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Sept. 23, 2022

Opportunities For Online Growth Learned Over 10 Years With John Shea

Opportunities For Online Growth Learned Over 10 Years With John Shea
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This episode features John Shea. John is the owner of No Shame Income where he offers his email marketing automation solution as well as his blog where he shares what he has learned since 2011 where he has tried about every program known paid program to internet marketing.

John shares how his experiences shaped him for what he is doing today. He discusses where he feels the biggest opportunity would be for somebody who's just starting out, and trying to figure out how they could make a living online.

Listen to John as he deep dive into why he believes it is important to learn SEO as a business owner. He shares about the courses he created and what would somebody learn by taking this course.

Learn from John’s advice to eCommerce business owners who are just starting as opposed to experienced eCommerce business owners.

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To find more information about John, go to


Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of theMake Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner ofTrue Online Presence, and the Founder ofMake Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found onApple Podcast,iHeart Radio,iTunes,Spotify,Stitcher,Amazon Music,Google Podcasts


Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and


Andy Splichal 0:00

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. We're happy to welcome this week's guest to discuss today's topic, which is opportunities for online growth over 10 years. Today's guest is the owner of No Shame Income, where he offers his email marketing automation solution, as well as his blog where he shares what he has learned since 2011, where he has tried about every program known paid program to internet marketing success. A big welcome to John Shea. Hi, John.

John Shea 0:47

Hey, thanks for having me.

Andy Splichal 0:49

You know, we're excited to have you. Now, I was reading through your bio before we had you on the show and it literally was just a story about every product your can purchase online. To discover how you can be successful in the internet marketing. How do you think all these experiences shaped your for what you are doing today?

John Shea 0:52

I think for me, it's kind of been just going through and sort of discovering, you know, what is it that I want to do? What are the things I'm good at? And sort of, throughout all of that, you know, figuring out ways to make some income along the way. Long story short, I really, you know, wasn't very happy when it came to, you know, go go to school, get a degree, get a job, and then you're just sort of there, right? It was kind of like, what, what else is out there? And I always was striving for more bigger things. And I think a lot of people around me weren't really in that mindset. So I knew, once I discovered entrepreneurship, it was sort of figuring out well, what am I good at? There were a lot of things that I had to figure out along the way, in terms of just getting better at it, like being on video or talking or, you know, being confident to come on a podcast or anything like that over time. But yeah, I mean, throughout my journey of trying different things, I would kind of go out have success with certain things I would try. And then I would teach courses on it, I actually had some of my first real breakthrough income online, I had, like $1,000 month, back in 2014. And at the time, that was almost like a paycheck for me. So it was really like this amazing breakthrough. And I decided, you know, I'm just going to start creating courses about the things that I'm learning, and I enjoy teaching. So I know that's kind of what we're here to talk about today. But yeah, that's sort of in a nutshell.

Andy Splichal 2:17

You know, with all the experience that you've had now and take in all these different avenues trying to make money here in 2022, where do you feel that the biggest opportunity would be for somebody who's just starting out, and trying to figure out how they could make a living online.

John Shea 2:34

I think an area that I've bounced in and out of a lot that I've really enjoyed is getting involved with affiliate marketing. So a lot of what I've done kind of encompasses that, you know, for the last couple of years, I was focused a lot on email marketing, but at the end of the day, email marketing is a tool that I use to promote affiliate marketing offers. It's easy enough for people to jump in, because they don't necessarily need to have created a product or own a product. You can find products or services that you like, whether or not it be physical or even digital based products. You know, I've had success selling office chairs, and I've also sold digital courses. You know, so it really, it's all all the above is something that you can jump into and that that's the area like I think for me, I've decided, as entrepreneurship. As someone who wanted to be involved in entrepreneurship, I really thought to myself, you know, what is it that I want out of like my life, right? Like, if I looked at everything I'm doing, what do I want out of my day to day life, and I wasn't enjoying, like doing things where I'm like talking to clients, or focus too much on having phone conversations. But the idea of say, sending some emails and making income or promoting a product through a YouTube video that sits out there and is now generating revenue, potentially months, if not, maybe even a year down the road. I love the idea of building like these little assets. So that's kind of where I focused and that's what I'd probably tell most people is build up at your own following whether or not that be on social media or an email list. And then start finding products that you can promote that you believe in and use that as a way to make you know, make an income.

