Insider Information Formula: How A Simple Little Blog Made $22,397.62 in 12 Weeks

In Case Studies by Matt Wolfe32 Comments

Somewhere around the middle of 2012, I set out to test an affiliate marketing strategy that I thought had some huge potential. I knew that it was going to be a long-term play and that I wouldn’t see really much financial benefit early on. It was a strategy that required planning, consistant effort, patience, and a little bit of insider knowledge.

In the world of stocks, insider trading is illegal. In the world of blogging and affiliate marketing, insider trading is one of the smartest strategies you can employ.

As I write this (in a April of 2013), the strategy that I started building off of in mid-2012 has made me a little of $22,000 and continues to bring in consistant income on a monthly basis from promoting one single affiliate product.

Clickbank Screenshot

The above screenshot is from my Clickbank account as of today. You’ll notice that I set the dates from January 1st, 2013 to April 30th, 2013 (4 months). You can see that this is all from promoting one product (webactix) and that the total sales number is $22,397.62.

I’m going to attempt to teach this strategy as best as I can. However, keep in mind upfront that it does take consistant effort and it does take a bit of networking and making connections. The latter being the key difficulty for most people.

Insider Trading

The major key to this strategy is making connections and getting to know people in the affiliate marketing world. The more people you know, the more likely you are to get insider knowledge.

With the example above, I had the benefit of getting to know and becoming good friends with Josh Bartlett, creator of Easy Video Player and its followup, Easy Video Suite.

Having known Josh for many years, I was able to extract from him what his next product was going to be called. I learned that the Easy Video Player followup would be named Easy Video Suite.

Just this little bit of knowledge gave me a HUGE advantage over all the affiliate competition. Having this insight allowed me to register a key domain name and start my SEO efforts ahead of everyone else.

I purchased the domain name EasyVideoSuite.net, began building a blog, and was able to get a jump start on SEO before anyone else even knew what the product would be called.

The key to this, however, is the ability to get the insider knowledge and the ability to network with people “in the know”.

I was lucky enough to be a longtime friend and business partner with Josh so I had a leg-up there. However, getting out there and networking is not difficult at all. It just requires that you put yourself out there a bit, get out of your comfort zone, and get to events where marketers hang out.

There’s a marketing event probably twice a month, there’s probably one coming to a town close to you soon. You just need to find them and start making connections.

The ability to know about new products and product launches months (or even years) before they are ever released will give you a huge advantage in the marketing game. Being a marketing insider allows you to get a jumpstart on everyone else with your promotional efforts.

I’m not sure if I’ve seen anyone else talking about this concept but it’s probably one of the best kept secrets in the affiliate marketing world. Get to know people, get to know what they’re working on, ask to be an affiliate, and grab a domain name that compliments the product name as early as possible before someone else does.

Ok… Now that you understand why I call it Affiliate Insider Trading and what the concept is, let’s look at the blog side of things.

The Affiliate Blog

The next piece of this strategy is the blog. As soon as I have a killer domain name that represents the product well, I install WordPress and a few key plugins to help with on-page search engine optimization. I’m not going to dive in to details now about how to install WordPress or what plugins need to be installed because that’s exactly what I teach in the free 7 day blogging bootcamp. Make sure you go through that course completely to learn the steps of getting a blog online and optimized.

Once I’ve got my blog online and optimized, I begin writing blog posts about everything I know about the product.

I’ll write a blog post about rumors I’ve heard about the product, I’ll write a post about my personal connection to the product so that people realize I’m a credible source, and I’ll make posts about the stuff that I know for sure is in the works with the product (after getting permission from the product creator).

I’ll continue to make posts like this at a rate of one per week or so all the way until the product is launched. This gives me tons of content on my site and it shows visitors that I’m really knowledgeable on the product. It also gives me a lot of pages that can rank for our keyword (the product name) in the search engines.

Once the launch date gets closer, I’ll put together two very special posts that are key to this strategy.

1) A review post – I’ll give an in-depth review of the product and explain exactly what I like about it and maybe even a couple things that I think are lacking. I’ll usually make a video for YouTube with my review that I’ll embed in the post as well.

