You’ve probably noticed over the years that I’m not a big fan of talking about my own finances. I have close friends and family who read this blog and as they don’t share their current wealth with me (I don’t really want to know), I would rather not share mine with them. However, I do know that those who are struggling to succeed online get a lot of motivation from the success stories of others, so I’m excited to share one with you today.
Dave Cunningham, the original founder of ViperChill, generated more than $1.4m in revenue in 2015 and I’m going to share exactly how he did it. Long-time readers may know a little about Dave already, but those who haven’t been here quite so long may have never have heard his name before. That’s because Dave does pretty much all he can to avoid the limelight. Ironically, he was more than happy to put his name on the headline of this article.
And just in case you think I’m making this whole thing up, here’s Dave’s name on the ViperChill ‘About page’ back in August of 2006.
You really liked using capital letters at the start of words, Dave.
All good? Let’s continue.
Now I believe the standard way to go about conducting a case study is to ask the subject questions about their story, get their answers, and compile it into a polished, compelling report. Yet for this case study, I’m not going to ask Dave a thing. I spent almost all of the first 18 years of my life with Dave – though we drifted apart over the last few years – and honestly think I know more about his story than he does.
So my first disclaimer is that Dave had absolutely nothing to do with this article besides the emphatic approval for his name to be in the headline.
As a second disclaimer, if you’re still doubting the current direction you’re taking online, this article could possibly ruin your life forever.
I’m not saying that to be dramatic or even increase your curiosity in what I’m about to say. I’m being genuinely serious. When I learned what Dave now knows I ditched 90% of my online projects, carved out a new opportunity for myself online and I too now make more money than I ever thought possible.
I would almost be shocked if at least two of those three things didn’t happen for you after reading this.
If you’re a skim-reader than don’t worry, it will likely only happen to those who read every word. Which is you, because skim readers wouldn’t have found this sentence (hah. Sorry!).
Years of Writing for a Handful of Readers
I could talk forever about the entire history of ViperChill but for the sake of trying to keep things brief, the business was a very unsuccessful venture (financially) for many years. From 2006 to 2008 ViperChill was positioned as an SEO company yet really struggled to land clients. The blog attached to the site contained poorly written posts on boring topics and attracted a handful of readers. Literally.
After two years of writing for the site, the Feedburner chicklet was added to see how many people subscribe to RSS updates (RSS was the biggest form of digesting blog posts at the time). The answer? 19 people. And at least two of them were Dave.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and while it was far from clear back then, it couldn’t be more obvious now: Dave’s biggest mistake in running ViperChill as a business was the wrong assumption that he needed to appear to be something he was not.
He wrote on the website about being a team of “we” yet was actually working on his own (and from his bedroom at that).
Because he acted like he had some huge team, he also acted like he could solve all kinds of marketing problems. He offered SEO, social media marketing and reputation management while promising that his “team” could take care of it.
Dave was quite simply, a liar.
Not because he wanted to deceive people, but because he thought it was the only way people would actually trust him enough so he could show them what he could do. The constant redesigns of the site didn’t seem to be helping.
ViperChill wasn’t actually as ugly as you see above, since Archive.org couldn’t preserve all the graphics, but still pretty bad.
Dave wanted people to trust him because he really was great at driving traffic to websites. I would argue he was one of the best in the world and still is to this day, but he didn’t know how to convince other people of that so the truth was stretched as far as it could go.
Probably the weirdest thing Dave lied about, was his name. He didn’t want his friends in college to Google his name, find ViperChill and think he was this strange ‘internet nerd’. He also didn’t want potential clients to know he was just a teenager.
Dave’s name really was just four letters in length, but the first letter should have jumped three spaces ahead in the alphabet, to G.
When he quit college at 17 he didn’t feel the need to hide himself anymore and I, Glen, finally added my real name to ViperChill.com.
Landing Hewlett Packard and Land Rover as Clients
Though the ViperChill blog was no roaring success, I had started to gain a little bit of interest and traction among industry peers. I was active in a number of forums regarding SEO and a member in one had been reading my blog and reached out to me about a potential job offer in South Africa.
He listed some of the companies they worked with, like HP, Land Rover and Nissan, and asked if I would be interested in leaving Newcastle (England) to move to Cape Town, South Africa. (Note: I’ve written about my story before, so please forgive that I have mostly copied a few of the following paragraphs. If you know my story I recommend skipping to the next heading.)
