It’s time for the “Who is” post series again! This series already featured some amazing people: ShoeMoney, John Chow, dk, Darren Rowse and Shawn Collins. Today, for the sixth post of this series, I’m going to introduce you to one of the most famous bloggers in the Interner Marketing industry: Zac Johnson.
Despite being a Super Affiliate making money online since 1997, and being a proficient blogger since March 17, 2007, talking about Zac Johnson is not an easy task because he doesn’t write a lot about himself, but I’ll try my best!
On his personal blog ZacJohnson.com, Zac provides tips, techniques and services for people who want to make money through affiliate marketing. Zac built himself a very solid reputation in the internet marketing industry, especially when it comes to performance marketing: people trust his advice and do well to learn from his expertise.
Zac Johnson: The Early Days
As a kid, Zac was fascinated by everything related to advertising. He kept asking questions to his father such as “How much do you think it costs to advertise on that billboard?” or “How many people actually buy a car after seeing a superbowl commercial?”.
When Zac was in fourth grade, he was already thinking of methods to make money. Zac was buying packs of 12 Marvel Comic Cards for $1 that he was selling to the other kids at lunch for 25 cents each, cashing all the leftover lunch money of his comrades.
When he reached intermediate school, he stepped up his game: the hot niche was soda. He started buying 12 packs of soda, that he would carry in his backpack instead of books and pencils, and selling them back for 75 cents a can. (Yep, you can see the reference in the caricature ;).
Zac Johnson: The Discovery of The Internet
In high School, Zac started playing around on the internet. His first online projects were mostly funny pictures pages and sports team pages. He was not realizing yet the true potential of the internet, but working on his projects ans sharing infos with other webdesigners was an introduction to what would become his full-time work.
Zac Johnson: The First Earnings, Pay per Click
As far as Zac can remember, the very first affiliate program that he joined was the Pacific Coast Feather Company banner click program. At that time, you had to put Pacific Coast banners on your website and they would pay you 1 cent per visitor who go to their website through this banner. This might have sound like an interesting deal to the beginner marketer that he was, but the payment threshold was $100. Meaning that you had to send 10,000 clicks to get paid. As a result, he never reached the payout limit.
Zac Johnson: The Discovery of Affiliate Networks
Even though Zac didn’t make money through the Pacific Coast program, it allowed him to get his foot in the door of affiliate marketing. At that time, he moved to eAds (banner network dead since), AllAdvantage (pay to surf) and Amazon.com. These three companies have been his first money makers. He was soon to discover CPL (leads) and surveys through the Free Stuff market. He started to make a decent profit through WebSponsors (now owned by ValueClick) which was paying a commission when people were submitting a form or signing up for a free offer.
Zac Johnson: The Birth of MoneyReign
In 1998, the industry was on a steady growth and some new monetization methods were appearing. At that time, Zac had a full network of free stuff and entertainment sites. Zac was strongly promoting Amazon.com and making a decent income from search engine traffic. At that time, he also joined a company named PostMasterDirect.com as a list-owner. PostMasterDirect.com is an email marketing company sending niche targeted emails to its subscribers. His plan was to combine his network (MoneyReign)of sites to PostMasterDirect in order to send newsletters to his visitors.
Zac Johnson: Becoming a Merchant
Reaching some encouraging success with his network of sites, he decided to move on and became a merchant. He developped his own affiliate program which was promoted on Commission Junction, WebSponsors, ShareaSale, DirectLeads, FineClicks and a few others. This was a complete success: he ended up paying over 1 million dollar in commissions to his affiliates.
Also, it’s a good thing to remember that Zac Johnson started making money online very early in his life and his journey as a merchant while he was still in high school.
Zac Johnson: Networking is The Key
As he was a merchant, and pushing some good numbers through Commission Junction, he attended CJU 2000, an event held in Santa Barbara, CA, by Commission Junction, with his father (he was 19 yo).
Attending this event has been a life-changing event for Zac. It allowed him to meet with people from Jackpot.com and NeoPets.com. Zac is not really the most outgoing person in the world, but after a speaker presentation by Ola Edvardsson, he went to talk to him about his online projects and ask him for any idea that could help. During the conversation, they figured that they were not living very far from each other, which allowed them to meet several times to confront and exchange ideas during the following years.
Zac Johnson: The Event Speaker
Nowadays, Zac is recognized as one of the most successful bloggers online, and it allows him to speak at many Internet Marketing events (Internet Performance Marketing Expo, Miami FL; Affil@Syd Australia; BlogWorld Las Vegas 2008, 2009, 2010; SES NY: Search Engine Strategies 2010; Affiliate Summit Social Media 2008; Affiliate Summit 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; AffiliateForce 2002, 2003) and develop his business ideas with interesting people.
As you can see Zac seems to be an interesting person even though he doesn’t speak much about his projects. I’m definitely looking forward to meeting him in an upcoming event.