Stanley Tang Interview – A Best-Selling Author at just 16 Years Old
Imagine publishing your very own book, which took 15 months to complete, and then seeing it rise to become a Best-Seller on Amazon….all achieved whilst being just 16 years old!
Today’s interview is a little special – if you are a teenager who doesn’t want to live life working for someone and you thought that maybe you were too young to become an entrepreneur, think again because this next guy has achieved some truly amazing things, and at just 18 years old he has some great ideas on the horizon so something tells me…
we haven’t heard the last of Stanley Tang! (and yes, that is MC Hammer!)
Some of you may have never heard of Stanley but the reason why I am excited to present you this interview is because he is a great inspiration for so many aspiring young entrepreneurs – check out Stanley’s blog to read his story.
As mentioned Stanley Tang is widely known for his successful book ‘eMillions’. ‘eMillions’ is a truly inspirational compilation of entrepreneur interviews – within the book you can find out exactly how 14 of the most successful, multi-millionaire internet marketers have overcome MASSIVE obstacles to create huge success and wealth from the internet. For just $15.56 you can purchase ‘eMillions’ from Amazon and use these tremendously powerful success stories to fuel your very own online venture! Click here to check out Stanley’s book.
Stanley Tang Interview
1) Stanley, for such a young entrepreneur (18 years old!) you have achieved a tremendous amount of success on the internet – having said that, many of our readers may not have heard of you before so please tell us a little about yourself and how you have got to where you are today…
It wasn’t until 2005 that I first got interested with the business aspect when I came across the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. The two passion naturally fused and that was how I got started with internet marketing in 2006.
At first, my main focus was on content creation and monetizing it off Google Adsense, before branching into email marketing and information products. In 2008, I released my print book “eMillions” which was the biggest project of my life so far, taking over 15 months to complete. Now, I’m a freshmen at Stanford University planning to major in computer science.
2) On your blog (stanleytang.com) it says that you are attending Stanford University – clearly having had such huge online success most people would wonder why you are even bothering with education when you are capable of living a wealthy internet lifestyle, so why are you at Stanford and what are you studying?
Going to college is more than just about getting an education – it is the overall experience.
Right now, I’m having an absolute blast at Stanford and I have no regrets at all coming here. By going to a college like Stanford, I have already gotten to meet some of the smartest kids in the country – people who are probably going to start the next Google or Facebook.
It is really the most fertile place to meet your future co-founders. In addition, it’s the perfect place to meet like-minded people who I otherwise probably never meet otherwise. I don’t think going to college limits entrepreneurship. In fact, I feel the exact opposite is the case. Some of the most successful businesses were started in college dorm rooms. College and entrepreneurship can go hand in hand.
3) Reading the ‘about me’ section of your blog you mention Robert Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ book – This is a massive favorite of mine and is also one of the main reasons I too have leapt out of the corporate ladder. What was it about the book, and indeed the ‘Rich Dad’ series that changed your life so dramatically?
At the time, I was just a 12 year old kid who had no concept or notion of money. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” was the turning point of my life as it was the book that introduced me to the whole world of business and personal finance. It got me thinking about entrepreneurship and led me into internet marketing. I would say the single biggest thing I got away from that book was the idea of passion – doing something you love rather than for the money. Since then, I have been living by that rule.
4) I see that your online business started from one of those much-hated, unsuspecting ‘spam’ emails. After watching that 40-minute video within that email (which you first thought was your typical ‘spam’) did you ever envision that you would one day be this successful (generating 5-figures in your first year online)?
Absolutely not. The video mainly just talked about how to set up a blog and make money off Google Adsense. I just thought it was a really cool thing and simply treated as one of my typical weekend projects. I had no plans to continue doing this after the weekend. But somehow I got addicted to it and fell in love with doing that. And that was how I got started with my first online business.
5) Product creation is something that every online marketer is either doing or thinking about – you wrote your first ever eBook ‘Co-Registration Secrets Revealed’ over two nights in a hotel room and made $1,000 from it in just 48 hours. What advice would you give to someone about creating and launching there own product (eBook, Membership Site, eCourse, Audio Product etc.)?
The biggest thing you should really focus on is just to create an awesome product that people will find useful.
I see too many people just putting together an ebook that is total crap and doing it solely just to make a quick buck. While you might make some money quickly, in the long-term, it’s not going to be a sustainable business. You just find yourself getting into a cycle where you have to constantly launch new products because your previous products weren’t sustainable.
6) Some might say that creating the product is the easy bit and you often hear things like, “you can have the best looking website and the best product in the world but if you have no traffic you will fall flat on your face” – Clearly this is a very true statement, so how does someone with no list go about generating traffic to their sales page?
The easiest, most effective and fastest method is by far Google Adwords. You just need to make sure you are targeting right keywords with relevant ads that yield high clickthrough rates (thus lowering cost per clicks). The way I go about this is to just create two ads and split-test them. Then you take the winner from the two and split-test it with a new ad. And so on. The more you do this, the better your ads become.
Another effective way I would go about is to get in touch with other internet marketers/entrepreneurs in your niche (who are not in direct competition) and get them to promote your product to their customer base. And you simply give them a commission.
7) Everybody who is starting out online knows that the ‘Money is in The List!’ and over the past few years you have managed to build a fairly large email subscriber list – how did you go about building this list and what advice can you offer to someone who is building their first mailing list from scratch?
My subscriber list mostly came from three main sources: e-course, blog and product launch.