I still had a year left of college, so I politely declined but assured him I would speak to him in a year after I had finished college if the job was still available.
I went on with my day as usual, spending some time with my cousins. My mam came home from work later in the day and I laughed as I told her about the offer. “This crazy guy in South Africa wants me to go and work there” I said. She was surprised I had said no, and urged me to rethink it. “You don’t enjoy college, you hate your job, and this is what you want to do when you finish college anyway.”
She was right.
Within 30 seconds I had decided I was going to leave England and go and work in South Africa.
I didn’t know one single person in the country, and all I read online talked about how bad the crime there was. Yet, the chance to work on my dream projects was enough to lure me away from everything and everyone I knew.
In South Africa, I learned a lot about myself as a person and had the opportunity to put my many marketing ideas into practice. When working with Hewlett Packard, I was competing with big marketing teams from all over the world, representing the HP brand in their specific countries. Though I was working on my own, I sent more targeted traffic to the HP website than any of the other marketing firms. Combined.
Besides doing well for the company and our clients, I had a lot of success on my own. In the two years I spent working in South Africa, I built a large number of very profitable and very successful affiliate websites. Once I found a unique niche angle that was working well, I then used that idea across a number of industries and started making a decent sum of money.
I also started PluginID (no longer online), a personal development blog that documented my journey in South Africa and the things I learned about spirituality, motivation and productivity along the way. I came to the point where in January 2009, I was making more money in just a few hours per week with affiliate marketing than I was at the marketing company full-time, so I decided now was a good time to leave.
As much as I enjoyed the job, there’s nothing that compares to being able to work for yourself and on projects which totally excite you. I returned to England where I continued to focus on my affiliate sites and PluginID. PluginID reached 75,000 visitors per month and had over 7,000 RSS subscribers before I later sold it for a mid-five figure fee.
I knew that I was going to miss having an audience online, so it made perfect sense to resurrect the ViperChill brand at the same time I sold my personal development blog.
How Dave Generated $1.4m in 2015
This is probably what attracted you to this story in the first place, so let’s get into the details. And yes, I’m still keeping up with the ‘Dave’ game for those who will skim this post (if read it at all).
The last few years have kind of blurred together but around three years ago I made the decision to start offering marketing services again. It was the first thing I ever tried to sell online and helping others get more traffic and leads is something I’ve always enjoyed.
I love the challenge of promoting something and when I get to do that in other verticals and to new audiences, I can test a lot of ideas I wouldn’t usually get to try.
Marketing is also something I believe I have become pretty good at over the years and when you’re good at something you tend to enjoy it more. You can generally make more money, too. After all, the marketing consulting industry was worth over $201 BILLION dollars in 2015 alone (and that’s just in the US) so there is a lot of potential financial upside.
To cut yet another story shorter, Diggy and I had been having a lot of success with private link networks and decided to invite some friends, business contacts and members of an SEO product we ran to try it out.
The site was password protected, had ‘rules’ that users needed to agree to first and we only accepted a small number of users each time we opened our doors. Even though we added these extra hoops for people to jump through to become a client, we sold the first two rounds with ease.
The trend continued and it seemed as if we were selling our ‘availability’ as soon as the doors opened.
The biggest thing that helped generate the sales, looking back on it now, is that we were clearly specialising in something. We weren’t offering on-site SEO, or social media management or reputation management or anything like that. All we said is “We have a link network you can borrow time on and it’s working well. Would you like us to send links your way?”
Our analytics tool was showing less than 200 people reaching our site when the doors opened yet we were adding between $10,000 and $20,000 per month in recurring revenue. It was a huge surprise.
Then, because I always like to ‘figure’ this stuff out, I felt I had to learn how to replicate this success. And what I found was that some of the most successful marketing agencies in the world specialised in serving just a specific audience.
You already know there are huge marketing agencies making millions per month catering to anyone and everyone, but up until that point I hadn’t seen niche agencies with the same financial success.
6 Consecutive Years on the Inc 5000 by Serving Just One Industry
Ask yourself the following question: If you owned a gym and wanted to hire a marketing company to get you more customers, would you go with the company who works for every business or the one that specifically works with gym owners and has success stories to go with it?