Andy Splichal 4:12

Now you you have quite a few courses, including the two that we just added to Make Each Click Count University, which are use Pinterest to promote your eCommerce store and do it yourself local SEO. Let's talk about the Pinterest course first. What what type of opportunity do you see on Pinterest offering ecommerce businesses? And what can a business owner learn from taking this course?

John Shea 4:36

Sure. So, to back up a little bit, I had created a website. My wife had come up with this idea years back this was in 2014 Actually, where she said hey, you know let's start a website around the schools niche like products or things with skulls on them. And I was like, well, that's kind of interesting. And lo and behold, I went around on Amazon and I found a ton of stuff. So ultimately what happened is I ended up creating a sight at the time, I was able to get the domain skull clothing net, which still exists. And I figured, hey, if I could rank it on Google for that term, I'd bring in traffic. And we could use that as a way to, you know, send people over to Amazon as an affiliate. And I would make commissions on people buying these, you know, school based products, it could have been dresses, jewelry, anything related in that niche. So my other angle I figured at the time was where could I go to post all this type of content, right? Can't really blog about it. But Pinterest would be good because that's an angle, right? There's a million of these school products, Halloween things. So I made this whole Pinterest account around the scope, clothing niche. And I just started learning everything I could about Pinterest, like how to create the different lists, how to publish the photos, what types of things to do. You could get other people into your like boards and have them publishing your content and re sharing it, which potentially would have links back to my website, where ultimately those people would buy and I'd earn commissions. So sort of creating this viral effect. But that was my goal. And that's why I started doing Pinterest. And I think it's good for E commerce because it's so picture focused. Of course, a lot of the other social media platforms are video based. And there's plenty of ways to market it. But Pinterest being more picture focused, I thought it was great at the time to really focus on that for the school niche.

Andy Splichal 6:19

Now does the course look at the paid Pinterest ads? Or is it purely organic,

John Shea 6:26

purely organic, it's really just sort of setting up going through almost giving a case study of how I grew that skull clothing Pinterest account, what were the kinds of things I was doing, how I was promoting different boards, looking at different software's that could help automate processes or to save time, you know, really looking at all those different pieces.

Andy Splichal 6:47

And was it worth it did you were able to generate a lot of traffic through Pinterest?

John Shea 6:50

So I built up the account to a pretty big following. Ultimately, I think at the end of the day, it was hard to determine whether or not I was getting a massive amount of traffic. But I did get multiple multiple like pins and things I was putting out there that would go viral, I was also able to build up some public boards that got a lot of attraction from other people who would go in and publish things. Sometimes it would get a little out of control. It's almost like giving free rein to a Facebook group and people just doing what they will and spamming. But, you know, in the end of it, you know, there was a lot of stuff that I was able to get to go viral, I ended up having some problems with the site, one of the tools I used to import a lot of the affiliate products was kind of hit or miss in terms of its functionality. So some of the stuff I had either would go out of stock, and I wouldn't know it or whatever have you. So it was kind of like trying to keep track of it all at the time. It was like a small piece of the puzzle, I guess. But I thought Pinterest was a good angle because of the niche. And I think if you're in a niche where you have the ability to share a lot of photos around what you're doing, and people are going to visually want to look at that stuff, then it's a great way to go.

Andy Splichal 7:51

Well, then I think it's a lot less competitive than some other marketing channels. So it might be a profitable one for sure. Let's talk a little bit now about your SEO course. It's called Do It Yourself local SEO. Why do you believe SEO to learn it yourself as important for a business owner? And what would somebody learn by taking this course?

John Shea 8:16

Sure. So what I found is, I created this course out of kind of a need where at the time, I had been doing some SEO for local businesses, my very first client was an insurance a local insurance company. And I went out and said, you know, a lot of these companies obviously want to pay you for the service. But then there was other businesses, I found a woman solo business owner doesn't have a lot of money, you know, couldn't afford to spend 500 or $1,000 a month on learning this stuff. But a lot of them, were neglecting very basic things that you could do in an afternoon, like set up a Google My Business Profile, add some photos, you know, understand that they could be adding their business to like local directories, which are basically citations as what they call them in the SEO world, doing all these simple things that they could kind of do on their own a little bit here and there. And just having that all set up properly. So that was really where I figured there'd be an opportunity there. What if I just taught some of the basics, put a course out. And then if a small business owner didn't want to spend money on like an actual agency or freelancer, they could at least go in and know and have some understanding of like, here's some basics that I can do to get started.

