My Journey To Freedom And Over $9000 Per Month
My online adventure started in May 2005 when I decided to have a personal website. I’ve read many tennis websites and found that, at least in my opinion, lots of instruction online was not that effective.
I wanted to share my ideas with more people than just a few kids on a court (who weren’t even really interested).
It never occurred to me at that time that my online business would help me to achieve financial freedom and freedom from being stuck in a job.
Learning To Walk In The Online World
I asked a friend who worked for an IT company to help me out, and he suggested a website design firm that would create a website for me.
The design, the ability to write text and upload pictures, cost $700. I thought I had a good deal.
The website domain name was www.mentalwinner.com (it’s now expired and full of sponsored links; don’t click on any of them), and this is what my first header looked like (made for free by my good friend):
I wrote some tennis-related articles for the site and thought that eventually Google and Yahoo would find me. No such miracles happened.
Then I read some Internet marketing tips which told me, that the $money$ is in the list. 😉
Okay, so I asked the IT company to give me a newsletter module.
“Sure,” they said, “this will cost you additional $300.”
At that point, I started thinking about other options. If this goes on, they will suck my account dry with all the extra modules that I wanted to add on later (like some forms, RSS, a blog module, complete traffic stats, and so on)
I started researching and asking some questions in IM-related forums.
And then one guy answered my question and told me to email him. He said he would help.
And he did. He sent me lots of tips, ebooks and ideas on how to start a website.
He didn’t want anything in return, which was quite strange. He said he was once at my stage, too (he was, and still is, making a nice living from his online businesses), and he hated seeing people being scammed all over the place.
After 20 or so emails, I asked him if I could build a website myself, so that I didn’t have to pay every time for a new module or something that I wanted to add to my site.
Tim, that’s his name, suggested Sitesell.com.
Learning From Ken Evoy With SBI
I had come across Sitesell before, but had never really researched it thoroughly. This time, I did.
One weekend, I spent almost 10 hours, split between 2 days, reading everything I could find on the web about Sitesell, Site Build It, and Ken Evoy.
It was unbeleviable (and still is) that I couldn’t find a negative opinion about Site Build It.
The only post I found in one forum was that their Brainstormer (at that time) was sometimes a little buggy. 😉
Tim also told me that their Action Guide was the key to building a successful website and that there isn’t anything like it on the web.
The tools and hosting are all very good and probably above-average, compared to other similar products, but it’s the Action Guide and Make Your Site Sell, written by Ken Evoy, that really show you a step-by-step plan to building a successful and profitable website.
The final thing that convinced me of the power of Site Build It and that I could use my tennis expertise to build a high-traffic site was when I checked their results page.
When I saw that even a website based on baby showers could have an Alexa ranking under 100.000 (I knew something about Alexa by then), I knew that I, as a tennis coach, could create a high-traffic website.
So, on November 1st, 2005, I took out my credit card and paid $299 for my first Site Build It package. What a life changing decision!
I’ll write a review of Site Build It (Update: added a link to the review I wrote later) in the next few weeks, but for now, I’ll just share the most important moments from May 2005 until now:
The Journey From $0 To Financial Freedom
Bought a website for $700 from a local IT company in Slovenia. Posted around 20 articles in English and Slovenian and realized that this wouldn’t work.
On the 1st, I bought my first SBI package and on the 6th, I registered my first domain name www.tennismindgame.com.
I did my best to create quality content and started to write my first ebook. I also hired a graphics designer Thomas Breher to create header and ebook cover for me.
Completed my first ebook called The Mental Manual for Tennis Winners and earned $51.32 from Clickbank by selling 3 copies.
I also tested some Adsense on my tennis website but was disappointed not only with the average pay per click, but also with the poor quality of tennis products advertised through Adsense.
After a few months, I decided that there would never be Adsense on my tennis site.
I decided to buy one (at that time they cost $50), and it was all about vacuum cleaners.
So I registered www.vacuum_______.com and started writing articles and looking to outsource them too, since I wasn’t really an expert on vacuums. 😉
I found some writers on Elance.com and tested about 5 of them. I asked for 10 articles from each one and then decided on the best one afterwards.
I completed my second ebook, Tennis Strategy Encyclopedia and earned a whopping $441.31 in this month.
My earnings from both ebooks were around $500 during the next 6 months.
It was a nice extra income, but I was still far from being financially free.
The traffic on my vacuum site started to grow really fast, since I targeted some good keywords on my homepage.
I started to monetize the site in November and the final earnings for December were $436.68.
I also sold two SBI sites through my affiliate links and earned an additional $150 in that month, so for the first time, I earned more than $1000 in one month from my online business.
That was 13 months after I started my first SBI site. Things were soon going to get much better.
I also bought one more Niche blueprint from Andy Williams, which he claimed was one of the highest-paying niches in Adsense.
I also bought my third SBI package and started to build a website based on conference calls, audio, video and web conferencing, which was the topic of that niche blueprint.
Here are some numbers from the Google Adwords tool:
Oh, and I also won the $500 prize from an SBI video contest for this video that I created.
I initially monetized my vacuum site with Adsense and Amazon affiliate links, but I was really disappointed with the conversion on Amazon. I was getting a lot of clicks, though, but not much revenue.
That’s when I discovered Chitika. I was accepted and started testing different types of ads.
I earned $2107,94, which was more than I was earning by working in the Tennis Academy of Asia. My salary there was $2000.
