Learn From The Smartest Millionaire Minds in Business

The Most Helpful 7-Figure Online Marketing Business Review

Matt Giovanisci is a serial entrepreneur and online marketing mastermind who owns 3 authority sites in 3 different niches that earn around $1,000,000 per year combined.

He designs and codes all his sites…

Writes his own copy…

Films and edits all his own videos…

Produces his own podcasts and illustrates all the graphics you’ll find on his pages. 

His small team prides themselves on being fun and meticulous, and they know how to make the dream work, well.

Matt didn’t kick off any new brands, projects or companies in 2022 and the major leaps he experienced occurred under 1 of his 3 main brands.

We believe our community members who are interested in succeeding in an online marketing situation could benefit greatly from the feedback a review on Matt’s online business can yield.

2022 Current Brands Under Matt’s Parent Company

Let’s explore the highs and lows Matt says he and his team experienced over 12 months with Swim University, Brew Cabin and Money Lab and also, what Matt intends to do the following year to improve on the results he received in 2022.

#01 Swim University

Centering around pool and hot tub care, Matt launched this site in 2006 and was able to massively scale revenue in 2022.

Income is derived from online courses, affiliate marketing and physical products which service the traffic coming from Youtube and Google.

This brand is what Matt confirmes consumed most of his time, and he feels as if nothing significant was done as all the big work occurred behind the scenes.

Adding all he had put into place up, he knows it will pay off in the following year and for many years to come.

His first update was on the design of the site to feature more products, he says.

The hidden work that was done focused on creative strategy, the development of new products and on paid advertising.

In addition to anticipating the launch of his improved pool care ebook early in 2023, he created new tangible pool products which include 2 branded water clarifiers.

The site sells 4 digital products and 8 physical products through Shopify, while Podia hosts the digital products and connects with a Zap, leaving the tangible products in storage which are shipped via Deliverr.

Since July, Matt says he’s hired his brother to get involved with the production of short videos for TikTok and Instagram.

A 7% decrease in website traffic in 2022 was expected and is still an improvement on 2021.

With the volume of new content added to the site, the traffic will bounce back over time.

Total revenue increased by a huge 49% from higher sales on tangible products.

By publishing only 18 new long-form videos, views on YouTube increased by a respectable 25% and weekly videos will continue to be published over the next 6 months as Matt admits that there are many content gaps to fill on this site.

The plan, he adds, is to double down on the content as they have the products as well as the lead generators.

#02. Brew Cabin

Because homebrewing beer is Matt’s passion, he launched this site in 2016 and even constructed a homebrewery in his spare garage.

Instagram, YouTube, and Google provide the traffic, and revenue is derived from one course as well as affiliate marketing.

At the start of 2020, Matt had a desire to make Brew Cabin his focus, however, he says that because Swim University makes more money, investing time into his passion project would not be profitable.

Why not?

Because he confirms that he uses the money he makes on Swim University to fund his homebrewing hobby, essentially breaking even.

So, using Carbonate 2.0, he refreshed the site’s design, updated 5 articles, and added a new lead magnet that he noticed actually converts. 

2022 saw a 46% decrease in website traffic which Matt expected since he only created 1 single new piece of epic content.

As a result, he says he experienced a 10% decline in revenue which wasn’t a major loss as he did well in capturing leads and selling his course that way.

Unfortunately, no new YouTube videos were published although he admits that he’s sitting on 6 great content ideas and is about 50% through the scripting of 2 of them, so YouTube views saw a decrease of 47% in 2022.

#03. Money Lab

This is Matt’s home base and the core of everything he does with his online businesses.

With traffic hailing via Word of Mouth, YouTube, and Twitter, with NO SEO, this site’s making money through affiliate marketing and course sales.

On the front end, Matt feels he’s neglected this brand but he consistently produces content for the community of Money Lab Pro users and also created a new email marketing course.

