Tag Archive | "Built"

We Built the Data Platform For AI To Enable Safe Self-Driving Cars, Says Scale AI CEO

“What we’ve done at Scale is built the data platform for AI,” says Scale AI’s 22-year-old CEO, Alexandr Wang. “AI is really built on top of data and these algorithms require billions and billions of examples of labeled data to be able to perform in a safe or reliable way. What we’ve done is built a platform that allows these companies to get the data they need to be able to build these algorithms in a safe and reliable way. Then they use the data to build their self-driving cars.”

Alexandr Wang, Scale AI co-founder and CEO, discusses how his company has built the data platform for AI that enables safe and reliable autonomous vehicles. Wang was interviewed on Bloomberg Technology.

We Built the Data Platform For AI To Enable Safe Autonomous Vehicles

What we’ve done at Scale is built the data platform for AI. AI is really built on top of data and these algorithms require billions and billions of examples of labeled data to be able to perform in a safe or reliable way. What we’ve done is built a platform that allows these companies to get the data they need to be able to build these algorithms in a safe and reliable way. Then they use the data to build their self-driving cars. I think it’s very exciting that all these companies have really incredible technology and it’s getting better and better every single year. We’re really getting closer and closer to solving the problem. 

One of the big problems in machine learning is perception, being able to fully understand the environment around you using machine learning. So we process a lot of image data, LIDAR data, radar data, map data, etc. for some of these companies. Then for other companies, we process tax data or tabular data or speech data. The work we do is critical to building safe autonomous vehicles, for example, because without the data that we’re able to provide to these companies they actually wouldn’t even be able to build algorithms that could perform in any manner that is safe and reliable. 

AI Is Really About Augmenting Humans With Technology

AI is really about augmenting humans with technology and making them more effective and more efficient using technology. In particular, I think for a lot of the problems that we work on where AI plays a really critical role in self-driving or medical imagery, etc., you really want to make sure that humans are a part of the process to ensure that these systems are performing very safely and reliably. 

One view that we really take in is, how do we solve this in the most tech-enabled way as possible? How do we use as much machine learning and technology on our side to make the process as efficient and high quality as possible? That’s a very differentiated view actually. Many of these other efforts are much more human-powered than technology powered.

You Don’t Need a Degree To Be Able To Accomplish Your Goals

I was really lucky I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, but after high school, I was lucky to be able to come out here to the Valley to work as a software engineer. That really exposed me to a lot of these problems where AI and machine learning are really core. I went back to school for a year and then after that year at school, I dropped out and started this company.

I think if you know what you want to do, more and more these days, you don’t need a degree to be able to accomplish what you need to do. I think people care a lot more about what can you accomplish and what are your skills.

We Built the Data Platform For AI To Enable Safe Self-Driving Cars, Says Scale AI CEO Alexandr Wang

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution Will Be Built on 5G, Says Verizon CEO

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg says that 5G is much more than just your typical mobile network speed improvement. 5G is a transformative technology that will power the Fourth Industrial Revolution and dramatically change society in the process. Like the three Industrial Revolution’s before this one, the innovations that are enabled by 5G are what will define this technology advancement.

Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon, explains at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas how 5G is core to the next era of technology transformation:

5G Will Change Everything

Last year Verizon launched the first 5G network with 5G Home. There is so much to come from 5G this year and the years to come. 5G will change everything. The pace of technology change that we have seen in the last decade has been fast. The only thing we know for sure is that the pace of change is going to be faster in the future. We are going to see technology changes that are going to transform people, businesses, and society.

We are facing multiple challenges on this earth, our daily work life, things around us, climate change, and we are heading into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Think about all of these challenges and the Fourth Industrial Revolution together with 5G. Together with all the new technology acronyms like VR, AR, AI, and more. All of that together is really what we are talking about when it comes to the technology change that is inevitable that we are going to see in the future.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Will Be Built on 5G

For us here we are on the cloud. It’s really to see that we are using this change and shape it in a direction that is actually transforming and doing good. The next area of technology advancement is going to be built on 5G. Most importantly, this is a different industrial revolution. The first one was the steam engine. The second one was electricity and the third one was digitization. All of them have a general purpose technology as a base. Then you innovated tremendously on it.

The steam engine, of course, on steamboats connecting continents, trade resulting. Electricity changed everything. Then of course, with digitalization that brought out all the PC computers, the internet and all of that. These were enormous transformations. The general technology for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is actually the total connectivity that 5G can bring. That’s what I see as a huge opportunity for all of us and our society to use in the next era of technology transformation.

5G is a Quantum Leap Compared to 4G

So what is 5G? 5G is a promise of so much than just an increase in wireless technology. From the beginning we had the 1G, the 2G, the 3G, and then the 4G. They were sort of leaps of differences when it comes to speed and throughput. When we think about 5G we think about 10 gigabits per second for throughput. We think about 10x improvement in latency. We think about 1,000 times more data volume to the network. It’s just radically different. It’s a quantum leap compared to 4G.

We have already done some real type of examples. We had an Indianapolis 500 driver that had blacked out windows driving extremely fast with 5G. Latency was so low you could actually drive it.

Those type of things require innovation. Innovation requires a lot of different people and constituencies working with us. When I think about technology I also think a lot about how that can do good for our society. We are entering an era of more challenging things around the world and technology is one of the most important things that can transform it and make it sustainable. At Verizon, we call that human ability. We coined that word because we think about the human in the middle of technology to do right.

The Eight Currencies of 5G

When I think about 5G one of the big differences when we started developing 5G it was thought about giving a new type of solution for industry and for society. Ultimately consumers will have it. The capabilities of earlier wireless technology usually have speed and throughput assets as a different capability. We have eight capabilities in 5G. I call them the eight currencies.

The Eight Currencies of 5G

With the eight currencies of 5G you can do a service on them, you can monetize on them, you can build on them. This is very different than any previous wireless technology. There’s the Peak Data Rate and Mobile Data Volume, but it’s also the Mobility. It’s also how many Connected Devices that you can have. It’s Energy Efficiency and Service Deployment. And then, of course, it’s Reliability and Latency. There are eight currencies that 5G can give to the user. Whether it’s a device, a person, or an industry, that depends on how we are going to innovate on that.

It’s important that we have already started on a journey. Verizon started years ago to start building a network because you need a lot of fiber and you need a lot of dense networks to build these eight currencies. You need real estate to do mobile edge compute. Not only that you need spectrum. In some cases you need millimeter wave spectrum that is giving you enormous throughput and bandwidth.

Peak Rate and Thoughput

What I’m excited about is what innovation can we do on this currency? Let’s talk about the currencies that we have here. The Peak Rate and the Throughput are extremely important when it comes to doing things with speed. The first thing that comes to mind is how quickly can you download a movie on 5G. Today on 4G it takes 3 to 4 minutes with a 90-minute movie. It’s going to take you 10 seconds when you have ultra-wideband. So that’s a use case, but that’s really to limit yourself with what you can do with it.

