Bill and Michelle Pescosolido on Social Media and Affiliate Branding
Bill and Michelle Pescosolido are top earners in Affiliate Marketing and with their own training products. Here’s our interview.
Thank you so much, Bill and Michelle for doing this interview. I know you are very busy, so I’m honored to have you! Let’s get started.
I’m interested in the blogging side of your business and want to know how old is your primary blog, how many posts are on it, and what kind of organic traffic is it getting on a daily basis?
For a while Michelle and I each had separate blogs branded to ourselves individually.
However, about 3 years ago we decided to combine our efforts and focus solely on our main blog.
We have 785 published articles on that blog and on average we get about 400 unique visitors per day.
What’s one of the best free SEO hacks you’ve implemented on your blog that has brought you results?
I wouldn’t say that we implement any “hacks” when it comes to SEO.
Everything we do is 100% white hat.
However I will say this… every time we write a blog post we’re going through a series of on-page optimization strategies.
One of the ways we accomplish this is by using a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO.
The Yoast SEO plugin is easy to use and it shows you all the different things you need to do within your blog post for on-page optimization.
The best part is… it’s free to use!
In addition to using Yoast SEO, we also use certain tools like PushCrew and Click To Tweet.
I actually wrote a blog post recently called “10 Ways To Get More Traffic To Your Blog Posts”
In that article I go into great detail on what we do to get more traffic to our blog posts each time we publish a new piece of content.
You guys started your internet marketing career doing network marketing, is that correct, and what were some of the hardships you had in the beginning?
Yes, that is correct.
In the beginning we struggled with the same thing most new network marketers struggle with…
… chasing down friends & family.
Not too long after we started in network marketing we felt there had to be another way to build our business that didn’t involve pitching family & friends.
We were also looking for a way to recruit new distributors that didn’t require us sitting down belly to belly with a person in order to present our opportunity to them.
We wanted to reach more people and not be held back by geographical restrictions.
So we went searching online and found a solution that opened our eyes to Attraction Marketing.
Building our network marketing business online was great because now we didn’t have to approach our friends & family.
However, there is a learning curve that comes with transitioning to internet marketing.
It’s almost like learning a whole new language.
I had never even heard the terms “capture page” or “SEO” or “auto responder”.
There were definitely some technical challenges that we dealt with along the way.
I guess you could say there’s quite a bit of humility that goes along with learning how to market online.
But here’s the thing… we had to climb out of our comfort zones and start taking action, even if that meant messing up or making mistakes some mistakes along the way.
The funny thing is, some of our biggest mistakes were also our biggest learning opportunities.
If someone wanted to do internet marketing by mostly setting up a blog, what would you tell them?
First of all, you need to clearly define your Customer Avatar because that’s who you’ll be writing to each time you write a blog post.
Once you know your Avatar’s pains and struggles you’ll be able to effectively uncover their pain and provide a solution with your blog posts.
Secondly, you shouldn’t force yourself to produce new, original blog posts on a daily basis.
Between the two of us combined, Michelle and I publish approximately 2-3 new blog posts per week.
That means on average we’re individually writing 1-2 blog posts per week.
One of the biggest mistakes I see new and even intermediate marketers make is they rush the blog writing process just so they can meet some arbitrary deadline.
I call this blogging just for the sake of blogging.
When you rush the process just to say “thank goodness… I wrote a blog post today.” you increase your chances of creating mediocre or even poor content.
Over time your readers will notice the decline in the quality of your content and they’ll stop reading it.
Ultimately, this will have a negative impact on your business and your brand.
The third thing I would tell them is to write with the end game in mind.
Meaning, know exactly what you want to promote and what your Call To Action will be before you start writing the blog post itself.
This will help you keep your blog content congruent with your offer.
Furthermore, it will help you to stay on point and focused on the specific nature of your Customer Avatar’s pains and how this particular blog post can help them out.
Finally, I would tell them there is a faster way to get results from your blog and a much slower way to get results from your blog.
The slower way is to solely rely upon organic traffic coming to your blog.
Even when blogging consistently it will take you much longer to get results, and when you do start to get results they will be inconsistent.
The faster way to get results from your blog is to utilize paid traffic.
One of the reasons why we only need to create 1-3 blog posts per week is because we’re utilizing Facebook to drive paid traffic to many of our blog posts.
One of the cool things about our Facebook paid traffic strategy is that we can create custom lists based upon who’s clicking and reading our blog posts.
Later on we can retarget them with relevant offers based on which blog post they read.
How old of a blog and how many blog posts does an MLM or Affiliate Blogger need to start making enough income to work from home full-time, roughly?
That’s a great question but almost impossible to answer and here’s why…
Is this person consistently creating high quality content 1-2 times per week…
are they “mailing it in” and just publishing a bunch of garbage content?
Will this person leverage paid traffic or are they relying 100% on organic traffic?
Does this person have a content marketing strategy that is full funnel?
Are they only creating Top of Funnel content?
Does this person have a clear ascension plan for their customers that includes a Trip Wire offer,
a Core offer, and a Profit Maximizer?
Do they only have 1 product or income stream?
As you can see, there are a lot of variables in play here that will determine how quickly a person
will start generating an income from their blog.
