Author Archives: Jeremy Schoemaker

About Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

Here’s Why AdStation is Number One in Email Monetization

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I wrote a detailed review of the newest features AdStation’s mailing platform rolled out earlier this year. You can read that here .

But, since then, AdStation has continued to add features, functionality and product enhancements to their platform. I mean, most companies would just be happy to be rest on their laurels and do little or nothing to improve their product — but not AdStation.

I am truly inspired by a company that, despite being in first place, continues to improve their product offering on an almost daily basis. If you have email data you want to monetize, you should be talking to them. They offer a simple relay connection now and can have most publishers up and running in about an hour.

On the heels of powerful feature releases including custom templates and category selection, AdStation by Adknowledge has added yet another creative new ROI booster for mailers. AdStation’s automated email offer engine now gives its users access to offer categories related to the season’s hottest offers and products.

The new categories include:

  • Patio furniture
  • Asthma relief
  • Airline tickets
  • Gardening supplies
  • Roof replacement
  • Men’s t-shirts
  • Men’s shorts
  • Women’s swimwear
  • Outdoor fireplace
  • Grill
  • Allergy medication
  • Sunglasses, and many more!

With exceptional relevance heading toward the summer season, offers in the new categories are driving higher click rates than ever before. Mailers are seeing audience engagement skyrocket — ultimately boosting payouts and IP reputation.

“Seasonally relevant offers are opening a new door for email monetization,” said Senior Vice President Bill Intrater, “We were thrilled to provide mailers with more control over creatives in Q1. Now, we’re excited to continue expanding those revenue-boosting features. Incorporating these new categories is just one way AdStation is bringing greater value to our mailers.”

They’re also boosting value with a $1k bonus for new publishers. Join the platform this month and you’ll receive a $1k bonus when you achieve $2k in revenue within your first 30 days. That’s a $3k payout just for trying AdStation. Contact the AdStation team to get started today and gain access to the industry’s only seasonal, high-engagement offers.

The ShoeMoney Network My Passion Project I Have Been Working On

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Basically over the years I get bombarded with questions, as I am sure you do, “how do I make money online? What product should I buy?”

I usually say just join a forum or give them one of my training products but they always come back with “will you mentor me? Can I call you and you can walk me through it?”

Also to date I have sold over 40k copies of training products to teach people how to make money online. But looking at my analytics over the years its very dissapointing in that most people login 1-2 times and then never come back. Even though everything is layed out for them.

Then they go back to playing farmville when they don’t make money overnight.

So I put a lot of thought into it on what made me really successful. It all started when I made my first dollar online. That blew my mind. I couldn’t believe it. It gave me the motivation to keep going.

What if I could come up with a training system for free.  This is for COMPLETE newbies that walked them through tasks step by step.

But to keep them going what if I paid them real money as they did the tasks. AND I did that in REAL TIME.  You do a task,  you instantly get paid through paypal in minutes.

So how much does it cost to be part of this?  Its 100% .  Its 100% free.  I never charge you for anything.  Yes I pay you for doing tasks to make you successful.

Its not some sketchy go fill out these surveys and make money.

Its real tasks where by the end you will be like the karate kid and have an ACTUAL website that makes money and I PAY YOU to do these tasks.

The general training layout is like this and all of them have step by step walk through videos you can pause as you do it with me.  NO PROGRAMING OR TECHNICAL SKILL REQUIRED.

So the obvious question is how am I not losing my ass by doing this?  Well I have sponsors on board (for now lol).

The real fact is I could lose my ass.   But I believe in this.  It costs people absolutely nothing…  I give them gratification in that I AM PAYING THEM to do the tasks.

If this doesn’t work then I give up.

Its what I would call in late stage beta now.  I have gone through it and had others and its all working… however there *Could* be bugs and if you have any issues,  especially with a payment,  I assure you they will be handled swiftly.

You can go here to register. 

BTW If you think there is some trick to this…. you will find out in less than a minute how legit this is.

Also just as a note the first 2 levels are complete and you will receive payment immediate (yes in real time).  I should have the rest of it done by the end of next week.

There is a HUGE incentive to get in now though as you will see when you complete the first 2 levels.

I Gotcha Covered (EAS)

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So the last couple days I have been raving about the Engagifire pop up software.  F’in amazing.  Its unbelieveable and at only $27 lifetime…  I dunno how they do it.  Well I have talked about that enough.  Today is the last day they will have the “Flash Sale” and I don’t think its a scarcity thing. There is no possible way they can do a one time price for all that does and host it.  I bet it goes to $99 a month soon.

Anyway if you haven’t yet grab it here

Judging from the amount of you guys that picked it up and the feedback I have gotten it appears you love it as much as I do.

BUT I had several questions like,  “This is amazing software but can you help me once I acquire the leads its giving me?”

Well I gotcha.  Just forward your receipts to and I will send you (for free) my Email Copy guide. (normally $99).

This is an extensive guide that covers everything about autoresponders and email in general:

  • How to pick a persona
  • How to relate to your subscriber
  • How to get your subscriber to take action
  • My 3 patented p’s of copywriting
  • Sneaky NLP tricks to get subscribers to do what you want. (You think I won  Fast Company’s Most influential Person on the Internet award without some sneaky stuff?)

Again if you already nabbed this –   send a copy of your receipt to

AND if you haven’t.  You are missing out.  Grab it here.  It’s $27 for crying out loud!


I took the plunge (and its amazing)

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Yesterday I talked about how I was looking at replacing my Bounce Exchange popup that collected leads to this new thing. I get Bounce Exchange for free (it starts at 5k/month) but honestly I wanted more functionality and this looked promising.

So yesterday I talked and thought I would implement it over the weekend. But its so simple to setup I had it running in under an hour.

This thing is unbelieveable and the best thing is it does not require wordpress. That is a HUGE thing for me cause a lot of times I want to collect leads but not inside of wordpress or then code out my own popup. Pain in the ass.

Just a funny side note – I went with a lot of the default settings and one was that it time loads and animates the popup. I didn’t really like that so I went and changed it to instantly load. Funny thing – I got 30% more opt in’s with the one that was animated (they do this for you).

Another cause of the “expert” doesn’t know what their users like until they test it.

I just wanna say I love this service and can’t believe its $27 for life. Not a monthly fee.

