Before I started building my email list I was already working on a couple of online projects. I don't recall exactly when I got started but it was around the time were people were generating a lot of revenue just by placing ads on their websites. There are services that would pay a website owner to display ads on their websites.
One of the most popular one was Google Adsense. As a publisher you could sign up for an account with Google Adsense. Once approved you would place scripts on your website. These scripts would run ads that go hand in hand with the content on your website and you would receive commissions whenever a visitor would click on those advertisements.
It seemed that almost everyone was talking about this on forums. I was in college at the time and needed to generate income so that I could pay my way through. I purchased a course that explained how I could build a website and place ads on them so that I too could start collecting income online.
There was naturally a learning curve. It wasn't easy back then to have a website built. You had to purchase different kinds of software and jump through hoops before you could publish a website. The recommendation was to build a farm of niche websites and to periodically publish a few articles on them so that they would rank on the major search engines.
Niche Website Farm Results
I set out to build a few websites on different topics. After some time I had a dozen websites with Google ads on them that started generating roughly about $100 a month. My websites were not getting a lot of visitors and naturally I needed to increase my income because as you may well know, college is expensive.
It was a good starting point however. At that point I could outsource my article writing process. I would go to writing services and purchase articles that I would place on new websites that I built. My income gradually increased to about $300 a month. This increase was a result of having more websites as well as adding affiliate links to products that were related to my niche sites.
Around the same time, one of the major topics on forums were to hire a personal virtual assistant to help you run your business. I thought it would be the next step for me. I could then focus on creating websites and assign my assistant to write the articles for me.
I hired a full-time assistant at a generous rate of $300/month. Meaning I was reinvesting every penny back into my business. I built more sites, my writer wrote articles for me. Then search engines started changing their rules and my sites started seeing fewer and fewer visitors. My business was suffering. Looking for answers, I turned to forums for help and learned that search engines loved authority websites. So naturally I adapted.
Authority Niche Websites to the Rescue
Authority websites required a lot more work, more articles, more search engine optimization a lot more details. At the same time I learned about affiliate marketing and how recommending a product could potentially help me generate more income. I focused on a small number of websites if I remember correctly they were focused on organization, infertility, surfing and film making. The first two were succesful the rest... not so much.
When I finally reached the point were I was once again profiting at around $300/month all webmasters experienced a series of events most commonly known as the Google slap. Websites with low quality articles and low engagements were de-indexed causing a frenzy of people losing their minds at their sudden losses.
I would have panicked as well but I realized there was a high demand on forums for writers. The demand was created by S.E.O (Search Engine Optimization) experts who came up with ways to boost rankings in search engines. The methods mostly involved writing articles and I had a full-time writer at my disposal.
I created an ad and offered an article writing service, then came in an avalanche of orders. I received so many orders that I didn't feel any discomfort whenever I saw that my websites were performing badly. The first month offering the article writing service we collected over $1,000 in revenue at the time it was the most I've ever generated online without investing daily on advertising.
This went on for a couple of months then the competition became fierce as there was a sudden surge of people offering writing services. Many of these "writers" were using software to write incomprehensible jargon but the buyers didn't seem to care much. This created a saturation and since I had no clue how to advertise my services better, sales declined.
The Discovery of Another Income Source
As usual as my income started to decline. I again turned to forums for inspiration, because jumping from one thing to another seemed to be ok. There was a new buzz on the forums. They were talking about a microsite that suddenly surged where you could outsource work for $5.
I was reluctant to try this but there were a plethora of courses and success stories that I just had to give it a try. The name of the site is Fiverr. It's a microsite were you could find freelancers willing to offer services starting at the amazing low price of $5. At first it doesn't sound appealing but just like at your favorite fast food restaurant there is always an up sale. A way for a freelancer to earn more by offering an additional service.
I quickly started generating a lot of sales on Fiverr while I was still getting buyers from forums. In the meantime all my websites that were ranked on Google slowly started to lose their steam. Although I was getting clients for a writing gig, I didn't quite enjoy it as the revenue didn't justify the amount of work involved. Even though I was not the one writing the articles, customer support and the fulfillment of the orders were never a process I enjoyed doing plus I've always wanted a way to build passive income, hence why I enjoyed creating the S.E.O websites. I thought if i built them by the numbers I could forget about them and generate revenue passively.
New Business Opportunity and the Ever Present Shining New Object
Since I get easily distracted by the next shining to object I kept poking around the forums until I found something that I thought I could do especially because of the experience I cultivated thus far. This time it had to do with list building but in a way that I've never done it before.
Little did I know that trying this new method would change my perspective towards running an online business and make me earn at a faster rate that I've ever had in the past.
This post has gone longer then I first anticipated. I will have to continue this story later.
Thank you for reading this far.