school and when that sound of everyone singing together – I would tear up man many times just like wow, it’s so magical. I cannot imagine what it was like in a big church like that, I bet it sounded amazing. It was amazing. There actually is, and I haven’t been able to find the time, because I have a …
I like sports, so I spend a lot of my evenings, or my few free evenings doing sports. But there’s a local choir here for adults and they sing like the Smiths and they sing really cool shit so I really want to … I think I’m gonna … this year, this winter I might join the choir and see I if I can recapture some of that singing glory. You should do it man, just go up there and put your robe on and hallelujah. No matter what they’re singing I’ll just sing hallelujah in a robe. I’ve seen some choir directors and high school band directors now that are giving the kids hip music, they’ll do like a Black Sabbath song on xylophones and the marching band.
Or the choir instead of singing Hallelujah or whatever, they’ll do a Lady Gaga song, you know, or something cool. So there’s some cool stuff going on with it. But yeah man singing with a group is almost like an out-of-body experience, it makes your whole body tingle and there’s something really, I don’t know ancient and magic about it. Just peoples voices singing together in these weird notes that go together, you know its like whoa and if you get out of it sounds terrible but you go back it sounds perfect. Magical man, that’s cool you did that I didn’t have any idea. Yeah, so. Affiliate marketers out there, lets all join a choir when we get together in Bangkok we’ll sing some Lady Gaga, it’s gonna be huge. Malan thank you so much for doing this today, I really appreciate it. People want to get in touch with you, they’re first of all go to your YouTube, his content is just amazing.
Mad Society, that’s … what’s the URL on Mad Society? It’s madsociety.net and we just did all the social profiles launched yesterday so you can go to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and they’re all madsocietynet – one word. Madsocietynet. Yeah man. And were gonna have to … I’m gonna have to do something in LA because we got to find a way to involve you in some way and I know you’re not a huge fan of traveling long distances. I’m going to Moscow on Monday for the first time, which is like a 20 hour flight for a 6 day trip. I want to go check out Moscow, I’m excited about it but I’m not … that takes a couple months off your life probably, that sort of trip, you know? That’s brutal … someone just invited me to speak in Asia and I said are you kidding me? You want me to fly to Asia to do a speech and then fly home? How many millions of dollars you’re out of your mind.
I know the guy who invited you. I’m not a travel guy, I’m not a travel guy but maybe some day I will. Maybe if I take sleeping pills on a plane or something. I just got my prescription. Oh cool, see you’re a wise human being. I need those. Get on the plane, fall asleep for 20 hours and wake up in Moscow. That’s what I’m gonna do. But before … I will find a way to get out and visit you because I think I’d love to hangout sometime and hit up one of those shops and maybe we can lay down a few tracks. Yeah man, you come to LA I’m game but I’m not going to Asia to hangout. There’s no way. Okay that sounds like a deal, I’m gonna take you up on that. Yeah man cool.
Thanks again. Alright thank you. Bye. .
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