Where on earth has Jonathan been???

Judging from some of the emails I’ve gotten, some folks have obviously taken notice that I’ve kinda dropped off the map.  Well, they’re not wrong… I kinda did!  So here’s a brief overview of what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years…

It started a good 3 or 4 years ago…

An old friend of mine and software developer, asked me some questions about this whole “affiliate thing” that I was doing.  I gave him a technical overview of how it all works (since he’s a tech guy) and he understood the general concept right away.  He then started to ask me about tracking phone calls and the like (which was still very much in its infancy at the time) and we kicked around some ideas for doing pay-per-call with trackable phone numbers.

Some time passed and he would occasionally pop up to ask for my input on this, that, or the other thing.  We talked about WordPress, and PHP, and LPGen, and link tracking, and all the usual stuff.  But then, he stumbled into a company at a tradeshow that was already deeply entrenched in this exact industry.  They got to talking and when the CEO realized the depth of understanding my friend had – as well as his very long background in software development here in Silicon Valley – they asked my friend to consult for them and help guide them in developing new technology to support their business.

The very next thing that happened, was my phone rang.

My friend called me up straight away since he knew this was squarely in my area of expertise, and asked if I would consult alongside him.  To help out a friend, I said yes and we started to examine their existing systems.  We saw a lot of stuff not being done in an elegant fashion, saw that they really couldn’t scale their current business beyond what they were already doing, and overall saw lots of opportunity for improvement.  We felt that call tracking was probably going to become huge in the near future, and these guys had a head start on connections that might otherwise take years to establish.

The long story short is that my friend eventually agreed to become their CTO, and I’ve been consulting pretty much non stop for them ever since.  It’s grown, and grown, and grown and has become quite a monstrous project, but I’m working with a fantastic group of people and am really enjoying the entire process.  I’ve assembled an awesome team of developers under me so that I’m not doing much coding myself at all, but instead I guide and facilitate my team so that they can create an absolutely kick-ass platform and we can all make a ton of money as the company blows up.  😉

That’s the plan anyway.

Unfortunately, this has meant that my personal projects and products have been put completely on hold.  SneakyLinks never saw the light of day, LPGen & WPGen haven’t had an update in way too long, PrepopProfits didn’t get finished, and I haven’t had the bandwidth to do much of anything else for anyone!  Not to mention the several other “top secret skunkworks” ideas I had at various stages of development.

So that’s the downside to being so busy.  But with this has come a gigantic upside.  It has given me personal first-hand visibility into what can be done with SEM traffic and pay-per-call, at a scale I wouldn’t normally be privy to.  I get to watch from the inside, just what’s going on, and even better – I get to design and build the systems to make it happen!

This has been extremely eye-opening on a lot of levels

It’s also gotten me pretty fired up about the potential for large-scale SEM, both through “traditional” channels like Google Adwords, and through media buying channels like SiteScout and others.  The amount of traffic available if you know what you’re doing and have best-of-breed technology behind you, is staggering.  Seriously – I’m seeing $1 clicks turn into $50 phone calls.  And I’m watching the costs plummet as the optimization kicks in, creating a positive feedback loop.  Truly extraordinary.

And so, it’s time to really master Media Buying.

I’ve dabbled in it like so many others have I’m sure.  A few Content Network campaigns here, a little direct banner buy there… but I’ve never really worked it.  Never put in the time to completely wrap my head around all that’s possible today with the new technologies that have come up.  And now that I’m building the “system of my dreams” around automated, scalable SEM… I can’t put it off any more.  The time has come.  And who better to learn about Media Buying from, than the man who really got me started in this whole industry anyway – Gauher Chaudhry?

Media Buying… For Dummies?

I may as well say this right now.  Media Buying ISN’T FOR DUMMIES!  This is NOT for the faint of heart or wallet!  This isn’t a good place (in my opinion of course) for the newbie affiliate marketer.  This is the domain of experienced, seasoned pros who understand ROI and risk assessment and have the funds to commit to testing and optimizing, and ultimately can scale.  This isn’t something where you’re going to spend $10 and make a profit.  Hell, I doubt you’ll spend $1,000 and make a profit.  But this is where the big boys & girls play, and there is monumental money to be had for those who know what they’re doing, and can execute.  And if there’s one thing I’ve watched Gauher do consistently time and time again… it’s execute.

Learn From The Best, Or Go Broke Like The Rest!

If you want to jump in to “the deep end of the pool”, then you better make sure you have a reliable life guard on duty.  And for my money (literally), Gauher is that life guard.  I fully intend to make use of all the techniques in his course and apply them to the new platform I’m building, and cash out as part owner of a massive success story.  Time will of course tell the real story, but regardless… I’m going to learn everything I can about how Media Buying works, and how I can leverage it to the max and scale it to the moon!  If you’d like to do the same, then I strongly encourage you to give Gauher’s Media Buying Sumo course a look.  At least grab the free prelaunch goodies he’s making available, while the links are still live.

