The Secret Behind the Most Popular Marketing Blogs (& How I Might Follow Their Example)

September 25, 2012 , 170 Comments

In today’s post I’ve got a video with some examination and two very important questions for you.

There are some similarities between the most popular blogs online and they’re similarities no one ever seems to talk about. And I may have to change this website in some key ways, if I want to make it more popular. Can I do so without “selling my soul”?

Check out the video and tell me your opinion!


After watching the video, it would be awesome if you could leave a comment with your answers to these questions:

Would you like to see more content with actual numbers from my business and how I achieved them, on this site?

And what are other non-douchy ways to demonstrate expertise and show that I’m not just pretending to know a thing or two about online marketing?

I’m really looking forward to your input on this one. (and also let me know how you like the video)

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About ​Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better entrepreneur and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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  • I am more interested in how you do things rather than how much you made.

    How you built your list or how you do webinars ect

    • Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your reply! I like to hear that! I also much rather just report on what I do and why I do it, than talk about how much I make.

  • I’d be interested in number specific stuff, even dollar amounts. I hear you that it can come off as douchey, but it can also be very compelling. Stuff like “I built this niche site and after this much time it’s making this much per month” can ground us in reality while providing a lot of inspiration. That’s my take anyway. And, I’ve yet to see you come off as douchey, but we appreciate your concern. Cheers.

    • Hi Erim,

      I think the “ground in reality” is a really important point. Adding dollar amounts could make things less vague and maybe add to the content. And I’d certainly be more comfortable talking in terms of “this project made $X and here’s how” than disclosing my income.

  • Hey Shane,

    What can I say, you are incredible in your own unique way. I can never imagine you flashy with a cheques and so on. You are most honest and trustworthy IM guy I know, and there is your credibility :)

    I like your special scenes at the end!

    Best regards

  • Truly inspiring video.

    Don’t sell your soul. Even for that stack of money you just dumped on yourself.

    Like the new 2 light setup you are using.

    • Thanks for your input, Ken!
      I don’t think I’m capable of selling my soul. I just need to find a way to be less stubborn in my ways, do what helps the blog grow, but still be myself, I think.

  • Haha – The end was perfect! I, too, run into the problem of delivering great facts and engaging graphics… and still have a hard time having something go viral. This is a topic that I don’t have answers, but I will be following you as you overcome the challenge. Thanks!

    • Thanks for your reply, Ken!

      It’s that balance between facts and emotional appeal, I think. Something I definitely need to improve on this site.

    • Ken & Shane,

      Just watched the video again. Forgot about the end – LOL. I think the key thing is remembering to combine the facts, how to, and information with WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?).

      You know: when you buy a drill bit it’s actually the hole it makes that you want. What do these trends, tools, or strategies mean to me?

      That’s actually a minor tweak (re: your post on creating a product doubled your traffic in 2011). The biggest risk you run is losing your personality in the search. Be yourself and seek to provide high value… and trust everything else will take care of itself.

      Shane, you are still on my list because of the value you provide. I don’t read every email, but I look forward to it whenever I get the opportunity.

      • Thanks, Neil!

        Yes, keeping in mind that people want holes in the wall and not drill bits is very important. That’s something I always try to remind myself of.

        On the other hand, people will still end up buying a drill based on it’s name, packaging, brand recognition and, in many cases I’m sure, how manly it makes them feel… which would be the equivalent of adding some silliness to the end of a video.

        Maybe the magic is in providing the WIIFM for the end product as well as for the path to getting there: you provide excitement, stories and entertainment on the way and end up converting to a sale. Something like that, maybe…

  • Thanks for the video Shane. Numbers, when they are relevant are useful. Numbers that are done in an ego or hype manner are often a turn off to me as they are to you.

    There’s nothing that beats just being yourself, and I suspect that most of us that follow you on some level do so because we see and appreciate what you share or offer in your own unique way. Anything else is fake so please don’t ever try to be like anyone else.

    • Thanks for your input!

      Showing numbers only when they’re actually relevant makes a lot of sense to me. I definitely don’t want to show numbers just for the sake of it.

  • Pearson Brown says:


    I would like you to post about things that you recommended in the past because they worked but which no longer work. I think that would give you even more credibility, though you have always been really credible to me.


    • Hi Pearson,

      Thanks for your reply! I like that idea! There are indeed some things I’ve previously written about, that don’t apply anymore and making a post about that could be worthwhile.

  • When popular IM blogs reach a certain level, every post gets shared automatically by the author’s super fans, based on how blown away they were by the previous ones that helped them. Which is awesome, I’m not knocking it, I wish I had that kind of mass, unconditional social love! lol

    As for what you can do…

    Definitely add some more of that video goodness!

    I thought the video was over, and stood up to pour coffee….then looked back as I heard more. I cracked up seeing you making fun of yourself, especially since, before now, I had only ever seen your serious side (so that made it even funnier)

    —-The way you “made it rain” at the end was awesome! Actually, it was more of a heavy snowfall that caved in through your roof, but still…awesome! :) —

    I don’t think you need to add “income reports”.

    Why not case studies from scratch and show detailed results? (proof in that)

    Or explain both strikeouts and home runs you’ve made with detailed marketing strategies and tactics you’ve applied to your existing products (and the results of those particular actions)

    No matter what you do, don’t try to be someone you’re not just to increase readership. :)

    • Thanks for your reply, Jay!

      I definitely make sure to talk about difficulties that I have as well. I don’t want it to seem like everything just comes easy to me, because it really, really doesn’t.

      I’d also like some more unconditional social love. :D

      Btw, your blog looks awesome! Really love the design.

  • Mirko Gosch says:

    Dear Shane,

    my answer to your first question is: Of course! Yes!

    Concerning your second question I don´t know of anybody (nor can I imagine that there´ll ever be anybody who´s used your products, read your article or been on your webinars) who would claim that you are just pretending to know a thing or two about any of the topics that you are publishing content about.

    I´ve bought pretty much every course you ever published.


    Because of the extreme level of knowledge I find in all of your products, because of your genuine care to help your customers, because of your no-fluff approach in everything you publish and because of your non-pretentious way to teach, talk and deliver.

    So please, don´t change that (I know you won´t).

    If you are asking for my two cents here how to broaden your audience then I would like you to use social media more than you have done in the past. I´m aware that you don´t like to spend too much time with these time-suckers like Facebook e.g. but maybe you could get Paul to do that job for you?? (Sorry, Paul).

    Internet marketing needs more marketers like you.

    Keep up the great work.

    Talk soon, and greetings to Paul, Mirko

    • Hey Mirko,

      Thanks a lot!

      You’re definitely right about social media. And also about suggesting Paul should take care of it. This is something we’d already discussed, as it’s been clear for a long time, that I’m not capable of handling social media.

      • I’m actually really looking forward to launching a social media presence for this blog and I have some strategies that would make for some interesting case studies to test.

        “It’s been clear for a long time, that I’m not capable of handling social media”

        My thoughts: You could easily handle social media – you just don’t want to. Therein lies the problem.

  • Hi Shane.

    The answer is quite simple.

    Plonk some faked Clickbank screenshots and some photos of you in your Ferrari with some bikini clad women draped over the front of the car.

    Seriously though, I think the type of posts that give you the most credibility are where you do in-depth analysis of marketing/SEO techniques or comprehensive reviews of products/services.

    It’s obvious to most viewers that you haven’t just made stuff up or copied some sales letter when you do those types of posts. It’s pretty clear that you’ve spent a lot of time and effort doing the analysis.

    You only have to look at your “Popular Posts” to see what I mean.



    PS: You could have fun playing Monopoly with all those a fist full of Leu’s

    • Thanks for your reply!

      Good point about the popular posts. I actually have quite a few more reviews lined up, just not enough time to get to them, right now…
      That will need changing.

      Also, how did I do?

      • Needs bigger tits.

      • Brilliant!

        Could be further enhanced by the woman holding a wad a cash in her teeth.

      • I was tempted to add the suggestions above, but the it occurred to me that I may have more important things to do with my life… :D

      • Haha I love it- is that Miranda Kerr you got riding on the front?

  • why not perhaps an open case study ( a series maybe )from the ground up ?

    it can be any type of site – plus you’ll be able to get some sort of positioning in front of many newcomers, that arent sure of the best ways to monetize a site, or are a bit clueless with seo or simply to explain the new rules of seo, etc.

    perhaps having in this series – a collection of sites that can be done – that actually show from the ground up how to rank, and monetize.. – perhaps using webinars as a follow up

    and perhaps inviting from forums – wso, forumspecialoffers, etc, or even better creating some products (as channels) that invite to get into that series and giving away some sort of after rebate or sort of a gift card from these products – the thing would be that well if you let the products for free well perhaps people could underestimate such products ironically enough..

    anyway that could be a way where you can easily showcase numbers in real time, and it could pretty much serve very well for the future, since the data and information is open to anyone to see its roots/foundation from where it started.. this way it wouldnt be any type of braggin about numbers etc

    the only con, maybe is that it could take a little bit of time..


    • Hi Ed,

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      I’ve done a case study from scratch in the past and it was quite popular.

      You’re right that this is a great way to provide some proof. I need to find time to do more like these.

  • Keep on focusing on what you’re doing now because to me that is closest to whom you seem to be as a person.

    Demystifying internet marketing with practical examples, opinions and fact-based cases. The latter of course will help building credibility, but it’s not about the money, but more about the results in terms of visitors, subscribers, rankings, etc. etc.

    You’ll gain credibility by people like us who are following you and spread the word via word-to-mouth marketing. A much better approach if I might say.

  • Hey Shane,

    Personally I think that you have to identify who your audience is, and it has been in the past more seasoned and knowledgeable seo people and marketers, which is great and the way I would like it to stay… But if you want to have more broad appeal than you end up with the problem of dummbing down your content a bit so the newbies can understand everything and you can appeal to their emotions and get them excited, but maybe not really help anybody make any money. There will always be more newbies than veterans out there, and if you want to keep your brand that is associated with a high retention of readers because of high level quality content, then I think you also have to accept the fact that it will never be one of the most popular marketing blogs online…. And that is not necessarily a bad thing….

