Author: ian

Podia Review: How to Customize Your Podia Storefront, Content and Courses

  1. Watch video
  2. Sign up for a free Podia Trial, here.
  3. Podia is far more customizable than Teachable, Thinkific, Gumroad or Kajabi (note – I’ve used, paid for or currently use all of the first 3 – but don’t use Kajabi)
  4. Don’t obsess over picking the right online course or teaching platform. They’ll all pretty good – and all pretty similar. Podia is the best option from our perpsective, unless you need an enterprise grade solution, in which case, Pathwright is the best. (but quite expensive and a bit of unneccessary unless you are building a true multi vendor school or marketplace)
  5. If you sign up for Podia using our affiliate link – email us ( and I’ll give you a free email consultation.

Collecting Underpants is only Phase 1 (or why you should never go into business with a gnome)

A South Park Business Plan

phase 1 – collect underpants
phase 2 – ?????
phase 3 – PROFIT!

Phase one is easy – especially if you live in a neighborhood with an abundance of outdoor clothes lines , and have lots of free time like me.

But actually turning old underpants into profit – that’s the tricky part for all of us.

I have spent much of my professional life collecting underpants. I have wasted many precious and productive years collecting underpants. I have ruined relationships – fractured partnerships – and blown up otherwise perpetually profitable businesseses due to my reluctance to disconinue collecting underpants – and my forever fascination with finding new underpants to collect.

Today – 90% of the businesses I interact with are in the underpants collecting business. They may have big, bold and ambitous ideas, but underneath the auspicious ideas – it’s fruit of the loom all the way down.

There is a great short book by Jim Collins called – “the flywheel” – (famous for his “Good to Great” ginormous bestseller in 1981) he talks about the various pieces and parts of building something viable – valuable – and with enduring worth – both for yourself – and for your clients and community.

This ain’t rocket science. It’s actually supremely simple.

you need.

  1. passion
  2. be the best at something
  3. An economic engine

I also really love his idea about being ENCODED with something – vs being “good” at something. There are many people who are “good” at one thing or another – and who have passion for their work. But more deeply – we’re all encoded with certain skills – traits – natural gifts if you will – that when we allow them to arise and emerge – this is when we step up, stand out and truly begin to shine.

You can call that divine providence, dharma, good genes, purpose or luck, but we all know, deep in our blood and bones, it’s true. You are really good at stuff I could never do. And so too, is the reverse true – from me, to you.

But without the economic engine – take it from me – it’s all underpants collection. If you’re trying to build something great – something special – something local – something international – some sort of side hustle – it matters, not – if you want to succeed – you need something to sell.

Don’t treat it as an afterthought. LEAD with that. That’s the piece that’s going to make all of the rest even possible. If you don’t START with something to sell – you’ll never sell much of anything, I promise.

Take it from the South Park gnomes 🙂

PS – if you have a great idea – and need help finding something to sell – join our new cohort launching on March 5th. I will help you co-create the ideal monetization map for your platform….100% guaranteed.   This will be the last time I offer this program – so if you’re interested – there are spots remaining – and calls begin next week.

Details below.

How to Find Affiliate Products (Gumroad)

Hey all!  Happy Friday!   If you’re interested in “expanding your brand” and extending your platform – affiliate marketing (done the right way) is the absolute easiest way to cultivate a community, to earn an amazing income, build REAL rapport with your professional peers…..and if you’re smart and strategic – it will allow you to “Seed” your site with high value listings, products, and members who will actually elevate YOU as the go to “guru” or authority in your niche, industry, marketplace or locality.

In my newest course on building a digital media brand.
…..several people asked questions about how to find, surface and discover affiliate marketing or partnership opportunities, to incorporate  across your brand platform.  

I recorded a video a few minutes ago
 where I walk through a super simple way of doing this that is IDEAL for “niche” directories (but will work for local ones, too) – and for those of you who offer brand building or digital media services to your members – is a great way of not only earning an income as an affiliate – but also positioning yourself as an expert, authority and thought leader in the “brand building” space as well.  The video is in the “bonus content” section – and the written instructions are pasted below:  (they accompany the video, too)  

Step 1. Go to Step 2. Search for keywords related to your niche, idea, topic, or passion project. Step 3. Find products that resonate with your content and community. Step 4. Contact the sellers and let them know you’d like to become an affiliate! Step 5. This is an IDEAL opportunity for those of you who’d like to build a digital media “agency” – (offering brand building services to your audience) as you’ll find that many sellers, EVEN on Gumroad, where there is a robust and customizable affiliate module – don’t understand what affiliate marketing is – or why they ought to do it – hence, you’re intervention in their thinking process on this topic – will be valuable and welcome. (and of course, offers ripe opportunity for more robust consultations) Also note – this is merely ONE example of how to do this in an “independent” context – you could also go straight to the major affiliate networks (CJ – Shareasale, et al) and do the very same thing – by applying to the programs within the network itself. (that method is obviously more popular – but much less personal – hence, for the right type of entrepreneur (me!) this approach- when available – is preferable 🙂

