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$100 / day or it's all over

9:20 pm on Feb 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm 22 years old, a part time college student, and I live with a few awesome friends in a shared house. For the first time in a long while, I'm happy. Life is good - but not for long. Unfortunately, due to my extreme lazyness (compounded with some rather 'questionable' purchases), I am pretty much flat broke. I've done the sums, and in 3 months I will have a net worth pretty much on par with a cashew nut. Unless I'm able to start bringing in roughly $100/day by some time around my 23rd birthday (9th May), I will be forced to make one of two decisions, both of which will utterly annhialate my already fragile self esteem. These are:

1. Move back in with parents
2. Get a job at burger king

Now, you might be thinking to yourself that, while not particularly appealing, niether of these options is really all that terrible. And you would be wrong. I won't go into why this is the case at this point, but for now it should suffice to say that I would rather sell my body to complete strangers. And before anyone tells me to just go ahead and do that, I'm far too ugly to make anywhere even close to $100 a day, so don't bother.

Believe it or not, the mere thought of either of these things is enough to get the hair on the back of my neck to stand up on end, and as the complete financial meltdown gets closer, my psychological state is deteriorating ever more rapidly. Whilst only a few days ago I could push the thoughts of impending doom to the back of my mind, now I wake up with cold sweats on a regular basis. Yesterday my girlfriend told me I started hysterically screaming 'do you want fries with that?' and 'you can upsize that for 70 cents' at random intervals throughout the night.

To save my sanity and avoid emotional castration, I had to come up with a plan. Unfortunately, as well as being lazy, I'm also not the sharpest tool in the shed, so my plan is really not all that good. Basically, it goes something like this:

Step 1: Start up a website
Step 2: Find a related affiliate/advertising partner
Step 3: Get hits and sell stuff
Step 4: Bring in $100/day on a regular basis within 3 months time.
Step 5: Avoid asylum

So yeah.. that's, uh, pretty much the master plan...

Now I assume at this stage most of you are either shaking your head or laughing at me (or a combination of the two).

You're perfectly justified in doing so, but I'm still going to try. Although the odds are stacked against me, I do have a few factors working in my favour.

First, I've got lots of time on my hands. Theoretically, I could work 8-10 hours a day for the next 3 months on this.

Second, I've got reasonable web design skills. While I don't have any official qualifications, I'm decent at HTML and Photoshop, so I can at least create semi-professional looking sites.

Third, I've got about $400 that I can use as a marketing budget - pretty much what's left of my savings after I budget for 3 months of rent, food & misc. expenses.

Fourth, I have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing and SEO, since I occasionally read WW when I see something interesting.

And finally, I really, really, really don't want to move back home or work at burger king.

Now the purpose of this thread is to doccument my quest. Every day I will post a status report that details what I have done as well as how much money I have brought in. I'll also write a breif reflection on anything I've learned, and probably rant on about various unrelated things as my emotional state continues to deteriorate.

I hope you come along for the ride and whether I succeed or fail I'm sure it will be quite entertaining and I hope that you'll leave me a little tip, some encouragement or a scrap of advice once in a while.

Day 1 of 90 starts tomorrow - I hope to see you then.


6:47 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You should definitely take on some contract work as well as researching aff programs and building traffic to your own blogs/domains. The contract work will bring quicker, more reliable cash while developing your own sites has the potential to bring you residual income.
Also, do you really think the only job you could get is at BK? Web developers of all sorts are in demand and you might be able to find a good job doing that.
Finally, have you considered moving out of the city? Your apt rent sounds more like a mortgage payment.
6:52 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Become a freelance writer for extra money, it's clearly something you are good at...and you would enjoy it...flipping burgers? Not sure you'd enjoy that as much...
6:53 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What if you didnt have a home to go back to?

Your future is what you make of it, I was homeless at 16, yes 16yrs old. I ate in soup kitchens and lived in homeless shelters and group foster homes. I was physically beaten and abused as a child from my father and from street gangs. I slept on blacktop driveways to stay warm.

If the thought of working at burger king tears your heart out I have no sympathy for you, none, not a drop. If I can overcome adversity such as I have and work 2 burger king type jobs while I walked to college 6 miles each way daily and live in soup kitchens and homeless shelters, you certainly can do more.