Andy Splichal 9:24

Now everything always seems to be changing so quickly. Is that is the course still relevant today?

John Shea 9:33

That's a good question. A lot of the general like basics of what's in there are still going to be applicable. But Google, my business has gone through like multiple, multiple iterations. But the general like rule of thumb around a lot of what's working in SEO still exists, right? Like talking about how to do a proper on page SEO like blog title and loading up like a plugin like Yoast, that really hasn't changed right? None of those principles of change. Things like by going in and making sure your photos and Google My Business and doing all your business hours and making sure you've got a logo uploaded, a lot of that is still there, I had created a separate Google My Business course at one point I listed for free in 2016. And that became pretty dated fairly quickly because of all the changes. So I would say this is a little bit more generalized advice around things that some of which are probably still very relevant. But some other things, I'd have to check back and figure out like, does this still make sense. There's some other tools and services as well, like, I recommend bright local in the course, which is a great like local SEO tool, a single business could go and sign up for that. So I walk them through that tool. And of course, that tool may change design or features, you know, new things being added, but the general idea of what it's doing is the same.

Andy Splichal:

You know, and I think it's really important for for business owners to understand SEO. So not even if they're, you know, maybe they're not going to do it themselves, maybe they're gonna hire somebody, maybe outsource it to somebody on their team. But just to kind of have an idea of what's being done to make sure it's being done properly. Because there's so many con artists in that field that it's, you know, if you don't know, you don't know, right? Yep. Now, personally, back to you, are there any business books out there that you could attribute to your journey as an entrepreneur?

John Shea:

Um, you know, when I first started, I was following people like Pat Flynn, from Smart Passive Income. There's a good friend of mine that I kind of met at really an optimal time, I was going through, you know, sort of a confidence thing, when I initially had had lost my job in 2014, I kind of said to myself, well, my mindset at the time was go back and get a job. And basically, I ended up finding a job at a marketing agency wasn't really that happy, but worked there for about a year. And I ended up getting let go from that company, basically decided, in my mind, I was like, you know, what this is it like, I need to figure this out. This is the time I started getting some clients on Upwork. And I worked with a guy by the name of Leo Han, who was doing a lot with that at the time. So I really thank him, because I paid for his mentorship at the time for Upwork. And I've since generated over $200,000 on that platform. So he really gave gave me a base. At any time, if I want to go get clients on Upwork, I really have the foundation set. And then I met another guy by the name of Paul James, who's a YouTuber, and he runs multiple, like software companies does a lot of affiliate marketing, as well as Google courses and teaches lead generation and things like that. He kind of helped me out with promoting and launching some of my courses into spaces other than utilizing sites like Udemy, or course platforms, like what you might have, you know, where I could go out and kind of sell it on my own. So I got really confident with his help selling on webinars and doing things like that. So we've remained really good friends and have made a ton of money together. And it's been like a really cool journey. So those are probably the three. But there's many others, of course, I've met along the way. But those are some bigger ones that I can recall.

Andy Splichal:

Now, how many courses have you created over the last 10 years.

John Shea:

So it's somewhere like in the realm of 70, to 80. And the only reason I say that is because at one point, when I around 2016 - 2017, there was an opportunity where Skillshare was actually paying people not only to publish the courses, but they would pay based on people watching content. So I kind of went into this like creation mode. And I just continuously made these bite sized courses that were like, it could be as short as 30 minutes to as long as an hour. But then I had these other bigger Kahuna courses I'd been making prior. And those mostly would range in the probably like, I don't know, 10, or 15 of them are in the like three to six hour range where they're really, really focused on a topic and they go pretty deep into it. Right now I've kind of realized and from 2018. Beyond, I decided to focus on one course that I had called the SEO consulting blueprint, which basically was a course teaching how to start an SEO agency so included pieces of what was in the local SEO course, but included way more to teach someone how to go run a business work with clients, get the clients kind of do all the above. And then I guess if you have more questions on these courses, I want to make sure I get to them. But I discovered something newer last year and this has kind of piqued my interest and got me away from the client stuff and more into the affiliate stuff.

Andy Splichal:

Now what type of advice would you give to an E commerce business owner just starting opposed to an E commerce business owner saying already doing 2 million a year?

