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How Ramit Sethi From IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com Monetized After Giving Away Content for Years on His Blog

Today On The Rise To The Top: The #1 Non-Boring Business Show: One of my most requested guests of all time. The creator of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, New York Times Best-Selling Author (affiliate), and amazing Internet entrepreneur – Ramit Sethi – is in the house and spilling the beans on all kinds of secrets, including how his blog got so popular, how he monetized by launching his first product (and what he learned from it), his rigorous research process, and much more in this super naked interview.

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Links Mentioned:

Ramit SethiRamit’s special link for RISE viewers (check out how to write a $100,000 survey)
I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Find Your Dream Job

 

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/LBBeveragesInc LÉMONESSE

    Ramit, thank you for sharing all of your knowledge. I have a powder drink mix that replaces the use of a lemon wedge in your water, tea, etc. We are trying to accurately define our target demographic prior to launching the product. What do you suggest? -Adam

    • http://twitter.com/ramit Ramit Sethi

      Study how other people in your market have done their positioning. You will see subtleties (e.g., notice how some deodorants are for older men, active men, young men who want to meet women, etc). Same for your market.

      • http://twitter.com/LBBeveragesInc LÉMONESSE

        Ramit, thank you very much! Truly appreciate your insight! -Adam

  • Colby

    Question for Ramit: what resources or approach would you recommend to learn how to craft effective questions?

    I’m concerned that my questions don’t trigger the deep answers that will help me to truly understand my community’s hopes, fears, and dreams. I’ve tried rewording questions to test which work best and it has improved the quality, but I’m still not there. I feel stuck in the testing mode. Perhaps I just need to keep tweaking? Or should I completely change my strategy?

    David, thanks again for a great interview. -Colby

    • David Siteman Garland

      Colby – my pleasure and I’m sure Ramit will pop in with an answer ;)

    • http://twitter.com/ramit Ramit Sethi

      Just use this link:
      http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/risetothetop

      I cover a bunch of material on writing good questions there.

      • Anonymous

        A coupla days ago, I reviewed that material thru different entryway (D. Halpern) and I gotta tell you, it was perfect. Absolutely freakin’ perfect for where I’m at. Like major light bulb AHA moment. I was stuck, but am not any longer. Thank you so much.

        I’m working on instructional materials for a certain audience, have been going too much on intuition and not enough on research. This is changing, stat. Back burnered vague and complex surveys are coming into succinct focus this week. Seriously, this is excellent.

        One question I have is how, once you get the research results rolling in (from surveys, conversations, email, etc. — where you’re dealing with multiple formats both written and spoken), how do you manage it all? I’d love to know more about your process for tracking results and taming your thousands of data points.

  • Anonymous

    “Consistency is necessary, but its not sufficient to make it to a level that breaks you out in front of everyone else.” – Ramit Sethi on Blogging

    • David Siteman Garland

      Great quote pick up!

  • http://1000lifelessons.com Leo Tabibzadegan

    Great interview guys. The importance of “TESTING” is something that really hits home here. The profound insight here is that my girlfriend is going to be very successful in life (she’s testing me 24/7!)

    All jokes aside, a quick question for Ramit & David:

    Is it silly to invest time and energy in products, services, and solutions, for markets that don’t exist yet? 

    eg. experts say depression will increase 110% in North America in the next 10 years. So if I started working on a Hugs for Hire product NOW, would it be a complete waste of time? Ok, I just came up with that example out of the blue, but i’m sure the concept remains true for many other applications in life.

    Also, is one still considered an entrepreneur or businessman if they are constantly providing value, and solutions for the problems of the world (even if they don’t turn a profit in physical currency?) 

    Ok that’s was 2 questions, but well worth it! Thanks in advance! =D

    • David Siteman Garland

      bum bum ching! Let me think on that one…I’m a big believer in spotting trends, but focusing on what you can do now.

  • Sean Vosler

    Ramit: You know your audience very well, you noted you spent $250,000 in researching for a product launch. AMAZING way to get to know your audience! But how can the average person leverage their resources to better understand their audience if they can’t invest that type of money?

    • http://twitter.com/ramit Ramit Sethi

      Start off small. You don’t have to have $250K. I started with a small surveymonkey account and tested out different questions. What matters is having an engaged audience that respects what you’re giving them — because they’ll be thrilled to tell you what they want if they know you can  help them.

  • Liz DiMascio

    Ramit thank you so much for offering all this free and amazing value.  My question is: how were you supporting yourself before you monetized?  It seems clear that it took so a little time to build the amazing team and products that you have.  For entrepreneurs who are looking to create value before they monetize, what advice would you give about making money before monetizing, as paradoxical as that sounds?

    • Liz DiMascio

      took you a little time*

    • http://twitter.com/ramit Ramit Sethi

      This is one of the reasons that I encourage entrepreneurs to start something on the side. If you have a full-time job, you can start off slowly — learning how customer research works, testing out different approaches, earning $100/month, then $500/month, and more. Then you can use the “Tuner Strategy” to “tune” that number up to $1k, $2k, $5k/month…and soon you have de-risked your decision of going full-time with your new business or not.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Great question Liz!

