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How I Ended Up Making A Living in the Internet Marketing Industry

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by BassTrackerBoats, Dec 12, 2013.

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  1. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    So I was thinking a little about my journey in the internet marketing industry that began back in 2006 and thought I would share some of my travels so that others can see how easy and how hard it is to make a living online.


    Back when I started in the industry I had just sold a business and was looking for something to do but had plenty of time to figure it out since I was sitting on a couple of dollars from a few good years and thought to see how people made a living working on the internet. I knew there was money to be made there but had no idea how it was done so where did I go?


    Youtube.


    Like a total Noob I went to Youtube and searched ?making money online?? yup I was one of those guys. I would typically start looking at videos later in the evening after my wife and dog were asleep. I was living in Clearwater, Florida at the time in a beautiful gated condo community and we had a screened in balcony that looked over a lake and the working environment was very peaceful, tranquil and serene. I?d take my laptop and a drink and sit out there watching video after video and had a real hard time finding anyone that was even remotely making real money as you could tell from the background in their videos that they were living in moderate income housing (not a darn thing wrong with that but that did not exude riches to me) and they were all trying to sell me some 19.97 program that guaranteed me thousands daily.


    Sure, they were believable!


    I found a few guys that looked like they made some cash but they were a little ?hokey? and I was looking for a legitimate successful and sustainable business model to fashion my efforts around. Somewhere along the line I came across a fellow that said you could make 100.00 a day in 100 days by writing content for a web site on a daily basis. Now 100.00 a day was well below what I was looking for as to a business but thought that if he could make 100.00 a day I could probably triple that with more effort and I am all about more effort.


    In fact I often tell people that the only reason I am successful is because I have always outworked the other guy.


    Well, I gave that a run? I figured out how to buy a domain (a real challenge for me), worked diligently to learn the process to buy hosting and install a content management system (now that was a REAL challenge for me at the time!) on it and started writing. No keyword research, no knowledge as to setting up a site with Google analytics, no clue as to how to set up the dashboard on wordpress for best practices, no knowledge as to backlinking? nothing but adding content (I now call that content ?conversational content? and recommend it for almost all web site owners) on a daily basis in a niche (all 41 of my personal sites are business related) that I knew would hold water over the long term.


    Well, the 100.00 a day over 100 days did not come although I was seeing some cash from adsense; my first check (yeah, I wanted a paper check to say I had a check from Google ? TOTAL NOOB!) was for a little over 750.00 USD. The 750.00 was enough for me to say that this might be something to pursue as I made that money in just a little over a month with no knowledge at all. All I was doing was just banging away at a keyboard writing what I considered relevant content for my sites.


    Anyway I continued to write and continued to look at other methods of generating income and found a few ways to generate a fair amount of cash using my websites and had a real nice run with a bunch of them. One of my methods, totally legal but which I no longer use, was a nice 17K ? 20K a month and lasted about 2 years or so for me. All the while I was using that method (don?t ask as I won?t tell) I was still working on my sites to build a sustainable passive income (I had 4 or 5 at this point) and learning a little about SEO but I was still as dumb as a block of rocks.


    I was doing everything manually and that included adding links to all kinds of places, keeping those links in excel files, writing articles for article directories (I have over 9,000 on Ezine alone), setting up social bookmarking accounts and getting links that way, buying lists of blogs that would allow me to drop a link and then posting some silly ridiculous comment to get that link to stick? every crazy, wacky, noobish way to get links for all my sites and EVERY ONE going to the root page on the sites? like I said, I had no knowledge at all, just a little bit of a work ethic? remember, I just outworked the other guy.


    So, I finally get a little knowledge and come up with some strategies, learn a little SEO, figure out how to do some keyword research, get some minor innocuous skills and start to make some decent change from my sites with targeted organic visitors sent to me from Google. I saw something and went at it full bore and started building a small network of websites that all covered different aspects of business and felt pretty good about how things were progressing? we had a nice little 6 figure income, steady revenue from a variety of sources from our sites and yes, I was still doing everything MANUALLY.


    After a while I found the original ?linkwheel? system that was touted by the young fellow from Finland or Sweden (His online name was lemonarian or something close) who was a sharp guy and had a nice SEO process. I used that system on a lot of my sites and my sites were ranking nicely but after a while Google saw the footprint and then killed it?s value. I actually woke up to all my keywords no longer ranking, no traffic to my sites and no money in my accounts. I admit I panicked but I still stayed at working on my sites? I had no job, no real need for an income but was a workaholic and driven by the challenge for success and not the dollar and eventually came up with the linkpush process and my sites started to rank again.


    I would not have discovered the process unless I kept the mindset of outworking the other guy.


