How I Run My Internet Business By Chris Guthrie
I started my online business way back in 2005 and migrated to an LLC in 2007 once I started making more money. I made the move to full time self employment in 2009 and last year I more than surpassed my goal to earn $150,000 in 2010. I also sold one of my larger websites in a deal worth six figures last year too so overall it was a pretty great first full year of self employment (I got fired in late 2009 lol).
Useful info box, one word answers are fine:
Book Your Currently Reading? Purple Cow
Best Business Purchase? $200 for NetbookReviews.com
Favourite Business Resource? My three 26 inch monitors
Favourite Business Website? BothSidesOfTheTable.com
1. What gave you the idea for your business and what motivated you to apply yourself and get it done.
I’ve been running a wide range of websites ever since I created my first forum for gamers back in 2005. I knew money was being made on the internet and I was determined to make sure I started making money too. I only wish I had met more people that were making money online earlier as I would have been able to make a lot more money faster if I did. My biggest motivation is a desire to build my own business and blaze my own path. I hate working for someone else because I’m just making them more money. When I work for myself I am building my own assets.
2. Comparing your business from back then to now, what has been the main thing that allowed you to expand your business?
The biggest thing for me was the decision to invest more time into my business. For a few years I was running websites for fun but only passively trying to make money with them. A few years after that I decided that if I really wanted to make money with websites I needed to have a clear monetization path before I invested time and resources into a website. Ask yourself this question before you start something “How will this (eventually) make money?” I simply ask myself this question before I do anything now and it helps me avoid wasting time on projects that won’t pay off.
3. Whats the most profitable aspect of your online business, why do you think this is and how can others apply this to what they are doing.
I started doing really well with Amazon’s affiliate program back in early 2009. I shared some tips on what I’ve learned after making $90k+ with Amazon here. The biggest suggestion if you’re looking to make money with Amazon is to use it on websites with a very specific product oriented focus. For example, with the Netbook Reviews website I sold in a deal worth six figures I aimed to create the best possible netbook website and so I did things my competitors weren’t such as actually reviewing the product with videos etc. etc. You can apply this focus to any niche, just know that if you want that #1 Google ranking your site needs to be better than the site currently ranking that spot (in terms of the quality of links, quality of your domain name, quality of your content etc.)
4. How Do You Work?
I wake up around 9:00 AM or 10:00 AM but that just varies based on when I went to bed. I prefer to work regular business owners, but lately I’ve been working a lot more because I have so many projects that have simply gone on for far too long. For example, when I was working on releasing my Amazon wordpress plugin: EasyAzon I had a few days of the week that I stayed up to 5:00 AM finishing up the members area, creating how to videos, talking to affiliates etc. etc. Right now I have one full time employee in the Philippines and she helps me build websites. I haven’t felt comfortable enough yet to outsource my customer support as some of my products were based on my expert knowledge and I just can’t let go of answering all of my customer’s support inquiries. Sometime soon I know I need to outsource the more basic stuff such as “this video doesn’t load” and “can you fix my email address in the members area?” etc.
5. When did you realize you were successful/made it? and how did you feel/celebrate?
I felt like I made it when I hit my one year fireversary (celebrating my first full year of self employment) and soon after that I really knew things would be ok when I received the first bank wire payment for my website in the deal worth six figures. Seeing that much money in my bank account felt awesome and I splurged on my $500 Herman Miller SAYL chair (ridiculous I know but since I sit all day why not?). I later paid off a $26k lump sum from my wife’s student loans (although that’s a decision I now regret).
6. Looking back, what could you of done sooner to of got to that point quicker.
If I would have stopped putzing around building websites that had no business model (i.e. video game forums) I’d probably be making double or triple what I am today. But I still like to say that I owe the start of my business and it’s eventual success to the video game Halo. So I do know there are things I could have done to be successful faster but I wouldn’t change anything.
7. What should other Internet entrepreneurs reading this be focusing on to expand their own Internet business.
I’m a huge fan of monetization. A lot of what I’m doing this year is simply buying websites from people and finding ways to better monetize them right off the bat. The easiest way to make more money is to make sure you’re fully taking of your existing traffic before you go out and try and get more traffic.
8. What do you consider the main differences between those people who have been successful in your industry and those who have failed?
Most of the people I talk to fail before they even start. There’s only so much time you can spend learning before you have to take action. If you are reading this interview and haven’t actually done something (i.e. registered a domain name and set up your first website etc.) then you should stop reading this right now. Figure out what you’re interested in, do a quick search to see who the existing competition is and then make a decision to move forward with building your first website. If you aren’t an action taker you will never be successful with an online business.
You can learn more about how Chris is making money and teaching others at his blog: Make Money on the Internet
Chris has also just released a really cool new WordPress Plugin for Amazon Affiliates, click here to check it out!