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I wish I kept a journal of my time learning online marketing. So many folks want me to share my history… my story… and how I learned how to make money online. I have a lot of it written down as I spent serious time reflecting on it all, but I have hesitated sharing how I went from $0 a day with online marketing, to a serious turning point of $50 a day online. Why would I hesitate sharing that information? Let’s talk about it… and let’s finally talk about how I got to making $50 a day.
First Off, I Am Not a Guru
Odd thing for me to say, isn’t it? I am NOT a ‘guru’. I do not want to be someone that others blindly follow or someone that causes others to buy a product or service simply because *I* said so. I want to assist others to learn their own way, and to form their own opinions. While I am proud to have so many wonderful ‘fans’ of my blog and sites, I do not want to generate a flock of followers. You all are now entrepreneurs… you are business owners. I would be doing a huge disservice to each of you if I spent my time teaching you to be a follower.
I want to be the person that makes the speed bumps and sharp curves on this internet marketing highway a bit easier to navigate and tolerate. I want to be a real person… not a hero or someone that claims to have the ONLY way to online success. I definitely do NOT want to be the person who answers all your questions and solves all your problems with yet another miracle IM product (for only $69.97…lol).
I learned to make money online the hard way. The speed bumps and sharp curves just about kicked my butt. I am not an internet genius or an IT brainiac. I am simply a woman/ mom/ wife from outside Atlanta, Georgia who was determined to find a way to stay home and earn money online.
I did not have the luxury of endless time and resources. I had given myself a few months to see things come together. If they didn’t, I would get a ‘real job’. Life is expensive… that is reality.
I did go through my own feelings of desperation and fear – just like many of you are right this very minute. I also worked my tail off. I literally was at this computer for hours on end. I slept little.
I knew what I had to do and I knew I only had a certain amount of time to get it going.
I would like to share some of my beginnings with online internet marketing with you, but please – remember this is *my* story. It is not a system, nor is it “the way”. It is simply how I got here.
From $0 a Day – To $50 a Day
To me, getting to $50 a day was a turning point. The learning curve had lessened and I knew that once I could make $50 a day, there was NO telling how much I could make after that crucial landmark was achieved.
Learning is the hard part. Duplication is MUCH easier!!
The first thing I did was decide that I was going to make a website. It is so funny to me now, that this was my first thought to make money online. I knew NOTHING about coding or FTP or any of that stuff. I knew NOTHING about keywords or how to get traffic TO my site…. hysterical that I thought this was ‘the answer’. However, I did it anyway.
I signed up for a Yahoo domain/hosting package and was met by a big, blank, white screen. I remember that feeling, “Now what the he** do I do???”
But, somehow, I managed to actually make a webpage…then another…then another. Then I learned how to link them together.
It was a God-awful website – but to me, it was awesome. It was MINE! And *I* made it!
The first night my new little site was online, I couldn’t sleep. For some unknown reason, I thought that just making my site live online was enough to get hordes of people rushing to it to buy my goods.
Needless to say, that did NOT happen. Go figure!
Then, a few days later, a little miracle happened. Someone, someHOW, stumbled across my little cruddy site and BOUGHT something that put a whopping $7 into my PayPal account.
Folks, I was HOOKED after that!
I started reading more about getting traffic to a website and naturally, I read all the crap as opposed to the good advice. I tried traffic exchanges (you surf sites for credits, and then your sites get surfed in return… what a joke)… I also tried some service that let me email “thousands of hungry buyers”. Again, crapola. Turns out it was all people like me sending AND reading those emails. Chalk THAT up to a painful lesson EVENTUALLY learned!
However, it didn’t take too long for me to totally trash my new little website. I am one of those people that if a product says “unbreakable” – I will break it. If it is a “mess-free process”, I will make one heck of a mess using it. If the product claims that ‘even an idiot can do this’….. I would screw it up. It’s just how I am (bless my heart). So, in the process of adding to or editing my website, I erased the entire thing. I laugh now… but buddy, I was mad as you-know-what when it happened! That first website is potpieworld.com – it is now just an article from an article directory and stuff. Go ahead an look around… I’m telling you, it is AWFUL (but its MINE).
So after the unfortunate loss of potpieworld.com, I decided to go another route I had been reading about. I learned about article marketing from Bum Marketing and the whole concept made incredible sense to me. I also had learned about Squidoo, but on my first try, I really didn’t know what I was trying to accomplish. Once I learned how to use Squidoo, I applied the article marketing concept to it and started making lenses.
I had two goals in mind at this time. I wanted to create as many of those little one-page websites on Squidoo as I possible could, and I wanted to offer things that paid my commissions to my PayPal account NOW (ie, instantly). I did not want to wait the 30 days or 60 days that many affiliate programs required to get my money. I wanted it NOW.
