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How I made a million in 3 months.

     
4:25 am on Mar 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Lots of hard work, and a billion+ pageviews :)

I am without a doubt the top individual adsense publisher in terms of pageviews. Me talking about how I did it won't help you, but here is what i found you need to be successful in adsense.

1. Get a database of IP's so you know where your traffic is coming from. Then create channels for each country. Its not uncommon to see US traffic with a CPM of $5.00 and a CDN traffic at 20 cents and vice versa. If you have access to the hints option, give different hints based on IP. ie if your page is about 401k plans, that won't get you anything outside of the USA.

2. You have to create sites that will bring in repeat traffic. If you think you will get rich off SEO think again. If you create a Free jobs site you could net 30 million + a year if you got big. Club listings site, free religious personals etc would all be big money makers. Look for established markets and offer a service for free and support it with adsense.

3. Have your users create content and lots of it. User reviews of night clubs, Resorts, golf courses etc. Build your site around your users and make them part of your site, don't build your site for consumption.

4. Do not enter markets with a lot of competition monitized via adsense. Try and undercut paid content markets by offering a free service, or better yet create your own market.

5. Keep your site dead simple, it has to load fast and have no more then 2 ads and 1 or 2 pictures other then your logo. Do not confuse your user, give them what they want and give it to them fast.

6. Troll around various forums and if people are not talking about your market, there is a good chance you will make money.

4:00 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As for doubters, nothing you can say will really convince them. But in the grand scheme of things earning 330k/month on 14 million pageviews a day isn't all that impressive.

Is that like $0.78 CPM?
Then you're right, isn't that all impressive.
The impressive thing is to get the 14 million page views.

4:06 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The impressive thing is to get the 14 million page views.

Yes and no. It's not as difficult as it sounds when the average user probably views 50+ pages a day. It's not like each visitor is only viewing a few pages like on most sites.

5:37 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Is that like $0.78 CPM?
Then you're right, isn't that all impressive.

Maybe not however it's his competitors who charge for what he offers for free from where he derives his income without all their overheads:-)

They must be seething that a major competitor provides them with leads, it would be interesting to know their conversion ratios.

Like many others here Markus has done this by himself, with some help from his girlfriend along the way, the main difference being that Markus has managed to do it in a much bigger way than many believed possible for a one-man operation.

He targeted a huge, well-known market and found alternative solutions to the accepted norm and the same method could be used for many other subjects.

I bet his head buzzed at times trying to resolve many of the undoubted problems!

5:50 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In case you haven't read the thread from begining to end, a friendly reminder from message #63 & #106 :)

Markus did everyone a favor by posting some good advice, please refrain from asking him to tell you his URL because site reviews and URL drops are against the TOS [webmasterworld.com].

Additionally, if he wanted to show you his website he'd have it in his profile.

Outing is prohibited, thanks.
;)

7:06 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow, look at what a little link baiting with a big price tag attached to a post can do!

Every get-rich-quick person is all over this thread.

Amazing.

7:30 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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About 3-4 years ago I was interested in starting a site like Markus's. At that time people were building free versions of this type of site with the hopes of upselling to the bigboys as an affiliate. All of your free members were very targeted and ripe for an upsell.

I think it's a really cool success story. And it shows that there is alway opportunity. There were people back in 2000 saying the days of the wild wild web were over. They're not.

Another success story I can't comprehend is myspace.com. If I didn't know better I'd swear it was 1996 by looking at that site.

7:55 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Interesting site Markus. Congratulations on your success.
8:50 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I do see how the IP targeting helps. When I went to his site, the front page showed local people and I'm in a very small Canadian town.
9:06 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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He said he doesn't want to help you - so why are you continuing to seek help from Markus?
9:21 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The IP targeting is a great feature, I see lots of sites using that nowadays. For some reason it didn't work on me at Marcus' site though. Maybe my comcast IP is weird or something ...
9:27 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a feeling you've got a little more marketing savvy than you're letting on.

