I’m often asked what I do for work and why am I out bike riding during the day or at the park with my son during his summer vacation. Many times I tell people I’m just unemployed and that satisfies them but really I have a few projects in place that make me decent money with very little to no “work” at all. So this is a post I’ve had in my head for about a year and I’m finally getting to writing.
Summer of 2010 I was laid off from a job where I was the online marketing manager for a great company called Metalogix. I was hired 2 years early at the start of the company. 2 of the founders of the company brought me in to improve the companies online presence and getting them selling more software. Great job and great people.
But after 2 years the industry changed a bit and so did the economy. Board of directors wanted to do things cheaper and cut expenses and go into different marketing channels. So I was laid off with a few other key people as well. I kept in contact with a few coworkers but oh well life moves on.
Time to look for the next project.
I decided to try the local marketing/web developer consulting gig lifestyle. Little did I know it was waaaaay more work and less pay. So much for the easy comfortable corporate days of salary and benefits. I now had to work even harder on my own to find clients and then report and give them what they expected on a timely basis. I got in a little over my head at the start and quickly started to fall behind on deadlines. Sorry Chris, Ivan and Chuck.
After fulfilling my obligations I once again decided I had to make a change where I’m not dependent on someone else or another company to make a living but truly go out on my own and make my own path in life. I was going to be an entrepreneur.
I kind of knew what the word meant but really had no idea what it was to be an entrepreneur.
I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I want to have a little list or story about what I’ve done in this last year. I want to share real ideas, stories and numbers of what I did and a little on how I did it. Take it as bragging or take it as a big lie. Whateva!!! It’s my blog and you’re reading it so far so there’s got to be some interest so far.
3+ years ago I was at a point in my marriage where my wife cheated on me and told me she no longer loved me and I didn’t know what to do. I found a few resources online where people told their stories of failed or failing marriages but they were more like whiney stories that were just a place for them to vent and leave. After talking to a shrink and some good friends I was still mad.
I wanted to start an online resource where I expose how people were using Facebook and social media website to cheat and engage in infidelity. I wanted to talk about how I used technology and gadgets to catch my wife and share it with other people who were going through a similar situation like me. It hurts and I had a lot of passion about it. After writing up a whole lot of posts and articles on the site I started getting people commenting and telling their stories and asking for advice.
A light went off in my head and I started to pitch other websites to mention me and my articles so it would help their audiences as well. Soon after that I started email newspapers and radio stations saying that Facebook is so popular and after a few studies came out in the mainstreeam media about Facebook being mentioned in lots of divorces lately it would be a great idea for their readership or listeners to interview me and have me talk about my story.
After a few radio live interviews and a newspaper quote I started getting small magazines and then larger magazine like US magazine and eventually Vanity Fair. Those turned into the front page article on CNN.com and that in turn got me on the Larry King Live TV show, The View and ABC News and even a social media documentary. Lots of viewers to the website and lots more subscribers and commenters. Time for the payoff. Now how do I monetize all that?
The first thing I did was mention the gadgets I used and linked to an affiliate program that sold them. Next I tested out selling someone’s ebook on marriage and relationship counseling but took that down as it wasn’t all that great. Finally I turned to Google Adsense and monetized each page of the site with contextual ads. The site was making between $50 and $400/day depending on the traffic and what direct ads were being placed on the site as it got mentioned on more and more media outlets.
So I decided to do less press about the site and focus more on my experiences and how I can reach a larger audience both online and offline. I’m talking to 2 agents and publishers about writing a book. Sharing my story and giving some advice and talk more about the age of social media and how it plays into privacy issues and the issues of infidelity and deception.