SPI 002 (Transcript): Late Night Internet Marketing with Mark Mason from Masonworld.com

Pat Flynn: Hey, everybody! What’s up! Welcome to the second session of the Smart Passive Income Podcast – thank you for listening in today. I know you’re busy people, you got jobs, you got families to take care of, and just to know that you’re taking a little bit of time out of your day to listen to me just makes me so, so happy. So thank you.

And I will make it worth your while. I’ve got a great show lined up for you today. Fantastic guest with lots of information to take away from.

Before I get to that, I want to talk about the intro to my show. You may or may not have noticed, but the intro for today’s session was a little bit different than the first session. And guess what? It’s going to be different in every single episode.

Now why am I doing this?

Well, it’s my little unique thing that I want to have for this podcast. I don’t think there are any other podcasts out there doing it, and it’s just something you can look forward to with each episode. Something fun that helps me stand out from the rest, and that’s really what it’s all about.

If you have a blog or a website, or you’re just trying to impress people or get a following, or whatever – you’ve got to do something to stand out from the crowd. If you just blend in you’re going to get lost and you’re not going to get the results that you want. This doesn’t even have to do with internet marketing by itself, it’s life in general. If you follow the crowd and stay in your comfort zone, you’re going to be comfortable, but you’re not going to get where you want to be, where I know where you want to be, which is massive results with tons of customers, subscribers, followers, what have you. Whatever your goal is with internet business, or in life, you have to stand out from the crowd.

It’s something that I’ve learned since starting internet business. That’s what’s gotten me to this point today. That’s how I created a Make Money Online blog, smartpassiveincome.com, when it’s a HUGE niche, totally saturated, yet I’ve been able to still somehow gain a whole mess of subscribers and followers and I love each and every one of you guys, and I think it’s because I have something unique to provide. And I do a lot of unique things, like provide my income reports, my theme is unique, and of course I try to make my content unique – things that are just my own, and I’m trying to make the podcast just my own as well.

I followed courses and advice from people to get to this point in my podcast, but I’m trying to take it to a whole new level, and that’s what you gotta do – something unique.

These intros are my unique thing, so I hope you look forward to each episode because I’ll have some random fact or quirky random thing about me that – maybe I’ll have a quiz by the 30th episode and I’ll give away a prize or something.

So, let’s get to the main content and my featured guest. I’m so excited to have my friend Mark Mason on the show today. Mark Mason – you can find him at Masonworld.com, and he also has a podcast that you can find on iTunes as well.

I first met Mark in the Internet Business Mastery Academy. He’s a guy who was very active in the forums, who had really, really useful information to say to people and I’ve been following what he’s been saying, and he’s even answered a lot of questions that I had when I was starting out – so I’m really happy to have him on the show.

What I really love about Mark and what he does, his blog and his podcast, is that he does everything LATE NIGHT. That’s his thing. His thing is late night internet marketing. He has a large family, a 9 to 5 job, but he still crushes it online.

He just knows how to utilize his time and maximize his efforts, and not get distracted, and really really do what he has to do to make money online. And it’s just awesome, so I’m really happy to have him on the show.

Mark, thank you for joining me on the show today.

Mark Mason: Hey. Thank you very much. I couldn’t be more excited about the launch of a podcast than I am about this. This is so fantastic. I’m so glad you’re on the air, having followed you almost from your very beginning. Right?

Pat Flynn: Yep – right when I entered the Internet Business Mastery Academy, that’s when I first started out.

Mark Mason: What an amazing ride that’s been for you. I’m really glad to be here. Thanks for having me.

Pat Flynn: The pleasure is all mine Mark – thank you for coming on the show. Now, you know how I got started. Would you mind sharing with our listeners how you got started with online business and internet marketing?

Mark Mason: I love to tell this story, because I think one of the key things you’ve got to get if you’re going to do this kind of business is buy in from your family. The way that I got started in internet marketing actually was I got this call from my wife one day at work.

I have a big day job, actually I have responsibility and a big budget at a large manufacturing operation here in Texas. I was sitting at my desk and the phone rang and my wife said, “You’ve got to go to MSNBC.com and look at this video.”

So, I go over there and it’s a video about a guy with a website, he was a retired handyman and he had written all this content about how to install doorknobs and fix leaky faucets and all this kind of crazy stuff. He had what really amounted to the ugliest looking website I had ever seen filled with Adsense ads.

