John Piteo’s Story: My WordPress Crash Course

John’s story is one of success and a desire to get to the next level.

The hardest part of internet marketing is making that first dollar, but the next hardest part is scaling the business. Turning that 1 sale per day into 10, then into 20, then into 100.

It’s not as easy as it may seem, but let’s hear John’s story…

John Piteo’s story

John Piteo

John Piteo

My name is John Piteo and I live in Wellington, Florida, USA.

I’m a full-time Internet marketer and I sell my own product and affiliate products. My product is an online video training program that teaches people how to make blogs and websites using WordPress. I’ve been full-time since 2007. Before that I worked for 20 years in sales and management.

I haven’t had much time to develop hobbies, because I seem to spend all of my time either working on my online business, learning new skills, or researching how to make more money online. However, here are my areas of interest in no particular order…

  • Photography and photo editing in Photoshop.
  • Online video, I enjoyed making my online course and especially the sales video. I consider myself a pretty decent copy writer. I also enjoy learning about online video and video editing.
  • Woodworking projects – My garage is set-up as a small shop.
  • I like video games (yes, even at my age), but I’m not that good at them.

I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on courses, seminars and training over the years. I can’t even remember them all.

  • In the beginning it started with all of the “Get Rich Courses” then I learned my lesson.
  • Made for Adsense sites
  • Article Marketing
  • Website Design Courses
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Pay-Per-Click Marketing
  • Blogging Courses
  • SEO Courses & Content Marketing
  • Keyword Research Products & Training
  • Building Sniper Sites (5 Page Websites)
  • eMail Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Video Production
  • and more…

I’ve also made money with made for Adsense sites. But these days that doesn’t really work as well as it once did. And I still make a little money with affiliate review sites.

crash-course-trainingI do have an online business and website. You can see it here

I make some pretty decent money with the site and I could probably grow it bigger.

But, I’ve been at it now for about 3 years and I’d like to do something different, start a new business.

I’ll keep this business because it doesn’t take much of my time now, but the entrepreneurial bug is biting me again so I want to start another business from square one.

Sort of like how you started in the Model Train niche then you moved on and reinvented yourself, because you love coaching more than model trains.

One of my ideas is to create a video training program that teaches people how to make videos for their websites or businesses.

Maybe focus more specifically on just “how to make sales videos” or “how to make training videos and tutorial courses” like I’ve done. To teach people I would still need to learn some additional video production skills and techniques which will require a little time.

I’ve been bouncing niche ideas around in my own brain for a long time and it gets confusing and overwhelming. So, I’d welcome any niche ideas at all that you may have, that would help me achieve the goal listed below from an online business.

I want to be making $8500 per month by December 31, 2013!

From what I understand when you started you created a bunch of sites and the model train site rose to the top as having the most potential. If you had chosen one of the other topics and only pursued that one it may have been a dud and not nearly as profitable.

That is one of my biggest fears and I think what is holding me back, choosing the wrong niche, putting a lot of time, effort and money into it and it turning out to be a dud.

I think one of the most amazing aspects of your story is how you were able to start a business in a niche that you were not an expert in and grow that business into a great success.

My comments to John

John, congratulations on your success so far. I really like your Crash Course Training website. The domain is just awesome…

You are clearly a well experienced internet marketer with a huge amount of sales experience… This makes it a no-brainer that you should stay in the niche you are already in. We need people like you!

However, you should consider how you are going to position yourself in the future.

Creating a course on “how to make sales videos” or “how to make training videos and tutorial courses” is an awesome idea and I don’t believe you need any more training or equipment. You’ve got everything you need already…

I’ve only seen your sales video which is very good. It may be a voice over artist, but the construction of the message and the slides are awesome and obviously convert well.

So, if you have something that is already converting well, you should look at ways of scaling it.

A person buying a crash course on WordPress is going to want so much more training after they have their blog built… And you could create all of these under your ‘Crash Course’ brand.

