As some of you already know, I’ve been posting on Warrior Forum for about three months now under the username “kk075”. For those of you who don’t visit there, it happens to be the largest online marketing community in the world. My initial goal was to pick up a few tips about the latest affiliate marketing techniques since I’m mainly an SEO type of guy, but then I saw all these different questions about how to build a website and where to get traffic from.

Well, you writers out there can relate with me here…when you give us a new place to write about things, we get to typing in a hurry. So I was happy to help others with a few tidbits about internet marketing and other advice I have picked up over the years.  

Then I dropped what turned out to be a bombshell of a post, “Making My First Million Online- My Story.” 

It’s definitely worth a read if you have time; here’s a quick summary though in case you don’t.  In essence, this post was highlighting how I began my freelance writing career, why I moved on to learn about web design, marketing and SEO, and all of my adventures as an affiliate marketer.  It seemed like every year I’d find a way to advance my game to hit that next level in professionalism, and I just kept on grinding until I was a full service internet marketing company…pretty much out of necessity.

 

250k Views and $400k in Sales? From a Stinking Forum Post?

 

Here’s just a few of the baseline stats from that one post. Note that these are as of Saturday the 18th at around 9:00 PM, which is about 36 hours after Warrior Forum featured my post in their monthly email and suggested that you read it. So know that these are very early totals-

– It’s received 14,448 page views (the most of any new topic this year)
– It’s received 198 comments (the most of any new topic this year)
– It’s received 143 thanks on the original post and 258 total  throughout (the most for any topic this year)
– It led to 41 people starting a new website venture (either by hiring me or doing it themselves)
– It led to me giving 107 people specific advice via the forum, PM & email
– It led to three other joint affiliate projects

– This website received 2,106 unique visitors from Warrior Forum in the first 36 hours
– This site also received 87 business inquires from forum members in that same time frame

Think about that for a moment.  A total of 14.4% of people who read that post visited me here.  And all my signature link said was, “Visit my Web Forum”, which is about as weak of a call to action as you can possibly have.  That’s the thing though; I wasn’t trying to sell or promote at all- it was just an experiment on what some good old fashioned storytelling could accomplish.  So why on Earth did my post receive such an incredible response AND convince people to click through?

Let’s talk about that for a moment because it is really a blueprint in itself on how to be successful online.

Telling a Genuine Story

First, it was the way that I told my story. Whenever possible, I tried to be as specific as I could when describing how I made money or where I failed, and something that honest seems to resonate with people. The quote about Google really seemed to grab people’s attention as well, even though I wasn’t writing much about SEO or how it really works.  But people couldn’t deny great advice when it was staring them right in the face-

So here’s the best piece of advice you’ll ever hear- Google has never changed. Not one bit. They only got better at meeting their original objective of making the site with the best content appear in the #1 slot, and you can’t do that by trying to optimize for Google. Instead, optimize your sites for the people you’re trying to connect with…and then Google will see your value. If you do that, then no Penguin or Panda update in the world can touch you.”

In any case, many saw this as game-changing advice and they ran with it. And if nothing but that came out of this whole process, then I’m absolutely thrilled…because a few lives will change for the better. That’s awesome!

 

Giving Actionable Feedback

The second thing that really seemed to draw users in was that every time they asked a question, I would respond to them with actionable advice that they could use immediately. I gave very specific advice about how to hire great writers, how to build a local niche site, and whatever people happened to ask…and I tried my best to make the message as personal as possible to their situation. In other words, it quickly stopped being about me and the focus shifted to you; which is why so many of you are here reading this now.

I also want to point out that I have more “thanks” on my account than the average 10 year Warrior Forum veteran, and a few people have already started quoting me in other forum threads as the SEO authority. This happened because I took the time to care about individuals, which is what every single one of you running a website should be doing. Again though; this post is not about me…it’s solely about you and how you can achieve greater success on the forum and in life.

2018 Update on the Warrior Forum Experiment

Looking back almost three years later, I’ve had countless internet marketers email me and ask for advice on replicating my success on Warrior Forum.  The first thing I always tell them is that being genuine and going out of your way to help others are traits that we rarely see in the web design community anymore- we are all so laser focused on money and paying the bills that we sometimes forget that we’re working for real people with real businesses that need real help.  My success on Warrior Forum was largely because those types of things have always been the core of my business model- just help people first and then worry about the money part later.  It has served me extremely well and continually opens new doorways.

The biggest benefit by far wasn’t the money or the clients or the traffic- it was the networking opportunities.  Daymond John’s (Shark Tank) business manager reached out to me offering a six-figure job within his organization (which I regretfully had to decline) and I met countless other fantastic people that were thriving digital experts in their own right.  They made me realize that my business model was terribly flawed because every single one of them needed a kick-ass copywriter.  So I ended up partnering with dozens of top digital design and marketing firms, let them chase down the huge clients out there, and I sat back answering my inbox as opportunities flowed in daily. 

In essence, I created my own freelance community network where we all went out of our way to help each other, and it resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for my company plus exposure that I couldn’t buy with any amount of money.

Surprisingly, I still get the occasional message three years later from someone who stumbles across that old Warrior Forum post.  I am no longer active there though because I can’t stand their new forum layout/style- it makes finding great posts 10x harder than it used to be.  The result is novice internet marketers starting hundreds of new threads daily on “How Can I make Money Online??” and I just got tired of that scene.  I am still searching for a new marketing forum to call home and I’ve thought about starting my own- maybe that will happen this year.

Here are some finalized stats on that Warrior Forum experiment-

  • This website received a total of 256,435 unique visitors from Warrior Forum 
  • This site also received 398 business inquires from Warrior Forum members
  • I partnered with 8 different individuals and 14 different marketing firms due to that post
  • I generated approximately $400,000 in revenue from the opportunities that arose
  • I also turned down dozens of employment offers (a few I probably should have taken)
  • Most importantly, I met dozens of business professionals that I now work with daily

Looking back, what did I learn from this experiment?  The biggest takeaway is that you don’t have to spend a penny on marketing if you can engage people on forums and other online destinations.  Don’t tell people how awesome you are- show them!  Go out of your way to give genuine, honest advice and you’ll really stand out from the crowd.  Also, don’t focus on sales within any online community- people aren’t there to be sold to.  The sales part comes from networking and helping others- $400k from a single post is probably some kind of internet record for a freelance nobody like me. 

But it wasn’t me or even that one post that made this project so successful; it was the hundreds of others that helped aspiring entrepreneurs figure a few things out.  People listened to me because they saw I was the real deal and had their best interests at heart, and in turn they started paying it forward as well.  The way I’ve always seen it, all of us are in the exact same boat regardless if we’re a noob marketer or a seasoned veteran- only good can come from coming together and making each other stronger. 

So for that I’d like to share a big “thank you”- all you guys and girls who joined me on this journey are awesome!