I think the title of this thread is a testament to that. ;)

9:52 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>Every get-rich-quick person is all over this thread.

Seriously. This topic is more of a novelty than it is genuine advice. $1M in 3 months? Neet. Can it be repeated by someone with no skill but a lot of determination and ability to learn? Highly unlikely. Even better: only a few webservers are needed. So, buy some servers, read up on AdSense and uh, create a lot of content or something in a niche market. lol

For arguments sake I've seen someone generate $1M/month using SEO after 6 months. He was in the right place at the right time.

10:09 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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He was in the right place at the right time.

Bingo! :)

DutchBriggs

10:20 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the tips!
If only more people had the same business sense...

-Dutch Briggs

[edited by: Woz at 10:23 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2006]
[edit reason] No Sigs please, see TOS#13 [/edit]

Woz

10:24 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Maintenance Notice.

I split the Technical Discussion out to a seperate thread [webmasterworld.com].

I also deleted a few of the "Show us the URL!" type questions, please remember the TOS regarding URL drops and Outings.

So, lets continue the Adsense/Marketing related discussion here and keep the Technical discussion in the new thread.

Thanks All,

Onya
Woz

11:08 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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He was in the right place at the right time.
Bingo! :)

Luck may have played a small part in Markus' success, but from what I've read it was mostly down to astuteness and skill.

11:11 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow, this is one of the most inspiring threads I've read on WW in quite some time. Thanks for sharing, markus007!

Congratulations on a great accomplishment. Not only are you realizing a vision and helping people, but you're also sticking it to the "faceless corporations" while making a boat load of cash. Sounds like a dream come true to me. Your site obviously represents thousands of hours of work and some serious technical mojo as well.

Okay, back to work for me. Thanks again!

11:26 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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FWIW:

To Markus007: Congratulations, Markus! Way to go! As a programmer/analyst, I'm SO glad you've shared your real life experiences. It points out that an intelligently designed, architected, developed, deployed and CLUEFULLY MANAGED web property can indeed scale to awesome heights from a solid, but comparatively modest hardware and software platform. THANK YOU!

<rant>
It is SO nice to know this kind of sanity exist in the world rather than what I'm regularly exposed to in "Big Company IT". It pukes me to see the "I know all" look in the eyes of the non technical managers of IT PHB types I'm around all day that think (and dictate) that the "only" option to serve up their 50K or so relatively simple dynamic request per day is some huge multimillion dollar sink hole of a J2EE/Oracle/middleware-ad-nauseum mega datacenter complex. And of course, it just HAS to be all Java. After all, these are "Enterprise Class" dynamic pages that are being served up! Yeah, right...
</rant>

Anyway -- again -- way to go, man! And whatever you care to share about the components and configuration of your setup will be most appreciated by the techies among us (especially the database, development languages/tools and "home brew AI" stuff curious folks with a technical bent always like to know and compare notes about).

Take care -- and absolute best wishes to you and yours!

To others, FWIW: I first saw Markus' site when it only had about 40 members. I checked it out after reading a post of his in a forum thread (I don't remember where) in which he discussed his site, the market segment his site was in and his THOUGHTFUL, WELL REASONED approach to proceeding in a market segment currently ruled by other giant, entrenched, well known competitor sites.

I have a photographic memory of this, sitting in my home office, reading his post and then visiting his site. I even remember the banner at the top of his home page (with dolphins jumping out of the water) and some of the pictures on his home page. I kid you not. So his site really did have humble, but confident, purposeful beginnings based on a thoughtful, well reasoned approach.

So anyone who thinks his success is due to him just being in the right place at the right time for some "easy pickins' " are simply mistaken. He had Goliaths to battle, as there were "giants in the land".

When he started (much like Google in search, BTW) there were already lots of big competitors who most folks assumed had that market segment all sewn up for themselves. The "conventional wisdom" most people parroted was that the huge market incumbents positions were totally unassailable without a mega-million "get big fast" budget/effort by another giant with the staying power of very deep pockets. Once again, a case of "It's not what you know, but what you know that isn't so!".

