Amish Shah is an online marketing legend, entrepreneur and philanthropist. In 2001, he started an affiliate marketing company online and quit his job just three years later. One of Amish’s companies made the Inc. 500 List of fastest growing companies. He’s sold several businesses for more than $1 million, and is a successful serial entrepreneur.
Today, Amish is building his educational company Deep Origins into a global brand, teaching people about ancient wisdom from yoga to Ayurveda to meditation and other powerful ancient traditions. Deep Origins combines this ancient wisdom with modern science to improve lives and make the world a better place. The company has several products including information on Ayurveda, Alpha Brain Waves, and Ancient Explorers.
Amish got his start as an affiliate marketer. An affiliate marketer makes money when someone clicks on their affiliate link and buys something from the destination website.
Amish started making real money with affiliate marketing when he advertised Netflix on his affiliate site lostseason2.com. The website is no longer active, but by 2004 Amish was making over $1,000,000 a year with affiliate marketing.
As an affiliate marketer:
- You don’t need a product.
- You don’t need an email list.
- What you need to do is drive traffic to the destination website that you are an affiliate of through your affiliate link.
How Entrepreneurs Solve Problems
There are 3 basic approaches to solving problems as an entrepreneur.
1. The Outward Approach
- Ask a mentor.
- Ask someone who’s more successful than you.
- Get advice from your peers.
- Get advice from the web.
- Look for advice from people who’ve achieved what you want to achieve.
Read the books and take part in the masterminds of high-level people like Elon Musk and Richard Branson.
2. The Inward Approach
Another approach you can take to solving your problems is journaling. Write down your problems and goals. Then write down the steps you need to take in order to solve and accomplish them.
It’s funny how in the digital age we have all these tools that can help us visualize our problems in different ways, and we never think to just step away from the computer and reconnect with our intuition.
Amish believes it’s important to get your problems out on a piece of paper. Before you know it, you’ll be solving all the problems you have in your head.
Meditation helps Amish stay grounded and connected to his intuition. It helps to clear the mind and insulate it from all the distractions of modern everyday life.
Meditation also gives Amish access to insights that he wouldn’t get without spending the time in his meditation practice.
The more time you can turn off the computer, the clearer your mind will be, and the more ideas for next steps you will see.
The Key to Success
“Take care of yourself. Take care of your body. Keep your mind sharp. And go do it.” – Amish Shah
Success isn’t complicated. People just think there should be an easier way to attain it. They’re always looking for shortcuts. The truth is there is no shortcut to success. You just have to take the steps necessary in order to succeed, and have the perseverance to see your plan through to the end.
The best way to succeed is to work backwards. Figure out what you want to achieve. Then write down the steps necessary in order to achieve your goal.
Make a plan and follow your plan to completion. If the plan doesn’t work like you thought it would then make a detour and get back to the plan as soon as possible.
Perseverance is the one attribute that determines success more than anything else.
There is enough information online today for anyone to be successful as an online entrepreneur. Implementation of successful strategies is what sets Amish’s successful students apart from his unsuccessful students.
Unsuccessful people look for excuses why they can’t implement certain strategies. Successful students take in the information and implement the strategies right away. If it doesn’t work, they figure out how to tweak and improve it until it does work.
People who won’t implement successful strategies will never be successful in the entrepreneurial space. You have to be willing to try new things as an entrepreneur if you want to succeed.
According to Amish, the path of a successful entrepreneur looks like this:
- Decide what you want to do.
- Research what other successful people have done.
- Adapt what you learn about other successful people to your own circumstance.
- Implement your adapted learning in your own life.
- Learn from your own experience about what works and what doesn’t.
- Upgrade your own processes.
- Repeat steps 2 through 6 until you achieve the success you want.
You can read all the information in the world but until you put yourself in the arena by offering some sort of product for customers you’re never going to learn what you need to succeed.
Help Your Customers by Giving Away Free Content to Build Relationships
Success in the online marketing world is all about providing value for your customer.
How much of your content can you give to your customer to provide value in their life? Giving your content to your customers allows them to figure out whether or not you can help them without risk. If you help them with your free content, they will want to reciprocate by paying you for more in-depth content.
