Today I'm going to be posting an Interview with Nathaniell Brenes, owner of onemorecupof-coffee.com (om2c). OM2C is an affiliate marketing blog that handles everything from stopping you falling for the scam “make money online” products out there by signing up to them and reviewing them, to teaching beginners legitimate ways of getting started online.
Nate recently attended the Wealthy Affiliate Super Affiliates Conference 2014 in Las Vegas. Only 9 other people were invited to go, so you can safely say that Nate knows a thing or two about affiliate marketing, and has definitely given me his share of insights over the year or so that I've had the pleasure of knowing him.
I managed to catch up to him shortly after he got back, and swung a few questions to him that will benefit everyone from beginners to the more advanced online marketers. Take it away Nate.
1.) Tell us a little bit about One More Cup Of Coffee and how it fits in with Wealthy Affiliate.
I started One More Cup of Coffee back in January 2013. I had been learning online marketing for a little over 2 years at that point and found that I really enjoyed buliding websites and learning how to make money from them. Obviously making money is fun for anyone, but I mean that I wanted to learn more about how to make my current websites better (and more profitable), rather than dig deeper into the individual niches that I was involved in.
So I decided to document my mistakes, experiments, and thoughts on online marketing on a blog.
The name comes from the fact that I absolutely hate getting up early in the morning. When I worked in Prague I used to get up at 5:30AM to be at work by 8:00 because I had a 2 hour commute to the suburbs outside of the site. It was miserable. Part of wanting to get involved in learning how to make money online is that I just couldn't envision doing that for the rest of my life.
2.) You must help a lot of people get started, what’s your number one tip for those looking to get started too?
Everyone is different so I can only offer my own perspective from when I was getting started.
When I first started looking to earn money online, I was thinking in years, not months. I had learned a few languages over the previous decade at that point, as well as had learned to play the guitar. Every single time I started as a complete newbie, and about 2 years later I was proficient.
I wasn’t an expert, but I was good enough that I could hold a conversation or play a few tunes.
Translate that to money – who wouldn’t want to be good at making money?
Another thing I distinctly remember is reading a post from the owners of Wealthy Affiliate that said there is a big difference in success rates between those that ask questions, and those that don’t.
So I made it my mission to annoy the WA forum. Anything I needed, I asked about. And within a year and a half I was starting to answer the questions instead of ask them. I still try to ask as much as possible because I don’t consider myself an expert quite yet. I’ve still got a lot to learn, and a lot more money to make.
3.) There are so many communities out there that help people get success, what made you choose WA as the one to hoist your flag to? There must be bigger commissions elsewhere.
The thing about WA is that I can sleep at night knowing that I’m referring folks to a legit website with other honest, helpful people involved. I know that the owners have their members best interest in mind as well.
Hippie-lovey-dovey stuff aside, it’s way cheaper than anything else. Sure, you can buy PDF guides for a one time fee, or some other membership sites are a few bucks cheaper.
But how many PDF guides are you going to have to buy? How many hours are you going to have to spend sifting through junk up-sells to see what’s really worth your money? Did you know that the $97 guide you bought comes with $5000 worth of upsells in the back-end?
When you add up all the other costs (including the cost of your time), WA is significantly less expensive and exponentially more valuable than anything else out there.
4.) There seems to be two models of success at WA. Those who build a site in a specific niche, and those who choose to promote WA itself. You’ve done both. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
I usually recommend people start with the Online Entrepreneur Certification Course because it allows you to choose your own niche. You get to make a website about something you are interested in, which is important in the beginning.
I started out in niches I didn’t care much about. I just wanted to make money. But after 2 months of blogging about topics I didn’t like researching or just couldn’t think of what to write about, I’d quit and move on a “more profitable” one (or so I thought).
First-hand-experience and passion shows through in writing.
But WA has probably the best affiliate program I’ve ever been a part of. Their affiliate managers/site owners are very involved, and ready to help whenever you ask. Plus, they pay huge commissions (50%), which are recurring. These are two criteria I always look for in affiliate programs. Lots of places pay only 5%, non-recurring. See the difference?
You are also getting people to join a training center which could truly change their life. Imagine how that would feel if someone could credit you with changing their life for the better?
5.) Tell me about the WA Las Vegas Conference 2014 in 5 words.
I’m happy Bryon wasn’t there.
Changed my plans for 2014.
6.) You took a lot of notes. What’s the thing you’ve underlined/highlighted/circled the most?
The biggest impression I got from the conference is that we should always be looking to improve user experience. Faster answers, clearer training, more engagement – these are all things that people are looking for, and as a peer or mentor, these things can make the difference between someone quitting after a couple months and finally making their first sale.
7.) What was it like meeting the owners for real? How about the other attendees?
It was really surprising that everyone was able to hang out and have fun together. You never know what you are going to get with “internet friends”. A lot of times you know someone online and they’re not quite the same in real life. I was really surprised to find out that everyone was friendly and outgoing, pretty much like how they are inside Wealthy Affiliate.
8.) How much of your own personal success has come from being part of a community, having “e-friends” to discuss things with, and generally hang out online with?
It was hugely important. When I got started I had this vision that I wanted to secretly become rich online and surprise everyone one day. But as I started working on my first websites I realized I needed help…and I needed it quite a bit.
As I grew and was able to do things more independently, I found that I really wanted to discuss what I was doing, and know what other people were working on.
I also read a few books that basically debunked the idea of the “prodigy child” and the “genius recluse”. They basically said that many of these myths are false, and a lot of the great ideas of our time came from collaborations of some sort, or at least from a leader with a very strong team behind him.
I don’t always take critique well in real life, but I love it online. That way I can have myself a small cry after someone points out all my obvious errors and noob mistakes, but then I can “man up” and go fix them. I think you can create something good by yourself, having peers and mentors can help you create something great.
9.) You've touched upon the fact that there are so many junk guides and programs out there, which is something we very much agree with at HPD. To a simple newcomer, what are some of the ways of identifying junk and quality?
There are a lot of signals that we all can recognize. Promising easy money is a huge red flag. Reading this now, you understand this and agree with me. But put a rich guy driving a Lamborghini in a heart wrenching video about his rags-to-riches story and suddenly we lose all logic. Trust me, I review these things day after day and I still find myself thinking wishfully that it were all that easy.
When reviewing a program, the #1 thing I tell people to do is to ask yourself, “Can I see myself doing this in 5-10 years?”
Most of us don’t want to be posting spam links to YouTube or stealing content from other websites for a decade. But owning a popular website that helps people sounds like a pretty awesome career to me.
10.) What kind of things can Wealthy Affiliate members look forward to in the future?
I know that Kyle and Carson are working very hard behind the scenes to improve the website for everyone, including members and affiliates. They are smart guys, with a ton of motivation. In fact, many of the suggestions we came up with during our discussions were already being worked on.
2014 is going to be another awesome year in WA. Actually, I could imagine it being the best year yet.
Nathaniell is the owner of One More Cup of Coffee, a website that helps newbies get their start in online business. He encourages new internet business owners to set long term goals and continually take action to find their own version of “success”.
Be sure to drop by his site and say hello.