What do you do when you strike gold with an innovative idea? Do you ride the wave until it ends, use the funds to invest in a more stable opportunity, or do something else entirely? On this episode of The Amazing Seller, you’ll hear from Scott as he drives to his lake house with his father (Poppa V). In their conversation, Poppa V opens up about his blog, how he earned $20,000 a month at one point, why it all came crashing down, and much more. You don’t want to miss this engaging episode featuring Poppa V’s story!
Riding the wave.
Can you imagine what it would be like to stumble upon an idea that earned you $20,000 a month? Does it sound too good to be true? It was! A few years ago, Poppa V created a blog where he could send his old Navy buddies and share content that they all enjoyed. What started as a way to stay in touch and share funny YouTube videos soon turned into a money-making opportunity. Following Scott’s advice, Poppa V utilized AdSense to start collecting revenue from all the traffic he was getting on his blog. Once the traffic spiked and a link got shared, the profits started rolling in, at one point Poppa V made about $29,000 in one month! Unfortunately, the wave he was riding came to an end, two years later Google shut down the AdSense pipeline on the site. To get the full story from Scott and Poppa V, make sure to listen to this episode!
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!
One of the best takeaways you can get from a story like Poppa V’s is that you should do everything you can to avoid placing all of your eggs in one basket! Scott had encouraged Poppa V to start collecting email addresses so he could expand the venture if it got shut down but a clear plan never really panned out. You can keep this from happening to your business! Figure out a plan right now, so you don’t have to decide what to do when the time comes. Assume that one of the channels your brand uses will get shut down at some point, that trains you to diversify! Learn more about this important subject from Scott by listening to this helpful episode of The Amazing Seller.
If you don’t take a risk, you’ll never grow.
What is your plan to expand your business? What will be your goose that lays the golden egg? The truth is, no one will come along to drop a money making idea in your lap, you have to go out there come up with one! What are you waiting for? Innovate, experiment, take a risk! The saying is true, “If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” This is one of the best environments for business building, will you jump in and swim or will you sink? Let Poppa V’s story help guide your way as you look to make 2019 a great year!
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:03] Scott’s introduction to this episode of the podcast!
- [2:00] Poppa V opens up about his ecommerce business.
- [5:00] Scott fleshes out the details of Poppa V’s story.
- [8:00] Why type of videos did Poppa V share that brought in revenue?
- [12:45] There are a ton of ways to make money online.
- [17:00] If you don’t take a risk, you’ll never grow!
- [19:00] Closing thoughts from Scott.
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TRANSCRIPT TAS 618
TAS 618: Earning $20k Per Month Profit then GONE Overnight (Story Telling with Poppa V)
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone! Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 618 and today we're going to do a little story telling with…
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…Papa V which we're actually in the car right now heading to Lake Norman which is near me, about an hour fifteen minutes on a day. And we're heading up to the lake house to meet with the landscaper but I decided to bring the mics along and have papa V who's to my right right now in the passenger seat as we're driving at about 79 miles an hour. Is that too fast?
[00:00:41] Papa V: Speed limit is only 65 son.
[00:00:45] Scott: All right. I'm just going with the flow.
[00:00:48] Papa V: Yes you're right.
[00:00:49] Scott: What I wanted to do… Get that mic up to your mouth too. So what we want to do here usually back in the day you were always telling me what to do. It seems like I'm telling you what to do lately.
[00:01:00] Papa V: Oh yeah. Last ten years.
[00:01:05] Scott: So what I wanted to do is I've never talked about this story by the way. The untold stories of Papa V. And I wanted to go into the story because I think it's interesting that it's about getting onto a channel, doing pretty well on that channel for a little while and then having that channel slap you in the face and then your income goes from about 20 grand a month to about zero. Actually it wasn't 100% zero. It went to about, probably about $500 to $1,000 because you were still doing… we'll get into the details, but you were still doing some affiliate products on that.
You don't talk so much over there.
[00:01:49] Papa V: I know. I'm waiting for you to give me an opening here.
[00:01:56] Scott: All right. I set it up. That's what we're going to be talking about. And the main deal here is for anyone listening is really that when we're dependent on a channel, that channel can go away in the blink of an eye and papa V experienced that. And how did that feel?
[00:02:12] Papa V: I was devastated when it happened because all I worked was down the drain. But anyway, I had started a… Let me back up a little bit. I had a bunch of my navy buddies who I used to email all the time. And I would send jokes back and forth and so I said maybe I would start sending them some jokes. Maybe I'll make a website where I could maybe put some affiliate ads around it or even some AdSense which I did.
