I was super excited to hook up with Ralph Burns from FullTimeRVFamily.Com recently via Skype.
Together with his wife and two sons, Ralph has embarked on a year long road trip across the US and Canada.
What is even more impressive than that is that the trip is being funded in part by Ralph’s online business which he’s operating out of the Recreational Vehicle (RV) that the whole family is travelling in!
Listen in to our call (me in London and Ralph in the back of the RV in Springfield, Illinois!)…
Please right click here to download the MP3 and here to download the PDF transcript.
[spoiler]Rob: Hi, everyone, this is Rob Cornish and welcome to this Gain Higher Ground podcast interview. I’m super excited to have Ralph Burns from fulltimervfamily.com on the phone today. Now Ralph and his family are currently on the road trip of a lifetime because they are RVing around all 50 US states plus parts of Canada. And what’s even more impressive than that is that Ralph is helping to fund this adventure using the proceeds from his online business which he’s actually operating from the road. So I think this is going to be a really valuable discussion and I know we are all very grateful to Ralph for giving up some of his valuable time to join us today. So without further ado, Ralph welcome to the call.
Ralph: Rob, great to be here. Thanks for having me on and I really appreciate it and I think you’re doing some great things on your blog as well and I’m now an active subscriber and hopefully what we’ll talk about today will be inspiring and helpful for some of your viewers and listeners as well.
Rob: Thank you, that’s very kind of you and thanks again for your time. Now I know we’re all very keen to hear about your online business itself and I hope we can get into that shortly but first of all I have to ask you about the road trip idea because it just sounds fantastic. Can you take us back to when you first came up with the idea and where the inspiration came from?
Ralph: Yes, it actually sort of started on my wife and I’s ninth wedding anniversary when she gave me the book “The 4-Hour Workweek” and at that point in time I think like a lot of us we were working the nine to five jobs and not really feeling fulfilled or very happy with what we’re doing and I was working in a position in the company that I enjoyed what I was doing but I didn’t really like the organisation. I wasn’t really happy in my pursuit, especially in the corporate world and I really wanted to break out and do something and be entrepreneurial and I had started a business before and it really wasn’t very satisfying. So I read this book and I know a lot of probably your readers and listeners are probably familiar with it and it inspired me to start an online business on something that I was very familiar with and a very small niche and eventually turned it from a blog into a paid membership site while I was still working for that organisation and that led me to believe that if I could make a few bucks online doing something part time after hours, after my nine to five job was done or in that case it was more like nine to nine, then I could probably make a full time living online.
So that’s really what started it and when you read the book Tim Ferris talks about location independence and freedom and following your dreams and not waiting until you’re 65 to retire and travel the world and my wife and I have always been avid travellers. We travelled to Europe quite a bit and we’re actually going to Africa in the latter part of next year and we felt that if we could build businesses and maybe even take our kids out of school for a year, we would be able to go across country and there’s so much to see in the US. We weren’t exactly sure how we would do it at first but the idea was sort of planted way back then and that was three or four years ago.
Ever since then my focus has been to build online businesses but I was first doing it part time working for someone else and then eventually left the corporate world and now do it full time. My wife also has a business that is location independent. All she needs is a cell phone and an internet connection similar to what we do and what I do and that way we could fund the trip. We also have some real estate investments that helped us as well but overall it was really all about freedom and independence and being able to see a lot of the things that this country holds as well as Canada and to show our two kids that there is life outside of just the 10 or 15 mile radius in which we live. We have an eight and a 10 year old, two boys that we’ve taken with us on the trip. So that was what inspired it and here we are today.
Rob: That’s fantastic. Thank you for that overview. It sounds very relevant to my own experience actually because I know that myself and so many others as well have been inspired by that book “4-Hour Workweek” and I think it is really is an absolute must read for anyone who is interested in anything really to do with online business and there are no quick fixes but as you say if you have that in mind as an ultimate goal you can then work towards that and obviously it’s taken you some time, Ralph, so it didn’t happen overnight for you.
