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That ability to evaluate a business’s shortcomings after the fact is a talent in and of itself, but “20-20 hindsight” is far more common than the ability to hatch an idea from possibility to product according to a sensible business and marketing plan. Too many Internet Marketers think of themselves as just self-employed individuals and not as business entities. And planning a business? What about knowing what your product should be or the best way to reach your market? That is as much art as it is science. It helps if, like Dunn, you are somehow able to recognize the “next big thing”—six months to a year ahead of anyone else. With his multimedia background, he was drawn to the technologies and programs like socimattic review that integrate audio, video, an animation, as well as the programs that are quantum leaps ahead of the early applications like PowerPoint and MacroMedia Director. Dunn leapt immediately into the world of social media, the “Web 2.0” concept of integrating user-supplied content. Social media sites like MySpace, YouTube, Digg, Wikipedia, and others differ from plain vanilla websites by enabling interaction and sharing among site owners, visitors, and communities via blogs, message boards, wikis, vlogs and his current specialty, podcasts. As with the sites found by surfing, users select the podcasts to listen to, which automatically qualifies prospects as people who have at least a passing interest in your product or subject. And unlike Websites, many podcasts feel almost personal, like phone conversations. With newer technology like the Apple iPhone, they feel like webcam conversations. They surpass eBooks in many ways (depending on the subject of course) since the incredibly small, portable technology (including ear-buds) lets you listen and learn hands-free while you’re commuting, running a marathon, or doing the laundry. Podcasts today are still new enough that many people still don’t know exactly what they are or how they work. Essentially they are just compressed audio/ video files (such as MP3s) distributed online as downloads or streaming content. You can syndicate them, just as you can articles. Users can subscribe to a series or list, get individual podcasts for free or for a fee, and tap into feed readers such as RSS. Sometimes podcasts begin as online teleconferences—these could be anything from classes to “talk shows”—that get recorded; they can be sent as streamed audio, too, although listeners aren’t actively participating. You can listen online on your computer (preferably with a broadband connection) or on your iPod (or something similar), or watch and listen on your iPhone. Nearly anything that could be presented on a website, teleseminar, or in an eBook can certainly be done as a podcast, such as music demos for your band, political speeches, instructions, tours, interviews, movie trailers—anything that can be recorded—and without huge investments in time and technology, which would make the podcasts prohibitively expensive. Most top Internet Marketers have blogs now. Considerably fewer have done podcasts. Dunn runs a site with his business and life partner Jody Colvard—funmoneygood.
com—that combines the two. The name comes from what could be called the site’s mission statement, but works equally well for the couple’s shared philosophy on life: “Have fun. Make Money. Do Good.” The site focuses on women with an entrepreneurial spirit, an idea of a product or service, and the drive to create 
socimattic review. (Although men aren’t excluded, Dunn has said that many of them don’t seem to “get it”.) He and Colvard created the “Fun Money Good Podcast Program,” an intensive ten-week course, to guide people through their very first podcasts. Of course it’s a sales tool. Of course it’s another way to pitch product. But for Dunn and others, like Paul Colligan, it is a way to get closer to people and relate to them as more than impressions, demographics, seats, targets or eyeballs. Podcasts, because they are about audio and video, allow something approaching conversation— and markets, as Cluetrain points out, are conversations. Of course, these days you can’t mention the word podcast without talking about Paul Colligan. He came up through the University of Santa Barbara, one of the four schools connected to the early Internet. Around 1994, Colligan started playing around with an email account that belonged to his fiancé and created a newsletter with a political bent to it. Between that and the Usenet groups, he was hooked, and as soon as the World Wide Web hit the scene, he built himself a little website. One of the people on his political email list asked him what his rates were. Colligan had to ask, “rates for what?” The man thought he was a professional website guru, and even though he wasn’t, Colligan quoted him a price. It was 1995. Colligan chose FrontPage, the popular new software for web pages—it was still in v1.1, and not even part of Microsoft Office—to do the job. He quickly realized that popular does not mean perfect, and that although Microsoft was trying to turn web page design into something almost anyone could do, there were holes in the software big enough to pass a PC through. Colligan mastered the program quickly, including its shortcomings, and for a while ran a small web design shop. When he found himself doing more human resources–related work than design work, he closed the shop and went to work for the first businessspecific ISP. Working for an ISP on the West Coast was a
challenge—the East Coast divisions’ servers went down at 6 p.m. EST for maintenance while the West Coast still had active clients. One day while he was working with the web designers, Colligan starting talking with his boss, Mark Chestnut (not the country western singer) about Microsoft and FrontPage and its many idiosyncrasies, and Chestnut had an idea. He asked himself: “What if we started doing FrontPage classes with Microsoft? And have people buy FrontPage from Microsoft, but web hosting from us? It would be a true joint venture.” Microsoft loved the idea, and soon they were the only ISP that could handle FrontPage. They got to use Microsoft’s mailing lists, and before long the business had exploded with clients. When Microsoft released FrontPage 2000 (rev. 4.0, 1999), Colligan ghostwrote The Idiot’s Guide to FrontPage 2000 (and reviewed it as himself), then managed to cut into his own royalties: people would see the book in a store and say, “I’m not going to buy the book—I’m going to go to this and see what it’s all about.” That was Colligan’s site. He had tremendous traffic, and as he started adding more affiliate links, the checks kept getting bigger. The problem was, the stats were not at all specific. He couldn’t tell if one person bought $25,000 worth of product or 1,000 people bought $25 worth of product. Ultimately, Colligan said that if he couldn’t get better stats he was going to open his own store. No stats were forthcoming, so he followed through on his promise. The launch date turned out to be less than propitious—September 11, 2001—but before Colligan discovered that his online market was opening at the same time that the world’s best known symbol of the free market was under attack, he sent a mailing out to 25,000 people, unlocked the password-protected storefront, and waited. It was only then that he saw the news. No one in the country did much business that day, and the last thing Colligan was worrying about was  how many orders had come in during the day. Like so many others, he was glued to the news reports. When he finally decided to check his email later that night, he was surprised to find that he had still managed to make some pretty good sales. Even on that dismal day, people took note of Collligan’s product thanks to several wise marketing moves and, most likely, some people’s personal circumstances keeping them from hearing anything about the attacks until many hours after the fact. Before the release, Declan Dunn had mentioned Colligan, singling him out as the leader in new generation of affiliate Internet Marketers; one third of Colligan’s sales flow in from affiliates. He’d also been asked by Alex Mandossian to speak on affiliate marketing at the “X10” seminar in Australia 2004; Colligan joked that the first 25 people Mandossian called must have had previous engagements since he was hardly well known. Mandossian knew Colligan, though, since they’d done a joint venture, a teleseminar for FrontPage users. Actually, they began with a webinar with six or seven hundred people signed on; when they followed Mandossian’s instincts and switched to a teleseminar, the audience doubled to 1200 people—including Microsoft management. The success of the teleseminar led him to convert his socimattic review manual to audio. That success also made Colligan an extremely busy man, although in at least one instance that worked to his advantage. In 1995 he had registered the domain getajob.
com, envisioning a site, totally automated, totally email-driven. With one thing or another, though, he was always too busy to finish it, and it never worked properly. In 2000, one of Colligan’s buddies congratulated him saying he’d heard Colligan’s ad on the punk radio station—several times, in fact. Curious, Colligan checked out his site, thinking that maybe he’d forgotten to renew the domain name. No, it was still there. It still didn’t work. He looked up the stats for the site, a 
site that never worked and he had never promoted, and found that it had five thousand unique visitors, all from type-ins or bookmarks. So he signed up for an affiliate program with someone who was willing to pay him a nickel a click. Soon after the people at that site called him and said, “Who are you again?” Colligan told him, only to find out that had more than doubled the affiliate’s output, even though they had already had 1,999 other affiliates. Colligan was as pleased as they were given that it was all “found” money, but he remained curious about what was driving people to his site. He found out that people were typing in “get” instead of “got,” and that created all the flurry. What happened was, one of the last of the dot-com gold rush companies had purchased, and since their ad agency had apparently told them that online marketing was dead, they’d put all their advertising dollars into radio and other offline media. Had the gotajob.commers called Colligan several years earlier, he would have sold them the domain for $10,000 without a second thought. But as it turned out, the people sponsored MTV Spring Break 2000—and there were multiple commercial breaks during that MTV show. The same typos were happening so after each commercial, Colligan earned more than $10,000—and that was after paying his partners. Internet life can be funny that way. Serendipitous things happen that lead you to places you might never have gone on your own. Colligan just seems to especially good at capitalizing on them. He tells another story about how he had been working for an ISP in Portland, Oregon, he’d spent a lot of time driving between there and Seattle and Spokane, Washington. With all that downtime, he decided he may as well educate himself. He discovered, which delivered a variety of different audio, from entertainment and information to news and educational materials, both online and as audiobooks, as well as radio

and television show programs. Right about the time he started his eBook Podcast Secrets Revealed, Colligan happened to meet the CEO of Audible. He asked the CEO if he could get his material included and was told that of course Audible was open to “the little guy”—he only needed to be doing half a million in sales to qualify. To Colligan, that was not the cutoff for “little guys,” and he went away discouraged. Then in 2005 he discovered podcasting. He didn’t think, “Ah, the logical progression in the natural evolution of blogs…” nor “the perfect use of the enclosure XML schema.” There’s nothing highfalutin about Colligan. He thought, “Now I don’t n e e d I can be audible.” Podcasting didn’t require fancy technology or massive servers. He could be up and running overnight—and he was. His FrontPage products paid the bills while he experimented with podcasts, wanting to be cutting edge, but not over the edge. His theory was that if you stay one step ahead, you’re a visionary; two steps ahead and you’re a martyr. He was somewhere in between, making a few mistakes that he could have let someone else make first. What people like Dunn, Colligan, and Jeff Mills understood early on about podcasting that many others did not is that they didn’t need to have fancy Internet Marketing shows or to set aside major chunks of time in addition to the long hours they were already putting in. As Colligan once said, it’s important (not just with podcasting but with other new developments) not to confuse media (content) with channel (delivery mode). Podcasts are channels. It’s easy to understand why a lot of incredibly successful podcasts are simply existing materials such as teleseminars, webinars, or videos, repackaged or repurposed. Think:
leverage. For example, Colligan and Jeff Mills formed a joint venture to create a weekly show, twenty minutes per episode. Such episodes compile nicely on a CD—eight ten-minute episodes, or eighty minutes total. The CD and individual tracks sell on iTunes to be played online or on 
an iPod-like device. The CDs get bundled into an audio book and turned into an eBook. That’s leverage. One message, many delivery channels.
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