At the age of 15, Zac Johnson began making money online designing web site banners for $1 each. A self taught entrepreneur, Zac’s been making money online for over 10 years and been involved in nearly every facet of affiliate marketing. Still a one man company, a recent highlight of Zac’s success is “How I Made $860,538.38 Profit in 4 Months!” from one web site, and can be read at his Super Affiliate blog. Zac’s latest focus is his personal blog “Inside the Secret Life of a Super Affiliate”, where he provides readers firsthand accounts of his experiences, successes & failures. In addition to his own success stories, Zac reviews affiliate networks and informs readers how & where they should be making new money. He plans on releasing a case study of his secret tips free through his blog instead of in an eBook. Zac’s blog has grown to over 15,000 subscribers and has referred over $5,000,000 in new business to his advertisers and network partners since launching the blog.
[quote style=”boxed”]Stop trying to learn everything there is about how to do something and just start doing it. Nearly everything I have done over the years has been self taught. It’s the best way to learn and get things done right.[/quote]
Where did the idea for ZacJohnson.com come from?
I’ve been able to successfully make money on the internet for the past 17 years and this started when I was around 15 and in high school. The majority of my business was focused on building web sites and ad campaigns through the use of affiliate marketing. It wasn’t til 2007 that I started my blog at ZacJohnson.com and started to share stories of my success/failures and try to help others learn how to make money online in the process. I also run BloggingTips.com, which is focused on all aspects of blogging and wordpress.
What is your business model?
I still have my other web sites and ad campaigns running that continue to earn revenue, but ZacJohnson.com has exploded over the years and turned into something amazing. The blog has definitely changed my life and open up new opportunities I never would have been able to take advantage of if I didn’t put my name out there and build a following in the affiliate marketing space. This includes launching my own book through Amazon.com, speaking around the the world at difference conferences and appearing on Fox News and ABC News.
What does your typical day look like?
The cool thing about being your own boss and running your own internet business is that you really never know what each day will hold. Each day is pretty much the same in terms of when I might wake up, read through my email, see my wife off to work, walk my dog Foxy and then finally go into my office and start to work on things. Once you open your email and start to work on your daily tasks, then it’s all really up in the air from there and you get to play around with what’s important for that day and any new tasks that might come up.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I have a lot of ideas… and so does everyone else. In the end it comes down to making your ideas come to life and putting action behind them. Everyone always says “hey, that was my idea!”, but how many people really act on it. The first step to bring your ideas to life is to take action. The next is to map it out, find out what you need to put everything in motion and if needed, build a team around yourself to make it work.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I love branding. I love the concept of being able to take nothing or someone that isn’t well known and getting them to discover what they are good at and watching them evolve into a brand and authority in their space. The same concept can be done for web sites. I was able to create a social networking site out of no where and within a few months I turned it into a mega authority site that had over 100,000 uniques per day to the site and it went on to generate over $800,000 in profit in just a few short months.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve always worked for myself… but I’m learning from my mistakes everyday.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
It’s always easy to ask what you would do again, but I wouldn’t do much differently. I’ve tried so many different things and have had a ton of success and failures along the way. If I had to pick something I would say that I would have started blogging earlier, created my own series of membership/product based sites and focused on less projects so I could make sure I was always at the top of my niches instead of sometimes being spread too thin.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As mentioned earlier, the hardest thing for most people is simply taking action and actually getting started. Stop trying to learn everything there is about how to do something and just start doing it. Nearly everything I have done over the years has been self taught. It’s the best way to learn and get things done right.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
I enjoy what I do. I love marketing, business and being my own boss. This is the number one reason for my success. If you don’t enjoy what you do, then you are just working a job and making someone else’s dreams come true.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of the toughest things about making money online and being your own boss is having to be so hard on yourself and stay motivated. On the internet success doesn’t usually last long. This can be personal goals, web sites or ad campaigns. You always need to be at the top of your game to see what it is next. It’s not uncommon to have one killer month and make a ton of money, then have a really bad 6-12 months ahead of you. You always need to be working on what’s next.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are so many opportunities out there to make money. It really doesn’t matter what you pick as long as you focus on being the best at it. Walk into any retail store and see what the best selling items are in their bathroom area. (say it’s bird towels and soap dishes etc…) Create the best damn “bathroom birds” site you can! You only need a small percentage of a huge number to make a lot of money online. Build a site, find the products through affiliate programs, create great content and rank for longtail keywords. It’s quite simple when you start to figure it all out.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
Last year Super Storm Sandy flooded my whole area and we had two feet of water flowing through the house. We had to move out for 9 months, find temporary living and I ran my business from a small kitchen table for almost a year. Managing the rebuilding of the house and insurance nearly became a full time job in itself. Just another benefit to being your own boss and having an internet business.
What are your three favorite online tools, software or resources and what do you love about them?
Google, WordPress and Social Networks… these are the only three tools/sites you need to make money on the internet. No need to buy any fancy software or tools, and best of all they are all free!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I don’t read many books, but I read a lot of blogs and web content instead. There is really so much out there and it’s so diverse that it would be hard to just name one. Head over to Google and spend a few minutes searching on any topic and you will come across some great blogs and content.
List three experts who have helped you as an entrepreneur who you think other entrepreneurs should follow and why?
Ironically the three I’m going to mention don’t have huge followings or blogs, but I met them very early on in my career back when I was just a kid in high school. Annie Coryat, Ola Edvardsson and Declan Dunn… three great people that I have a lot of respect for! You can Google their names and find some articles they’ve done over the years. Of course my dad is at the top of the list, none of this would be possible without him by my side!
What did you have for breakfast today?
Oatmeal! Usually a Shakeology drink, but today I mixed it up! 🙂
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Zac Johnson on Twitter: @moneyreign
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