SPI 052: How Jazz Musician Steve Nixon Started An Online Business—Success Story Interview

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In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, I’m delighted to bring back (by popular demand) another success story interview with a someone who has built an online business outside of the how to make money online and blogging niche.

It has been 12 episodes since my last success story interview, which was an interview with Fraiser Cain who earns a hefty income and sees over 5,000,000 pageviews a month in the Space niche.

Before that we had Mike Doonan in speech therapy, Lain Ehmann in the scrapbooking, Sunil in travel and Ryan and Joshua in personal development.

In SPI Session #24, I interviewed Keith Snow in cooking, Raffael Schulz in (German) weddings and Daniel Himel in endurance training.

In SPI Session #25, I interviewed Jordan Cooper in video games, Cara Faus in GUTS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome), David Risley in tech and Cornelis Fitchner in project management.

There are so many incredible, untold success stories out there in all kinds of niches, which is why I’m always so thankful when people come on the podcast to share their story with me to educate and inspire the SPI audience.

In today’s session, I’m happy to welcome Steve Nixon from FreeJazzLessons.com to the podcast! Steve sent me this email a few months back:

Hey Pat!

I just wanted to send you a quick thank you note. I just released my first product ever on (my) site and it was a HUGE success. Way beyond what I thought this could be. I’m currently still in launch week right now. It’s all very surreal but a lot of fun. Your advice over the last year  (an especially in the email where I asked you whether free in my domain was a problem or not) has been so helpful. You are the man! If there’s anything I can do to help you please let me know!

I invited Steve to come on the podcast to talk about how he got started online, how his launch went and everything in between, and he was more than willing to share with us.

In this session, you’ll find out:

  • The thinking behind Steve’s decision to use “Free” in his domain name.
  • Exactly what he did to get started.
  • Where most of Steve’s traffic to FreeJazzLessons comes from.
  • Steve’s tips for video production.
  • How Steve created his first product and how he launched it.
  • The #1 tool Steve used to launch his product.
  • How user experience plays a role in Steve’s success.
  • How much traffic he gets to his website each month.
  • How successful his launch really was.
  • Plus more!

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

Note: some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links.

Steve and I talk about video quality in this session and how much we have both improved since starting our respective YouTube channels. The lesson here is that you don’t have to be perfect to get started. In fact, you shouldn’t be, you just have to do it and you can perfect things along the way.

Here’s a comparison between the first video that he posted, and one of his latest. If you take 30 seconds to watch each, you can immediately tell how much better everything about his videos are. Here’s his first one:

And here’s one of his latest. Not only is the production value much better after the intro, but Steve just looks way more comfortable and confident.

Thank you all for checking out this session of the SPI podcast, and finally, if you haven’t done so already please subscribe to the podcast and/or leave a rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. That little gesture helps out a ton!

Thanks again for your support! Stay safe, stay warm and happy holidays to you and your family!

Cheers! :)


Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 52 (PDF)

  • http://www.BiggerPockets.com Brandon Turner

    Hey Pat – I love these success story podcasts! I also love the fact that this one talks about video – cause that’s exactly what I was working on today! (Sometimes I think you are spying on me, Pat)

    I’m off to record some awesome real estate investing videos (after listening to this podcast, of course!)

    Thanks Pat for the great Podcast (and thanks for the Podcast tutorial – I’m starting that up this week as well!)

    Take care!

  • http://www.myworkathomeventures.com Melissa @ My Work At Home Ventures

    Can’t wait to hear this one. My husband is a singer/songwriter and I would love for him to get ideas for making money from home besides just trying to sell cd’s. He is so tired of his job environment at work. I love hearing all these success stories! So inspirational :)

  • http://www.carissacoles.com Carissa

    Hi Pat,

    It’s true that your passion can be turned into a profitable business. This is such an inspiration for all the people who love arts, music and being creative.

  • http://www.sharesandstockmarkets.com David Thomas

    Hi Pat

    Definitely the success story podcasts are my favorite, thanks for posting another good one, they inspire so much!

  • http://www.classicalmusicheadphones.com Matthew Simpson

    Hi Pat,
    Most of the successful bloggers I know are the ‘behind the scenes’ types, who run a website but aren’t really public figures. It’s inspiring to see people turning their passions into a profitable business. I’m on my way too!

  • http://youronline.biz Jacko

    Good interview Pat,

    Try 35 that’s me in January happy b day bro.