    Well, I put together a small PDF on the process and gave it out to a bunch of people? now that publication has been downloaded close to 20,000 times? and one of those people that go the PDF was this Irishman from outside of Dublin. This fellow and I conversed back and forth some about SEO as he had a handful of sites that were based on the original John XFactor method? 5 page sites about one keyword and get that site ranked and bank from adsense. The conversations went from a variety of SEO methods, how they should be balanced to rank sites, keyword research and all manner of ?web sites to make money? talk. Eventually we talked a little about our personal lives and situations and he shared that he was a coder for a company that built software platforms for the airline industry.


    His coding background gave him the thought to go ahead and automate the linkpushing process which was very rudimentary at the time and he offered to give me the application for my own personal use. I suggested we start a service and his words were ?You mean a JV??.. I remember that email from close to 4 years ago. We did exactly that? I purchased a domain, he built the platform and we started letting people know we had this automated backlinking system that could help rank your site.


    Our business agreement was all done via email with nothing in writing aside from our conversations via email, no signed contracts, no corporate agreements. In fact we did not even meet face to face until about 8 months after we started the service and have only seen each other 3 or 4 times since we began Linkpushing.net. We had a very high level of trust (still do) and just went with the flow working together across the Atlantic to provide a quality SEO service with decent customer service.


    This little JV turned into a serious legitimate business enterprise that has helped tens of thousands of people rank hundreds of thousands of websites including our own personal sites. Not too shabby from a couple of web site owners sharing with one another ideas and methods. Of course, over the years there have been hundreds of changes and upgrades and we both work diligently to stay abreast of the changes in the algorithms of the search engines and we communicate with one another almost daily on changes/upgrades to Linkpushing as well as other SEO that we see out there and also have our R&D team work with to stay current and ahead of the dynamic changes in the search engine algorithms.


    We went on to purchase SerpBuddy.com, a rank tracking service, together and offer that to clients the world over as well and I have my hand in a few other ventures as well that seem to be working out nicely.


    We still have our sites which generate a strong passive income for both of us? mine are all huge sites centered around business and business principles and concepts with lots of pages ranking for thousands of keywords and we probably always will have our sites. I?m a big fan of passive online income and those sites give me that comfort and my household an opportunity to live a nice lifestyle.


    I still work hard and not for the money so much as I do it for the thrill of the success and I imagine I will always work in such a way as to outwork the other guy? that is in me from childhood and will probably always be with me.


    I know some very wealthy people and I am not one? I?ve done OK and have a few dollars in my wallet and will never want for anything; I am not sitting on riches but my rags are a little nicer than they were 7 years ago. So can you make a living on the internet in a completely moral way?


    Absolutely, a full time income working online is within the reach of almost anyone and it can be done if you do what I do:


    Work hard AND work smart.


    Try things that others are currently doing in your own personal way.


    Try things that nobody at all does anywhere.


    Find those that are smarter than you, trust them, learn from them and work with them.


    Be open-minded, objective and humble.


    Be fair and honest with those you encounter online whether clients, partners or just people taking some of the same roads as you.


    Remember that the internet marketing industry is not a get rich quick business.


    Build your business model around sustainable products (websites, apps, etc) and services.


    Never talk badly about the competition; it makes you look petty and hurts the entire industry.


    If I have not mentioned it, outwork the other guy.


    Get up earlier, work longer, do things he would not do and keep your mind on the vision of doing your best. There is no such thing as a ?bad? job whether online or offline. A janitor is a noble position as is the head of a large CEO. A manual linkbuilder is as important as a a man that owns many websites. The guy that can code in his sleep is as important as the guy that can write circles around anyone.


    There are very few people that I can out think and I know that and accept that limitation in my life but there are also very few that can outwork me and that has served me well and can do the same for you.
     
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  2. imktng

    imktng Junior Member

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    Couldn't agree more!
     
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  3. Nirmal

    Nirmal Regular Member

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    awesome words man

     
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  4. T2tkid

    T2tkid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Getting 750 in a month is wonderful1 It took me about 6 months to get my first $100 online from adsense...
     
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  5. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Somehow missed this thread previously. Thanks for sharing, it is a good read.
    Always enjoy reading how successful old/long term BHW members got started.
     
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  6. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Everyone should read this. Great story of how you got to where you are and very motivational.

    its all about working hard, never look down always look up, and learn everything you can from your competition and your peers.
     
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  7. bizzmill

    bizzmill Junior Member

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    Op, this was great motivation.
     
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  8. Seo Lover

    Seo Lover Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good read ,well worth the time ...

    Free bump for everyone , so others should read this ...
     
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  9. ardley216

    ardley216 Elite Member

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    Great story. Of course its an inspiration that anyone can duplicate!
     