Easy Video Suite Review

2) A huge bonus – I’ll put together a really awesome bonus for anyone who purchases the product. The bonus will be something relevant and useful for people who purchase the product. It can be something as simple as a free consultation call to something a little more complex like a piece of software I hired someone to develop that compliments the product. Whatever bonus you can add to help entice the buyer to use your affiliate link.

Easy Video Suite Bonus

I write these two posts for a coupe reasons.

One of the main reasons being that, when a new product is released, people tend to search for the product name reviews and product name bonuses. In my example, people would search Easy Video Suite Bonus or Easy Video Suite Review to find out more about the product and to find out if they can get some extra goodies thrown in with it.

The other obvious reason is to really entice people to buy once they are on my page.

Once I’ve got my blog in place with some killer posts and people see me as a credible expert on the product, I proceed to the traffic phase…

Getting Traffic

This strategy is purely an SEO strategy. I’m attempting to get as many people searching for this product in the search engines as possible to find my page over any other affiliate’s page.

The beauty of this example is that I actually ranked above EasyVideoSuite.com during the launch phase of this product. I’ve since dropped to second place in the search engines but it’s not really a big deal. Most people searching for Easy Video Suite on Google now aren’t searching to find the product anyway… They are searching to find reviews and bonuses. So being second only to the main product itself, is still like being in first position as far as those searchers are concerned.

SEO - Easy Video Suite

My SEO strategy is actually pretty simple. I have a few sites that I use to send links back to my site that seem to be pretty effective. I use WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, LiveJournal.com, and YouTube.com… That’s it… That’s my whole strategy.

This where there insider knowledge comes in handy once again…

I attempt to register the domain names for the product I’m promoting. For example, I would register EasyVideoSuite.WordPress.com, EasyVideoSuite.Tublr.com, and EasyVideoSuite.LiveJournal.com.

Once I’ve got all of these free domain names with my keyword in the URL, I would write smaller, stripped-down blog posts about the product itself. I would then link back to my main site at EasyVideoSuite.net using various keywords as the anchor text.

I would drop a link on one of the posts that say Easy Video Suite Review and link to my site. Another page may have just the naked link easyvideosuite.net and link back to my main site… I just mix up the keywords I’d use to link back to my site as well as occasionally link back to an internal blog post instead of the blog’s home page.

I would then link to all of my other free sites in all of my other sites. So the LiveJournal page would have a link to the Tumblr page and the WordPress.com page in the sidebars. Tumblr would link to WordPress.com and LiveJournal, and so on…

This works because these sites are already seen as authority sites in the search engines. These sites themselves quickly rank and send even more “link juice” to my other sites.

The final step is that I put reviews and insights in to little videos on YouTube and link from those videos back to my main EasyVideoSuite.net site as well.

Essentially, the flow of the whole process looks something like this:

Link Flow

You’ve got link juice passing between all your free blogs on Tumblr, WordPress.com, and LiveJournal. You’ve got all those passing link juice to your main site… And you’ve got YouTube passing people over to your site as well.

The YouTube videos are more to capture people who search for things like Easy Video Suite Bonus or Review straight from YouTube and get them paying attention. I’m not sure if much link juice is passed for SEO from YouTube (I could be wrong though. Google is mysterious).

And that’s basically the whole strategy…

Final Thoughts

I employed the exact strategy that I just laid out above over an 8 month period leading up to the launch of Easy Video Suite. The strategy ended in me making over $20k since the launch in January of this year.

The strategy works 100% and I’ve got more domain names that I’ve snatched up to employ the idea again and again (I just can’t give them all away and kill my competitive advantage).

I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights on the strategy in the comments below.

Bradley and I have many more case studies similar to this one going inside the Premium Members Area. So if you haven’t become a premium member yet, consider checking it out for more in-depth case studies as well as over-the-shoulder video tutorials of this technique as well as others.

I hope you enjoyed this little case study and I’m looking forward to chatting with you in the comments!

Matt Wolfe

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Matt Wolfe

Matt Wolfe was one of the original founders of LearnToBlog.com as well as the author of the Amazon bestseller, WordPress Revealed. Matt also runs a design and consultation service and has taught over 30,000 people how to get their websites online and working for them. Find Matt's personal rants and Tips at MattWolfe.net.