That’s what people ask themselves before signing up with Net Profit Explosion, one of the first companies I discovered doing very well just serving one market. They’re more often referred to as NPE, and they only offer marketing services to gym owners and personal trainers.
If you’re a plastic surgeon or lawyer or real estate brand and want their services, they’ll turn you away at the door. Yet in turning away so many people, they managed to land over 21,000 clients and generate more than $7m in revenue in 2014.
What I love about the NPE story is that they aren’t offering a single service that you too couldn’t offer a niche audience as well. A lot of their products are digital, meaning they sell them through their website and you get the ‘meat’ of that product through their website as well. Most often through a membership back-end.
To drive people those products they use webinars, an email list, a blog, Twitter and Facebook ads. An example of the latter can be found below.
Once again, all things you could utilise to help you find potential clients in a niche industry.
After discovering NPE, I have literally found dozens and dozens of companies providing very few services to just one industry and making millions in the process. It was a real eye opener to me, and it made me realise why our link building efforts had been so successful.
Dave Copied His Formula into Other Industries and The Rest is History
The reason Dave (OK, Glen) was able to generate so much money in 2015 is because he took a proven formula for positioning himself as the expert for one niche and applied it to multiple different industries.
I now operate not only in specific industries (such as automotive) but also have a marketing agency targeted towards a specific place (Singapore). It’s important to note that I wouldn’t operate in (or have any success in) these industries if I wasn’t very interested in them. Singapore is only second to Amsterdam in terms of a place I’ve visited the most and I could read about the car industry all day long.
Though it’s always tempting to expand each niche a bit further when it’s doing well, it’s good to keep the words of Justine Musk (wife of Elon) in mind, “Ask yourself what you have the potential to offer that is so unique and compelling and helpful that no computer could replace you, no one could outsource you, no one could steal your product and make it better and then club you into oblivion (not literally). Then develop that potential. Choose one thing and become a master of it.”
Sticking to each niche and becoming the expert for that industry (or paying other people to be) resulted in the screenshot below.
We have two business Paypal accounts – and we’re not always paid via Paypal – so there’s around another $400,000 that has been paid to Diggy and I directly as well for 2015.
So you’ve now learned that Dave stopped trying to be a jack of all trades and also realised the importance of becoming an expert in his field. To be perceived as an expert, he simply needed to…
Produce Better Content (or, Be Willing to Write 22 Books in 15 Months)
I’ve said on multiple occasions that I believe my communication strength lies in writing. The only way I can put together a coherent podcast episode is if I write out what I’m going to say first. When I record a video I fill out the notes section of Powerpoint so I can read as I go along.
While I’m certainly not the writer I wish to be, I can see that I’ve come a very long way from where I started. Just look at one of my original blog posts on ViperChill at 17. The yellow highlights are just a few of the many mistakes I would make in a 200 word article. Ignoring the fact that I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about
The writing was terrible (and my god that haircut. Visit Archive.org to view the mess for yourself), but I realise I couldn’t really skip that step.
I had to be at the point where I was a grammatically poor and boring writer in order to improve.
John Lee Dumas, who’s podcast now reaches over a million people per month, sounds like a very amateur interviewer on his first few episodes
Rand Fishkin (of Moz fame) looks really uncomfortable during his first ever ‘Whiteboard Friday’.
There’s a remarkable difference between Seth Godin’s first bestseller and his seventeenth
The Bronte sisters are two of the most popular authors of the nineteenth century, with Emily being most recognised for writing Wuthering Heights and Charlotte, Jane Eyre.
Yet research into their early writing revealed that, “The first little books weren’t just amateurish – a given, since their authors were so young – they lacked any signs of incipient genius. Far from original creations, they were bald imitations of magazine articles and books of the day.”
The sisters would later devote almost all of their waking hours to writing, having completed “twenty-two little books averaging eighty pages each in one fifteen-month period.” If you want to get better at something, keep doing it.
For ViperChill my ‘better content’ mainly comes in the form of blog posts, but on other sites I operate writing helps with:
Cold outreach emails to potential clients
Writing articles for marketing in specific industries
Creating ads that entice people to click on them
Publishing lead magnets that people want to sign up for
The only way I improved at writing was by writing more and reading more. I have written more than 600,000 words for ViperChill alone. You can’t write that much without your skills improving.
I expect to be a much better writer than I am now when that count hits 1 million.