MyListing Vs Javo Vs Lisner Theme: How to Pick the Best WP Directory for Your Business (Live Chat/Reader Q and A)

Hey all – here is a reasonably common question about comparing some popular directory themes – in this case – Javo Vs Mylisting. (and my own recommendation to consider Lisner, and Listeo as well) The truth is, the very BEST theme is the one you’ll use and understand – and conforms nicely to the specifics of your project…..but WITHOUT feature creep. (in other words – you’ll use far fewer fancy pants plugins than you think – or you’ll need less functionality than you believe – and the key is to simply get momentum, create killer content – cultivate a community and begin to actually earn money on an MVP style launch (minimum viable product ethos) – rather than getting lost in the weeds of picking the perfect theme. (it doesn’t exist)

If you’re interested in downloading tons of video, audio and PDF lessons on directory marketing, feel free to join us, here.

If you’re interested in learning the absolute fastest way to expand your brand and launch a real platform around your directory business – check out the newest mini course I’ve published for our new online LMS platform – here.

Hi Ian wondering what was the theme you said to look out for in late October of 2018? I have been researching for a directory theme for a month and having trouble deciding between Mylisting, Javo Directory and looking a few others for a non profit project. Any help would be appreciated!
ian hollander3:40 PM
Hey there! Thanks for the question – the theme I was referring to (I believe 🙂 didn’t get released as the developer had some issues with Themeforest – and ended up selling it to a small set of clients for a much higher price. Mylisting is still a great theme and probably what i’d still recommend – although there are lots of alternatives (including Lisner – which I really like and use – and one that came out last week that looks very interesting – Listeo, maybe?) Thanks 🙂
Site Visitor3:43 PM
Thanks Ian. I also had lisner in my top 3 but no elementor which I want to use instead of wpbakery. I have some unique features that I need to have built or customized but Im wondering if you know of any of the themes that may have some of the features….Are you okay with me sending you the list of them?
ian 3:49 PM
I really don’t do that sort of deep dive in this format – just not enough time, unfortunately! (I’m much more of a marketing and community building person – not so much a customization/tech advice person )- my best advice is – and this is earned by dint of hundreds and hundreds of clients and subscribers I’ve spoken to over the last 2 years who had “customizations” in mind before they launched – simply do an MVP (mininum viable product) launch – get the site up with the least amount of tech friction – and then optimize, improve and iterate as you go and grow. (out of all of the heavily modded theme requirements I’ve seen as a prerequisite to launch – I don’t think I’ve seen 1 that’s actually landed in the world the way it was initially conceived.



Site Visitor3:50 PM
fair enough what stands out with listeo?
thanks for your time. I guess its still between mylisting, javo directory and lisner. all the best ian

4:08 PM
one last question: is lisner better then mylisting in any way. I’m hesitant because of wpbakery and maybe less features then mylisting but then I read something about needing to use Wp Job Manager and its slows the side down alot. I don’t plan on making a job site, do you need this plugin to create any directory with mylisting? Many thanks for your thoughts
ian 4:19 PM
Hey….yes – all of these frameworks use wp job manager – and all have their own proprietary little enhancements that extend the plugin in various ways – not every theme uses it (directory wise) – but the most popular and best selling ones generally do. (It’s not going to slow your site down – that’s fake news :). And something very easy to mitigate should it be an issue as well. Mylisting and lisner are both great – wilcity is another good choice (I don’t think it uses wp job manager, too – although I’d have to double check). All of these themes are less than ideal – WordPress is not built for directories.
4:20 PM

The Fastest Way To Build a Directory? (Reader Q and A)

Q: Is using the claim listing approach the best way to make money from my web directory business?

Hi Tr**c!  I don’t use the “claim listing” approach – as I really don’t find it to be the most effective way to build a community – it’s sort of a piecemeal approach – a small percentage of your audience will pay to claim a listing on a robust community – but at the stage you’re at now – i’d focus on content creation – and speed – and much less time on the data entry piece (e.g. – tags/categories/adding listings, etc) – this is where 95% of people tend to focus, and in my experience – is pretty proportional to why 95% of these style sites never really go anywhere, too!

If you watch some of the videos i’ve done on content curation – adding blog articles, resources, links, etc – this is the absolute fastest way to build your community – to appear appealing to your audience – to generate momentum – and then you can add the listings, later – once you’ve got some traffic, traction and a lot of content.  The newsletter piece is important as well – as again – it’s super easy to build – takes very little time -and offers a much higher ROI for your time – is much easier to execute – and has a much, much higher rate of success.

Thanks very much – hope that helps a little bit – you can’t really do any of this stuff “wrong” – it’s just about comfort and confidence – and getting clear on what works best for your particular goals and objectives – but the one thing I really recommend – is to focus on ease, flow and momentum at this stage – and adding a single listing in an afternoon (even if you quadruple that output) is not going to be fun -or tenable, for long!  🙂