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The Smart Passive Income Podcast

AP 0149: Why Is Your Bluehost Affiliate Income So High?

AP 0149: Why Is Your Bluehost Affiliate Income So High?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 149 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody, Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 149 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me.

Before we get to today’s question from Cy over in Hawaii, let’s get to today’s sponsor which is FreshBooks.com, an awesome cloud-based service that will allow you to easily manage all of your money and accounting for your business, from expenses to income to—and especially—creating invoices for your clients, all those things are really easy with FreshBooks.com. If you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section, you’ll get that free trial so check it out. All right, now let’s get to today’s question from Cy.

Cy: Yo, Pat. Hey, this is Cy from Hawaii. Big fan. I heard about you through my personal coach, Mr. Dan Miller himself. And by the way, congratulations, I love your site, I love what you do, and keep doing it brother, thank you so much. I’ve got a quick question. As I was looking at Entrepreneur On Fire’s website, John Lee Dumas, and I noticed you both have the Bluehost affiliate link for $3.95. I was looking at his income statement and yours and I was just so curious: How is it that he is able to make $2,400 in affiliate income from Bluehost and you’re able to make north of $30,000 a month on Bluehost? I was just wondering, is there a different method that you use than him or do you just have that much more volume? I would appreciate it, thanks Pat.

Pat Flynn: Cy, thank you so much for the question and first of all, I just think it’s really cool that you’re from Hawaii because I love Hawaii and—my wife and I—we named our kids Hawaiian names. It’s just awesome and we’re actually headed there next year sometime. When, I don’t know exactly but maybe we can meet up. I don’t know what part you’re in but we’ll figure it out.

Now, anyway, to answer your question, and to give some background information for everybody out there, Bluehost is the domain and posting company that I recommend if you’re just getting started. My affiliate link is AskPat.com/bluehost and John promotes the same one, apparently. And so Cy’s looking at his income report. John does a monthly income report as well and comparing that particular number, I’m making about upwards of $30,000, sometimes over $40,000 a month from Bluehost and John’s making $2,400. But that’s—$2,400 is still good and I was there, not even when I first started but after a while, too. Now, the history with Bluehost and my affiliate income, and I have some detailed posts in the SmartPassiveIncome.com archive about this, but I think I did a very good job, strategically, promoting Bluehost. I do it in a number of different ways on a number of different places on SmartPassiveIncome.com.

Now, I’m not going to knock on how John does it but what I do know, I’ve put a lot of time and effort into making sure that pretty much anyone who comes to the site, especially if they’re brand new, they will come across that link to Bluehost, especially if they’re getting started. Over time, I have over 600 posts. So, first of all, think about each of those posts as some way that people can come into the site because the site’s been up for a while, it’s ranking higher on Google, and when people come to the site for the first time, they land on a page and they might discover my content or visit the homepage or find other means of getting onto my Resources page.

Now the reason I mention my Resources page is because my Resources page is the number one, most profitable page on my site and, related to that, it’s the number one page on the site that Bluehost has clicked on and where the sales come from. So, I know this because Bluehost does a good job on there and of having backend where I can check to see where what’s all happening with the links and where people are coming from so that’s really helpful. But also, I love the Resources page, everybody on their websites should have a Resources page which is, essentially, a page of tools and books, perhaps, and things that will be helpful to your audience, things that you’ve mentioned on your site before; just a handy resource page, just a one place, one-stop shop for all of the best things in the world related to your niche. Why wouldn’t you have that? It’s very convenient for all those people looking on your site to go there and see everything else that’s awesome that they can get their hands on. It’s convenient for you because it’s just one spot where you can continually list things but also you get a commission for a lot of those things. Not everything on my Resource page is tied to an affiliate program. A lot of it is, but not everything because the primary purpose of that page is to be incredibly helpful. The place that anybody goes to, related to your niche, you want people to go there because all of the best resources are there. Paid, free—it’s paid, maybe in commission, maybe not, it doesn’t matter. It’s about helping your audience. And the coolest part about this page is it’s completely non-aggressive. People go there and they are thankful. They go there and I don’t promote it as a place where I can earn a commission, even though I do say and mention it upfront at the top because of FTC reasons and just because I just want to be honest. “Hey, a lot of these things below are affiliate links; if you click on them I get a commission at no extra cost to you,” and I actually think that’s really helpful to say that because some people will go out of their way to find ways to pay you back if you provide value for them.

But again, going back to the non-aggressive aspect of this page, it’s awesome because people go there, they find what they need and they’re thankful for it and in no way am I saying, “You need to buy these things” or “These are the things that you have to have,” but “Here’s the tools that I use and here’s what I recommend. And also, here are some helpful articles or links to things I can help you get started with.” With Bluehost, specifically, there’s a video that I have that shows people how to walk through it and I think this is a huge differentiator, and I know a lot of people that have since seen my success with this Bluehost walkthrough video, they’ve since created videos for themselves.

But, you should do it for all of your products. I wish I could do it for all of my products. I do have it for a lot of the top products, for lead pages, for Optin Skin, for those types of products. In a perfect world, I would have walkthrough videos for all of the things that I’m promoting. The reason those work pretty well is because it shows what people are going to buy before they buy it. It takes away all the fear from what they’re going to buy but also, for technical things especially, it gets rid of the worry or the fear that they won’t know how to use it because it’s all step-by-step right there for them. So I actually created a mock site and just recorded myself using ScreenFlow about how to do that, how to get through and start your own domain, and even set up a blog and write your first post. The hook on that video is that I showed you that in less than four minutes. Now, it’s funny because I can’t watch that video anymore because I just am disgusted at my voice and how I’ve come a long way since I shot that video—it’s one of the first videos I shot for the blog back in 2009 actually, I believe, or even late 2010 perhaps, but I can’t remember, it was a long time ago. But since recording that video, over 100,000 people have viewed it which are 100,000 chances for people to click on that affiliate link to gain people’s trust and earn a commission. So that’s why the resource page is really helpful.

