How to do zero marketing and build successful online businesses – Matt Giovanisci from Money Lab



Reading Time

5 minute read

Matt Giovanisci probably wouldn’t approve of the following intro: Matt is the serial entrepreneur behind Money Lab (and several other online businesses), and is an overall SUPER creative with a NO-BS attitude and hilarious flair.

But really, he’s just a cool guy.

He tries things. He writes the way he wants. He’s a contrarian and generalist in the highest regard, and he secretly hates giving digital marketing advice.

In fact, he’d rather you take EVERYTHING we talk about in this podcast with a grain of salt, instead encouraging you to try things out for YOUR business and blog. Figure out what works for you.

In this blog post and podcast interview, we chat…

  1. Forgetting your “blogging avatar”
  2. Why you should STOP focusing entirely on marketing, and what to do instead (#clickbait)
  3. What he learned (or didn’t learn) going to college for 2 weeks. Twice.
  4. Why he doesn’t like giving advice.

I’m in love with Matt’s attitude and creative spirit. Enjoy the chat!

Listen to my episode with Matt Giovanisci from Money Lab

or listen on Apple Podcasts \ Google Podcasts \ Spotify


Top takeaways from the interview:

Matt does zero marketing

The above headline actually isn’t true.

No, Matt doesn’t actively promote any of the business projects he creates for Money Lab. He hasn’t been super focused on SEO (outside SEO impossible of course), he’s not out there applying to 125 Pinterest group boards.

What Matt does: he focuses on creating products and content that market themselves.

That IS a form of marketing, but one bloggers are constantly choosing to put on the back burner.

We’d MUCH rather spend our time over-optimizing for the latest Pinterest traffic hack we read about that week. (I am SO guilty of this as well btw. I’m preaching to myself here…)

Matt’s entire premise for SEO Impossible, where’s he’s going to attempt to rank #1 in Google for “affiliate marketing,” is this: produce the best piece of content for those search terms.

That’s really about it.

Yes, there’s definitely technical SEO frameworks and marketing skills involved, but the premise is STILL focused on producing a piece of content that will market itself.

The point?

We should all dare to spend a bit more time focused on creating remarkable content (Seth Godin’s words), and a little less time obsessing over Google Analytics and small-detail marketing strategies.

But still listen to my blog-strategies-and-tactics-and-ideas podcast of course. >_<

“Nobody knows anything. It’s all experimentation.”

I LOVED Matt’s response to when people ask him for advice…

“I don’t like to give advice all that much. When people ask me ‘how do you think I should do this?’

I’m like ‘I don’t know,’ try it and tell me how it goes.”

The funny thing about “strategies” and “advice” and “consulting”…is that they almost NEVER work for everyone all the time.

I could tell you how I monetize my blog, but that doesn’t mean YOU can rinse and repeat the same strategies.

Matt could tell you how he grew a sustainable business out of a pool website, but that doesn’t mean you could take his EXACT strategies and apply it to your gig.

Learn, Internalize, Implement, Iterate. THAT’S the strategy we should take. The LIII approach.

  1. Learn – take advice. Read my “how to blog” stuff. Listen to Matt share stories. Read books and buy Online Impact
  2. Internalize – YOUR business, blog, and life are unique in the real sense of the word. Take your knowledge and adapt them to your situation, the best you can.
  3. Implement – Take action based on what you have learned, and based on what you think will lead to the best outcomes for YOUR blog/life.
  4. Iterate – How did it go? How can you do better? How can you improve? What can you do different. Go try again.

Nobody knows anything. It’s all a process of experimenting.

It’s ok to NOT know what you want to be.

I had a friend in elementary school who said she wanted to be a veterinarian.

She worked her whole life to be a veterinarian, now she’s a veterinarian. and she’s happy.

Matt and I have always been jealous of those people.

We’re generalists. We chase shiny objects, and pursue callings in a VARIETY of fields…mainly because we never KNEW what we wanted to be when we grew up.

With a lack of a focused purpose, people either learn nothing (the bum), or learn a bit of everything (the generalist).

The thing is…

I KNOW there are others like us out there. Reading this post.

30 years ago, the world didn’t reward generalists. Today (and 15 years from now), generalists thrive.

It’s OK to want to learn more about everything.

It’s OK to NOT know what you want to do with your life.

Caveat —>

As long as you work.

No, I don’t mean “hold down a job,” I mean DO WORK.

Through constant learning, experimenting, and even career-changing…generalists develop insanely wide skillsets other people can only dream of.

We’re adaptable. We’re flexibile.

It’s ok to NOT know what you want to be when you grow up.

It’s time for people like us to feel comfortable with our own aspirations for learning and success, seemingly lacking a vocation. Our vocation is to learn and achieve, ALWAYS being an asset wherever we find ourselves.

That said, if you are TRULY struggling to figure out where to apply yourself…

Ask yourself,

Where does time fly for you?

What tasks to perform, what work do you do….where you glance at the clock and realize hours have gone by?

Time flies when we’re having fun….or really when we’re thoroughly engaged with our work.

What subjects in school did you wish would actually have LONGER classes, if any?

Fantastic food for thought, especially for young people or folks unhappy in their current line of work.

Life’s too short to cubicle.

YOU are the easiest person to write to.

The whole “scratch your own itch” is real.

Bloggers talk about “find your avatar” and “nailing down WHO you’re talking to” and “write for those people,” etc…and that stuff’s great…

…but if YOU are your avatar (even you at a previous point in time, i.e. you 2 years ago), THAT is where your “voice,” “tone,” yada yada can fall into place in a heartbeat.


You get to be you. And that’s the easiest person you can be.#inspirationalposter

Heck, the same rule also applies if your readers accept you for who you are.

I.e. you get to write naturally, and that’s ALSO what resonates with them the most.

In fact, it’s my PERSONAL opinion that the best bloggers actually write naturally no matter what, and let their avatars work themselves out naturally.

Some folks will be attracted to Matt’s style, and some won’t. Matt doesn’t care so much.

He knows he can help those people by being himself.

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Show notes and links

Enjoy this chat? Drop me a comment below and say hello! Or just spam links to your latest blog post.

Actually do that. I’m not jokin.

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