Catching up with Justin Anderson of Linklicious
Once in a while a fellow affiliate marketer, domainer, or someone in the internet marketing realm stops by Anticareer and gives me a break from my routine. I enjoy getting to chat with people who are an expert in a certain area as it is a great learning opportunity because some old dogs can still learn new tricks. The other day Justin Anderson of Linklicious swung by and I got a chance to hit him up with some questions that I thought people would enjoy hearing about. Here’s what he had to say…
Who exactly are you (for those people who don’t already know you)
Hey, I’m Justin Anderson and I’ve been working on the web since the golden days before Internet Explorer and Netscape. I participated in a couple of .com startups during that period, ultimately opening my own consulting firm (www.humankindinc.com) back around 2004. Over time we gradually started doing more SEO-related work and less web development, cutting over full time to SEO around 2010. As an SEO, I’ve built some of the leading SEO services out there – Linklicious, Drip Feed Links, One Hour Backlinks, and our latest called One Hour Indexing. It’s been a wild ride adapting and evolving the services as Google makes changes.
I know you’ve launched quite a few successful products in the IM world, what are you working on now?
One Hour Indexing is our latest and greatest service focused solely on indexing backlinks. In many cases we see 90+% indexing on links, with the majority being indexing in (you guessed it) an hour or two. Obviously we’re excited to see what SEOs do with this power. We’ve seen some casino guys use it with great effect already.
What is the best piece of Internet Marketing software out there that you have not made and that you are not affiliated with. Why does it rock?
You know, this is a toughie. We’ve generally focused on link building, so I love the good tools out there like Scrapebox and GSA that get very active maintenance. I’m not a big fan of xrumer and SENuke, which are clunky and overpriced compared to the other tools. I’m a also a big fan of Majestic and AHREFs for their massive databases. With some practice you can use them to reverse engineer why a site is ranking and apply it to your own strategy. Finally, I love turn-key services that help the more causal guy do a good job of SEO. I’ve exchanged great ideas and even services with the guys at TheHoth, SocialAdr, and Link Emporer. Always go with guys that are actively developing their product and communicating with the community.
Your biggest earnings in one day and in one week, what were they and what drove them?
Well, all of our services are subscription-based and we haven’t done any big affiliate pushes so we don’t really have big launch days that lead to crazy numbers. We’ve had $5,000 days and $1,000 days. As far as driving sales, that’s a great question and one we always talk about over here. We’ve tried banner ads, FB ads, half-hearted affiliate efforts, but what’s worked for us the best is just producing a great product/service. When people see something that works, they tell their friends and they stick around. So we constantly focus on keeping our services performing well and answering customer support tickets promptly.
What is a tip that you’d give someone starting out in Internet Marketing and what is a tip that you’d give someone who’s been doing Internet Marketing for years.
For the guy just starting IM, I’d tell him to take something that he loves and make that his niche. Whether it’s skateboarding or vegan recipes, make a product/site/service around that niche. When you’re passionate about something, working isn’t really work, and that love shines through in the blog posts, client communications, and ultimately whatever the person is buying.
For the old IMer, I don’t really think there’s much to say. He’s probably made tons of money and lost tons of money and knows that everything has ups and downs. I guess I’d just offer that it’s always good to try new things out. Don’t get stuck in a certain way of doing things. Instead, jump right in and test a new product or service or marketing strategy.
What is the most expensive thing you’ve bought with your online earnings and what is the coolest thing you’ve bought with online earnings?
What a fun question! I guess the most expensive thing I’ve bought is a nice house, but that’s a pretty boring answer. I’d rather say the IM lifestyle has enabled me to fund my big boy hobbies. I love to travel and train Brazilian jiu jitsu wherever I go.
The coolest thing I’ve bought was a year ago… I have an Indian outsource company that I’ve worked with for several years, but never visited in person. I made a trip out there to Delhi to see them, but along the way I took a detour through the Himalayas in Nepal to go hike to (but not up!) Mt. Everest. There’s a great story in there about me getting sick, having a crazy hiking partner, and making connections with the tour guide (and doing some IM for him), but that’s a long story! I’ve also trekked through the Sahara, spent a week in Ibiza, and generally traveled all over.