FWIW, why not spend your creative energies trying to come up with (and then testing/refining/staying with) a way to grow and thrive in whatever market segment you decide upon instead of looking for reasons why "it won't work, so why try"?

This post is not meant as a flame to anyone. Simply as a gently as I care to make it wake up call and reality check. Someone once said "if you think you can or you think you can't -- you are right!". Well said.

Now get moving -- because life's too short and we're all too old to be limited -- and defeated by -- our own mental limits we place upon ourselves.

Want a better future? Then CREATE IT! The only one that can stop you is YOU!

What...you still reading!? GET GOING!

Sincerely,

Louis

11:40 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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why not spend your creative energies trying to come up with... a way to grow and thrive in whatever market segment you decide upon

This is a very good point. Since my initial reaction to Markus' post - that I wouldn't personally want to get involved in the technical management side of things - one 'creative' idea has settled in. For a while I've been developing a product that I was intending to distribute through conventional channels (as I've done before). But, with Markus' success story I've been thinking about whether just to give it away free on the internet. I'm giving that idea serious consideration.

It's a niche product, so it's not going to make the sort of numbers Markus has achieved, but it's worth a try. I've managed to identify a two-stage development, one a simple 'toe-in-the-water' jobby, and if that works I know a reasonable programmer who can develop something bigger and more robust for me.

11:45 pm on Mar 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Planning to visit Pubcon Boston markus007?
12:10 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Superb stuff Markus.

Midwestguy, you've motivated me further.

Thank you both.

2:18 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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BTW, fighting goliaths isn't so hard as some of you might think as I regularly outshine brick and mortar institutions in my niche, more traffic than popular magazine sites and such. However, making the kind of bucks markus does is a function of sheer traffic volume of a massive scale as I know a site making over $240K/month and their average CPC turns out to be the same as my site, big shock.

Now if I could only get 10M page views a month....

Good for you buddy.

3:11 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the inspiring post Markus. I checked the wayback machine on your site. I see you SEO'd the hell out of it early on. Nothing wrong with that at all. Just shows how much work you did to get where you are. It also validates so many of the commonsense techniques discussed on the various forums in WW. There are no secrets to hitting it big time. Just working hard and smart.
5:28 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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very interesting! post
5:52 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well done Markus,

But [perhaps you misstepped] by posting this topic.

Also markus look into putting your eggs in different baskets, and google can be your best friend one day and you know guys!

Just my 2cent worth!

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:56 am (utc) on Mar. 18, 2006]
[edit reason] TOS 4 & 19. ;) [/edit]

7:07 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow, what an achievement. Making that even in a couple of years time would still be a milestone for me. Just need to get fired from my day job to start making millions on the internet. ; )
7:30 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It isn't that difficult to find out the url, just google "online dating service" and you should find it in the first 4 results.
5:56 am on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The bad news is that since he hasn't paid taxes yet it's still not NET.
The good news is that one more $300k check will take care of the that ;)
(Your tax bracket is about to go nuts this year, best prepare for an audit)

It's very hard not to be extremely skeptical about it all, but if it's an honest operation
and not something like spamming people to death and/or pushing "sex pills" then more power to him I guess.

So before I forget to say it, congrats Markus!

5:59 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You need to be registered in the Cayman islands

How many sites do do have exactly fella?

regards
VC

6:44 pm on Mar 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If All search engines vanished tomorrow I wouldn't even know as they have so little impact on my traffic. Less then 2%.

Also when it comes to traffic ranking, alexa is useless. 60 of 600k visitors have alexa installed. 60,000 have ranking.websearch.com ie free smilies installed. For sites like webmasterworld its more like 1 in 20 users.. Also use the overture keyword tool for determining ranking by typing in sitename.com

My advice is focus on giving users a reason to come back. SEO/spamming etc may get you traffic to get started but there is no way that will get you big.

This 336 message thread spans 12 pages: 336