He expected the 33% decrease in website traffic in 2022 because he didn’t create much new content and he adds that it was his Twitter account that essentially kept it going.

Consequently, revenue dropped by 16% and YouTube views also decreased, but by 60% as he published only 2 live streams and 6 long-form videos.

While it’s a sad pill to swallow,  he says he’s supercharged to grow his channel to 100,000 subscribers in 2023.

Matt officially has a million-dollar business which means that collectively, his brands generated $1 million in revenue, and going forward, he plans on spending more time on the front end of all these businesses because, according to Matt, he’s not stopping here!

2022 Challenges, Experiments, and Articles

Here’s a list of 4 topics with a brief explanation of the content Matt produced on Money Lab.

#01. How to Restore a Failing Niche Site in Less Than 3 Months

This endeavor started strong and then fizzled out during spring and since there’s been an increase in traffic on Swim University, Matt says he feels obligated to devote his time there instead.

He achieved important goals on the site which prevented it from losing too much money.

The site redesign and strong lead magnet he created are converting much better than with what he used before.

In the article he created on how to restore a failing niche site in less than 3 months, he details some effective strategies and we’ve summarized the stages below.

He treats this reanimation project as if he had just bought the site for $30K with the kind of urgency that he has to recoup his investment as quickly as possible, using every lesson he has in his courses and pulling every rabbit out of his hat:

Stage 1 is to ‘fix the leaky bucket’ by optimizing the site to convert the traffic into money by…

  1. Creating lead magnet that’s more compelling to attract and multiply email subscribers
  2. Restructuring the site to improve internal page speed and SEO by installing Carbonate
  3. Improving sales pages to boost sales

Stage 2 is to ‘fill the bucket’ by increasing the traffic once the current traffic earns more revenue and converts better…

  1. Refine and optimize pieces of content that’s near ranking which will make money
  2. Create a new editorial calendar for fresh content using appropriate keyword research

Stage 3 is the ‘grow the bucket’ or make it bigger by adding more affiliate links to new content being published and creating a wider range of products to sell…

  1. Improve email automation for subscriber onboarding to enhance course sales and increase affiliate commissions
  2. Upgrade the evergreen newsletter to favor course sales and affiliate link clicks
  3. Generate flash sale emails for quarterly automations to elevate course sales
  4. Add more courses that will sell
  5. Consider offering white-labeled products of your own

#02. Death to Affiliate Marketing

Matt publishes a business manifesto annually, and it happens to be his most popular article for the year.

It highlights the 3 signs of death he saw in his affiliate marketing revenue and he mentions his new online business strategy that isn’t reliant on affiliate marketing anymore.

The 1st sign of death was when a major online portal significantly reduced the commission rates of his coffee website, which wasn’t his main income source, but he decided to sell it shortly after the event.

This got him worried about his Swim University site, on which he soon lost a staggering $176,929 for relying on a big corporation to care about his income, which prompted him to diversify his revenue streams away from the big brand.

He focused on selling his own digital products and joined a better affiliate program which yielded higher commissions but then…

The 2nd sign of death occurred in the first month of 2022 when his 2nd largest affiliate program shut down completely without warning.

Matt’s site was now full of links to someone who just cut him off as if it was no big deal.

The 3rd sign of death and the final nail in Matt’s proverbial coffin was the reduction of a 30% recurring affiliate commission to a flat rate of $75.

The good news is that the company made some adjustments, although it doesn’t help you as an affiliate marketer when you’re not sitting at the table when these decisions are made about what you earn, he adds.

 As a creator (or freelancer), you shouldn’t bank your income on one source, especially when it relies on someone else’s rules. Have multiple sources of income and several months’ runway in the bank so you’re prepared for something like this. -Joe Casabona

Matt’s not proclaiming the actual death of affiliate marketing at all because there really is so much money that can be made with this income stream.

But he is clarifying the reality he sees with his business and knows he must plan to scale without it.