[00:02:49] Scott: Can I cut in? Because you're missing one detail in the story. You didn't know about Ad Sense. And I said to you, ‘Did you realize that you can actually get people to click on a link if they're on your website and you'll get paid,’ and you're like, ‘What?' Like I never heard of that.’ I'm like, ‘Yeah.' And so then you got thinking, ‘Well I'd need traffic, I don't know how to get traffic but I'm sending my navy buddies these jokes. Maybe I'll just put them up on my own blog and send them there.'
Okay, I just wanted to throw that piece in there because that's an important piece.
[00:03:22] Papa V: So that's what I did. I created some 20 YouTube videos that I was borrowing from…
[00:03:30] Scott: You were embedding them.
[00:03:30] Papa V: Yeah, embedding them in which is legal. And all of a sudden there was this one video that started to get some traction and I think I made on that one video, that one particular one to almost $20,000. And then I was excited. I said, well I'm going to start doing this more often and of course you had told me to get an email list which I didn't know anything about. So I went to AWeber and made an account there, put myself a link to AWeber to the site on the bottom actually.
And people were signing up. They wanted to see videos and it gained a lot of traffic and I was doing pretty well. Month after month my biggest month was around $29,000. And that was consistent too. It was happening.
[00:04:39] Scott: All right. Let me cut in one more time. I got to add some of these finer details here because people are going to be wondering and like so what happens? You do one video and it just takes off, what are you looking for, how are you finding these videos? What's the process look like? Let me also just back up and kind of fill in one detail. So what happened was you set that up, you started sending it out to about 30 or 40 of your buddies through AOL. So we're going to go back. Like we're talking seven, eight years ago.
At least that. About seven, eight years ago. You're like sending it out to these guys and you're like if they share it you're encouraging on the blog to share and all that stuff. This is before social media was a thing. I don't even think Facebook was around yet. Yeah it was but it was new. It was really new because there wasn't a lot of social stuff going on. I'm trying to think of the exact date because I'm thinking Kayla was three and the time that we noticed this starting to happen was on a cruise that I took you on.
I took you on a cruise, I'm like for Christmas I want to take you on a cruise and we wanted to go on a Disney Cruise for Kayla. And you're like, ‘Yeah, that'd be great.' So we went to the Bahamas and went on a cruise. I think we were day one in and you are like holy crap Scott. You got to look at this. And you opened up the laptop and you'd show me the analytics in the Ad Sense account and it was insane. Like you had like that, that day was like 800 bucks. And I said, ‘Wow, wow. Wait a minute here. Number one this is awesome. But number two why am I paying for this trip?’
That's exactly what I said. So that's when it really happened. That was the aha moment. Like holy crap something got shared.
[00:06:37] Papa V: I didn't think it was real actually. I just thought maybe something had happened and it was not right.
[00:06:48] Scott: How can this be right? And people are clicking on stuff. And the cool thing is then through the analytics you could see how many people are actually on your different pages and stuff. And there was like 200/300 people live on the page at every minute. Thousands of people. So then of course I'm like holy crap, I got to try this thing. And so then I started dabbling in it, doing kind of the same thing and then I started to make between like… I think my best month might have been like five or six grand. Which was still pretty good.
But the one thing I remember telling you was like, ‘Dad, listen. This is awesome. This isn't a business. You got to be careful, don't bank on this. You're retired now. You're not really counting on this money anyway. Don't go buy yourself a mansion because you're making this kind of money,’ which you wouldn't have anyway. But I was just kind of being funny. But I knew because I heard even back then that Ad Sense people had been shut down and it could have been just a matter of a glitch or a technicality or anything like that.
But I said, take advantage of it but I was always cautious because I had seen that before in the past. But anyway, so let's talk about this. So what kind of videos, because people are kind of wondering what kind of videos are you posting? Like what were you going after?
[00:08:09] Papa V: The one that actually took off was one with where Johnny Carson had interviewed an old Baltimore Courts player. And he had some funny stories about how he used to play the game and how a lot of times they would drink alcohol before the game and most of them were plastered. And they didn't care. It was just a funny, funny story. And that's the one that actually took off and people were sharing it.
[00:08:48] Scott: So that video wasn't like this, you know how you see the videos of all the fails and people falling. You did have some of those that did take off but that wasn't it. It was like weird because it was just like a normal interview.
[00:09:02] Papa V: These were funny videos. It was just a normal Johnny Carson show excerpt.
