Metuchen, New Jersey
“I’ve failed at three businesses before I was able to be successful…Sometimes, you just need to take a risk and go for it…you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so take a LOT of shots.”
published: June 25, 2022
1. Where do you live?
2. What is the name of your SaaS?
3. Are you working full-time on your SaaS?
Yes, I’ve been full-time on Lasso for about 3 years. I started as an online creator about 10 years ago and went full-time about 8 years ago.
4. What was the “Click” that made you decide to start your SaaS?
After running a few large affiliate sites, I started to dislike how reliant my income became on Google traffic and how inconsistent my income was. I decided to start Lasso as a SaaS business after enough people wanted the automation I created to monetize my own content sites.
5. How many niche sites and/or online businesses have you created?
Three main ones:
6. How many are you still running now?
All three to a degree, but our team’s primary focus is on Lasso and Giftlab. My personal focus is 95%+ on Lasso.
7. Have you sold any sites or online businesses? And what was the ROI like?
No, I don’t like the idea of selling my break-out successes before they break out. I build for the long-term.
Considering my initial investment was only my time and ~$500 for domain/hosting/whatnot, my ROI is far higher than I could ever grow a purchased asset. Real growth compounding only happens after 5 or more years.
That’s why it’s common for people to sell a business for $50k that a few years later generates far more revenue. Invest in yourself and only build things you’d want to keep.
8. How many sites or online businesses have failed or not gotten going?
I’ve failed at three businesses before I was able to be successful. It really desensitized me to failing which was instrumental to my later businesses being successful. Sometimes, you just need to take a risk and go for it. Not to be cliche, but you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so take a LOT of shots.
The first was Code Drink, a web development agency I started in college. We generated about ~$50k our first year but folded when college ended, and I accepted a job at an Investment Bank.
The second was Joymonger, a gift card trading website. Put an enormous amount of time into this but didn’t have the slightest idea how to market it. This was a core learning that eventually led me to try and learn how to create sites that can reach a large audience.
The third was an iPad app called Impresume. The idea was to create a resume-builder, but I made a lot of incorrect assumptions early on that sealed its fate.
9. How much are you earning each month?
- $50,001 – $100,000
10. What are your current streams of revenue?
- Affiliate Sales
- Books and eBooks
- Digital Products & Courses
- Software (SaaS)
11. For content, what are your Top 3 on-page SEO strategies?
1. Blazing fast pages. Still a big competitive advantage.
2. Structured data and creating things that lend well to structured data. Lists are always an easy win.
3. Grammarly Premium + Clearscope. Write first, then edit and optimize.
12. For your SaaS What are your Top 3 USPs?
1. Beautiful product displays that convert exceptionally well.
2. Manage and optimize your income-producing links, at-scale.
3. Fix your income leaks, broken links, out-of-stock products, unmonetized opportunities, etc…
13. What’s the biggest issue(s) that you’re facing today?
Distribution. We have healthy word-of-mouth growth, but we’ve put little effort into actively promoting Lasso and getting our story out. That’s a primary focus of the team now.
14. What tool(s) do you rely on the most?
15. What has been the biggest mistake you’ve made in creating content / SaaS?
Thinking that building a SaaS business would be easy. This is our third big brand so we had experience in a lot of the operational end of things but a cold start is always difficult.
Building content in the same way most affiliate or course-supported businesses do. Volume is less important to our business, it’s all about getting in front of the right people. We fell for the pile-on of obvious content and eventually started looking at ultra-high intent small volume keywords.
16. What has been the best decision you’ve made in creating content / SaaS?
Using Lasso to build, run and monetize our site. By deeply integrating Lasso into the running and marketing of Lasso, we’ve had to build things that became surprise hits. It’s also given us a competitive advantage in being early adopters of our own technology. As a result, we’ve been able to quickly scale our traffic across multiple niches.
17. What’s one thing that you felt accelerated your journey the most?
Building and growing Listen Money Matters. I’m a very “heads-down and work” guy, but the brand did a great job of bringing incredible creators to me. As a result, I built a strong network that I’ve been able to continually lean on as I build new things.
Even if you aren’t “the brand”, I think it’s important to build your personal brand. There is nothing more valuable than reaching people who resonate with your ideas.
I’d counter-balance that with the right focus, who are you really trying to reach? More is usually not better – quality should always take priority. It’s a slower road but well worth the wait.
18. What’s your 12 month goal?
Help a million creators monetize their online businesses.
19. How do you stay up to date on SEO, affiliate marketing, display ads, and other news?
I’m a heavy reader. I easily spend 30% of my time reading and learning new things. I’m constantly trying to make sense of what is going on in the world and online business.
There is no one source I subscribe to really, I tend to follow my curiosity or problems I’m having at that moment. I’m a big proponent of Tim Ferris’ concept of Just In Time (JIT) learning.
Overlearning is a thing and can be an easy way to justify not doing the hard work that needs to be done. Everything in moderation.
20. What do you eat or drink for fuel to keep going?
During the day, Poppi. At night, wine and cocktails.
21. Where can people follow you?
BONUS: Anything else you’d like to share that can help others?
There are over 500 hours of me nerding out about money online. I’m very proud of what we created on the Listen Money Matters podcast.
- Business building is a war of attrition. Often it’s not the one with the best idea that wins but the one that lasts the longest.
- Calmly create a profitable and sustainable business. It’s actually really hard to do something for 10 years and still be terrible at it.
- Talk to your customers, then talk to them some more. People who buy your products, courses, or affiliate products. People who subscribe to your email list, newsletter, all of them. Do this often and never stop.
- It’s usually fair to assume that courses are overpriced and can be consumed for free. There are few true secrets in the world, and it makes no sense to sell secrets with actual value.
- Only trust people who show their work.
Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out Lasso as an easy WordPress Plugin tool to create great looking product displays, manage affiliate links, and increase affiliate conversions.