Your plans of getting $100.00 a day within 90 days and making "easy money" are a pipe dream. You need to get off your lazy behind and get out there and work. Take your "fragile" emotional state and flush it down the toilet, you have nothing to be "fragile" about.

Go get two jobs and make the money you need to straighten yourself out, then keep that mental state forever and maybe someday you to can not have to worry about money anymore.

7:19 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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First, I have to say that an awful lot of things here don't make sense, and I am convinced that it is a troll or put-up.

WAY too much happened all on day 3, for example. Holy cow, you posted on elance, found somebody somewhere else to do the design, got the design back from them, then spent 10 hours fixing it up yourself - all in one day?

Even if this all happened in days 1-3 and you never got around to posting it till day 3 - doesn't make sense, things don't happen this quickly in the real world.

That said - IMO, there is no way to do this in 3 months using a website. To do this in so short a time, you will need to buy traffic in some way.

Oh, you MIGHT come up with some idea for a website that will make national news or get slashdotted, and have advertising in place for the onslaught, but that doesn't seem to be your agenda.

Anything that depends on organic search, word of mouth, whatever, to draw traffic to your site is going to take longer.

Instead of going for the big kill, look for something overlooked that you can make a reasonable percentage on. Of course, you will have to cheat and use capital beyond your $400 (credit card?).

You MIGHT do it arbitraging ads. (Adwords, etc.) I've done it myself, advertising Amazon books, primarily cookbooks, leading into the Christmas season (2 years ago). Though I hadn't set a specific goal for myself, I did reach that $100/day mark in less than 3 months, so I can't say it's not possible. Based on my experience, I would urge you to concentrate on relatively LOW-priced keywords.

But I doubt it would be possible today. Things dried-up completely after Christmas, profits went to losses, and a year later at the next Christmas season, it was barely possible to eke-out any profit at all. Adwords has become MUCH more difficult, and they've made long-tail nearly impossible. (Already was, but they've made it even more difficult.)

I managed a 100% profit, at least during the Christmas selling season, but, again, I doubt this is possible today. Still, this would require that you have a credit line of $3000 or so available to fund advertising, and would be "cheating" given the constraints you've laid-out.

It was fun and interesting, but I can make a lot more writing Python code...

If this is real, you're a good writer. Try your hand at the ultimate writing challenge - writing in the constrained space of an Adwords ad.

Oh, just went back and read more of the comments, I see some of this has been discussed - wanted to respond to this at least:

We'll make these assumptions:

1. He won't do arbitrage (no-no anyways)

Actually, it's not a no-no (assuming we are talking about Adwords here). You just have to link directly to the merchant. That's how I did mine, at a time when it still WAS allowed to arbitrage with your own site. (Just before they dropped the hammer, which might be part of why I did so well - it caught a lot off-guard.)

Problem with Adwords arbitrage today is you have to fight it out for the single slot alloted any given merchant.

And, curiously and illogically, it's hard to beat generic, poorly-written ungrammatical ads by those who apparently have some inside advantage, even with the best targeted writing.

[edited by: jtara at 7:38 pm (utc) on Mar. 6, 2008]

7:22 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Jtara...Regardless of whether this guy is full of it, or not, there are many good tidbits in this thread that can be applied to building a profitable web business. Whether it is done in 90 days, or 900, there is still good advice to be had. And yes, Adwords is getting much more difficult these days, especially with the arbitrarily assigned QS values...
8:11 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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one of those 'free articles' websites

Avoid those things like the plague. You'll dump hundreds of hours unto earning your first $100. Evidently from your amusing rants here, you're a good writer - you should be earning more than those "free aritcle" sites pay.

This thread, so far, reads like a contrived reality TV series. Jleane, if you're serious about living as an adult, you'll follow this advice, the only reply I'm donating to this thread:


It doesn't have to be Burger King. In fact it shouldn't be. Go find a good job worthy of an educated, literate adult. Something that pays what your skills are worth.
Starting from scratch on a web-based venture to earn $100/day, with moderate skills and little to invest, within 3 months, is not realistic. I think you know that, hence I'm interpreting this story as mere entertainment.