He was a retired guy making 11,000 dollars a month with Adsense ads on this website.

I thought, “Wow. If this retired handyman guy can do this, I’m a tech geek guy, I know how to build websites, I can do all this stuff,” obviously my teams that I have in my manufacturing operation are all UNIX guys, “I know all this technology I ought to be able to do that.”

So, I started that night trying to figure out how to essentially make money online, because at that time I didn’t even understand the term internet marketing or how money moved around on the internet. After that it was just a continuous learning process about money moves around on the internet and how to get in front of some of it.

Pat Flynn: Right, I mean experience is the best teacher – at least that’s what I found out in the past. It’s amazing how others people’s success stories can inspire us and keep us going, especially in the beginning. Just like you, I had no idea how the internet worked when I first started doing business online, but hearing everyone else’s success stories I knew it was possible and I was determined to get there. Thanks for sharing that Mark.

Now I want to talk about the tagline of your podcast and your blog, which is Late Night Internet marketing, building internet businesses one night at a time. Very cool tag line, but I’m curious to know why there’s this focus on “Late Night”, and doing thing one “Night” at a time. Why late night?

Mark Mason: Well, like I said, internet marketing for me is a second job. If I were completely honest about it I would call it a hobby or a passion that happens to be cash flow positive, unlike golf, which causes me to spend money in the other direction.

I don’t normally say that it’s a hobby of mine, because that gives people the impression that maybe I’m not serious about it. I do run my internet business like a business, but it’s late at night because I’m doing it when I’m not doing my relatively demanding 60 hour a week day job that I have with this big corporation.

So, that means it’s late at night. In fact, it’s 11:45 PM here in Dallas, I know it’s a little earlier for you in San Diego. That’s when I get my work done. Everyone else in my house is asleep and I’m able to get a few hours in every night. I’ve been doing that for the last several years and just building internet businesses one night at a time, just like the tagline says.

Pat Flynn: That’s awesome. It reminds me of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It. He says, “You just have to do what it takes to succeed,” whether it’s staying up late and that’s exactly what you’re doing. It’s just so awesome to see that actually happening.

Because you’re working late at night and you only have a few hours to get stuff done, wouldn’t you agree that you really have to make sure you’re using time efficiently and you’re maximizing your effort when you do work?

Mark Mason: Absolutely. There’s a couple of things you have to do. One of them is you have to know sort of what the few things are that you really need to get done that day. That’s pretty hard for me, because I’m very interested in a lot of things about internet business and I’m pretty easily distracted.

In fact, you’re a big problem because a lot of times I’ll get distracted reading your excellent blog. I try to only do that during the day and not at night.

Pat Flynn: My apologies.

Mark Mason: Sorry. So, apology accepted. I try not do those kind of things at night. In fact, I’ll try to sneak those in during the day, during the normal course of my business day. When I have a little downtime at work if I want to do some reading or tinker around with social media or something in the normal course of my day I’ll do that, just like a normal person would.

The business part of my business is strictly at night and that has to be very focused.

Pat Flynn: If that were me I think I would be so heavily distracted by things like Facebook and even Twitter, which are tools that can help our business, but also detract from the time we can use to improve our business.

How do you know, do you find yourself getting off track and how do you get yourself back on track?

Mark Mason: Every day. Anybody who tells you that they’re not distracted by all the bright shiny objects online is either incredibly amazing and focused or just lying to you.

What I try to do, the kinds of things that help me with that, particularly with regard to content creation, are having publishing schedules and other sorts of deadlines that allow me to understand what I’ve got to get done. For example, I’ve got to get an interview done, I’ve got to get that scheduled or I’ve got to get a blog post created.

Tonight when I get off the phone with you I’ll have to finish a post that is due tomorrow, I’ve got a deadline that I’ve made for myself so that’s got to publish by tomorrow morning at 8:00. One of the key things is just appraising your business and make sure you know what it is that you’re trying to accomplish and then setting deadlines for those tasks in a way that keeps you on track.

Having said that, internet business is definitely a marathon, it is not a sprint. What I mean by that is you can’t kill yourself one week and then take the next week off. You really need to pace yourself. It’s particularly important when you’re doing it part time to have reasonable expectations for the amount of stuff you can get done and for how long it’s going to take to be successful with your internet business.

