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$400 a month to over $7000 a month
How I did it in 2 years

 2:05 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

I haven't made a million dollars(yet) but I think I'm doing pretty well. When I made $400 my first month with Adsense in May 2004 I knew I had potential. I had just slapped some ads on my existing hobby site which I started in 1999. After reading through Google's tips for ad placement, I over doubled my Adsense income in the second month. Then, I figured I could live off $800 a month and decided to quit my other business. Before I proceed I will post my monthly earnings for May 2004 and May 2006.
$421.04 - May 31, 2004
$7,760.05 - March 2006

First, I wrote out a business plan. Where did I see myself in 10 years and how could I get there? My path to fame and fortune on the Internet ended up in a 180 page typed business plan, yes, 180 pages. You won't get anywhere without a goal and a plan on how to get there.

The only way I saw to reach my goals was to recruit help from my visitors. A good rule of thumb, you get back what you give. If you give your visitors garbage, that's what you'll get back. If you give them good quality content, that is what you will get back (if you ask for it, that is).

One of the first steps was figuring out how to communicate on a one-on-one basis with my visitors. Who are they? Where are they from? What are their interests? What are THEIR goals? If you can help them reach their goals, they will help you reach yours.

With all of my days free to do nothing but cater to my visitors, my sites experienced and are still experiencing a rapid growth. When I got to $4000 a month I hired someone to maintain what I had built so far so I could continue to have time to expand. By that time, visitors were asking for all sorts of things and I was busy trying to give them what they wanted.

What I like about Adsense as opposed to direct sales, affliates, etc. is that it's so simple and gives me time to devote to my visitors. To me, Adsense is a way to totally devote my time to my hobby and get paid for it. I'm having a blast and can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing for a living. Without Adsense, there is so much I wouldn't know about my hobby because I wouldn't have had time to learn. I'd still be doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.

When I started out, I said to myself, I will end up with the best site on the Internet in this niche because I'm willing to work harder than anyone else is willing to work. I could sit back and take it easy now, but instead myself and my help are pouring about 100 hours a week into the sites. When I get to 9,000 a month, I'll take on an extra guy so we can pour 140 hours a week into the sites... and so on. I can easily see making a million dollars from the sites if we keep going like this, either from Adsense if it stays around, or through another revenue source.

[edited by: martinibuster at 10:51 pm (utc) on April 6, 2006]
[edit reason] Fixed typo. ;) [/edit]



 1:24 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

congrats spaceylacie. that's an inspiring story.

although I make a good money from "ppc affiliate marketing" I've always wanted to create a useful site that would grow over time, as a diversification strategy... less likely to die out unlike ppc programs...


 1:52 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

My path to fame and fortune on the Internet ended up in a 180 page typed business plan, yes, 180 pages. You won't get anywhere without a goal and a plan on how to get there.

180 pages, you can't be serious? What a ridicoulous waste of time. I never had any plan and yet I am making more than you in less time. People who form big corporations don't have 180 pages plan, that is just funny.


 4:59 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Without being specific to your site can you give of few of the things you considered in your business plan? Something others could consider when looking to the future?


 5:17 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

"180 pages, you can't be serious? What a ridicoulous waste of time. I never had any plan and yet I am making more than you in less time. People who form big corporations don't have 180 pages plan, that is just funny. "

Even if all it did was make here think about her goals and stick to them it is damn well worth her or my or most anyone elses time for 7K a month. She SUCCEEDED where most fail.


 9:08 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

interesting comment toldan... I think everyone have their own success formula what works for them doesn't necessarily work for others...

I've been in the affiliate biz for 1 year fulltime(april 1st is my anniversary) and last month my 12th month I average about $XXXX/day but like you I don't really have a long business plan... what I have are small plans for the next growth... it works for me.. and if the 180 page biz plan that spacie wrote for herself works for her... I guess who am I to say that its a waste of time?

I think this thread is more of an inspiration for those who are starting out... I know I was motivated because of rfung's post about a year ago... don't know if any of you remember him...but he had a thread regarding $100/day to $300/day type of threads...

anyways... just my 2 cents..


 9:16 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree, I wouldn't be wasting my time drawing up a 180 page plan. This time is better spent writing content or marketing the site or doing something more productive. A ten page (maximum) is enough.


 9:32 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

180 pages, you can't be serious? What a ridicoulous waste of time. I never had any plan and yet I am making more than you in less time. People who form big corporations don't have 180 pages plan, that is just funny.

Not only is this comment rude and derisive, it's par for the course of ignorant comments spouted by toldan on WW. You obviously know nothing of the power of writing to help focus, cleanse, clarify, and expand the mind. I regularly write pages for no reason other than to refine my thinking and improve my productivity. You'd do well to write 180 pages; if for no other reason than to improve your poor spelling and punctuation.