PS I do think you should write this as a daily blog with page-by-page comments, not in a long uninterrupted forum thread. I would read along, so that would be subscribers+1.

9:50 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"rejection sucks"
- web equivalent being: writing stuff n nobody visiting to read it, noone adding links etc!

i've seen blog by guy wanting to do copywriting; indeed landed full-time job after a few months

4:41 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can't believe noone here has offered you a job.
I like your style, though I reckon you are probably a smart arse.
But I'll pay you $100 day (aussie) for online work to do anything I have in mind. Unless the plan is to make $100 day without working. :)
4:43 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I would go with the Burger King job.
5:37 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I haven't read the whole of thread, but the first couple of pages. The points Jonathan made with regards to being an unconventional youth as against a disciplined career oriented man, made me take notice. For, I empathize with him for my own wayward ways when I was about his age. Now I am 33, father of a daughter and making some $12k a month.

I often said, I want to walk the path less trodden by. Coupled with my overrated idea about my own wit and a bit of laziness, I was leading a life where 2 days weren't alike. I had many days when I didn't even have money to buy food. When my newspapers pile up to some size, I would sell them to buy few essentials. I had a giant self esteem to ask money from my wealthy father, for I constantly denied taking the teacher's job he got for me in a business school. When this carried on, and even my girlfriend of many years started doubting my chances of leading life without bothering about money, I started getting my acts together. First thing I decided in getting my lifestyle right. I had started an SEO firm and reduced my "quality time" with many friends I had. Before I knew, I was leading an organized lifestyle.

Thinking about those days now, I wonder if these conventions and ways of normal life the society has created, were in a way kind of steps/rules of ensuring a normal life, if not an affluent one, lest go broke in life.

I see that you are already past my experiences and on way to success. Be prepared to over shooting the goal of 3 months. Keep working, and money will come after you. Good luck.

[edited by: McMohan at 5:38 am (utc) on Mar. 7, 2008]

5:40 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld.com should already be paying you, look at the traffic your thread is generating.
8:18 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld.com should already be paying you, look at the traffic your thread is generating.

LOL. But seriously. It's taken me about 3 years to get to the $100 a day level but I sure have enjoyed doing it. My background is in journalism though, and I know for a fact that literary agents troll blogs in search of promising writing talent. A former colleague of mine is also an amusing writer and got an offer to submit a book proposal based upon his blog. And his blog wasn't drawing a huge number of visitors; it was just very well written. I wouldn't necessarily go the freelance writing route though; it pays so poorly and now they want you to give up all copyright till the end of time. If you can get something that pays and also allows a link back to your blog or that allows you to keep copyright so you can also post the content on your blog, that could work. Good luck!
9:33 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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first of I wish you the best of luck!

Secondly, I just have to say that I really enjoy your writing style.

Without getting into the why of your present situation (I am a parent of 3 boys), I would suggest that you spend a little time looking at ways to supplement your present cash reserve. In fact, just a couple of hours on the weekend working behind a bar would provide you with a little extra cash, and stop you spending money on extertainment!

Thirdly, stop spending money on your project. It has not been throughly thought out, or prepared, and as a result, any spending on coding, designing etc should be considered risky, and therefore avoided.

Drop me the url of your blog in my pm please.


[edited by: OddDog at 9:34 am (utc) on Mar. 7, 2008]

11:55 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've known many in my years that have used a job they didn't like as a networking base to create a job for themselves that they did like.

Burgerking will put you into contact with a great deal many more people than sitting behind a computer panel will, in the beginning.

And by that, you might begin to grow any online interests you might have.

Going in cold, on the internet such as this, and making 100 dollars a day after 90 days is a bit of a stretch mate. I may not know many things, but I can certainly tell chalk from cheese.

I wish you the best of luck then.

1:47 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It took me 4 months to reach 100$ a day (with an old website i started working on).

Two months later it was 200$ a day etc etc

Its easier to increase your earnings than it is to start off from scratch I feel.

Have you put ads on yet?