There’s so much more that you can do when you have that type of Speed and Throughput. It’s a quantum leap compared to what we have today. It’s about rethinking how you can use the increased speed and throughput when you talk about speed at 10 gigabits per second and throughput probably 1000 times more than today. I’m excited about those two currencies, but there are other currencies.

Mobility and Connected Devices

Two other currencies are Mobility and Connected Devices. Mobility or mobile connections, that’s how it’s actually measured in speed. In a 4G network today you can basically capture a radio signal up to 350 kilometers per hour. In 5G it’s roughly 500 kilometers per hour. Why does that matter? Think about high speed trains. Think about things that are going to move extremely fast in the future that are going to bring efficient transportation. With 5G you can captures that.

When it comes to IoT and Connected Devices, one of the limitations of wireless technology today is that you can roughly connect 100,000 devices per square kilometer with 4G. With 5G you can do 1 million. Suddenly you can have massive IoT in order to transform big cities, industry, or behaviours where we need to address challenges that we have today. These two currencies are also very different and address different business cases.

Service Deployment and Energy Efficiency

Let’s talk about two other currencies or capabilities, Service Deployment and Energy Efficiency. Service Deployment is a little hard to explain, but what it’s really about if flexible service deployment where you can match your software with specific customer needs. Think about if you want to do a virtual classroom with five different cities and you want them to have the same software. Today on the 4G network that would take me weeks or even months.

The promise of 5G is that can go down to minutes where we can spin the new service based on the software demands of the customer. These are enormous changes. We just need to think how can we innovate on that?

Now there is of course Energy Efficiency. Here the world is facing the challenges of climate change and our industry needs to think about all of the equipment we are using and that everything we are using is improving how much CO2 we are doing. There are a lot of things coming out but we just need to continue and we need to do that collectively.

5G is promising to reduce up to 90 percent of the power usage that we have with 4G. This is about making the Fourth Industrial Revolution a positive change. The first and second industrial revolutions produced a lot of CO2 emissions because they were the steam engines and electricity. Here we have a chance together to actually power and uniquely address those two as well.

Latency and Reliability

The last two currencies are Latency and Reliability. On the latency side today in the mobile networks we can get to 100 milliseconds or 50 milliseconds. In 5G we will go down to 10 milliseconds. Why is that important? Everything realtime, AR, VR, needs to come down to at least 20 milliseconds in order to avoid delays. There are so many other use cases you can do as well.

Latency and Reliability are very important in the network. It comes down to how we can innovate. It’s just so dramatic how much difference with what you can do things with 5G than with the previous technology cycles.

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Tom Woods: How This History Scholar Leverages His Libertarian Podcast To Reach A Massive Audience And Built A 7-Figure Business Selling Books And Courses

 [ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] Today’s podcast interview features a fellow podcaster, Tom Woods, the host of the Tom Woods Show, a libertarian podcast. In case you’re not sure what libertarianism is, here’s a brief explanation thanks to wikipedia: “Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and […]

The post Tom Woods: How This History Scholar Leverages His Libertarian Podcast To Reach A Massive Audience And Built A 7-Figure Business Selling Books And Courses appeared first on Yaro.Blog.

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Google: Highest-Capacity Undersea Cable Ever Built is Online

Google announced that the 60Tbps long-haul undersea fibre optic cable from the US to Japan that it invested in has come online as of today, June 30, 2016. The Google Cloud itself will have access to up to 10Tbps (Terabits per second) of the cable’s total 60Tbps bandwidth. This bandwidth will power Google Apps and their Cloud Platform. According to the Google Cloud team “customers will run at the speed of light with this new FASTER undersea pipe.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.33.57 AM

“This is the highest-capacity undersea cable ever built — about ten million times faster than your average cable modem — and we’re beaming light through it starting today,” commented Alan Chin-Lun Cheung of Google Submarine Networking Infrastructure. “This is especially exciting, as we prepare to launch a new Google Cloud Platform East Asia region in Tokyo later this year.”

The new undersea cable system, announced in August 2014, was funded and built by a consortium of internet companies including Google, Singtel, China Telecom Global, KDDI and China Mobile International. The group partnered with NEC to build the cable which came to be known as FASTER for obvious reasons. “From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, ‘faster, Faster and FASTER’, and at one point it became the project name and today it becomes a reality,” said Hiromitsu Todokoro, Chairman of the FASTER Management Committee. “This is the outcome of six members’ collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC’s support.”

                                      Give us your comments!

“The completion of the FASTER cable system will provide capacity to support the expected four-fold increase in broadband traffic demand between Asia and North America,” stated Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President, Carrier Services of Singtel Group Enterprises. “By adding network redundancy and ultra-low latency to our existing trans-Pacific cable systems, it reinforces our leadership in international data services in the region and enhances our infrastructure to support our customers’ critical data traffic.”

“With a state-of-the-art design, the cable system provides continuous connectivity and sufficiently high capacity for cloud, video streaming, analytics and the Internet of Things, that will help spur innovation on both sides of the Pacific to stimulate the growth of the digital economy,” he added.

NEC’s OCC Factory made the state-of-the-art cables that power the FASTER connectivity system. Check out how they are made below:

FASTER is the only trans-pacific cable line capable of delivering speeds up to 60 terabits per second using a six-fibre pair cable, according to NEC. “FASTER is the first trans-Pacific submarine cable system designed from day one to support digital coherent transmission technology, using optimized fibers throughout the submarine portion. The combination of extremely low loss fiber, without a dispersion compensation section, and the latest digital signal processor, which compensates for the huge amount of cumulative dispersion at the end of the cable, enable this six-fiber pair cable to deliver 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific.”

The FASTER Cable System is a 9,000km trans-Pacific cable that lands in Oregon in the United States and has two landing points in Japan, Chiba and Mie prefectures. FASTER connect to all of the major hubs on the West Coast via system extensions including Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. Additionally, FASTER will be connecting to neighboring cable systems extends that will allow it to bring high-speed internet access to many other nations in Asia.

“This was the first trans-Pacific submarine cable built solely by NEC Corporation, employing the latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology. We are honored that the consortium entrusted us to build FASTER. Although we faced many challenges during the construction, I am truly glad that we were able to overcome these and to welcome this day,” said Kenichi Yoneyama, Project Manager for FASTER at NEC’s Submarine Network Division. “This epoch-making cable will not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region.”

                                   Join the discussion here.


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Kate McKibbin: How This Aussie Fashionista Successfully Built Two Six-Figure Blogs

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] Kate McKibbin is a blogger from Australia and runs two six-figure blogs, which means she makes over $ 100,000 a year from each. Her website Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily is a fashion blog and she also runs Secret…

The post Kate McKibbin: How This Aussie Fashionista Successfully Built Two Six-Figure Blogs appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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A Business Built Around Mentoring Fledgling Lawyers

hero's journey - helping lawyers get a strong start

Some of the best businesses are built when an entrepreneur wants to right a wrong, and today’s story is a perfect example.