I talk with guys every day who LIVE like that, though. Working in IM enables them to be anywhere and work on their own schedule. This is a lifestyle-freeing choice if and when you can make it work.
To people who may be interested in starting an online product or service what advice would you give them to help get them started?
This is an easy one and you’ll hear this answer from many small business owners. You will fail. A lot. Be ready for it, plan for it, and embrace it. Prototype, test, and kill projects that need to be put down. Don’t get so wrapped up in one particular project that you can’t let it go.
I’d say that 3/4 of the sites that we’ve built don’t work out for one reason or another. We’ve had one great service that we had to shut down due to legal threats, another that truly is ahead of its time, and a third that was just so confusing our users couldn’t understand it well enough to use it. Just think like a fisherman – keep throwing that line out there until you catch something.
What makes your products/services better than the next guy’s?
Being that we’re in the SEO space, the bar is really set pretty low. Customer service among service providers is generally horrible, the sites are bad, and the English/communication skills are lacking. Further, most service/product providers are knockoffs. You look at a given WSO and there are 5 more like it that have been launched in the past week or two.
As a marketing agency, we had web sites that we needed to do SEO for, so we built tools to solve our own problems. Only after we used our tools successfully did we roll them out for others to use. So combining services that actually work with real life customer service from the USA makes us stand out pretty well.
What are your thoughts on domains names when launching something you’re going to sell online? Would you rather spend a good chunk of change on a premium domain that would be very brandable and easy for people to remember or would you rather hand register a domain and spend those dollars on marketing the site?
In general, I think a domain name is very overrated. Of course you want something memorable, but it shouldn’t cost thousands to buy one. Look at all the popular services and consider what the name means – Amazon, eBay, Zoosk, Zynga, Yelp, Steam, Zappos, Tinder, etc. Notice it’s not books.com, auction.com, or games.com. So it’s important to spend the time needed to get a reasonable name, but I don’t think it’s worth losing too much sleep over.
What was your biggest flop online in the Internet Marketing world?
I hinted at it earlier when I mentioned a site that didn’t work. Back when the big deindexing happened a couple of years ago, we had the bright idea of building a centralized network of totally independent networks. In other words, if you had a network you wanted to sell links on, just add them to our system. You could define everything about your network – link costs, who the members were, what type of content you accepted – and we would handle all the payment processing and lead generation. Well, we seeded the system with several of our own networks and rolled it out to testers. And they hated it. They couldn’t understand the concept of joining 3 ‘IM networks’ in one place, where each had different rules and costs. And network owners didn’t see much benefit of adding sites to the system. So after several months of development, we turned it off and moved on.
Motivation is key in being successful in Internet Marketing. Many people become lazy or complacent once they achieve some level of success. What keeps you motivated?
I really enjoy everything about internet marketing, so it’s easy to get up in the morning and dive right in. Of course I have days I’d rather browse reddit or play with my kids, but at the end of the day this is also part hobby for me too. I think it’s probably easy to lose motivation if crazy silly money is coming in and you can buy a Ferrari for every day of the week without a second thought. But I’m not there yet so I can’t say for sure that’ll happen.
Give me five qualities that someone who wants to make a living online should focus on.
– Passion: Start with something that you love and work will be much less like work
– Determination: Don’t give up when you run into something hard. Find the answer and keep moving.
– Wisdom: Know when it’s time to pivot your business to something else. Don’t keep throwing good money after bad.
– Intelligence: Constantly pay attention to best practices in your industry and outside it. Try to incorporate what others are doing that works into your model.
– Short Memory: Don’t let failure get you down. Learn from it, forget it, keep on chugging!
Thanks to Justin for swinging by for a chat and taking the time to answer the questions I threw at him. If you want to check out his new service it is at OneHourIndexing.co. He gave out some good advice, hopefully you got some motivation from reading some of his replies, and yes that is him taking a selfie on a camel trek into the Sahara in Morocco.