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MBP #33: How Tom Drake Built, Bought, and Partnered His Way to a 40+ Blog Network

Tom DrakeMany years ago, internet marketers around the world shouted this “incredible” strategy from the rooftops: “If you could build a site that made $50 a month, all you had to do was make 100 of them and you’d create yourself a nice little income.”

All true. But…

… rarely does a business just generate cash, unattended, forever. Eventually the internet was littered with all of these crappy little websites that made $50 a month, then $40, then eventually zero.

Tom Drake started Canadian Finance Blog in 2009 and in the last five years, he’s taken that same basic idea but improved it.

He made sites he cared about. Sites he would tend to. And with this strategy, he would eventually build, buy, and partner his way into a portfolio of over forty websites. Some are one pagers that sell products. Some are much larger properties that generate significant income.

Learn how he did it in this episode of the Microblogger podcast.

Resources and links mentioned in this chat:

How to subscribe

There are two main ways – Stitcher and iTunes.

iTunes
Download on iTunesSimply click on this link and you’ll be taken to the page where you can subscribe.

Stitcher
Here’s the link to the Microblogger Podcast where you can subscribe to the Microblogger podcast via Stitcher.

Finally, if you aren’t using either service and prefer RSS, here’s our RSS feed.

Quick favor…

Tell everyone you know that this is a great podcast… unless you think it sucks. Please tell me and I’ll try to make it better!

It would mean a lot to me if you could leave me a review and a rating on iTunes, it makes a big difference and helps others find the show! To leave a review, click here and thanks so so much!

1 Comment

MBP #32: Jonathan Milligan on How to Launch, Promote & Grow Membership Sites from Scratch

Jonathan MilliganOne of the most popular ideas in all of business is known as the Lean Startup mentality. It applies to nearly everything in life, let alone business.

While we never actually say the words “lean startup” during our chat, it’s a mentality that pervades everything Jonathan Milligan has done in building multiple courses and several membership sites. His latest, Blogging Your Passion, was borne out of a group on 48days.net, a site I didn’t even know about before Jonathan shared it with me, and eventually grew into a membership site with over 300 members (and growing!).

The approach he took in marketing and building the “University” is brilliant and we go into what he did and why I think it’s a brilliant approach.

It’s worth noting that while we say “building,” we only briefly touch on the technology behind the site. We discuss what he uses for video and office hours, but we don’t go into the hardcore technical aspects of setting up the site.

What will you learn in this episode:

  • His background as an educator and how that manifested itself in his online business
  • His first business in career coaching, which came out of his work in executive searching
  • Behind the scenes of his first membership site in career coaching
  • How he built Blogging Your Passion – from content creation to getting his first beta/charter members
  • How he adds value to the membership site, such as office hours, additional modules
  • How he gets members today
  • How he builds a sense of community within the membership
  • How he prices his courses and membership sites (and why higher is better)

Resources and links mentioned in this chat:

How to subscribe

There are two main ways – Stitcher and iTunes.

iTunes
Download on iTunesSimply click on this link and you’ll be taken to the page where you can subscribe.

Stitcher
Here’s the link to the Microblogger Podcast where you can subscribe to the Microblogger podcast via Stitcher.

Finally, if you aren’t using either service and prefer RSS, here’s our RSS feed.

Quick favor…

Tell everyone you know that this is a great podcast… unless you think it sucks. Please tell me and I’ll try to make it better!

It would mean a lot to me if you could leave me a review and a rating on iTunes, it makes a big difference and helps others find the show! To leave a review, click here and thanks so so much!

2 Comments

MBP #31: Learn the Secrets of Million Mile Secrets with Daraius Dubash

Daraius-Dubash-million-mile-secrets-finalDaraius Dubash was working for a big Fortune 500 manufacturing company, traveling the world and accruing airline miles and hotel points, when he left to go to business school. After business school, he began working for another company but he missed all those miles and points for free travel and stays and decided to figure out how it all worked (he’s accumulated FOUR MILLION miles and points).

Million Mile Secrets is the embodiment of all that learning and it’s now a business he works on full time (and has been for several years).

The tagline? “Big travel with small money.” (love it!)

Million Mile Secrets is the second largest miles and points blog and has an Alexa ranking in the mid-5,000’s. In other words, of the largest sites in the United States, it’s among the largest. At it’s peak, I think Bargaineering was in the 6,000-7,000’s, to give you a frame of reference. The site is big, it’s popular, and it supports Daraius full time for the last two years. It’s an amazing story and one I’m happy to share with you today!

What will you learn in this episode:

  • Why he started Million Mile Secrets (and how he financed his first car with credit cards!)
  • How he differentiated MMS from other points and mile blogs
  • The two browser trick
  • What is a mileage run (why others do it and why he never does them)
  • Why he thinks MMS has been successful (very insightful)
  • How he utilizes his email list of 16,000 subscribers
  • We talk about the difficult times of the business
  • How he’s brought on staff (where he finds writers) and the process he uses to manage them
  • The double edged sword of being an entrepreneur
  • His best million mile secret
  • The most exotic place he’s been to

Resources and links mentioned in this chat:

How to subscribe

There are two main ways – Stitcher and iTunes.

iTunes
Download on iTunesSimply click on this link and you’ll be taken to the page where you can subscribe.