So that’s the news from my part of the world.  Beyond this, I still have a little bit of arbitrage traffic that I’m continuously running and experimenting with, but it’s been mostly a bust due to the outrageous inconsistency in traffic quality at the “bottom end” of the traffic universe.  Yet another reason why I want to start playing more in the top end!  I’m also getting back into making music again (for those who didn’t know I was a musician…) and have been posting my latest creations on SoundCloud, and attempting to have something resembling a life outside the computer. Not sure how well I’m doing in that arena though… 😉


23 thoughts on “Where on earth has Jonathan been???

    • Thanks David, great to hear from you too! It’s been a heck of a ride so far and it’s only just finally hitting launch velocity. 😉 The next 6 months or so should be REALLY exciting!

      Hope all’s going great for you!


  1. Media buying is complicate and not for the faint of heart. I also heard that from Gauher, but what would you tell a 64 yr. old retiree who had limited tech skills, but didn’t want to just sit around, and eager to learn, and had up to $20k to put into a biz. Where would you advise him to put his effort and money to get started ? Always appreciate your insight. Thanks

    • Boy that’s tricky… the answer to something that that is going to be *so* individual. Everyone’s risk tolerance is different, everyone’s abilities and skills are different. I would at least first say that you probably need to find a partner (or partners) because you’re going to need technical expertise of some kind. But exactly what expertise, is going to depend on the business model in question, the revenue model(s), delivery model, etc. I think maybe it would be good to see if there are any meetups or other “startup oriented” things in your area, where you can meet people that could potentially become partners and that maybe have a really solid idea but need a little capital to get it going.

      Alternatively, you can actually buy existing “businesses” from people who have built something up but don’t know what to do with it, or don’t have the time or other resources. I’ve actually done this myself before… I bought an info-product in a particular niche where everything was created, the product was selling, and revenue at that time was between $1k and $2k/month on all organic traffic. I bought the entire thing and all rights and materials, including an ebay account where it was being sold, for $6k. Got it up to over $2k/month consistently for a good long while… made a very healthy profit on it. And I’ve seen other similar things for sale on flippa.com or other places, and have seen things like this for sale on the Warrior Forum as well. If you have the knowledge (or have a partner who does) of what to do with it, this can be a great fast shortcut to getting a business going in a hurry with a minimal and defined amount of risk.

      I don’t know if that gives you the clarity you were hoping for, but I hope it’s somewhat helpful!


    • LOL… Well since I’m an employee of my own company, and I’m working alongside some good friends and doing what we want, from home on my own schedule, and subbing the actual development work out to my own people, in exchange for a significant ownership interest in my friend’s company… I don’t know if I can exactly call it a “job”. Certainly not in the sense that most people have. More like I found some partners with money and connections who are funding a very large scale project that I’m a key principal in.

      And as far as the promotion goes, Media Buying is a key part of our long term strategy so this is coming out at exactly the right time, and I plan to use it heavily. I can’t be the only one in a position to make use of this kind of information, so why not share it? Gauher puts out solid material and I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t originally bought PPCFormula from him. So if he puts out something, you can bet I’m going to promote it because I believe in it. You don’t have to certainly, no problem. But heck I promote TiVo and iPhone and Hyundai and countless other things I use and enjoy on a daily basis, this isn’t much different except that I actually get rewarded in some fashion for it.

      BTW if you really did get “john@gmail.com” as your email address, I’m super impressed.


  2. Hey Jonathan:

    Thanks for the update man.

    Glad to hear that you still have a pulse and all is going well for you.

    Nice tie-in with our friend Gauher’s new launch.

    Take care.

    • Hey Wayne! =) Yeah I’ve been meaning to drop my list a line for a long time to let everyone know what I’ve been up to, I just hadn’t made it happen. But then I had long ago promised Gauher I would let folks know about his new course and there was no way i could let him down. So I figured I’d use it as the excuse to say hi to everyone again. Two birds, one bush… or something like that.

      Take care!


  3. Jonathan,

    Thanks for the update. Now I understand why I hadn’t heard back from you.

    Now that you are in the ‘deep end of the pool’ (SEM, Media Buying for the big boys, etc), what does this spell for LPGEN, WPGEN and related products that, as you mentioned, were put on hold? Will such products ever see the light of day (full release I mean — I am currently using the beta version of WPGEN)? Or are they doomed, leaving those of us at the lower extremes of the traffic universe out in the cold (sarcasm intended)?

    Along those lines I wonder…are you reachable via email or some other means?

    Either way, I am glad to have been affiliated with you and I truly hope that, in some way, the relationship can continue and prosper.

