“If I wanted to make a go of running a real online business, I knew that I would need to do something different. I would need to develop a business that leveraged multiple marketing channels at once and would still generate revenue even if any given marketing channel dried up.”
– Matt Paulson
Matt Paulson is an entrepreneur, an angel investor and an author of 3 successful business books. He’s been building businesses since 2006 and is currently running three companies: a financial media company, a digital publishing company in the golf industry and a software fundraising platform for animal welfare groups.
His largest business, MarketBeat.com, publishes a daily investment newsletter to more than 400,000 subscribers MarketBeat.com also operates a network of financial news websites which garner 5 million page views each month.
Barrie read in your book The 10-Year Turnaround that you have a net worth of $10 million and an annual income of $2 million. That is really impressive coming from someone who started out flipping burgers at McDonald’s just 12 years ago.
Can you share your story of success?
When I was in middle school, I created a fan website. I made $25 every month off of it. From then on, I recognize that there’s a lot of potential on the internet; you can make money.
MarketBeat took off after my first try at creating a financial website. I was able to grow that into a great business, and it just took off.
You talk about the importance of having multiple marketing channels and streams of income. This is something we try to teach our self-publishing students.
Can you talk about why this is so important and how authors should be thinking this way?
I’ve been burned by relying too much on just one income stream. When Google made the Panda algorithm update, a lot of financial blog got hit overnight, including mine. I decided that for my next business, I’m not going to make the same mistake. I’m not going to be dependent on one big company whose business interests are not in line with mine.
I’m happy that Amazon seems to be more of a “benevolent dictator” compared to Google. But you definitely shouldn’t base your business on getting Amazon royalties.
Tell us about your books and how you got into writing and self-publishing yourself.
Writing books is one of my passion projects but at the same time, I also want to figure out how to make money off my writing. I enjoy writing and teaching people what I know. If I can break even if I can make a bit of money off it, why not?
How do you make $10 million from a financial website?
It’s a mix of advertising and subscriptions. The revenue is mostly from people who pay for our premium newsletter, investment research software.
For my previous books, there wasn’t a good match between what I wrote about and MarketBeat’s audience. My recent book, The Ten-Year Turnaround, is a better fit.
What are some email strategies you use to promote your books and ideas for our listeners?
It’s a matter of starting right away. Whether it’s a book or blog, you should start collecting email addresses right away.
I include an optin bonus in the book. I made sure that the bonus was mentioned in the front of the book, where people can see if they click the Kindle preview of the book. Even if they don’t buy the book, they can still opt in.
Want to let our listeners in on your Audible hack?
Audible recently launched a feature where if you buy an audiobook, you can give a copy to 10 other people.
I sent an email to my list and I got 30 bonus sales in one. It’s a great idea but I have not figure out how to replicate it yet.
Here’s more info on this strategy.
You’ve also successfully been using BookBub ads. Can you tell us more about what they are, how you use them, and how self-publishers can get started with them?
I’ve been able to leverage Audible with a special hack that has helped me share more books.
The nice thing about BookBub is that they already have an audience which they segment into different segments. He tired 6 to 7 campaigns but got better results when he targeted audience who follow specific authors in the finance niche. He got 60% ROI.
Go to BookBub’s Partner page to learn more and sign up to their waiting list. If you’re serious about your book business, use BookBub.
BookBub campaigns are almost like Facebook ads. You can pause then run them again when you want. You also get to see your data, although it’s not perfect.
If you’re going to link it out to Amazon, you can also create a unique tag in your Amazon Associates.
What advice would you give to authors to help them establish financial security and longevity with their businesses?
Build a funnel where you have different kind of tiers of product, with your book being at the forefront.
Try to build different products such as online courses and coaching packages that give value.
Check out ASP 37: What It Really Means to Build A Business with Your Books for more.
Learn more about Matt:
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