Conference keynote speakers are always great to talk to. So, I decided to reach out to one of the Affiliate Summit East 2011 ones, Marc Ostrofsky (MO below), and interview him, asking questions that my blog readers may have wanted to ask… Today I’d like to bring you this interview:
GP: Marc, thank you for taking the time to give me this interview. Can you tell my blog readers a bit about yourself?
MO: I love to play golf. I love to Travel – Italy is as good as it gets for me. I work out and swim. I was always into sports – like Racquetball, but as I get older, the athletic ability is like my hair – it’s seems to be going away as I age. I have a lovely wife, five beautiful daughters, two dogs and live in a wonderful home in Houston, Texas.
I also love to teach. My dad was a professor. My sister was a professor. I think I just have it in my DNA. But first, I had to make money and prove something works – and then teach it. So I always get involved with a project, company or idea so I can say I actually did it… and that is where Get Rich Click! came from. My own companies played in many of these games… then I set out and researched for years how others make money online. Maybe that’s why we hit the New York Times Bestseller list… because the data in that book is real… it’s not made up — I’ve done it and show how so many others have done it.
GP: Your 1999 sale of Business.com (for $7.5 million) got you into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most expensive domain name ever sold. Do you still hold that record?
MO: I paid $150,000, the most money ever paid for a single domain name – just the URL, no website, no income stream, no database… nothing but the URL. Today, money spent on a Domain Name often brings more than just the URL. For example Sex.com was sold for $13 million; however the buyers got a domain name, a database of clients, an income stream and a website even if they wanted to redo it.
GP: You’re known for coining the notion of domain names as “Internet real estate”. We all understand that whoever was there first, obviously, grabbed the better “real estate”. Are there any good names left for online marketers to acquire today? And if so, what purpose makes more sense: development, reselling, or maybe reselling the developed “property” at a later date?
MO: Sure there are! But they might be much more expensive than the original $8 to buy them.
This “Internet” based Real Estate is bought, sold, rented or leased out. You buy an empty piece of land and build on it.
Think about the similarities. You get a domian name and it’s the same as an empty piece of land. You can buy it, sell it, lease it out (for the traffic it gets) or build on it. You can put a simple house on (a website) or a giant skyscraper on it (like eBay or Facebook).
The big difference is that the speculation in names, like the goldrush in California, is all but gone. But, you can buy great pieces of real estate on the secondary market. There are sites that offer tens of thousands of domain names for sale at prices much higher than the original $8. Some names go for hundreds of thousands if not millons of dollars.
So you can play in this game for as low as $8 or so. Or as high as $10,000 or $100,000. I really do not suggest you do any of this without learning the game and the types of prices that some names command. Great deals are harder and harder to find these days. I call this the “intellectual property” lottery. It’s up to your brain to think of the next hot piece of real estate and you may win big. People speculate on movie titles, the next presidential election.. you name it, there are domain name speculatiors that buy a lot of $8. domain names trying to win the next “bit hit”.
GP: Your newest book “Get Rich Click!: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money Online” has already become the New York Times and Wall Street Journal business bestseller. Congratulations! What is the book about, and can it be of any benefit to affiliates? The title certainly presupposes this.
MO: Thank you. We are thrilled with the way Get Rich Click! has been received. The book is about how anyone can make money using tools from the Internet. You will learn:
- How to make money online using just a photo-requiring no money up front
- How people care making money using blogs, email, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube
- How you can buy Internet “traffic” for a few cents per visitor and sell it for 5x, 10x and even 25x the upfront amount
- How to make a full time living from home creating eBooks that are sold by others
- How to create simple e-commerce sites that make money the same day they’re live
- Learn the “Lead Generation” business and make money providing leads to other websites.
…and yes, it can be a benefit to affiliates. We have over 1,100 affiliates who are benefiting from the sale of Get Rich Click!
GP: And talking about earning from the Internet, if you were to name 3 things that anyone can start doing today to make money online, what would they be?
- Sell it then buy it. All you need is a digital camera – or find a photo online of the item for sale.
- Learn about affiliate marketing. That is the biggest secret to wealth online. As you know, Affiliate Marketing means you sell something and get paid a commission for the sale. For example, you can sign up to be an affiliate of Amazon.com. The give you a link to Amazon.com followed by your name. Each time anyone clicks on that link and buys a book from Amazon, you will be paid a commission! It’s really brilliant. So if you have a link for my book, and you tell 200 friends on Facebook or via email and provide them with that link, each time someone buys a book you get paid!
- Here is a great idea. Many people like to read books. If you think you can write up a good summary or review of the book, do that. Then send that review out to all of your friends and put an Amazon link at the bottom. If any of them like the review and click on the link, and buy the book, you get a commission.
At that point, your goal is to build your mailing list as large as you can so more people get it and more people click on the link to buy!
Another market I can discuss, should there be time, is to talk about lead generation. On the internet, firms like Colleges, Universities, Insurance firms and Mortgage Brokers pay for leads or potential clients. Here’s a good idea. Start a website like “Top 20 Colleges in New York”. Review the colleges… and at the end, put up their “application to apply” to the college. Many colleges pay up to $25 per application filled out! You just send them 100 applications and they send you $2500. This is a great way to make money. It’s not “overnight” but it’s also not hard. You start by learning about Lead Generation, how it works and which colleges (or mortage brokers) pay for such leads.
GP: What do you think of monetizing social networking presence in places like Facebook or LinkedIn? If one can make money from it, how exactly would they go about it?
MO: Yes. It’s all about having a database of friends, clients, buyers, former buyers and even lists you rent. A Facebook or LinkedIn list is a list like any other. You can sell to them as easily as you can to others. In fact, they trust you which often makes it easier to sell to them. But be careful not to push them or much or you will lose those friends …quickly.
GP: And my final question to you: on August 21 you’ll be doing the opening keynote for Affiliate Summit East 2011 in New York City. Taken that many of my blog readers will be there, can you give us a sneak peak (or a teaser) on what to expect?
MO: At this time, I am working on finalizing my thoughts and ideas for the speech. However, I am looking forward to seeing everyone there. Affiliate Summit East is a great place to meet and learn from a variety of people.
Thank you Geno for this opportunity. Hope to see you at ASE.