  • frank

    Ramit’s my trusted source for life. just sayin.
    (Just so this doesn’t seem like some random comment, I follow his blog, bought his book, and took his Earn1k course, and have more than made back my investment and learned and applied many things in the process)

    • http://twitter.com/ramit Ramit Sethi

      : ) 

      Thanks Frank.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Awesome Frank! A great testimonial on how much Ramit rocks and helps people get results.

  • Michael P

    Ramit, great discussion!
    I am currently in college running an organization that provides scholarships and various service opportunities for students. As we all know, college students have a very short attention span, and with the number of student organizations exploding on our campus, almost every organization is in a brutal brawl for the student body’s attention and time. How would YOU conduct in-depth research that would help the organization stand out, and most importantly provide value rather than ‘hot air’? N.B. I am not looking for a silver bullet fix.. 

    • http://twitter.com/ramit Ramit Sethi

      That question is too vague and if you ask a vague question, you get a vague answer. Go through this interview and come back with a question like this: 

      “I’ve tried X, Y, and Z but they haven’t worked. Based on your interview, I’m deciding between A, B, and C. I’m leaning towards A because blah blah blah. Do you agree / disagree?”

      Don’t make the busy person do the work for you!

  • http://www.thereligionteacher.com Jared Dees

    Ramit: Thanks for the link to the sample surveys, I look forward to checking the audio out. 

    Question: How do you know you have gathered enough information from your target audience to create (or name) your product?

    I’m not looking for a “statistical significance” answer here (p=0.05). I just want to know when I can feel comfortable enough to make data-driven decisions. If I email my list of 2,000 people and get a 10% response, is that enough to move forward? 

    David: Your show crushes it. Just sayin’.

    • David Siteman Garland

      Thanks Jared! :)

  • Dave

    If the goal was not to monetize the blog, what prompted you to read the ebook? Did you survey for writing it, or did your community demand it? 

    • David Siteman Garland

      Did you mean write the ebook, Dave? Just clarifying.

  • Mattguitar99

    David / Ramit,

    Excellent… nothing better on the net.. I wish you guys could do this weekly!

    • David Siteman Garland

      Thanks Matt. Made my day!

  • Taco Bell

    David/Ramit

    Great interview!  Ramit is the real deal.  While ‘other experts’ use vague techniques Ramit’s knowledge goes down to the root of the problem.  Best money ever spent on the Earn 1k material.  

    • David Siteman Garland

      Darn right Mr. Taco Bell lol

  • Will

    Ramit/David:

    Thanks for the great interview guys! Ramit, you mentioned having to manually email your first product to customer after every sale and then went to a distribution software.  Is there particular software(s) that you would recommend to distribute an ebook automatically?

    Would love your input too David!

    Will

    • David Siteman Garland

      Will – Great question. I’ll defer to others since I haven’t done it before :)

    • http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ Pat

      I used E-Junkie.com to accept payments and deliver my first eBook – it worked perfectly. I couldn’t imagine emailing every single customer like Ramit did! Crazy!

      • David Siteman Garland

         Awesome thanks for hopping in Pat!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve watched several interviews on this site now and this was by far the best!  I’m blown away by how much time and effort Ramit puts into his content (both free and paid)….I’m taking notes and will be striving to “give better free content than everyone else’s paid content”

    -Awesome interview guys

    • David Siteman Garland

      GREAT to hear that!!

  • J Bushnell

    That was an awesome interview. David…I liked how you drilled down into  operations level questions covering Earn $1K…Ramit…I liked how you answered several of David’s tougher questions straight up without ducking or side-stepping. I have your book and I recommend it often…it is very liberating to know you have your finances handled through automation…freeing you to spend what’s left without guilt or regret. Quick question about market selection: Is there a way to select a target market large enough and profitable enough to increase your probability of success while still intersecting w/personal interests and talents?

    • David Siteman Garland

      Great questions and glad you enjoyed it!

  • Evan

    Hi, Ramit. You said the “Looong Sales Letter”. Is it because so you can screen out the dumb people? Also, what are your feelings towards the short sales letter.

    By the way, congrats, man!
    I still remember you from an interview at Mixergy. 
    And hell, back in high school, I remember you from Pickup Podcast.
    While you’re there, Ramit, get David to interview Jordan Harbinger.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JRBUF36MB7X7IEAE4ZHVC4DRBY Kanwal

    Great interview David!

    Ramit thanks for sharing all your knowledge and experience. I found the interview to be very inspiring!!

  • http://www.fitnessreloaded.com/ Maria

    Hi Ramit!
     
    Awesome interview with David today!

    You mentioned that you often prepare for more than a year before you launch. Could you give as a breakdown of the exact activities that you do to prepare a course and how much time they take?
    For example:
     
    1. 50% of time goes to research (i.e., buying other courses, reading books, conducting surveys…)
     
    2. 30% of time goes to actually creating the product (i.e., creating slides, video-recording, arranging guests,…)
     
    3. 20% of time goes to marketing (i.e., writing posts for insider mailing list, etc)

    4. ? etc
     
    Thanks!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.grcn Alex Grcn

    Holly Shit Balls! lol

  • Hellene Gabor

    sent you an email sir URGENT :)