  • stalion

    @MattWolfe Hello, Matt I’ve been on your list for some time now, and I appreciate that you provide quality information most of the time regarding IM.
    I have question about this strategy that when you create free sites on wordpress,tumbler etc. do you post snippets form your original blog/site to these free sites or do you create fresh post for each site! and 2) how long these post should be on each free site!

  • joecasimono

    Hello,

    I did your 7 Day Boot Camp and learned a lot. This blog alone got my juices flowing.

    You explain things so well and I will be joining LTB very soon.You have the goods I want to learn.

    Thank you for the inside info.Looking forward to learning from your team.

    PS I am the one who won the free WordPress blog in the LTB contest.

    • @joecasimono Thanks for commenting! Congrats on the blog contest win! I’m glad you’re enjoying the bootcamp.

      • stalion

        @MattWolfe Hello, Matt I’ve been on your list for some time now, and I appreciate that you provide quality information most of the time regarding IM.
        I have question about this strategy that when you create free sites on wordpress,tumbler etc. do you post snippets form your original blog/site to these free sites or do you create fresh post for each site! and 2) how long these post should be on each free site!

  • BarbaraJG

    Your process appears to be very action oriented and results driven. Now my only question is what if you’re new and don’t know how to do what you’ve explained. Do you explain the details in the Premium Members Area?

    • @BarbaraJG Hey Barbara. We absolutely explain everything. Much of what I explained is simply in the 7 day bootcamp which is free. 🙂

  • ryhana

    Hey Matt how would you apply all of this to my area, Legal Nurse Consulting?

    • @ryhana For the most part this is strictly an affiliate marketing strategy. I’m not sure there will be much cross-over between what you currently do and this… This is more of another avenue you can venture down if you choose.

  • Paul Warner

    Hi Matt thanks for the return comment.

    I am not degrading the fact that you got out there and met other marketers and Josh happened to be one with a very good product, and certainly a product useful to a market you were already in. I do believe, more so since you wrote the blog post, that meeting and communicating with other people is more valuable than I thought, and that I should look at this differently, and for that I give you credit. Thanks again for an excellent post on your blog. Paul

  • Paul Warner

    I think this blog post was excellent and with the advanced notice you had regarding Easy Video Suite I don’t see how you could have gone wrong. This was a huge advantage you had and it goes along with the old saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” and I kind of figured that when this product came out that the one person who would benefit from it most would be you. Setting that aside, the concept or idea of getting advanced notice on a new product coming out is definitely worth researching and looking into and very honestly had it been some offbeat new product, where you had to deal with a stranger, to get the inside information, and permission to proceed with a product that you were not familiar with, this would have been far more impressive. In this case money begets money and this was a winning proposition all the way around for you. Still the concept, in itself, is a good one and learning how to do it with a complete stranger, befriending that stranger, and then learning about a product you’re not familiar with and putting it together the same way you did, is worth learning. Paul

    • @Paul Warner Thanks for the comment Paul. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

      One thing that’s important to note is that I wasn’t always good friends with Josh Bartlett. I met him in an online marketing community that we were both a part of and eventually met him in real life at a couple seminars. We hit it off well and became good friends…

      The “who you know” in this industry is a direct reflection of how much you get out there and get to know and build relationships with others.

      Anyone could meet any product creator at an event and begin to build a relationship with them. There’s nothing special about me that got me connected to other marketers, other than the fact that I got out of my comfort zone and made efforts to get to know other marketers.

      • Paul Warner

        Hi Matt thanks for the return comment.

        I am not degrading the fact that you got out there and met other marketers and Josh happened to be one with a very good product, and certainly a product useful to a market you were already in. I do believe, more so since you wrote the blog post, that meeting and communicating with other people is more valuable than I thought, and that I should look at this differently, and for that I give you credit. Thanks again for an excellent post on your blog. Paul

  • webmasterknot

    Hey Matt,Now that’s quite a post, I’m thinking of getting it bronzed my friend. Very excellent insights and knowledge that you share…Thank You

    • @webmasterknot Thank you! That is a very kind comment. Glad you enjoyed it. Do with it what you will. 😉

  • Flipit4u

    Hey Matt, very good and simple to understand! Sounds like a good place to start and I look forward to implementing said strategies.

    • @Flipit4u Great! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Best of luck!