There are several different ways to give away free content online. You can:
- Write blog posts
- Make videos
- Giveaway e-books as PDFs
- Write a nonfiction book
- Start a podcast
Amish produces documentaries that are available for free on his websites. The reason he produces these documentaries is because he knows giving away that much value for free makes people eager to reciprocate in some way, often by checking out your paid offerings.
One of Amish’s documentaries got over 500,000 YouTube views in 6 months. His Facebook page has over 200,000 fans. All of this came about by giving away content for free.
He’s built a platform by producing valuable content and giving it away. There is no barrier to entry in learning.
How Amish Gets Traffic to His Offers
Amish uses paid traffic sources to get traffic to his webpages.
Specifically he uses:
- Google ads.
- Facebook ads.
- Retargeting ads through Ad Roll and Perfect Audience.
- He also buys native ads using Outbrain.
- He has also been experimenting with Taboola.
Native ads are the ads that come up on the side of big traffic sites. Usually news sites. The ads look like they are news articles. In fact they are paid advertisements that link to an article selling a product.
When it comes to videos the traffic isn’t really free because it costs money to produce the videos. But he isn’t paying per click for each visitor from a video that he produces.
Google catalogs 100,000 new search phrases every day that have never been used to search the Internet before. The more content you put on the web, the more likely it is that someone will find you.
People are constantly looking for new stuff. If you are constantly putting out new stuff, chances are someone will find you eventually.
The more free content you produce on the Internet the more traffic you will eventually get to your website. Make use of as many different ways to create content as you can.
- Write blog posts.
- Make podcasts.
- Write books.
- Create videos.
If you have money to invest in paid advertising, free traffic sources may not be necessary. But they’re always a good backup.
The Best Thing You Can Do is Build an Email List
“Build a list. It’s probably the most lucrative thing you will ever build because it’s something you can constantly market to, constantly talk to, and you can constantly engage with them. It’s the one thing that will pay you for life consistently.” – Amish Shah
If you want to focus on one thing you should build an email list. Your email list is the most valuable marketing tool you will ever have, because you can market to people directly.
They’ve given you permission to market to them. They’re expecting it.
Email Marketing Strategy
“Every day you don’t build your list your missing out on years of revenue, because you’re missing out on the ability to contact your customers.” – Tom Corson Knowles
The most important thing you can do is communicate with your list consistently. Decide on a schedule and stick to it.
Email marketing is another huge traffic source for Amish internally. As soon as Amish captures an email address he is regularly in communication with that customer.
Generally, he sends emails Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8 AM Pacific time.
He chose 8 AM Pacific time because the majority of his audience is in the United States. If they’re on the West Coast they’re just going to work. And if there on the East Coast it’s about lunchtime. So 8 AM Pacific time Monday, Wednesday, and Friday works best for him.
- On Monday Amish sends a newsletter content based email.
- On Wednesday Amish may send an email that’s an affiliate offer selling something. Sometimes he doesn’t send an email on Wednesdays.
- On Friday Amish sends another content email.
Begin engaging with your subscriber as soon as you get their email address. Don’t overthink it. Send your email list subscribers something regularly—anything useful! Send them an interesting article you read from anywhere on the Internet.
They’re going to appreciate the fact that you sent them the article. And if they don’t you don’t want them on your list anyway.
Don’t be afraid of people unsubscribing from your email list. It saves you money. And you aren’t wasting your time building relationships with people who aren’t interested in what you have to say.
Every single time you send an email you should expect some people to unsubscribe. You want to have a system in place to replace the subscribers who unsubscribe.
How to Create Content for Your Audience
In order to create content for your audience you have to know who your audience is and what their interested in. The best way to figure that out is to email them and ask them.
Learn from the Past
Amish has always felt that there is a connection between our past and where we’re going. We’re seeing that today. Today we are rediscovering how to use nature and the resources around us to make our lives better.
These are secrets ancient societies discovered thousands of years ago.