Chitika was exactly what I was looking for – getting paid per click instead of purchase. I went through the painstaking work of replacing the Amazon affiliate links on over 100 pages with Chitika eMiniMalls.
Result? With traffic growing and Chitika ads, my earnings shot to $3647.97.
I started to use Need-an-article.net more and more for my vacuum articles. Most articles were pretty good, and if they weren’t, I used them for article submissions. 😉
I was also always on the lookout for good link partners and got some good links to my internal pages. This helped me rank even better in Google and I started to occasionally get more than 1000 visitors per day on my vacuum site.
I also completed the How to Play tennis videos, which I sell for $37. Since I had already built a nice list of subscribers on my tennis site, I could promote my videos to them.
The combined earnings from my ebooks and videos through Clickbank reached $1986,30, and my the total income with Chitika, Adsense and a few Amazon links reached $4795,64.
That was more than double my monthly salary.
I realized that if I kept creating quality content and followed my strategies, I could achieve total financial freedom without the need to work for someone else.
The traffic and income from both my tennis and vacuum site grew nicely and reached $5602,72.
I still hadn’t monetized my conferencing website, since it was in an extremely competitive niche and it was hard to get good links to it.
My average daily income from Adsense surpassed $100 per day.
In the middle of the tennis summer season (lots of traffic and sales), and me getting more experienced with Adsense and Chitika combos, my monthly income reached $7580,17.
I still remember the day at the start of August when I added everything together and stared at this number for a minute or two. Wow.
Maybe I should start another website…
The big number inspired me to share my ideas about financial freedom, although I was still in a job.
But I knew that my contract would end on the 30th of November and that the 1st of December would be the day that I achieved financial and personal freedom.
So I started this financial freedom blog to share my ideas and help more people achieve financial freedom through home-based online businesses.
I also came across a nice niche while I was doing some keyword research in Nichebot. It was about water filters and related topics, so I registered my fourth SBI site and started to work on it.
The traffic and income still grew and I surpassed $8000 with $8361,17 total monthly income.
My first month earning more than $9000 per month.
With some optimization tips from Ryan Travis (great guy!), my Chitika earnings surpassed, for the first time, my Adsense earnings – both over $3000.
I was getting smart-priced in Adsense, too, and I think I managed to get out of that by then. I’ll share my experiences with smart-pricing and how to escape it soon.
Total earnings for October : $9547,20
This Financial Freedom Ideas blog started to get some traffic from Google, since it started to rank for the keywords that I am targetting with it: financial freedom, achieve financial freedom, financial freedom online and others.
(Hint; if you ever link to this blog, try to use the above-mentioned keywords in the anchor text. I’ll return the favor! 😉 )
As you can see, I promote mostly Site Build It, since I really believe that without the guidance of Ken Evoy, his Action Guide and the complete Site Build It package, you have little chance of really succeeding online.
I came across a few good products in my online journey and a few hundred crappy ones.
My mission on this blog is to earn money from affiliate links, only if I really believe that the products are worth what you pay for them.
So here’s what I used to earn $9302,11 in the month of November, 24 months after I bought my first SBI package:
Internet Marketing Tools I Use
1. Site Build It by Ken Evoy – Here’s a link to review of SBI 2.0 where you’ll also find a link to the first review I did. The best time to buy SBI is around Christmas where Sitesell.com offers a special 2-for-1 sale which is only once a year!
2. Niche Blueprints by Andy Williams – Andy is the real deal and has my highest recommendation. The niche blueprints give you already-researched niches with keywords, affiliate programs and suggestions on how to structure your website.
And Andy’s newsletter is one of the few that I still subscribe to and read every week. Most other Internet marketers just promote IM products without any really valuable content.
3. Nichebot by Jim Morris – Jim has put together a fantastic suite of keyword tools and I use it often to get more data from Wordtracker or to find good LSI keywords for my niches.
4. Master Plan by Charles Heflin – The Master Plan is that additional 20% of expert knowledge that Ken Evoy’s Action Guide doesn’t contain.
If it did, it would confuse beginners too much. Most of the information from the Master Plan can be found in SBI forums, but you wouldn’t know what to look for, right?
Highly recommended for beginners and experts.
5. Need-an-article by Scott Foster – I would give Need-an-article 4 stars out of 5. The articles can be bought for an affordable price and they are of good quality most of the time.
If NAA implements its promised Choose a Writer program, I would give it 5 out of 5 stars. (Update: The NAA did implement the Choose a Writer program and I use them very often.)
Monetization Programs I Use
1. Google Adsense – The easiest to implement and a solid earner. Has its pros and cons; I’ll share my experiences with Google Adsense in the near future.
2. Chitika – Chitika rocks, and so do all the people behind it. I’ve already shared my top 10 reasons why Chitika rocks and it was the best earner in this month where I made more than $200 per day on a few days.
3. Clickbank – the easiest way to promote digital products from other people, sell your digital products and get affiliates for them.
4. CJ – CJ is slowly becoming a good earner for me since I’m getting ebay sales through my vacuum site and an occasional sale through my conferencing site.
There are thousands of affiliate programs available, and you’ll be getting only one check, which is very convenient.
So that’s about it.
As you can see, it’s not that complicated, and with the above-mentioned Internet marketing tools, you have everything (with extra bonuses!) you need to build a successful website.
Besides the tools, you’ll need motivation and discipline to follow 2 simple steps to achieve financial freedom, working from home.
Thanks for reading my story, and don’t hesitate to ask a question or share your comments on this blog.