Anyway Let walk you through how frickin easy it was to setup.

I spent all of about 2 minutes using their WYSIWYG editor.   The dashboard looks like this:

3 things

Integration wise… check this out.  If you want wordpress you just download the plugin.  If you want it outside you just copy and paste the code.  No learning jquery or spending a hundred bucks on custom code… it just works.


If you do integrate in wordpress you copy your 4 digit id and paste it… and you’re done.


Now for the cool stuff.  Who should see the popup?

You can choose from everyone, new visitors only, or returning visitors.  You can also specify how many days to wait until a person see’s it again.  And a really cool Ninja trick – exclude domains.  I made mine so nobody coming from FaceBook will see it.  This is VERY helpful because some ad platforms do not like popup windows.

who should see

When do you show the popup?  Image speaks for itself.

when to display


Where do you show the popups?  This is legit cause you can show it on all pages or exclude some that you don’t want to distract users with.  For me this is my consulting page on ShoeMoney.  If people hit this page I don’t want them to be distracted by signing up to my newsletter.

whereto show

Honestly this is one of those things that truly is a game changer for me.  Are popups new?  Of course not.  Is making it VERY simple and flexible for frickin $27 for life!  You tell me.

Whether you plan on using this immediately or sometime in the future grab it at that price before it goes to hundreds of dollars (thats what I would charge).

Sign up for it here


New Report Shows How Email Remains King For Getting Your Message Out

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As you all know I am a huge proponent of permission based email marketing… So I always keep up with the news related to it.

You know the saying… “Dance with the girl that brought ya” ? It could not be truer than with email marketing. So many people get distracted with the new, cutting edge, techniques that they forget about the time tested proven year after year ones.

eMarketer recently published a report that states that 37% of consumers send or read email messages “a lot” — ranking email above the 20% posting and reading messages on Facebook, Instagram or other social networks. In fact, only 4% claimed to post or read Twitter tweets with the same frequency.

The same report states that 33% of consumers read and send email “a little” and only 29% do not use email at all. The number was significantly less than the 45% who did not post or read messages on social networks as well as the 86% that did not use Twitter.

I reached out to Bill Intrater of the AdStation platform to get his take from an ROI perspective:

“Social media can be a helpful part of your marketing strategy to boost exposure, but when it comes to engagement, very few vehicles can compete with the effectiveness of email,” said Bill Intrater, SVP Sales at AdStation by Adknowledge. “We help publishers leverage the effectiveness of email in a way that drives immediate profit from their newsletters and content marketing efforts.”

Since I launched my own email marketing platform and started taking over email campaigns for companies its amazing how surprised they are when they see the ROI that email gives them versus their social media campaigns.

Now when you are really ready to blow the doors off of your email campaigns I cant recommend AdStation’s monetization platform enough. It’s very easy to integrate into your existing email platform and drastically increases your profitability.

It does this by matching your email list (no emails are actually shared but unique ids instead) and then cross-referencing with their database on those users to take the next step for you… completely automatically. They give you the creative for the offers, templates and even the time to send the email.

We come across so many companies that collect emails for partial leads or buyers and then do nothing with them. AdStation provides a perfect solution in which I have had personal experiences seeing them drastically improve companies revenues.

I have to admit it’s a bit hard to completely explain how amazing this technology is. I highly suggest you get in touch with them today and get a walk through to see how it can work for your business.

The Evolution of Conferences Over The Last Decade

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In 2003 I started making money online. I was stunned the first day I made a dollar on the internet with Google AdSense. Amazing. I was hooked and joined various internet forums to connect with others and learn more about making money on the internet.

On Sep 19, 2004 (yes I just looked it up) I joined the Digital Point forums. I had probably lurked around months before that but thats the date I joined and started interacting with the community. It was awesome.

I started the blog and shared what I was doing to make money. It got rapid readership.

Fast forward almost a year and I am crushing it with Google AdSense. Six figures a month.

And then one day I got the dreaded “your Google Adsense account has been suspended”. My heart stopped. So I asked on Digital Point what happens when this happened to you? Most of the responses were “you’re screwed” but the more insightful people, that knew I was doing this on the up and up told me there was a conference coming up called Search Engine Strategies in San Francisco and a lot of the “shot callers” from Google Adsense would be there. They said there is nothing like a face to face talk with them.

So I went. The night before the conference started I met with several Digital Point members. That was super cool.

I was blown away by the event but more importantly the speakers. I attended every session and made a book of notes.

Its funny reflecting on this now but I was so star struck with the speakers. These guys were my idols at the time. I had been reading their blogs and listening to all their radio shows on

A really cool, and surprising thing was that a few people recognized me and said they read my blog and enjoyed the content.

At this event I happened to pass by Jenn Slegg of (the Google AdSense blogger) and she was having lunch by her self. I approached her explained who I was and that I needed help in that my account had been suspended. When she was done she took me to the Google Booth and introduced me to a key person. Right then and there my account was reinstated. Whew.

By the next couple events I was now good friends with most of the speakers. Talking with them on instant messengers and what not. Some of them even making money with. I became part of the crew. By my 3rd event I was now a speaker.

I started attending another event at that time called Pubcon.

Between the speakers and digital point people we became a pretty tight nit crew attending all the events.

All of us were very social people. Sure we would roll everywhere together but we also picked up a lot of people (some would call them groupies) and took them with us. We would show up to exclusive Microsoft, Google, Yahoo or whatever conferences where only a few of us were on the guest list with like 50 people and say, “Hey its all of us or none of us”. That was always interesting. LOL.

This trend continued until about 2007ish. I think the big turning point was when Danny Sullivan left the Search Engine Strategies events as the founder (or whatever his title was) and started the SMX events. The crew was somewhat torn on which events to follow. Also at that time ad-tech and Affiliate Summit started to get a hold in the Internet Marketing Industry.

I fell in love with Affiliate Summit. All the other shows I attended prior were so focused on SEO… and that was never my thing. I always thought it was bullshit and a house of cards. But I won’t digress into that lol.

The point though is that there were now so many shows that I rarely caught any of the old crew. I spoke at every event I attended but mostly was bombarded by attendees and I never went to the sessions. After all most of the speakers I could reach out to at anytime and talk if I wanted to.