    Just my $0.02,

    • Thanks for your reply, Sylvan!

      I do prefer appealing to a more experienced and perhaps more advanced crowd. You may be right that that just go together with being one of the top blogs, because of the prevalence of newbies in the space.

      I hope I can get more reach without dumbing down any content, though.

  • Nooooooooooooo! Don’t do it. I like your style and the overall feeling of knowledge, integrity and occasional humour! There’s enough shallowness online already and you don’t need to change style just for a marketing ploy.

    We all know there is one guy in particular who publishes income stats. I think that works for him but know there are others now doing it. It’s a toughie to carry off and most get it wrong and just seem really tacky.

    I’ve bought a couple of the products (SECockPit and Hybrid Connect) because of substance, not spin. I’ve also cancelled using another service due in part to a review you published.

    The industry, particularly the online marketing element, doesn’t need any more faux celebrities. You could, perhaps, get Paul to serve you drinks or fan your down during videos but I wouldn’t go any further than that. That would just look pretentious! :-)

    Keep it real please!

    • Thank you, Adrian!

      I will definitely keep it real, no matter what I do. That has priority.

  • I think many of the blogs you are talking about attract people who have fantasies of becoming an IM guru and therefore the income facts of the “guru bloggers” appeals to them. You find that much of the income is coming from affiliate commissions on IM products and services like Market Samurai or Hostgator, and maybe one or two products of their own. Most of these bloggers only do Im and therefore have nothing else to offer.

    Actions taken and real facts of successful projects in other markets and shown in case studies that I could apply to my business is what I would most like to see, but it seems that IM people are the only people sharing their “secrets” and maybe that’s understandable because there is no profit in it for other Businesses.

    • Hi Rich,

      That’s an interesting point.
      I originally came from a non-IM market and I have to say that I’ve been itching to get back to something non-IM, ever since this has become my main source of income.

      We talked about that on a podcast as well. I don’t know when, but I know for sure that we’re going to do some project outside of IM and do a case study about that, at some point.

  • Hi Shane

    What drew me to your blog was the lack of emotional hype and your clear delivery of facts and non-bullshit how-to.

    I can get emotional hype on any virtual street corner but do not as it is of no value to me whatsoever and in my eyes lowers the value of what is on offer. I either refuse to engage with such people or tolerate them while I pan for the small nuggets of gold they offer amongst the useless chaff that makes up the majority of their content(but will never trust them).

    The only exception I know of is a good story. If you can find a way of delivering high quality information through the medium of genuinely compelling stories (and compelling stories need emotional triggers)I reckon you’ll have it made. And I would like 10% for the idea! ;-)

    Mark Silver does well at this in an extremely hard niche: Islamic spirituality for the, largely, US small business market. He’s one of life’s genuinely good guys, so tell him I said “Hi” if you connect with him:



    PS Love the ending! ;-)

    • Hello Leo,

      That’s a very good point you make. Good storytelling could be the key here, because content delivered like that can actually be useful and effective, without having to be fake-hypey.

      I feel the same way about most of the hype one encounters: it’s a waste of time and I’d rather get straight to the point.

  • I think if the income statement thing isn’t you — you shouldn’t do it. Do what gels with you and what you’re passionate about.

    Post killer content and people will want to see more from you, but you may have to do more promotion and networking on other blogs and such to get more exposure.

    I know what you’re saying but there are a lot of popular IM blogs that don’t do the stuff that you are talking about, and have there own personality. If you are strictly talking about popular niche marketing blogs, I see a lot of that going on but there are other blogs out there that are not so similar.

    Here are some different popular internet marketing blogs that are not in that whole network of niche marketing copy cat blogs like nichepursuits and so on that have their own flavor: (not my favorite but very popular)

    They each have their own unique feel and generally write very solid content that doesn’t necessary revolve around some affiliate products.

    You have good site here, but I think you need to focus on writing more solid content that basically gives away the farm. People are more likely to share Epic content that goes above and beyond then just good content.

    There are some drones that continue to go to sites like and such and get excited by okay content, but generally most people will spread the word about content that they are super excited about.

    I think if you focus on making very high quality posts that consist of lists, and detailed how to content, and solid advice will gain you more traction. As well, getting out there and commenting on high trafficed blogs and promoting your blog in other ways, your blog will become for popular.

    Much of your content is around promoting products, even though they are honest reviews, but you may want to write more advice and internet marketing tip related posts that go into detail on “how to” do things, help as well. Check the blogs above and see what they are doing, and maybe it will give you ideas on how to improve your blog without changing your core values.

    • Hi Bryan,

      Thanks for your detailed comment!

      I have to say that I’m surprised that you find that most of my content is based around promoting products. On the first few pages of the blog there are, by my count, 17 information posts and 6 reviews/product-based posts.

      I’m not complaining, by the way. It’s interesting to see how the outside perspective can be so different from what I expect.

      Also, I’d love more information about when you feel a post is “giving away the farm”. I’ve tried to do many posts that are basically “the ultimate everything about this topic” type posts. Is that what you mean? Or when do you read a post and say to yourself “wow, they’re giving away the farm”?

      Love to get more feedback from you, even though your comment was already lengthy. You know what they say: do a job well and you’ll be asked to do it again… :D

      • Hey Shane,

        When I said giving away the farm, I meant giving away content that may be a little hard to give away. Giving beyond expectations, such as insights, and details in achieving success that blow people away.

        When I worked as an email support agent for a huge company, there were satisfaction surveys out and they the choices were very dissat., dissat., either, sat, very sat.

        People usually don’t take the time to share their experience and fill out survey and leave a comment, unless they’re pissed off, or elated.

        So in the same way passion can fuel viral marketing and create a real buzz.

        It’s funny in the IM niche people get caught up in IM launch circles and no nothing that’s out there. It’s a shame that people by into hype, bravado and self-hype and branding, but apparently some are from seeing some comments about other blogs and “experts”. I don’t care about who mentored who, and so forth and I’m sure other people that are serious about building their business, would be the same.

        You can’t do anything about that, but I would say you don’t want to create content for drones that buy into hype and just read all day, but you want to create awesome content for people that want to take their business to the next level.

        As you can see from some of the blogs I shared, some of those blogs are getting a huge following and a ton of viral traffic because they write epic content, and not just good content that will have newbies jumping up and down because they learned to do something basic that some “guroos” don’t even know how to do themeselves.

        So in otherwords, there is a huge potential readership out there that don’t settle for what is the “norm”, like those that are caught up with the JV circle jerks.

        Back to the content your content… you’ve actually been working on your business in areas of product creation, niche sites creation, plugin development, and you’re probably passionate about these areas and experienced roadblocks and learned some insights getting your hands dirty.

        From your experiences you probably could write a boatload of epic content that goes beyond general stuff that people are serious about building their business — don’t know.

        Again you could get ‘newbies’ jumping up and down, but you want to write content that gets impresses everybody and makes them elated that they took the time out to read it, and that it was not just some fodder that they are ready know. I’m not saying not to provide basic content as well, but to go further and more detailed so most people learn something new, and are so impressed about the content they want to share it.

        All the blogs I mentioned above, were blogs I found on my own through doing deeper research. I don’t really follow them, for I don’t have the time, but came across them when researching and sometimes clicking through comments of other great blogs.

        Like attracts like, and a lot of times those that fed up with the ‘guru’ types and only appreciate real legit content will draw others. I think those blogs can give you some ideas and you may even find it beneficial commenting and networking with other IM related bloggers that really know what they’re talking about and are serious about helping others.

        As you can see too, is that some of these guys have a much greater following and more content shared than self-proclaimed ‘experts’. Like the hype can work for newbs, but others are sold on Epic content and not all the bravo and self branding.

        Check out this article as well, which you will find will answer your question as well:

        I hope this helps.

      • Thanks again, Bryan!

        This is some really good input and I’m taking it to heart.

  • I left a long comment with a list of some different/unique IM related blogs that don’t do a lot of the same and copy cat and other niche marketing blogs.

    Looks like it got filtered as spam, but you can dig it out and get some ideas from those blogs.

  • Ok Shane you asked for it and I’m going to give you the inside scoop. First, I believe the “quality” of the question determines the answers that you get. Your question has a lot of layers to it that may not be visible to most just from a cursory glance.

    Before I answer your question (I promise I will) don’t assume that bigger is better and those assume growing your blog faster is necessarily the best thing. What’s wrong with just being yourself and letting the blog grow naturally over time. There’s no way you will ever be certain as what makes IMIMPACT grow anyway. If you’re in it for the long haul (I believe you are) what difference does it make how fast it grows.

    Is getting the blog in front of more people necessarily the best thing? Being popular doesn’t necessarily mean better. If you feel that you might end up looking like a douche bag (your words not mine) then why would you not follow your gut feeling. I’m just curious.

    Also, why is that bad that IMIMPACT is just a little bit popular and not overly popular? I’m not sure that is such a ‘bad” thing. You have a very responsive list. I read everyone of your posts and listen to everyone of your emails. You are probably the only one I do that with. I feel like I know you, I don’t have to stop and wonder how I got on your list as I do with a lot of people who spam me with daily offers until I unsubscribe. I genuinely feel that you are here to help me and not just trying to make a buck. Not sure why you aren’t seeing it the way I’m seeing it.

    You never know when you will get more reach but it will happen when it happens. I remember Gary Vaynerchuk’s entire journey, it was about 18 months of 5 day a week video recording before he finally got the reach he was after. Now you can’t even get to him and I’m really not a fan anymore because he’s become too commercial.

    Take a look at this
    Jim Rohn has been dead almost 3 years. I loved Jim and his teachings. However, do you feel that I could have shared that same quote (which isn’t new by the way) and received almost 4k likes? I think not.

    There really is a tipping point that we all seem to meet in life like Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book and no one knows when that is because you’re not in control of when that happens when and if it does.