Writing may not be your preferred way of producing content, but whatever method you use, stick to it. Where your skills currently lie is not where they have to stay.
Learn Everything You Can Then Give It All Away
In order to stand the best chance of success when it comes to attracting clients you must be willing to give away every single thing you learn about internet marketing. No matter how big or small it may be, you have to be willing to share it.
I have given away idea after idea after idea on this website and I couldn’t ask for anything more in return. I’m so fortunate to receive the feedback in the form of the comments and emails that I get.
Deep down you know this already but the people giving me feedback (who I so appreciate) likely don’t care much about me at all. We’re really all just tuned in to the same W.I.I.F.M radio station (What’s in it for me?).
If I didn’t provide you with any ideas or insights you could apply to your own online ventures then quite simply, you wouldn’t be here. You’re certainly not here just because you want to “see what Glen’s up to”. Similarly, people won’t give a damn about you unless you give them something worth caring about. In this case, that means something that is particularly valuable to their business.
In his post on building a 7-figure SEO agency, Neil Patel says that he grew by offering value while expecting nothing in return.
“The last, but not least, piece of advice I want to give you is to never stop giving. One of the major ways I grew the SEO agency is by helping people for free. When I first started, people helped me for free, so I would try to pay it forward by doing the same thing”
The biggest reason why you can afford to give everything away is because most of your clients will want a “do it for me” solution, not a “do it with me” solution.
Of course, there is a chance that sharing a lot of information could lose you potential clients who simply take your advice and apply it themselves. I can almost guarantee that those clients would have been the type of “do the work with me” client that are much harder to work alongside and will negotiate the hardest on your fees.
Ideally you want to land the Do It For Me client who now sees you know what you’re talking about and then gives you free reign (and a nice budget) to go and do it for them.
How do you know if the content is good enough, you ask? Well if it doesn’t make you think “Shit, this is good!” before you hit Publish, then don’t.
You Can’t Be Afraid to Sell
Ever since I started online, I’ve hated selling. Sadly, little has changed in the last 11 years. I don’t like selling, but I’m no longer afraid to push the sale. It’s actually quite easy to do when you truly believe in what you’re promoting.
Every system I have implemented into my niche agencies gets me as close as possible to the mindset of “If you want to be a client, cool. If not, that’s cool also.” However, many potential clients want you to straight up tell them that you are the person for the job.
They want to hear you say you can fix their problems. It’s weird that we have this fear of selling built into us but you have to remember that you are there to serve the client and it’s in their best interest to listen to you.
In a few sections I’m going to cover a product of mine which I charge quite a lot of money for. One of the reasons I sell the product is to have other people join me on the journey of running a similar business. Because that’s a motivation, it’s easy to think “then why not share it for free and get more people to join you?”
Well, one of the biggest problems for me is that people simply do very little with free. They don’t value it nor take it seriously.
There are often people who talk about a topic in a far better way than you can, so I need to hand the mic to the guys at 37 Signals for this one.
There are plenty of free project management tools. There are plenty of free contact managers and customer relationship management tools. There are plenty of free chat tools and organization tools. There are plenty of free conferences and workshops. Free is everywhere. But we charge for our products. And our customers are happy to pay for them.
There’s another lesson in here: Charging for something makes you want to make it better. I’ve found this to be really important. It’s a great lesson if you want to learn how to make money.
After all, paying for something is one of the most intimate things that can occur between two people. One person is offering something for sale, and the other person is spending hard-earned cash to buy it. Both have worked hard to be able to offer the other something he or she wants. That’s trust—and, dare I say, intimacy. For customers, paying for something sets a high expectation.
When you put a price on something, you get really honest feedback from customers. When entrepreneurs ask me how to get customers to tell us what they really think, I respond with two words: Charge them. They’ll tell you what they think, demand excellence, and take the product seriously in a way they never would if they were just using it for free.
As an entrepreneur, you should welcome that pressure. You should want to be forced to be good at what you do.
If you’re ever afraid to push the sale, just remember: Selling something will make it better, and your solution will improve the life of the person you’re giving it to so make sure they know it.
The Counter-Intuitive Idea Behind Delaying Conversions
It was my belief when I was first getting started online that as soon as I put my phone number or email address up on my website I would start landing sales. After all, I clearly stated that I offer SEO on my website. If you need SEO, you should pay me…duh.
Thousands of people saw I offered SEO. Very few (literally less than 20) ever asked me to do it for them.