[00:09:07] Scott: And then that got you excited and you're like, you know what, I just got to produce more of these and just keep sending them out to my navy buddies not telling them that, ‘Hey go click on my link,’ because that's not what you wanted them to do. If anything, you wanted them to share the videos.
[00:09:21] Papa V: A lot of my navy buddies would actually send me a YouTube video and if I thought it was worthy I put it up on my blog. Some of them would take off, some of them wouldn't.
[00:09:34] Scott: And then I remember as you were doing this you were getting all this traffic. I'm like, ‘Dad, you don't realize that's like a crab on a trap.' That takes a long time to build up that kind of traffic. It's insane. It's kind of like now a Facebook video going viral and you getting thousands upon thousands which is hard to monetize it there on an ad like that inside of Facebook right now. As a blog it gets shared, you're getting that traffic. But you weren't getting paid per impression, you were getting paid per click.
Which was also pretty interesting. But then immediately what did I say? You said it earlier, like, ‘Dad, you got to start collecting email addresses.' You're like, why are they going to sign up for that? I'm like, ‘It doesn't matter. Just tell them you're going to send them a new video every week. Obviously they like this video.’ You're like, ‘All right, I'll give it a try.’ And then that's when you went and got AWeber. You put on a little banner. And you were getting like hundreds of emails a day.
[00:10:27] Papa V: I had a big list. Actually I had about, I think it was almost 10,000.
[00:10:33] Scott: That was a pretty good sizeable list. I mean it's not huge but it's a good size list to be able to say, ‘Hey I just got a new video, go check it out. Like that was it. So this went on for how long?
[00:10:46] Papa V: I want to say probably three years. Maximum three years, maybe two and a half.
[00:10:55] Scott: I'd say the last year would have been you trying to resurrect it after it had gotten hit. And you were still monetizing it through like Click Bank products and stuff like that. But I think a solid two years might be…
[00:11:09] Papa V: But what happened I got an email from Google and all of a sudden they said they cannot display anymore of the AdSense ads on my site because of… I forget.
[00:11:28] Scott: The content. It was like… It wasn't copyrighted but it was because something in their clause said that you couldn't embed a video and make money on your site while the video embed was there. Or something like that.
[00:11:42] Scott: Something to that effect. I forget what the verbiage was.
[00:11:44] Papa V: And there was no way to even talk to them about it.
[00:11:48] Scott: It was like that's it, done. And I remember same thing with me too. I think I even had, because I got hit after that too. I think they just did a whole smackdown on a whole bunch of people that were doing stuff like that which again wasn't illegal, it was embedding YouTube videos and putting on some AdSense ads or Click Bank ads or whatever and getting traffic.
But, I think I had, I might had six or seven grand that was withheld and they said, and you had like twenty grand. You had like twenty grand that was withheld that was never got paid. But with that all being said you didn't go out there like I had said, you didn't go out there and build this, or think you were building this business that you thought would last forever. You hoped that it would last for a longer period of time but it didn't. But I still remember that one year you were like made over six figures.
[00:12:42] Papa V: Oh yeah. I did. I remember my tax return that year I think was 125.
[00:12:46] Scott: Yeah, it's insane. So my point is this for people listening. Number one, there's 100 different ways that you can make money online, period. There are channels out there that you can leverage like Amazon, like Google, like Ad Thrive, I'm using them right now on our new brand which is doing very well. But you can't rely on those. And you were a victim of getting slapped and it went away, literally in a blink of an eye.
[00:13:24] Papa V: And then all I had was Click Bank which was kind of petered down to about maybe $100 a month.
[00:13:32] Scott: And to just let people know Click Bank is a site where you can promote affiliate products or you can be an affiliate for products and yours was funny because your audience was like how to reduce your high blood pressure, weight loss for over 40 or something like that. It's still is bringing in some money. But you also found that it was just not going to be something that you're going to want to sustain or that was going to be able to be sustained.
[00:14:03] Papa V: It wasn't worthy to keep it going.
[00:14:06] Scott: No. It was not. So anyway, I wanted to share that story because I think it's a good story for people to hear and it goes right back to Amazon. There's people right now, I have people right now still that I'm working with privately in my Inner Circle, seven figure businesses and 90% of the businesses coming from that one channel and our goal is to diversify them off of that channel. Not off but do more off of the platform to build assets and to build those different supporting streams of revenue that can help you but also leverage so this way here you don't have to rely on that one channel because it's risky.
If someone left their job today and they are only banking on that one channel what happens if Amazon which they have done they say, ‘Sorry infringement on a trademark you're gone.’ And then they are making $30,000 a month and it's gone overnight. And their families is relying on that. That's scary. So again, just wanted to share this quick story with everyone and there's been a whole bunch other ways that you've dabbled in the online space. We can maybe go into some of those another time.