Ralph: No, it certainly didn’t. I think when I was working in the corporate world, I first just started a blog, kind of the way that Tim Ferriss tells you to do. Figure out what a potential niche is for yourself, something that you know something, that you have a certain level of expertise about and for me there was one particular niche that I felt that I could really build a website around and I remember the first day that I got my first request for a free e-book that we were giving away and I remember the first day that I had somebody actually subscribe to my blog. It was an amazing thing and from then after the Tim Ferriss model I started following other folks online and as you know, and I think a common theme in your blog, is information overload. There is so much that you can potentially do and lots of information that’s out there, you really have to sort of pick one particular area that you identify with and for me it was niche sites and going into areas of expertise that I was fairly familiar with and starting websites around that and building businesses or having affiliate links, doing affiliate marketing as well as even Google Adsense and then monetising those sites and creating a stream of passive income in essence.
Rob: Yes, fantastic. Could you perhaps expand a little bit, Ralph, on how you actually found the right niche for yourself in the first place? Was it a process that you went through? Did you look at various options and then zone in on one particular area online? Or was it kind of related to something that you did previously maybe in your corporate life?
Ralph: In the Tim Ferriss book and also I started listening to Internet Business Mastery with Sterling and Jay which is another great podcast which I’m sure your readers are probably familiar with, is they said well think about things that you are very passionate about, you have a level of expertise on and in my case I was still working for somebody else so I didn’t want to do something, especially using my own name, that was outside of the realm of what I was already doing, so I was managing a sales force for this organisation so I had some expertise in the sales management and sales directorship arena so I started a website specifically around that and that’s really what sort of launched it and that’s salesmanagementmastery.com and we still do a fair amount of work there and post regularly to it but that was my first website in the sales management training arena and from there we launched a membership site which I think you’ve referred to on your blog a number of times to get some continuity, and after that, after we got our first members I realised that this is something that if I dedicated full time to it, it’s something that I could generate a full time income on.
So I think for your readers and for your listeners, the path of least resistance I think is probably the easiest one and think about things that you have not necessarily an expert level of expertise but maybe just a little bit more expertise than somebody else and something that you’ve done fairly well at, whether it’s in your career or outside interests and this business was particularly helpful for me because I felt that the more that I blogged about sales management training or sales management the better I would actually become at my day job. So it killed two birds with one stone so to speak. So I felt that was the best way to go about doing it and then I started branching off into other niches after that.
Rob: That’s awesome. That’s a really helpful outline of how you started. You mentioned there your membership site which I would like to touch on again a bit later on and it seems like you’ve created a lot of products of your own which is absolutely great but I know when I first started, the thought of actually doing that was quite intimidating really first of all. So if you think back to your early days, Ralph, were you more of the mindset of creating your own products from Day 1 or were you primarily interested in say affiliate marketing where you’re actually not creating your own product but you’re promoting other people’s products in return for earning a commission. You also mentioned Adsense there as well so this is where you have Google ads on your site and then when visitors to your website click on those ads you get paid that way. Was it more to do with that affiliate marketing and maybe some advertising revenue or did you go straight in to actually creating the products yourself?
Ralph: I jumped straight into product creation. I think in hindsight I probably would have done it a little bit differently. I probably would have instead of gone into a membership site to start, I probably would have taken a step wise approach and maybe gone from maybe a small e-book, something at a very low price point, and then moved up and continued to build the list into a membership site. I think that would probably be an easier way to go. I just wanted to go for the home run right from the start and we did a product launch very similar to, well we actually bought the Jeff Walker Product Launch Formula series and it launched the membership site to a relatively small list and it did pretty well right from the start. But I don’t know if I would necessarily recommend that to anybody who is first starting out. I would recommend going the niche site route with something that people are very familiar with, or you have a level of expertise in, building a blog, building a list and then maybe taking baby steps instead of trying to hit one out of the park your first time out because I think there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into building a membership site and a fair amount of expense too. I think it’s something that you go to a lot of websites in the sense that there’s not really a whole lot of expense but we really wanted to do it so that it was very interactive, the products were delivered and the content was delivered very easily and effectively and it ended up costing us quite a bit of money but in the end it worked out and it became a profitable business. But I think instead of going for it right from the start, I think it’s better to start out in a step wise fashion and with membership site maybe being the end result after multiple products.