Also a lot of the conferences that I started with were now sponsored with the giants in the industry. Ebay, Google, Yahoo, etc etc. That sponsorship money was huge and so the focus on speakers became less about bringing in regular people doing stuff and more about big name speakers from these companies that were now talking about best practices and theories but in reality they knew jack shit about actually generating income online. This was the beginning of the fall of SEO conference. Not just for me but for everyone. There was just little value and take aways from these shows. They became so corporatey.

For me the shows were more about the people attending and the networking that took place. Affiliate Summit and LeadsCon were now my primary shows.

And it stayed that way for the next 6 years. During that time my business(s) and business model changed a lot. I had started numerous companies and even dabbled in creating my own information/training products. I was doing business with people all over the board. Affiliate items, general business stuff, venture capital people, I mean geez you name it. Probably the biggest thing is I was actually attending the conferences now to get business and build contacts primarily…. and not just party with industry friends until the sun comes up.

In 2014 I attended and spoke at the Ungagged Conference in Las Vegas. Like I said above I haven’t attended sessions at a conference for almost a decade but I filled up a few pages on this one attending them. They billed the show as “Ungagged” meaning the speakers were going to really show what is working. Black/Gray/White hat all allowed. The Black Hat side of people making money online is VERY discouraged at all other shows I have ever spoken at. So this one really peaked my interest.

The Ungagged show was awesome. I was VERY impressed with the speakers and how forthcoming they were with showing exactly what is working and showing live sites and campaigns. For me, personally, this is the most actionable value from any show I have gotten to date.

A month ago I was invited to speak at the DigitalMarketer Traffic and Conversion Conference.. This was unbelieveable. I am going to do a indepth post on this conference by itself soon but imagine a conference that was centered around a company that has sub companies in very different verticals with different teams. And in each of those teams were different people… And they all presented which worked for those companies and how they grow them. There were other speakers but that was amazing. Like I said I will go more into this conference soon.

The Traffic and Conversion show though blew me away with the attendees. I ran into people I have not seen in years. Everywhere I went I was like “Hey wow what are you doing here?”. and I am talking people from all walks of life. My old school friends from digital point, VC people, old school SEO people and a TON of affiliate people. That surprised me as much as the content of the show.

For me – Affiliate Summit, Ungagged, and T&C are the shows I will be attending. Reminds me off the old days where I got value… instead of just giving value. That might sound selfish but hey…

Leads By Social Webinar Recap and Replay

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For those who missed it – I did a webinar with the guys behind Leads By Social.  Yesterday.   Thousands registered and hundreds attended.

I rarely ever get behind something unless I feel its a huge value to people.  I have had access to Leads By Social for a while and its really unbelievable what they have built.

You can go watch the replay here:

As a SPECIAL BONUS – For anyone who buys Leads By Social, I am going to throw in my famous Local Marketing BluePrint FOR FREE that has helped thousands of people with their local marketing. The value there alone is massive.

Check it out now.

How to create a KILLER sales video

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My Good friend Neil Patel over at Quick Sprout posted a great infographic explaining how to create a great sales video.  Creating a info/sales video that converts well is a delicate balencing act between giving information about your product and driving sales.  Also when its your own product a lot of times you focus on showing it off and all the information but forget the sales part.

This is a great guide.  Check it out below.  Great stuff Neil!


The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Killer Explainer Video

How I Made 1 Million Dollars From A 99 Cent Ebook

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I have never talked about this publicly until yesterday when I presented on it at the Traffic and Conversion conference.  For most of the time it was out of selfish reasons as I didn’t want to “out” myself and burn down what I was doing… but that happened eventually cause I got a little greedy and pushed it too hard.  The good news is I have no doubt this would work for anyone for anything you’re doing.

I would like to say I planned this all out but its something that I completely stumbled on.

Before I publishing autobiography – “Nothing’s Changed But My Change – The ShoeMoney Story” I did some due diligence on how to “work” the system if you will…

It just so happened that the Nebraska Book Company (the biggest buyers and sellers on all of Amazon) are only a couple blocks away from my office and they actually have some Amazon employees that work out of the office.   Long story short they shed the light on a lot of things but the biggest thing they told me was to put out a 2nd book,  a digital only book, when I launch.  They also recommended putting it in the KDP program (Kindle Direct Publishing lets you give away the book for free but Amazon reimburses you a percentage of the downloads).

My book launch was less than a week away so I needed to put together something fast… really fast.  I year before that I had written a very comprehensive guide on Email Marketing.  Actually one of the best things I have ever written guide wise.  I decided to touch it up a bit, rebrand the water marks for my PAR Program company and not ShoeMoney and add a little bit about the PAR Program.

Just to clarify a bit more about this guide it was a complete walk through on email marketing and has tons of stats from my experiences in permission based email marketing over the last decade.  In the end of my book I close with “If you have a graphics team,  copywriters, and a programmer you can do this yourself with all the information I have given you.  If you need help contact us at  For the link I embedded a tracking url so I could track the visitors.

And who knows… maybe I would get some new clients for PAR from them going to the site and getting a demo request.

So I found a image I could use for commercial purposes and published the book the same day as my Autobiography.

Amazon.com_ Ultimate Email Marketing Conversion Guide eBook_ Jeremy Schoemaker_ Kindle Store

Yes it looked like crap… but time was of the essence so I went with it.

So the books launched and my Autobiography sold well out of the gate keeping strong #1 in its category for the first 2 months.  Here is a rough graph of sales volume of the 2 books through 2013:


So the interesting thing is that my Email Marketing Guide book – “The Ultimate Email Marketing Conversion Guide” sales started to surpass my autobiography book sales in august.  Why?

Well a friend hit me up out of the blue and told me it was ranking for “email marketing” on the 2nd page of Yahoo!.  Well it made sense with Amazon’s domain authority but thats a pretty competitive term.  So I decided to track it using’s SERP tracker.


Nothing crazy impressive… but I thought I would build some high quality backlinks to it… and by November it was starting to pop:
It was at that time I was like I wonder how hard I can push this and bought a bunch of sketchy backlinks from seoclerks.  I mean what was Google going to do?  Ban Amazon ?


BOOM!  Its rocking hard…

But then guess what happened?


Yup – completely nuked out of Google.  Unless you search specifically for the exact title of the book it doesn’t show up for any of the terms or long tail terms.


