Here's my internet marketing story, feel free to take what you will from it. Maybe it'll inspire some noobs out there because I started a year ago without any knowledge of pretty much anything on the internet. Sorry if it's super long here's the cliff notes: Cliffs I knew nothing about IM a year ago I Start making a bit of $$$ through Online Classifieds, I get banned within days I learn through trial and error & self-automate my posting Rank #1 in SERPs with really small niche, it makes ~12k in 3 months Everything goes to shit, I go to Mexico for 3 months. I get back and start working again and am back to ~ $100/day I'm still a Noob at IM and SEO. Long Version The Dark Times It all started about a year ago, in either july or august of 2010. I was fresh out of university, but was not overly interested in pursuing a job immediately, and the job market at this time was not great. I had been supporting myself all through Uni playing poker part-time online, but I was a marginal low-stakes winner and the games were getting tougher, so I didn't see poker as something that would be sustainable in the long run. Around this time a few poker buddies mentioned they were making a little money on the side off their poker blogs using things like 'affiliate marketing' and 'google adsense'. I thought it sounded cool, so I started looking into it. Unfortunately I quickly found that I had no idea what I was doing. I enlisted the help of a friend who was a bit more tech savvy than me and we started up a couple of websites. One for poker and one for another niche, both of these markets were highly saturated and we had no chance at all from the get go. So great...now we have web sites with affiliate links absolutely zero traffic and no idea how to get any traffic. Around this time I learnt that SEO was a thing so I read a book on it and tried a couple tactics to get traffic, none of which did anything at all. In September I moved cities and into a house with another friend who had some programming knowledge, he became part of our team. (now 3 people) It was around this time that we became aware of sites like BHW. We gave programs like SENUKE, scrapebox, and xrumer a go, which also did nothing for us as our markets were super competitive and we still had no idea what we were doing. 1st sale! Around the end of September I decided SEO wasn't working and started looking for other ways to get traffic. I came to the realization that my one niche was a product and that you could advertise products on online classified sites. I made myself an ad template and starting spamming the hell out of them. Woohoo! sales are coming in! ~$50/day we are rolling! The good times lasted all of 3 or 4 days before my IP and accounts were banned from these sites. Time to Regroup After that failure I saw that there was an online classifieds section here on BHW. I read up and learnt about things like proxies, PVAs, posting methods ect... I did a bunch of manual posting on online classifieds around this time, learnt from my failures and found something that worked. We made about $1200 in October. At this time I also registered a domain for a small niche that I planned to SEO for, it popped up on the front page around #6 immediately (Hey ranking on google isn't so bad after-all if the niche is small and you have the exact domain name! ) Let the good times roll In November we automated our online classifieds posting process through a very simplistic winautomation program. We also started to autorespond to emails instead of answering them all by hand. In addition to this we improved our site quite a bit and were bringing in stable returns of $1500-2000/mo from November through February with this site through only online classifieds and it was completely automated. While this was going on my new domain ranked #1 on google for my search term simply by having content updates regularly and by getting a couple of backlinks, which I paid for from a freelancer. This site did amazingly well for me and brought in $12,000 between November and February, including a $2000 day in November. Unfortunately it was a really time specific niche and by February that site was down to 0$/day. Dark times revisted Around the beginning of March, online classified ads were swept out and the accounts were banned, back to $0/day! We went back into trial and error with the ads and winautomation poster V.2 was born. We were a little more cautious this time so the yields were a little lower at $1000/mo, but at least it was something. Slacking off In the middle of april we just said fuck it and one of my business partners I sublet the house we were renting and left for Mexico for nearly 3 months. The plan was to continue working from there, but we ended up slacking off pretty hard. I did learn a lot about CSS and some Java during my time there and my friend created a new Java based online classified poster during that time, sort of a really dumbed down version of CLAD. I didn't do much else other than maintain the winautomation poster during this time through remote desktop. Sales increased a little and we were averaging about $1500/mo. Back to Reality When I returned to Canada after my 3 months in Mexico at the beginning of last month I was pretty much broke. We started going pretty hard again July and did a complete site redesign with new found css designing skills. The java online posting automation was also perfected for our means and July yielded an improved $2400 profit. This month our site is bringing in $100/day thus far. We have bought some new domains which are still in our niche, but are targeting some long-tail, less competitive keywords, which we can hopefully show up in the SERPs for. Current plan to make money Rank new sites in SERPs Offer posting for online classifieds, nickel and dime my way back to a decent residual income. Start offering Web design and SEO to local small businesses, advertise mostly offline. Create more intellectual property that could be marketed. My Tips Hope someone enjoys my story. If I had one tip it would be to get into a market or niche that you already have some knowledge about. It can lead to success even if your BH and IM skills are not up to par. Think of ways you can put a new spin on the niche and be on the in for trending topics or new products. Exact keywords in domain name can make it very easy for you to rank in the SERPs. For me .com/.ca/.net have worked the best for SERPs, in that order. The .ca domains usually have a lot more options, so don't forget to consider Canada for some niches. Also don't look over important little things such as site design and good content generation. Little changes can improve conversions quite drastically, give a few different templates a try and see what works best. Try to get input from friends. I think a lot of BHers don't do their due diligence in optimizing what they already have.