    Maybe its a good thing to take a look at some of the top bloggers out there but comparing yourself to what they’re doing is futile. You are unique, embrace that and keep doing what you’re doing …maybe find ways to do that better. I once was thought control the things you can control and let the chips fall where they may.

    The best proof you have as far as I’m concerned is that I keep coming back. I love case studies. I don’t care about your income because that has little to do with me. Why? Because the first thing I’ll start doing is comparing myself to you and no matter how good of job you do you really can’t tell me why you’re successful. You see the one thing that I really think you’re missing here Shane is that you love what you do and it shows. You have passion and most people who enter the IM business don’t have passion for what they do….they are just driven by how much money they feel they can make.

    Money is a by-product of what we all do….it’s the effect not the cause so talking about that to me is pointless. The less sexy things (which I feel are the most important) people are not asking you to share. For example, what kind of thoughts did you have to make you put in the extra hours to complete Hybrid Connect and not give up. You see, I believe when you start talking about the money you do your audience a disserve because there are so many things you leave out and all they see is the money and then beat themselves up when income is no where near what you’re making.

    I know the entire word is transparency…blah….blah…blah. I know that Pat Flynn and some other top bloggers share their income with their readers but you’re not them. Keep doing what you’re doing and just engage with your audience more (maybe like responding to every comment…just kidding) and you’ll be fine.

    Case studies…Case studies…Case studies….and more of what goes on in that mind of yours would be very beneficial.

    Can you tell I’m a bit long-winded. I never write comments this long …only on your blog…..

    • Thank you for this awesome reply, Bradley!

      Case studies. Noted.

      As for your question about the popularity: well, I’d like this blog to be a lot more popular for two reasons.
      1) To fuel my ambitions. I have some big plans. Some plans that require a lot of money. I know my products are awesome and I know I can keep doing what I’ve been doing. The way for me to make more money is to get more customers. And a more popular blog could help with that.

      2) Because I’m playing this online marketing game and I want to beat my high-score. That may sound silly, but to me things like traffic and income are motivating in themselves, because they give me positive feedback on what I do.

    • I think you’ve made some good points in here, thanks Brad.

      I learned my lesson about trying to fast-track results by burning an already hugely profitable site with questionable link building tactics…just to wring more income from the site as soon as possible…it worked really nicely for a few months, and then obviously didn’t work so well after a little more time, after Penguin rolled out.

  • Hi Shane

    I got a feeling that the out-takes are going to be far more alluring than more eye glazing income and ‘Look at me’ stats.

    Did you notice if most of what you term as popular blogs had been established in the boom years or are there some less than a couple of years old? The older ones could well be relying on past efforts and are using their stats just to show they’ve still ‘got it’. I see many of them are women too.

    Or is that just me? HeHe.

    How do you decide what makes them popular? Sheer numbers of email, comments, posts, $$$ on show, envy or personal involvement with them, what?

    You are popular with me because I don’t have to read through loads of content, watch long boring videos or get bombarded with in your face sales pitches. I can download the podcasts (where is this weeks by the way?) and have a laugh and be informed while out walking the dog instead of being tied to the screen while I’m supposed to be getting more production done.

    Is it just that those popular blogs are seen everywhere? Where are your links to your blog being shown? Does every copy of SECockpit have a IMI banner or link? Could it have? Along with other software that isn’t on display to where your customers don’t want it to be seen. Hybrid-Connect is seen to all so that is inappropriate to have a link in the customer facing side.

    Innovation is worth a lot more than following the herd.
    Display your innovative side to the world more. SEC is has features not any other search engine has. Same with H-C. Give a quick outline of them on the blog sometime. The one man Q&A webinar from a hotel room in Germany – that was fun. You are first to do it so shout it out.

    Same with the video podcasting. Apparently you can do a ‘Hangout’ on Google + which also goes and records itself to You Tube as well as others being able to join in live. Still not many doing it though.

    Jason Fladelin is a marketer that, while not a blogger, is very popular without flashing the cash. He does mention stats now and again but usually only to show how a build up has occurred rather than a overnight success happening. Jasons current innovation is he’s using Skype groups to send out memos to his Skype members. You could do that to get your blog more popular. Actually, Jason also sends out some lucrative Skype group only product discounts and makes a fair profit doing it.

    I’m sure others might suggest a few features we all might like see but the biggest thing to getting popular must surely be getting known. Especially for your innovations and helpfulness and silly out-takes that make you a person far more can identify with rather than are in awe of.

    Getting return visitors is what must make for popularity. Do any of the blogs you looked at use cliffhangers. Like you did on Sunday. Tune in next week folks for the next exciting episode. You already know André Chaperon. Have you bought his Autoresponder Madness book on how to write cliffhanger email sequences? They can also be used for blog posting or scriptwriting episodes of ‘Lost’. Soap Opera Sequences he calls them. You can rehearse your emotions in advance then.

    In regard to ‘A certain level of popularity’ yes you are right. Go and look at Danny Iny’s Firepole Marketing blog. He explains it perfectly there and shows how to get past it. If you sign up on his autoresponder you will get drowned in emails. Not my idea of becoming popular.

    Having written all this off the top of my head, I see that my opinion is not to drastically change what you are doing but to advertise it better so it’s getting in front of more people more often. Which is what you said you wanted in the first place. Following the popular herd is not going to cut it mate.

    I’ve got a question for you.

    Why do you leave a picture of The Eiger in Switzerland on the blog if you are now in Rumania? You were not near The Eiger when you lived in Switzerland anyway.

    Happy blogging

    Tony C

    • Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your great feedback!

      Those are some really awesome suggestions. Ironically, I created a video myself a long time ago, talking about how you have not just do what you do, but also advertise that you’re doing it. Like you say: I’m doing some unusual stuff, but I don’t exactly shout about it.
      You’re definitely right about that.

      And you show me some missed opportunities as well. Thanks a lot!

      Also: that’s the Matterhorn. And it’s mainly there because I was in a hurry and had no better idea for a featured image. :P

      Here’s something more Romanian:

      (It’s the Transfagarasan, a brilliant driving road through the mountains, not too far from where I live now.)

      • Ah- yes of course! The Matterhorn
        And with those twisty roads, this is obviously not the view from Lauterbrunnen either. Lol

  • Shane,

    As others have already mentioned, it really depends on who you’re trying to appeal to. From my viewpoint, you’ve already more than established your expertise and credibility with me through all the blog posts and videos you’ve made posted as well as with the best keyword research tool in the business: SECockpit. Therefore, numbers offering proof of your skills and success online are completely unnecessary to keep my attention, in fact, they would probably distract my attention away from the content you’re sharing.

    How about compiling a few testimonials on your blog (if you don’t already have them posted somewhere), that could help with establishing your cred with new visitors. I think at the very least, it’s probably best to keep those kinds of figures somehow separate for those who feel they need to see them – the rest of us can proceed as per normal ;-)

    • Thanks, Rich!

      I see what you mean. I might update my “About” page to be more appealing to newcomers, since that’s probably mainly who’ll be looking at the page anyway.

  • Hey Shaun,

    Please don’t start that “Look at how much money I made” nonsense. Seriously, this is one of the main reasons I still read your blogs, watch your videos and subscribe to your list. You are straight up, honest and provide great products like SECockpit which is worth every penny to me.

    We all know that these guys are fake and they only tell half the story.

    I agree with Jay, It would be nice to see a bit more of your personality come through in vids and blogs, but other than that, keep doing what you are doing and work on more awesome products like SECockpit.

    If you do start posing next to ferraris and showing fake clickbank accounts you will lose me forever.

    Bye for now


    • Hi Mark,

      More personality, no “look at my money”! That definitely makes sense to me.

  • Keep doing what you’re doing Shane.

    I don’t care if you made $5 or $5,000,000. If you provide good content (which you do) and I learn something from it, (which I have) then you’ve done what you set out to do, and I’ve got what I came for.

    Keep rockin’


  • How you Really Built your list, would be great”” I am just starting But my website ,Blog , has a a great Pr. Plus I am hooked up to the top. I am just fixing to go through the videos and start learning. I always check Your blog For The Best Product, Reviews. Keep on trucking.Lol

  • Shane,
    Well done!
    It would be useful to get data on what worked and what didn’t and on how well it worked, but there’s no need to go OTT about your successes.

    We all know you’re a great guy!

    • Thanks, Les! Useful data, but no showing off. I can definitely live with that. :)

  • Hi Shane, You must get the drift by now – we love you as you are !! The recent addition of “bloopers” at the end is deal for contrast to your straight up and honest approach in your vids. And don’t change your delivery for popularity; this is exactly what brings me back.
    My input: love Case Studies, hate money and lifestyle displays, keep the sincerity and honesty- this is your USP (unique selling proposition).
    Perhaps if you want further reach do a guest interview video on another larger blog. Though it must be someone you admire/respect or have similar values, their readers will also be responsive to you.
    This is what leads me to other sites & bloggers- via people l respect and if they interview or speak highly of someone else l will go over and look them up – ends up being an interconnected trail over time.

    Let us know what you decide to do – hey this is a case study in itself – lets follow how you get your blog really out there !

    • Thanks, Alison!

      I could certainly do with some exposure via guest posting and similar means. Added that to my list.

  • Shane
    I dont think publishing the actual $$ would make sense, at least to me. I like to see the trends, though. It’s pretty much like Google Adwords or Alexa figures : we know they are way off the mark but we know the trend is correct. So show me your trends ;)
    Another thing interesting and valuable is what output you get from this or that. Couple years ago I bought a course from Eben Pagan and the best part was not about web marketing which I’m beginning to know a bit (after 16 years in the biz the contrary would be sad) but about the way he does things, for instance how he lights his set before creating a video, or what brand of mike he is using because he tried every other one and they are not as good. That’s very basic advice, some would say, but that’s what I’m interested in. How others do things. For the same reason, when I walk down a place or go in a hotel room I like to see how things are built and assembled together. It gives me ideas and insights. For instance, hotel bathrooms are different in Latvia, France, US, Italy etc. From each bathroom you learn something about the perfect bathroom. And when you build your own,it’s one of a kind. How is your bathroom built, Shane ?