Well it was VERY good while it lasted.  So lets look at the results from the Email Marketing Guide:

  • 35,000 eBooks sold
  • 17,500 Unique Visitors to
  • 480 Form Submits
  • 115 Demo Calls (prequalified from form fields)
  • 16 New Clients

16 new clients doesn’t sound like much but the average price point for those 16 clients is at about $5500 per month which to date is well over a million dollars in revenue.

Thats right… over a million dollars in revenue that traced back to a 99 cent ebook.

I can’t tell you how simple this was to do.   For me I did it because Amazon suggested it.  I had no idea that it would be an incredible lead gen.  Yes I was launching a book but as you can see as time passed the ebook,  because of Amazon’s amazing domain authority, was getting a lot of sales.  This could work for anyone doing anything.

Just some closing thoughts and to recap:

  • Write a ebook about a niche you want to drive leads to.  Doesn’t have to be your own company could just be an affiliate offer.  My email marketing guide is only 38 pages so don’t think you have to write a novel.
  • Make a very keyword rich book title.
  • Build high quality backlinks over time to make it pop in search engines.
  • Make sure to use trackable links.  I did it very easy but when I do it again I will use a UTM source with Google Analytics.

There is no reason you can stop with one book.  You could do it for a variety of niches.

The best part about it all… its 100% free to try it.

I hope you found this post insightful and please feel free to forward it on or share on social networks.

How I sold A website for 150k that I couldn’t for 25k

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This ShoeMoney Question was sent in by Mark from Gainesville, Florida. Because Mark’s question was chosen he will receive a ShoeMoney Shirt and a signed copy of my best selling book “Nothing’s Changed but my Change – The ShoeMoney Story”. To submit your question just email and if yours is chosen we will ship you out a shirt and book at our expense anywhere in the world.

Guide to buying and selling websites from my personal experiences.

In this guide I will walk you through my real life process, using real life examples.

Don’t expect every answer to be this long. I started writing and before I knew it I was 5,000 words in… so I put it together as a guide LOL.

To date I have purchased over 10 websites and sold 5 companies which were “web properties”.  This post is based on my experience in doing so.  Below I am going to take you through a deal that happened a couple months ago.  The facts are real.  The name of the property is not revealed.

While I am going to talk about my personal experience and real numbers keep in mind that the site is ONLY worth what the buyer(s) will pay.

Important legal protection notes –  Please keep in mind I am not a lawyer, so any legal references I make should be taken with a grain of salt.  With that said,  I do have a lot more experience than most attorneys that I want to share because most know nothing about the internet and especially valuations.  Please always consult an attorney.  I recommend
Fraser Stryker.  They have handled all of my legal dealings in buying and selling websites.

Seller: When selling a website NEVER reveal any internal details with the potential buyer without them signing a nondisclosure agreement and possibly a non compete form.  This way you’re protected from the person revealing any of your data, but more importantly you know that they are not just inquiring so they can steal all your information as to how you do what you do.  The standard length of the terms for these is 3 years but I have signed up to a 5 year agreement.  Consult a lawyer for what is best for you but generally these are 3-5 year terms.


Buyer: The process of buying a website can take months to properly evaluate.  The higher the dollar value, the more due diligence you are going to want to do on this to make sure your investment is protected.  During this process you want to make sure your time is not wasted.  While this process goes on you will exhaust a lot of resources.  It isn’t just your time in doing all the due diligence that you’ll be paying with; the hard expense and time spent will be your lawyers. Once you have agreed on a price, then sorting out the contract to purchase has to go to the lawyers…  They will go back and forth forever racking up a HUGE bill.   Again, this depends on the price of the site and whether you feel it’s worth it or not.  Again, this can really depends on the price for the site you’re considering.

For me – sites that are below $100k I have purchased with some basic agreements that I slightly altered from previous deals, or  found on docstoc, and the transaction was done within a week.   In a couple cases where the price was a few thousand the deal has closed in as little as a couple hours and I wired the money with zero agreement in place.  But I am in that position where I am willing to risk that price without going through all the legal hassle. You might be in a different position.  A lot of times when the seller is in talks with someone they will pursue other buyers and try to get a bidding war going for the site.  This can all be protected by a LOI (letter of intent).   This LOI will outline that you intend to purchase the website within X amount of days.  During this period, the seller is not allowed to solicit other buyers.  You can also spell out items like you will share 50/50 in the buyer’s legal expenses or whatever else you want to put in there.  Again, consult a lawyer.

Side Note:  When buying or selling if the site is over $500k I would consult a broker to handle the sale.  Companies like RBC will handle all of this for you for a percentage of the sale.  You shut up and let them handle everything.  If the price is below $500k (broker’s evaluation) most brokers will not be interested.  They are the go-to company in the industry for negotiations and will get you top dollar for your website.  With that said, sometimes they will complicate the deal,  refuse to sign a LOI or NDA,  and be greedy.   Plus, they will want you to sign an agreement with them that they are the exclusive representation for any sale of your site within X amount of time.   This sucks cause if you get a offer on your site you can’t sell it without giving them their cut even if it’s a unreal deal.

Buying a website

Let’s just get started.

Whether people come to me who want to sell their site or I inquire about them, there are several questions I ask right off the bat:

  • Server operating system, core code language, caching method, database type ?
  • Unique visitors to the site per day, average per month, and per year over the last 3 years.
  • Main sources of traffic?
  • Gross topline revenue?
  • Profit per month averaged over the last 12 months.
  • Streams of revenue?
  • Number of Employees?
  • Is the existing team open to staying with the company?
  • Payroll expense broken down by position?
  • Server expense?
  • DMCA Takedown requests? If so, how many in the last year?
  • Any existing or past litigation issues?
  • Links to your privacy policy and terms of service to the site?
  • Do you collect email from current users?  If so, how often do you email them?
  • Demographics of users if possible – geo location, age, sex, annual income, position in company, social profiles, social interests,  whatever you have?
  • Any offers you have received in the past?
  • What sort of multiple are you looking to get (how many months revenue)?