I think the way that you launched your online training or trading from home, I think it’s a good way to do it, is to launch a product first and then perhaps escalate your product creation into a membership site. So I think we all sort of learned from our mistakes and I don’t know that that’s necessarily a mistake per se but I think it would have been far easier for me to start with a smaller goal and then build to the larger goal in the end.
Rob: Yes, that makes a lot of sense Ralph. Just to clear one thing up in case not everyone is aware, you mentioned there about Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula and the Product Launch Formula is basically a process by which you can launch a product online and rather than just send people straight to a sales page and try to sell them immediately, what you do is you send them to a opt-in page so they can sign up for some free content and then they’re delivered that free content over say a week or 10 days. There’s usually three, usually videos these days, which provide free training and really is aimed to build trust with the audience essentially and then finally after the three videos then those people are sent to a sales page and therefore the sales conversion rates are much higher because that trust has been built beforehand first of all. So that’s essentially what you meant there Ralph, is that correct?
Ralph: Yes, I think you see it a lot online but I bought the product and it’s great. Jeff Walker is a genius and exactly the way that he sets up a product launch is very similar to what you see a lot of folks doing online. Instead of just trying to mimic it, I figured that we would go for it and buy the actual product itself which is quite expensive but we ended up covering the cost of it with the launch which was great but he does it in such a way that you build up anticipation and you give a fair amount of free content with folks opting in for premium content and then ultimately, like you said, either do a long sales forum or a video sales page in order to launch it and then have a finite number of days in which a specific price is offered and then the price typically goes up after that. So from us it was an interactive membership site so I didn’t want too many people right from the get-go, just so that I could make sure that I could interact with them plus do my regular day job. So we made it quite limited right from the start and then opened it up to more folks after that. But it’s an excellent formula and it certainly is a proven method that works not only for online business product launches but for offline product launches as well.
Rob: Well I totally agree. I think it’s a really effective way of launching a product. It does take some work to set up, I know that from personal experience, but the results can be very good as well.
We’ve talked a little bit about products and so on, what I’d like to do is backtrack a little bit now, Ralph, if that’s OK and especially for the people who may be much earlier in their internet marketing careers, maybe just starting out. Now we talked about how you actually found your niche in the first place but after that what’s the next step for somebody who is just starting out? Do you set up a sales page and promote products? Do you set up a squeeze page and build a list or do you have a blog or what do you do? What’s the next stage after finding your niche?
Ralph: The method that I’ve used and a lot of folks use is to give away a fair amount of good, high quality free content and typically the very search engine friendly way to do that is to create a blog and that’s really how I started and I really didn’t know what I was doing at first when I set up a blog and actually doing everything not very technical, not very computer savvy. This was probably about two years ago that I actually set that first blog up and that way you can gain some readership and get folks engaged in what you’re actually talking about and identify with your audience and after I did that then I put in an opt-in page on the sidebar and then I did use a fair amount of Google Adwords to drive some paid traffic to the site and create a list that way.
So I did a combination of SEO, even though I didn’t really know what I was doing from an SEO perspective, but I didn’t really know what I was doing from a pay per click Google Adwords perspective, but sort of learned along the way with plenty of mistakes along the way which I think is what you’ve got to do is hopefully learn from your mistakes and make sure the mistakes that you make aren’t costly and aren’t going to sink your business. But in the end it was a combination of SEO and just good content, good quality content with folks opting in to a list which ultimately was the list that I used to launch the membership site.