As a young lawyer himself, Chris Hargreaves saw that budding lawyers were thrown into the profession with little-to-no support. They were expected to figure things out for themselves, and as a result, took longer to get up to speed with their field.

And that was bad — for their clients, their employers, and their own careers.

Chris’s story is this month’s Hero’s Journey feature. We’re tapping the collective wisdom of our community members to bring you reports from the front lines of the content marketing world. Read all the Hero’s Journey posts here.

Now let’s hear Chris explain what he does in his own words.

Moonlighting as a mentor

Chris Hargreaves: By day I’m a full-time lawyer, but by night (and lunchtimes, early mornings, bus trips, and any other minutes I’m not attending to my wife and kids) I create media at Tips For Lawyers.

I help train young lawyers in the essential skills that are largely forgotten by university education. I genuinely care about the development of young lawyers — for their sake, for the sake of their employers, and for the sake of their clients.

Often what these young lawyers learn is ‘how it’s always been done’ — which is a terrible reason to do something the dumb way, but something that lawyers are renowned for.

The result? Their questions go unanswered, their issues go untouched, and their stresses go unaddressed.

I believe that the legal practice doesn’t have to be a stagnate cesspool of cynicism and ego. It can be seen as something people aspire towards, look up to, and give one of their most valuable assets to — their trust.

Hopefully people see that in the way I present, interact, and engage with them. That might not be unique in all circles, but it is among this profession.

A compassionate reality check

Chris Hargreaves: A few years ago, I observed that most new lawyers had no Earthly idea what it’s like to be a lawyer in practice.

Instead, they had created a lovely little story in their heads about what life was going to be like once they graduated from law school: full of money, long lunches, clients who pay bills, and an orderly, sophisticated professional life.

That story bears little resemblance to the reality.

So I wrote an ebook.

Of course, then I realized I didn’t have anyone to sell the ebook to, and I had exhausted my personal contacts within about 34 seconds.

Coming off of that experience, I decided I should actually figure out what I’m doing and learn how to go about building a business ‘on the side.’

First stop: iTunes. I began trawling through the business podcasts, gradually realizing that there is a whole world of digital business people who aren’t in snake oil sales.

I began listening to Pat Flynn’s podcast, Smart Passive Income. From there, I went down the rabbit hole of online business and sifted the wheat from the chaff in terms of who I liked to learn from and be inspired by, and who I didn’t.

After seeing just how easy it is to build a website these days (last time I did it, it was not easy), I started Tips for Lawyers.

Then I saw the potential it had, in terms of building a tribe. As I expanded into more and more ventures (videos, podcasts, courses), I recognized that there was a real need among young professionals for the type of mentoring and guidance I offered many of my younger colleagues in person already.

And that’s what I do.

How to manage your expectations and clarify your most-important goal

Chris Hargreaves: It turns out that I am prone to dramatically overestimating how many of “Thing X” I’m actually likely to sell.

See, the issue is this: lawyers don’t like to part with their money. It’s a fairly challenging market, because I’m on an uphill battle from the very beginning.

Most recently, I experienced this with my first membership site launch: the Lawyers’ Academy. It was slow, tedious, and very disappointing from the outset.

I frequently want to give up when I realize how hard this is. After all, I’ve got a decent job that I enjoy, so why put myself through the added burden?

It also annoys me a bit to be honest, because I know what I’m offering is valuable. I want to take some people by the shoulders and shake them into realizing just how much better they could be.

When I tell you how I solved this issue, I could talk about my launch process, email funnels, opt-in magnets, marketing automation, Facebook ads, trial and error, and split-testing. I could mention trying to use language that resonates, or maybe just my charming smile.

But all of those things are secondary.

What I discovered is that it’s really about building trust.

Lawyers and law students don’t like to part with their money, but they will if they trust you.

As a lawyer, a big part of my job is to build trust, and so I place a premium on it.

As much as humanly possible, I try to ensure that my interactions with everyone are friendly, helpful, and useful. Ultimately, that builds trust on each occasion.

Gradually, the people I have built relationships with over time came to the party and joined up.

A new focus that made all the difference

Chris Hargreaves: It’s comforting to have a target, even if it is a nebulous one — build enough trust with my audience to convince them that it’s worth taking a risk on my paid products.

With a focus on trust, I can refine all of my content (free and paid) around that fundamental goal.

Obviously, I’m also glad that I didn’t waste dozens of hours on the Academy. It got less members than my rose-colored-glasses prediction but more than my “this isn’t worth the effort” bottom line.

The content library effect strikes again

Chris Hargreaves: At the risk of admitting that Copyblogger was right, I’ve had surprising success with the content library opt-in model, in terms of conversions.

Of course, I added an evil pop-up into the process that does fairly well, but I genuinely thought my email sign-ups would go down because of the higher barrier to entry. Instead, they’ve gone up.

Which Rainmaker Digital products do you use, and how do you use them?

Chris Hargreaves: My main site, Tips for Lawyers, runs on the Rainmaker Platform. That’s where you’ll find my blog posts, podcasts, courses, and membership site.

I use the content library as an opt-in, and I imagine I’ll soon transition to using the built-in email marketing as well.

Beyond that, I also have the StudioPress Pro Plus Pack, which is my starting point when I build any new sites I create (my latest is AModernProfessional.com, where I feed my inner nerd a bit more than I can at Tips for Lawyers).

How Chris is building on his initial success

Chris Hargreaves: My focus is to:

  • Make the Lawyers’ Academy successful with ecstatic members who generate a few life-changing testimonials
  • Expand into different revenue models, including a bit of affiliate marketing
  • Create three to five books
  • Add a few more targeted courses

Find Chris Hargreaves online …

Thanks to Chris for appearing in our Hero’s Journey series.

We’ll be back next month with another story to teach, inspire, and encourage you along your journey.

About the author

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is Executive Vice President of Educational Content at Rainmaker Digital. Follow her on Twitter, and find more from her at BigBrandSystem.com.

The post A Business Built Around Mentoring Fledgling Lawyers appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Kate McKibbin: How This Aussie Fashionista Successfully Built Two Six-Figure Blogs

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ] Kate McKibbin is a blogger from Australia and runs two six-figure blogs, which means she makes over $ 100,000 a year from each. Her website Drop Dead Gorgeous Daily is a fashion blog and she also runs Secret…

The post Kate McKibbin: How This Aussie Fashionista Successfully Built Two Six-Figure Blogs appeared first on Entrepreneurs-Journey.com.

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Why the Links You’ve Built Aren’t Helping Your Page Rank Higher – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Link building can be incredibly effective, but sometimes a lot of effort can go into earning links with absolutely no improvement in rankings. Why? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows us four things we should look at in these cases, help us hone our link building skills and make the process more effective.

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard. Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

Why the Links You've Built to That Page Aren't Helping it Move up the Rankings Whiteboard

Video transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about why link building sometimes fails.