Here were the response and my findings:

  • This site is 100% user contributed content.
  • It was doing on average 1.5 MILLION users per month.
  • The site’s standard profit was 99% of the gross revenue.  Only expenses were server expenses.
  • The site was making 40k per month in profit.
  • The site was maintained by one person.  The owner that was taking no salary.
  • The site was powered by 3 Linux servers.  A main webserver running nginx and 2 mysql servers in round robin pulling data.  The site was memcached out and super fast.
  • The site’s gross revenue streams came from banner ads, subscriptions, and other small misc stuff.
  • 95% of the traffic was direct.
  • The guy selling the site gave me direct access to his Google Analytics so I was able to verify the sites growth,  demographics, and everything else.
  • The guy said he had received no previous offers.
  • Over 50 take down requests today that had a backend that would not only remove the content but mail the person thanking them for reporting and letting them know it was removed.  In seeing this backend I was surprised how easy it was and you could select all and it was done in less than a minute.  If you manually reviewed them it would take less than 10 minutes but he said he just removed everything as it wasn’t worth the hassle.
  • He had not ever had any legal issues other than the take down requests.  Nobody pushed them any further in the 10,000 plus.

His valuation and price to sell- $3,000,000.00 (3 million dollars)

My valuation process of the web property:

Here are things that hit me right off the bat.

The industry starting point for a web property is 1 year profit * 4 years.

His evaluation (asking price) was based on 6.25 years of profit at $3,000,000.   My math – $40,000 per month * 12 months * 6.25 years = $3,000,000.00.  That’s silly.

Here is what I really like about this site personally (which is a biggest part make or break for me):

  • It’s a site that I use EVERY day.  It’s a great site with really cool features.
  • From a user perspective the interface is easy and simple.
  • From a development perspective it’s good to go.  When I was given a read only login to the site I saw that all the code is VERY well written and commented properly.  For my existing developers to jump in they would not have to research much on what did what.
  • Based on looking at his analytics the site has 85% organic traffic.  This is a huge factor.  The site is not going to live and die with SEO as is and is what I like to call “traffic stable”.
  • The site has ZERO seo optimization.  The site is a PR8 and just doing the title tag and url properly it should kill it.
  • The site is doing NOTHING with emails.  It is collecting over 15,000 emails per day, purely, organically, double opted in,  and never emailing the users anything at all.  Even if I just sent out a newsletter 2x a month that simply recaps the most visited pages and had cpm/cpc ads in the email that should rake in a decent amount of cash.
  • The site is doing NOTHING on mobile.

Here is what I like about this site from a financial growth aspect:

  • If I stuck with just the networks he is using now in talking with them they would pay me 10% more than he is earning right now.
  • He is not monetizing his site via affiliate links whatsoever.
  • Being the site has TONS of text content I think placing something like skimlinks or any inline text advertising would generate a lot of revenue.
  • The site is very geared to programmers.  I believe I could strike direct deals with major brands like Intel,  HP,  and Oracle.
  • I think there is a possibility the site could  do really well with a Job Board or classifieds being it’s SO focused on something that is VERY hard to reach for employment – good developers.  I even envision doing this on a geotargeting level.

My crazy brain side note – He was asking a even number for the website.  From a psychology perspective that round number and that he is a one person shop I assumed the following things:

  1. He just came up with a random number.
  2. He had not done any industry research for what similar sites have sold for.
  3. He had a lack of confidence in himself to keep the site running and generating revenue.
  4. He is just not experienced in selling a website.
  5. He is ready to move on to the next project.

Of course there is no quantification for these…  It might seem weird to you that I made all those assumptions based on the fact he threw out a round number. I still don’t know if they were correct but from previous dealings I have found them so.  This can be good or bad depending on obviously which ones are  actually true.

I currently maintain 3 major companies.  This blog ShoeMoney,  My annual conference, and my newest company the PAR Program.

These take 100% of my time and I have zero time to run a property like this.

Here are the expenses that I have to take into account should I decide to buy this site:

  • A CEO/COO/manager  like full time person in charge of growing the site’s revenue and the day to day.  This person would ideally work off of a yearly salary ($75k)  plus a percentage of the growth of revenue of the site.  Finding the right long term person to fill this role would take time.
  • A part time server admin.  This would take away from our existing tech staff.  It would not require a ton of time but I estimate $15k/yr for that position/time.
  • The server expenses would be significantly more.  Our servers are all enterprise level and full managed with backups and everything.  I would want to double the amount of servers in place ($1,500 a month) plus the expense of 2 load balancers for the front end which are $10k+ per (one for failover) to balance the front end web traffic.  His servers were on the very cheap.
  • Even though I would like to be completely hands off, it is going to require some of my time.  The majority of which is finding the right manager for this property.  That is a major pain in the ass.  But ongoing, my time would be required for monetization. I will go into this more in a bit but let’s just factor in a small dollar amount as $2k/month.

Baseline initial valuation:

  1. My hard expenses based on above would be $126,000.00 annually rounded-up for misc crap that will no doubt come up –  let’s just say $150,000.00 annually.
  2. So here is where we are now based on a 4 year multiple.
  3. His stated profit per year $480,000.00 * 4 = $1,920,000.00
  4. Subtract my expenses at the same 4 year valuation for profit would be $1,320,000

Big Concerns after purchase going forward:

My biggest and really only concern is the legal risk.  He was getting a lot of takedown requests per day and the site did not look,  at first glance,  that it could be making nearly the money it was.  This could have kept people at bay from suing him with the content on the site.   He tried to assure me that he is in full compliance with the DMCA and fair use acts so nobody could sue him.  From my own experience I know that’s bullshit; anyone could sue for anything.  Doesn’t matter right or wrong.  If it’s a big enough company then it’s your ass, cause you will go broke just defending yourself.

Why this is a concern:

In 2007 I sold a company called AuctionAds.  The sale amount I can’t disclose.  Techcrunch said it was $15,000,000.00.  I don’t know who wrote that or where they came up with that but I can tell you that was not the sale price.

But it doesn’t really matter does it?  The company that bought the site is a 1.2 BILLION dollar company so people knew that it wasn’t chump change.  The ridiculous amount of people that came at me and the company that bought it; it was crazy.  I had a patent troll law firm who stated they had a patent on AFFILIATE MARKETING and since there was an affiliate component I owed them money.  One guy said he had a patent on a digital advertising network and wanted money.   People who were making money as users but not as much after I sold it contacted me saying I should give them money since I sold it.