  • whosChrisHughes

    definitely some good content here dude. Definitely easy to implement!

    • @whosChrisHughes Awesome! That’s what I like to hear. Looking forward to hearing your success story.

  • John Macca

    This is a great strategy but it is hard to find inside information such as you have been able to get from your friend Josh and I think people could become frustrated if they are not able to get this type of information, there are other ways of finding JVs at an early stage through other mediums which you can subscribe to such as JVNotify or JVZoo who send notifications regularly to subscribers.

    Whatever people want to do there is still a lot of work required to do what you have done and as you have said you had a significant time prior to the launch to get this all set up, this is a great post Matt and you are giving people information that others are reluctant to give.

    I know your new venture will be a success as has been thewpclassroom previously keep up the good work.

    John (Macca)

  • MattWolfe

    @joecasimono Thanks for commenting! Congrats on the blog contest win! I’m glad you’re enjoying the bootcamp.

  • @BarbaraJG Hey Barbara. We absolutely explain everything. Much of what I explained is simply in the 7 day bootcamp which is free. 🙂

  • @Paul Warner Thanks for the comment Paul. I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

    One thing that’s important to note is that I wasn’t always good friends with Josh Bartlett. I met him in an online marketing community that we were both a part of and eventually met him in real life at a couple seminars. We hit it off well and became good friends…

    The “who you know” in this industry is a direct reflection of how much you get out there and get to know and build relationships with others.

    Anyone could meet any product creator at an event and begin to build a relationship with them. There’s nothing special about me that got me connected to other marketers, other than the fact that I got out of my comfort zone and made efforts to get to know other marketers.

    • Paul Warner

      Hi Matt thanks for the return comment.

      I am not degrading the fact that you got out there and met other marketers and Josh happened to be one with a very good product, and certainly a product useful to a market you were already in. I do believe, more so since you wrote the blog post, that meeting and communicating with other people is more valuable than I thought, and that I should look at this differently, and for that I give you credit. Thanks again for an excellent post on your blog. Paul

  • Bradley Will

    Great post Matt.

    • @BradleyWill Thanks Bradley. Thanks for the title. 🙂 You named it!

  • Paul, first of all heartily congrats for this awesome success.

    You have seriously done awesome job, not only by making money with that product, but by writing this very helpful article also. After reading your article I got idea about how can I rank my sites very easily and make good money with them.

    Your approach to rank it is very simple and effective.

    I have one question:

    Are you getting traffic with keywords like product review, product bonus etc etc also?

  • Again, thanks for the advise. Second article of your’s I’ve read today. I’m trying to use clickbank but for some reason it seems a little confusing to me. I’m probably over thinking it. I’ve an email list but just not sure how to market the clickbank products to my list. And should I have a link on my blogsite? Once I figure it out, I hope to make enough money to recoup my investment.

  • Hey Matt, I still remember this… as soon as I knew the new name I immediately searched for available domains and saw your site up there already.

    In the beginning I thought “I can definitely do this too” then I saw your friendship with Josh and thought “Okay… that’s going to be a bit difficult to beat” and as soon as I’ve heard you were even going to interview him I was like “I’m definitely not going to be able to compete against this” lol

    So the lesson here (apart of the rest of the brilliant points you made here on building a wheel, being the insider, etc) is that relationships do matter and do play big roles in our success.

    Many people think they can do just about everything on their own, without the use of a community or being everywhere (like Pat Flynn recommends) and even though I don’t doubt that anyone CAN have success without knowing people around, it certainly helps to know important guys in our niches.

    Really enjoyed the case study and it really brings a lot of ideas for other CB products that aren’t as big as the EVS launch was.

    Sergio

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  • Hi matt,
    Your inside trading strategy will work foe experiences marketer but it wont happen for newbie. But what I love is the link juice that you mention. and for waiting for 8 month wasn’t a short period of time, to see if it was work or not. You could probably forget the product anyway when you have another project.
    that is my perception about your strategy.

    adhy

  • Hi Matt,

    Nice post and sweet results with a simple linking strategy.

    I think when it comes to links people believe you need thousands of them to rank. On that note what is your take on tiered linkbuilding where you would use tools to build lesser quality links to your wordpress, tumblr, youtube and livejournal profiles to boost their authority?

    Cheers
    Stuart

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