So I’ve got an example here. I’m going to do a search for artificial sweeteners. Let’s say I’m working for these guys, ScienceMag.org. Well, this is actually in position 10. I put it in position 3 here, but I see that I’m position 10. I think to myself, “Man, if I could get higher up on this page, that would be excellent. I’ve already produced the content. It’s on my domain. Like, Google seems to have indexed it fine. It’s performing well enough to perform on page one, granted at the bottom of page one, for this competitive query. Now I want to move my rankings up.”

So a lot of SEOs, naturally and historically, for a long time have thought, “I need to build more links to that page. If I can get more links pointing to this page, I can move up the rankings.” Granted, there are some other ways to do that too, and we’ve discussed those in previous Whiteboard Fridays. But links are one of the big ones that people use.

I think one of the challenges that we encounter is sometimes we invest that effort. We go through the process of that outreach campaign, talking to bloggers and other news sites and looking at where our link sources are coming from and trying to get some more of those. It just doesn’t seem to do anything. The link building appears to fail. It’s like, man, I’ve got all these nice links and no new results. I didn’t move up at all. I am basically staying where I am, or maybe I’m even falling down. Why is that? Why does link building sometimes work so well and so clearly and obviously, and sometimes it seems to do nothing at all?

What are some possible reasons link acquisition efforts may not be effective?

Oftentimes if you get a fresh set of eyes on it, an outside SEO perspective, they can do this audit, and they’ll walk through a lot of this stuff and help you realize, “Oh yeah, that’s probably why.” These are things that you might need to change strategically or tactically as you approach this problem. But you can do this yourself as well by looking at why a link building campaign, why a link building effort, for a particular page, might not be working.

1) Not the right links

First one, it’s not the right links. Not the right links, I mean a wide range of things, even broader than what I’ve listed here. But a lot of times that could mean low domain diversity. Yeah, you’re getting new links, but they’re coming from all the same places that you always get links from. Google, potentially, maybe views that as not particularly worthy of moving you up the rankings, especially around competitive queries.

It might be trustworthiness of source. So maybe they’re saying “Yeah, you got some links, but they’re not from particularly trustworthy places.” Tied into that maybe we don’t think or we’re sure that they’re not editorial. Maybe we think they’re paid, or we think they’re promotional in some way rather than being truly editorially given by this independent resource.

They might not come from a site or from a page that has the authority that’s necessary to move you up. Again, particularly for competitive queries, sometimes low-value links are just that. They’re not going to move the needle, especially not like they used to three, four, five or six years ago, where really just a large quantity of links, even from diverse domains, even if they were crappy links on crappy pages on relatively crappy or unknown websites would move the needle, not so much anymore. Google is seeing a lot more about these things.

Where else does the source link to? Is that source pointing to other stuff that is potentially looking manipulative to Google and so they discounted the outgoing links from that particular domain or those sites or those pages on those sites?

They might look at the relevance and say, “Hey, you know what? Yeah, you got linked to by some technology press articles. That doesn’t really have anything to do with artificial sweeteners, this topic, this realm, or this region.” So you’re not getting the same result. Now we’ve shown that off-topic links can oftentimes move the rankings, but in particular areas and in health, in fact, may be one of those Google might be more topically sensitive to where the links are coming from than other places.

Location on page. So I’ve got a page here and maybe all of my links are coming from a bunch of different domains, but it’s always in the right sidebar and it’s always in this little feed section. So Google’s saying, “Hey, that’s not really an editorial endorsement. That’s just them showing all the links that come through your particular blog feed or a subscription that they’ve got to your content or whatever it is promotionally pushing out. So we’re not going to count it that way.” Same thing a lot of times with footer links. Doesn’t work quite as well. If you’re being honest with yourself, you really want those in content links. Generally speaking, those tend to perform the best.

Or uniqueness. So they might look and they might say, “Yeah, you’ve got a ton of links from people who are republishing your same article and then just linking back to it. That doesn’t feel to us like an editorial endorsement, and so we’re just going to treat those copies as if those links didn’t exist at all.” But the links themselves may not actually be the problem. I think this can be a really important topic if you’re doing link acquisition auditing, because sometimes people get too focused on, “Oh, it must be something about the links that we’re getting.” That’s not always the case actually.

2) Not the right content

Sometimes it’s not the right content. So that could mean things like it’s temporally focused versus evergreen. So for different kinds of queries, Google interprets the intent of the searchers to be different. So it could be that when they see a search like “artificial sweeteners,” they say, “Yeah, it’s great that you wrote this piece about this recent research that came out. But you know what, we’re actually thinking that searchers are going to want in the top few results something that’s evergreen, that contains all the broad information that a searcher might need around this particular topic.”

That speaks to it might not answer the searchers questions. You might think, “Well, I’m answering a great question here.” The problem is, yeah you’re answering one. Searchers may have many questions that they’re asking around a topic, and Google is looking for something comprehensive, something that doesn’t mean a searcher clicks your result and then says, “Well, that was interesting, but I need more from a different result.” They’re looking for the one true result, the one true answer that tells them, “Hey, this person is very happy with these types of results.”

It could be poor user experience causing people to bounce back. That could be speed things, UI things, layout things, browser support things, multi-device support things. It might not use language formatting or text that people or engines can interpret as on the topic. Perhaps this is way over people’s heads, far too scientifically focused, most searchers can’t understand the language, or the other way around. It’s a highly scientific search query and a very advanced search query and your language is way dumbed down. Google isn’t interpreting that as on-topic. All the Hummingbird and topic modeling kind of things that they have say this isn’t for them.

Or it might not match expectations of searchers. This is distinct and different from searchers’ questions. So searchers’ questions is, “I want to know how artificial sweeteners might affect me.” Expectations might be, “I expect to learn this kind of information. I expect to find out these things.” For example, if you go down a rabbit hole of artificial sweeteners will make your skin shiny, they’re like, “Well, that doesn’t meet with my expectation. I don’t think that’s right.” Even if you have some data around that, that’s not what they were expecting to find. They might bounce back. Engines might not interpret you as on-topic, etc. So lots of content kinds of things.

3) Not the right domain

Then there are also domain issues. You might not have the right domain. Your domain might not be associated with the topic or content that Google and searchers are expecting. So they see Mayo Clinic, they see MedicineNet, and they go, “ScienceMag? Do they do health information? I don’t think they do. I’m not sure if that’s an appropriate one.” It might be perceived, even if you aren’t, as spammy or manipulative by Google, more probably than by searchers. Or searchers just won’t click your brand for that content. This is a very frustrating one, because we have seen a ton of times when search behavior is biased by the brand itself, by what’s in this green text here, the domain name or the brand name that Google might show there. That’s very frustrating, but it means that you need to build brand affinity between that topic, that keyword, and what’s in searchers’ heads.

4) Accessibility or technical issues

Then finally, there could be some accessibility or technical issues. Usually when that’s the case, you will notice pretty easily because the page will have an error. It won’t show the content properly. The cache will be an issue. That’s a rare one, but you might want to check for it as well.