    • Hey Gil,

      Thanks for your comment!
      I think I know what you mean. There are quite a few posts about “unsexy” topics like analytics on the site, because I personally care about these things. I like to share things that I find important, even when I know that they aren’t particularly marketable. I think that may be going in the direction you mentioned.

  • hey Shane
    the popular “guru” blogs have so many subscribers not because of their content but because of their marketing to build subscribers. When people wake up to the “fluff” they call content they unsubscribe (like i did with all of them) or they don’t even open their emails.

    You may have fewer subscribers but your subscribers are more loyal, more appreciative, and actually look forward to your posts while the “guru” subscribers will rarely even open their emails.

    Plus, when the guru subscribers come across a blog like yours and see the difference between quality and crap, they jump ship quick smart.

    I think there’s only 2 things you could change.
    1/ yes by all means add some figures and social proof, but just mix it in with what you are already doing.
    2/ do some marketing campaigns specifically designed to build subscribers. Once you get them here, it’s the quality of your blog that will keep them here.

    Here’s how i think you differ from the guru in terms of your “blog popularity”:
    GURU – does massive marketing to build subscribers. They end up unsubscribing or don’t open the guru emails after a while. Guru needs to continue marketing to keep building and replace those that leave.
    YOU – less marketing and build subscribers more organically. They stay because of the quality and your authenticity. Builds more slowly but with much higher subscriber satisfaction.

    By all means do some marketing to build subscribers, but other than that… DON’T CHANGE


    • Thanks for the suggestions, Syd!
      I’ve really never done anything like a campaign to build my subscriber base. That’s what I want to change. But as you say, I don’t want to sacrifice my personality or style while doing so. I’m sure there’s a way to do both.

      And adding in numbers or “proof” in a way that makes sense and is relevant sounds like a good way to go.

  • Josh McNary says:

    Why not just use arbitrary numbers rather than tying a money value to it? For example, do a case study with 3 different experiments each having a different strategy to build a mailing list or something. Show which strategies have the biggest subscriber gains on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Discuss what changes you’re thinking about making, apply them, and discuss further results. There’s probably several scenarios you could set up that would be useful to both the advanced level IMer as well as the beginner.

    I think it’s very important to discuss not only strategies/techniques but to also correlate them with practical results. Using ambiguous numbers which can clearly show trends is a good middle ground between what you’re doing now and showing all your income IMO.

    • Hi Josh. I really like that idea! I’d actually love doing a list-building case study like that. I’m adding it to my notes. :)

  • Phil Gawron says:

    You have an interesting “problem”. I assume your other readers follow you for some of the same reasons that I do. The number 1 reason is that we trust you. Your straight forward and honest approach is a welcome change. Please don’t change that.

    Of course, you did ask us our opinion. Here is my totally non-expert advice.

    “How to become more popular” by the unpopular kid

    1. Testimonials – Seek out feedback from your audience and highlight other people’s success.
    2. Be Popular – Have you ever noticed that the bigger the group, the more people show up? ;) Find a way for people to know they are part of a larger community.
    3. Joint Ventures – If you can play the “I’ll promote you and you promote me” game without violating your readers trust, you’ll be exposed to more people
    4. Call to Action – You’re very consistent about asking for feedback. Ask us to “tweet”, “like” or even “Plus 1”. At the time I am writing this 46 people have commented on this post. 6 have tweeted, 4 FB likes and 0 G+1. It is rare to have more comments than likes or tweets
    5. Google + – While having a much smaller audience than FB, the noise is a lot less. People who are on there are looking to connect with others about a topic. It is far easier to be an “authority” on Google+ vs FB
    6. Be controversial – Don’t start a flame war to start a war. However, speak out on other sites if you think differently
    7. Be a star – The ending of the video showed more personality than we are used to seeing. Let us share in the “out takes”. Share more personal details with “emotion”.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing with us.

    • Thank you for the detailed reply, Phil!
      Those are some awesome suggestions and I’ll try to implement a few of them as soon as possible.

  • Kim Campbell says:

    Lots of good comments above, so I’ll wade in with just a single comparison and then tell you why I think you succeeded with your “outtakes” at the end of these videos in your quest for ‘social love’ better than ever before.

    Creating great content and awesome products – absolutely. That’s core – but it won’t get the numbers of people to your door real fast because most people new to IM Impact and Shane Melaugh won’t listen long enough to grasp why your stuff is premiere league. Or they simply won’t have enough background to judge – yet. I don’t think its about separating out your audience into more experienced vs easily baffled newbies.

    But I think the secret sauce on that ephemeral “popularity” portion is whether or not you “come across the footlights” as they say in the theatre. I’ve been following you for two years and really liked you and your core values and your products but until today and another video a while back with some end bits tacked on – I didn’t laugh or smile much.

    Suddenly I find myself coming back as much for the unexpected ordinariness of that outtake as for the though-provoking content.

    In today’s jaded world all the fear-based, competitive sales strategy of earlier times can’t compete with the power of sharing a bit of whimsy or antics that balances (and actually highlights without appearing to do so) your brilliance. It can get ponderous to always be coming from the highest places of quality and ethics and sincerity. Don’t compromise those one iota but maybe don’t let it be the whole public face of Shane.

    Let people like you. A couple funny outtakes in an otherwise professional post could be the very thing that creates that mysterious bond and gets you goin’ social and shared a bit more virally.

    Chris Farrell makes excellent use of his dogs in some of his videos and during his webinars, especially Mr. Stevens…. consummate marketing because it gives everyone a break from being SO high quality and SO focused and SO content-driven. Laughter, relaxation, give Mr. Stevens his bark, then remove him from the room, and back to work!

    Quite frankly – an engaging energy came flying out of the computer from your outtake and I was quite refreshed. I was able for a moment to put down all the angst of making a living on-line and was extremely grateful to you for giving me that moment of goofy abandon. I’d recommend people watch this whole video as a way of meeting you for the first time.

    I hope you succeed wildly and make a lot of people like you just for you. Not only the principled high-integrity you, but the guy who sees the funny side too. You don’t have to train a puppy to be your sidekick, just let us in occasionally on the ordinary wacky antic and special bits of your life.

    Shane Melaugh – my god it’s in your name!

    • Thanks for this reply, Kim!

      That’s a very good point you make. I can’t really add much to it except to say that I agree with you and I will try to add a bit of personality and humor to more of the things I do.
      I didn’t realize how much of a difference it can make, until I read your comment.

  • Hi Shane

    Our brains have both logic and emotional sides but humans are basically emotional beings with a veneer of logic. And like wood veneer, it is easy to cut through to the real underneath.

    And things like story telling, the joke type end of your video are what makes the real connection for you to your audience.

    And that connection enables you to sell more products ethically.

    • Thanks, Paul!
      That’s a good metaphor and you’re absolutely right about it.

    • Josh McNary says:

      I’d actually argue it depends on the person whether they’re dominated by emotion or rationality. Judging by Shane’s videos, he’s rationality dominant, which makes it easy for him to make an intelligent connection with other rational people… but harder to make a connection with emotionally dominant people.

  • I think that the approach you use now is more a long-term approach than what other marketers are doing. It is clear that you have the experience and that you aren’t just out to churn and burn your list like so many others.

    Like you, I don’t have the time to play around and like to get to the point as well. The same goes for everything that I learn about IM. I’d say to keep up doing what you’re doing. People will keep finding you because when someone is as genuine as you, others love to repay you by sharing your content.

    As for income proof, it’s nice to know the possibilities, but it seems to me that on the internet where every faceless bastard has a douchebaggy opinion, you’re going to piss someone off whether you share your income or not. If you’re doing case studies, using the process that you used for something you’ve already created, that’s cool, but PLEASE don’t do it for the IM niche — or weight loss or dating! We’re oversaturated with that. I’d like to see more about weird little niches that people would never knew existed. This is where the REAL artistry of IM lies and for those of us who want to pursue something related to our passions in regular life, showing processes and techniques as they apply to these weird little niches (say t-shirts, patio furniture or paper supplies, LOL) is what I think would really set you apart from the lame-ass gurus.

    Be well, dude!

    • Thanks for the suggestions, Adrienne!

      I’ve mainly been active in “mainstream” niches, unfortunately. The only “weird” niche I’ve worked in is selling watercooling components for computers. How’s that for something most people have never even heard of? :)

      But I see what you mean. There’s definitely more value in sharing stuff from non-IM niches than essentially saying: I’m big in IM and here’s how much IM stuff I sell.

      • Haha! That’s funny because one of my properties is a water dispenser site and so I inadvertently learned about these water cooling components when trying to source content for my own site!

        I think that a lot of people fail at IM because they don’t really care about the typical niches and so can’t really relate to what people in those niches want. But if they could understand better how to monetize a weird niche, it just might help reveal some subtle differences in the marketing approach.

  • Shane
    Non duchey is that even a word??
    I think your stuff is solid and if you want to validate with numbers be my guest bottom line content is great and if it makes a lot of money that’s cool until you send me a check it’s all good,I am not going to hold it against.

    Are you seeking more people to sell more stuff or is this a popularity contest?

    When your good and your consistent the numbers will be there.I like what your doing and if the quality stays your numbers will not be an issue.

    Thank you

    • Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your comment!

      Concerning your question: I’ve answered something similar a bit further above. To me, it’s both a quest to get more customers, so that I can increase my income and fuel some of my bigger ambitions, and also a bit of a popularity contest.
      Although I’m not competing against other bloggers, but I do like to improve upon my own results just for the sake of it.

  • Yes, I want to see more about building email list from scratch. Thanks.

  • Shane,

    I don’t subscribe to many blogs – not even CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, Seth, etc. all of which I often visit and enjoy.

    I subscribed to yours.

    I think that speaks volumes for your credibility. In fact, my choice to subscribe was based off of one remarkable piece of content that I found to be quite brilliant – your New Rules of SEO webinar.

