It must have only been a year ago when I was sitting at school, with little interest in my chosen subjects and waiting for the last day of year 11 to finally arrive. However, at that point, I had no direction in my life and I wouldn't have been able to describe to somehow what I wanted.
I turned to the internet, knowing it's one of the best places to go when you have a keen interest, but not the grades to backup your mindset. I think I should take this time to say I am not a dumb teenager. I learn things quite quickly but if I have no interest in a topic then you can try and try and try but I won't take note. Anyway, back to the story.
I started out with sites which earnt their keep, but didn't "take off". I went from paid traffic sites, to content services, and then to blogs for a short time. I remember the day when I sold Wepay Youpost, it was my content management site where we offered forum services such as paid posts and moderator roles. It was an awful domain, but I built that site from scratch with a poor template and basically no fruit to develop it with.
I turned to Webmaster sites, to try and spread the word, and invested a small amount of money each month advertising on sites such as AdminFusion. From this, I managed to generate around $800 a month, before paying my workers. After that, and hosting, I ended up with around $500.
I managed to sell the site for $1,500. It wasn't alot, but Wepay Youpost was taking up alot of my time and I was starting to lose interest. However, that day was the day I realised I could utilise the internet. I had realised that I could potentially live a relaxed lifestyle thank to net. I then started making contacts with fellow webmasters and generally discussing techniques and stories.
Around 10 months ago, I got into myspace advertising. Selling bulletins, accounts, etc. There is no way of getting round it, that was spam. However, it made me over $20,000 in a very short space of time, because I hit the MS scene as it was booming. Does the money make it right? Probably not, but I still believe to this day that if I hadn't have gone with the MS path, I wouldn't be in the situation I am in now.
Anyway.. the MS scene was starting to die down due to spam filters and generally MS clamping down on anyone looking to exploit the commenting and messaging system. I knew I had cash sitting in my bank, and I needed to invest. After searching and searching, I chose a large forum owned by someone who lives just 30 minutes away from me. The guy has now become a good friend in fact, and we have a few joint projects.
I'm not going to disclose the name or link here, but it has managed to earn me a solid income of around $5,000 each month. I could have probably utilised its monetization potential earlier, but it's only until recently that I did. The best thing about the forum is it has huge peaks and troughs. Depending on events, the sites traffic can instantly increase 5 fold. Right now for example, we have Alexa ranking of 15,000 - and just 1 month ago we we're sitting at 45k!
Money was rolling in, and due to my forum success, I managed to continually invest in new projects. I now own a chain of adult sites, a network of myspace resource sites, and I still own the forum which I discussed above which is my main income stream to this day.
Sorry this story was so long, but I wanted to share this to demonstrate that anyone can utilise the internet. When I was first getting started a was a total noob without a clue, and Lee was just one of the people I must have annoyed along the way, asking stupid questions and questioning him daily about whether any of his established forums we're up for sale! (Which I blatently couldn't afford.. I feel embarrassed to even discuss it now) :blush:
Life is just a series of random decisions. And those decisions along with dedicated hard work can make you into a success over time. In just one year, I have gone from earning $0, to a steady mid-high $x,xxx monthly income which often exceeds mid $xx,xxx.
You really can become a success on the net, just stick to what your interested in and don't be scared of failure. Keep trying, and eventually you will get there. Heck - if I have, anyone can!