So I think it’s a combination of those two but for anyone who is first starting out, I would say pick that niche and if you read the Tim Ferriss book or follow any folks online that talk about niche site creation or any of those sorts of things, pick a specific niche which you’re either an expert or just know a little bit more than somebody else. You don’t even need to be an absolute expert for the world you just need to know a little bit more than everyone else or it’s something that you’ve got a fair amount of experience and success with, build a blog, gain a following, develop your list and then give them useful, helpful content that is going to help them in whatever endeavour it is that your blog is about.
Rob: Yes, and I’ll just emphasise one point that you’ve alluded to there, Ralph, which is really that a blog is a great way obviously of getting friendly with the search engines and over time picking up search engine traffic, but the second part about building a list is absolutely crucial. If I think back to the “4-Hour Workweek”, it’s been a while since I read it but I can’t remember that Tim Ferriss actually talks about that and it may be because back then, even just a few years ago, it wasn’t such an important thing. It was possible, or more possible then, to actually send traffic directly to a sales page and make money straight off the bat. Whereas I think increasingly going forward now, it’s really important to build that relationship with your future customers first and to actually get people on to your subscriber list so you can do that job effectively. Would you agree with that Ralph in terms of building a list is really, really increasingly important or do you think that in some cases you don’t need to build a list?
Ralph: I think in that particular case, if you’re trying to build a business from scratch, I don’t think Tim Ferriss really talks about list building. I mean it’s been a while since I’ve read it as well and I should probably pull it out just to look at it but that was pretty fresh information three, four years ago but, as you say, a lot changes daily, weekly on the internet and I don’t know if he talks too much about list building. He does talk about sending paid traffic to a squeeze page and creating information based products which is the part that really resonated with me, but I do think the best way to engage an audience is to do, at least from my perspective it was to do a combination of paid media as well as SEO and that’s a model that my business has followed since then with products that aren’t mine and the affiliate marketing niche is to typically drive paid traffic to an affiliate blog or some kind of sales page and all the while in the back end build up the SEO so that you can get some organic rankings and you can get some organic rankings for often times long tail keywords, those sorts of things, so that you have a combination of paid traffic as well as free traffic even though I don’t think there’s really such a thing as free traffic because to SEO properly, as Joseph Archibald said, certainly takes a tremendous amount of work and I know you’ve read some of his stuff and interviewed him, I think that’s how we originally met.
Ralph: But yes, I think the combination of the two does really help because if you rely on SEO and you’re just starting off with a blog, it gets frustrating because let’s say you launch your website and you sort of expect that folks will just find you if they search for a certain term and they end up not finding you and you look at your blog stats and you see that you had two visitors yesterday and that gets a little frustrating. So that’s what drove me to do more paid media and pay per clicks specifically and then from there it gathered more and more momentum but paid traffic, depending on what your niche is, is expensive so depending on what your pay-off is, obviously in my case I knew that I was going to do a product launch for a product that would make me money and that the paid media was just a cost associated with that, that hopefully I would recoup once I actually launched the product itself. So I think a combination of the two is what I started out with but for all the websites and the niches that we’re in right now, we do a combination of SEO as well as paid media and that seems to work out pretty well.
Rob: That’s very interesting, I really like that hybrid actually because I think sometimes people get the impression that SEO can be a relatively rapid process. You literally get significant amounts of traffic say in a week or so, but I think going forward with every new Google update to its algorithm, really SEO is a longer term game in my mind that certainly seems to be the trend over the last few years. So it’s great to have the blog there and you are building up that franchise with the search engines and gaining SEO traffic over time but obviously we all want results quickly so in your case you’ve obviously opted for paid traffic which I suppose with services like Google Adwords, where you can just advertise and get that traffic straight to your site, that really is like a tap almost, you can turn the traffic on but it does cost money as you’ve rightly pointed out.
