When it comes to internet marketing and blogging, I tend to keep it realistic because why should I market false news and tactics? The 'make money online' niche is just very saturated over the internet. Some just start because they read these ebooks which tells them they can earn thousands of dollars over the internet in just a couple weeks. When there are no results they just quit.
But making money online is real, "just leave the bullcrap at home" says Mark Wielgus. I have actually started reading Mark's blog at 45n5.com. What attracted me to his blog were his comments on marketing, straight to the point posts, and funny but real videos.
Mark was the first to contact me on an issue with an email he has received automatically from my blog. Later in the conversation I asked if he would like to be interviewed by me. I was interested in his domain name and his personality as an
blogger author and marketer. I was excited when he accepted.
Mark thanks for taking the time to let me and other readers get to know you more on a personal level. I have recently started reading your blog and I enjoy it a lot. You are one of the very limited marketers that keep the 'make money online' niche real. Helping others realize the reality is the key to become successful online.
Well with that said let us start.
Ian: What does 45n5 mean because I can not find an algorithm between 45n5 and "We Make Money Online?"
Mark: My first goal making money online was to make $50 per day. 45 n 5 = 50. This was the amount it would take for me to quit my day job and still pay half of my households bills (my wife has a real job). The short easy to remember name I liked also. I reached my goal this year even though I started 45n5.com back in 2005. Now I hope 45n5 will become synonymous with making money online for others just starting out and looking to achieve their online money making goals, whatever they are.
Ian: Your 45n5 blog looks like a membership site - yet there is no monthly fee. What are some of the benefits for joining your 45n5 network?
Mark: I have only recently added the "login" feature to 45n5.com. There will be many features available in the future for people when logged in, but for now there are the basics of the ability to add a picture by your comments, record your comment count, private message other 45n5 visitors, let the world know about 3 of your websites and a few of your stats from the profile page, just for starters 😉 There will be much more in the future.
The majority of 45n5.com features will remain free however I've been debating the creation of a "pro" or "upgraded" version of the site. Of course my goal for each pro member will be for them to make enough money online to pay for their membership fee, just for starters.
Ian: Mark, I notice you have created some great scripts for making simple WebPages. Do you create these scripts on your own and where do you come up with ideas? I especially like the YouTube, Amazon, Ebay Script.
Mark: I create the scripts on my own. I'm not the best php coder in the world but with enough iterations I get a working script. Most of the time the scripts come from ideas I've created for myself, and sometimes if I think others will like the script I clean it up and post it. In the near future I will be getting my feet wet with developing my first info product (a script) and selling it, win or lose, so stay tuned as it should be fun.
Ian: From my experience so far from your blog, everything on your blog is very realistic. From your video "You will Not Make Money Online" to your current video ad "Make Money Online". I believe this is important especially in our niche. How do you deal with all the controversies that arise from your videos or comments?
Mark: I don't expect 100% of the world to agree with everything I say, therefore it is inevitable that if I have an opinion some people will have an alternative opinion. I also remember problogger's advice from many moons ago to put on a "thick skin" when blogging, so I try not to take things personally. Plus, I think many people read your blog for your opinion, so you are doing your readers a disservice by not giving it.
Ian: You do a lot of video blogging and I recently just started. Did you just jump into video blogging or were you a little hesitant about it? For video bloggers that just started, as me, what advice do you have for them?
Mark: I was hesitant at first but thought to myself "why not?" When I wake up in the morning and I want to do a video blog, what is stopping me? Any answer I came up with was silly, so I nervously started hitting record on the video camera. Advice? Start today! Brand your videos! I don't think my videos are good so I can only offer advice to myself here and maybe you can learn from it. Mark, you should be more creative in your videos. You should try to have more fun with your videos.
Ian: You have also been a guest on RevenueToday.com stating your opinions about affiliate marketing. How did that turn out? Did you enjoy becoming a guest? Were there tensions with your opinions?
Mark: It was actually the "Affiliate Thing" podcast with Lisa from revenue today and Shawn Collins. I thought it was fun but awhile ago, I'd have to re listen to it to comment further.
Ian: To me you are very different from other bloggers that I read on the internet, straight to the point (John Chow, Darren Rowse, CopyBlogger, Chris G, etc.). Usually I tend to find a connection or similarity with these blogs. With your blog I feel your videos creates a sense of environment where there is just comfort from our (internet marketing, blogging) saturated niche. Was this on purpose or was it base on your personality?
Mark: There was no grand design, unfortunately, but I'm happy visitors like them. I'm not a fan of bullcrap because I know many people are very serious about quitting the rat race, like VERY serious, where it isn't a joking matter or something to mess with people about it. We can have fun, even sell a little, but leave the bs at home.
Ian: Mark, when you wake up what is your traditional internet routine or blogging routine? Do you go check your email first? What forums or blogs or news sites do you visit first, etc?
Mark: No routine, in any order I might:
Check my email and respond. Check my vanity feeds and thank linkers.
Check my comments respond. Read all of my feeds, taking notes/bookmarking news I want to blog about, make blog posts, record a video, program some, do something from the todo list. I'm not a "productivity" person.
Ian: I and the rest of your readers can agree you make Internet Marketing Niche very real. You and many others do not believe in those get rich quick products. I highly believe in this, Internet Marketing in general is a learning experience. How long did it take you to reach to your goal of internet riches? Was it a hard learning experience for you as a person and on your mind?
Mark: It took roughly three years for me to go full time at making money online. I still don't earn a full time income, but I earn enough to work on my websites 24/7. I agree 100% it is a learning experience. Listen to other bloggers, gurus, or experts for new ideas to apply to YOUR technique or method. If you don't have a method than start "experimenting".
Making money online is very real, there are more than enough examples of people successfully doing it. However, it is also very real that the majority of people that try to make any real money online fail, you just don't hear that part very much, it doesn't sell well.
Ian: Lastly - Do you have fun blogging/video blogging or do you do it for the money? The question in the end is What Do you Blog For?
Mark: I absolutely enjoy blogging at 45n5.com and making videos there. If it was for money I would have quit a long time ago. The people I virtually meet, network with, and get opinions from has been invaluable to my success so far.
My OverAll Lesson from the Interview:
I have learned several factors about Mark, I now know what 45n5.com stands for. Mark also sets himself a goal when he first started, making at least $50 a day. I remember when I first started I didn't have a goal I just did everything. When nothing worked I knew I was just doing everything without learning.
Another aspect that I enjoyed about the interview is Mark says "why not?" This is a great question when you feel that you are being held back. This came to me when I first started video blogging, I was thinking to myself about what others may thing. Then I thought to myself those are just poor excuses to do something. Why not just do it. So I decided to do my first video for my blog, which also caught the attention of John Chow.
Another aspect of Mark's personality and realism is he leaves the BULLCRAP at home! Reality kicks into the noob once he realizes he would have to do work to be successful on the internet. After multiple purchases of ebooks, they tend to complain its a scam. Making money online is not a scam its just takes hard work, and Mark went through it for 3 years! He is the only person I can say that puts his personality into his work a lot, keeping the reality with making money online. If you would like to know what I am talking about you can view his YouTube Page and watch all his videos - because you will laugh and learn at the same time!