So in my view, Auction Ads had VERY little legal risk.  Now this site was getting over 50 legal letters per day.  When the word gets out the site sold… and even if there is a non disclosure in place –  people will find out or make their own estimation of the price and openly post about it.   So I was really nervous with this site in that respect of companies realizing the company was now backed by a company with money.

My adjusted valuation and offer:

So after taking into account my crazy brain assumptions,  my valuation after hard costs, and my vision for growing the site,  the legal risk,  and the standard starting negotiating point, I offered $1,232,483.00. 

How did I come up with this offer?

  • The number I have in my head max I would pay is 2 million which is largely based on where I can take the site.
  • I knew immediately without even bringing in anyone just by moving his existing ad network over to my account I would make at least 10% more.  Because of my position in the industry I get a lot of sweetheart deals.
  • Growth of the site was somewhat stagnant.  It was close over the last 12 months plus or minus a few thousand a month.  This really doesn’t factor much but I feel it’s important to mention because if the site was growing month after month I would have valued it significantly more based on the amount of growth.
  • Missed opportunities on monetization…  geez…

Now you are probably asking yourself why the weird complicated number of $1,232,483.00.

Pro Tip – You never want to counter with a round number like 1.2 million or something like that.  By having a complex number it shows off the bat that I really drilled down on everything.  This is purely from my experience but I have found success with that.

The eye opening ‘come to jesus’ moment with the seller:

When you write your offer email it is VERY important to spell out why this site is worth nothing compared to what they are asking for.  The seller needs to have a real “come to jesus moment” about the true value of the site.  You need to EXPLICITLY spell out not only all your reasoning for your valuation but the PAIN you are going to have to go through.  WAY OVERSTATE any negatives.  I vastly expanded on my big concern of the legal risks and even included quotes from my lawyers who cited case law on why this was such a huge risk for me. Obviously really point out that you are hesitant and have other properties you are looking at but felt strongly that you would be a buyer for that amount. If you don’t have a LOI in place to prevent you from negotiating with other properties, you can say something like you have 2 other properties your investment group are looking at and they want to get in on one of these deals soon.  For those who don’t recognize the psychology it’s a bit of social proof and scarcity. I don’t want to go into the psychology too much but those are always good.

Did the deal happen?

Now I would like to tell you this was a cinderella story and I got the site for a great deal and all that but this kid was hung up on 3 million.  About half of my max I was willing to pay.  He was pretty insulted by my email and responded pretty aggressively how I was clueless and it didn’t take a staff of people to run and all that. I responded simply by saying I completely understand, and respect his valuation of the site. I even went on to say that someone not in my position who has the skill-set to code php, manage mysql servers, experience with a site doing 1 million + unique visitors per day,  and has nothing else to do but this full time and also has 3 million in cash would be his buyer.   Ya good luck with that but whatever I wish him the best of luck. He responded more cordially and thanked me for taking the time to go through the process with him.  He said he was going to fish around a bit and see if there were other people interested.

Side note – He recently disclosed to me he bought the site 4 years ago for  ONLY $5,000.   Good on him! Now before I get on to selling a site… I wanted to share my personal experience in selling  At its peak the site made close to $2,000,000.00 in one year. I was in the exact same situation as this guy..  I had zero expenses – one man shop doing everything from coding, server stuff, monetization etc etc.  I had people come to me with offers but I wanted 10 million dollars for the site.  Nobody was interested.  My ego got in the way and I was positive it was going to be the next YouTube.   Long sad story short –  In 2010 (after 7 years since it started) the money drastically was down.   I sold the site for a fraction of what it made in one month =(.

Selling a website

This is actually a pretty fascinating real life experience I had.  I had a website that I tried to sell to several companies for only 25,000.00 and nobody was interested.  Then one day a company called me and I ended up selling the site for over $150,000.00.  Thanks to the TV show Shark Tank!

Selling the site section of this post is shorter than the buying section because a lot of it is up top in the other section but here it is.

A couple years ago I had this site that was a web service.  I don’t think many people knew that it was even mine. 20120620-website sell-460

The details of my site for sale:

  • The revenue model was to offer the service initially for free then up-sell other services on the backend.   This was done through an email drop campaign giving value but up-selling people into our subscription model,  affiliate offers,  and random other stuff.
  • The site was getting about 500 new users per day into a very specific vertical.
  • The site didn’t do a huge amount of traffic but the conversion rate for the free users was huge like 70% of the users that visited the site initially opted in.
  • The site paid out 100% to affiliates OR users could get additional products in the service by referring friends.
  • The majority of traffic was coming from affiliates.

The site grew very quickly between affiliates or active users referring people.  It was a great viral free user acquisition method.

The first month revenue was about $1,000 first month,  2nd month – $2,400,  3rd month – $4,200,  4th month $7,200.  This was top-line gross revenue.  Only about 10% was profit.  So while those numbers looked awesome in growth,  and they were,  the 4th month in it was only at $720 in profit.  It was snowballing well though because a lot of it was subscription and compounding.

So the valuation of the site from a baseline of 4* annual profit on the high side of the 4ths month revenue would be around $35,000.00.

I was only into this site about 4 months but it was a side thing that turned into something bigger and now needed support and affiliate management and all that crap I hate to deal with or divert resources to.

So I was ready to sell it.

I figured it would be a easy quick sale.  Remember these users were awesome leads in a very targeted niche.  Most of the companies that service these users will pay $2-$5 PER LEAD so I figured I would have people going nuts trying to buy this site.  Forget about current revenue the value in hundreds of free leads per day was amazing.  Or so I thought…

I went to several companies pitching it to them at $25,000.00.   I was amazed that NOBODY was interested.  I mean WTF!!!!!

Then a friend told me about this show called Shark Tank.  If you have never seen, basically people pitch all their ideas to these 5 investors and sometimes they will fund them but most of the time the ideas are stupid.   But what I found amazing was how the “Sharks” positioned their deals.   It really got my brain cooking.

Then one day a company in the vertical called me and said that they heard I wanted to sell it and wanted more information about it.

The Position:

They asked the standard questions… traffic,  revenue,  asking price,  offers before etc..

I cut the guy short and said, “I appreciate your interest and as you can imagine we get a lot of interest because it’s generating so many free leads per day that would be a goldmine for companies like yours.  Just to get to the point I would take $125,000.00 for 90% of the website.   I really love the site and want to stay involved so I would still like to be part owner.   Also if the site sells within 1 year I want 25% of the purchased price.  I am sure you can get 10x what I am asking for the site and if you are just looking to flip it then I would like to be compensated for that.”