For people who don’t want to spend that money and want to go in a direction which is much lower cost or zero cost, then of course I think there are other options as well there. Well there are several but I’d certainly cite things like guest posting and even doing interviews like we’re doing here. They can be very, very rewarding from a traffic perspective.
But, Ralph, you also alluded to the fact that you are not particularly tech savvy or at least you weren’t in the early days. You obviously come from a sales background as well so you weren’t born a computer programmer or a NASA scientist or something like that, so could you talk to us a little bit about how you actually approached the techie side of things if you like in the early days? Did you find a book that helped you, did you just search online randomly or maybe you signed up for some courses? How did that work?
Ralph: I think after I read the “4-Hour Workweek”, I started looking online for other resources and obviously there are so many that are out there. One that I really identified with is Internet Business Mastery and their podcast and because I did a fair amount of travel, I had a two, three hour commute every single day which was one of the main reasons why I really wanted to leave the corporate world and spend a little bit more time with the family and the kids and all that, I had a fair amount of time in the car and when I wasn’t on the phone doing my regular job, I was listening to podcasts and I eventually signed up as a member for the Internet Business Mastery Academy where they go through step by step exactly how to set up a website and how to pick your niche first off and then how to set up a website, how to set up a blog, how to set up an autoresponder series and this was a paid course that I think is tremendous and I still listen to those guys all the time and I’m still a member to this day. I think there are a lot of resources that are out there to show you exactly how to do it and I think your blog is one of them where somebody who is very non-technical can actually set up a blog on their own in a relatively short period of time and it’s not really that difficult.
And once you have something set up, a guy like me who had no computer experience whatsoever aside from just typing out Word documents, I built that website that I still have today and I wanted to make it look a little bit different so I did end up hiring a webmaster to do some tweaks and to add some things that were a little bit beyond the scope of my expertise but I, in essence, did it all myself to start it off and then started paying somebody else to actually do it and to this day I know one of the things that you talk about on your blog is outsourcing.
I actually have a virtual assistant who does all the webmastering for me, even though I know how to do it, but it’s a great way, once you generate income online, is to get somebody else to do a lot of the things that maybe you don’t even like to do. I don’t necessarily like to go into the FTP and set up files and so forth. I like creating content and thinking about how I’m going to monetise and what I want to write on the blogs and so forth, so I have the virtual assistant do all that now. But when I first started I did it all myself and I’m not going to say it was easy because I was thinking about things very differently and being very non-technical it wasn’t something that I was great at but I did put together a number of blogs on my own and it can be done for folks who have very little in the way of technical expertise, that’s for sure.
Rob: Yes, and you know there are so many things I love about online business but one of them is the actual, almost substitution effect between money and time. So we talked about traffic just now and you talked about how if you say you haven’t got any money but you’ve got lots of time then you can do non-paid traffic methods very effectively and vice versa. Maybe if you have a job, for example, a nine to five job, then maybe you have very limited time but you’ve got a little bit of money and you can make that substitution and put more money and get equivalent results.
It’s the same with outsourcing isn’t it because I think that to start with it’s definitely a great idea to really know the basics, the web basics or fundamentals if you like, but as you move on, as obviously you have then it really makes sense to focus most of your time on the high value and money generating activities which for you, I guess as you’ve alluded to and for most people really, is really content creation. Would you agree with that?
Ralph: Yes, agreed, and I think with our lifestyle from the last month or so and how it’s changed, like I said before we have two boys and we’re living full time in an RV now and travelling from place to place where I know us scheduling this interview today was a bit of a challenge at times just because we’re constantly in motion and I’ve got to make really good use of the four or five hours that I get every single day, if that, some days probably less than that, and I’ve really got to prioritise what’s most important. So it’s almost going back to when I first started is that I had three or four hours at night that I had to do the most important tasks because I was working my regular day job during the day. It’s almost the same thing now is that I think you really do have to prioritise and I think you can get lost a bit online. You see all the emails that come in about, depending on how many lists that you subscribe to, all the latest and greatest things and you want to chase that and then you look at this and all of a sudden you realise that you’ve been “working” for an hour and you’ve got nothing done.
