I'm a domain junkie. I like to buy domain names for the sake of owning them. A year ago, I'd buy an average of 2 domains every week. It was hard to stop when I became addicted to online shopping -- particularly to domain shopping sprees. But somewhere between buying my 31st domain and receiving my latest credit card bill in November 2001, I knew I had to take control of my 'addiction'. When I finally made my brain cells function properly again, I began milking my domains for what they're worth.
And oh, how I milked them! Two domains are now bringing in a combined $900-$1,200 a month, and no, it isn't because I joined any online MLMs. Another domain makes $300-$500 a month, while my latest online business is averaging $450 a month. (And that's on top of what I earn for my ghostwriting and copy-editing services.)
But before you start tallying up my earnings every month, let me tell you I reached this point of financial independence by sheer hard work and pure perseverance. I'm 26 and my own boss -- the CEO of my own Web Empire.
If you think you can make tons of money easily and quickly on the Internet, you're in for the biggest disappointment of your life. You can't get rich on the Internet if you don't know how to work it to your advantage. It took me a year to be at the point I am now, and I'm not even halfway to reaching my goals. I'm not filthy rich yet, but I do know I'm well-off working for myself than working for someone, and no way will I consider applying for another 9 to 5 job again at this point.
When life hands you lemons, turn 'em into lemonade, sell it so you can make money from them lemons. I didn't have lemons back when I started, but I did have domain names -- lots of them. I had a lot of ideas. I had plenty of time on my hands. When I dream, I end up dreaming in HTML. Writing is my profession, and nothing could be more conducive to a writer than the Web.
Information is valuable online, and if you know how to use it, you can profit from selling information on the Web. One of the Web's most popular and profitable formats for information is an e-book (or electronic book).
When I wrote my first e-book in February 2000, I thought putting it up for sale on one of the most popular online bookstores on the Web, US-based BookLocker.com, would bring in the dough. I was wrong. I had been dumb enough to believe if I put my product on the Web, people would instantly whip out their credit cards faster than my modem could get me online. In the 1.5 years I was selling my first e-book, I made 71 measly sales -- at $14.95 a copy, which I later reduced to $8.95 in hopes of generating more sales.
That's when I learned the 'M' word -- MARKET. As a writer, I thought all I had to do was write. I was no marketer, and I was a dud when it came to business. But if I wanted to succeed online, I had to learn how to market myself and my products. So that's what I did. I read and learned all I could about online marketing. I wrote e-mails to successful online marketers and asked them bluntly, "Are you really making more than $10,000 a month?" or "Can you give me statistics for this marketing strategy you're using?" or "What's the conversion rate of your sales letter?" Many ignored me, but those that did write me back, I learned a lot from. Some of them eventually became my JV partners and/or endorsed my products. (And those that ignored me, I continued to sling my blunt e-mails to until they either gave me an answer or told me to stop my relentless questioning.)
So a year and half after I released my first e-book to the world, I came out with my 12th (yes, it took me 11 e-books before I wrote the most successful one), and it had a domain to go with it -- emailworkshopshowto.com. Released only last December 2001, my e-book on creating e-mail workshops and e-mail courses has brought in over $5,000 in pure profit. In a few days, I'll be releasing a companion product aimed at getting even more people to buy my e-book, and I have high hopes of seeing those sales notifications many, many times in the next few weeks.
It never fails to give me a high -- seeing the "$57 credit card sale!" subject line from my online payment merchant in any given day. The nervous excitement I felt when I saw my 300th e-book order a few days ago was the same nervous excitement I felt when I received my 1st order more than 2 years ago.
So that's what I did -- I created a product, sold it from its own domain, and marketed it like crazy on the Internet. And that's just for starters! :o)
NB: Some of my income-generating sites, in case you'd like to see how I'm doing it online: emailworkshopshowto.com, emailworkshopsclinic.com, ewritersplace.com, and ezineadbargain.com.
Next week: Doing It Alone on the Internet Won't Cut It!
I'm a shy person by nature. I'm an introvert and I never go to parties or any social gatherings. Other than speaking at (very selected) events and conducting face to face workshops every other month or so, you won't catch me out of my home office. Although I do consultancy work for an international organization, I work right from home and only go out when absolutely necessary. And when I do go out, the neighbors end up asking my mother about her house guest. My mother would say, "She isn't a guest. She's my eldest daughter..."