Zac Johnson is one of the well-known leaders in the blogging and internet marketing sphere. A self taught entrepreneur, Zac’s been making money online for nearly 20 years and has been fully involved in affiliate and online marketing.
Zac continues to focus on his blog where he provides readers with his experiences, ups and downs. Through his popular blogs, bloggingtips.com and zacjohnson.com, he has helped thousands of readers grow their brands and make money online.
Read Zac’s interview below and find out how to grow your own online brand because a blog can open many doorways to some great opportunities!
1. You are a self-taught entrepreneur and have been making money online for over 15 years. Tell us please about your first business experience and how it grew into earning money online.
It’s been a fun ride and roughly 20 years in the making. You can see some of my first affiliates checks and read up on my full story at my blog, but in short, it was all about a having a business and entrepreneur mindset from an early age. Fortunately the internet started to get big while I was in high school and it became my main focus. From there I just kept figuring out new ways to make money and found the most success with affiliate marketing, which I still focus on today.
2. Why did you decide to become affiliate manager instead of being just an affiliate?
Affiliate marketing is one of the best businesses in the world because you don’t need to hold any inventory, deal with customers or process orders. Instead you can build out web sites or high traffic ad campaigns and send users to sites where they can purchase something or complete a specific task. As an affiliate you are then paid for each specified task that takes place. This worked out especially well when I was still in high school, as I was only around 15 years old.
3. Why didn’t you set up your in-house affiliate program than advertised in Commission Junction, WebSponsors, ShareaSale, DirectLeads, FineClicks and others?
I actually did setup my own affiliate network, but I quickly shut it down because I realized I didn’t want to deal with affiliates, merchants, lead management and payment process. I was one of the first individuals to get setup with the DirectTrack system back in the day. Still glad with the decision I made to stick with my own brand and be a one-man operation.
4. You were a Speaker at Affiliate Summit. What was your topic there? Why is it important to take part at Affiliate Summit? Do you make a lot of contacts after every Affiliate Summit Conference?
Yes, I just got back from Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. It was another great event and probably my 15th+ time attending the event. I’ve been attending and speaking at them since they first started back in 2004 (some history of affiliate summit). I definitely recommend everyone try to attend Affiliate Summit or any type of marketing conference in their area, as it’s one of the best ways to grow your business, put your name out there and create some new opportunities for yourself.
5. You have a lot of experience in blogging that helped you to built up your “business name”. And in 2012 you released your first book on Amazon.com called “Blogging Tips: Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger“. Are you planning to write a book about affiliate marketing or making money online? I guess you already have some ideas or notes, actually your blogs are great sources to start writing a book.
The main focus now is on blogging.org, which is a complete resource for helping others get started with a blog, brand and business online. Books are fun, but I personally don’t like to read that much, so I might come out with another… but it’s not a big thing on my list to accomplish. Through blogging.org, bloggingtips.com and zacjohnson.com I have over 4,000 written articles, resources and guides — that is where my information gets shared the most and actually helps people out. Books are more of a branding play.
6. What do you think the key features should affiliate managers know to set the bases for a successful affiliate strategy?
Affiliate managers need to build personal relationships and do better than the competition (support, pay, offers etc). Bottom line… it’s that easy and effective. Networks need to stop saying “best payouts, best offers”… because its way too overplayed.
7. What changes in online marketing, especially in affiliate marketing, do you observe over the years?
Every once in a while there is a wave of affiliate products or methods being used to get people to sign up for offers that is a bit shady. I like to stick with real offers, products and customers — this way you can stand the test of time. There are a lot of ways to make quick money, but if you want to make real money, find a legitimate business solution.
8. How do you see the future of affiliate marketing?
For the most part, it will remain the same. However, what will change is the way content and customers are delivered/acquired. For example… first it was all websites. Then social media. Now it’s all about mobile. Keep an eye on industry trends to see what is working, then apply it to your business.
9. Would you change something in your life if you have a chance? Maybe you would choose another direction in the business.
You learn from all of your mistakes, but an easy answer to this would be to have purchased a ton of domain names back in the 90s when I was first getting started. I’m sure I could have purchased numerous domains that would have sold for six to seven figures today.
10. What is your favourite activity you love do in your free time?
I love playing basketball. I get to play a few hours every other day in the mornings with a bunch of friends at the local gym. Another wonderful perk of working for yourself!