My journey started back when I was 15 and in high school. Basically, I was graduating HS at 15 and was going straight on to college. The only issue was my family was pretty poor and couldn't afford for me to go. Where I live, no one will hire you if you're under 16. So I did what most people do and I Googled "How to make money online". Most results fell into 3 categories: Get rich quick scams Spend money (which I had none) to make money Methods that may or may not work for people (Affiliate) I was smart enough not to fall for scams, poor enough to not want to invest even $5, and I needed something that paid out based on the effort put in. Eventually, I found a website called hirewriters.com. Clients pay writers at piss-poor rates but I was making $20/week. I wasn't complaining. Most of the writing projects I took on were business related (I went to school for marketing). About half of them were marketing related and maybe 7% were SEO related. This is when I learned what SEO was and started gaining a deep interest for it, as it has a marketing, strategic, and technical sides. $20/week was nice but even with loans I still had to pay $3,000 a semester. Not gonna cut it. I needed something more. I've always had an eye for business but no one would hire a 15-year-old for their marketing team. So I started my own business. My first business was a small business advisory. I would help those who are interested in starting a business or who are thinking about a joint venture make the right decision. Mostly, I was the bearer of bad news. I pretty much told people that 'this' was a scam, or that what they wanted to do would take a lot of work and money. It's hard to feel bad for people when you tell them their idea will take a lot of hard work and they just abandon it right then and there. Was I profitable? Lol. No. Agreed upon prices were never paid and half the time I didn't even ask for money. However, because I did this, I go an interview with the corporate marketing team of a multi-billion dollar real estate corporation that's based in my state. At this time, I was 17 and was done with HS and enrolled in college. Long story short, I got the job. To sum up my year and a quarter experience there: Shitty hours Shitty pay My ideas didn't matter Step out of line and you're fired Constant lawsuits for things they did that endangered residents lives. The job was shitty but having the company name on my resume got me into almost any door I chose. For awhile I forgot about SEO, I wasn't allowed to do it at my new job - yet no one else was doing it either. Like I said, pay was shit. I was making about 14k/year gross. One of the worst things is that I had to work a lot of unpaid hours. I won't get into the how's and why's but the in-house legal team for the main corporate building was larger than the entire company marketing team. Keep in mind they are in over 5 states and own over 100 properties. Once I realized how little 14k a year was, I started looking online again for how to make money. I had seen articles talk about freelancing before but I didn't have anything I could think of to offer as a skill. Eventually, I noticed that SEO was its own section on most (all now) freelancing sites. I started reading up a lot more on SEO and how to implement it. Thinking back on it, I knew next to fucking nothing and would not do anything the same in terms of implementation. I've always undersold myself, which I hate, so I started selling my SEO services at $6/hour. It was an extra $50-$100/week in my pocket. Still not much but I was able to sell my SEO services successfully. Fast forward to when I was 18. I graduated college a month after I turned 18. A couple months later I decided to risk it all and freelance full-time. Keep in mind - I was only making $20k/year gross and now I was only making $5k/year. I got lucky, pretty much as soon as I quit my job - an agency wanted to contract me for full-time work. That put my income at $35k/year. Some time has passed and I currently make $52k/year with 3 people working for me. I'm in the middle of closing a deal which will raise my income to $82k/year. I project to be making $100k/year by the end of January 2017. I haven't only done client-SEO through my journey. I've done some affiliate work, CPA, and various joint ventures. Client work has always been the most profitable for me. My Tips To You 1. Don't give up but know when to quit. 'Don't give up' is some pretty generic advice but it's true. At every step of the way I thought I was a failure and that it wasn't worth the effort. There have been times when I've had too many people want to hire me that I've had to turn some down and others where I can't find anyone to give me the time of day. Know when to quit. Not every venture will be profitable or not profitable enough. You may be happy that you're making $100/month on an affiliate but if you're putting in 100 hours a month to make that money then it may be time to change your strategy or pack your bags. The same goes for client work. If they treat you like shit, never pay on time, and expect you to jump through flaming-hoops-the-size-of-a-frisbee then they're not worth your time. 2. You don't have to spend money to make money Let me rephrase, you don't have to lose money to make money. There may be a promising new CPA adventure for you. All you need to do it pay $60 for a year of hosting and $10 to register a domain. You're starting out with $-70. Anytime I need to spend money for something like this, I make it with small gigs. I don't want to lose any of my current income on a new venture so maybe I'll do an SEO audit, review Amazon products, write a couple articles, etc. Any small job(s) I can do to earn the money I need to invest in a new venture. 3. Find a community Lucky you! You're already on BHW if you're reading this so congrats. The stupidest thing I ever did was not join a community. Whether it was BHW, a Facebook group, or another forum. Reading articles is great but those are 1-sided conversations. I personally thought PBN's were an awful idea that's sure to get your website a penalty before I joined BHW and saw how common they really are. That was because I had read dozens of articles that stated those things so many times that I took them as facts. I didn't get to question the validity of statements in an article by posting about it somewhere. Which leads into my next point: 4. Don't be afraid to ask for help When you're in a community of your peers the golden rule is Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. When you need help you can trust your community to help you. When they need help, they need to trust you to help them. Don't leech and don't face the darkness alone. There's always going to be a time when you don't have the answer. "Is this a scam?", "Why won't this website rank?", "I'm I doing this right?". Don't waste time pulling your hair out waiting for a sign to fall from the sky. Ask. Someone. If you take advice, go out and give it. Do. Not. Be. A. Leech. 5. Read, Learn, Repeat. Internet marketing changes every day. New search engine news, new affiliate programs, new CPA programs, new joint venture opportunities. What earns you $100/day now will only work for so long. The second you stop learning is the second you start dying. Knowledge is power and power in IM leads to money. I'll try and keep this thread updated with my progress. I'm also planning on writing another thread about how I've mastered gray-hat sales which has helped me gain a lot clients over time.