Sounds crazy right?  Well the guy said that sounded fair and the deal was done within 48 hours from the time he called me.

Here is the kicker.  He sold his parent company that bought the site only 3 months after he purchased it.   He emailed me to let me know and that he was not sure how to evaluate what 25% of that property would be worth being it was wrapped up in a big deal.  He offered to send me $25k extra instead of trying to figure out what 25% of that part of the sale was worth.  I am sure I could have got more, but I agreed to it.  I figured –  shit I already am happy, let’s not get greedy.

So that is how I sold the site.  A site I couldn’t sell for $25,000.00 – I was able to sell for $125,000 with a 25k bonus kicker.  Thanks to Shark Tank.

Its ALL about the positioning.

I have been involved with so many website sales in the last 5 years it’s crazy.  Whether it’s my own or someone else’s. I also consult with this Venture Capital firm out of Omaha Nebraska that buys and sells websites, anyway, what I am trying to say is please pay attention to this when you are selling:


I made several mistakes in selling the site above.

  • I was contacting people and I sounded desperate.
  • I had thrown out a round number, 25k I was asking.
  • I was trying to sell a 25k site to 5-20 million dollar companies.

In the example above I not only changed the price but I also drastically changed the way I was selling it.  I was no longer just looking to sell something cause I was done with it.

By holding on to a percentage of it I now took the position that I was looking for a “partner” that would have full control over the site but I still wanted to be an owner.

I also was now asking a price that the company would pay attention to.  Again this was a 10 million dollar firm and while 125k property was not a HUGE risk for them it also was significant.  A 25k purchase is perceived as “cheap”.

Important thing about taxes!  Specifically long and short term capital gains.  If you own a property for over a year then you only have to pay around 15% long term capital gains tax. If you own the property for less than one year then you are taxed at your normal rate (I think).

Anyway with the Auction Ads example it was about a 22% difference if we could get long term capital gains.  Even though I only had that company for 4 months we were able to get long term capital gains because the core assets contributed were from another company called ShoeMoney Ads which was over 2 years old.   That was a make or break deal so I am glad that worked out.

Reasons not to sell your website:

Ok here is the thing.  Having excess money sucks.  Now you have to figure out what to do with it.  Yes I know…cry me a river.  Just ask anyone though it’s a major pain in the ass and sometimes it seems like all you can do is lose it.  Mo money Mo problems – Biggie

Do you have a plan on what you are doing with the money you are getting?  If it’s just going to be to put in the bank then DO NOT SELL IT.   I can’t tell you how many people I know worked their asses off to build a website.  Sold it for 4 times revenue.  Went on to their next ventures that flopped and now it’s 5 years later and their original property has grown 10x the size and they have a little money in the bank left over.

Reasons to sell a website:

If you are getting long term capital gains in one lump sum that is pretty awesome.   Especially when you take into account how long it would have taken you to earn that much money paying your normal income tax.   Also factor in if you sell and get one lump sum you will be gaining compounding interest on that money which even makes it sweeter.

What I am trying to say here is that your valuation might be at 4 years revenue but your actual true profit might be 7-8 times revenue by getting long term capital gains and compounding interest on that money. Hopefully that makes sense because it is a BIG deal.

Seth Godin wrote a book about quitting called The Dip.  I don’t mean to say that selling your website is quitting… but when you think about it… it is. The best reason to sell a site is that it’s not something you enjoy doing anymore.   For me AuctionAds,  when it hit 2 million dollars a month in revenue,  was now a bigger operation than a one person show.  To grow the company I needed to hire a full support team,  CEO,  CFO, etc etc.  Bleh that was not for me at that time.  I was done.

Key Points I want to leave you with

Be careful – I have known people who have gotten sued for false or misleading claims when selling a website.  While that might sound pretty easy and straightforward lemme tell you I have seen some CRAZY shit.  Here is a example that isn’t even that extreme.  One of my friends bought a domain name from someone saying that it was for his father for a father’s day present so it wasn’t really worth that much to him.   Well he took the domain and launched a website that became very popular.  The person he bought it from sued him for 10x what he sold him the domain for.  He cited that the person made false claims on why they wanted to buy it and for some reason I guess that holds a little water.   Anyway my friend ended up paying him 50k to go away (he only bought the domain for 10k).   Anyway just be careful.

The deal isn’t done until it’s done -  There are several reasons deals fall through.  Usually from my experience its from a pride perspective over little stupid dumb shit.   I was selling a site in 2009ish and everything was cool except for this one little stupid thing that me or the buyer were willing to budge on.  It was so stupid.   But it ended badly… something along the lines of me telling him to take his agreement and shove it up his ass.  I know… Super Classy!    But 2 days later we ran into each other at a conference and he was the last person I wanted to see.  Long story short we got hammered together and the deal was done the next day.

Now on the other side of that I have had deals that were completely done and wrapped up.  Even signed contracts….. but were not actually executed until the money was delivered.  At the last minute the person pulled out.   Yup it happens.  It’s not money in the bank until its money in the bank.

Have a plan –  I know I touched on this before but no matter if you are buying or selling have a plan with, know what you are going to do with the property or money you get from it.   It sounds SO EXCITING to sell a company/website for millions of dollars…   But there is a reason 80% of lottery winners end up worse off after 5 years from getting their money.   I’m telling you money can really suck… especially if you have never had it or any experience on what to do with it.

On the flip side of that when buying FOR SURE have a plan.  With my example in the first part of this you can see I had a general outline of what I needed to do as far as staffing goes… my expenses for that…  my monetization plans..   So keep that in mind

Guy Kawasaki says there are 3 times you will sell your site:  Too early,  Too late,  or just at the right time.  I can’t agree more.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share it if so.

Why Me? & Dealing With Emotions That Matter

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This is a post that has been in my drafts for over a year and it’s been drastically altered many times. It is something I should actually write a book about because I am so passionate about it and I feel it’s the true secret to success.  I could easily write 60,000 words about it and that is on my list of things to do… someday… Until then you can read my autobiography here =).

