066: Blogging and Podcasting for Business with Million Dollar Laptop Entrepreneur (w/ Yaro Starak)
Yaro Starak is the founder of Entrepreneurs Journey. He is a globally recognized internet marketer and online business mentor and coach who started his online journey before being online was a thing.
In this episode, Yaro shares how he launched his blog for fellow entrepreneurs, especially for people who are interested in following the online business model that he has leveraged to make over a million dollars.
Yaro has developed a simple business model made up of the following three components:
Start a Blog
Grow An Email Newsletter
Sell Your Own Digital Products
Listen in to get all the juicy details from Yaro Starak in this episode.
Remember to click subscribe on your podcast player so you don’t miss an episode. Download your free PDF show highlight reel for all the links and resources mentioned in the episode at www.businessgenerals.com/yaros
Starting out in business
When Yaro joined the University of Queensland to study business management, he got his first access to the internet and he was fascinated by the ease of access to information. He started playing a card game called “Magic: The Gathering” and became a great fan of it so much so that he built his first website dedicated to the game.
The website was built using GeoCities (a free website building tool) and he built a strong following through articles written by himself and other card players. That turned into a real business because he created a card game store which did very well. He also put up banner ads on the site and used to make $500 to $1,000 during the best times. The business gave him great experience in basic internet marketing.
Later on, while still in university, he started an essay editing business mainly targeted towards international students with English as a second language. His family would help as editors on the site and later on he hired other editors as contractors.
It was Yaro’s first real “laptop lifestyle business” because it enabled him to travel while doing it. It was hands-off for him because he had contract essay editors and all he would need to do is the website marketing through SEO and putting up posters at university campuses. His job was sending emails between customers and the editors, then he would take a 50% profit margin for every job. Eventually when he got enough volume, he hired an administrative assistant to look after the email job. It was a great full-time business and he made enough money, so he didn’t need to get a job after graduating.
After graduating he focused on business and travelling to different global destinations. Eventually he sold the essay editing and card game business because he was no longer passionate about them.
In 2004, Yaro learnt about blogging, so he started a blog and writing about business. Consequently, in January 2005, he registered www.entrepreneurs-journey.com purely as a hobby where he wrote 2 to 3 articles a week talking about running his card game and essay editing businesses. In the end, he sold off the card game and essay editing businesses to become a full-time blogger and information marketer.
Period in full time business
Yaro first made a full-time income in 2003 from his online essay editing business and has never looked back since.
Utilizing his business degree
Yaro says that he didn’t use it a lot since he never got formally employed but he says going to study business enabled him to access the internet which developed his interest in online based business.
Right now Yaro only sells his own digital teaching products including a flagship course, membership site, and a range of lower priced products like ebooks and the interviews club. All these digital products are created by Yaro, and all sold from his blog and email list. He has a bit of affiliate income and other investments. He also has a new start-up company in Ukraine.
The essay writing business
His idea for this business came from reading an article in the Yahoo Print Magazine about a young student who was making hundreds of thousands of dollars from an essay editing business. That was Yaro’s inspiration for starting the business. The idea was also inspired by challenges he faced in University when doing group assignments with students who had weak academic English skills.
Yaro’s advice on what to look for before launching a blog/ online business
Tip 1: Be lean, do an actual test, put something in front of people to see what works.
Tip 2: Hire a tech person/people unless you are very technical yourself.
Tip 3: Don’t take too long to get to the point where you actually ask people to buy from you
Tip 4: Focus on how to quickly get to the first sale
Starting out in blogging
Yaro knew it was possible to make money from blogging because there were 3 or 4 pioneers in blogging who were making good money from it. His core goal for blogging was to take his 7 years in entrepreneurship experience and turn it into content to help the world. Blogging was the best tool to generate links back then so it was easier for him to have his blog ranked well on Google which consequently produced enormous free traffic. Ever since, Google has been his number one source of free traffic.