    You’re right 2013 is the year to take things to the next LEVEL and all that JAZZ.

    JAZZ may be the #1 american invention.

  • http://exs24samples.com/ Dave G

    Enjoyed that, thanks Pat and Steve.

    Just one thing, every time I see Steves url I think Free Jazzles Sons, and start to wonder who Jazzle is and why his sons are in prison :'(

    Aside from that, inspiring stuff as usual – and please keep up the success story podcasts Pat, they are probably the most useful ones to me – especially when you see the persons niche and think “how the hell….” :)

  • http://www.production-counsel.com Richard

    Great information as always! I am an Entertainment Attorney who specializes in Reality TV production. Im currently working on a digital product so this is all fantastic information!

  • http://www.formedicale.com/ Xavier

    One more great podcast to listen … i know i will really enjoy it tomorrow morning when i’ll go outside for running :)

    Thank you guys.

  • http://www.freejazzlessons.com Steve Nixon

    Thank you Pat and thank you everybody for the very nice comments so far. I’m happy to answer questions as well so feel free to ask away!

  • Jin Lee

    Thank you Pat for hosting another valuable session of your podcast! Keep up the amazing work!

  • http://guitarkitchen.com Duff

    Thanks guys, that was really inspiring and great to hear. I’ve been working on a site for guitar and I’ve been trying to get serious about creating video content for a while. This interview definitely gave some concrete motivation for me.

    One of the challenges for me was finding high-quality, economical video editing software where I can synch audio and video easily and handle multiple camera angles. I just realized you can rent a Adobe Premiere by the month which, I believe, will really help me get things going.

  • Darryl Ruff

    I’m one of those who earlier purchased Steve’s *The Jazz Masters Method* DVD — an awesome product, and then some! I regularly “tune in” to Steve’s website and watch, even re-watch, his free piano method tips. They may be free, but are worth gold!

    • http://www.freejazzlessons.com Steve Nixon

      Hey Darryl!
      Great to see you on this side of the internet world. Thanks so much for the incredibly kind words. I’m humbled :)

  • http://theaffiliatemarketinglab.com/2675/pinterest-for-business-your-ultimate-pinterest-how-to-guide/ Monja

    hi pat,
    thanks for getting another success story on the podcast! glad to hear once again that you can really make money with everything you love – at least if you love it enough to stand the frustration in the beginning 😉
    happy holidays to you and yours as well! thanks for all the support and advice you gave over the last year

  • http://www.notordinaryblogger.com Okto

    Hi Pat,

    Love to read the transcript. Will wait for it. And happy holidays to you and your family too :)

    • Jin Lee

      Yeah listening to Pat’s podcast while reading the transcript really helps me focus! Can’t wait!

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Okto – the transcript is now ready to download. Cheers!

  • Jin Lee

    BTW is it just my browser or is the subscriber/rss/follower counter on the header messed up?

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Jin – it should be fixed now, and also the transcript is now available!

  • http://www.h4hitech.com Sapna

    HI Pat, Steve

    Thanks for that, I really like succcess stories and that’s the reason I refer you(Pat) as Guru in one of my post. But sadly I don’t how to earn money from passion, surely will be taking your help for same.



  • http://www.noisebuffet.com Ben Long

    nice work Pat! great to see something in my world (music). Keep mixing it up and may we all develop mad jazz chops in 2013 :)

  • http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.academia-research.com academia-research

    There are so many developers working on this segment but this is one of the best innovative idea ever.

  • http://www.popularblogsite.com Vince (PopularBlogSite)

    Another good podcast Pat! You inspire me to do my own podcast!

  • http://www.lazybastardlife.com Jason

    Thanks Pat and Steve. It’s always nice to hear stories of people making money in niches other than selling shovels to people with shiny object syndrome.

    I’ve recently put out my first video on my site. The lighting is suspect and the editing is a little rough, but I still pushed it out cause I’ve been putting it off too long to make another excuse. Since I finally broke the seal and have that feeling of “that wasn’t so bad”, it’s freed my mind up and ideas are flowing.

    Looking forward to NMX!

    • http://www.freejazzlessons.com Steve Nixon

      That’s fantastic Jason. Congrats on your first video! Kind of fun right?

  • http://www.haemorrhoidensalbe24.de/ Walter

    great story, thanks. My question is, how to start? Begin with a blog about my favourite subject and wait for traffic or search good keywords bevor?

