If you visit the GlennBeck.com website, there is a good chance that you will get met with an advertisement from Goldline–one of the site’s premium sponsors. I was thinking about this after I listened to an old Tim Ferriss podcast in which Glenn Beck discussed his evolution as a media personality and the media’s rebranding of him when he transitioned from CNN to Fox News and became a vocal critic of President Obama’s administration.
The part that catches my attention is the recurring pattern of men making a whole lot of good old-fashioned cash by developing a marketing machine that hypes some deficiency in the capitalist system. In the case of Glenn Beck, he has correctly pointed out that the Federal Reserve has distorted the traditional supply-and-demand aspects of the laissez faire capitalist system by increasing the money supply and affecting the cost and velocity of money that flows through the major U.S. banks. Recognition of this distortion does not support the conclusion that a survivalist lifestyle is the correct response.
Anyway, I was curious to figure out how cash Glenn Beck was bringing in as a gold affiliate.
He doesn’t disclose the amounts, but my back-of-the-envelope calculations are as follows: glennbeck.com gets about 3 million page views per month. Well-targeted promotions to wide niches tend to convert sales at about a 1.5% rate. Goldline doesn’t indicate how much it pays Glenn Beck to advertise with him, but I would guess it amounts to somewhere around $7.50 per sale (a 50/50 split between the profit that a gold and silver vendor makes by selling commodities above the spot price).
Assuming Glenn Beck successfully converts 45,000 that visit his site each month into gold and silver purchasers, and assuming a payout rate of $7.50 per conversion, I would expect that Goldline pays him somewhere in the neighborhood of $337,500 per month for being a gold referral. This is not including whatever advertising and referral income he makes through his major media property theblaze.com. We are talking $4 million per year in cold-hard cash just from his personal website encouraging you to purchase gold.
I say this to mention that almost all mega-successful businesses involve the creation of scalable, repeatable concepts that, to borrow a phrase from Warren Buffett, make you money while you are asleep. And this includes businesses that at first blush don’t appear to be ordinary cash generators.
The act of selling gold, silver, and survivalist packages results in the same type of monthly cash flows that you get from owning a car wash or renting out an apartment complex. In fact, the former might even be a better cash-generating business because it does not share the geographic limitations of the latter two that are fixed in character and don’t lend themselves to scalability.
This is something important to keep in mind. Even though Glenn Beck may convince you of the need to purchase gold, his method of persuasion leads to the repeated accumulation of cash, thank you very much.