2:06 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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2.5 years, still far, far away from 100 $/d...
2:45 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Don't let the naysayers get you down. It took me only one month to reach the $100/day net profit goal. And that was without resorting to sp*m, pron, drugs, gamblin, arbitrage and on and on...Having said that I already had previous knowledge of html, some coding and PPC...It's hard, but it is very possible. You just have to start off on the right foot! I would echo the advice already given in saying that getting a part time job would be a great way to initially supplement your lack of income.
2:49 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Debt solutions and credit cards? Are you kidding me?

While I agree the $50+ per signup of a credit card is attractive, it's also the most competitive market on the internet. With your time frame I can definately say you will not rank in serps for debt, loans, mortgages or credit card related key phrases.

Here's a couple of tips...

1. You have great writing skills. Sign up at free lance sites under writing and translation. It doesn't cost much and you will get a flood of leads every day. I'll even sub you out under my accounts for a small percentage!

2. Develop a solid intro letter and send it to website and marketing companies offering your writing services as a source. Start developing contacts and try to make alignments. As a consultant, I would definately contract you for copy writing. Be sure to include your proficient skills in web and seo copy, landing pages, contextual ads, email campaigns, social networking posts, forum posts, blog writing, ghost writing, etc..

3. Get a grip on the reality of your situation. Start sending out resumes to web design companies or whatever it is that you do and secure a baseline income to avoid moving back with the parents. And no I am not your father either.

4. Don't give up! I started my company at 22; I'm 29 now and self sufficient.

Best of luck on your life venture!

3:14 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Is this a webmasterworld thread or the OP's personal blog?
3:15 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you are looking for a quick buck, trying to rank naturally in the SERPs is NOT the way to do it...look to PPC...quick results, quick gratification. And, contrary to popular belief, tackling a HUGE market is not necessarily a bad idea...those market tend to have a huge amount of long tail keywords, which believe it or not, you can still bid low on and get good traffic from....
4:00 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Had a similar goal in 2004 and reached it pretty quickly by adding AdSense on two websites that I ran as a hobby for several years without advertising. Had approximately 25,000 visitors daily, though. In other words you have a tough road ahead of you unless your websites catch fire for some reason. I am 4X the income now even though the traffic has not grown 4X. In other words the web is a great place to make serious money provided you do the hard work.
6:49 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You're on the right track. I was you about eight years ago. I took HTML classes and started tinkering with web sites, but slacked on it. Here's what I ended up doing:

- Played video games. Net profit: $0
- Spent money on girlfriend. Net profit: Wife
- Got married. Net profit: Two children.
- Total net profit: A nice family, no web sites, no free time to develop web sites. Oh yeah, no money either.

In other words, throw out your video games and other distractions, get a part-time job at a coffee shop, and lock yourself in your room with your free coffee and develop until you fall asleep at the keyboard and dream in XHTML.

With enough hard work and a dash of luck, one morning you may awake to discover you are earning money in your sleep, or while holding your slobbery baby, or perhaps even while playing video games.

At least that's what they say on Webmasterworld. I can't speak from experience, except to say that babies do slobber.

7:25 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This is a joke.

100$ in 3 months!

Anyways, and your writing style? "Screaming in your sleep about flipping burgers"? Give me a break.

What angers me is that all your work, and mine, and a lot of people's work, goes to line up the pockets of big firms like G and the others, preying on the original content we develop.

And scrappers, spammers, bot-pages and all the rest makes money through trash and stealing.

You can write articles for hours, bottom line, the Internet is a network of computers, and programmers are going to rack in the cash at the end of the day (on your back).

Maybe this thread is a fake, started by G, M$ or Y, to get the young ones all fired up with web marketing.

That's what happened to me years ago....

PS: as you can see, I am in a very good mood today ;) if you are indeed trying to do this for real, then give it all you have, and good luck, cause you might well make it. BUT at the end, if it has failed, do like the finance guys, STOP SHORT and cut your losses; after all, this is business and when you ain't making money, you need to stop.

11:32 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you're lazy, web marketing isn't for you.
3:21 am on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmmm tried this path myself. Failed. Got to a couple thousand uniques per day after a few months, but the revenue never appeared. The best month was $700.