However I can guarantee you this…
You will get results much sooner of you have quality content that you produce consistently (yes, publishing new blog posts 1 or 2 times per week is consistent).
You’ll also get results sooner if you leverage paid traffic and have a tiered product mix with a profit maximizer on the back end.
Can you tell us a little about your “Social Media Branding Academy” and who is it for?
Social Media Branding Academy (SMBA) is a digital information product created by my wife Michelle.
It’s the only foolproof A-Z Facebook marketing survival guide designed specifically to help people…
- Build an irresistible brand
- Gain massive influence online within their niche
- Stay out of “Facebook jail”
- Generate leads
- Acquire more customers and sales
- Create leverage and automation in their business
… by using Facebook.
SMBA is for anyone who is a
- Affiliate marketer
- Network Marketer
- Insurance agent
- Real Estate agent
- Coach, author, or speaker
- Brick & mortar business owner
Basically, its for anyone who wants to leverage Facebook to build their business.
I notice that Social Media Branding Academy talks about how to stay out of Facebook Jail. I am currently unable to “Boost” my posts on Facebook. Is it game over for me on FB or is there a way to have that lifted?
It’s definitely not game over. However, it will take some effort on your part to get the ban lifted.
Michelle goes into more detail about this in Social Media Branding Academy.
When did you start to shift from Network Marketing to Affiliate Marketing and could you give us 3 good points or “Pros” for each industry?
We made the shift after realizing what we really wanted to achieve from our business which was…
- Time Freedom
Because we were so dialed into Facebook marketing and blogging (two things that could give us a ton of leverage and scalability) the affiliate marketing model was a better fit for us.
For example; we can run a Facebook ad to one of our blog posts that is promoting one of our affiliate offers.
Once we see that the ad and the offer are converting profitably we can increase our ad spend and scale up.
Similarly, I can send an email to our list that’s promoting an offer or a blog post.
Based on the email open rate and click thru rate, I can potentially get thousands of eyes on that email and then hundreds of eyes on the blog post or offer.
That’s the kind of leverage and automation that we can achieve through affiliate marketing.
I watched you guys on Norbert’s podcast, and I loved what you said at the end Bill. You said something like, “Get over yourself and just do it.” This was referring to marketers doing video marketing for their brand. How has video transformed your brand?
Video is very powerful because people get to hear your voice and see your face which makes them feel like they know you better.
It’s that last part – the prospect feeling like they know you better – that is so critical.
You’ve got a smart audience so I’m sure they’ve already heard what I’m about to say, but for anyone that hasn’t here goes…
In order to acquire customers or get more sales you need to have something called the Know, Like, and Trust factor.
Basically, your prospect needs to know you, like you, and trust you before they’ll take out their credit card and buy from you.
The benefit of video and how it helped us to transform our brand is that it enabled us to get a lot of people to know, like, and trust us.
Funny thing is, we’ll be at an industry event and strangers will walk up to us and say…
“Oh my gosh! It’s great to finally meet you! I’ve watched a ton of your videos and I feel like I know you already.”
Pretty cool huh?
So for everyone reading this interview, I strongly recommend shooting some videos if you haven’t already.
You can shoot videos about a product you’re offering or a company that you’re promoting.
You can use videos to build your brand or for lead generation purposes.
If you’ve never done a video here’s what I recommend to help you get started.
1.) Be lively and energetic (but not in a forced way). People watch videos to be informed, educated, or entertained. They wont stick around if they’re bored.
2.) Be yourself… warts and all. This is what I was talking about on Norbert’s pod cast that you referenced earlier. Nobody wants to watch a perfect video from a perfect person.
They won’t resonate with that.
So don’t worry if you mess up a bit or trip up on your words. Just keep going.
If the dog barks in the background… keep going.
The people watching will resonate with you more if they see a bit of a vulnerable side in your videos.
What’s your favorite business book right now and why?
One of my favorite books I’m currently reading is…
“Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” by Gary Vaynerchuk.
The reasons why are…
- Gary V. is a bad a$$
- He tells it like it is in a very entertaining way
- He absolutely knows what he’s talking about
- No B.S., fluff, or theory
What’s your goals for 2017?
You’re going to see a shift in our marketing, especially come 2017.
We’re going to focus a lot more on our coaching programs as well as build out a full service Digital Marketing agency.
We still love affiliate marketing and we’ll always have 1 or 2 affiliate programs to refer people into if they reach out and ask.
But the focus will be more on 1-on-1 and group coaching and mentorship.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“Do or Do Not. There is no try” ~Yoda
This is one of my favorite quotes because…
1.) Yoda is awesome
2.) This speaks to the challenge many affiliate marketers, network marketers, and home based business people encounter and that’s the challenge of “going all in” vs. “giving it a try”.
When I hear someone say… “okay, I’ll give it a try.” I feel like they’re already preparing their excuses for when it doesn’t work out the way they’d hoped.
“Well I tried to do it, but ______ [insert excuse here]”
So basically Yoda is telling us… don’t bother wasting your time if you don’t believe in yourself and if you’re not 100% committed to achieving your goal.
Thanks so much for this interview, Bill and Michelle! This has been chock full of value.
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