So I think one of the reasons why we decided, and I really wanted to go on this trip across country for a year is to make sure that my focus as far as my business is concerned is really laser focused and the virtual assistant helps me do that with a lot of the tasks that probably I used to do a month ago, now I’m having her do and I’m in the process of hiring another virtual assistant to do some of those other tasks that maybe are outside her level of expertise but that I used to do, but aren’t really as important from a strategic standpoint to my business online. So I totally agree. It is a constant juggle of what’s most important and you’ve got to really prioritise your time as best as you possibly can in order to get the results that you want.
Rob: Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Now what I would like to do is actually just go back to the issue of your membership site because I’m really interested in the decision that led up to that project. So in other words why did you choose to go for a membership site which has some kind of recurring billing structure in there, maybe people pay on a monthly basis, compared to a standalone product which people just pay once for. Why did you go for the membership site instead of the standalone product?
Ralph: I think the membership model, I was really infatuated with the idea of having a constant source of income every single month, a near passive income. I don’t think operating a membership site is passive income per se because there’s interaction with your subscribers and with your members but the idea of having a continuity program that folks are paying a monthly fee for premium based content was always something that just really fascinated me. It was the epitome of internet marketing and not that you can put it on autopilot but I think the model is tremendous. I think it does take a fair amount of work to set it up obviously as we mentioned before, but I do think you also either have to have a very responsive small list or a very large list that you’ve either joined up through joint ventures which I didn’t do for the initial launch of our membership program, I did it basically to my own list but they were very responsive which was great.
And then to scale that, all you really need to do is continue to provide good content, get folks to opt-in and then after the opt-in there’s obviously a sales funnel and the autoresponder series and the blog broadcasts and those sorts of things. So I think the membership model was something that not only was it a great way to generate regular income but it was also a great way to deliver high quality premium content to folks who were very engaged in the process and this model was really touted by the Internet Business Mastery folks and they had sold me in the same sort of way to their membership site. So I said if somebody like me who’s sort of sceptical of being “sold” and it works on me, why wouldn’t it work for my list and so that’s how I adopted the model based I think on their recommendations and based upon their business model as well.
Rob: Yes, in terms of content, Ralph, I think one potential concern that people might have about a membership site is that somehow you need to constantly update it with fresh content and I think that is a legitimate concern, particularly if you have a news based site for example, then things are changing all the time so it’s really ongoing work. But there are evergreen content as well if it’s knowledge based, for example, and that requires less work of in terms of updates so do you have a mix of both updates and static content or how does that work in your own site, Ralph?
Ralph: Well it’s static mostly but I do updates weekly or every other week and also interact with members but I think it depends on what your niche is. If it’s something that is evergreen you can set it up basically once and then freshen it up and maintain it but if it’s something that is constantly in need of update based upon current events or market conditions, if you were doing a stock trading website, that membership website obviously has a great deal to do as current market conditions and I think that would be very different. In my case, it’s something that’s fairly static. The things that I put in there two years ago still resonate today and we do freshen up. We redid it about six months ago to freshen it up and make it a little bit more updated and based upon member feedback we added a few other resources, but I think once you do set it up in a relatively static niche it’s something that can continue onward and with relatively little upkeep. So I think it’s a great model. I do think that, like I said before, I don’t think it’s the first thing that you should do like what I did. I think it’s probably better to take a step wise approach and move into it and maybe do a product launch for one particular product and then move into a continuity or a membership type of program but at the end of the day it is a tremendous model especially if you’ve got satisfied members and satisfied customers that are giving you very positive feedback and is helping them in whatever your membership site is about. So I think it’s a great model to go after.