Many times in your life you have heard people say “Why Me?”. Usually, every time I have seen this is when someone contracts a horrible disease, is going through crazy times, or has hit some other rock bottom moment in their life.

Now everyone knows I am pretty humble…

So, what I am NOT going to do is tell you that in the last decade I have established myself as the undisputed greatest Internet Marketer in the world winning every major award in the internet marketing industry, become the top affiliate for every major network at some point, sold companies for millions of dollars, been mentioned in every major publication and magazine, been named the most influential person on the internet by Fast Company Magazine in 2010, wrote one of the best selling self-published books of all time, and have accomplished hundreds of other amazing things.

I mean, I just don’t need to say that. There is no need.  (yes i know you saw what I did there)

Turning 40 last May was a massive thing for me. It hit me hard and made me reflect on a lot of things that really changed the course of my life. I mean in high school I was a shoe in for the award to most likely to epically fail in life.

SO, wtf happened. Why me?

It really boils down to one thing. I took it. And thats it. The biggest thing that I have learned in this life is that you don’t get what you have earned or deserved. You get what you take. Period.

I’ve heard many times that I am lucky.  Luck is for losers.  Go buy a lotto ticket and hope you win if you believe in luck.

I don’t have what I have because I earned it, deserved it or got “lucky”.  I simply took it.

Looking back at all the big wins or all the hard hours of work I put into a particular item these were never the real “keys” to success. It was simply jumping on the opportunity.  And many times it was a very specific, minuscule, and VERY overlooked item that others were too risk averse to take.

The truth is anyone can work hard.  Anyone can have a good work ethic.  I would say I am average in both.  It doesn’t matter though.  Keep reading.

I can’t tell you how many times the things I have done that have led to my success. I was scared shitless to do them. 

  • Do you think I wasn’t scared shitless before giving a keynote talk in front of 5,000 of my peers?
  • Do you think I wasn’t shitting bricks when I was sued in federal court by Nextel?
  • Do you think I wasn’t worried when every lawyer I found told me to stop my ringtone website immediately before I got sued?

This list could literally be many pages.

I don’t care what position in life you are in right now.  I know EVERYONE reading this right now was thinking very recently, “I want to do X but I am scared of X but I am afraid X could happen”.

I can’t tell you how many times this happens to me when I reminisce with friends about the past and they are like, “Damn man I remember that.  I should have jumped on that.  I was just scared of X.”

And thats what it all boils down to.  God damn emotions.

The key is to take emotion out of decisions.  At first it is a VERY hard thing to do.

From fear to happiness – Emotions are your biggest enemy and will hold you back from ever reaching your potential.

Yes.  All of them.  On every side of the spectrum.


  • Fear to me is a key indicator of an incredible opportunity.
  • Happiness to me is a key indicator of complacency.

So, how do you do it?

When you are thinking about or presented an opportunity get out a piece of paper or use your phone or whatever and make a list of positives and negatives.  DO NOT LIST EMOTIONS.  LIST facts!

For instance, lets take my first thing that made me a multimillionaire, my ringtone website.  My ringtone website contained a lot of copyrighted content. I was on unemployment when I started making money with it.  Yet every lawyer I talked to told me to stop immediately and that I would get sued.  Although all agreed from past precedence very little chance of going to jail.


There it is in black and white.  What would you do?

Sure there is one big negative.  But was it?  I had no money to lose… so wtf?

Now while everyone at home,  in hindsight,  is saying it’s a no brainer… let me tell you what did actually happen.

What many people don’t know is that I had a partner… a brilliant programer that came a long right when it started making money.  I was cutting him checks per month that were more than he had ever made in a year… but after talking to his law school friends he was scared shitless of the legal risks.  At times I talked him down but his friends were relentless in instilling fear in him.

So, much to me trying to convince him otherwise,  he paid me back every dollar he ever received from me and had me sign an affidavit stating I assumed all legal risk (the affidavit was more complicated than that but thats the jist of it).

Fast forward 10 years…  Just a couple months ago my old partner spoke publicly about it and said what a mistake it was and how we would have done amazing things together, of which I have no doubt.   He also talked about how only now,  10 years later,  does he realize that his very risk-adverse nature has held him back in many areas and prevented him from taking opportunities.

Now that was just the start… but many many many times this has happened.

If you ask anyone that has worked for me or partnered with me on a company they will all tell you I made a business decisions that made them very worried or uncomfortable.

Hell, start with Tigh Buckles or David Dellanave who played key roles in my company at different times.  I guarantee they would they have countless stories of sleepless nights and were made very uncomfortable by my business decisions…  although most would end with “but it worked”.  And I am certain they will admit the scariest times were the most successful.  Although, not sure they have recovered yet from some of them =P.

So, am I a cold hearted emotionless prick?

I am glad you asked because that is a VERY important piece to this puzzle. There are lines that everyone must find for themselves.  Where does emotion stop and where does it need to kick back in.  I can’t tell you what you should do or where that is for you.

I have pretty much covered the when it kicks in part…  But there is a point where I pull back.

To Steve Jobs –  one of the most successful, innovative, and iconic businessmen of our time: he had lines that FAR exceed mine.  He was willing to screw over friends, abandon his girlfriend, kid and several other things that are past my line.  All with zero regrets.

Mine lines are pretty simple.  Family and friends.

Most of the decisions are around my family and friends, whether it is business or personal,  are heavily based on emotion vs fact.  There is no black and white when it comes to that.  Sure statistically odds are my kids won’t get run over by a car but I still make them wear a helmet out of fear it could happen. The list is endless.  I am ultra risk averse with my family and friends.

Where this really gets complicated is when you become close friends with employees or business associates.  Of course there are golden rules like don’t do business with family (which I have) has made many decisions to keep people employed (who shouldn’t have been),  hire people for roles that they are best suited for don’t just give them a job just because and that they have no right being in (which I have also done), or don’t do something (that made no sense from the beginning) from a black and white perspective but you let emotion drive the decision.

But I have very few regrets.

Actually, if I do the math…   94% of the people that have worked for me would say I am one of the most generous people they have or ever will work for. There are a couple though that wouldn’t… but they are lazy shitheads so whatever.

So thats basically it.  The secret to my success.  I hope you enjoyed this post… it was long overdue.

The Unreal Ride Of Successes and Mistakes in 10 years of MMO

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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, 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.