Pat Flynn: Right. That’s really great advice. Understanding how much work you can do kind of just comes with experience, right? Just throwing yourself out there, doing it, and finding out how well you can work, how fast you can work, what works for you, what doesn’t, and then allocating your time and your effort accordingly.

Mark Mason: That’s right. I think one of the other things that you need to do is while it’s useful to learn from other people, I think it’s important particularly if you’re part time not to spend too much time comparing yourself to other people.

For example, I don’t compare myself to you, because not only have you been incredibly successful with everything that you’ve done with Smart Passive Income, but you’ve got all these business models going and there’s no way that in two hours a night I’m going to be able to keep up with Pat Flynn.

It’s important to learn from people who are successful that’s absolutely critical, but it also can be really demotivating if you spend all your time wondering why you’re not as successful as person A or person B. What you really need to do it focus on what behaviors those other people have that you can model to be successful on your own terms.

That’s really important for staying motivated in the long term. Set your own goals and beat those, don’t go after other people’s goals. You need to have your own goals.

Pat Flynn: I think that’s hugely important. If you’re listening, just to recap. Creating a schedule and creating deadlines for yourself is really important to getting things done and not being distracted and staying focused.

Also, like you were saying, another distraction just seeing what everyone else is doing. Everyone loves to share what they’re doing and how many subscribers they have, how much income they’re making. I’m one of those people who share income and exactly what I’m doing and what all my businesses are.

There’s a lot of people I look up to as well who do the same thing. From time to time, I’ll admit, I do compare myself and it doesn’t do any good. It just makes you feel bad and nothing good can come out of that.

So, what you have to do is you look at what those other people are doing, like you said, and see what’s working for them and then try to make those things happen for you. Don’t compare the numbers, don’t compare subscribers, none of that. That’s really great advice.

I know I’m kind of unique in my place in life right now where I can spend my time doing internet marketing and blogging and business full time, because I don’t have a 9:00 to 5:00 job, but you do have a 9:00 to 5:00 job and a lot of people do, I know a lot of my listeners do too.

What can you say to those people who say, “There’s just no time. I have a 9:00 to 5:00 job and I have a family. There’s absolutely no time to do internet business.” What would you say to them?

Mark Mason: I get this a lot on my blog and the first thing I always say to people is that I definitely respect the idea that people are very busy in their lives, so I don’t want to make light of it. It’s not an easy proposition.

Although, a lot of times when I talk to those people and you find out what they’re doing with their time a lot of times what you’ll find out is they’re making sure that they watch the latest episode of Desperate Housewives.

I talked to one guy on a one on one coaching session and he couldn’t schedule the coaching session with me because he had to schedule it around the show with the big balls that people have to bounce over.

Pat Flynn: Wipeout, or something like that.

Mark Mason: Wipeout, yes. He couldn’t meet with me on the phone during the time that we had discussed, because he needed to watch Wipeout. So, the first thing I say to people is make sure you take careful inventory of what it is that you’re actually doing with your time and figure out how your internet business fits in.

Probably your internet business shouldn’t be more important than your relationship with your spouse, but it might be more important than …

Pat Flynn: Than bouncy balls.

Mark Mason: Yes, exactly. So, that’s my recommendation to a lot of people. Just take inventory of why you’re doing this and therefore what is it more important than. This is exactly the kind of thing that you know very well is taught of the Internet Business Mastery Academy, which is you need to know why you have your internet business.

What is that you’re trying to achieve? What is the purpose of your internet activities? Once you understand that it’s easy to prioritize working on your internet business over 30 minutes of sleep or an hour of the latest episode of 24.

Pat Flynn: Absolutely. That’s golden advice that everyone doing internet business should understand. Now, I’d like to move to more about what you do online and your businesses. In particular I’m interested in hearing about your niche sites.

I’ve been dabbling with niche sites lately using tools like Market Samurai just to find those golden keywords and create websites for them. How do you do niche sites? What is your process? How does it work?

Mark Mason: Let me just say to qualify that this. I personally believe, generically speaking, every person is different, but when people come to me and say, “How should I get started online?” My answer is always that you should start with some kind of niche affiliate marketing type of site creation and promotion.

It teaches you all the fundamentals of internet marketing. You can learn how to identify a niche, how to do keyword research, how to select products, how to write copy that converts, how to build and manage a list, and so forth all inside of this niche website affiliate marketing model.