But hopefully, using this kind of an audit system, you can figure out why a link building campaign, a link building effort isn’t working to move the needle on your rankings.

With that, we will see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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How We Built Our Careers Online (And What You Can Learn From It)

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The two biggest concerns for the average blogger are obscurity and sustainability.

In other words … for the vast majority of us who set sail creating content online, we want to first develop an audience; and then, once we have an audience, we want to find a way to earn a living from our content.

The first concern can feel daunting enough, because building an audience isn’t easy.

The second concern can feel damn near impossible — because despite countless examples of people who have done it, sometimes we struggle to see ourselves succeeding in the same way.

Which is silly.

So long as you’re willing to take pride in working hard and have a humble heart and mind when it comes to learning from the people who have already done it, you can achieve sustained success online.

In this episode of The Lede, Demian Farnworth and I share some of our personal stories of success and failure online, in the hopes of inspiring you and educating you (but mostly inspiring you).

Because if we’re here hosting a successful podcast like The Lede for a company as strong as Copyblogger Media, then there really isn’t any reason why you can’t find your path to online success too.

In this episode, Demian Farnworth and I discuss:

  • Our personal stories of success and failure online
  • How to overcome obscurity
  • The scariest part of starting an online business (and how to conquer it)
  • The importance of building an audience that builds your business
  • If we could go back in time 10 or 15 years, knowing what we know now, what would we do differently?
  • What you need to know to start your online business
  • Why many online business models aren’t sustainable
  • Demian’s one critical piece of advice for anyone just starting an online business

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To listen, you can either hit the flash audio player below, or browse the links to find your preferred format …

React to The Lede …

As always, we appreciate your reaction to episodes of The Lede and feedback about how we’re doing.

Send us a tweet with your thoughts anytime: @JerodMorris and @DemianFarnworth.

And please tell us the most important point you took away from this latest episode. Do so by joining the discussion over at Google+.

The Show Notes

The Transcript

Click here to read the transcript

Please note that this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity and grammar.

The Lede Podcast: How We Built Our Careers Online (And What You Can Learn From It)

Jerod Morris: Welcome back to The Lede, a podcast about content marketing by Copyblogger Media. I’m your host, Jerod Morris.

On Monday, November 17, we published a post on Copyblogger titled “What You Need to Know to Make a Living as a Blogger Right Now.” It was written by Demian Farnworth.

In the post, Demian highlights the two biggest concerns for the average blogger: obscurity and sustainability.

In other words, for the vast majority of us who set sail creating content online, we want to first develop an audience, and then once we have an audience, we want to find a way to earn a living from our content.

The first concern can feel daunting enough, because building an audience isn’t easy.

The second concern can feel damn near impossible because despite countless examples of people who have done it — who have built successful, thriving businesses around their online content — sometimes we struggle to see ourselves succeeding in the same way.

Which is silly.

So long as you’re willing to take pride in working hard, and have a humble heart and mind when it comes to learning from the people who have already done it, you can build an audience that drives a sustainable online business.

There is, of course, a sustainability road map.

It’s what Brian Clark and Robert Bruce chart for you in the free New Rainmaker training course that you will find at newrainmaker.com/register.

Go ahead and get started with the two-week course if you aren’t one of the 25,000-plus people who have taken it already.

Our personal stories of success and failure online

In this episode of The Lede, Demian Farnworth and I are going to share some of our personal stories of success and failure online in the hopes of inspiring you and educating you.

But mostly inspiring you, because if we’re here hosting a successful podcast like The Lede for a company as strong as Copyblogger Media, then there really isn’t any reason why you can’t find your path to online success too.

Demian, you love your job, at least based on all of my interactions with you. You seem to love your job. You get to dive deep into work that you really love without having to sacrifice time with your lovely wife and your two incredible kids.

I would say that you have found a way to overcome the obscurity and sustainability concerns you wrote about in your most recent post. How did you get here, and what role did your personal blog, Copybot, play in it?

Demian Farnworth: That’s a great question. Copybot was my business card, and that’s kind of lame, but really: it’s the place, it’s the hub, it’s the place to point people.

It’s also my book, and it’s everything that I need to create visibility, both in the search engines and just the social sphere.

When I quit the corporate world and said I was going to work for myself, I knew that I needed a website, and so I started writing that website, and that allowed me to work through a lot of content that I had created in my mind.

When I was looking for guest writing and freelancing opportunities, I needed somewhere to point people back to — a body of work.

That’s exactly what Copybot allowed me to do, and that’s the purpose that it serves. That’s the body of work that I’ve created.

It’s my portfolio. It’s my resume.

How to overcome obscurity

Jerod: So putting the content out there, creating these posts on Copybot, that kind of got you started with the whole overcoming-the-obscurity part that you talked about in your post.

And then you talked about going out and guest posting using Copybot as that reference. How did you then go from overcoming the obscurity concern, getting the audience, and then to a point of sustainability?

You’re not on your own anymore, but you have a career now that you built on your own. How did you get there?

Demian: I tell everybody I talk to that we all start at the bottom, and I certainly started at the bottom.

I had some connections, but I wasn’t on anybody’s radar as “This is someone you should hire; this is someone who’s doing things.”

There’s not a day that goes by now when I don’t get an email or some sort of response in the social sphere where someone asks to interview me or wants advice, or wants me to guest write.

Clearly, I started out with none of that, and I started out with nobody knowing, virtually, who I was. And so there’s no secret.

This is kind of lame, but it was just simply putting one foot in front of the other and consistently creating that body of work, and reaching out, and creating that work that people admire.

Creating work, like you said, guest posting.

That’s first and foremost one of the best ways in order to expand your visibility, to increase your visibility, and the other thing, too, is to write things about other people that challenges what they say.

There might be some influencer in your industry who you don’t agree with, and so if you do that respectfully in a meaningful, articulate, and powerful way, then people are going to pay attention to that and you’ll get on their radar.

It’s not a flash-in-the-pan type of thing either. You have to do it consistently.

It’s better to be on a slow burn than it is to be firing out with all cylinders and all cannons blazing and stuff like that.

Because a fast rise usually precipitates a fast fall, too — you want a slow, steady burn.

Jerod: Your story is compelling to me especially — and also our audience — because I think your story in particular is closer to what most of our audience experiences than perhaps mine.

I didn’t have the corporate job first, haven’t had a family, so I’ve been able to make a lot of decisions just based on what was best for me in the moment.

You did all of this with a family, having that job, being a little bit more settled.

What I’m curious about, and I think the point that a lot of our listeners, a lot of our audience members get to, and people that I’ve talked to get to when they get to the sustainability concern is that moment of fear, the moment of trepidation, being able to take that leap of faith.

What was your scariest moment? What was that moment of trepidation for you, and how did you overcome it?

The scariest part of starting an online business (and how to conquer it)

Demian: That’s a great question. My scariest moment was the morning after I had turned in my two-weeks notice, because I had nothing else planned, with no job lined up.