    • Hey Jim! That’s odd, I’m pretty sure I wrote back to you the last time you contacted me. In fact I’m sure I’m sure. Surely. Maybe something after didn’t reach me, feel free to drop me a line, I’m always happy to talk to you. =)

      As for my product line(s), I really REALLY do want to get back into releasing my own stuff… it has a certain satisfaction that goes beyond money. In fact I was just looking back at my SneakyLinks plugin yesterday and remembering what a pretty bad-ass product it really is. And I have all kinds of ideas for big improvements to LP/WPGen too. So I wouldn’t say they’re “end of life” by any means, I just only have so much physical & mental bandwidth, and it’s been all consumed by this big project. Managing a team of people is SO much more draining than being the lone wolf. But it’s also so satisfying when things are firing on all cylinders (of course, it’s also that much more of a nightmare when things aren’t!!)

      Anyway, please do drop me a line, I know you’ve got my email but it’s justjonathan at tooltrainer.com – I look forward to hearing from you again!


  4. Hi Jonathan

    Good to hear from you again. My question is: are you going to release any pay-per-call-media-buying course/product or it would stay as you private “weapon of mass destruction”?

    P.S. Like yours “Dance A Night Away” & “No One Comes Here”

    • Good question! I can’t speak on behalf of my partners obviously, so I’d have to at least keep our own “secret sauce” just that – secret. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be plenty of juicy stuff that could be freely shared without impacting us negatively. As soon as the new system we’re building goes live and we start to scale (which should be VERY soon now), I’ll see if it makes sense to add PPCall to Gauher’s course lineup and talk to him about it. I doubt I’ll have time to do it myself but I could probably work with someone like Gauher and maybe do it that way.

      Glad you liked the tunes 🙂 I’m seriously out of practice in the music production world, but trying to find time to squeeze in a little something here & there. Fortunately I’m usually pretty quick… “Noe One Comes Here” was just a few hours to do, for example. Something I can do to clear my head in an evening or on the weekends. =)


  5. Hi Jonathan, great to hear from. Was actually just mentioning your name to someone in conversation and up pops your email. Weird. but how often in life does that happen.
    How dare you try to return to the fold after defecting to a JOB!! LMAO at that one.
    Just wanted to say hi,
    ps love the sounds.

    • LOL that video is great! Totally brilliant. I appreciate it especially since Who Framed Roger Rabbit – and specifically the Making Of documentary I saw as a kid – also impacted me in a BIG way. I actually ended up in a career as a video editor/compositor/animator in some small part due to that. Too funny… thanks for sharing!!


  6. Hi Jonathan

    Glad to hear about your direction. It’s funny, how you describe the impetus for path your on. It’s probably similar to a conversation a lot of us who do “this” for a living had have had. Now when people ask me about what I do and/or even get them started here’s how it goes; after I give them an industry overview I ALWAYS start people off with ppcall. It’s just such a shortcut to making money-and they can go back and learn “everything else” later.

    I was on on Gauher’s blog recently and people were talking about the merits of AdOn and 7search, and I was like “Look don’t waste the time on those traffic sources, to me they’re ‘hard money’ that require tons of trial and error to filter to a profitable point. In comparison, I started ppv and mobile and in 2009 and there’s just no contest.”

    That’s paraphrasing and I didn’t start ppcall until 2010, but it’s been the backbone that I’ve used to fund everything else I do (including the other 3 mobile arenas, since I personally divide mobile into 4 fields). Now, the media buy to call is an elusive/holy grail/game of mixing and matching elements to get right so, for all our sakes, I wish you luck on what you’re working on. Could be a legitimate game changer.

    Dave R

    • Heh… that’s funny you say that! The last few years have seen a definite shift in traffic behavior & patterns. 4 years ago, PPV (and even PPC to a large extent) was truly easy money. Of course more and more people became aware of it and that started to change things. Costs went up, quality went down… way WAY down. It got to the point where at least me personally, I haven’t sent any such traffic to a CPA offer since 2011. But back in 2009 PPCall was completely in its infancy. I looked into it, being super excited at first… and the restrictions on qualifying calls were insane. It was to the point where there was almost NO chance a call was even going to qualify. And as I recall at the time RingRevenue had like 5 offers, PERIOD. Boy have things changed… now PPCall does look like it might be the “next wave” in online marketing.

      Media buys are definitely where the absolutely crazy volume is, and I’m excited to be trying to unlock it. Of course I’m also happy to be doing it “on someone else’s dime” so to speak, as I don’t have the resources personally to do the kind of testing that it’s probably going to take to crack this code. It’s been fun being a part of a team working on something bigger than I would normally be doing, and having the resources available (developers, designers, DB wranglers, etc.) to really pursue it. I’ve been doing the “lone wolf” thing for so long, I’d kinda forgotten there was anything else. But this is definitely looking to be a case of “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” and I feel fortunate to be a part of it. Now it just needs to pay off! 😉


  7. Well as say, Go! Go! Go!

    (My sentiment is real, but I just wanted a chance to use that ridiculous “go go go” that I see in every marketers email for somebody’s production launch thinking that an actual adult person will respond to that with “holy shit let me go spend 997.00 bucks on this MMO product right NOW.”)


    • LOL Dave. I guess it must work for someone or nobody would continue to use it. Personally I never have and can’t imagine I ever would but that’s just me. =)


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