    Look at it this way – if you’re trying to appeal to “Internet Marketers” who are looking to make $1 million in 3 days (and there are hordes of these numbskulls) then you need to apply loads of yellow highlights, fake video testimonials, and a sales page that takes about 17 hours to scroll to the bottom of. Also, make products that build 20 million backlinks in 5 minutes.

    If, however, you are providing honest, no-nonsense IM advice to regular people like myself and all the people above, then keep doing what you’re doing.

    Yeah, numbers can help a person put a project/goal into perspective and emotions absolutely are a crucial part of ANY good copywriting (emotion = interest = share) but your content is already pretty great.

    Keep up the good work, Shane.


    • Thanks, Mark!

      I definitely don’t want to go “full retard”, to use a movie quote. The way I see it, it’s just about adding a little something without compromising my style.

      Ultimately, my goal is to appeal to more of the kind of people this site already attracts and not switch audiences.

  • I don’t remember how I found your site (at the time it was called RichQuickReview) but I liked your ways of approaching things and I stayed connected ever since.

    The main reason I write this comment is because of the last part of the video when you go “bling bling” with romanian lei, this being the currency of my country :)

    Another reason for writing this comment is that one of the big bloggers here in RO has asked the same questions in a recent blog post: how do you monetize without “selling the soul”.

    There were several options put together, but I don’t have an answer to this question. Instead, I hope you enjoy Romania and keep up the very good work you are doing on

    • Thank you for your reply!
      Awesome to know that I have some Romanian readers as well. :)
      And yes, I’m loving my stay here!

  • haha…. love the ending make that thing to rain
    i just started this IM stuff so nothing to say yet but love your videos and advice

    • Thanks! Glad you liked the somewhat lackluster money-rain.

  • Tung Tran says:

    I would like to read your in-depth case study rather than see your income report. To be honest, these income reports truly inspire us to do more and try harder but i think it’s not very necessary but if you write a report. It’s good :D

    • Thanks for your feedback!
      Case studies seem to be in high demand, so that’s something I’ll focus more on.

  • Hi Shane, I am a big fan of “online income lab” blog that Trent Dyrsmid has (just google it to see). You are can see that each month he publishes his earnings and explains what is working for him and it is a huge proof for his readers. He also does interviews with some guys (some are his students) who do very well in IM and he posts his traffic stats where he explains that he has some % of traffic from Google and the rest is from his Youtube channel and from guest posting and from email lists. The way his doing this is very convincing and rice the trust for him as authority. I think you will find his blog useful. All the best . Ted.

    • Thanks for your comment, Ted!
      I’ve done an interview with Trent as well, actually! He’s definitely doing a good job with his site.

  • Hey Shane,

    Love your content as it is – Keep it coming!

    I don’t need to see actual numbers from your business.

    That said, I’m already sold as I bought SECockpit – So I know your products are excellent.

    But since you asked – I have analysed why I’m clicking on Pat Flynn’s income report for instance, and it’s not for the numbers.

    It’s for his reflection on what different marketing methods he exploits and how this affects his brand, working hours and bottom line. His feedback makes it easier to judge for myself if the same marketing method might be worth pursuing for my own business.

    I can totally understand that you want to scale your business up even further – you’ve got what it takes. So go for it!

    The way I can see this working is with strategic partnerships with people like Pat Flynn or Corbett Barr.

    A guest-post type appearance would demonstrate your expertise in a non-douchy way to a huge audience.

    Key is to produce insanely useful content that is relevant to their audience (tie this into potentially lucrative affiliate earnings for them, say through SECockpit, and you are onto a winner; unfortunately I see a conflict of interest there with HybridConnect and Glen’s Optin Skin that Pat promotes otherwise that would be perfect…

    Btw HybridConnect is only just out on the market – give your customers a chance to use it ;-) I have no doubt that it will help them to make money online – that’s when you’ll get heaps of people recommending your product and raving about it – helping you to grow your business…

    You have built quite a few new elements into the mix with the podcasting, the fun video endings (which are awesome by the way!), commenting interaction and showing more emotions… absolutely love it and I’m sure it all resonates with your subscribers – be patient ;-)

    And don’t underestimate the power of spelling out what your goal is and asking your audience for help (like you did now and when you asked for podcast reviews/ tweets).

    People are happy to help and get involved when they see you are sincere and you are helping them. You tick all those boxes, so just keep reminding people and make it easy for them. Otherwise they get busy with things and forget…

    Anyway, my 2 cents ;-)

    • Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for your thoughts! I like your analysis of what draws you to Pat’s income reports. That’s a very interesting way to look at it and I’ll have to think about how I could incorporate something similar.

  • Hi Shane, I follow you simply because it is you and I would not want that you to change. ( bit of a mouthful ) I can understand you perceived need for a bigger audience and the reasons behind it, but being selfish would not like IMImpact to change direction as you provide valuable content which even when I have no real interest in the subject matter I will take time to try and digest the information given.
    I note that you have a presense on Youtube but would suggest that it could be grown quite a bit and combined with the social media aspects being charged to an expert in the field then getting your name out to a wider audience should not prove impossible.
    Keep doing what you do best and most importantly stay YOU. Jim

    • Thanks, Jim!
      I wasn’t considering a drastic change in direction, as I have to stay true to my own core values. I don’t think I’d be very good at faking it.

      It’s more that I’m looking for a balance between what I want to put on the blog and what’s popular and might help the blog grow.

  • I have followed your blog and seen your videos each time you send out a notice, simply because I trust you and you always bring valuable content. But there is no doubt that showing more of your personality is important to become “popular”. If you started doing a “Jackie Chan” at the end of each video, I’ll bet more people would stay until the end of the video, afraid to miss the fun part. Just be yourself, but maybe try to show even more of/about yourself. Unfortunately it is in the human nature to be curious about other people and their lifes, but it also builds trust and make you more real to people.

    • Hey Kristin,

      I love that you call it a “Jackie Chan”. The outtakes are something I always loved about his movies as well.

      We can’t force them, but we’ll definitely be including more funny bloopers when and if they happen.

  • OMG!! Shane showed some humor! HE’S HUMAN!!! I knew that all along but it’s really, really nice to see that from you. I know you’re one of the most talented and competent guys in IM and like to see the “inner Shane” sometimes. I would like to see more of your case studies on how you do things. Forget the money thing, it’s boring and shallow. Content and “realness” is a winner.

    • Haha, nice. I guess that’s one downside of being very matter-of-factly: I end up coming across like a robot.

      But yes, I am actually human. And I will try to show more humanness, as it seems to do quite well.

  • Josh McNary says:


    I think you really need to decide what it is YOU want to do and start from there as well. As I said above, it appears to me that you’re highly, intelligent, rational, and critical. This makes you appealing to other like-minded thinkers.

    I’m guessing your audience is full of people who go nowhere near emotionally-charged sales techniques that often take advantage of another person’s lack of understanding or knowledge. Why? Because your readers either know better or don’t make quick, impulse decisions and that’s why your thought-out and greatly explained posts are so well received.

    In my opinion, you have to decide if you want to grow the base you already have by continuing the course you’re on and finding new ways to reach more of the same kind of audience using avenues you haven’t yet explored.

    Or you’ll need to open up your bag of emotions: humor, anguish, excitement, etc. to start grabbing others who might have looked at you before but probably felt bored or a lack of any real emotional connection, which is of high value to them.

    I think you have to decide what’s going to be easiest for you to move forward with and judging by your dry wit (much like mine) my guess is it is probably the former rather than the latter, but that’s just the impression I get.


    • Thanks, Josh!

      Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I’d love to do a bit of both. I don’t want to change the overall style, but I would like to maybe add a bit of a personal/emotional element to grab more people’s attention and maybe be able to persuade them to spend some more time with in-depth content.

  • Hi Shane,

    I think the most powerful evidence would be a live case study. For example a series which builds say an Adsense site or Affiliate site which converts.

    You could make it quite clear that this is experimental, in light of the post Penguin. Also there would be more of a real world feel about things.

    From your point of view. You would be viewed as someone who was prepared to walk the walk. If no immediate/fast profit is made. It would be very valuable to see how an experienced marketer adapts things.

    This could have the viral effect you are looking for. Also anyone who made money or gained “how to” experience would be more likely to become future customers.

    • Hello Nigel,

      Thanks for the suggestions. I have an experimental case study going at the moment, actually.
      We’ll have to see how that goes.

      But in general, I definitely want to do more case studies in the future, as that has been requested many times in these comments. Looks like a good way forward.

  • I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  • I am no fan of $ signs being thrown around. It is probably faked on many sites so one never knows when it is real or not. Even when true, it just rubs me wrong.

    Much of the so-called social proof can be bought. I don’t really trust that either.

    I started following you because I felt like you talked from the heart rather than from the pocketbook. You offered some products, but you never pushed any products. To be honest, when you started putting out more products I was disappointed. Even though I know you produce quality, I have a hard time getting past the bad taste left by so many of the product creators that I have dealt with. Even though my head tells me this is wrong in your case, I just can’t help the feeling.

    There are a few things I look for when deciding how much faith I will put into what someone says or into a product someone offers.

    I need to understand their business model. I have little trust in a model that mostly sells products or promotes other peoples products.

    I prefer to follow someone whose primary money comes from doing what they teach rather than from teaching it. If they teach making money with Amazon, I would expect most of their money to come from Amazon.

    When someone is selling a product, I need to feel it is something they use in the course of their primary business rather than the product being the focus of their money making venture. If they use the product they will be more likely to keep it updated.

    Subscription models may not be popular, but at least they give me some measure of confidence that a product/service will be maintained. If they don’t keep things current, folks leave and there goes the money.

    The only social proof I put much faith in is forums. I don’t mean forum chatter about someone, I mean that the person I’m following has at least a moderately active forum that they participate in on a regular basis. A forum is not an easy thing to get established and it requires a commitment from the owner, but that is exactly why it holds value for me. It shows that folks value the service/product and that the creator is involved and active.