I would not recommend anybody do this.

But it came down to points like — no, I’ll let God worry about the future, I need to worry about today, right here. And so I did that, and that was definitely the scariest part.

I had lunch with Jeff Goins a couple of weeks ago, and he and I were talking about that sort of moment, and he had a much better approach.

He actually built the business while he still had a firm, steady job, and he had a wife, and I believe they had a young one at this time.

He had those family concerns, but he built the audience, and then he built the business behind it.

He sold the products that made him a lot of money, and he finally got to the point where he thought “I can do this.”

He will tell you he’s very conservative, and he had way more money than he needed, if there’s such a thing, but he was definitely in a position to say, “Hey, I’m ready to make this move.”

I took that leap partly because that’s just my personality. To be honest, I don’t do anything unless my back is up against the wall.

I’m lazy, I’m passive, and yes, I do have self-discipline. I can keep a job, and I’m loyal to that job, but at the same time, if I need to make a dramatic change in my life, I will.

If I had not made that move, I would not be here.

I would still be stuck in a dead-end job, just moping along, continuing to do the daily grind without the opportunities that I have now.

Despite the pain that I went through, I’m glad I did it. I would never wish or recommend anybody to do it, because there is a better way to do it. However, like I said, I don’t regret that moment.

The importance of building an audience that builds your business

Jerod: I think it’s important to understand, too, that everybody who has succeeded online, going through this process of building an audience, then building a business around that audience, has their own individual story.

A lot of people have your story, where their backs were against the wall for some reason, or they hated what they were doing, and this almost felt like the only way out, or they had to do it.

But it’s not necessarily always some act of desperation.

Demian: Right.

Jerod: I talked about this in the intro — that there is a road map for success doing this. So many people now have succeeded doing it in different ways, with different audiences, for different reasons.

What is the through-line of success, then, for the people who succeed online?

Because ultimately, there are people behind audiences, and behind the businesses that they build.

While everybody has their own story, for people listening and maybe they’re trying to think about if this is the path for them, or maybe they’re at that moment of trepidation themselves, what should they look at in themselves to say, “Okay, if you have this, if you can do this, then you will succeed.”

Demian: The best way to answer is probably to talk about how I learned a lot about myself when I went to work for myself. Because within the first eight months, I realized that I did not want to do this.

I did not like working for myself. I thought I would; I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for someone who’s an introvert and who manages themselves well.

Like I said, I am driven and I have initiative, but about eight months in, I was like “I need to find a job.” I already had the structure, but I realized I didn’t want to build a business.

However, back to Jeff Goins. I’m impressed with him because he had that desire and that drive, and the ability to build that business.

He built the audience, and then his business is basically the membership model with the training courses, so that’s working incredibly well for him.

You have to find out who you are and what you want. You have that drive to build something like a business, and that’s the path you follow.

Even those people who have built full careers, rather than just businesses — Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, those guys — they, again, built audiences and then they built the businesses behind them.

It just begins with going from that point of obscurity, getting the visibility, building the audience, and then figuring out how to monetize that.

Conventional methods for monetization are advertising or affiliate marketing, and there are people who are quite successful at affiliate marketing.

I think those are channels and streams of revenue, but they probably shouldn’t be your sole method.

You would also want to have memberships, forums, training courses, ebooks, and resources. Maybe also do some consultancy at the same time.

Jerod: We talked about this on our editorial call yesterday, actually. And I’m curious to bring this part of the conversation to the listeners.

If we could go back in time 10 or 15 years, knowing what we know now, what would we do differently?

I think Robert asked, “If you could go back in time 10 or 15 years, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?”

Demian: That’s a good question. I really wasn’t sure how to answer that yesterday, but I’ve given some more time and thought to it.

I wouldn’t go down the corporate path. I would have realized that I’m a maverick and I need to find environments that allow that to be my strength, which Copyblogger does.

I probably would have paid more attention to the Internet, of course, because I paid zero attention until probably the year 2001. What about you? What would you do differently?

Jerod: That’s a great question. Like you, I didn’t know how to answer it when he asked it, but I’ve spent some time thinking about it.

Ten years ago, just like you, I wasn’t really paying attention to the Internet.

I love where I am now, and if you had told me then that I’d be where I am now, I’d have said, “You’re crazy,” because it’s been such a zig-zaggey, roller-coastery ride here that couldn’t have really been predicted.

I would make the conscious choice that this is where I wanted to be, and I think I’d do more to get here faster and to be even further.

Part of that would involve some of the blogging projects I had before, like the sports blog that I had; I’d do that in a much smarter way.

I’ve talked about this before — that kind of flying by the seat of my pants, loving the part of creating content, and enjoying getting traffic, all that was great.

And Midwest Sports Fans generates a lot of revenue, which led to the development of Synthesis.

A lot of positives came out of it, but I didn’t even understand the first part about building an audience.

That site was pretty much obscure a week after a big post if there wasn’t something daily on there because I wasn’t building content assets, right?

It was pretty much the opposite of the Copyblogger model, but I think all of that effort that I put in there early on was so valuable just in terms of learning about content creation and some of the basics.

If I had been smarter then about actually building an audience, building an email list, and building an asset with that, I mean — I shudder to think what that could be now, as valuable as the experience I actually had was.

Demian: Tell me if you think differently, but for me for some reason, that question too, “What would you do differently 10 to 15 years ago if you knew what you knew today?” … I always have trouble with that question.

I think I would not engineer it any differently because, for me, it’s part of the fun. It’s like learning about yourself, right?

That wisdom, that experience, that suffering, the trials and tribulations that you go through. Maybe I’m just sadistic, but I enjoy that because it’s a learning process, and it’s an experiment for me, too.

Both you and I probably think a lot alike in that sense, and I think this is true for a lot of us at Copyblogger. We may not be entrepreneurs, but we have that spirit within us that we want to try something new, we want to try a new initiative.

We’re never short of ideas, and we’re always kind of pushing the envelope and saying, “Hey, what can we do next? How can we do that?” Which, again, is a great opportunity.

I wouldn’t give up the experiences that I went through 10 years ago. Because ultimately what we want is to speed up where we’re at.

We always want that shortcut. But is that fair?

What you need to know to start your online business

Jerod: Here’s the other question I wanted to ask you: what advice would you give to someone listening now?

Someone who reads Copyblogger, who listens to this podcast, who knows that they want to create content, but maybe doesn’t have the perfect vision or plan for what they want to do yet.

Why should he or she get out there anyway? Ten years ago, we couldn’t have really predicted that we’d be where we are now, and I think that’s true for a lot of people in this day and age.

And that’s okay.

Even when you start out online, where you end up online may be completely different from where you started.

Starting out as a sports blogger, ending up at Copyblogger. You can’t really predict that.

What advice would you give to somebody who’s teetering on that line between “Should I do it? Should I not? I don’t really have that perfect plan yet.”

Why should that person do it anyway? Or should they?

Demian: You don’t need the perfect plan.

