Yearly Archives: 2002

Review of 2002

Well, it is nearly the end of another year, just Christmas to get through and it will be 2003!

I have been looking back over the past year in an effort to decide if I have achieved anything with my online businesses during 2002.  I came up the following:

1.  Three new websites up and running & one more on the way
2.  Three new eBooks written, published and selling
3.  Two of my eBooks are now listed on Amazon.com
4.  Newsletter subscribers increased from  700 to over 7,000
5.  Income up considerably 🙂

Now, the reason that I am telling you this is not because I think you will be pleased for me, but to illustrate that a lot can be achieved in a year and there is no reason why you could not do something similar in 2003.  Yes, it is hard work, but then so is running any business.  Yes, it will take up a lot of hours, but then so does any business.

Why not make 2003 the year that you start your own online business – it isn’t as hard as you might think and it is a great way to earn a living.  This time next year, you could be sending emails to ME telling me what YOU have achieved.

$6.6m a year working online?

I mentioned Corey Rudl a few weeks ago in this newsletter and promised I would tell you a bit more about him at some point.  That point is now, so here is a quick summary of how Corey makes literally millions of dollars a year online.

Corey originally wrote a guide about ‘Car Secrets’ – how to save money when buying cars, how to make sure you don’t get ripped off when paying for servicing, that sort of thing.  Corey was marketing it in magazines etc and losing thousands of dollars.  He decided to start marketing it online and turned a failing business into a $500,000 revenue stream!

From there, Corey has developed other products and with the help of just 11 staff, his online businesses attract over 450,000 visitors A WEEK and last year his gross revenue was over $6.6 million!!  (which is apparently more income per employee than Microsoft makes).

Corey has been interviewed on the Maury Povich show and his story really is an ‘amazing but true’ tale.

Now, his products are not the cheapest available – his Internet Marketing Course sells for around $200.  However, he has recently published a shortened version of the course in eBook format and this is priced much more affordably.  If you are interested in finding out more about Corey and how he has made it big, you might want to read ‘How to Create a Fortune on the Internet in Four Easy Steps’…

Exclusive interview

Paul Tranter and Terry Johnson had been working in the information publishing business for several years before deciding to move over onto the Internet full-time at the beginning of this year.  Paul told The Online Trader,

“Our main reasons for moving to the Net were the ease of product delivery and cost effectiveness.  Marketing offline is far more expensive – it costs approximately $775 to mail out 1000 flyers, yet we can hit our entire 80,000 email database at the touch of a button for nothing!”

Between them, Paul and Terry now run several online businesses, all focused on selling digital information.  The main business is ‘The Vangard Alliance’ which promotes an extremely popular business and personal development plan called ‘The Omni-Science Principle’.

Initial expectations for the site were high but it was hard to get the ball rolling at first as Paul explains,

“We thought it would be a lot easier than it is to sell online – we thought we would just build a website and people would come… they didn’t!  Seth Godin (online marketing guru) sums it up best with his quote, ‘it took ten years to become an overnight success’”.

It is beginning to snowball now, but we have not hit our sales target for Vangard this year.  Much of our time has been devoted to lead generation and building traffic, as well as growing our customer database.  We now have all the elements in place to hit next year’s targets more easily”

In June 2002, the partners launched a new site, freenetleads.com and things began to pick up.

“The new site took off like a steam train and within 1 week melted the server – we upgraded and took 10 million hits in the first month!” says Paul

Freenetleads now boasts almost 40,000 operators and this figure is growing at a rate of 10,000 a month.

If two high-traffic websites weren’t enough to keep this pair busy, Paul and Terry also own two subscription databases – www.governmentauctionsuk.com and www.properties4auction.com,

Paul says, “Terry Dean has just written a book on paid-for databases and he can’t praise them highly enough.  They are the biggest thing on the Net right now and we plan to roll out our subscription template to other businesses in the near future.”

I asked Paul how successful the websites have been in financial terms, he told me,

“All the sites are making money now.  If we advertise a quality eBook to our Freeleads database, it can pull in $5,000 practically overnight.  Vangard is beginning to grow, with several hundred subscribers paying $40 per month.

The government auctions site is currently taking approximately $4,000 a month and this site is projected to clear over $150,000 next year.”

These are terrific results from businesses that have really only been online for a very short period of time.

In closing, I asked Paul if there was one thing that had made their Internet businesses work, he replied,

“Without a doubt the only thing that has made any of our businesses work is determination.  We never gave up without a result”.

Paul and Terry, thank-you for taking the time to answer my questions and congratulations on your success so far – may it continue long into the future.

Crash!

Something happened to me this week that COULD have turned into one of the most stressful experiences of my life – OK, slight exaggeration, but it wouldn’t have been good!  What happened?  My computer crashed.

When I say crashed, I mean it fell over in a big way – none of my Internet software would function, Internet Explorer was a goner, Outlook was lifeless and many other programs were terminally ill.  For someone that earns their living online, this was not a good situation to be in.

Now, I say that it COULD have been a stressful situation – the reason it wasn’t is because I use a program called Drive Image to back up my entire hard drive in one go (and that includes the operating system).  You can then reinstall everything at the press of a button – took me about 20 minutes to load over 5GB of software.

The reason I am telling you this is because I know how much time it would have taken me to install each of my software programs individually – about a day – and this could happen to you.

If you are working online, even just part-time, you should consider this software – it could save you hours of time.  Take a look at http://www.acronis.com/.

What’s your website ranking?

Anyone with a website will understand when I say that I love to watch my hits increasing every week/month/year, but did you know that there is another way of monitoring your website traffic AND that of your competitors?

www.alexa.com provides traffic rankings for the majority of websites in the world.  It works like this, Alexa has around 10 million users worldwide that have downloaded a free toolbar that integrates with Internet Explorer.  This software tracks each website that the user visits and allows Alexa to build up a database of the number of hits a particular site receives over a certain period of time.  Alexa then apply a calculation to the information and give the site in question a traffic ranking.

A new website will normally have a ranking of 3,000,000 or thereabouts (or nothing at all if no data is held) and as the traffic to the site increases, so the ranking reduces.  The closer to ‘1’ you get, the more hits you are receiving (In case you were wondering, Yahoo holds the top position).  You can also use Alexa to view the ranking of any website (your competitors?) at any time and if you download the toolbar yourself, each websites ranking will be displayed as you visit it – no need to go to the Alexa home page to look it up.

There are other benefits too – lets say you are thinking about making an online purchase but have never heard of the website that you are thinking about purchasing from.  If you knew what the Alexa ranking was, you would have an idea as to how popular the site was.  A ranking of 3,000,000 indicates that this is a fairly new site, or that it doesn’t receive that much traffic.  In contrast, a site that has a ranking of less than, say, 250,000 indicates a reasonably high level of traffic.  Now, this in itself may not be sufficient to persuade you that it is safe to buy (and I am not suggesting that it should), but knowing that the site is extremely popular may make you a bit more comfortable.

Alexa also maintain an archive of old websites called the ‘Wayback Machine’ – you can actually go and see what sites looked like 2 or 3 years ago!  Funnily enough, top sites such as Yahoo and eBay have changed very little over the years – just goes to prove the saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.

One final word, Alexa is not 100% accurate – there are numerous things that can affect their rankings and distort them, but it is probably the most accurate service of this type available and does work well in giving you a general indication (plus it is great to watch your rankings slowly reduce…)