Recently I got my monthly reminder to send the monthly recap as December came to a close. But it’s the 1st of January so then I thought, well maybe I should do a year review.
But it’s actually much bigger than that.
My Google Adsense check, otherwise known as THE Check, was issued September of 2005.
Yup. I started making my first dollar 10 years ago this year. My Adwords account was created January 15th 2005.
I remember the first time I made a dollar in a day. I was so excited to show my wife. It evolved slowly and didn’t do much for a bit. I actually took it off if my site cause I thought it was too distracting and misleading.
I focused instead on making my ringtone site awesome. Then I got fired from my day job and filed for unemployment. I wasn’t in the best shape financially at the time. My girlfriend was in medical school and we were planning a big giant wedding that we were funding ourselves with money we didn’t have.
So there I was. Lots of payments and a huge amount of credit card debt. No job. 420 lbs.
Well at-least I get my $350 a week unemployment check!!
My fiancé encouraged me to work on my website and start working for myself. I had zero confidence this would work.
With my site my priorities were 99% building a cool site and 1% making money. Even in the financial position I was in.
Ironically, at the same time, I got a call from a Google Adsense Rep who said she noticed I had a lot of mobile traffic (the site was now doing 100k uniques a day) and that I had a Google Adsense account but wasn’t using it. She asked if I had any questions or problems and how she can help me get it reimplemented. I told her I honestly didn’t like it cause I thought the ads were a bit misleading and made for a bad user experience.
She said they had a program for people with my concerns and it paid out significantly more. She also said it gave me much more flexibility with the way I wanted to present the ads.
She was a bit relentless and after analyzing my stats she said she would guarantee that I would be making a minimum $300 a day if what I told her was accurate.
I was like, ya right, but she was like gimme 10 mins and I’ll walk you through making the ad. She said all i needed was to have access to the server and a little bit of html knowledge or her developer would be available to help and the ad campaign would be up and going in no time.
Here is the funny thing, her remark asking me if I had basic html knowledge motivated me. I was gonna show this chick who she was dealing with and get it up and running on my site in no time.
After a couple of hours of implementing it I was blown away. In the first 12 hours I had made more money than I ever made in a month working my ass off for “the man”.
Less than 2 months after implementing, the big check for 132k was produced.
In those first couple months with Google Adsense I had made more than 2x what I had made my entire life combined.
How fucked up is that. Literally a side effect of my hobby, and passion project, in a couple months made me 2x more money than what I had made in my entire life.
Obviously, I was completely blown away by this. But I was confident it wasn’t going to last. I don’t remember the exact date or time but I put printed out a number in huge font on paper and pinned these around my house.
This number was the exact dollar amount that I needed to make everyday in order to make a million dollars in a year.
Making money was my new hobby. I was fascinated by it. Screw Google Adsense, I was making much more doing direct advertising deals with Sprint and Nextel. I implemented a subscription paid forum, started selling phone accessories and even got money for donations.
By the end of first quarter in 2006, I had a new number pinned around my house.
That’s what I needed to make everyday to hit a million a month (in profit before taxes).
Not counting selling a company or website I have never hit that number (a million in one month in profit). Till this day, I still have that number pinned.
In the last decade, I think my best month ever was about 750k in profit and that was produced in really about 20 days.
The past decade has been a crazy roller coaster. CRAZY.
Looking back though it seems to have always been the same recipe. Whether it was my ringtone site NextPimp, AuctionAds, ShoeMoney Tools, ShoeMoney System, Link Control, etc etc all of these were items I built because they were fun and I gave them away for free. In the case of my blog I turned down advertising for many years until almost 2008.
BUT the biggest thing is once I started monetizing each of these, they all changed. All of them in different ways of course.
With my ringtone site I totally stopped focusing on the user community and was squeezing out every dime. Over many years traffic kept falling off and eventually it went to nil until a company bought it because of its SEO rankings.
For AuctionAds, it didn’t affect it really because I sold the company before it was profitable. I was only 4 months into it and I had a lot of initial expenses and because of the model it wasn’t producing revenue. I didn’t really care though because I had so much income coming in from doing PPC, affiliate stuff, and from residual income from my ringtone site. I can’t disclose what it sold for but I can tell you each employee of the company received millions of dollars.
With ShoeMoney Tools as soon as I started charging to use the tools, stopped development and maintenance of them, and solely focused on getting more users subscriptions the tools itself started to fail. Revenue went from 300k/month to 30k/month in about a year and a half.
And the story goes on and on…
I have been writing month to month about the drastic transition this year has been for myself and my company. I turned 40 and started to figure out what I want to do.
Taking all this into account and analyzing my biggest strength and weakness I discovered I CAN do everything and often times I take over items when I shouldn’t. Which really leads to nothing being accomplished really well.
For the first time publicly I will reveal my partners in my newest company. Bryan Zimmerman, CEO of the largest affiliate network jvzoo.com, Chuck Mullaney who has an extensive amount of experience owning his own email marketing company as well as experience in internet marketing, and another person who still doesn’t want to be named (you wouldn’t know him anyway but he’s our CTO and he has built applications that are unparalleled to anything out there).
All of us have put away a lot of cash over the last decade and are ready to build our legacy. We also raised an initial seed fund from a private investor for $650,000.00.
We are all in agreement that our primary focus is to build the most innovative email marketing platform the world has ever seen. We already had a lot of the core components from the PAR Program but all are in agreement we will be relentless in innovation to truly create the next evolution of email marketing.
We call it Market Notify. We just opened up the beta application page here. You will notice it’s not just a “sign up to be notified when the beta launches” type of thing. We ask you for information about your list, how many people you have, and other information. We will be inviting people as we grow and are positive we can accept the volume of new users. Beta users must agree to give us feedback.
For this when you are accepted into the beta program we will give you a 50% discount for life. You will also have first access to our affiliate program. With our affiliate program we are planning to beat every other email platform’s commission by double (or more).
All of us, as owners, are all in agreement our primary focus is not to make money but rather to build our legacy with an amazing email marketing platform that will truly change email marketing as you know it. We are focused on having a great community of users and building the application to be extremely user friendly.
I believe this is what I was meant to build. It all circles back, as I am now back to being in my basement doing what I love… building cool & innovative shit.
I couldn’t be more excited. If you haven’t already, fill out the beta application and be part of it.