And the worst part about it is that I was good at it. I earned a link from Google’s Matt Cutts at 17. Their multi-millionaire head of web spam linked back to this very blog and I knew the exact reason why…and I could do it for you.
Fucking Dave. Always getting the credit.
But nobody cared.
Any time I had even the slightest chance of being able to work with someone I would try to push the ‘deal’ as quickly as possible.
These days I am absolutely ambivalent to whether I land a client or not. In fact, most clients are waiting for me to decide on them, rather than the other way around.
And yes, this is even in industries where they have no idea I’m “Glen Allsopp” or “ViperChill”.
The reason I am able to pick and choose clients now is because they view me as the expert that can solve their specific needs.
And the view me as an expert, usually, because I have written something that makes me appear to be so.
I have shown them through content (it really can be any form, I believe) that I know their industry and I can help them get more of what they want (which is usually more leads).
I’m not the only one to have found that delaying a ‘close’ can have an improvement on the type of people you sign-up.
Proposify, a Saas company helping you craft better proposals found that they convert an extra 1% of their visitors into free trial sign-ups if those people view a case study on their website first.
Moz, the SEO company that pulled in $38m in 2015 found that people who read one or two blog posts on their site before signing up for their offering stayed on as customers 2-3X longer than average.
Instead of rushing for the sale, I now let people take their time to learn more about what I offer and I make sure the content where I show my skills is up front and center.
There’s a reason I don’t put pop-ups on my websites and follow the trend of other bloggers who take over your entire browser screen with that new header opt-in box. Just because your conversion rate increases it doesn’t mean your sales will increase. Let people crave your content and not just want it so they could get rid of a pop-up box.
As Seth Godin says, “Don’t try to convert strangers into customers. It’s ineffective and wasteful. Instead, focus on turning those momentary strangers into people eager to hear from you again and again.”
And Let’s Not Forget the Real Key to Success…
It’s that boring predictable answer you’ve heard a million times before.
It’s so predictable that you probably get a little disappointed when you read it, still feeling like there’s a secret out there that’s being held back.
But it’s to grind, hustle, work your ass off, redline (my favourite) or whatever else you want to call it.
The world’s best-selling author, Danielle Steel, says about her success, “Other than that, I attribute it to very, very hard work, and persistence. Discipline to make myself work, even on a pretty day when other pursuits beckon, or when I’m tired and would love to have a break. (I finish the work first). Discipline, hard work, and persistence win the prize every time.”
As I write this I’m on Pomodoro 13 for the day, which is number 124 for the past fortnight.
I track every minute I work because that’s how valuable I think hard work is. I have spent days and days on this article and I’m giving it all away for free, and I’ll continue to do the same for the rest of this year. Trust me when I say it all comes back around eventually.
Want to Learn More? Introducing Marketing Inc. [Limited Webinar Spots Left]
Each minute, 97 new websites make their debut on the world wide web for the first time.
That’s 5,833 new websites every single hour.
Or 140,000 new websites every. single. day.
While of course not all of these sites will be started by the most competent people or even created for the sake of building a legitimate website, a huge portion of them will be. And whether you’re building a blog, niche site, eCommerce store or whatever path you’re going down, that’s a lot of new competition who wants to steal your potential audience on a daily basis.
Every day you delay getting started online your competition increases.
And every day you don’t put in enough work as you should, there’s someone like me who is giving it their all to become a leader in a particular space.
I’ve shared hundreds of specific niche ideas over the years on ViperChill but there’s one simple concept that has made people far more money than anything else. And it’s all based on looking at the other side of the coin.
Instead of getting up to 140,000 new competitors each day, have you considered what those 140,000 competitors need?
It’s something beginners with a $10 budget want.
It’s something every successful blogger, Youtuber and niche site owner wants.
Venture backed startups with millions in their bank account? They want it too.
That magical thing, called TRAFFIC.
In just a couple of weeks I’m going live with some FREE training on how you can truly serve the marketing of other webmasters, even if you (currently) don’t know a thing about marketing. I’ll also cover in-depth a number of strategies to land high-paying clients, fast.
The training will not be recorded. It will be taken offline after 72 hours. And it is INCREDIBLE, if I say so myself.
The last time we shared this training one of our students, Jesse, landed a $5,000/m client within 24 hours. How? Because businesses will always spend money if you can help them to make money.