The second most profitable page is another page where I promote Bluehost, which is my Getting Started page. Everybody should have a Getting Started page on their site because your site is just a huge pile of archived posts that, necessarily, aren’t going to be beneficial to people if read in the same order that you wrote them. There’s this specific order that you have in mind for brand new visitors to go through your site, so create a Getting Started page. This is different than an About page, it’s a page where you tell people what your site’s all about, what it can do for them, but also first steps. And it might sound similar to an About page but there’s a very clear call to action called, “Hey, get started here.” Not just, “Hey this is what I’m about.” But, “Here is where you start.” Meaning, you click on this, you’re going to take some action, and one of the action sites I tell people to take on that Getting Started page is to go and sign up for their domain and get hosting on Bluehost. And of course, I use that affiliate link and I share that video right there on that Getting Started page as well.

So, all this to say I believe I’ve done a really good job of promoting this link and talking about Bluehost and doing it in a way where people feel comfortable with that purchase. It’s sort of just something I’ve mentioned. I even mentioned it in the beginning of this episode, AskPat.com/bluehost. I just mention it casually whenever I talk about starting a website. Now, the big thing here is, what do you need to get started online? You need a website. And so, when I talk about what I teach, people often need to get a website, and so Bluehost is a clear-cut first step.

I’m not sure if that’s the case for John when we’re talking about starting a podcast. Typically, the first steps are either get media hosting, like through Libsyn, or even getting the right equipment or discovering what your show’s about and things like that. So, in that regard, it might be different and that might account for some of the differences in the income from Bluehost. But again, I think it’s just because I’ve had the promotions going on for much longer, I have the video as well, which is ranking really high on YouTube and Google, and I have a Resource page, which is quite often mentioned to and linked to you on the sites. So people are always coming across it, and I think I just have more traffic on them on the website as well.

I have more traffic than John, I believe, and that’s because he has, primarily, his podcasting platform. People are listening to him and he does a great job of getting people back to the show, but a lot of people are probably discovering my site more on Google and things like that. So that might have a lot to do with it or it does have a lot to do with it.

Another thing is, and I’ll be honest with everybody, I have a higher-than-advertised commission with Bluehost. Bluehost advertises $65 per lead. Well mine is much higher than that, but that’s because I’ve been able to negotiate with them and I’ve just been a customer for so long, and also I’ve been an affiliate for so long, so I earned the right be able to earn a higher commission. I don’t want to say exactly how much, although you can probably guess or calculate on my income reports but I don’t want to say it, because I don’t want people to go to Bluehost and be like, “Well, hey, well Pat gets this.” Note that I do have the volume to justify that for them.

So, to finish up here, Cy, I think the biggest takeaway for you and everybody else out there is to think about, well, what is your Bluehost? It’s not necessarily Bluehost and a hosting domain company and, of course, there are other great hosting companies that are out there that I could promote but I choose to promote just Bluehost because I am customer myself. It’s a web host that I still continue to use, although not for Smart Passive Income because Smart Passive Income has outgrown it. A lot of my niche sites are still on Bluehost and the customer service is just—I know that they’re going to take care of people. And yes, there are down times but I’ve spent $500 a month on a different server and not with Bluehost, and that site went down for a week. I lost thousands of dollars so people complain and they’re like, “Ah, Bluehost is down.” Or, “My host is down. It’s been down for hours.” And I’m like, “Hey. It happens. It’s technology. At least you weren’t down for a week like me and lost $12,000.” So that’s always my response.

But going back to what I was originally going to say here, is what is your Bluehost? What is your one thing that you know that all of your audience members need to do to start off on their path to finding whatever success that you want them to have? What’s the first thing that they need to do or get? Think about that and own that promotion or recommendation: Own that recommendation. Not only talk about what they need, talk about why. Show them why, show them what it looks like. How does it work? What’s wrong with it? What can they do to improve their experience with it? All of those things can help you become a bigger, more successful affiliate with whatever that product might be. Put it on your Resource page and just remember to have the benefit of your audience at top of mind.

So, cool Cy, hope that answers your question. Thank you so much. I appreciate it and an AskPat teeshirt is going to be headed your way, so I can’t wait to see you—maybe at the beach or next to a palm tree or something—wearing that shirt. That’ll be awesome. And like I said earlier, hopefully maybe I can make it your way and hang out and have coffee with you sometime or maybe catch some waves. We’ll see, because I actually do surf, too. But thank you, appreciate it. For those of you out there, if you have a question you’d like to potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com, you can ask right there on that page. I also want to thank today’s sponsor which is FreshBooks.com. Awesome site. Millions of other entrepreneurs and small business owners are using FreshBooks to reclaim their time, making their lives so much easier in terms of organizing and invoicing and all those good things that come along with financing. You can try it right now, for free. All you have to do is go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “Ask Pat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section to start your free trial today. So try it out. The sooner you start using FreshBooks, the sooner you can start making the most of those long, sunny days this summer.

And, as always, I’m going to end with a quote and today’s quote is from Siddharth Deswal: “A/B Testing is about letting the customer do the talking, without actually talking.” Love that. If you aren’t split-testing anything, you’re leaving money on the table, you’re leaving answers unfound. Cheers, take care, and I’ll see you in the episode of AskPat. And, lastly, really quick before I let you go, if you are attending the Podcast Movement in Dallas, have a great time, have an awesome conference, and congrats to Jared and Dan for putting this on for the first time. I hope it goes well and just say hi to everybody for me. Thanks, I’ll see you in the next episode. Peace.

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