Stitcher
Here’s the link to the Microblogger Podcast where you can subscribe to the Microblogger podcast via Stitcher.

Finally, if you aren’t using either service and prefer RSS, here’s our RSS feed.

Quick favor…

Tell everyone you know that this is a great podcast… unless you think it sucks. Please tell me and I’ll try to make it better!

It would mean a lot to me if you could leave me a review and a rating on iTunes, it makes a big difference and helps others find the show! To leave a review, click here and thanks so so much!

4 Comments

MBP #30: How Jaden Hair Built the Steamy Kitchen Empire (then scaled it back!)

Jaden Hair, Steamy KitchenOne of the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to learn quickly and learn a lot. Tim Ferriss has often said that it doesn’t take a lifetime to master something, “based on my experience and research, it is possible to become world-class in almost any skill within one year.” (link)

Jaden Hair is the founder of Steamy Kitchen and one of the most well known “food bloggers” out there (I put quotes because at this point because that doesn’t come close to describing everything she does!) but she didn’t start off an expert at anything she’s successfully doing today. She enjoyed cooking, she enjoyed feeding people, and when combined with her ability to learn anything quickly, she’s been able to accomplish a tremendous amount.

What will you learn in this episode:

  • The fun story behind why she started Steamy Kitchen
  • How she went from “a place to put up recipes” to a business she loves
  • How she created a dream board that would become her business plan and source of inspiration
  • How she taught at a local small culinary school
  • How she emulated her favorite TV personalities
  • The most effective social media tool (it’s not what you think!)
  • How Jaden scaled back her business to be more in line with what made her truly happy
  • Her giveaway strategy (she does a LOT of giveaways!)
  • How she gets her kids involved in her business (and a little bit about her chickens, multiple gardens)
  • She talks about Food Blog Forum and the sweet deal they got from Disney (and how they don’t take a penny in profits, they go to scholarships and making the next event better)
  • How she gets all this done! (and why she won’t do another cookbook!)

Resources and links mentioned in this chat:

How to subscribe

There are two main ways – Stitcher and iTunes.

iTunes
Download on iTunesSimply click on this link and you’ll be taken to the page where you can subscribe.

Stitcher
Here’s the link to the Microblogger Podcast where you can subscribe to the Microblogger podcast via Stitcher.

Finally, if you aren’t using either service and prefer RSS, here’s our RSS feed.

Quick favor…

Tell everyone you know that this is a great podcast… unless you think it sucks. Please tell me and I’ll try to make it better!

It would mean a lot to me if you could leave me a review and a rating on iTunes, it makes a big difference and helps others find the show! To leave a review, click here and thanks so so much!

2 Comments

MBP #29: Chip Chinery, Life as a Stand-up Comic, Television and Commercial Actor

Chip Chinery, Chips Money TipsDoes that guy look familiar?

Unless you haven’t watched anything on television ever in your life, you’ve seen him. He’s been in a commercial or television show you’ve watched. He’s the dumb guy. The clumsy cop. The dumb white guy who can take a punch, physically or metaphorically (all his words).

Don’t believe me? Check out this highlight reel from 2009 (more nonsense here). It includes nearly every hit show from Friends to Seinfeld to Becker to 3rd Rock from the Sun:

Here’s something a little more current, a Ciroc commercial from 2010:

This was a fun episode, I hope you enjoy it!

What will you learn in this episode:

  • How Chip got into stand-up after a few years working as a cameraman and in banking
  • His first entrepreneurship venture – baseball cards (he put on his own baseball card show at 16)
  • The parallels between stand-up comedy/entertainment and entrepreneurship
  • Chip sees stand-up as being paid a pittance while you learn
  • Chip worked 52 weeks a year and took two and a half years to find his voice
  • The importance of a support structure for his career
  • His lessons learned from 3,000+ stand-up shows (8 shows/week was common)
  • His transition from stand-up to a television actor
  • How he persevered through 160+ auditions (3.5 years) without booking a commercial (and then once he did he booked 42 commercials, 25 tv shows, and a few voiceovers over the next four years)
  • How he deals with the uncertainty of being an actor
  • The value of doing the work, taking bad gigs, and of learning and perfecting your craft
  • Why he started Chip’s Money Tips, his personal finance blog

Resources and links mentioned in this chat:

How to subscribe

There are two main ways – Stitcher and iTunes.

iTunes
Download on iTunesSimply click on this link and you’ll be taken to the page where you can subscribe.

Stitcher
Here’s the link to the Microblogger Podcast where you can subscribe to the Microblogger podcast via Stitcher.

Finally, if you aren’t using either service and prefer RSS, here’s our RSS feed.

Quick favor…

Tell everyone you know that this is a great podcast… unless you think it sucks. Please tell me and I’ll try to make it better!

It would mean a lot to me if you could leave me a review and a rating on iTunes, it makes a big difference and helps others find the show! To leave a review, click here and thanks so so much!