Hi all, I’ve already made a few posts since registering earlier today and just wanted to introduce myself properly and talk a little about where I am, where I’ve been and where I’m going. Sorry in advance, it may well go on a little. I’ve been doing IM on and off for a little over ten years (I was an extremely early adopter by UK standards). My first ever site was an affiliate site for those old ‘SurfCash’ style sites, where users got paid to display an advertising banner on their screen that would pay a few cents per hour and stop when the mouse wasn’t moving. It wasn’t a roaring success, but I did receive my first ever IM-related cheque from that venture and that cheque alone was enough to stay interested ever since. I work a day job as an internet marketer for a reasonably large brand in the UK. I’ve tried at various points to work alone from home but it has never come to anything significant and I want to be fully prepared for the next time I do it. Prior to this job, I was made redundant and made ends meet by writing articles for clients on Freelancer. The pay was low, but it beat working for a living as they say. However, I would heartily recommend a day job to anyone struggling to get going with internet marketing, for the following reasons: I struggle with time discipline when working from home. I’m a relaxed boss and a relaxed employee. When I’m both, that leads to liberties being taken and time being wasted. By having a job, you’re exposed to internet marketing and like-minded individuals five days a week and it can be good training to get into the habit of working harder with more structure. When you have only a minor reputation, the pay for articles is low no matter how good your copy. On top of that, you’re only earning when you’re writing. A salary pays you when you’re making a coffee, going to the toilet, reading BHW, etc. You gain experience from a day job that can work extremely well in IM or any other business that you would not necessarily gain from working alone. Even things you hate can one day become an integral tool in your arsenal, such as conversing with clients or directors, managing employees and exposure to new systems or processes that you may never have considered. Of course, getting a day job like mine is easier said than done. Remember that if you spend three days reading as much as you can on BHW, you know more about SEO and general IM than 90% of the population. Personally, I learned what I could continually from when I was 16 and parlayed that knowledge into a CV that was sufficient for a voluntary position. There are very few formal IM qualifications so nothing beats real world experience in the eyes of the employer, even if it was voluntary. In that role I built a portfolio and added a few other pieces from my past work – that too is enough to blow many company directors with little web knowledge away. You don’t have to be the best (I feel that the best IMers are likely self-employed), you just need to have the skills, knowledge and confidence to demonstrate results. If the company is paying you £x and you’re efforts are directly bringing in £3x, everybody’s happy. As for now, I spend as much time as is necessary getting the job done to the best of my ability at work. The policy there is do what you like as long as the job gets done, meaning when things are finished I can work on my own sites. I also work as hard as I can of an evening. I still do articles for others and try to put as much quality content on my sites as possible, while launching one new site per month. I choose my sites somewhat differently to the standard methods I’ve seen on here. In fact, it’s probably the wrong way when strictly looking at profitability. Rather than keyword research, I make a site because it’s on a topic that interests me and apply my marketing knowledge as I build it. This is with no regard to CPC, GMS volumes or any other stats. The reasons for this are twofold. I can write good content quickly when I know what I’m talking about, and I usually read the latest news on the subject out of habit, which I can then rewrite or draw inspiration from. This allows me to stay self-sufficient on the site and most importantly allows me to have fun while working on it. I’ve learnt a lot as a lurker here at BHW, and hope to continue to do so. My main goals while I’m here are to try new ideas and services and make some good contacts in the industry. Overall, I know my current job won’t last forever (they rarely do, especially for those with an entrepreneurial mind) and this time I want to be prepared through hard work and strong fundamental knowledge, not to mention some form of income aside from articles and the salary. My strategy above leads to long blogs with ongoing maintenance, so I’ll be looking at niche sites to lighten the load a little for example. Thanks for reading and I hope to get to know many of you better in the near future.