First Internet Business Inklings

Have you though about the time when you realized the internet could be a source of income? What kind of feelings did that bring about? Did someone introduce you to the concept of affiliate marketing or did you just happen to run across it one day and think, ‘Hey, I could make money online too!’

I think I got my first email address and signed up with Prodigy some time in 1992, but I didn’t get access to the internet until late 1994 or early 1995. And it was probably several months later that I realized people were making money online and I started thinking about that possibility myself. I told my wife, who at the time refused to use the internet, thinking it was just some fad, “Jean, you need to get familiar with this internet thing, it could be big someday.” Naturally I didn’t have a clue how people were making money, much less how I would do it myself.

It was several years however, before we got our first domain name and started heading in the internet cash flow direction. We purchased ChristianDiscipleship.comin October of 2000 thinking that we wanted to write an online Christian magazine and possibly sell some of my artwork and photography online. We weren’t really thinking in the right direction about how to make money, but at least this got us started and trying different things. We found out it is extremely hard to sell art and photography on the net. Many people like to look at your work, but they don’t buy your work. I first discovered Adwords in 2001 or 2002 and ended up losing some money getting people to look at my art and greeting cards, but no one bought anything. We did manage to sell a few posters and cards at our local flea market, but making a living online was not even in the realm of possibilities at the time.

I think we eventually sold a couple of cards from the site and I sold some old drum equipment on eBay after buying a new drum set and our online money making day had just began. But it wasn’t until late in 2004 that everything came together and we started earning about $800 to $1,000 per month mostly from Adsense from a vacation rentals website.

Through all that I wish I would have had my brain screwed on a little tighter because it would have been nice to have gone through the heyday’s of affiliate marketing when all it consisted of was throwing up a website, putting affiliate banners all over it and making tons of cash. Back before the dot com bust you could have a site that was a mishmash of subjects and still rank high for very diverse subjects on the same site. If you had decent writing skills and could get a page on the net in those days you could make serious coinage.

The downside of that was that there were people making $50k or $60k per month who’s income dropped to $4K or $5K nearly overnight when search engines (mostly Google) started taking a more serious look at search relevancy and started punishing people for basically misrepresenting what they really had on their sites vs what their meta keywords and descriptions said they had. Maybe it was a good thing I wasn’t making $50K per month because I might have been living a $49K per month lifestyle and we would have been in serious trouble.

So there’s the beginning of the journey. We really took way to long to get the whole thing going. We really started making some decent cash in mid 2004 with a home business site I had started and the more so with the vacation site in early 2005. But that’s just the beginning of the story.

So when did you first realize you could make money on the net and how long was it before you started to take action?


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2 Responses to “First Internet Business Inklings”

  1. It’s only been about 2 weeks since i have SERIOUSLY considered making money online. Iv had a few web sites up for about 3 months now, and they all have adsense on them, but my intentions were only to cover the cost of hosting.

    As my traffic increased (and continues to increase) i started doing more research on how to make money online, and low and behold my facination with affiliate marketing was born.

    Im honestly struggling with it right now, but I think its because im going to school full time and working a part time job. Luckily the end of the semester is 1.5 weeks away, so I will have more time to focus on this stuff!

  2. “So when did you first realize you could make money on the net and how long was it before you started to take action?”

    I had searched on yahoo (didn’t even know about the buzz with Google lol) for ways to make money online. I think I landed on a VMC Satelite affiliates promo page as supposedly they paid their affiliates per downline affiliate sign up. All I knew at the time was the payout was enticing. However, I checked their reputation out at bbb and others and it was terrible.

    I found rapidsatellite offered a similar payout program and I printed flyers out and began to hang them up in local establishments.

    About two months later I received my first affiliate check for $60 and remember the light bulb comming on.

    I think I began to think about how I could use ebay to market the affiliate offer and then I figured out ebay also had an affiliate program – and then I found out about cj.com and linkshare and the others.

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