    • Hi Doug,

      I know what you mean. I’m quite weary of most kinds of “proof” myself. That’s why I want to be careful about how I use it myself.

      Interesting point about the forum. I can’t see myself doing that as I think it would just swallow up too much time.

      • Shane, I agree that a forum can be a time sucker if you let it.

        I am a member of several forums, but only follow 3 of them closely. I use the ‘new posts’ feature they have and visit each one twice a day. Most days this takes less than an hour of my time. I gain a lot of knowledge and some friends through those forums.

        For me, the ‘time sucking’ comes not from following a forum but in responding to posts. I am slow on the keyboard and have trouble selecting good words and phrases to express my thoughts. In trying to get my meaning across, I often re-type my responses many times and even then I often fall short in expressing what I want to say.

        I don’t think you would have that problem. Look at how quickly you respond to these comments. In fact, these comments are sort of like a forum. There is good information in them. The downside is that they are spread all over your blog instead of being in one place. I don’t think a forum would require much (if any) more of your time than responding to comments.

        Jonathan Leger is a good example of a high profile person who has an active forum that he participates in. IT isn’t a forum I follow closely and I have only made a few posts there (bug reports/product enhancements), but he responded personally to each one.

        I think one key to keeping a forum’s ‘time sucking’ under control is to have a good team of moderators. ‘Team’ can refer to one or two moderators on a smaller forum or many more on a larger forum. A good moderator does more than just delete spam, move posts and cool down flames. For example, they can help the owner spot important posts or responses that could use a little more detail.

        Enough rambling. Obviously, I consider forums important not only in establishing trust, but in my learning process and in establishing friends and developing relationships with people that are willing to help each other move forward.

        I’m sure you will find a way that works well for you.

  • Are you familiar with Steve Pavlina ( He would be on a par of success with the likes of Tim Ferris but – compared to Ferris, there is nothing at all shiny on his website.

    Another example that I’d throw in is Brittany Lynch – she is young and a bit shy/geekish but very disciplined and killing it because she is in Kennedy mastermind and being well coached.

    What I love about you is your diligence to research and your no nonsense style, and taste for clean design. Don’t try to be something “other,” just be MORE of what you are. Magnify your strengths in a way that is congruent.

    You might think in terms of a bringing your expertise to narrower, but larger niches. Offline – people want results. Test cases that show an offline business how to generate real results would likely gain a strong following (as an example).

    I wish you the best in re-defining yourself. I think your awesome, and being more awesome would be something you deserve.


    • Thanks for the examples, Neil!

      I’m familiar with Steve Pavlina, although I haven’t checked his site in a long time. Some of his stuff is way too crazy for my taste, but I give him props for his success nonetheless.

  • Hi, Shane

    When I first knew you is by a recommendation for SEcockpit from one of my trust IMer. I know SEcockpit must be great, but I don’t buy it as I really can’t see how can I use it to make more money.

    Then I read lots of your courses and posts on this site and love the works you do. Add you to my trust list. Sorry I still don’t buy secockpit after I knew it and you after half year. :)

    But I purchased it around three weeks ago I think with a half-year payment. You will want to know the reason — I found a way to make money and I can make more and faster if I use SEcockpit, according to my own research/test and my trust marketer’s course and expecience.

    Story is finished and here are what I really want to say:
    1.Make a course around your products(maybe each if need/possible), giving people your tested skills and tricks to make money more easily and fast, and how to do it, and how you will help them.

    This will not only give the valuable information to people, but also motivate people to buy your products and implement it to make money. I don’t think there is better motivation let people to buy your product in this case.

    2.Don’t make your couse static. You’d better keep adding case studies to the course periodly. Given each case study a revenue report periodly will be perfect. As online marketing always change and also you can’t expect people learn all tricks just from one or two case studies. Also you should let people know this course still work when they come to your site for checking.

    When you want to help people to make more money and give people a blueprint to follow, most of us will can’t help to buy your product (etc SEcockpit) and implement it to make more money after reading.

    Specially for us in your list, we already trust you, if you give us a money maker blueprint like this, I guess I should buy it at the first time I know it.

    Now the ball starts rolling. You get lots of more real customers and you gather more fund to some more large project and then you will (I believe) give us another great product with another great course to help us make even more money.

    This benifits both of us. I am cusious why you don’t do it (Ok, you did some, but it doesn’t in details and down to the setps), specially I see very little information about SEcockpit on this site.

    This is a so amazing product. If you give us lots of ideas or courses to make money to use it, I doube you will convert every visitor to be your customers with our will at the first time.

    People won’t be more happier to follow a right person and buy a right product to make money online easily and faster, without purchasing and/or trying lots of rabbish product and filled with lots of frustration on the online way.

    Sorry I don’t know if I say it clearly or not, but I have tried my best. :)

    • Hi Eric,

      Thanks for your detailed reply!
      I like the idea of making a product based on a product, so to speak.

      I’d love to do a list-building case study/course using Viral Quiz Builder or Hybrid Connect (or possibly both). Hopefully, I’ll find the time to do something like that before too long. :)

  • Hi Shane –

    I really don’t have much to add to what people have already said above!

    The reason I still stick around and follow you is for those same reasons expounded by everyone here.. your solid, credible content and the honest way you deliver it.

    I can’t really remember, but I think I originally found you with a search for comparing IM products, that I was looking for an honest review of… maybe the Blog-Blueprint stuff and stuck with you since!

    I would think a lot of new IM’s get confused by all the hype out there and probably just want to find a ‘trustworthy’ non-hype person to listen to. That they feel what they have to offer and recommend, is based on solid well researched, tried and tested experience.

    So as long as you keep to your high standards on providing high quality useful content… the how much money I have made… and by implication, how much money YOU could make.. wouldn’t interest me too much.

    By the way, I think the Podcasts you and Paul started are also great. Also agree the antics/out-takes you get up to in those and at the end of some your videos, are cool and show us your ‘human’ side… which is what helps people ‘connect’ to you as a person.

    One thought.. have you ever told us how big the IM-Impact following at the moment… and what you want to take it up to?


    • Thanks, John!

      Glad you like the podcast (and we’ll be publishing some more of those soon, although it’s been a bit irregular, so far).

      I’ve never talked about the size of the IM Impact following. It’s difficult to quantify, actually. For example, I have a very small number of RSS subscribers. This is often a measure of a blog’s popularity, but since I’d rather have email subscribers and I never push for RSS subscriptions, it doesn’t really apply to this site.

      I have a certain number of email subscribers, but then only a small part of those actually open and read each email…
      As I said: hard to quantify.

  • Hi Shane,
    Reading a few other Internet Marketers’ blogs, I have always wondered why you never mention how much you make and in what amount of time you make it. When I say other IMs, I mean people new to IM, not ‘guurs’. So it is quite interesting to see how much they have made and how they made that kind of money within a specific time frame.

    I would really be interested in knowing your statistics, a rough idea like how many hours of hard work you put in to see what amount of money etc. Now that(from whatever you have been saying through your blogs)I know that you are a genuine person who avoids fluff, it would be beneficial for your readers to know more about your numbers rather than just useful tips to succeed online.

    I think it would be very encouraging for people like me to know a little bit of your statistics so that it would egg me on in my online endeavors to work harder/smarter in order to reach my goals.

    Thanks Shane and Good luck!
    Cheers, Rema.

    • Thanks for your reply, Rema!

      I agree with you: if done right, I think certain types of “proof” can be motivating and actually add to the content.

  • I would love to see some real income stuff – because quite frankly I don’t trust a lot of the IM screenshots. There is so much slight of hand and implying this income is from that source – when in fact it’s not the full story.

    There’s a lot of gross income that is being positioned as net income – etc.

    But your strength is your honesty, so you wouldn’t come off douchy.

    Loved the surprise ending!

  • I’ve seen enough of your stuff to know you’re note an empty shirt talking about how in just 1 short week you went from 14 hour work days stocking shelves at Walmart to making 6 figure monthly income working 1.28 minutes a day. The key is to not hide the bad. Visuals…make a graph showing both. Everybody wants to know what works…what really works. And perhaps just as important is to simultaneously get insight on what didn’t work (why you thought it would work, the fact that it didn’t, and any theories you might have on why it didn’t). This in itself, alongside the success is valuable and doucheless. I’ve tuned in to probably a hundred internet marketers over the last few years, and there are only about 3 or 4 that have cemented themselves as genuine in my book and you’re one of them. Don’t sweat the fallout…just do what you think will provide value to people (and giving true specifics always provides value) and you can’t go wrong. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Curtis!

      I really like that approach: treating what works and what doesn’t equally. That’s something I can definitely see myself doing.

  • Haha great ending to the video- it’s classic when you rip those guys who flash money and cars around… perhaps go with that contrasting angle more? I also believe the selective inclusion of more earnings info from projects you worked on would help to add dimension and credibility for newcommers. I think the fact you’re highly conscious of the risks of looking lame would help keep things realistic and grounded. As I said, making fun of people who show off seems to help with the whole credibility thing somehow.

    I’ll agree the WF & WSO’s are more than douchy, they suck balls mostly, so it’s not great being perceived as “one of them” …but perhaps you could convey the fact you don’t usually do the whole WSO thing, but have done it this time to reach out to new people on the forum looking for good products and genuine advice (aka IMimpact)?

    Personally though, I’d probably avoid the whole WF thing though. But I’m a purist like that. I think it’s better to grow slower and have a solid following and business foundation than to try to speed things up less than ideally. Would more JV’s with some select people be a better route, you think?

    • Hi Kieren,

      Thanks for your input! I tend to agree. Getting some good promotions from the right people and getting exposure in the right places is definitely more valuable than churning WSOs.

  • “As you can see I am Balling” HAHAH that made me laugh so hard.

    Hey Shane,

    Good video. I am kind of facing the same problem. I am the Co-Founder at and a few other relatively successful start ups, but I recently started a blog at and I have been trying to see if I can make this blog famous without mentioning where I got my expertise from.

