Blogging is all about networking. Some people look at blogging as a way to socialize, others see it as a tool for networking and creating partnerships with defined objectives. When Veronica and I decided to share our adventures with all you sexy people in the blogosphere, we obviously set certain goals for ourselves. One of my goals was to do a questionnaire format interview, via email or Skype, with the people who directly influenced me to begin my journey online – one of those people is Alan LeStourgeon.
For those of you who don’t know Alan, he is a successful affiliate marketer and the owner of the popular blog AffiliateConfession.com. I’ve been a follower of Alan for the last 6 months or so, and during that time I’ve learned quite a bit about the harsh realities of affiliate marketing and making money online. I emailed Alan a couple weeks back requesting an interview and he accepted the offer with open arms – if he didn’t I probably would have mailed him a package containing a brown paper bag, some dog poop, and a book of matches.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I didn’t have any choice in the matter when my parents named me Alan, so I’m sticking with that. I’ve been working at home for a little over 3 years now doing affiliate marketing and writing Affiliate Confession which I started 10 months ago. Lately I’ve been trying to sharpen my skills with PPC to be up there with the $25k+ per month guys, but have tons to learn.
2. In 100 words or less describe how you made your first profit on the Internet.
About 4 years ago after looking at lots of info on affiliate marketing, travel seemed like a great niche to get into so I built a vacation rentals web site and started producing leads for Rentalo.com at $1 each. I didn’t make much money, but I could see the potential and to this day, travel continues to be my most profitable niche. If you love to travel, all you have to do is write about your experiences and the places you stay and boom, you’ve got a travel site. It’s pretty simple.
3. What’s your shoe size?
9 1/2, unless I twist my ankle playing basketball, then it’s somewhat larger, at least on one foot.
4. How do you feel about wearing socks with sandals?
Okay with jeans, kinda weird with shorts.
5. Coffee or tea?
Coffee, it’s a creation for me. It’s either a decaf latte mocha at B&N or seriously strong coffee at home with cocoa, a little sugar, Kahlua or Amaretto and cream. Did I say I like it strong?
6. If you could have 15 minutes with any successful businessman or woman, who would it be and why?
It would probably be Warren Buffet. I wouldn’t ask him for stock tips, I’d want to know how he consistently recognizes trends and winners.
7. Early bird or night owl?
I’m always up too late, most the time until the monitor on my laptop is blurry and I can hardly keep my eyes open. Need to get better at that.
8. Name the artist and title of the last full song you listened to.
Jars Of Clay’s “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand“. Played it with our church band and rocked it out a bit. It was cool.
9. In your opinion, name 3 tools or services that are necessary to run a successful business online, and briefly explain why?
I couldn’t live without Build A Niche Store. eBay is the ultimate affiliate program because there isn’t a niche that exists that doesn’t have a product on eBay and BANS is the best way to capitalize on this affiliate opportunity. You can also use BANS as a content management system to build entire sites that feature very few eBay products. I’ll write a post about that someday.
The Free Search Term Suggestion Tool at Keyword Discovery. I use it almost every day for a quick look at monthly keyword numbers.
Free stock photos at Stock Xchng. You need photos for blog posts, landing pages and other stuff and this is the best free stock photo site I’ve run across.
10. Batman, Superman, or Spiderman?
Superman. All it takes is a large bath towel and a safety pin and any 6-year-old can leap tall buildings.
11. If you were ice cream, what flavor would you be and why?
Chocolate. What, there’s another flavor?
12. Google Adwords, Microsoft adCenter, or Yahoo Search Marketing?
Even though I have an ongoing feud with Google, their Adwords interface is simply the easiest to work with.
13. Sean Connery or Roger Moore?
That’s a tough one since I liked them both. Probably Sean Connery. He played the consummate English gentleman, even though he is a Scotsman.
14. Tea or coffee? (I wanted to see if he was paying attention)
What, you already asked that and I answered coffee (did I say strong coffee?), but I do have tea with my wife once in a while.
15. Promote someone elses products, or have people promote your own?
Right now I’m promoting other people’s products. Jean and I have 4 of our own products, but haven’t gotten around to working with our own affiliates yet.
16. Ham and cheese or peanut butter and jelly?
Fresh veggies on a sprouted grain roll.
17. In 100 words or less explain why most people fail to make a living online.
Ninety-nine percent of the money making crap sold on the net perpetuates the belief that earning money online is easy and that you can be rich over night. Making money online is easy once you do your due diligence and find out what really works. It’s like the winners on American Idol, yea they got famous over night, after they spent years working towards the opportunity to get on American Idol. Some do it quicker than others, but you still have to pay your dues. People don’t want to pay their dues.
18. Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Yes, it was probably a dark blue grape colored one I dipped in that pasty, minty flavored glue we used to get in elementary school when I was a kid. Yummy!
19. Saturday Night Fever or Staying Alive?
I used to be in a country band (hey, it paid the bills) and a southern rock band and my old rocker friends would kill me if I choose one of those. I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that said “Piss On Disco”. What can I say?
20. Why did you accept this interview?
Elijah promised me cars, homes, endorsements and unlimited bling, how could I refuse? Honestly though, I accepted because this is how the web is supposed to work, making connections, networking and meeting like minded entrepreneurs is part of the magic that makes this affiliate marketing and blogging thing so great.
***NOTE: There will be more “20 Questions” interviews in the next few weeks, as I’ve already confirmed with some more of the Internets movers and shakers. Who will be next? I guess you’ll have to subscribe and stay tuned!