Recently I had a chance to interview Zac Johnson and though his reputation precedes him, he is one of the most unassuming super affiliates you will come across (you may already have but may not have noticed). He single handily has been the cause for my lack of productivity over the last couple of weeks, for downloading “doodle jump” after reading one of his blog posts. To get further insight to who he is, let’s get started with the questions shall we:
Q: Zac, tell us briefly about the man, the myth, the legend – super blogger Zac Johnson AKA Money Reign.
I first got into the Internet marketing game nearly 15 years ago, and never worked for anyone else in my life. I was fortunate because I was just in high school when I got started, so I had a decent amount of time to figure out how everything worked online. Testing, tweaking and becoming addicted, Internet marketing became my life and still what I love to do today. Along the way I’ve met a ton of amazing people, helped people make money online, built an awesome company and many large web sites, traveled and spoke around the world at different conferences and was even featured on ABC News. Other than the flashy points… I’m your average guy who just likes to have fun in life, loves his family and appreciates everything I have.
Q: When and why did you start blogging? Was it out of curiosity or something else?
I first went live with my blog on St. Patricks day on 2007. I always wanted to blog, but I was never really into it, then after talking with a friend at a conference, I said “I’m finally gonna do it!”, so I went ahead and made the blog. The concept for the blog would be to share all of my stories, experiences and attempt to help other people start making money online. Four years later and I’m extremely glad I took the plunge to go forward with my blog back in 2007 and didn’t wait any longer!
Q: Do you ever get stuck about writing on a particular topic? What do you do? Where do you find your motivation?
After writing for a year or two, there is no doubt that you will have times when it’s hard to coming with new blog topics. With over 800 posts written on the blog, I can always look back and see which posts could be re-written and updated for newer readers to be able to get a good look at them. It’s also great to have a few guest writers than can occasionally write for the blog and bring some new life and direction. I try to keep the blog updated at least 3-4 times per week. I won’t force bad posts or content, just for the sake of having something go live.
Q: How important is it to you to communicate with your readers? Do you respond to all the comments?
In the past I wasn’t that great about responding to comments, but now I try and respond to ALL comments. Not only does it show that you care and interact with your readers, but it will also double the amount of comments other users are seeing on your site, which may improve the chances for someone else to leave a comment.
Q: Talk to us specifically about your experience and frustrations in dealing with CPA and affiliate networks?
I don’t have that many problems with affiliate networks, as I’ve moved away a bit over the years, as I’m not focusing all of my efforts on pushing CPA related offers. I like to create web sites, build content and work directly with advertisers. With so many networks in the game right now, it’s tough to come across any serious problems, as they are all fighting for your volume and trust. The great thing about having a power house blog, is that if I ever did have a problem with a network, or receiving payment, I can always put someone on blast or at least let other people know not to work with a specific network.
Q: You refer to yourself as a “Super Affiliate”, in your mind – what does that mean? Is it based on how much revenue an affiliate generates or is there something beyond that?
It’s a silly little term that stuck and I just decided to let it stick around… a decade ago it meant more, as there were a lot less affiliates and even less affiliate networks. Power house affiliates were appreciated and harder to find back then. It’s not a big deal to have affiliates pushing a few hundred thousand in volume per month now a day. I’m big on comics and super heroes and the blog is branded as a “Super Affiliate”… so why not stick with it… especially being that it’s ranked #1 on Google for “Super Affiliate”. :)
Q: What do you think is the impact of the “new” media on today’s publishers and affiliates? Are they leveraging it effectively and more importantly – are they leveraging it for the betterment of our industry?
Everything is changing so rapidly online that there is no time to put any rules in place of what can be done and what not. With that said, it up to the affiliates and marketers to do what they can with the situation at hand. With so many affiliates now in the game, creative and unusual marketing tactics you and I may never have thought of, are already making millions for others. First there was MySpace, Facebook then Twitter and they all made people a lot of money… throw rebills, penny auctions and Facebook apps into the mix and you have a completely different revenue source. Every few months there will be a new cycle of social media driven traffic, which will be monetized in some creative way or another. It’s up to you to decide if you will be in the race, or watching on the sidelines.
Q: There has been a recent craze about “content unlocking” networks and offers, do you partake in that and what is your overall feedback on it for those on the fence?
Everything cycles around… I remember when I was doing something similar back in the late 90s. I was running promotions for contests and had people fill out a form on my web site for some freebies, then send them off to another contest afterwards to enter. I would have people subscribing to my list, then receive a commission if they completed the next form. It’s not the exact same as content locking, but it’s the same concept with collecting data and sending users along a path. Content locking will probably do well for a while and make a lot of people, but if users get pissed off with it, they will soon recognize it on sites and stay away from it… just like trial offers and zip offers… yet they both still make great money today, yet they both have a bad reputation.
Q: Which tools/plugins do you use to efficiently manage your blog and your campaigns? Any widgets or tips you would like to share with our readers.
The most important thing I like to focus on with any big blog site of mine, is to have a great and unique blog design, along with a memorable logo and with great content. Lately I’ve been working a lot with MaxCDN and increasing the speed of my blogs.
Q: What are you working on nowadays? What’s the next big thing we can expect from Zac Johnson?
I’m still pushing affiliate related offers here and there, but I’m getting more focused on the web site / blog development and building up some larger sites, as that’s what I really enjoy more. Constantly building ad campaigns gets tedious and boring after so many years… I’m also still focused on ZacJohnson.com and will have a big new project launching off BloggingTips.com, which focuses on helping anyone create their first blog and turning it into a real business.
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