Rob: Yes, fantastic and just changing subjects slightly and going back to the road trip itself, you mentioned that you’re planning on a whole year RVing around the US and Canada, how far are you into that trip as we talk today Ralph?
Ralph: We’re about half way across the country right now. We’ve gone through it’s got to be eight or nine states and we were in Canada for a while and now we’re in Springfield, Illinois as of this recording here and from here we go on north up to Minneapolis and Kansas City I believe later on this week. Then we head out toward the national parks in the western part of the United States which is an area that we’ve visited quite a bit and that we really love. Then we go up to the Seattle area and then we end up in San Francisco by October and that ends the first leg and then we have to plan our return trip. That will take us basically the entire way across the country and then our goal is to come back through the southern states in the winter months, hopefully timing the weather right, and then get back in Massachusetts sometime in June of next year. That’s if all goes well! So far so good, it’s about a month and it’s been really tremendous.
Rob: OK, right, so you’ve just been on the road a month so far?
Ralph: Yes, just a month.
Rob: You’ve made some good progress already if you’re in Illinois all the way from Massachusetts that’s a fair old distance. I guess what you’re doing is not only fantastic but it’s also a major tribute to the state of the internet and modern communication methods as we’re chatting on Skype right here.
Ralph: Yes, it definitely is. I mean if you’re interested in attaining that level of freedom and independence and do the things that you really enjoy doing which is travel for us. We just love to travel and we always have wanted to live in different places and there’s so much in the United States to see, we just felt that going by RV was the best way to do it and quite honestly, Rob, about a month and a half ago before we bought the RV we had never gone RVing before. I was just a total newbie and on our blog we talk about that, the fact that we’re not really RV people and I didn’t know anything about how to put the whole thing together, how to drive it and how to buy it so we went through that whole process. Obviously we planned our itinerary because we’re going through the summer months but it is just one of those things that we always have wanted to do. We put our plan in place and now here we are one month in it and we haven’t killed each other yet. Hopefully things will continue to go as well as they have been the last three or four weeks.
Rob: Wow, I’m sure they will. I’ve met a lot of people actually who have read the “4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss and a lot of those people, or at least some of them, have said it’s a bit unrealistic or it’s not really achievable but I think you, Ralph, and your family are living proof that this is totally achievable and you can make it happen and it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a family or anything else going on pretty much, you can do this. It may take some time, it’s not going to happen overnight, it’s not necessarily going to be easy but it can be done. In fact the meet up group that I go to in London every month, there is a guy there who is planning to do exactly what you’ve done, Ralph. He’s going to take his family away. I’m not sure whether he’s going to the US or elsewhere in the world but it’s exactly the same concept so there are people out there actually making this happen and doing it which is a real inspiration to all of us I think.
Now, Ralph, before we wrap this up, can you please remind us, especially for people who haven’t known you previously, where we can find more about you and obviously your road trip on the internet?
Ralph: Sure. It’s fulltimervfamily.com and just exactly the way that it’s spelled and no hyphens fulltimervfamily.com and we post quite frequently. My kids post on there because they are on summer vacation right now so a part of their home schooling or road schooling is writing. So we have them post which is a lot of fun and I put it together for them and they get lots of comments and their friends respond but myself and my wife talk about RVing full time and also give reviews of various camping sites, how we put it all together, what we did in order to create this kind of lifestyle and it’s just sort of a fun blog that hopefully will be inspirational to some people to follow their dreams and not wait until they’re 65 until they retire so to speak. Not that we’re retired but to do the things now that you always wanted to do instead of waiting until you’re really too old to fully appreciate them. So fulltimervfamily.com is the URL, Rob.
Rob: Great. Thank you Ralph, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and it’s been really inspirational as well as very educational, learning about your online business and traffic strategies, list building and all the rest of it. So it would be great to catch up with you again. I know it’s early days on your road trip at the moment but perhaps in a few months when you’re coming back the other side through the southern states, we can hook up again and see how you’re getting on and get an update on not only the road trip and what you’ve seen but also the online business. Thank you again, Ralph, for taking the time today, we really appreciate it.