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  10. extremeboy

    extremeboy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    good story of your experience and still many things you did not disclosed though as you work smartly i knew that hahah ;)
     
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  11. oxonbeef

    oxonbeef BANNED BANNED

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    BTB's work ethics are exceptional I've had the honor of working with him and
    to today I still stand in awe of that guy.

    You're not ready for retirement yet big fella!
     
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  12. cataratas

    cataratas Junior Member

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    Great story!
    It's nice to learn a bit of background about a successful IM'er with the story told in an inspirational manner.
     
  13. MafiaBoss

    MafiaBoss Elite Member

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    nice read.thanks
     
  14. IMpossible

    IMpossible Supreme Member

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    Very motivational and good read. Thanks for this post!
     
  15. RushingWind

    RushingWind Elite Member

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    "Outwork the other guy" - Now that's a motto that can be used in different aspects of life. Not just IM. :)

    Thanks BTB.
     
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  16. tnhomestead

    tnhomestead Regular Member

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    I cant find anyone smarter than me == i am the smartest Sasquatch around! Of course all humans are smarter than me, but hey cant have everything! LOL

    Learning and working, and agree 112% on the outwork the other guy!

    Thanks for the motivation!
     
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  17. samiejg

    samiejg Senior Member

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    Thank you a lot for sharing :) This is exactly the type of stuff I'm here for. To learn and get motivated. It can get hard to outwork the other guy when you don't know what you're doing yet :( lol
     
  18. cataratas

    cataratas Junior Member

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    Let's hope the guy we are trying to outwork isn't BrassTrackerBoats; otherwise we are all doomed haha!

    Yes, this is all about motivation deriving from a real and inspiring story.
     
  19. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Davids355 and extremeboy made some good points... It's not always being the brightest bulb on the planet although if you are smart it helps (some smart guy told me that once) but working hard and learning both from your competitors and from your peers... AND always keep looking up.


    Staying positive goes a long way to having positive things come your way.


    I'd love to hear how some others became successful in the industry so share away!
     
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  20. Alpha.

    Alpha. Power Member

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    I made my first contacts with the IM world when I was quite young (around 15 if I remember correctly) with selling things on ebay? I always loved gaming back then (Snes and megadrive yay!) and at some point started scrounging around garage sales, flee markets etc to find used games. I noticed that most of the games I bought would have cost me more on ebay! And so I started buying them cheap and selling them on ebay? which actually gave me a tidy profit :)

    At some point I started a merger with a handful of other guys, to buy from the larger distributors in larger amounts (= cheaper price per item) and got careless, losing a lot of money to a Chinese fraudster? lesson learned! I dabbled in repairing Computers after that (still during school time) and went on to business school, at which point I was building up accounts in different forum communities to sell them rare & vintage console games.

    However there came the day when I threw it all away and joined the Army? it seemed like the right thing to do back then, seeing that the world was getting more fucked by the day and I had a lot of questions back then? Seeking answers I enrolled and vowed to fight the war on terror etc?

    Well years later I handed back my uniform, got a handshake, a gold coin and a mug.. (oh and a flashy certificate!) from my CO and was told that I can go be a civilian now?
    ? go where? Do What? The questions were still there, no answers in sight? There was only really ONE thing that I was sure of.. I will never ever? ?Serve? under anybody else again.
    From now on the only Boss in my life is ME. (Don?t get me wrong here, I have no problem with authority! I never resented my CO giving me orders, it just showed me that after my service I wouldn?t accept that from anybody else)

    So I started freelancing in the Fraud Support area, I?d been doing that on the side when I had the time anyway? having picked up a lot of knowledge in that area and having a knack for Search Engine Research it came quite easy.. IT took me months to get a payday on each job though, which really sucked So I decided to take a different path and went back to IM!

    Well I?ve always been one for reselling and I never completely stopped doing ebay sales and at that point Facebook started to become a great place to sell used stuff.. still didn?t make a lot of money!


    And so I started reaching out to tons of distributors and service providers, asking them if they?d be interested in a ?reseller?. With my site providing customers but doing nothing but forwarding sales emails. It took me a while, but I found the first client who was interested.. and after that I found more on a weekly basis! (Having a working website with customers to show potential ?partners? made it a lot easier!)



    And that?s really it.. that?s my story of how I made my passive income. I think pure dedication beats all other skills every day! Adapt and Overcome ;)


    I have a VA who adds new products onto my sites and my emails are forwarded automatically? The billing etc goes directly over the company that ships the product to the client, my cut gets sent directly to me? bamm!


    And now? Well I?ve spent the last year building a small marketing and design agency, we?ve just added a branch dedicated to writing? (translations, content, ghost writing etc) And we?ll see how that goes!
    I hope you enjoyed my wall of text, even if most of you don?t know me yet! Looking forward to read your stories!
     
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