In growing his audience Yaro focused on writing blog posts/articles and connecting with fellow bloggers. In 2005, he also experimented with a Podcast which he just viewed as an audio blog. His podcast is almost as old as his blog. The blog enabled him to learn and test traditional sales funnels and direct response marketing including building an email list, copy writing, making offers, and having products.
He went from 100 visitors per day in the first 6 months to 1,000 per day by the end of the first year. By the end of the second year he had 3,000 visitors per day. His email list had also grown tremendously which also increased his subscribers to his other products. All that was from organic content and organic marketing. That then led to the release of his product, a membership site. He has since been releasing new products.
Tip 1: If you are new in blogging today, you have to be a better marketer because there’s way more competition, and way better refined ideas. Be a specialist and make sure your content reflects that
Tip 2: Get out there and promote your best idea whether it’s writing, videos or podcasting. Get some press coverage, guest posts, and get yourself on podcasts or YouTube channels. You have to create your craft and also go out and market it to get attention
Overcoming the challenge of marketing
Yaro says he is still not as good a marketer as he is a creative. When he had the essay editing business, he used to put out lots of posters in major universities and then go home and build links to try and raise his business’ rankings on Google. He applied the same in his first 2 years of blogging.
Tip: You have to build your fame online with lots of great content and aggressive marketing. It’s a lot of hustle but you have to do it
He says podcasting for him has always been more of an audio blog. A few years ago, he changed his podcast strategy and decided he will only be interviewing information marketers, ideally bloggers who sell digital products because that’s what he teaches. That way, his podcast has created a fantastic distribution, branding and social proof tool that leads to people buying his stuff. His podcast is about sharing stories to demonstrate what he teaches in his business actually works.
He gets up to 1,000 to 2,000 downloads per episode. But those downloads are made by people who are focused on the business model he teaches.
Tip 1: Don’t try to be the super star mega download podcast. What you need are those 1,000 listeners who are the target market for what you sell
Tip 2: If your plan is to try and get to 100,000 downloads an episode to then make money from advertising, that’s way harder than getting 500 to 1,000 downloads per episode and trying to get 2 to 3 clients or 2 to 3 course sales from each of those episodes which will bring in a full-time income
Tip 3: Don’t try and create the next Mashable or the next Mega Blog, just create a small niche blog, grow a small niche email list and all you need is 100 people paying $1,000 a year to you and you’ve got a $100,000 a year business. That’s way more realistic than trying to get 1 Million people to listen to each episode or visit your blog every month
View of business in terms of reach and numbers
He did an experiment by just maintaining his business without doing any new product launches or promotions. He decided he would only write one post and do one interview per month with his team looking after day to day customer service. His test was whether all the systems he set up to sell his products and services would keep selling them even without his usual input. It worked very well and he calls that automatic income. He gets at least 1,000 new email subscribers to his list per month from all the blog, podcast and social media traffic. All that translates into $20,000 to $30,000 in monthly revenue. One of his many students like Natalie MacNeal and Mitch Wilson, make millions every year from blogging.
He has a series of email campaigns that run automatically to either promote his products, cross promote different products and retain customers. When he was starting out, he made over $1 Million online based purely on product launches but he later shifted from focusing on launches.
Tip: That kind of business model can work provided you come to the table with some of kind of skill or value to offer to the world
Blogging and podcasting as a way of creating a full-time income stream
For people who want to learn how to blog or create a podcast to earn full-time income, Yaro has a free report called “The Blog Profits Blue Print” available at www.blogprofitsblueprint.com. It teaches the How-To steps to starting a blog and also mentions podcasting as another content distribution channel. He ultimately teaches content marketing to sell products and services.
Book recommendation for entrepreneurs:
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Legacy: To positively influence many people worldwide so they can be motivated to completely change their lives or businesses while also passing on the benefits to others so that the cycle of positive impact continues indefinitely for years to come – Yaro.
Listen in to get all the juicy details from Yaro Starak in this episode.
Remember to click subscribe on your podcast player so you don’t miss an episode. Download your free PDF show highlight reel for all the links and resources mentioned in the episode go to www.businessgenerals.com/yaros