Audience Engagement, Affiliate Sales, and Automated Product Funnels


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Rosemary Groner

What would it take to make the 4-Hour Workweek a reality?

Since we last caught up, this stay-at-home-mom blogger has been on a mission to automate and simplify her business.

Yes, by request, Rosemarie Groner from BusyBudgeter.com is back for a 4th round on the podcast!

If you are just joining us, let me catch you up on the backstory…

In her past life as a state trooper and home daycare operator, Rosemarie made an incredible transformation in her own household’s finances — reducing expenses and paying off debt.

She shared her winning money strategies on a blog for “chronically disorganized” moms.

Within her first year, she was making $5k a month, mostly from ad income.

A year after that, $20-25k, mostly from affiliates and her own email list.

And a year after that, she’d even touched the 6-figures a month mark by creating her own products.

Tune in to hear how Rosemarie:

  • Turned her best content into a 2-year automated email sequence.
  • Fine-tuned that sequence to earn affiliate commissions and sell her products.
  • Drives traffic today.
  • Decided to cut off a profitable segment of her audience.

What Have You Accomplished Since We Last Spoke?

The last time we spoke in episode 268, Rosemarie was setting up funnels for everything. She wanted to take a step away from the day-to-day running of her business and make it more passive.

My goal was to be able to walk away, to come in and check on it every couple of months. Maybe like a 4-hour workweek type deal,” Rosemarie told me.

Rosemarie had two audiences which she served with different products:

  • Those interested in learning about budgeting, and
  • Those wanting to know how to start a blog.

At the time, Rosemarie was manually doing a monthly product launch for each section of her audience.

Her goal was to set up a 2-year long funnel that would take people from either section of her audience through all the steps they needed to get to where they wanted to be.

It took about a year to set it all up using ConvertKit, but she got it done and was happy with the results.

“It worked amazing,” Rosemarie said looking back at the finished funnels.

She admitted it wasn’t easy, but the result has been a more consistent income across the last 12 months. This enabled Rosemarie to take 5 months off, and work an average of 12 hours per week the other 7 months!

Doubling Down on One Audience

Rosemarie was finding it increasingly difficult to manage what was effectively two separate businesses: Her budgeting and blogging audiences.

“I made the calculated decision to focus on one or the other,” she told me.

It was a tough decision because even though her blogging audience was one-fifth the size of her budgeting audience, it made up half her revenue.

Rosemarie said she has a lot to offer both audiences.

But it was the budgeters where she felt like she was able to offer more unique solutions. Plus, budgeting content doesn’t need to be updated as often, and there’s still less competition.

“My long-term goal is to be able to help as many people as possible who have these unique problems I can help them fix, but also I want to have a life,” Rosemarie told me.

Rosemarie said when she doubled down on the budgeting audience, she made up the revenue lost by dropping the blogging audience in about 4-5 months.

What’s Driving Traffic Today?

Pinterest

Those who remember Rosemarie’s previous shows will know that Pinterest is a huge traffic source for her.

Rosemarie said that Pinterest still makes up a large chunk of her traffic, but she’s had to change her strategies as the platform has changed.

She still uses Tailwind to automate her pinning. But she takes the time to look at which pins are under performing and updates the content.

Rosemarie said she’s also moved away from the “clickbaity” types of pins. She’s been creating more pins that solve a specific problem for a user, such as creating guides and reviewing helpful products.

Related: Pinterest Marketing for 2019 and Beyond: How to Get More Traffic, with Kate Ahl

Google

Organic traffic brings in about half as much traffic as Pinterest for Rosemarie. She targets keywords such as “meal planning” and write guides that bring in a lot of traffic.

She can then convert that through lead magnets.

Related: SEO for Bloggers: The Simple Way to Get More Free Traffic From Google, with Matt Giovanisci

Facebook Ads

Rosemarie uses Facebook ads to drive traffic to her sign-up forms. She runs ads on and off, resulting in ad spend averaging about $20 per day.

She said her lowest cost per opt-in is $0.43, and she makes $4.99 for the sale on a specific funnel.

This is a great ROI, but managing ads isn’t one of her top priorities so she doesn’t intend to try and scale this up.

Related: Facebook Ads Arbitrage: How to Drive Consistent Profitable Traffic to Your Blog, with Deacon Hayes

Using Lead Magnets to Bring in New Subscribers

Rosemarie has set up a number of lead magnets designed to provide a solution for her visitors so they subscribe to her mailing list.

Her main lead magnets include:

  • Meal Planning – When that organic traffic rolls in, Rosemarie has some meal planning lead magnets to bring visitors into her sales funnel.
  • 90-day Budget Bootcamp – This product helps people who have never budgeted before realize some wins.
  • Home Rescue – This is a webinar series designed to help people get their homes in order. It starts as a free course then splits into paid training.
  • Christmas Planner – This is a seasonal planner to help budget over the holiday period.

What’s the 2-Year Funnel Experience Like for a Subscriber?

When someone opts into Rosemarie’s mailing list, they’ll have no idea they are in an automated funnel that’s going to go on for two years or more.

“Consider the longer funnel as a way to continually nurture your audience, but also everything in that funnel is just gravy,” Rosemarie said.

For example, when someone opts-in for the 90-day Budget Bootcamp offer, they’re offered the workbook for $7.

If they don’t buy the workbook, they are sent some free stuff to build their trust.

Then they’ll be offered the workbook again, at a higher price point of $12 this time. If they buy the workbook this time, they’re added into a funnel for a more expensive product.

Rosemarie will also mention a lot of products she uses throughout her emails as soft sells. She said that by talking about these products often it makes it a lot easier to sell them as a tripwire offer.

Rosemarie’s flagship product is her Hot Mess to Home Success course which sells for $97.

This is a video course that helps people better organize their homes around their personalities. This helps them become better at managing their finances.

Currently, the revenue split between her own products and affiliate income is about 65%-75% in favor of her own products. Her ultimate goal is to get this nearer to 95% so she doesn’t have to worry about dealing with changes in affiliate programs.

What’s Next?

Rosemarie is busy with her home life and plans to reduce the number of hours working on her business this year — not increase it.

With that said, the things she’s working on are:

  • Building additional products to add into her funnels.
  • Updating current products.
  • “Unjacking” her funnels, which means doing some A/B split testing and figuring out how to increase ROI.
  • Potentially starting an affiliate program for her own products.

Rosemarie’s #1 Tip for Side Hustle Nation, 2020

“Don’t settle.”

Links and Resources from this Episode

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5 thoughts on “Audience Engagement, Affiliate Sales, and Automated Product Funnels”

  1. I am single mom, very low income. What are the costs of starting a blog, web hosting, funnels, all of this. Where could I find this information. I want to sell comic short stories, comedy family art, and health guides. I am knowledgeable about nutrition for chronic illness for my mom.

    Reply
    • Lin,
      You can start with Google Blogger. https://www.blogger.com/about/?r=2.
      It’s a free way to start a website.
      Make a Youtube channel.
      Make a Facebook page.
      Make a Pinterest page.
      All of this is free. You don’t need to spend a dime on this part. When you start growing and earning $$ from your efforts, you can then switch to paid platforms.

      Reply
  2. Hello,

    Is there currently a program/service/plug in that captures and builds emails opt-ins, but also delivers a digital product after payment?

    Thank you, I love your podcast!

    Reply

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