There’s a lot of money to be made, but only if you follow a proven formula. I’m going to reveal that exact five-part formula on the webinar. We have three openings at different times (the March 1st webinar is now fully booked), so please select which one is the most convenient for you.
“If this model works so well…”
There is going to be an obvious question that pop’s into your mind at some point and that is the age-old “If this is working so well for you, why do you teach it?”
Since it’s an obvious question, let me give the obvious answer: I can make a lot of money through teaching.
There, I said it. The dirty secret is out in the open.
Of course there’s obviously quite a lot more to it than that but it’s the answer everyone has to get to eventually.
(As a side note, I promise at least an hour of nothing but value you don’t have to give me a penny for in the webinar).
My ‘more to it’ is actually not the second most obvious answer of “I enjoy teaching.” I do, but it’s far down my list of motivations for releasing my years of experience to the world.
In fact my biggest motivation is based on a quote which I absolutely adore. “What got you here won’t get you there.”
The person that generated $1.4 million in 2015 is the person that can “only” generate another $1.4m in 2016. That may sound stupid to you, but I truly believe it.
I want to build businesses that are pulling in $10M+ per year, and the only way to do that is if I take different actions to the ones that got me where I am today.
If I do exactly what I did in 2015, I am almost guaranteed to make similar revenue numbers (if not less, actually). In order to get to the point of generating close to $1M per month, I need something else. And part of the thing that took me from $1M in 18 months to $1.4M in 12 was learning from others on this journey.
I have learned as much from the people I’ve taught this method to as I have from my own experiences. It’s a bit embarrassing since I have been doing this for 10 years and only teaching for two and a half, but as they say, two minds (or potentially thousands in this case) are certainly better than one.
Daryl, one of our first students in 2014 (now doing $10,000+ per month) built a script that help us block link-research tools from scanning our private link networks
From Kotton Grammar I learned a great source of potential clients were the paid listings on Yell.com
From another student I learned that when doing outreach, don’t offer a free report you may have compiled for that person upfront. Instead, tell them you’ve written it, then ask if they would like to see it.
Only if they reply do you go ahead and create the report.
So simple it’s stupid, right? But these simple ideas to other people have helped add hundreds of thousands of dollars to my income in 2015, and I know for a fact that with more people following this same model, I’m going to add things that can do the same again, if not (hopefully) millions of dollars in 2016.
I have likely been wrong on a number of things over the years on ViperChill, but there’s one thing I can say with absolutely certainty: There are people reading this that have – or can quickly learn – faster and more efficient ways to land new clients, manage outsourcing and serve clients than I currently know about.
I want to connect with and learn from those people.
I’m not just saying this because it sounds nice. In my Make Money Online 2016 post I shared one of my biggest realisations for not achieving all I could have done in 2015 was because I spent time with too many of the wrong people. I didn’t surround myself with enough people on a path for success.
The type of people I want to connect with in 2016 are the people who are going to be on this same journey as me, with the same business model.
If nothing else, I just think it’s cool to have this tribe of guys and girls who are all chasing the same thing and learning from each other.
Creating an Army of ‘Make Money Online’ Preachers
Now if you’re not a skim reader and you are reading every word, you may have some slight discomfort with this idea.
Should we really be teaching people who don’t have any experience with online marketing to do marketing for other people? That’s a great concern, and it’s exactly why I put the word ‘currently’ in brackets when I said you can get clients “even if you don’t (currently) know a thing about marketing”.
Although I’m writing this article before it goes live (obviously, Glen…duh), I am writing this section to preemptively answer a question or lingering feeling that I think a number of people may have about this business model.
Which is essentially this, “Aren’t I just helping to create an army of people who are going to teach other people how to ‘make money’ without really knowing how to do it.”
This may not have crossed your mind at all. I predict it happened for less than 1% of people reading and more than likely from the type of people who hang out on Inbound.org. While I love the Inbound.org crowd and feel they’re ‘my kind of people’ they’re not the kind of people who would ever buy anything from me.
This is because they’re seasoned in this field, feel they have little to learn and have probably seen a lot of bullshit.
So while I’m not even slightly trying to convince that kind of person to be interested in what I have to offer, I am the kind of person who would want to see an answer to this question, so I’m covering it here.
So am I worried about creating an army of people to preach making money online or internet marketing to others? Not. At. All.
