We're Making Money Online!
All Aboard the
Morocco, November 1, 2004,
I find it hard to believe that we're already making money online and it's only been 18 months since I was in the get-up-go-to-work-come-back-home-late rut.
I'm sitting in sort of a different "rut" these days.
It's actually a cave.
It seems like light years have zipped by as I write this to the light of a candle inside a small Berber nomad cave in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
(Note: Obviously the Berber caves are not connected to the Internet... yet. I'm writing this from an Internet café in Marrakech, but the following section was copied from my original travel diary.)
Standing next to the Berber nomad cave in the High Atlas Mountains
I'm out on the backpacker circuit again after so many years. It's sort of a dream come true. Budget hostels, cheap eats, sweet mint tea, bustling markets, bed bugs. (My loving wife gave the OK for me to go while she takes care of our two girls, but has set up a decontamination zone outside our house where, upon my return, I'll probably spend at least 48 hours sitting in some sort of chemical tub.)
Youssef, our Berber Nomad Guide
I haven't seen a computer screen for almost a week, no phones (even my cellular has no reception out here), no transportation unless mules and camels count, no electricity, no running water, no nothing - except nature, nomads and the rundown battery-powered AM transistor radio that belongs to my guide - Youssef.
For a whole week now I've been wandering together with Youssef through the valleys of these majestic mountains, sleeping in caves, eating squashed dates and figs, and reflecting upon almost every aspect of my life, life in general, and, well, my Web site.
I pinch myself to make sure that I'm actually here. Then I pinch myself even harder to make sure that I'm actually here - and making money online.
To be exact, my site is making money online. Much more money than I ever expected to make for any sort of work.
I admit that at the end of each day (and many times during), I can't help but wonder how much the site is earning while I'm out here in the middle of nowhere?
Suddenly I see such a clear correlation between living with the nomads and making a living on the Net.
I should probably elaborate upon this "Zenish" reflection...
In a small village here in the mountains I ran into lots of "so-called" guides offering their service, many of whom try to hustle you relentlessly. Only a handful are trustworthy. For a while I contemplated going out on my own into the mountains. I'd probably get lost on the way, but survive somehow. Then I met Youssef and his candor and honesty won me over. For the past week he's been my guide in the mountains, showing me the way, explaining to me the secrets of the mountains, the culture of the nomads, cooking for me.
Now to the Internet. Let's see if this works.
On the internet I ran into lots of "so-called" marketing gurus offering me their secrets to making monely online, many of whom try to hustle you relentlessly. Only a handful are trustworthy. For a while I contemplated giving a shot at making money online and trying to build a Web site on my own. I'd probably get lost on the way, but survive somehow. Then I "met" Ken Evoy and his candor and honesty won me over. For the past 18 months he's been my virtual guide on the Internet, showing me the way, explaining to me how people are making money online and, disclosing the secrets of his Web marketing philosophy, cooking for me. (OK, I'm pushing it now...)
For each one of these guides' services I pay less than $3 a day. Actually, Youssef is three times more expensive.
Since writing my original story of making money online, I still haven't read a single Web marketing / Site building / Internet Selling book beside Ken's ebooks and newsletters. In my original story I mentioned that I should probably start reading other people's books about making money online. I've changed my mind. Why should I waste my time on any other making money online books when Ken and SiteSell provide me with so much more than I can handle?
There's no better example than the following:
In the beginning of this month (Oct. 2004) I received one of Ken's free newsletters. I read all his newsletters religiously. He wrote something like: "You can earn three times as much money with Google Adsense ads that appear on your site if you change the size of the ads and place them on the other side of the page." It sounded too simple to be true. But what had I to lose? I spent fifteen minutes changing all the ads on my site and...
In October I earned THOUSANDS of dollars more than I would have otherwise just from reading one of Ken's free newsletter. (Honestly, I still can't believe I'm using the word "THOUSANDS" because when I first started this site I didn't even dream of earning a thousand. Then I started dreaming...)