One of the things I did in the early days when I got started with my online business was creating this e-course. I created a simple squeeze page that consisted of a title, three bullet points and an optin box that promoted the e-course.
I then created my own blog and had an newsletter subscription option on the sidebar. And finally, whenever I had a product launch, I had a pop-up box over the sales page that allowed people to download a “leaked” chapter of my book in exchange for their email.
8) I love the concept of your book ‘eMillions’ which was released in December 2008 (when you were just 15?).
Although a daunting task, gathering interviews is a great and ingenious way to create a book, but not having any journalistic knowledge or experience (apart from writing the odd eBook) how did you manage to compete with some big names in a highly competitive market with a book that eventually became a #1 best-seller on Amazon?
The cool thing was that it wasn’t a highly competitive market (at least back then). Most people focused on ebooks and digital products and not a lot of people launched print books. In addition, I think the fact that I was just a 15 year old kid who managed to get all these interviews, compile them and publish into a book really generated huge buzz. It made for a great story.
9) Many people reading this will be thinking of releasing their own physical book and are hopefully inspired by the success story of ‘eMillions’ – from experience, what advice would you give to someone who wants to release their own book to sell on sites like Amazon? (where to start? are you ever too young/old?)
I would definitely say go with a proper publisher if you want the credibility. In addition, they handle all the distribution and logistics, allowing you to focus on creating the book and doing the marketing. Unless you’re doing it for the money, I wouldn’t go the self-publishing route. And no, you are never too young. I think it’s even better if you are young because people really talk about you more, generating buzz about your book.
10) Up until the release of this book it would seem that blogging had not played much of a part in your early success. With that in mind, why did you decide to buy the popular blog ‘The University Kid’ in 2009?
Blogging actually played a huge role. As part of my eMillions book project, I also created this side blog that documented the entire process from idea to launching. Every week, I would update on my progress of what I did and how things were going, as well as post articles every now and then about topics related to book publishing, internet marketing and getting interviews.
I felt that blog really helped in telling the story and generating buzz. It [blogging] turned out to be something loved doing so I decided to replicate that on my personal blog. Then one day, the owner of The University Kid (he is actually a personal friend of mine in real life) emailed me letting me know he was selling the blog. I thought it was an idea place to expand on my passion for blogging so I decided to go ahead and purchase the blog.
11) ‘The University Kid’ was a big hit for you and you managed to increase its readership from 800 to over 2,500 RSS subscribers in just a few months – for the many budding probloggers out there how did you manage to grow your subscriber base so dramatically in such a short period?
Once again, it really just comes down to creating something that people will find useful. So with the case of The University Kid, it was just about writing in-depth articles that people will really find interesting and can actually apply to their own business. Each of my articles averaged around 1,000 words and I published a blog post around once per week.
People have told me many of the articles I wrote were worthy of being sold as ebooks. So that is the sort of quality you need to be writing at.
12) Fast forward to 2010 and you now have bigger fish to fry! Tell us about your new project, social news aggregation site BuzzBlaze and when are you looking to launch?
BuzzBlaze is a social news aggregation website that allows you to browse all your content in an elegant user interface – almost like a magazine. There is no reason you should still resort to the ugly text formats your are subjected to in Google Reader.
You can essentially think of it as a RSS reader on steroids.
In addition, you can see which RSS feeds your friends are subscribed to and which articles they “liked” straight from your news feed. We pushed the launch date back a few times due to technical issues but we should be on track to launch at the start of December.
13) From what I have read BuzzBlaze seems to be quite a revolutionary idea but not too far from services offered by sites like Digg and StumbleUpon (correct me if I’m wrong) – Are these sites your competition and if so how are you intending to stay ahead of pack?
BuzzBlaze is more like an RSS reader. In other words, you choose which websites you want to add to your dashboard. We just decided it would be cool if we could take advantage of this data and decided to aggregate the most popper feeds and articles on the homepage (when the user is not logged in).
14) As you know the internet is forever evolving and growing with new fads quickly rising and then gradually faded out – does this worry you at all and what do you think we should expect in 2011 (what’s new?)
Absolute not. The fact that the internet is constantly evolving means new opportunities are constantly appearing. It also forces us to be innovative and prevents us from being complacent because you have to be constantly changing and be ahead of the trend.
I’m right now really fascinated by location-based services and I see huge opportunities in that market.
15) Finally, If you lost your products, your database, your online business and your contacts today, meaning you had to start from scratch all over again, what would you do tomorrow to get you back on the path to wealth and success?
It’s funny because in a ways, I am starting from scratch right now as I move away from internet marketing and more towards tech startups. So I guess I would come up with a new startup idea, find a technical co-founder and release a prototype as quickly as I can. I would then listen to market feedback and constantly pivot that idea until it hits critical mass.
I am sure you will all agree – a great interview from a truly inspiring young entrepreneur!
I think it is very typical in this day and age to put an age limit on growing up and becoming an entrepreneur, and I find it truly fascinating that people like Stanley Tang have the determination to stand up and have the guts to break the mold, by focusing on and achieving their ultimate goals.
Just shows you that no matter how young or old you are, you will never disqualify to become a successful entrepreneur!
I particular enjoyed that Stanley manages to pack a lot of valuable tips into very few words – this may even be the key to the huge success of his book but I think it’s an admirable trait to have as an internet marketer, and it also makes for a very inspiring read.
I hope that you have managed to learn something from today’s interview and I invite you all to let me know what you think of Stanley – do you have his book? what did you like about it? Comments below please
Thanks for reading!
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