Got into making a product, found that all the knowledge making websites that worked (thanks Brett) was really helpful to sell a product that we made ourselves. Conversion rate was low, but instead of making a few bucks per sale we made more than $100 per sale. Made all the difference.

Four years later the online business is near $50K per month, and enough to support 18 people. The wholesale business is the real gem, far exceeding the online revenue. Sometimes the best laid plans don't work out the way they should, but it doesn't mean that they don't work out well anyway.

Of course if you are REALLY lazy, then give up now. I got there by putting in the 100 hour weeks that you seem to abhor. That is all I can manage, being married with two kids. You are single, so you must have a few more hours to spare.

8:59 am on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Here are my thoughts :

1. You can either make money or post about making money, you can't do both at the same time.

2. Given the small amount of time I think you're better off learning a marketable skill vs trying to get a revenue generating site up.

3. You need to stop spending money right now.

7:32 pm on Mar 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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funny and a bit personal but at the same time informative and entertaining post!

jleane: I'm closer to your age than most other's here at WW.

Since I benefit a lot from W.W. Community Iíd like to share my personal life experience and hopefully you might benefit from it:

I was raised in a fairly wealthy family in a third world country. I had the best private tutors in high school to prepare for the college entrance exam which was held once a year. I barely passed the exam, because I was busy enjoying life too much with other spoiled kids. I got admitted to a crappy university for 2 months in a ghetto village.
After being fed up with family and friends talking sh** behind my back on how unfortunate it was for me to fail in life, it just hit me one day.

If I had to live alone, away from family (which is not that common in our culture), why not make the best of it. 600 miles, vs 6,000 miles away. I moved to the US, did my undergrad in less than 4 years at a top school to compensate for the time I wasted back home. I chose a pretty tough major (Electrical Engineering) and graduated with honors from a well known university. To show them (referring to back home), I did an intense one year Masterís program in the same field at the same school and specialized in Signal Processing and Communications which I was told was the most difficult concentration in E.E.
During the 5 years of obtaining my Masterís Degree I worked in a lab to claim financial dependency. My plan was to go back home afterwards and work at my fathers company.
For some reason, I didnít want to go back anymore.
I started working full time for a well known American company 2 weeks after my graduation. I enrolled in an accelerated MBA program 1.5 months later because I realized I was more interested in business than Engineering. I knew Electrical Engineering wasnít my passion and dream but unfortunately I chose it for personal reasons or you can think personal issues! Iíll be done with my MBA this May and will barely be 25 with two Masterís degree and 2 years of work experience at a great American company!

Although most of my friends had their parents pay for their education, I decided to take out a subsidized loan, despite the willingness of my parents to pay. I just made my last payment 2-3 months ago. I am a free man now!

I started my website business when I was exactly your age and a junior in college.
In regards to funding:
I always had different part time jobs and even now although I have a full time job, I tutor math and physics at night after work and school to a few students. I use 100% of the extra cash I make through tutoring on my websites. I try to keep what I make at work separate from my website business.

Anyway, I didnít write all this to brag or anything because I have a long way to consider myself successful.

But in short: I think you have to realize it for yourself and no matter how many times your parents/family or friends tell you whatís right, youíre gonna do what you want to do.
Maybe you gotta fail dramatically in life until you realize it. Youíll wake up one day and say: What the f* am I doing with my life? Thatís how it all happenedÖ.

Good luckÖ

6:39 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Marking my spot in the thread to keep following your efforts. You should have started a blog about it instead of a thread here, that way you would have had another place to generate revenue from. Of course, it would have been more difficult to generate the traffic there ;)

I am running a similar project on a forum I run. Me and a few others are trying to reach $300 a month in six months time. Less ambitious than your goals, but hopefully more attainable.

7:04 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Every day I will post a status report that details what I have done as well as how much money I have brought in

Where are those daily updates Jleane? I don't see anything since March 2. Did you give up already? Since you chose credit and debt as your niche, I'd say things are probably getting pretty tough. Now that this thread has made it to the main news page here on WW, you have a lot to live up to. So, keep us posted.

7:27 pm on Mar 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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dailypress... you really should be proud of yourself..great going ...
This 188 message thread spans 7 pages: 188