#03. The Daily Instagram Reel Challenge

A ‘challenge’ indeed…

Matt hired his brother to help him out as this social media gateway can be particularly tricky and time-consuming, often producing mediocre results.

Here are some tips copied verbatim from Matt’s article, if you’d like to accept that challenge:

  • Videos must be short 30-60 seconds
  • Start with a scroll-stopping image (motion, human, interesting shot) and story beat (a question or what the video is about)
  • Quick editing with no more than 3 seconds per shot
  • Follow a basic structure: Setup, meat, punchline
  • Use text to add extra value and eye-catching motion
  • Hashtags don’t work anymore
  • Add humor
  • The caption should contain 3-4 paragraphs of extra, in-depth information and behind-the-scenes content
  • End the video with a CTA like there’s more info in the caption or ask a question in the comments

The social media content should focus on helpful, straightforward questions, answers, and tips. And includes a CTA after the ‘Get Free Pool Care Cheat Sheet’ which helps build our email list (and sells products). -the soon to be Mrs. Steph Giovannici

After 4 weeks of learning interesting lessons and doing things better than each week before, Matt realized the growth was not proportionate to the time spent putting these reels together.

HOWEVER, there’s no quitting on Team Swim University as it’s their mission to educate people who own swimming pools and hot tubs on how to take care of them and that audience is out there…

And Matt will find them.

#04. 3 Boring Business Tasks That Bring Sexy Results

Matt’s ‘Favorite Article of the Year’ Award goes to the post holding the secret to his success.

It reveals the following 3 tasks that help his business stay well organized as well as make money:

  1. Monthly Metrics
  2. Business Budgeting
  3. Job Journaling

He breaks the items into smaller actionable tasks and shares custom tools he uses to complete them.

The BEST Things That Happened in 2022

Each year, Matt highlights the worst and the best things that occurred in his business and also in his personal life.

#01. He Hired His Brother Full Time

He was talking to a friend who mentioned that he’d eventually like to pass his online business down to his daughter.

This is something Matt had never considered before.

Since he has no plan to have children, he wondered to whom he would pass his online business…

He has a family, so instead of going down the line, why not go wide?

His brother Chris was actively seeking employment in July, so when Matt pitched a Social Media Manager position at Swim University to him, he accepted.

In the first couple of months, figuring out how to do Instagram for Swim University was the endeavor but the Reels being produced yielded extremely slow growth.

A much better role for Chris is to help Matt with Brew Cabin and Money Lab videos and the collaboration in 2023, Matt says is is something to look forward to.

#02. Matt Brewed The Most Validating Beer Ever

Since 2005, Matt’s been brewing beer, using what he’d learned from Steve Wilkes and James Spencer who run a video show and podcast called Basic Brewing.

He’s done an assortment of audio podcast episodes with James and they’ve collaborated on a series for recipe development.

So in 2022, Matt sent him a beer they developed, and that he brewed himself, and along with Steve they tasted it on their video show.

It was quite emotional for Matt when he experienced the extreme validation from watching his homebrewing heroes drink a beer he made and say that it was great.

Matt doesn’t know many homebrewers and he doesn’t frequent homebrew club meetups as the space can be fairly intimidating.

But after that extreme validation, Matt attended his first meeting in the flesh and was recognized from his YouTube Channel.

#03. Matt Invested in a Local Distillery

The most refreshing decision Matt made in 2022 was to invest in one of his favorite places in his hometown.

Mindy and Carl Jenson of Bigger Pockets and Mr.1500 informed him about an opportunity to invest in a distillery.

So he did just that… became an investor.

And because of his online business skills, he was approached to be a marketing consultant, which he’s been doing weekly since September.

#04. Matt Officially Got Engaged

Steph and Matt finally got engaged in 2022 as they’ve been life partners since 2014!

They’ll be getting married at their home in 2023 and while Matt will be brewing 9 beers for this occasion, the distillery will supply all the cocktails and booze.