Because it doesn’t matter if I talk about success. I’m already showing it here.
Please accept that I’ve taken my ego out of this for a second, but just look at it. I (often) get hundreds of comments per blog post, I have a very engaged audience on Facebook and you can likely believe I have tens of thousands of people signed up to various email lists.
Yet, there are very few people trying to copy what I do here (if any at all).
Sure there are people who write long blog posts and do so infrequently, but none that I know of are spending most of that time trying to write about specific niche ideas their audience can replicate.
My ‘success’ is not very secret.
Find a cool niche idea
Research the hell out of it
Write about it in an in-depth way
Share it with others
There’s your ‘how to build a successful blog’ formula – at least for ViperChill – in 22 words.
It’s certainly not impossible or dare I say it, difficult, for other people to copy.
Yet they don’t.
And that’s because they just don’t care about it enough.
I’m that weird guy who finds this stuff absolutely fascinating. It has never been about the money for me. If it was, I wouldn’t have kept ViperChill going for 11 years when for 7-8 years I literally lost money by running this website.
It may also be the case that other people come along and start trying to teach others how to build their own successful agency, but I don’t believe they’ll reach many people nor will they keep it up for long.
Although I’ve admitted that sharing niche ideas doesn’t really work very well, I can’t stop doing it. It’s just what drives me.
It drives me so much that I build tools about it in private.
I know the most popular topics on Wikipedia at any time because I paid a bunch of money to an awesome programmer to make sure I know that.
I have better data than BuzzSumo on the most popular blog posts for websites – even though they make millions of dollars offering it publicly – because I, once again, paid a bunch of money to an awesome programmer to have that tool.
The list goes on.
I am obsessed about what I do, and that’s the only reason I can keep doing it. Fly-by-nighters might pick up a few followers, but experience shows me it won’t last very long.
Now is the Perfect Time to Follow This Business Model
I truly believe that for the vast majority of people reading this, building a niche marketing agency is absolutely the best path for you to take.
You’ve already proven by reading this blog that you’re interested in learning more about internet marketing strategies and you have a desire to implement those ideas, so why not do that for someone else?
There are a few pain points that come up when I try to recommend people down this path, such as:
I don’t have a huge budget, can I really do this?
English is not my first language, can I still succeed?
I have a full-time job. Is that OK?
The answer to all of them is an emphatic YES! I have a video that covers this after you sign-up for the webinar.
But the problem I come up against again and again, often expressed in varying ways, is that people don’t believe they’re expert enough to be able to help other people.
As the millionaire consulting coach Alan Weiss would say, people feel like they need someone to ‘knight them’ before they can provide value to others.
I’m telling you to knight yourself.
If you have to go out there and do pro-bono work for charities to feel like you deserve to call yourself an expert, then go do it. But it’s still going to be you who gives yourself that title.
Recently, Easy Agent Pro sent out this email to their subscribers (who are realtors looking for marketing services).
A status update from one realtor which was the most popular status he’s ever shared that other realtors could copy easily.
If you had found this example you could have taught it to other people as well. That would be super valuable to them.
The entire point of my training is to help you find these opportunities that you can teach to other people. If you want to get into more advanced stuff like technical SEO for eCommerce sites, that is obviously going to take more time but your value doesn’t have to come from time.
Just from being able to seek out opportunities that others in a specific niche can use.
Although this is now the third year in a row I am talking about the Marketing Inc. method, I still rarely come across successful examples. While I do have dozens already, that’s because I spent weeks and months to actively seek them out. Coming across new examples is rare.
I believe the reason is simple: It’s counter-intuitive to think that limiting your audience can make you more money.
Offering fewer services (so fewer angles to make money) to less people (who can pay you) can actually make you more money. WHAT?
I understand it’s odd.
But the people who you are looking to serve are actively looking for niche-focused solutions. And when they come across them, it takes all guesswork out of their potential buying decision.
Now, if I have anything to do with it, I can’t promise that in two or five years from now, that’s still going to be the case.
I honestly view this opportunity as like being one of the first people who could get those ‘How many triangles are there?’ Facebook ads approved and were making $10,000+ per day or having an inkling to how valuable dictionary domain names would be today back in 1990.
The power of getting involved in this model soon is not critical to your success, but it will make success easier.