You could do a crash course on email marketing, on sales videos, on product creation using video, free traffic strategies, paid traffic strategies and so much more…

It is all about increasing the life time value (LTV) of each customer.

Once a customer buys one quality product, they get to like and trust you, and will buy the next and the next… But then, I am preaching to the choir by telling you this.

Having a suite of branded products allows you to have monthly deals, were you can combine 2 or 3 different products and sell them at half price for 3 days. There is no extra cost to you, but it adds massive value and will sell well.

I have plenty of ideas for you, but initially I would like to know what you think of the idea?

I also had a quick look at your affiliate page and have many suggestions to improve that significantly. If you remember when Yaro interviewed me, I spoke about my only traffic source for the model train membership being affiliates. This makes life so much easier, and we can discuss this further in the future.

I look forward to your comments.

Have Fun,
Ian

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About Ian McConnell

Ian McConnell is a successful entrepreneur with over 20 years of marketing & business experience (offline & online)...
  • http://crashcoursetraining.com/wordpress-crash-course/ John Piteo

    Yes, I’m going to move forward with the web video creation product. Right now I’m researching a few competitive products and successful launches in the niche.

    I’m also checking out the forums to find a need or problem in this niche that I can solve. This will help me better understand my target market and create an avatar (my perfect target buyer). It will also help me determine how I want to position my product and create the sales letter.

    I understand what you are saying about building on the Crash Course Training brand and up-selling customers into other courses so I’ll definitely consider doing this with products like you mentioned, list building, etc. I completely understand what you are saying about leveraging the customers that I already have.

    With the video production course I’m thinking of starting another brand specifically focusing on web video. Here is my reason for this…

    I plan to start by creating a inexpensive “Minimum Viable Product” to test the demand. Something I can create fairly quickly. If it proves to be successful I’d like to create a membership site that goes much deeper into the training showing people how to create many types of videos and also including modules on writing their own sales scripts, etc. I’d like to dominate the niche and that’s why I think it should be a brand of it’s own. What do you think?

    Regarding the “Affiliates” page on my Crash Course Training site, I’ve neglected improving it or recruiting affiliates. I see now that this was a big mistake, especially, after hearing your story and how affiliates were the biggest driving force of your sales.

    I’d definitely welcome any suggestions and guidance that you have on how to improve the page and recruit affiliates to promote the site.

    • http://inmyhomeoffice.com/ Ian McConnell

      Hi John,

      I’m not sure why you are wanting to create a new brand and a minimum viable product? You would only do this if your initial product attempt crashed and burned…

      But, you already have a successul product on helping people create WordPress websites. Those customers are so much easier to sell to because they’ve experienced your product and hopefully, like and trust you.

      The next logical step is to survey them and find out were they got stuck and what they want next… Then you create the product for them!

      Your conversions are guaranteed to be high because people that are involved in the creation of a product (by providing their input) are very likely to buy.

      Then, when that product is completed, you rinse and repeat.

      Creating a minimum viable product only applies to software creation, where you would release version 1 and people get the updates as they are created.

      If you apply it to information products you will destroy your credibility. You need to provide maximum value the day you launch the product. You want your customers to be ecstatic with the value provided.

      When you position yourself as a product creator, it is best to leave the traffic and promotion to other people. You do this with a kick-ass affiliate program.

      I’ll do a video of how to do this in the future, but the first step is to get your Clickbank gravity above 10. This is so that you appear on the radar of the top affiliates. I noticed today that yours is 0.81.

      Part of the Clickbank gravity calculation is the amount of affiliates that have made sales in a specific time frame. So, your first step is to get 20+ affiliates promoting your product.

      You do this by recruiting them and convincing them to promote your product over the other products in the marketplace. You start this process with an affiliate optin page which then takes them to your affiliate center.

      Cheers
      Ian

  • http://crashcoursetraining.com/wordpress-crash-course/ John Piteo

    I’ve previously surveyed my owner’s list. What they want most is affiliate marketing training, Facebook training, and advanced WordPress training. I don’t really have interest or passion in creating courses in these areas so what I do is find really good courses in these areas and promote them to my buyer’s list as an affiliate. This has been working well for me.