The WORST Things That Happened in 2022

In terms of revenue, 2022 was Matt’s best year yet, but some literal missteps created short-term personal and business pain and misery.

#01. Still Wrestling with Paid Advertising

Various ad consultants assisted Matt in 2022 and although a few ads yielded a decent ROAS, barely breaking even or less simply won’t cut it.

So Matt decided to limit his ad spending and focus rather on what they’re great at, which is YouTube, creating free content on their website and email.

#02. The Boy Who Cried “I’m doubling down on YouTube for real this time.”

Matt’s decided he’s tired of not sticking to this phrase, so he reckons that 2023 will be different.

He’s invested in the construction of a video study in his basement and his brother is helping him.

80% of his time is committed to the production of videos.

He’s been plugging the holes in his bucket, now it’s time for the water to flow.

#02. The Brush That Killed Trust

There was a tangible product sold on Swim University that didn’t work as planned, which was a good lesson learned.

Matt decided to start selling pool cleaning supplies and had an excellent offer on an exclusive brush.

Customer feedback was positive at first, but complaints compounded soon after.

The cause of the multiple issues customers had while using the brush was manufacturer flaws.

To save face, Matt refunded everyone who had a problem with the brush or sent them new brushes.

Thankfully, the manufacturer was great about it and didn’t charge Matt for the flawed equipment.

Matt made the call that this product was not a good fit for his company.

#04. Matt Walked Off a Plane

He’ll only get on a plane if he drinks, and when he does, he enjoys flying.

But his first flight in 3 years to Seattle was delayed in July 2022 and none of the bars were open.

Matt couldn’t handle the anxiety and therefore decided that walking off the flight was for him.

He shares this story openly because it helped him make it to therapy, something he feels he should have done much sooner after a string of devastating personal and business losses.

As a result of this therapy, he booked a flight in November to visit a friend in Virginia and the whole process of flying was a success.

He’s pleased he started going to therapy to push himself to manage his anxiety and his therapist will see more of him in 2023.

What’s the Plan for 2023?

Matt has been preparing for 2023 for over a month.

Along with his brother, they built a video studio in his basement and he plans to focus 80% of his time on creating content for Brew Cabin and Money Lab.

Steph will manage all aspects of Swim University, focusing mostly on revamping content for improved rankings and the launch of their new updated ebook.

And finally, Matt will be relaunching Money Lab Pro as early as January 2023.

It’s an online community with all his courses, plus group challenges, 1:1 mentoring, and weekly video calls.

2024 Update on Money Lab Pro

Matt’s techniques, advice, and candid brutal honesty are things to be admired.

Being a million-dollar business owner means he can make the rules as he goes along without the sense of having to beg for permission or beg for forgiveness for living, and just being Matt...

Whatever choices he makes, he’s the one that will benefit or pay the price.

Which, to many people in business can be a bit of a double-edged sword…

But with that said, the update is that Matt decided to discontinue his efforts on Money Lab Pro so he can focus on doing what he does best where his time is honored with returns that bring him joy. 

If you’re on a mission to ace your online marketing, what you find on Money Lab Pro and Matt Giovanisci when you search the internet could be very helpful to you.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Online Marketing

Has your Mind ever wondered...

What is meant by online marketing?

Whether you know it as digital marketing or online marketing, this exciting field promotes brands, products, and services to potential clients via the internet by digitally connecting and communicating value offers.

Marketing channels include social media networks, multimedia, text messaging as well as web-based pages.

What are the skills required for online marketing?

If you'd like to make real money in the online marketing game, mediocre basic skills will not be enough.

It takes more than understanding SEO and developing great content.

How can I improve my online marketing?

Who better to learn from than someone who's already making $1,000,000 annually in online marketing?

Someone who's 'been there', 'done that' and continues to grow stronger each year AND takes the time to point out his highs and lows, growth and losses as well as what he plans to do next?

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