All Posts by Josh Earl

How Long Does It Take to Create a Successful Business?

Question: Are you satisfied with the level of success in your business? Subscriber Osman isn’t. He asks: How old were you when you first started seeing success in your online business ventures? I turned 31 this year and the older i get the more depressed and demotivated i feel. The “time’s running out” kinda feeling. […]

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How I Turned a Grouchy Subscriber into $6,696 (Part 2)

Quick recap of part 1: My business partner John and I were launching a product to our list—a “whitelabel” version of a popular JavaScript course that was available on Udemy for $175. The wrinkle is that Udemy frequently discounts the course to $10, which made our discount price of $79 look like a ripoff, even […]

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How I Turned a Grouchy Subscriber into $6,696 (Part 1)

One morning a while back I woke up to this: And let me tell ya, it felt a lot like getting kicked in the gut. To understand why, I need to fill in some backstory. This all happened at the tail end of a product launch I was running for Simple Programmer. For this launch, […]

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Wondering What to Test in Your Marketing Funnel? Start With These

You know how you’re always reading case studies where they changed one word of their call-to-action buttons and suddenly sales went up 27%? The takeaway always seems to be how you need to “test everything, because you never know…” I’m convinced these case studies do way more harm than good, because it’s literally impossible to […]

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7 Questions For Copywriting Client Interviews

Whenever I start a new marketing project, whether it’s a consulting gig, a project for a client in my freelance days, or sponsorship or affiliate deals for Simple Programmer, step 1a is: Conducting an interview. Preferably with the founder of the business, or else someone who has day-to-day contact with customers. I used to get […]

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Their dream, YOUR nightmare

As a freelancer, your dream scenario goes something like this: You have a client who loves your work so much that they beg you to keep working with them “on retainer.” Every month they pay you a nice fat fee. The work they want is so simple you can pretty much do it in your […]

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3 Ways to Add Scarcity to Your Offers Without Discounting

I’m not anti-discount. In fact, limited-time discounts are my go-to option when I want to crank up the pressure on waffling would-be buyers. Sometimes though you just can’t use discounts. Maybe you have fixed costs to cover. Maybe you have a high-end product or service, and discounting would trash your “brand.” Maybe what you’re selling […]

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Should You Ever Give Discounts To People Who Ask For Them?

Here’s a slippery slope: Josh – do you ever give “one-off” discounts to customers if they as for them? Or just tell them that the full price is the price, but to look out for discounts that pop up from time to time? My philosophy on one-off discounts is: Hand up, not a hand out. […]

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How Do You “Build A Relationship” With Your Email Subscribers?

So you know you’re supposed to build a relationship with your email list, right? But what does that even *mean*? How do you “build a relationship” with a faceless group of database entities in some email software off in the cloud somewhere? Answer: You don’t. You can’t. You can only build relationships with *individuals*. Subscriber […]

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How to Deal with ‘Bad Leads’

A copywriter-friend of mine recently expressed her frustration at the number of “bottom of the barrel” leads she tends to get— People who have never worked with a copywriter before, don’t understand copy, don’t have any real sense of urgency about getting started, won’t return emails… Yuck. She was considering upping the bar and telling […]

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How to Defang Critics with the Power of Your Audience

A few weeks ago my business partner John was complaining about this Amazon review on his first book, Soft Skills: A Software Developer’s Life Manual. A little backstory is in order: This book has sold tens of thousands of copies, making it one of the best-selling titles for software developers ever published, and overall it […]

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Should You Ignore Complaints From Your Email Subscribers?

Last week I did a little 3-day affiliate push for my new digital product sales weapon of choice, Coach. After email #2 went out, I got my hand slapped by a subscriber I’ll call “Jeremy”: Consecutive emails shilling for Coach is a bit heavy handed, IMO. Otherwise, I’ve loved your daily notes. My reply: Thanks […]

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How I Mangled A ‘Flash Sale’

Some days I swear they should revoke my “marketing license.” Maybe put me to work sorting beer cans at the recycling center or something. Last week I had one of those days… I’d been scurrying to put together a quick 2-day “flash sale” for one of our video courses at Simple Programmer. These sales are […]

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Will Discounts Destroy Your Business? Part 2

Yesterday I described how I used to be in the “discounts will destroy your business” camp. I hated discounts—firmly believed they’d cheapen your “brand” and train customers to NEVER buy and forcing you to run constant fire sales. I’ve come around on this. At Simple Programmer, we make heavy use of discounts in our sales […]

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Will Discounts Destroy Your Business?

Discounting—yea or nay? On one hand, you have a crowd of business owners who happily point to the spike in sales they see every time they offer a discount. Then there’s the vocal minority to whom discounting spells nothing less than THE UTTER AND COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF YOUR BUSINESS!!! Subscriber Benjamin is trying to sort […]

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Should You Ask Permission Before Pitching Your Product?

My longtime buddy and fellow Entreprogrammers mastermind member Derick Bailey of WatchMeCode.net recently launched a new product. The video series shows JavaScript developers how they can experiment with all the hot new features coming to their favorite programming language—without screwing up the projects they’re working on for the Big Bossman. To sell this product, he […]

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Three ‘Get More Website Traffic’ Strategies That Work in 2017

Chad has a bone to pick with me. Recently I responded to another subscriber who was looking for a quick way to share blog posts and score some easy traffic, and my response bummed Chad out: Strange email this time, Josh. I’d put this one in the “negative promise” category. MeetEdgar — doesn’t sound like […]

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Content Upgrades: Gimmick or the ‘Real Deal’?

Couple weeks back I ranted about “gimmicky” marketing tactics. These techniques work initially because they’re novel—web browsers aren’t used to them, and that curiosity factor makes these techniques seem a lot more effective than they wind up being. Subscriber Fiona wonders whether a popular list building tactic falls in this camp: I’ve been stalking your […]

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7 Reasons To Sell Your Digital Products With Podia

Last week I officially canceled my accounts with Teachable.com and GetDPD.com and moved all of my digital products over to a new platform called Podia. Once the new store was “live,” I sent an email to all of my customers to let them know how to access their products. A student from my Email Copywriting […]

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Why I’m Leaving Teachable and DPD for Podia

Funny thing happened the other week: Out of the blue I get an email from this guy named Spencer Fry. Spencer said that a mutual friend, Justin Jackson, recommended that we should connect. Would I be interested in a 15-minute “get to know you, maybe we can work together” chat? Usually I turn these down—I […]

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