Ralph: Thanks Rob for having me and I really appreciate having the opportunity to be on the show today.[/spoiler]
Here’s an outline of the main topics:
01:01 The transition from 9-5 job to RV Road Trip
06:38 How Ralph selected his online niche
09:05 Did Ralph start with creating products or affiliate marketing?
15:22 What are the next steps for a beginner after they’ve chosen their niche?
22:29 Combining different traffic sources
24:01 How did Ralph conquer the technical challenges of setting up his business?
26:25 Outsourcing & hiring a virtual assistant
31:00 Why did Ralph choose a membership site rather than a regular product?
36:21 Ralph’s road trip itinerary
39:24 Wrapping up
…and here are some links to the websites mentioned in the audio….
The 4-Hour Workweek – A MUST read!
InternetBusinessMastery.com – Sterling and Jay’s online business training
SalesManagementMastery.com – One of Ralph’s first websites
Jeff Walker – Creator of Product Launch Formula
Joseph Archbald – Creator of the 40 Day Challenge E-Book
I loved chatting to Ralph, not least because I’m a huge fan of road trips myself. I think what he is doing is an inspiration to all of us!
Don’t forget to follow Ralph’s journey over at Full Time RV Family.
So, what do you think? Please drop a comment below with your thoughts… 🙂
So who’s this chap called Ferriss? And you also talked about a guy called Walker – who’s that then? But you mentioned Joseph Archibald. I heard about him a whole lot!
Great interview gentlemen! Very interesting to learn about your background Ralph and hope your travels are going very well, which they surely sound like they are!
Best regards to both of you!
Never heard of those guys either 😉
Glad you enjoyed the interview.
Were in middle America Galena, Illinois (home of US Grant) living the dream in 103 degree sweltering heat with AC that doesnt quite work all the time. Who says the internet lifestyle is easy when your fingers are sticking to your keyboard….
Hope all is well with you in Malaysia (got it right this time :-))
I think Archibald is some Scot exiled in Singapore selling ebooks or something…:-)
Thanks Jo, travels are going well, we are getting our fair share of American history in the land of Abraham Lincoln – I even shaved my beard to look like him.
Also teacking my kids the 40 Day method so watch out, you may have some SEO guru competition soon!
Nope, not Singapore Ralph – you were close though – its Malaysia.
I believe Abe Lincoln is of English heritage so Rob (the Lunduner) has got good company. I’m very sure you suit the beard 😉
I think its great that you are teaching your kids about earning an income online Ralph. More kids should be taught how this process works because its a great way to develop a large amount of very important life skills, and not just making money.
Have a great time in Vermont or where-ever the heck you are now!
Hey Rob thanks for another informational and inspirational podcast. You always ask great questions and get people to open up to you. Keep the podcasts coming!
Thank you Tai, much appreciated.
I do always try and get that little bit extra on the step-by-step stuff – I know that’s what we all want to know!
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂
Thanks for the mention!
You’re welcome Sterling. Great to see you over here at GHG 🙂 Rob.
Hey Sterling – you guys started it all for me so thanks to you and Jay for getting the ball rolling with me and achieving freedom, lifestyle design and keeping that DMP over my computer for the past 2 years. Watch out man, we’re heading to Utah in just a few weeeks 🙂
Very cool to hear you are going for it!
It’s hot here, so be prepared! I’m not fond of summer. I know that sounds crazy, but I like it at like 67 degrees or below!
Hey Sterling I thought you hated cold weather? I remember hearing about a guy who moved to San Diego to be near the beach & get away from the cold….
Somehow I’ve changed. I prefer mid 60s at all times, but if it’s colder I’d rather put on a jacket then be too hot. Strange how things change…