    My real passion is in web video production and training. Another reason for starting a new brand would be that I would consider selling the Crash Course Training site if the web video training site proves to be successful. This way I could focus on my real passion. Of course, I would definitely promote the web video training product to the WordPress Crash Course buyer’s list because as you’ve said, they know like and trust me and the quality of my work.

    Regarding the “minimum viable product”, maybe I shouldn’t have used that phrase. What I meant was that I would produce a high quality product that took minimal effort, a lite version of the full product so to speak. For example; I might make a front-end product that shows people how to make just one type of video. It would be a complete and high quality product, but it would just be maybe one tenth of what I could teach them in a full, home study course or membership site.

    I would market this front-end product to a small segment of the market (maybe 3000 to 5000 views to the sales page) to test it and see how it sells. If it wasn’t successful then I’ve wasted minimal time and effort. If it does prove to be successful I would create a bigger course to sell on the back-end or preferably create some of the training and place it in a continuity type membership site that I would sell on the back end. Your thoughts on this strategy?

    Also, regarding affiliates…

    Quoting Ian…

    ========================
    “When you position yourself as a product creator, it is best to leave the traffic and promotion to other people. You do this with a kick-ass affiliate program.”
    ========================

    I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!

    I’m looking forward to your video. I’ve looked at your affiliate optin page and affiliate center. I’m going to start working on mine and model what you’ve done. Then we can take it to the next step.

    It’s great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and I really appreciate your feedback.

    • Ian McConnell

      I like your thinking John…

      Most people would choose the option of creating a product to make the money. Then, because they have no real passion in the subject, it will come across in their writing and videos, and the result would be a half baked product.

      The solution, as you mentioned, is to find the best products on the market (make sure of this by testing the product, or your credibility will suffer) and then promoting it as an affiliate.

      I would like to know which products you believe are the best at Affiliate marketing, Facebook marketing and advanced WordPress training?

      With your web video production and training, who are you thinking of targeting? Is it someone like me that could possibly build a better relationship with my subscribers by doing some ‘headshot’ tutorials and tips. Or are you looking at teaching local businesses how to create product type reviews which will bring traffic to their websites and customers into their shop?

      Both audiences have a BIG need for your expertise and you could do some high end one-on-one coaching for those people that need it. I would suspect that building confidence is the major concern for your clients. This plagued me for a long time especially because I had an accent that was a mix of Zimbabwean and Australian and I thought nobody would understand me… Being an introvert also doesn’t help!

      I’ve since got over that and yesterday I did a 90 minute interview with video which I was incredibly nervous about. But, my interviewer (Shane Melaugh) was exceptional and I completely relaxed after the intro and thoroughly enjoyed it.

      I’ve done audio interviews before but the video is what scared me. I was overly concerned about stuff that I shouldn’t have been worrying about. Your training could go a long way in helping people with that. I pushed through the fear and got it done, but there are many people that will be paralysed with fear and never find the success they deserve…

      I look forward to your comments.

      Have Fun,
      Ian

      • Ian McConnell

        John, when you position yourself as a product creator it makes sense to ‘outsource’ the traffic generation so you don’t spread yourself too thin.

        It comes back to the passion… You enjoy creating the product and training people, and you probably don’t enjoy doing all the stuff related to getting thousands of targeted visitors to your sales page.

        So, it makes sense to JV with the people that thrive on traffic generation. You reward them with a healthy commission and you communicate and share what’s working and what’s not.

        The affiliate will love you because you are helping them directly, and they are getting the best possible return for their money and time…

        You get the best possible traffic to your sales page, which results in conversions of 20%+ instead of the industry average of 2%.

        It’s a match made in heaven… A complete win-win situation.

        And it’s so simple to do this with an ‘Affiliate Center’ (more on this in a future blog post).