So, I started promoting products from 7DollarOffers.com…. and it worked. Then I learned about using Associated Content to make money promoting my Squidoo lenses. They also paid a few times a week straight to my PayPal account. Hot diggity, I was getting somewhere!
I also had read 7 Dollar Secrets somewhere along the line, and that whole concept made great sense to me. It also worked perfectly with my ‘give me money NOW’ plan because it helped you sell small reports that you sold for small amounts of money – all deposited instantly into your PayPal account. I like to write so I made a few reports and learned how to install the script that made it all work on auto-pilot. Just for the record, this knowledge was PRICELESS to my internet marketing education, but it was a real booger to learn. I wanted my first report to be listed on the 7DollarOffers site, and the dang thing got rejected FIVE times before it was finally accepted and listed.
I’m telling you, I am persistent!
At this point I was making about $20 a day. While I felt ‘good’ about earning any money online at all, there is certainly no arguing that no one can live off $20 a day.
I then decided to follow the advice and knowledge of Amy Bass and learned to use GPT (ie, Get Paid To) sites to earn revenue from the internet. She was making over $1400 a month from these sites and it seemed very logical to me( read her story here). These GPT sites offered two forms of earnings – direct earnings from your own activities on the sites, and indirect earnings from the activities of those you recruited to the site. While not all of these sites would pay to my PayPal account, they all fit the need for online work that worked FOR me after the work was done.
I made, and still make, some good money from these sites, and I don’t do a single offer anymore. If you want to learn how all this works, read How To START Making Money Online. I believe these GPT-type sites are the perfect place for many to start with online marketing.
So, I continued building lenses, I continued writing articles, and I started building a downline for my GPT sites. It was working well, but it still wasn’t enough to warrant NOT getting a ‘real job’.
Getting to $50 a Day From Online Marketing
I had been reading about niche sites and niche blogging and I was intrigued. Thing is, owning your own sites takes money and in my opinion, I wasn’t making enough to warrant investing into my online business. I found a less expensive option by purchasing a domain name and letting Blogger host it for free.
Once I got through THAT painful learning curve of getting a niche blog up and running, I added two more revenue streams to my online business portfolio – Clickbank and AdSense.
Both of these revenue streams took a god bit of time to see results (ok, to see a CHECK). Clickbank offers phenomenal commissions on their products – but it can take a long time to reach the requirements for a first check to be sent to you. Clickbank requires a first check to be over $100 in commissions. There must be at least 5 sales, and there must be one Mastercard sale and one Visa sale within the 5 sales to satisfy the criteria to be mailed a check. It seems like it took FOREVER to get that ONE Mastercard sale to get that first check for well over $100 mailed to me. But, finally it happened, and now I get a check from Clickbank every two weeks like clock-work. I believe my first check from Clickbank was for a bit over $200 and I was SO proud of that check that I could barely stand myself! Little did I know that $200 was just the beginning of a deep love for Clickbank =)
At this point I was making anywhere from $0 a day to $40 a day. It was SO frustrating to have days when NO ONE bought ANYTHING, but then there would be days when I would sell a lot (or what *I* thought was ‘a lot’).
Putting It All Together
I had learned about making lenses that made money. I had learned about writing articles that made money. I had also learned about making niche sites that made money. It was time to fit all the pieces together. And that is exactly what I did.
The final turning point that pushed my to my first goal of $50 a day is the exact system I teach for free at 6StepNicheSites.com. Seriously. Once I learned how to put it all together and I got OFF my high horse about NOT spending any money to MAKE money online (AND I got over my fear of having my own hosting and websites…haha), I put the whole process together to where each complemented the other…. and it all came together. It was the perfect, duplicable system that worked so well for me. I become an eBay affiliate and added that income stream to my growing list as well as other Commission Junction companies and between that, AdSense, Squidoo, Clickbank, and my GPT sites I got to $50 a day quite quickly. And then, well, it just sort of took off from there.
All those little sites and projects I created back then are still earning me money today. I don’t do anything to them… they just are. They also are the core of my business – in other words, these little projects from long ago pay the minimal bills for my online business NOW.
All of the things I have described happened between February of 2007 when I first put potpieworld.com live, to about October (maybe sooner) of the same year. By the end of 2007, I had far surpassed my $50 a day goal and when the first of the year came, I knew this was it. I started this blog and decided to help others get to where I am so they could enjoy the incredible blessings I have been enjoying, too… and maybe with just a little less stress than I had =)
People are SO busy looking for recession-proof jobs nowadays… and sadly, nothing is recession-proof. As long as someone else signs your check and someone else determines your employment status, you are not in a secure place. Will the recession effect internet marketing? Of course it will, but as long as there IS an internet, I will be right here – determining my OWN destiny, and creating my OWN recession proof job. I will not be paying these outlandish gas prices just to GET to a job… and my work will go where ever *I* go thanks to my trusty laptop ( a little gift I bought myself right after the first of this year 🙂 ).