But I just want to let people know there's a lot of different ways to do it but in the end if you’re doing this for your livelihood and you want to build a business that is sustainable, yes Amazon is a great platform to leverage. It is and it's one that we're going to continue to use while it's still available, why not? You know how much harder it was dad, and you know this, I'm just kind of like saying it out loud. But how hard was it when you had to build your own website, figure out how you were going to collect money, how you were going to get traffic, how you were going to fulfill orders.
I mean you remember the story of me building the projects and selling them on eBay. Did over $100,000 in those things but I had to pack every one, I had to ship every one. I had to rely on eBay for that.
[00:16:07] Scott: But now they make it so much easier. So why wouldn't you use that? But the thing is you can't just use that. That's the thing that I really want to stress here. So anyway, we're almost there dad, we're almost here at this new house which is exciting and this is the second time you'll be here. Pretty exciting and again just let people know this is another venture that I'm dabbling in and that is the Airbnb and that's what we're doing.
We're going to the lake house which we're going to be able to use in our family but also my Inner Circle masterminds will be held here and I'm going to have it rented out throughout the year as an Airbnb. So another revenue stream which I think we all should be focusing on. So little scary though.
[00:16:53] Pap V: Yes it is. It always is.
[00:16:54] Scott: It's a little Scary. Every time you go onto something new a little bit scary. But that's growth.
[00:17:00] Papa V: But if it wasn't scary you wouldn't want to do it I guess. You wouldn't grow.
[00:17:08] Scott: I mean it's challenging. How many times in business did you stuff that you're like oh my gosh, I hope this thing works?
[00:17:15] Papa V: Yeah that's right. A lot of times. It gets your attention.
[00:17:19] Scott: I mean like even you guys getting an ad back in the day. Spending two grand on an ad.
[00:17:24] Papa V: No, $25,000, TV ad commercial.
[00:17:29] Scott: Think about that. Like back then we're talking like 15, 18 years ago. $30,000, $40,000 you had to sign to do a TV ad that you didn't know it was going to work. How scary is that?
[00:17:47] Papa V: But it keeps you motivated.
[00:17:50] Scott: Well it keeps you on your toes and you got to make it work. You got to figure out a way. Nowadays it would be done a little bit differently because knowing what I know now I'd be like well you got to put a certain code on there so we know people came from the TV ad and all of that stuff. It's the same, as it used to be really. Just now it's easier as far as being able to track things, being able to go out there and reach your audience and if I knew what I know now then, and your partner would have allowed it, which he wouldn't have we could have blew up that area within our business ten times.
Facebook ads, and retargeting and all that fun stuff. So all right, we're going to wrap it up. Anything you want to wrap up with dad on the AdSense story? Does it still feel a little sore?
[00:18:38] Papa V: No, not really. I got over it because I kind of accepted that they are not going to let me back in either. There's no way. I've been blacklisted. No way I could even get back in on anything.
[00:18:55] Scott: No, you'd have to do it under someone else's name, another address…
[00:18:58] Papa V: I have to use another address and they don’t take fax numbers. Because I tried that avenue. I'd have to move and they would have to, I'd have to change my name because they'd follow me there. They are not stupid. We know that.
[00:19:15] Scott: Absolutely. So be careful out there on the channels that you are deciding to use and just don't bank on one channel. That's the main message here and I talk a lot about building a future proof business and that is going out there and building your own assets meaning your own home base, not relying on one traffic source, not relying on one revenue stream. That is the big thing here in a nutshell. And if you do that, I think you'll be okay.
[00:19:44] Papa V: Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
[00:19:46] Scott: That's what I'm looking for. All right cool. Dad thank you so much for coming on. We're almost at the house which is exciting. A beautiful day here in South Carolina by the way. We're approaching 60 degrees. So should be nice but anyway, guys remember. Don't bank on one channel, learn from Papa V here on that story about having something really really good going and then all of a sudden got slapped across the face and your legs were knocked out from under your knees and you’re like what the heck just happened?
Just take that lesson and use it as you will. All right, so that’s it. The show notes can be found at theamazingseller.com/618.
And guys remember, I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm rooting for you. But you have to, you have to… Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, Papa V is going to say it with me on the count of three. Are you ready dad? All right, one, two, three, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day…
Wait a minute, let’s do that again. That was kind of weak. That’s all you got? One, two, three, “Take action.” Have an awesome, amazing day and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
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