  • http://www.creasysolve.com/ Hossain

    That means every person would start online business, and also there is all types of audience in internet

  • http://rich-blogger.com Kamil @ Rich Blogger

    That’s very good case. Nice to see how some people really rock in their niche!

  • Michael Burton

    Great stuff! The success stories are by far my favorite of your podcasts.

    One question: What was the occasional tapping sound throughout the first half or so of the audio?

    If you ever run across someone who has taken a manual labor skill and turned it into an online money maker i would love to hear something along those lines. That seems to be something I dont see a lot of but there sure are a lot of people that used to work in the home construction biz that have had to find other ways to make money.

    The behind the scenes stuff and how open you are with your processes are fantastic! Thank you again for putting out such great content :-)

    • http://exs24samples.com/ Dave G

      Regarding the manual labor skills things….if my memory is correct didn’t Mark Mason (in SPI 002 I think) mention being inspired by hearing about some dude who’d been a handyman for years and then had made loads of videos on how to fix common household problems…and was raking it in from ads and affiliate sales from them? I may have altered some of the details slightly in the paraphrasing!

  • Michael Burton

    Dave G:

    Thank you for that tip :-). I’ll give SPI #2 a listen. I havent checked out the first dozen or so.
    There are a lot of handymen who are doing to ‘how to’ thing, but it seems to be a very saturated market. Almost no barrier to entry. I hope there are some out there who have taken that market and done something new/creative and would also like to be on a popular podcast.

    • http://exs24samples.com/ Dave G

      Yeah totally – I think this was from a few years back though. No idea about that area now – I generally try to avoid any kind of manual work 😉

  • http://seekdefo.com/once-in-a-lifetime-offer-ipage-hosting-at-1-99-per-month/ George at seekdefo

    I love the interviews that you put up and your income reports. Its a valuable place.

  • http://YourWebsiteEngineer.com Dustin Hartzler

    Thanks for another great interview Pat!

    The one thing that stuck out to me in this interview was the Digital Access Pass plugin. Even though I’m a WordPress developer, I had never heard of this one and it’s going to be the perfect solution for a subscription that I’ve been putting off launching because I couldn’t get WishList Member to work properly.

    I love how even though I have little interest in music, I still got a ton of value from this session.

    Thanks and Happy 2013 :)

  • http://www.robstill.com Rob Still

    Pat & Steve,
    Great story. I’m a music producer and instructor. Steve – how did you build your e-mail list to 2500?

  • http://www.cloud65.com Easy Earn Money

    upto I looked at the receipt of $7339, I have faith that…my… mom in-law woz like they say realy receiving money part time from there new laptop.. there uncles cousin has done this for only 8 months and just paid the mortgage on their home and purchased a new Lotus Elan. I went here, http://www.Cloud65.com

  • http://www.hughculver.com Hugh Culver

    Thanks Pat

    Thanks for a another great podcast.

    Do you have the name/link to the article about zen and organization Steve mentioned? It really sounded like a great inspiration (especially in January!).


  • http://www.meublesalledebainbois.info/ Meuble salle de bain bois

    before I looked at the receipt of $5564, I didnt believe that…my… friends brother woz like they say truly bringing in money in their spare time on their apple laptop.. there neighbor haz done this less than twenty months and at present cleard the morgage on there cottage and purchased a great Aston Martin DB5. read more at, http://www.Cloud65.com

  • http://start-your-web-site.com Tim Hague

    Hi Steve,
    Your story truly inspired me and I was so excited to see the success you are having by being so passionate about your niche and wanting to teach it to others. You mentioned about being a musician forces you to learn business, you can clearly see this experience in the approach you take and the way you treat your customers. It’s so cool that you were able to expand your business online and add to your success.
    Best regards,

  • http://www.activateyourincome.com randy hollingsworth

    Thanks Pat, Hearing other’s success stories can be really inspiring, especially on those days when your motivation seems to be lacking. We must keep moving along. Thanks again.

  • http://www.cloud65.com Online Income

    like Maria implied I am amazed that a single mom able to make $9823 in one month on the internet. did you read this web site http://www.Cloud65.com

  • Jed Lavoie

    Thank you Pat! I LOVE what you are doing with these success stories. They are inspiring. It seems as though just the folks telling us how to make money online are the ones making money online, but stories like these prove that wrong!

  • Jason

    Come on. Nothing worse then spam.