I was just talking to a good friend who’s kind of branching out on his own. He was saying: “Here is my tagline. This is going to be my unique selling preposition.”

He had four or five, and I said, “Listen. All those are great. Choose one, move forward, because it will change.” It will evolve over time because as you experiment, as you get out there and you do things, it will change.

You will say, “Okay, that’s not working, but some people seem to want to go this way.”

The question you have to answer, though, is: “Do you have the passion, the energy to sustain this long-term?”

If it’s something that you’re considering, it might be a good hobby but if you think “Jeez, I’ll exhaust this in 30 days,” then it’s probably not a good business idea.

Because the one thing that you have to have is that energy to say, “I want to do this. I want to make this happen. I can see myself spending the rest of my life, at least for the next decade and a half or whatever, doing this.”

You’ll need that because the first two years, you’re going to feel like you’re alone.

You need to have that belief and that vision to accomplish what you can, and to sustain it until you get to the point where you have an audience that you can then monetize, that you can then leverage into work, whether it’s for yourself or with another company.

Jerod: Yeah, it’s interesting. Tell me if you agree with this, but I feel like a lot of times people’s perceptions get flipped about what it’s like to create success online.

I think people think that it will be easy in the sense that it doesn’t require as much work, but they also may be intimidated because the technology part is hard.

I actually think it’s the opposite.

Like I talked about: The road map is there, right?

The New Rainmaker training course is one example of a road map that shows you how to get to that point of sustainability.

So many other people have charted that course — that part is actually simple.

But I think it’s the other part: the daily grind, to use that term. And just like you said, the passion to do it consistently over time. That’s really the harder part, where more people fail.

But it doesn’t have to be if you have mentors and study the examples of others. Do you find that, too? Do you agree with that?

Why many online business models aren’t sustainable

Demian: I do, and I think your experience is a great example with the Midwest Sports. You had a quick rise to success and fame, but did you have the long-term sustainability?

Because it is hard work.

That’s the truth. And for me, it is a lot harder because once you have the visibility and people are looking at you, there’s a lot more pressure in order to perform.

My biggest fear is that I will become stale, I will become routine, I will become predictable. And I don’t want to do that.

For me it’s always constant — I want to beat everything I’ve done previously. And that’s a lesson that I learned.

I remember I waited tables for about six months. I was absolutely terrible at it. But I got great advice from a server who was really good.

He said, “You’re only as good as your last table.”

Whatever he meant by that, which I’m not 100 percent sure, but I interpreted it, the young, impressionable 21-year-old I was, as: “You have to continually improve and beat each time. Each table is an opportunity to excel from what you did last time.”

That’s the pressure that I’m on now, and so when I come to a piece of work, again, I deal with that procrastination of thinking, “Shoot. How am I going to make this the best thing that I’ve ever created?”

There’s a lot more pressure because a lot more people are looking at you and expecting things from you.

Jerod: It’s funny, thinking back. Midwest Sports Fans are still going today, although I’m not active on it on a daily basis. It’s funny. The passion, the excitement, was never the problem.

I always woke up excited to create content. What eventually killed it, though, was having such a poor strategy where you essentially start over every day.

One of the reasons why that strategy was poor is because I didn’t have enough humility. I thought I had all the answers, and thought, “Okay, this is working. I don’t really need to study and figure out the next step. This is working; let me just keep doing it.”

Eventually the flame started to flicker out a little bit because it’s like, “Man, it’s the same thing all the time.”

If you’re not actually building an audience and building assets with your content, then you’re just like a hamster on a wheel.

Every day you start over just trying to drive traffic for the page view based ad revenue, which is a model, but that can kill that passion too.

I think long-term you really want to study the successful models and figure out a way to build assets that aren’t just going to lose value the next day.

Because that will kill your passion. That’ll kill your excitement for it.

Demian’s one critical piece of advice for anyone just starting an online business

Demian: Right. Right.

Jerod: Well Demian, this has been fascinating. I love talking with you about your history, your path, your journey.

Which is why we wanted to take a little break from doing the series that we’ve been doing on The Lede and have a more personal episode that talks about our experiences.

Hopefully we’ll hear some of your stories in the comments on Google+ or Twitter.

Or email us: Jerod [at] copyblogger [dot] com or Demian [at] copyblogger [dot] com.

Tell us your story. Because they’re interesting, and we love hearing them.

Although we all have our own individual stories, there are a lot of through-points that we all experience, that we can relate to and help each other out with.

Always a fun conversation, Mr. Farnworth.

Demian: Thank you. I appreciate it.

I’ll just end with this: I’m always really kind of surprised and I’m always humbled when someone says, “You’ve inspired me,” or I get an e-mail of encouragement.

To me, that’s how I know what I’m doing is working.

I’ve been given — we’ve all been given — a talent. Something to do.

I think the best response to that talent, which I consider a gift, is to become the best you can absolutely be at that and that alone.

They’ll be ups and downs.

The point is, just be grateful for whatever attention you get. Because, ultimately, “I have so many followers on Twitter” is not what count. What counts is the lives you touch and the relationships you form, if that makes sense.

Be grateful for whatever you get. Always be grateful. That’s helped me enormously.

Jerod: Great final thought to end on, Demian. Thank you.

Demian: You bet.

Jerod: We’ll talk in a couple of weeks and get another series started.

Demian: Sounds good.

Jerod: All right, man. Bye.

Demian: Bye.

Jerod: Thank you, everybody, for tuning in to this episode of The Lede.

If you enjoyed this episode, and if you like what you’ve been hearing from us on The Lede, please consider giving the show a rating or a review on iTunes. We would greatly appreciate it.

And don’t forget that you can listen to The Lede on Stitcher as well: Just go to copyblogger.com/stitcher and it will redirect you to The Lede page on Stitcher.

Thank you again for listening. We will be back in a couple of weeks with another new episode of The Lede. Talk to you soon, everybody.

# # #

*Credits: Both the intro (“Bridge to Nowhere” by Sam Roberts Band) and outro songs (“Down in the Valley” by The Head and the Heart) are graciously provided by express written consent from the rights owners.

About the author

Jerod Morris

Jerod Morris is the VP of Marketing for Copyblogger Media. Get more from him on Twitter or . Have you gotten your wristband yet?

The post How We Built Our Careers Online (And What You Can Learn From It) appeared first on Copyblogger.


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Case Study: How One Veteran’s Podcast Built a Million-Dollar Business

traditional radio microphone

After spending many years in traditional career fields — including real estate, finance, and eight years as an Army Officer — John Lee Dumas still felt unfulfilled.

He couldn’t shake the feeling that his real calling was still out there — that there must be a way for him to feel excited to go to work every day.

He took a leap of faith and launched an interview-based business podcast called EntrepreneurOnFire. Within its first few months, the podcast became a top-ranked iTunes business podcast and earned a coveted spot on the “Best of iTunes” list.

The podcast is now the cornerstone (and biggest lead generator) of a thriving business that regularly brings in six figures each month.