Amish has been fascinated with ancient wisdom since he was a young boy. As he grew up he came to believe that he needed to start a business to make money. He didn’t realize that his business could be centered on his passion of rediscovering ancient wisdom.
When he thought of making money online the first strategies that came to mind always revolved around:
- Affiliate marketing.
- Making a piece of software.
- Developing a product.
- Developing a membership site.
Amish has tried a number of different avenues to make money online. And he’s eventually been successful at all of them. At the end of the day he wasn’t happy with what he was doing.
He was a multimillionaire living a lifestyle of excess and material things. It turned out that all of the sports cars and other fancy toys he bought didn’t bring him happiness.
He tried a number of different things until he decided to devote himself to sharing information about his passion. He began to find balance in his life once he started Deep Origins.
Deep Origins is bringing back ancient wisdom and helping people apply it with the help of modern science.
One of the things Amish is really excited about is his new documentary on Ayurveda, an ancient healing science. Ayurveda could prove to be more intelligent than modern science in some aspects of disease, pharmacology and pharmaceutical drugs.
We’re starting to see science catch up to ancient wisdom. There’s a real shift in society, from wanting to eat healthy organic food to the desire to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Amish saw this trend beginning to build and decided to go back to his passion and build a business around sharing the wisdom of the ancients with the world.
People are always looking for something new to sell online. They feel like they need to sell the shiny new thing in order to be successful. Ayurveda is 5,000 years old.
You don’t have to sell something new to make money. You just have to solve a problem for your audience.
How Amish Monetizes His Passion
Amish has a membership site that gives people information about the ancient knowledge he’s passionate about.
He’s partnered with someone from the History Channel to produce programs that give people information about the knowledge of the ancients.
Amish’s partner is on the show Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. He does tons of speaking gigs and is one of the most credible people on the History Channel. He had a product he wanted to sell online, and Amish helped him figure out online marketing.
After that successful partnership they teamed up to create an online membership site about ancient knowledge, and people are loving it.
Identify Your Target Market
Identify the kinds of people who would be interested in your market. There may be 2 or 3 demographics that would be interested in your market and what you’re selling.
When you identify your ideal customer ask yourself these questions:
- What do they read?
- Where do they hangout?
- What problems are they facing in their life?
- Why would they want to read your information?
Split Testing Tools
Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to start creating landing pages and split testing so you can learn what your audience is most interested in.
Amish’s Target Audiences
Amish has a different target audience for each one of his offerings.
Projectyourself.com is one of his more successful websites. The target market for that website is women 30+. Those are the people most likely to be interested in the content he produces on that website.
For ancientexplorers.com Amish’s target market is men over the age of 25.
Every single product you have will target a different audience.
The Most Important Question You Should Ask
Always be asking yourself, “What problem is my ideal customer dealing with right now?”
If you can help a customer solve a problem, or even get them started and on the way to solving it, they will come back to you over and over again.
One Final Piece of Advice
One of the biggest problems authors have is how to get new readers.
- Understand what it means to make an online offer.
- Understand how to build an email list and how to drive traffic to your email list.
Those are the most important things you need to know starting out.
People Mentioned in This Interview
Richard Branson and Elon Musk are high level successful entrepreneurs you should observe and emulate.
Links and resources mentioned in this Interview
Shah Education and Exploration 501(c)(3) non-profit
Adroll is a powerful advertising tool that uses retargeting to reach your best prospects.
Perfect Audience is another great paid advertising tool that uses retargeting.
OutBrain is a great tool and platform for using Native Ads to grow your business online.
Google Analytics is a great free tool for website analytics.
Google Webmaster Tools is a free tool every single website owner should be using to fix website errors and help make better use of your most valuable web pages.
Kissmetrics is a good tool for web analytics and split tests.
Optimizely is another great tool for split testing and increasing your conversions online.
Download the Customer Avatar Sheet recommended by Amish for understanding your target customer and audience better.
projectyourself.com Amish’s website centered on meditation products.
ancientexplorers.com Amish’s website centered on uncovering ancient wisdom.
amish-shah.com – Amish’s personal website this is where you can see all of the project he’s working on.
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.