 9:38 am on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Toldan,

I don't know which planet you're on, but on mine, 180pp for a business plan is not untypical. And I'm talking about companies of all sizes, including the latest one I am a founder of, with turnover/flow of the order of millions of dollars a month.

And indeed, 180pp is not unreasonable for a PhD thesis, or other useful item of sustained intellectual effort.

Rather than abusing things and people that you don't understand, try to learn from them instead, as it is *just* possible that you don't know *everything* that it would be useful to know, such as written presentation skills...




 1:42 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well done, that certainly keeps you from having to work for somebody else! Anyone that #*$!es about your success is not going to have any of their own, so you don't have to worry about running into them at the resort in the bahamas.

[edited by: Woz at 2:04 pm (utc) on April 8, 2006]
[edit reason] No URLs please, see TOS#13 [/edit]


 2:32 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

The most amazing part of that story to me is how you decided you were able to live on $800 a month.

What kind of expenses are you running into now that you hired someone?


 5:59 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Don't knock long business plans.

Mine is about 55 pages. I didn't sit down and write it all at once before I started the project. Instead, it's just a list of about 25 bullet lists of ideas and notes. It's a combination to-do list and idea log, not a formal document. Every time an idea pops into my head or I find a useful tip on the forums I write it down in there.

I don't know what spacylacie's plan looks like, but I bet it's more like than than a formal proposal.


 7:12 pm on Apr 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Congrats, Lacie! Your story sounds much like mine and has kept me at home with my children along with helping me put my older ones through college. I think I need to put together that business plan that you are talking about. You are an inspiration to many!


 12:17 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I know people like to have answers to their questions and I have some time after having a beautiful day driving down to the beach(it's the weekend here). It was so windy I thought I might be blown away to sea.

"In your 2 years have you ever had Google question you about your clicks or anything?"
Twice in my first few months, not about clicks but about other violations of the TOS. They asked me to change some things. One was easy to change and the other would take some time. I asked how long I had and they said just "as soon as possible". The emails had a friendly tone and since I hadn't found WebmasterWorld yet, I wasn't worried about the warnings from Google. I pretty much had to change my entire site template, half of it manually to bring my site up to standards. I think they realized it was something programmed into my template before I found them so they just sent emails telling me what needed to be changed. I made the changes, all was fine. Please, no more questions on this subject, it's explained enough.

Wasn't really a question, but...
"bet your family doesn't think your crazy for shutting your shop doors now"
They have no idea how much money I am earning. Since I downscaled so I could live off $800 a month(with some saved and inventory that could be sold if needed) I am still living my downscaled life style. You should see the garden! At first I thought it would be cheaper than groceries, now it's just plain fun.

Again, not a question, but...
"as a diversification strategy"
You hear people talking about diversification when it comes to using Adsense verses other advertising revenue streams, but I believe in diversifying by having creating complementary web sites if possible(don't neglect one to build another if it is earning good). Someone did ask about this, in all I have 8 web sites but 2 of them earn the bulk of the money and get the bulk of the visitors.

"Without being specific to your site can you give of few of the things you considered in your business plan? Something others could consider when looking to the future?"
When writing mine up, I didn't give myself any time deadlines. Just when you get to X amount of dollars, start this project next. Basically that's it. It might take me a year or it might take me a month to get to the next rung on the ladder of my business plan. But, within each step there is a plan on how to make more money after that step. So growth just continues.

I think there were some other questions/comments that I wanted to reply to but right now I'm off to get kayaking supplies for tomorrow...


 12:37 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would take a serious look at your business plan. With all of the hours you and your hired help are putting in, you are making $10.00 an hour. Markus made a Million in 3 months as a one man operation.


 1:26 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

G_Smitty, everybody has different goals. I'm happy with just having more than I need.


 4:40 am on Apr 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi Spacey,

Awesome encouragement. Like you, my site is a hobby too, and I am currently at the $500/month level with about 1,000 uniques per day.
I started Adsense about 2 years ago, but never really thought I could make more than $100 every 3 months. So, I kind of left the ads alone and in bad locations (I never knew about Google's heat map). I discovered this forum about 6 weeks ago, and am astonished at the amount of money there is to be made with Adsense. So, I am now pouring effort into this, and, in 6 weeks, I boosted my revenue from a $100 (or so) check every 3 months to (on pace this month for) $500 a month.

NOW, based on my channel reports, etc: it seems that if it were not for me putting ads on my homepage, I would make almost nothing.

Just curious: how come no ads on your homepage (or main page as you called it)?

If your answer makes this next question moot, then no need to answer this next one: Do you think you could make more money if you put ads on your homepage? If so, why not try it?

Obviously, if the answers to any of these would compromise your annonymity, then no worries on answering.

Thanks, and good luck. Let us know when you make the cover of Forbes. :-)

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