Is John excited to go to work? You bet he is.

I sat down with John and asked him to share the secrets of his success and how he turned a unique idea for a podcast into the business of his dreams.

Ignoring the skeptics and launching a crazy idea

In 2012, John Lee Dumas had a big idea.

Back then, John was a real estate agent who spent a ton of time in his car. He passed the time by listening to podcasts, but noticed he finished weekly podcast episodes faster than his favorite podcasters could create them.

He wondered if other podcast listeners experienced the same problem.

One day, John had a moment of life-changing inspiration that started with a simple question. He asked himself, “Why doesn’t someone create a business podcast that publishes episodes seven days a week?”

The idea stuck, and John started taking steps to create a daily business podcast with useful content for entrepreneurs and business owners.

However, the production schedule required to publish seven-day-a-week podcast episodes was daunting. And he encountered many naysayers.

John’s advisors told him the idea would fail. They looked at the market and said, “No one else is doing this. There’s no way it will work.”

But John has always subscribed to the “blue-ocean” strategy of business — so his mentors’ doubts actually confirmed his decision and made him even more determined to get his daily podcast off the ground.

After three months of intense work, John launched the first episode of the EntrepreneurOnFire podcast in September 2012. He kept his word and published a podcast episode every single day — no matter what.

In the first few months after his launch, John snagged some early wins. iTunes listed the podcast as “New and Noteworthy,” and he landed interviews with high-profile guests, like Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran and author Tim Ferriss.

EntrepreneurOnFire grew a big fan base of loyal listeners. As it turns out, John’s big idea wasn’t so crazy after all.

Secret #1: Build your online empire’s foundation

Of course, once you have a great, marketable idea, you’ve got to get organized and implement that idea in a smart, scalable way.

Over time, John built the online structures he needed to build an EntrepreneurOnFire empire — not just a podcast.

He launched a blog, where he published posts that provided advice for entrepreneurs trying to grow or monetize their businesses. He also built an email autoresponder series called The Fire Path, and weekly newsletter subscribers grew to more than 14,000 people.

John built his business on the basic rules of smart content marketing — providing free, relevant content to his audience on a daily basis.

His audience members love him for it.

Click here to get two weeks of free training that

will change the way you think about online marketing …

Secret #2: Create multiple income streams

As the podcast grew in popularity, John attracted a number of sponsors willing to pay for exposure to his audience, and he quickly grew his sponsorship income to $ 46,000 a month. And while it definitely made sense to take on sponsors for his show, John didn’t want sponsorships to be his only source of income.

So he listened to his audience, figured out what they needed most, and provided it. Now he sells a number of products and services to serve his community members.

Last year, EntrepreneurOnFire started publishing monthly reports detailing the business’s income and expenses. Here are some of their biggest streams of income for June 2014:

  • Sponsorship income for the podcast: $ 43,719
  • Podcaster’s Paradise (membership site): $ 134,335
  • WebinarOnFire (webinar training program): $ 15,083
  • Fire Nation Elite mastermind group: $ 10,550
  • One-on-one client mentoring: $ 5,000

The business also generates income from affiliate relationships and ebook sales.

In June 2014, EntrepreneurOnFire’s net profit was more than $ 162,000.

Secret #3: Take immediate action

After John’s initial inspiration struck, he immersed himself in the launch of the new podcast.

John advocates taking “immediate, massive action” on projects and plans. He says:

Within one month of my ‘aha’ moment — which literally came out of nowhere — I had quit my job and hired my mentor. Within three months of that, I launched my podcast.

John’s goal was to provide as much value as possible with his podcast interviews and attract people who liked his content and message.

One of the primary benefits about taking immediate, bold action is that you see results quickly, which helps you gain momentum and motivation to keep going.

Once John launched the show, he attracted an amazing community of like-minded people who supported his mission and loved his content. He called them the “Fire Nation,” and once his community started to grow, he became even more driven to provide them with top-notch content.

Secret #4: Listen to your audience

John had an existing client base when he was ready to create (paid) products and services. His audience members already knew and trusted him, and they appreciated the great content he published every day.

But before he built anything to sell, he listened. John then created solutions for his audience’s problems.

John says:

Listening to my audience has shaped every [inspiration] I’ve had in my business. They speak, and I listen. I kept hearing that they didn’t know how to start their podcasts and they needed support because they felt alone.

John published his ebook, Podcast Launch, in early 2013. After that, he created and launched a membership site, Podcaster’s Paradise, which provides how-to information and professional support for podcasters.

Now he has a suite of products and services that are custom-made for his entrepreneurial fans.

Secret #5: Make smart connections

John made critical connections early in his podcasting career.

He hired a business coach right away, and she introduced him to key players in their industry. Those connections have shaped John’s journey with EntrepreneurOnFire.

He realized that many successful entrepreneurs all have large platforms of fans and followers. When he published his interviews with entrepreneurs, those guests shared the episodes with their audiences via email and social networking sites.

The extra exposure rocketed his podcast’s growth.

Secret #6: Streamline your business systems

In 2013, I was a guest on John’s show. Before, during, and after my interview with him, I noticed John’s incredible organization and how he used templates and systems for every aspect of his podcast process. For example:

  • When I accepted his interview request, he immediately emailed me a list of available time slots.
  • After I chose a time, he emailed me a document that included his interview questions, directions for connecting to the call, and an explanation of the whole process.
  • When the podcast episode was live a few weeks later, John emailed me again with a link to the show and instructions for quickly sharing the interview with my fans.

It was the easiest, smoothest interview I’d ever done, and I remember thinking, “John Dumas is going to take over the world.”

Clear systems for every aspect of John’s business enable him to publish a podcast seven days a week.

What’s next for this wildly successful podcaster?

When it comes to business strategy, John recommends that entrepreneurs FOCUS (Follow One Course Until Success). John and his team expand and promote their existing products.

Since the EntrepreneurOnFire podcast is still the engine that makes their entire business possible, they continue to create killer daily content for their fans.

So, what is John’s advice for other podcasters and online marketers? He says:

Just start! So many entrepreneurs let fear and the unknown stand in their way of building their dreams. You have to make a lot of sacrifices, and there are a lot of times when you’re going to want to give up.

Don’t give up.

Are you ready to turn your wild idea into reality?

It’s your time to start

What’s the first step you can take to build your online media business?

Let’s go over to Google+ and discuss taking action!

Flickr Creative Commons Image via Renée Johnson.

Are you ready to build your online empire like John?

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It’s a blank canvas you can use to create dynamic media, including a podcast, coaching business, or information marketing venture — anything you want.

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About the Author: Beth Hayden is an author, speaker, and social media expert who specializes in Pinterest marketing. To find out how to get more traffic to your website or blog using Pinterest, grab your free copy of Beth’s e-book, The Definitive Guide to Driving Traffic with Pinterest.

The post Case Study: How One Veteran’s Podcast Built a Million-Dollar Business appeared first on Copyblogger.

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