My personal Internet marketing story can be traced back to a blog entry I read back in December of 2005. Professional blogger Yaro Starak had written about how you could make money creating niche content websites with Adsense ads on them.
I had been toying with the idea of creating some sort of Internet based business for several years, but hadn’t figured out how to get started. Yaro’s article laid out a logical and accessible approach that seemed attainable. So, with no market analysis or research I bought a couple domain names and started experimenting.
At the same time I setup a blog and wrote about my experiments.
After one year of researching and experimenting with my niche sites, I had earned less than $30 from my efforts and spent at least that much money trying to earn $30. I was not a raging success in the world of marketing.
As depressing as my initial results were, those experiments were not wasted. I learned a huge number of valuable Internet skills which became foundational to my later success. I learned about web design, SEO, ad optimization, how to setup a WordPress site and more. I also discovered that the blog I created to document my experiments (and also to write about other projects I was doing and advice I was giving) was far more popular than any of the niche sites I had created.
Along the way I had also found a number of excellent e-books on various aspects of Internet marketing. I had to wade through a lot of junk to find the gems, but I found them. The pivotal book for me was “5 Bucks a Day”, by Dennis Becker. I discovered it during a special offer sale he was running at the Warrior Forum (the 800 pound gorilla of Internet Marketing Forums.)
I had been learning dozens of business plans that seemed like legitimate methods for earning money online, but I hadn’t focused on any one thing long enough to get real traction in my business. Dennis’ book is all about focus and breaking down your efforts into small manageable projects designed to earn a little profit consistently. Over time, you build a portfolio of profitable projects that adds up to significant income.
My newfound focus wasn’t the only benefit I got from Dennis’ e-book. He also started a membership forum for all of the people who bought “5 Bucks a Day.” And, it was there that I experienced the first of many $100 paychecks.
As a member of the forum I got very active helping other members and sharing my personal experiences in the world of marketing. All of the knowledge and skills I had aquired became the foundation for helping others. I answered questions about adding video to websites and how to record better audio. I jumped in with tips for people building WordPress sites. And, I offered detailed reviews of new e-books and software I purchased.
All the energy I put into giving valuable information to fellow forum members paid off in the excellent reputation I was earning. I became a respected member of the community and struck up a few friendships as well.
I continued seeking out new information about Internet marketing. One e-book I came across was “Niche Marketing on Crack,” written by Andrew Hansen. One night I bought the book, devoured it, and jumped on the forum to offer up my opinion of the content.
Dennis is very generous toward the members of his forums. If you provide valuable information in a review and include a non-affiliate link to the sales page, he doesn’t have any problems with members including an affiliate link as well. I included an affiliate link in my review of “Niche Marketing on Crack.”
Over the next several days I answered many questions about the e-book. Some people I encouraged to buy it and others I recommended look elsewhere for the help they needed. As with any product, it was not right for everyone. As a result of the helpful information I provided and the good reputation I had built up, the majority of the forum members who decided to buy the e-book used my affiliate link.
That review earned me $206.80 US in commissions over the first 48 hours after I wrote it in February of 2007. Over the next 4 months I earned an additional $129.25 US. That was my first real taste of marketing success.
For a guy who hadn’t earned a fraction of that amount for all of the work he had done over the previous year, the experience was an adrenaline rush – I was really hooked.
A short while later, Dennis opened another membership forum called “Earn 1K a Day.” I joined in a heartbeat and put the same kind of energy I had spent at the “5 Bucks a Day” forum into this new venture. It was the foundation for my biggest success to date, my “Rapid Website Development” video training series which has generated more than 10 times that first success before it has even had a public launch.
Due to the increased focus on specific aspects of my business, even some of those initial bumbling efforts at marketing have begun to generate small but steady profits and have opened up new opportunities. This blog is an offshoot of the work I did on my first blog. And, of course, I continue to invest in my education to help push me to the point where my publishing business generates enough revenue to support my family. I invested in a copy of John Reese’s “Traffic Secrets” course, Mike Filsaime’s “7 Figure Code”, and (most recently) Frank Kern’s “Mass Control” course.
The most satisfying aspect of all of this is the fact that I’m funding the growth of my business and my ongoing education with revenue from my business and not credit cards and income from my ‘day job!’ (Okay, technically I did charge Frank’s “Mass Control” course on a credit card before I had the money, but I’m hard at work finishing up 2 projects which should earn me all of the money I need to pay that one off – and what I’ve learned is definitely worth the effort.)
So, that’s the story of my first $100. How did you earn yours? Leave comment below and share your story.
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