From there it’s very easy to go on to create products and do other things that you might want to do because you’ve got this massive promotional arsenal that you’ve learned in affiliate marketing at very low risk. So, I think affiliate marketing is a great way for people to start on the internet.

To your question, the process is pretty straightforward in the sense that I always have some idea for some sort of affiliate site promotion and I start with keyword research. Lately because of the, I think temporary, but definitely real effect that’s been shown over and over again of exact keyword matches with domain names and SEO, I try to find a keyword that makes sense for something I want to promote that’s an exact match for a .com, .org, or .net and build a website around that product.

For example, if I wanted to promote the latest Jack Lalain juicer product or something like that I would try to build a website around juicers, a juicer related keyword without Jack Lalain in the domain name, because I don’t want to get into a trademark problem, as you know very well with the producer of the juicers.

I want to try and rank for those keywords and promote that product on the website by providing valuable information about juicers that people who are wanting to buy juicers or are searching for and providing an affiliate link to an affiliate product that they might want to buy.

Pat Flynn: Okay. So, you’re doing product affiliation, you’re not throwing out a billion different autoblogs with Adsense on them?

Mark Mason: No. I’ve done that. I’ve done a little bit of everything and you can certainly make money doing that. But, the process is the same.

In the case of building an autoblog or even a real blog for Adsense you start with the same keyword research, because you want that organic traffic. Instead of actually promoting a product you just put the Adsense on there and they can be product targeted.

If you have somebody who is looking for a Black and Decker drill and you can rank for the keyword “cheapest Black and Decker drill” and that’s a keyword where somebody is looking for a Black and Decker drill and the ad from Sears is right there on the page they’re going to click on it and you’re going to the 50 or 75 cents. Hopefully you’ve done the research properly and it’s not a nickel.

It’s the same process, in my opinion, whether it’s a product or Adsense. One difference is that in the case of product affiliate blogs you’re going to want some copy that will help convert the sale, and in the case of Adsense blogs you really want the prospect to get off your page and onto the Adsense ads.

Pat Flynn: Just click off.

Mark Mason: That’s right. You want a high bounce rate on an Adsense blog.

Pat Flynn: Yes. It really depends on what works for you. For me, I can’t imagine myself doing those autoblogs, because I like to publish content out there that actually helps people.

For me, when I’m getting started in niche sites right now it’s the products that I’m being an affiliate for, I’m not having people click off the site for Adsense or anything like that. It’s because I feel better about it.

Mark Mason: I have a friend who also I have used her as a coach, her name is Nicole Dean and she’s a pretty famous affiliate marketer and info product creator in her own right.

Pat Flynn: I do know who she is.

Mark Mason: One of her things that she always says, she’d make an excellent guest for your show by the way, one of the things that she always says is that if you want to really do this right you ought to make the internet a better place.

If you’re doing something that doesn’t make the internet a better place that’s probably an indication that it’s not a sustainable business model, because you’re not adding value.

Pat Flynn: Yes. Sustainable, that’s a huge term. It’s all about creating sustainable businesses, because you want to build something that can sort of run on autopilot and not die out a day later.

Mark Mason: Exactly. Yes, absolutely.

Pat Flynn: We’re getting close to the end of the interview here. Just a couple more questions related to niche sites for you.

How are you promoting your niche sites? Are you using any tools to help you build backlinks or create articles or anything like that?

Mark Mason: Yes. One of the tools that I just picked up from one of my favorite guys, Jonathan Leger, he’s a prolific software guy here in Texas and he’s just released a new product that is fantastic for the rapid creation of articles. I’m sure you can probably link to that in the show notes, it’s called Instant Article Factory. That’s a really cool product that I use and like.

For ranking affiliate sites the things that you really need to do are have more backlinks that are targeted with your keywords in the anchor text than the sites that you’re competing with. That’s one of the things that you learn when you do research with Market Samurai, as you’ve taught very well on your blog.

You can get backlinks from a variety of sources, but article marketing is always a good way to get some backlinks. One of the tools that I use for that is Automatic Article Submitter, and that’s a really neat tool. It’s one of many, there are lots of automatic article submitters out there. I like this one because it’s affordable and it doesn’t have any recurring costs.

Pat Flynn: That’s good.

Mark Mason: You pay for it once and unlike some of these other services where you’ve got to pay month after month you just pay for this one once and it just works.

Pat Flynn: So, can people get more information about Article Submitter and Instant Article Factory off of your blog? I know you’ve written reviews for those.

