Grinding is the arduous task of doing something over and over again. Some people find it a bad term — and others find it part of the process of making tons of money. I had the opportunity to meet Ryan Gray at the airport in Las Vegas after Affiliate Summit West and has a very interesting conversation about how he’s turned Grinding into an art. Based on that I knew at one time I needed to sit down with him and do an interview. If you didn’t know Ryan Gray is, he’s one half of the dynamic duo of IMGrind.com, one of the most popular Internet Marketing (IM) private paid forums. It’s one of those places that people who are looking to seriously get into internet marketing go to to find all the secrets of the industry — and more importantly, what is working really well. I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down with him this past week and he was able to provide insight into what is happening in the industry, why he started IMGrind.com and what else is on the horizon.
Ryan, obviously both of your reputations precede you, but for my newer readers, please tell us briefly about yourselves and how you got started in this industry
Hey Ricky, Ryan Gray here thanks for having me on your blog. I hope your readers will enjoy what I have to say… I got started learning how to develop websites in 1998. I launched multiple sites such as a Webmaster resources hub, a graphic design exchange, etc. My first (big) success was a professional wrestling website, with my identical twin brother Richard, in the early 2000s. Leveraging the growing number of Internet connections we garnered the attention of major brands and allowed them to gain exposure on an entirely new medium. In exchange we were paid on a CPM, or cost per impression basis. Heading into 2003 I learned a lot about performance marketing as I began to drive pay per click traffic to my web hosting company.
Years passed and businesses grew. I ended up selling my web hosting company but continued to develop content rich properties that served over one million unique visitors a month. In 2008 I began running various campaigns around the performance marketing industry and monetized traffic with CPA offers. 2009 came with even more opportunity as I partnered with John Kirkpatrick – a major player in the CPA industry. Along with my brother, Richard, we quickly sustained millions of dollars in revenue a month and were many advertisers’ top affiliate.
Today, I’ve partnered with Ruck over at IMGrind.com.
Talk to me a bit about IMGrind.com – there is a lot of buzz about it, what is it? Give us the skinny.
The goal of IMGrind.com is to provide people a resource hub to all things concerning Internet Marketing. We want to see people GROW their businesses leveraging the opportunities of the Internet. Many affiliate marketers find a lot of success combining the promotion of CPA offers with their own lead generation strategy. This allows them to sustain a much larger return on investment and long-term business. Any of your readers interested in growing their businesses (new or existing) should consider IMGrind.com as a resource to not only keep updated on the latest industry happenings but the cutting edge strategies and techniques individuals and companies alike are using to sustain massive revenues and ROIs.
Talk to us specifically about your experience and frustrations in launching this and some takeaways?
Any business I get involved with I do it because I have a passion for it. Ruck and I always say if the website/campaign/business is bad ass people will come. In any business venture I’ve never been in it for the money, rather offering a superior service, that’s affordable for anyone.
With that said, I’ve never really had a “frustration.” Sure there is that audiovisual guy that forgets a microphone jack, but minor things are going to happen in any start-up. Every day I just focus on sharing my passion with others through my experience of making money online for over a decade.
Can you provide a case study or a “success story” of any of your members and walk us through that process of taking them from a noob to a successful online entrepreneur?Just one wouldn’t do us justice. It’s been amazing watching some members grow. I’ve literately seen some guys walk in with $10 in their pocket, learn how to direct link a CPA dating offer with mobile traffic, and earn over $20,000 a month in profit. While this is nice for some, I’ve seen others actually utilize the same concept to the “direct linkon mobile traffic” and create their own offer that returns profits double or triple that.
We’ve also seen some guys who used to be HUGE in the CPA industry but due to advertisers disappearing and new regulations they were left searching for the next dollar. By combining lead generation arbitrage strategies with their current knowledge of promoting CPA offers they’ve been able to sustain the large revenues and profits as they once were.
What does “new” media mean to you all and what are you doing to monetize that medium?
New media can have many definitions. Not only does it change daily but the channel isn’t ever the same. Right now though, I consider “new media” to be social and mobile. With Facebook’s new Open Graph and Timeline features they’re becoming marge larger than just a social networking website. They’re slowly becoming the backbone to a more social Internet all together. Many companies are already using this to their advantage and adapting with it.
Mobile includes smartphone and tablet usage. A channel of traffic has never grown this fast. Anyone currently involved with the CPA industry will tell you getting cheap traffic is key to sustaining massive ROIs early on. The percentage of advertisers to impressions on mobile, are definitely a huge advantage to many performance marketers.
Is that something you can help your members monetize also?
Yes, that’s the goal of IMgrind.com. We’re not going to give you a bunch of “has been” methods. Many areas in the CPA/performance marketing industry have been replicated so many times they simply don’t come close to providing the ROI that taking another approach will. With IMGrind we use our decade+ knowledge of making money online to keep you updated with the areas that offer the biggest return.
There has been a recent craze about Pinterest, do you partake in that craze and what is youroverall feedback on it for those on the fence?
Pinterest is a living, breathing example of how Facebook is becoming the “spine of the Internet.” Building off the new features of Timeline, Pinterest has leveraged Open Graph as its own traffic source.
If all of this isn’t a huge advantage, they also offer a service that is extremely addicting especially amongst females. When someone is able to express himself or herself, especially in a visual manner, it opens up many doors to Internet Marketers. Right now Pinterest is monetizing their massive traffic with affiliate/referral links to retailers. Brands should be paying attention to the things people are “pinning” as this can literately write their marketing plans for them. Simply amazing!
Time will tell if the Pinterest craze is real or if it’s a fad. Ultimately this will come down to how well of a management team they have and what their goals are on sustaining long term growth.
What are you working on nowadays? Anything to wet our appetite? Are there any untapped markets out there that the normal affiliate marketer is not taking advantage of?
The surface has hardly been scratched out there. Since “normal affiliate” can have many definitions I’m going to go off the assumption this means the ones that hop from campaign-to-campaign. I’ve already mentioned many of the things that interest me, but mobile and social continue to grow. ANY Internet Marketer should be able to find new opportunities daily. As new countries emerge, more opportunities develop.
With that said, I’ve seen massive ROIs combining mobile traffic with lead generation as well as the growing social traffic. Since the verticals/niches are nearly end-less we like to stick with three: Health, Wealth, and Relationships. We consistently find new “untapped” markets in all of these verticals even in the United States.
Any words of wisdom for my readers looking to get into affiliate marketing and more overlooking to work with IMGrind?
Get in with a plan and have some written goals. You’re not going to start making $1,000 a day if you haven’t made $100. I’ve build every one of my businesses with the “$100 a day theory.” If I can get one website/campaign to $100 a day, I’ve begun to sustain some type of consistency that I can scale for growth.
Who are some people and/or networks in the industry you hold in high regard and worth interviewing for my next post?
Someone who I hold a great deal of respect for, and have got to meet recently, is LeadsMob CEO Joshua Wexelbaum. He’s on top of the growing mobile marketing market and is definitely someone that has his act together.
Thanks Ryan for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this, very gracious of you.
Now I ask the readers of PMI to comment below and tell us your thought about IMGrind.com and where you think the new media is heading.