        Have Fun,
        Ian

        • http://crashcoursetraining.com/wordpress-crash-course/ John Piteo

          The affiliate product that I recommend for Facebook is FBInfluence by Amy Porterfield. Amy is also the co-author of the paperback, “Facebook Marketing for Dummies”. For advanced WordPress coaching I recommend “Website Design Mojo” by Angela Wills and for affiliate marketing I recommend the Chris Farrell Membership. The people that want to learn how to build their first WordPress site are usually complete newbies. Chris goes over a lot of the basics and will teach them how to build a list so it’s a good place for them to start.

          Regarding the video production and training, actually, I was planning on targeting the people who are afraid or just don’t want to appear in the video themselves. It wouldn’t be to change their mind or help them to build their confidence. It would show them how to make videos that they don’t have to appear in. An example would be my sales video for the WordPress Crash Course or the sales video on Amy Porterfield’s fbinfluence.com site. You would still need to talk on your video or pay a voice-over person.

          About accents, believe it or not, accents, as long as they are not too difficult to understand, can actually be a benefit. It causes people to listen more closely. Depending on where you’re from Chris Farrell has a strong accent and so does Mark Ling and they do just fine speaking on video.

          I could show people how to make sales videos, squeeze page videos demo videos, explainer videos, training videos, videos for offline clients, etc. Videos like this can be very expensive to outsource $700 to $1500 per minute is common, but I can show people how to do it themselves and it would be relatively easy for them to learn (with my simplified training techniques, of course).

          Regarding outsourcing traffic generation, yes recruiting affiliates has been my weakness. I guess one of the reasons that I’ve avoided JV’s is because when they promote your product then want you to promote their product and unfortunately most of the products that I’ve seen have been total crap. My reputation is worth more to me than any money I could make. I do love the idea of getting affiliates to promote my new product outright just for the ability to make a commission by promoting a high-quality product that their customers will love. I’ll be watching closely for info on an “affiliate center”.

  • http://www.bizoppsbuzz.com Owen

    Great story and comments. John could get a JV partner who loves to create affiliate niche websites using wordpress and FB course. John could create the web video course. Then stick them all into a membership site and create the affiliate page and start promoting the site. Chris Farrell has got this model. $37 a month, 5000 subscribers. Ok, a lot of affiliate driven income, but still its a regular nice income.
    Good luck John.

    • http://inmyhomeoffice.com/ Ian McConnell

      Good idea Owen on the JV partner.

      It doesn’t make sense for people to go through the big learning curve of creating their own WordPress websites anymore.

      The old days of having 50 niche websites are gone and today you just need one authority website. Many providers will build you one for a few hundred dollars, with customisation and graphics…

      BTW, if anyone is interested in these niches, you are welcome to take over the websites I have available. They are from my days (3yrs ago) when I was seduced into thinking that owning 50+ niche websites was the best investment of my time and money… ah well, we live and learn!

      Have Fun,
      Ian

    • http://crashcoursetraining.com/wordpress-crash-course/ John Piteo

      Owen,

      I’ve been watching Chris Farrell since he was a total newbie asking questions on the Warrior forum. His rise from beginner to success was brilliant. I learned a lot from him and started by modeling what he was doing. I should have kept going with it, LOL.

  • http://joecanwrite.wordpress.com Joe

    This should be an interesting project to follow.

    Looking forward to seeing which idea John decides to pursue.

    Joe

  • Pingback: How To Make Money From Your Knowledge Or Skill | Make Money Online... InMyHomeOffice

  • Anthony Sakowicz

    John,
    I’m a customer who has purchased your program and recently got a new computer.
    Can’t understand how to place your program on my new computer. Would like to enlist
    your help. Hope you can track my purchase which was 2 or 3 months ago. Sorry to use
    this comment box but couldn’t locate a
    contact us” link on your website.
    Anthony Sakowicz
    Reno, Nevada
    anthony@nevadaflyguy.com

    • http://crashcoursetraining.com/wordpress-crash-course/ John Piteo

      Hi Anthony,

      Just sent your login info to you. If you need it in the future the Contact link is on the bottom of each page on my site.