Mark Mason: Yes, absolutely. If you go to my blog and type either one of those in the search box you’ll find a whole series of articles on them. Particularly on Automatic Article Submitter I’ve got tutorial videos and so forth on the blog. You can certainly find Instant Article Factory is referenced there on the blog.

Pat Flynn: I’ll definitely have to check that out and I’ll link to that in the show notes as well.

Mark Mason: Thank you very much.

Pat Flynn: Just to finish off here. You are the first guest on the Smart Passive Income blog, thank you once again. I want to do something with all of my guests, something called What’s Working for You, where I’m going to ask the person about a strategy or a technique that’s working for you right now so that my listeners can just take away something right away from listening to this podcast and take action right away with something that’s working for you.

So, I’m going to ask you, Mark, what’s working for you right now?

Mark Mason: I will tell you what’s really working for me is being a guest on your podcast. This is so fantastic. I can’t believe I’m guest number one. I feel like I’ve really accomplished something here.

What’s really working for me in terms of internet marketing, the way I would answer that question is in the context of what would also really work well for your listeners. I think one thing that I’m just convinced works over and over again is article marketing.

If I were starting out or trying to kick start some site with some additional traffic I would find some keywords that look like they’re relatively low competition and I’d start submitting good quality articles to Ezine Articles with a link in the resource box back to my website.

If I had a few extra dollars to spend I’d get a tool like Article Submitter and I would submit that same article maybe slightly modified. Automatic Article Submitter has some spinning capability, I might change that article around where it was still a great article but it looked different to the search engines and submit it to a few more sites.

Those articles in Ezine Articles if you do the keyword research well will rank and you will get traffic from them. That’s a great inexpensive sort of bum marketing style of traffic creation. It’s great because you get the traffic from the click throughs from the resource box, but you also get the traffic eventually from the backlinks that come from the articles.

That’s something that works. You can take that to the bank. Article marketing still works. It’s not always the most fun thing in the world to do. If you don’t like to write of course you can outsource those articles and get really great articles written affordably. But, article marketing is really something that I know works and that I think your readers can benefit from.

Pat Flynn: That’s awesome. Thanks, Mark. I think article marketing is definitely an underutilized tactic right now. We like to follow what a lot of the big shots are doing and none of them are doing article marketing first hand, so they don’t talk about it. But, it totally works.

I’m doing it for my niche sites right now and I can see it working right before my eyes. So, thank you for bringing that up. It really is working for you and for me right now.

Mark Mason: Special just for you, if your listeners do happen to go to my blog and look for my article directory list on the blog, it’s in the menus there on the front page, you can see a list of 400 article directories that you can choose to submit to and right there is a place you can sign up for a free 12 week, 12 lesson article marketing course that I put together so you can get started right away. You can just go over there and check it out.

Pat Flynn: Thanks, Mark. I appreciate that. So, if any of my listeners want to get in contact with you or learn more about you where should they go?

Mark Mason: Of course, go to MasonWorld.com, that’s ground zero for all things Mason World. There you can find me on Twitter, you can find the Facebook Fan Page. Are we still calling them Fan Pages or are they Like Pages now? I can’t decide.

Pat Flynn: I have no idea.

Mark Mason: Facebook has their own marketing problems. I turn to you for Facebook advice, so you’ve got to tell me.

Pat Flynn: I’m going to make up my own term and it will be universal, I just need to think about it.

Mark Mason: There you go. So, MasonWorld.com, and if you need to reach me directly you can put it in a ticket at the support desk at MasonWorld.com/support and I answer all those tickets. If you need anything give me a holler.

Pat Flynn: Awesome. Thank you so much. For those of you listening, Mark is one of the nicest guys out there. Follow what he’s doing, go to his blog, subscribe. He’s a great guy and he knows his stuff, so pay attention because he’s going places.

Thank you, Mark, once again. I’ll talk to you soon.

Mark Mason: Thanks very much. It’s great to talk to you. I’m so excited, thanks again for making me guest number one.

Pat Flynn: All right. Take care. Bye.

And thank you, listeners, for listening to the second session of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. In two weeks, we have another episode coming out, brand new information, brand new intro (of course!), and thank you for taking time out of your busy day to listen to me.

You can find me again at:

http://www.facebook.com/smartpassiveincome.com

Thanks again, and have a good one. I’ll see you again in the next session.