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Old 08-07-2013, 10:34 PM   #1
JoeMofo
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 580
Joe's Internet Business Adventures...

Hey,

I've just graduated from university (BSc Economics). Instead of jumping straight into a grad job, I've decided to go the freelance route and also start a few businesses.

So over the past 4 years I've tried to gain as much experience/knowledge in all areas on online business. I started out trying to rank mini sites and profiting from adsense/affiliate ads, moved on to some lead capture stuff with autoresponders, PPC ads on Facebook and Google (tied in with lead capture, but also grew Facebook pages), viral sites taking advantage of what has been hot topics in the media, and so on.

In all honesty I've not made much money online from my own personal sites/projects - it has however been one giant awesome learning experience. I'm now at the stage where I feel as comfortable as I'll ever be setting up real online ventures, and to boot I have a great business partner/mentor that I've been freelancing for over the past few years that I've learned a ton from, who I'm going into business with. Also, from my past experiences I've become comfortable working with PHP and frontend development, so now I'm able to start my own little projects without having to outsource (more on outsourcing soon).

I'm going to use this blog to document some of my online experiences, past and present, particularly because I know that some of BFI enjoy reading internet business threads but also because I quite like discussing these things with likeminded people!

I'm not going to be linking to any of my sites as I don't want to be called out for being spammy/self-promotional, but I'll put the site name so it's easy enough to google.

I'm working on drafting up a list of all the sites I've started over the years, so I'll slowly be posting them up in parts.

For the moment I have 3 main projects I'm working on, all website based (i.e. no apps or anything for the minute, though I'd like to get into that soon).

The biggest project with the most potential I'm working on at the moment is an affiliate network for SaaS websites to easily add affiliates to their business. I won't say too much about this for the moment because it's the least finished out of them all at present, and I'm not the founder, just an early employee. I am the frontend developer/designer for this project, working (remotely) alongside a backend developer based elsewhere.

The second biggest is a site for car dealers to have their own dealership website without all the costs of getting one built. Dealers will pay a monthly fee to be able to advertise an unlimited number of cars on their site, and all cars they have on their site are also part of the "Dealerview" network, so all sites (and thus vehicles) are searchable from one central search engine. There's also a bunch of dealer tools built in, like the dealerfeed where dealers can see any updates from their dealer friends (new vehicles upload, vehicle requests, etc). They can also broadcast stock requests, price vehicles for the trade and retail separately, and a bunch of other stuff. All backend development of Dealerview I have outsourced to Pakistan, and more recently to India (had problems with the Pakistani developer, who recently disappeared from the face of the Earth :/). You'll notice the site is pretty damn ugly and it could look a whole lot nicer. Some new designs are in the process of being implemented at the moment, but to be honest they're not exactly sexy either. It's been a slog trying to get this up and running during university with everything going on, so now I'm just getting all the development finished and will go and get users before spending any more time making it more aesthetically pleasing as it's just a waste of resources otherwise. Dealerview is made with Zend, a PHP framework.

The third site, and a side project I've been working on for the past couple of weeks, is "ineedthatmug" dot com. I developed this all by myself and it's been a ridiculously good learning experience. I'm now comfortable developing with Laravel (a PHP framework, highly recommended), and learned how to implement AJAX, Paypal payments and IPN, and some other stuff. All orders I get for this are completely outsourced to a company down the road from me (literally a 5 minute walk) so it should be pretty cool if I market it well. I'm going to start off with B2C marketing, but soon will expand to marketing towards companies too (call centres, garages, whatever) as I think it'd make a cool company perk for employees, or christmas presents etc. I made a prototype of this site around a year ago, but it was horrible and didn't work properly. I validated the idea by using the order form as a lead generation form (it had an email input back then) and got a good response. Even if this makes me no money I still see it as a success because I learned so much developing it.

Feel free to ask about any experiences I've had or my past or current projects!

Cheers
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
aliveftw
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Vienna
Posts: 416
Re: Joe's Internet Business Adventures...

I have 2 questions.

Why havent you made money with websites yet if you have created several sites?

And how hard is it to open a sucessful ad site with an income of like ~ 2000$/month?

Regards Pat
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