Even after people read my original story where I go on and on about how each and every SiteSell product I've read and used is GREAT, I continue to get asked if SiteSell and SBI! really work? If someone without any Internet experience can really dream of making money online?
The SiteSell philosophy works.
But ONLY - I repeat ONLY - if you follow the process and don't try to shortcut your way to the riches of the Web.
In March 2004 a friend contacted me regarding SBI!. We met, spoke - he bought. But I pleaded with him to follow the SBI! manual word for word, take his time in choosing a theme, and to share with me what theme he decides upon before finalizing his decision.
Here I was offering him my free consultation.
About two days later I met him again and asked how things are going, and he told me that he's already found a site concept and registered a domain. And I said - "Wait a moment, you're not even past chapter two of the manual, how could you have possibly decided upon a theme and registered a domain?"
So he told me that he's read another book that has lots of ideas for site themes and making money online and he's decided to build a site on... fitness and fitness equipment. (I never checked the fitness theme potential, but obviously he took one heck of a shortcut.)
Several months later we met again and he tells me that he's built lots of pages but there's virtually no traffic to his site. And the SBI! process doesn't seem to work. And I'm saying to myself, it's not the SBI! process that doesn't work, its people who buy SBI! and don't want to do the work.
It's all written in the manual. Don't rush. Don't be hasty.
Heck, it took me three months to decide upon a theme - three months I was stuck on chapter two/three of the manual (together with my sister), two minds working day in and day out to find a theme that's perfect for us.
And for the past year and a half I have been living, breathing, sleeping and eating kid birthday party ideas. And it's fun because we've found a theme that we have a PASSION for.
And to everyone I recommend SBI! I say - TAKE YOUR TIME!
And many times they don't.
I can't help but finish this part of my diary with my favorite Walt Disney Quote: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them."
And this very moment I'm living a dream come true.
-- End of diary excerpt, back in the Marrakech Internet cafe --
And here's just a bit more about the awesome year we've had:
I allowed myself a whole month paternity leave in April 2004 to be with my wife and my newborn daughter Noa. Then I gave myself a two week extension... I continue to spend lots of quality time with my family which is truly amazing and I don't know how it could ever have been otherwise.
My storytelling performance, "The Wanderer", now includes two musicians and we perform 4-5 times per month (I'm actually on a business trip here in Morocco looking for stories...). I've also started taking guitar lessons - something I never imagined I'd get around to doing, and lots more fun stuff.
As for Tamar, she's been earning one heck of a living from our site while working only during the summer months and a bit during vacations. Every time I give here the monthly totals she can't believe the amount she's making while she gets to focus solely on her art.
And still, the site has been keeping great stats. In October 2004 we averaged more than 8000 visitors per day, we've added a free printables section utilizing Tamar's artistic talents, there are cake and costume photo galleries based entirely on visitor submissions, the Birthdayography newsletter has over 17,000 and we're just having a really great time thinking of how to make the site better and better.
And I'll say it again just to make sure the point gets across - I've never read any other literature besides what SiteSell has to offer.
There's one more very important thing I'd like to share, much more important than making money - there's a new dream a-brewin'. And this time it's not mine, nor is it Tamar's.
Naama, my wife, is a high school teacher. Actually, she WAS a high school teacher.
With me, a perennial dreamer in the house, I guess she's caught the dreamer's bug.
Last month she decided to leave her day job in order to spend more time at home with the girls and with me. She's also in the process of making a 180 degree career change and has decided to become a pregnancy counselor. Alongside the two days a week of studying, she'll be working with me on our site, learning hands-on the wonderful world of internet, and maybe one day we'll be able to build another site together.
Who knows, maybe she'll even agree one day to sleep with me in a Berber nomad cave?!
Nah. Scratch that.
There are some dreams that'll probably never come true.
From Marrakech, I wish you the VERY Best.
All aboard the SBI Express!