    Even if my content is useful and unique, I think that people have a hard time believing just about anyone on the internet.

    So I have been looking into this very idea of proof of validity as well. I have come to the conclusion that in internet marketing, you naturally come off as an expert if you:

    – Already have a famous blog, because this shows that you know how marketing works. (bit of a self fulfilling prophecy)

    – You are the founder or CMO at a successful company.

    – Or have some crazy media coverage or something to boast about. (like being named the top internet influences by wall street journal like Neil Patel, or being in the top 100 business blogs in Technorati, etc.)

    I have personally never followed anyone that showed proof of their checks or how much money they are making because to me that comes off as spammy. I think that the best way to approach this problem of proof of expertise is by getting guest posts on famous blogs until you have a large community of your own or receive some media coverage that you can boast about.

    But that’s just my two cents.

    – Mark T.

  • I would like to know how to pick a topic/product/monetize a website from beginning to end like what you did in the wordpress guide (amazing for newbies). Also that get to the point personality is a High D on an DISC Assessment test I am a high D and I like your style of doing things I don’t feel the bull**** from you.

    On giving out your results create an on request feature to your site no need to plaster it everywhere it they want they can click to download it. Although I can believe how easy it is to doctor such info NOT SAYING YOU DID but I know there are others that do.

    I also believe you really don’t have anything to prove you are getting feedback from us yours is the only guru email that I continue to recieve after signing up. We appreciate you so thanks

  • Hi Shane,

    What I want to see is good quality technical articles on how you got from situation A to situation B.

    I would like to see case studies on what you have done in the past and new projects.

    Basically, any information you can provide that can help a spare time blogger like myself become a full time blogger.

    Very importantly, be aware that what keeps me interested in your blog is the fact that you cut out the fluff and get to the point.

    Another IM expert that I follow and that I have a high opinion of is Lisa Parmley of Inline SEO. She blogs rarely, but when she does it is good technical information that I can apply to my situation.

    Another that I used to follow is the Viperchill blog. This blog started off as a good technical blog, but has now become a “look at how good I am” blog that no longer delivers any useful technical content. Therefore I have not followed this for some time.

  • Shane my responses to your two questions:

    01.) NO!

    02.) Income proof, again NO!.

    Instead I’d suggest you add a free monthly webinar for your subscribers where you cover the lastest best products (could of course include some product offerings) and/or updates on marketing changes/challenges/news/updates.

  • Hi Shane,

    I read your emails, when I can and have few of your products. Love the way you communicate. And I hope to get your response. The question is do you have a plug-in or could tell me how to make the arrows you use with the hand writing. I find it effective and would like to use them on my future sites.
    I would appreciate your response.
    Warm regards

    • Hi Alice,

      For the handwriting, I usually use the Segoe Script font. It was already installed on my system, so I assume it’s a fairly “standard” font.
      As for the arrows, I either draw them myself or use arrow graphics I find online. Just do a search for something like “free hand drawn arrows” and you’ll find plenty you can use. :)

  • Hi Shane,

    By disclosing your earnings you are giving so much more to us.

    However, I completely understand why it is hard to disclose what you earn as I have just done it too and it made me sick. Prior to that, I hated telling even my closest mates but it does add a whole lot of credibility.

    My guess is you will feel glad to have gotten it off your chest once you do. You should also rest assured that you are about the last person who needs to worry about people taking you the wrong way.

    Whatever you decide, please keep up the good stuff.


  • Thank you Shane.

    I will try it.

    About your question. I don’t think you should be showing your earnings. If you keep doing a great job,produce quality products, motivate your customers and still enjoy what are you doing than you are already credible. Showing your earnings could be intimidating to others. Furthermore you may appear arrogant to same people. On the end it is your choice. And that is only my opinion. But I wouldn’t do it. I guess people like how you present yourself, communicate, and what you deliver. Showing dollars is so not cool.

  • When blog networks were in, I would see your case study shared everywhere! More of the same would be great to pull in newbies without selling out. Not blog network case studies but that style of blog.

    Also, video is great and you do it well but sometimes I can’t view them because I consume content on my phone when I should be working my day job lol. I find that more people are willing to consume contextual content because of busy lifestyles ( they can “fast forward” to the action).

    If you can create a way to have menu style navi in videos I bet more people would be willing to stick around and at least check out table of content. I wish I had an easy solution to that problem and it could also be a great product for you to create! Some type of jump tag system with fluid integration and nice looking. It might even already exist and I don’t know about it. For this video I would tag “click here to watch me make it rain” or something like that.

    Overall, just maybe a better mix of contextual content for those readers and save video for those very important messages. Just my opinion.

  • Hi Shane,

    Your money throwing really sucks lol. You need to watch the start of this video to learn from a true pro :P

    Here’s my two cents! I absolutely believe that it is possible to share your income without coming off as a douche bag, particularly if like you, you’ve already established your reputation.

    I think too that if you’re fronting a blog about growing an online business/income, it’s pretty much a necessity that you provide some kind of proof to give people faith in you and also motivate them.

    Doing this doesn’t have to diminish your integrity in any way. I think Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income does it brilliantly. He’s not brash at all. He’s a super nice guy who posts a monthly income report which I imagine has very much helped the popularity of his blog and brought him to his $65K months. But he also provide great content.

    Chris Farrell doesn’t shy away from mentioning his $1 million day! And because he’s also a nice guy with useful content for his market, he doesn’t come across as a douche bag.

    Flaunting it ridiculously (like our friend in the video) is one pretty quick way to loose credibility but I’m 100% certain, if you go the ‘money motivation’ route, you’ll be far more tasteful :P

    • Thanks for your reply, Tracey! Those are actually some excellent “do” and “don’t” examples. I definitely want to go more in a Pat Flynn direction than a making-it-rain direction. :D

  • Love the message Shane.

    Although for me, I’m not too fussed about the money. I prefer to measure success by the relationships I build. My tech blog is fairly new and so building those relationships is a work in progress.

    I believe that the money follows as a natural step.

    Thanks for the great post though and will look forward to following your blog much more closely.

  • Hi,

    I’m a new subscriber to your blog, honestly, I don’t really care about how much you make or any of that. What I want to know are the tools you use to build your blog, the plugins you use, the plugins you recommend and anything else related to building a blog.

    I think most people don’t care what you make as long as you can deliver content that we (your readers) can go out an implement.

    As for ‘non-douchy’ ways to market yourself, just be authentic. Be real and you’ll get real results.

    Just my thoughts, thanks for letting me share.

    • Thank you for your feedback!
      It’s great to get input from a set of fresh eyes, as I think most of the comments are from people who’ve known me for a longer period of time.

  • Shane;
    It is not necessary to share financial numbers to demonstrate your qualifications and success in the subject mater you are discussing. However, it may be helpful to discuss the buildup to targets in terms of subscribers, mailing list, requests and the like. These factual numbers may prove helpful, informative and believable.

    As far as other non-douchy ways to demonstrate you know what your talking about; Have you ever heard of the principle of compensation? The principle of compensation states your earnings (value) is proportionate with the impact you have had on humanity. Those who have little impact have lower earnings, and those who have a greater impact (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs etc.) have greater earnings power. Accordingly, one can demonstrate the impact one has had and it becomes self evident the earnings follow. (A non-douchy way of demonstrating your value.) This is most easily accomplished via testimonials. Third party edification.

    Hope this gives you value. I have enjoyed my first exposure to your information and am looking forward to exchanging some of my value for yours. (my money for your knowledge)

  • I think you could prove your expertise by doing more things like webinars where you show how awesome you are. For example, the webinar you did with Ana Hoffman was fantastic. More of that would be sweet.

    Also, you could do more things like opt-in clinics which have been freaking amazing.

    Those two things combined really show your expertise.

    Those are my thoughts.

    • Thank you very much, Iain! I agree that I have to start doing more webinars again. For a while, I did a training webinar of some sort every month or so. Just got sidetracked with other stuff, I guess.

      • We all get sidetracked. It happens to the best of us.

        I look forward to your next webinar.:D

  • Too much fluff and you lose me. I haven’t spent time on SPI for several months. He was distracted by blog expo world and writing his book and the site was pretty pointless for several months.

    Viperchill’s posts are just too long. He promises good info but I’ve never been aptly rewarded for the time I have spent digging through the blog.

    I like income proof… for a specific project.

    Keep up the great work! Q

  • Shane,

    First off—I think your site and your content is AMAZING! I’ve seen a ton of material from different Internet marketers and I put your stuff at the very top. Numero uno.

    For me personally, I would have to say that I’m not big on having to see the numbers behind a business. First of all, I tend to judge people (their honesty, integrity, how much they care to help, etc.) from a “gut level” and I judge their content from their ability to help and spark new ideas. So, although it may help with other viewers/readers—I can see it where it may help grow your site—I’m already “convinced” about the value you give.

    It’s funny because another IMer I highly respect and appreciate is Pat Flynn, but for me, his monthly publication of his earnings is somewhat of a turn-off. I totally understand why he does it, but I still have a bit of trouble getting past how self-centered it can sometimes seem. And yet, I know Pat isn’t that way at all—he’s there to help, just like you.

    As far as how to demonstrate “proof”, for me it mostly comes from the quality of the content and products you put out. I’m able to judge your offerings in comparison to what else is out there in the marketplace, as well as to how it stands up to what I already know. This is far more tangible to me than monetary figures, which anyone can potentially fake.

    In other words, I don’t NEED to see Pat’s numbers because I ALREADY trust his expertise. And I don’t NEED to see your numbers because I ALREADY trust you. A bunch of numbers can’t prove anything to me. But what I see and what I read can.

    As far as less “douchey” ways to prove your expertise, besides what I’ve mentioned already, I always look at someone’s experience and background from their About page. And again, your product development and support says a lot about you.

    I personally don’t feel the need to see you in photos with Frank Kern or other “Gooroos” (as Kim Roach likes to call them), or showing off your new Lamborghini. For me, that kind of stuff fosters doubt and insecurity, and just separates you more from your audience.

