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Introduction - Developer looking to understand the IM game

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by antiochIst, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. antiochIst

    antiochIst Newbie

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    Hey all - I am Taylor,

    So I wanted to introduce my self and then ask a few questions so I better understand the IM game.

    I have been web developer for about 5 years now - I would consider myself a PHP guru and I also know many other languages.

    Here is my story:

    In college I played online poker and was clearing over 60k a year, I stopped primarily because I did not feel great about that as a profession. From there I got into programming, moved to LA and started my first web development company, it was semi successful my yearly revenue was around $130k (net income a lot less). I took on some project to big to handle and that company flopped. I then worked out in LA for a online retailer which I enjoyed and was good experience, but I was not too crazy about the LA traffic. So I got a job with a big affiliate sales/SEO company in North Carolina and worked there for about a year. I worked as a developer on the SEO team at this company and got lots of experience in the SEO world. Our SEO initiatives at this company were massive (millions) for a website. I am an entrepreneur at heart so naturally I left this company after making enough $$ to start my own business. For about the past 6 months I started my own web development company which I am now working on growing full time.


    Here are my questions to those professional SEO's out there. My intention is not to offend I am still new to this and truly want to get a better understanding/grasp on the IM game.

    1. From a purely money standpoint is IM worth the time and effort long term?

    To elaborate on this question:

    - I could get a job today for over 120k. I could play poker and likely make 200k a year after a few years. I see some people on these forums boasting about the money they have made in the SEO game, however it seems like only the "gurus" of SEO are really making anything (100k/year + ). So if the only the top dogs are making what I would consider average/good pay for a professorial developer, what makes this worth it? Am I wrong about the number or % of SEO's making money?

    - Long term sustainability. Are those who are making money going to be able to sustain it? IM seems so short term oriented to me. Where is the long term value when your business/livelihood is dependent on one dude at google switching up the algo one day.

    ex: a website making 10k a month sells for 100k on flippa. Um - what the heck???? This is way lower than any multiple I have seen in selling any other business. I truly want to understand why it is so low.


    2. Can an individual really make 150k+ from IM alone ?

    - please be honest w/ me and yourself.
    My concern is this: I worked for a affiliate sales company that made money but we were a big company. We were able to make money because we had great business men who negotiated sales arrangements that strong favored us. We had relationships with the top CEO's in many different large companies. We have a massive amounts of money from investments allowing us buy huge web assets to use in online marketing. We had the best developers in our state, developing really advanced seo technologies. I simply cannot fathom how any individual could come close to making money in the businesses we were in. Maybe they could pick up some missed scraps - maybe. But scraps are not a sustainable business.

    - the other part of this is IM alone.
    So I have some friends who you might consider IM guys who are making money. But to say they are making money from IM alone is a stretch. They have built relationships high up in particular industries and were able to leverage their online "know how" to bring those businesses online. At the end of the day I consider these folks business people, they know the IM game to some extent but there real skills are in business & relationships.



    3. For those of you making money (150k+)- How black is your hat?

    This is more personal than business related, but it is a large factor in my decision on how to pursue SEO/IM.

    For me: When I die I want to leave behind two things - kids and a business that is valuable and good.

    I quite poker and other $$ making opportunities because I did not feel I could accomplish these goals pursuing them. Do any other pro SEO's share similar values as I do and feel that they are able to live up to those values?

    BTW - I am by no way saying black hat tactics are wrong or immoral. I believe that people have every right to conduct any business within the guidelines of their countries laws to make money.

    Look forward to hearing responses and getting feedback. I hope I did not offend anyone - I've noticed people on BHW getting upset easily. These are very genuine questions and I hope I can get some genuine answers.

    Thanks,
    - Taylor
     
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  2. The Nix

    The Nix Power Member

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    First of all welcome to Black Hat World! :)

    I really appreciate you sharing your story with us, and I'm surprised no one left a comment yet. Anyway, you mentioned that you want to start your own business right?

    You also mentioned that you were killing it in online poker. Man, I suggest you give it one more go. Try to earn as much as you can from poker (I'm not promoting it, I'm just saying this because you have a good history with it).

    Use the money you get from poker to INVEST on a business you want. Whether it is on IM or a physical company, you will definitely need some start up money. If you hate playing poker just to earn money -- maybe for one last time you can give it another go just to have enough money to invest on your new business.

    Good luck man, I wish you all the best. :)
     
  3. antiochIst

    antiochIst Newbie

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    Hey The Nix,
    Thanks for input. I have some money and did start a business (web development company) that I currently run - it pays the bills, nothing big time.

    Poker is a fine way to make money - but not for me anymore.

    I am more curious about getting a feel for IM and would love to hear more thoughts on my questions - especially from those who have been in the game for while.

    specifically: From a purely money standpoint is IM worth the time and effort long term?
     
  4. wasted

    wasted Jr. Executive VIP

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    Welcome the BHW.

    From a purely money standpoint is IM worth the time and effort long term?

    I'm answering from a guy with 8 years in the game.This game used to be wild, but it is slowly being deteriorated by regulations, FTC, government, corporations, etc. It's no longer the wild wild west and new frontier like it once was before. You now have to be social. You have to create something of value for the Internet. Quick 5 min AdSense sites don't work anymore. So now that you have to build something good. Are you going to put the effort in? On a pure money standpoint, I broke my first six figures in IM three years after my start date. I'm now in search of my goal of building this six figure company into a seven figure company. However, with developers, employees, and taxes the big boss man takes a lot of my effort.

    If I had to do anything different, with your skill level, my first 3-5 years in IM, it would of been nice to have a steady $120k paycheck, to pay taxes, social security, federal, state, etc... and of course supply some stability.

    We all love the IM hustle... but sometimes stability is nice.

    So, long story short.... 8 years now... I'm doing extremely well, have a very nice company, good employeess, and work with great people. However, it's been a long road to get here.
     
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  5. antiochIst

    antiochIst Newbie

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    Awesome answer wasted - Good to see some success and get an idea of what it takes.