No public Twitter messages.
The year was 2001. Myspace was the website everyone was talking about. Most people didn’t know what blogging was. It was the perfect time to get online and make money. People were still figuring things out and the potential to make serious money on the internet was just getting noticed. I wish I could go back in time and talk to my younger self about the things to avoid. I would have a long talk about the business things I should definitely do.
Now that I am older, I look back at all things I wish I did.
1. Invest in Top level domain names
Purchasing domain names is like buying a houses without the huge investment. There were TONS of great domain names that were available back then. A top level domain name are domains like cars.com and boxes.com. One word, easy to remember with alot of search traffic. If you have one of these domain names. You can put a fairly decent site up, get it indexed in the search engines and have a ton of monthly visitors without doing any marketing. I could have put up a few sites with Google Adsense and made a bundle.
Then later on when I feel I need a sudden influx of cash, I could sell the domain names one by one.
This is guy bought pizza.com in 1994, in 2008 he sold it for 2.6 million dollars. All he had to do was pay the yearly fees to own pizza.com. Similarly, in 2006, vodka.com sold for $3 million.
I could have lived off this idea alone for the rest of my life. I could still do this now, however the competition is so fierce now. I would need to invest a lot more time, energy and money to make this work.
2. Keep Blogging
Back in 2001, I had a blog. Nobody, at least on campus, knew what that was. I would instant message classmates saying “Check out my blog!”. The most common response is “What’s a blog?” I would then copy and paste the definition to them but most people just didn’t get it.
The blog was about web and graphic design. Now back then it was super easy to have a popular website up. Seo was so easy. Just put up some title tag and get a few links and you were on the top pages of the search engine. The blog that I had ranked on the first page of Yahoo for the term “Graphic Design News”.
Imagine if I just kept blogging. Even though I was just a college student, by now I would be a recognized authority in that space simply because I would have had the blog up for so long.
But because of school, studying, finals, etc., this took a back seat.
3. Keep building my email list
When I had that blog I had the good sense to capture emails. I had a newsletter sign up form on every page. During the week, I would look for cool things related to the web and graphic design field. Then on Sunday afternoon, I would create the newsletter to be sent out on Monday morning. I believe I had just under 200 subscribers. Not bad for a young college student running this website mostly from the computer lab.
Again, I didn’t do any marketing or advertising. I was a broke college student remember?
And getting email addresses was so easy back then. This was still during the AOL craze so people were dying to get something in their inbox. Now because of spam it is definitely harder than it was to get emails.
I cringe when I think about all the email addresses I could have captured from 2001 until now. Capturing emails has now become one of the basics of an online business. I could have promoted affiliate products or sold advertising; among other things. But I let that slip through my fingers.
3. Make money before my passion changes
We all have passions. Some are life long passions and some are just for the summer. But if you are passionate about something enough to start a blog or build a business around it….do it now!
You never know when that passion will fizzle out.
I had an idea to create an online directory of cafes and coffee shops. I was very passionate about it. I was gung-ho about it and created the website. But after a few years of being distracted and not giving it attention, that website has never reached it’s full potential. I am thinking of bringing it back to life; but the fact is, I am no longer passionate about cafe’s as I once was. And it will be very difficult to make money from something that I’m not really passionate about.
4. Don’t focus on shiny objects
In this make money online industry you will find there is no shortage of products, courses, and software that claim to bring you riches at the push of a button. I was caught up in that. I read all the emails and salesletters and get really hyped about it.
I also wasted alot of money and time on most of these things.
What I should have done (which I am doing now) was outline what my goals are. Then look at what I need to do and what tools do I really need to accomplish those goals. It is hard to get distracted by the next hot product if it has nothing to do with your goals.
I share these things with you so that you will look out for the opportunities right in front of you today. Don’t think certain things aren’t imporant because you don’t see everyone doing them. Don’t let life distract you from your goals.
If you want to start a blog today, I can set you up right away!
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I’m an average guy with a strong passion for passively making money online.
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