By that I mean in 10 years I have zero doubt that niche marketing agencies will be far more common than full-service agencies, and new players will still be able to enter the space in 2026 and make money.
Yet, they are going to have more competitors and probably go even more niche than you have to in order to acquire them.
Showroom Logic, a marketing agency that only work with car dealers, and are the 143rd fastest growing private company in the whole of America. Their co-founder Patrick Bennett understands the power they had in getting to the market early, saying “I will always be first to market. If I’m up against anyone else I will always be first to market.”
One of the people I helped to generate $21,000 in his launch week – before I ever taught any of this, was Jon Sonmez of Simple Programmer.
He wanted to help programmers with their marketing so they could get higher paying clients (what a cool, specific niche).
Here’s what John said for me as a testimonial:
“I was scared to do a big launch of my product. Lots of uncertainties racing through my mind. This was my big moment, and I didn’t want to screw it up.
Glen came to my rescue and gave me all the right advice and confidence I needed to have a successful launch. Glen helped me to see the value of directing ad traffic to a landing page instead of directly to my sales page. He also helped me understand how to get conversions and test different copy to improve my conversion rates. But, most of all, his wealth of experience and knowledge in online marketing, gave me the confidence to know that I was going to succeed.
And succeed I did. With Glen’s expert guidance, I was able to more than double my launch goal and now I have a long term strategy for selling my product.”
And you know what?
I didn’t do anything overly special for John. I simply taught him about some of the things that many of you probably already know. Like split-testing, and running ads to his site.
As my Dad would say, “a question is only easy if you know the answer.”
Some people simply don’t know this stuff and they won’t know it without someone coming to help them. They won’t actively seek it out or if they ever do, it won’t be for a long, long time.
The whole point of the training is to teach people the most sought-after facets of marketing first – and making sure they know how to deliver it – before landing clients.
But if you feel like you need years of experience in SEO, having spent tens of thousands in Facebook ads or have a million followers on Instagram to be able to teach marketing, you’re kidding yourself.
And you’re vastly under-estimating your own value if you have any experience with these things at all.
After you opt-in for my upcoming webinar (the one on March 1st is booked out, so we just added another on March 2nd) you’ll learn one of the keys to my success was going niche.
If you’ve taken notes while reading this post, you’ll know it already. Now that you have this knowledge, imagine a close friend or family member came up to you and said I’m going to start an online marketing agency.
As you feared, they’ve decided they have no specific industry to serve or angle to offer. Just knowing my own experience, you can say to them “Dude, I think you should really pick a niche first. Look at what happened with this guy…[link]”
You could have just saved them a lot of money and a lot of time. Surely that was worth them sending some money your way.
If you think this is an overly-simplistic example, you’re still not giving your own value enough weight.
You’re REALLY Going to Live Like This?
To wrap up what is now one of my longest blog posts ever, let me leave you feeling excited or insulted. How’s that for a proposition?
The vast majority of information I am going to share in my webinar – and have given away in a paid product – was once given away for free in a video series. Maybe you personally watched it.
Here are the specific numbers for how many people watched each video:
After an hour of 15 minutes of videos I had lost half of the people who originally started watching the series.
Now of course some of that will be down to people simply not believing in the idea or hating my accent (It’s weird, I get it!) but this model I teach has made people ridiculous amounts of money.
I’m willing to bet 99% of the people who watched those videos are still looking for a path to generate money online today.
If you’re one of those people: I think it’s pathetic.
And I don’t mean because you didn’t follow my idea and put it into action. I mean because you didn’t follow any plan and stick with it. There are hundreds that will lead you to financial freedom if you put in the time.
You know what else? I really fear for future generations. It was distracting enough in school to have to deal with people passing paper notes around the class. Imagine now having your phone buzzing constantly in your pocket and everyone expecting you to be on Snapchat, Kik, WhatsApp and Facebook at most hours of the day.
And it’s not just the younger generation, but look at these figures:
Reddit just passed a record 500m visitors per month
9Gag just passed a record 200m visitors per month
IMGUR just passed a record 450m visitors per month
That’s your competition.
That’s who you’re competing against in your journey to make money online. That should make you really excited.
Because if you’re not the kind of person spending hours each week keeping up with 9Gag or the Kardashians, there’s no reason you can’t do the numbers I talk about in this post.
I’m not smart. I just spent a lot of time on one angle and stuck with it. See you there?