    I hope this helps in some small way.

    Here’s a strong vote for you to stay on the road you’ve been traveling!

    By the way—LOVED the ending of your video!

    All the best,

    David Coleman

    • Thank you very much, David!

      I see what you mean about going with your gut. And really, those who judge me purely by my content are probably the right people for me, anyway.

  • Mike Parnelly says:

    I would say that because you are such a straight, no-nonsense marketer, you don’t need proof of income beyond saying “I made this amount doing this within this time frame and by doing this”, and so on.

    I arrived at the awareness of your genuineness rather quickly, and I don’t frequent any of the most “popular” bloggers’ sites, or comment, because I’m just too busy and I don’t really care about what many of them have to say.

    But you? I do care and I do visit – and see, I’m even spending some of my time making a comment!

    So I would just say be yourself and carry on.

    I do think some case studies about your business/marketing methods would be really interesting, of course! But I already see you as someone I want to keep up with, and you are only the 2nd blogger/marketer I’ve felt that way about from the time I’ve been doing this Internet Marketing thing, since 2005.


  • For me, I visit because your presence and content resonate with and are useful to me. Don’t need to see numbers, unless it is a relevant part of a how-to (like your six figure initial product offering info). Otherwise, I merely wish to receive your knowledge and expertise (and sometimes buy your packaged expertise AKA stuff for sale). PS. Loved the hilarious end outtakes, too. Nice to see you joking around, though I enjoy your more serious presentation style, too.

  • Hi Shane, first of all, thank you very much for the quality of the content you share. I don’t comment a lot on your blog because my mother-tongue is not english. However, what I read on your blog was always valuable and I learnt a lot each time, even if I’m not a beginner. I love the way you share content. You are focused on the value you want to share and I really appreciate that you don’t spend time in sharing useless things, such as how many $ you won with this strategy or how many visitors you got with this tip.

    Don’t be afraid to be different. Just keep your level of quality and continue to share high-quality content as you already do.

    One suggestion that could increase your authority would be to get some interviews with famous persons in your area. This would allow you to learn new things, extend your network and proof your expertise in a clever way that would also bring real value to your visitors.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing & greetings from Switzerland.

  • Over a 3 year period I have seen many IM style blogs. 98% of them are either ego boosting platforms or created by people who are pretending to be knowledgeable. It honestly took me a year to find someone I could watch, build trust with and believe in. Sorry Shane but that wasn’t you. I do follow your work now of course but the person who made me believe was a guy called Spencer Hawes who has a product called Longtail Pro, which is similar to SEO cockpit.
    He built two sites as case studies from scratch and showed both the costs and the money they generated. He didn’t hide anything and you could tell from his voice alone that he was genuine and backed this up with proof.

    Until then I had watched and listened to many Marketers, seen all their cars, what beach they were on, their model girlfriends and the fact that they could help a 76 year old person living on the street make $176,393.90 in just 7 days from a coffee shop :-)

    Since watching your information here and also at Swiss Made Marketing I have bought several of your themes and plug-ins, simply because they are great quality.

    Many other marketers seem genuine but they are just real scammers. they tell you about 75% of the story before you get the product, and then when you do, you realise that there is so much more to buy. I am more than happy to name these people but don’t want to have this comment unapproved.

    All of them had popular blogs but I never stayed with any of them. I now only subscribe to three, which are this one, Swiss Made and Spencers. I have spent money with them all both one-offs and recurring simply because they are high quality and really helpful products. You know that when you share information that it is well thought out as is the case with people like Reto Stuber and Sam Hani. The fact that they share this information for free is simply a joy and especially when I was starting out.

    Change nothing and over time your blog will grow and you will have the type of people that you want.

    One final point that is worth considering is that it may be a better idea if other “normal people” could testify how buying one of your products helped them earn consistent and good monthly income online.

    • Thank you very much, Enda! I’m honored to be part of your small circle of trusted sources. :)

      I agree that I could do a better job of collecting testimonials and giving my clients a chance to report their experience with my products.

  • Mary Greene says:

    Shane, we certainly value your integrity, innovation, quality, and hard work. But I am in business to make a profit, so I’m curious about whether the high road has been profitable. As long as you run a simple sales/marketing business, I am interested in your expenses and revenue.

    However, unlike most blogs publishers sharing revenue figures, you’re at a crossroads in your business, not just your blog. Your more complex software development projects like the Thrive themes and plug-ins are pushing your company to expand into separate operations, development, and marketing departments.

    Isn’t your big decision whether you will separate those functions and grow into a much larger company? If so, you will expand your audience from solopreneurs to consulting with B2B lead-generating posts and videos, much like MindValley.

    Here’s a thought-provoking video from Daniel Marcos, who consulted for MindValley during their big expansion from personal growth to B2B:

    All the best,
    Mary Greene

    • Thank you for your comment, Mary!

      Unfortunately, I can’t get this video to load… perhaps there’s an issue on the MindValley site at the moment? I’ll try again later.

      To answer a couple of your points:

      1) I’ve definitely left the solopreneur path behind. However, one thing that has always stayed the same is my lean approach to business. Whether it’s an info product I create all by my lonesome or a software company like Thrive Themes, I’ve always launched businesses with no outside funding and with minimal up-front investments from my part. I think that’s the unifying factor, so far. I don’t know if I ever want to expand into B2B related topics on this blog.

      2) The high road has been profitable enough. I have no doubt that I could have made more money, if money had been my only focus. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, it’s quite clear that I could have jumped on the $2,000 info-product bandwagon a couple of years ago. I don’t know if I would have managed to put together a multi-million Dollar product launch, but I could certainly have doubled or tripled my profits by doing a high-ticket, high-hype product launch like this. And apart from that, there are also many other opportunities that I gladly passed up.
      However, my business has been profitable enough to allow me to live location independently, live in really nice apartments in various countries in the past few years, buy a car and drive it all over Europe, etc.
      I’m certainly not living the jet-set lifestyle, but neither do I have any desire to do so. I’m very happy that I was able to do work I enjoyed, keep a clear conscience and pay the bills. :)

  • hi Shane, i would checkout a guy called mike thomas from he normally gives like a monthly run down of how his income that month was X and his exspences were Y

    So he is taking the douchbaggary out of income reports.

    • Ah yes, I know Mike. I’ve been featured once on his site and will probably be again in the near future (for an upcoming product launch). :)

  • I must say that how you create content and answer question is not always the most popular answer always. I must say that this is what I am looking for because you do not add all the fluff that most people are doing out there. Keep up the great content.

    • Thank you for your comment, Darin! I’m happy to know that you appreciate the type of content I tend to create. :

  • Paul Voorberg says:

    Hey Shane! I like your blog just the way it is! And I can see how you created TCB, which I love… It’s the same kind of no BS software / just straight up quality as you blog. Keep it that way… Your software is your proof to me and why I looked up and started reading your blog.

    About emotional vs straight to the point, I really prefer straight to the point… I hate it when people start talking fluff, just talk about the meat and don’t waste my time with fluffy nonsense I always think. I just stopped following videofruit for that exact reason actually, just too much talk before getting to the point for me…

    • Thanks for your comment, Paul! It might be that emotional appeal will get a wider audience but also turn off some people. I’m not about to start fluffing everything up, anyway. It’s just not in my nature.

  • Shane, I am put off by mentors showing cheques of abazillion dollars as it seems unattainable and works as a demotivating factor rather than motivation. Real stats on increases after certain things are done are valuable. From your site there’s enough to show that you know what you’re talking about and there’s enough around to show that you’ve made $$$$. For a person learning (I’m a totally green newbie) the metrics of what has the greatest increase in # of people on a list, or conversions, or optins is valuable.

    Having said that, I particularly like Pat Flynn’s openness and transparency and declaration of his income streams each month. It might just be curiosity rather than really valuable.

    I like your stripped down approach + some humour. No waste plus spirit talks to me, thank you.

  • Hi Shane, I know this blog is from 2012, but I just wanted to say, don’t try to change who you are!

    I can tell that you’re a lot like me: perfectionistic, like to improve on things, like to get to the point, systematise, strategise and do things properly. These are the very traits that have made you successful!

    People in your personal life probably tell you that you’re too blunt/arrogant, that you need to chill out and learn to relate to people better etc. Don’t listen to them!

    If you consistently present yourself to the world in this bold, to the point way, people will start to expect it from you and like this about you. If you go chameleon on us, that is when people are going to start criticising you for not being how they expect you to be from one minute to the next.

    As for you presenting income reports, why not? Transparency does not have to mean bragging. You could do case studies on each of your individual business ventures and their income. I’m sure this would be very popular. It doesn’t have to be about you or your personal income.


  • Hi Shane,
    I don’t think you should try to be someone you’re not. I like your style because your not about flash, your about great Internet Marketing advice.
    I’m a subscriber to Thrive Themes and am in the process of getting a site set up with your products. I personally don’t need to know how much you’re making in order to be persuaded to learn from you. In my opinion, what you’re doing now is effective enough for me.

  • Mary Greene says:

    Ignoring numbers seems odd for any product creator, service provider, businessperson, or engineer. Numbers measure whatever one particular entrepreneur considers important.

    I want to see metrics measuring mutual success: lifetime customer value, retention, responsiveness.

    Thanks for asking, Shane.

  • I just got on your homepage and watched the welcome video. I fastforwarded to see why I would stay on this blog. The video was 4 minutes of talk about you. (well intended maybe).

    Now this blog is also about you. Maybe there is a pattern?

    All the best

  • Shane,
    Just a heads up. I am using windows X laptop, video is not showing, However there are some comment hashes at the end of the space where it is supposed to show ” // “. Not sure what happened, but by the comments, it looks like there was some good feedback at least.

    • Thank you for pointing it out, Jeff! Not sure what happened there, but I replaced the embed code for the video and it should be working again, now. :)

  • Karl Freitag says:

    Specifics sell. Generalities don’t. The more specific you are, the better. So please share numbers.

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