I also know that nothing about our life now is ‘financed’ by a credit card. Christmas last year was all cash… this long and VERY nice vacation we just took is all paid for… not a single credit card company will benefit from us. I also know there is a new car sitting right out there in our driveway. I am not saying ANY of this to brag – that is TOTALLY not my style – I am saying this because not but 19 months ago, I didn’t know a cotton-picking thing about internet marketing. I was a managing golf pro for years – I was then the Director of Operations for a very succesful tavern poker league here in the Atlanta area (no, not gambling…these are those Texas Hold ‘Em freeroll events where players accumulate points and play for free at local sports bars). Yes, I am professionally trained Texas Hold Em dealer and tournament director =) (Bet ya didn’t know THAT about ol’ PotPieGirl, did you?). It was also during my time with The Atlanta Poker Club that the name ‘PotPieGirl’ came to life (thanks to a dear friend of ours who used to tease me to DEATH).
I have a management/event organizer background….and I have always been a customer service FREAK. ( I once got told by a previous boss that my customer service skills were ‘too good’. Not sure how that is an insult, but somehow he turned it into one. Go figure. )
My point is that my background has NOTHING to do with the internet…and I made it work.
You can, too.
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That is a very cool story!
My turning point was at about that same time as yours. About a month later 🙂
Good honest people willing to share what they learned just to help other people. That’s who newbies should look for, and here they would find one!
Thanks for sharing your story. These are very inspiring. I think that the first 8 months of learning to make money online is a fascinating journey. Everyone needs to flounder around for a little while.
Unfortunately, 90% of those who start don’t stick with it long enough to find their way to $50 a day. I am not there yet, but I am getting closer. I feel pretty good because I do this at night after my fulltime job.
Would you please elaborate on your tipping point for when you started making a lot more than $50 per day?
Really nice Jennifer! I really love to see the Journey of Bloggers series.. and your post rocks! 50 bucks a day is not really enough to live in US, but it really worth if you live in developed country! I also start blogging at February 2007, however, I suffered from slower turning point than yours because I only focused on a website and It’s in sandbox for 9 month! However, now I receive enough income for my pocket money and I also able to save a bit for my future…
Waiting for the next post 🙂
@Lewis – Thank you for your kind words! That’s true, we both ‘grew up’ online at about the same time, didn’t we??
@Wachovia Online Banking – You are SO right! At LEAST 90% don’t stick around. They give up out of lack of results, lack of money…. or sheer frustration. While 8 months is NOT a long time in the ‘big picture’ of life, it certainly isn’t an over-night success, either.
The system I outline for free at 6 Step Niche Sites is the exact system that was my ‘tipping point’ as far as affiliate/internet marketing. Owning your own money making websites is THE way to really make all this work.
@Cowy – Thank you!! No, $50 a day just won’t cut it income-wise here in the Atlanta area, but you’re right – for IMrs in other countries, this amount of money could be life-changing. Thank you for pointing that out =)
Your story of having your one big site stuck in the ‘sandbox’ is a very common story. It is also the reason I advise ‘newbies’ to NOT go that route right out of the gate. It’s the ol’ “all your eggs in one basket” concept that causes many to give up online.
Thanks for reading, everyone!!!
PotPieGirl, of course you are not a Guru!
You are what Scott Boulch calls a DoRu, as you actually do something real as opposed to just hyping the latest greatest piece of crap that comes along.
This is another great post in a long history of great posts here…
Eat a peach!
@ Floyd – A “DoRu”… I like it!! MUCH better than “guru”!!!
It’s a peach, hon =)
Jennifer, I recently subscribed to your posts and am inspired by the fact that you are willing to share all your knowledge with us. What a breath of fresh air you are!
I have all my eggs in one basket right now using BANS and the ebay affiliate program. I am educating myself on how to diversify and your blog has been such a help. My plan is to create some wordpress affiliate sites, and squidoo lenses. Also the GPT program you outline. I am creating a list of family and friends that I think can help me out there.
Keep up the great work and welcome back from your well earned family vacation. Can’t wait to see what you have in mind for all of us.
Great story on your journey.
I started reading about bum marketing and it sounds great. I am in the process of starting writing articles and doing squidoo.
If you do mind me asking, did you do any coding for your blog? Did you have help from someone? I do not know whether to use a wordpress theme or have one constructed. I do not see many themes that would fit my needs. If they do, I think I still need to code it.
Your input is greatly appreciated.
Really cool to read your story. I have no doubt that you make more than $50 a day now, but just knowing that it is possible to get to that amount is really inspiring.
Thanks for the story. For me the turning point was reaching the $100 per day mark (though before that I was ecstatic at $10 and $50 per day…).
Always nice to hear about someone’s success.