John Shea:

I think a big thing was I used to work for a couple EECOM companies be open to like change. You know, one of the companies wanted to do everything customized. They needed things to work a certain way they weren't willing to like utilize the platforms out there. Right. If they had to make a switch from Magento to Shopify, right, like being open to a change like that, and knowing that it isn't going to be the end of the world. That was a big thing. I think that was a problem for someone maybe that was potentially starting not really sure but you know, just knowing then if you go into something, obviously be open to making adjustments or changes. And then beyond that, I would say, obviously, offering a high level of customer service is going to be key with with ecommerce, because these people are expecting orders tracking all that stuff, you really have to stay on top of that, if you can't, you know, deliver that. And that's going to be an issue. So I know some people love to do drop shipping. So obviously, that can throw a wrench in some of that. But beyond that, I mean, probably coming up with a strategy where you can really pinpoint I think a lot of the big successful econ guys who are, you know, kind of coming in as starters are just finding like a really winning product. And then they're running ads and just crushing it with that single product, and making that the real winner. I'm working with a gentleman right now who invented something, and we're trying to sell it on Amazon. So I've been helping him, you know, being open to the idea of sending those products to Amazon, letting them fulfill it. Another mistake I saw a company make was they wanted to do everything in house, they wanted to have full control, they wanted to do the shipping, they wanted to do all of that. And he wasn't willing to send the products to Amazon and let them handle that, right. And I kind of have a mindset where it's like, you know, if I have this winning product, which this guy did, you know, he had this product that was doing like two or $300,000 a year in the winter, it was like a kid's winter mitten. And he had a patent on the sleeve that actually came down. So he owns a patent that protects the sleet, like the little wrist sleeve that comes down off your wrist. And he was crushing it on Amazon. And he treated it like this full time company, when really he had a product. And he would hire all these people. And they would come in and he had a sales guy and like some of that was fine. But he went a little over the top he built like a whole shipping and receiving area he went to like find products that would you'd find it like your local Marshalls or something. And he tried to start selling this other stuff on eBay, and none of it was a hit right? It was nothing different than you wouldn't just find in your local store. And he was there full time, 40 hours a week. And I thought to myself, Man, if you just took that one product, send it to Amazon, you could sit back and literally be collecting full time income and doing nothing. And you know, figuring out how to have you know, China manufacture it, send it over to like a warehouse, they sorted they confirm it's good. And then maybe they send it back over to Amazon. And he just wanted to be so involved and doing all these other things and expanding and it like none of the other stuff he was doing was working. He was trying to really go well above and beyond, I think what was necessary to make it a freedom based model. And those were the big mistakes. I saw, again, a company going through the custom route, and then this guy just not being open to the idea of like, hey, I can kind of walk away from this. And you know, being too involved in it. So I think those were some of the key mistakes I saw people making.

Andy Splichal:

Well, this has been great how How can an interested listener find out more about you and No Shame Income?

John Shea:

Yeah, sure, you could check out my blog I'm currently where I'm at now to give a little background I know our time is coming up. But basically a year ago I started getting involved with Amazon's influencer program which allows you to basically become an affiliate for Amazon where you can go live on Amazon you can make review videos for Amazon products and I'm currently making a full time living well and beyond that now doing this model so my current focus is teaching people how to start as an Amazon influencer go on YouTube and do physical product reviews of things that you have around your house. So a lot of people buy stuff on Amazon so that's currently what I'm focused on now. The other courses were things you know ventures that I tried and had some success with but ultimately you know, wasn't the path I ended up going down.

Andy Splichal:

But Perfect. Perfect. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap it up today?

John Shea:

No, if anyone's I guess interested in hearing more about what I'm doing with affiliate marketing and you know doing physical product reviews feel free to reach out to me through my blog my websites on or my emails on there and always happy to chat about it. But yeah, that's something I'm I'm loving right now because it doesn't involve clients. It's basically a fun business model. I can jump in and you know, enjoy myself it doesn't feel like work right? It's fun.

Andy Splichal:

Great. Well for listeners. Remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding connecting with John, you'll find the links in the show notes below. In addition, you can find his two courses use Pinterest promote your eCommerce store and do it yourself local SEO at And if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcasts Resource Center available at podcast on We have compiled all of our different past guests by show topic and included each of their contact information in case you would like more information in any of the services I've discussed during previous episodes. Well that's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.