Hey, I’m Tom. I’m a twenty-something year old blogger, SEO and web designer. I’m originally from England, but I’m currently living in Canada. This is my story so far…
I started trying to figure out all this “web stuff” in mid 2013, and since then I’ve experienced my share of success and failures.
I think everyone who’s in the blogging and content marketing world starts for one of two reasons; enjoyment or money (or both). For me, when I started, it was mainly for money. I was tired of being constantly broke, I didn’t really enjoy working just to pay my bills and it was then that I decided I wanted to make something more for myself.
I knew I wanted more money, I knew I would have to work for it, but I’ve always had a knack for finding an easier way to do things. Call it lazy, or call it smart – either way I wanted the “get rich quick” option.
So I started making stuff. Started trying stuff. But trial and error doesn’t always work.
I spent a TON of time making a website teaching people how to bookkeep (howtobookkeep.com – not available anymore, although I do still have it). I already knew how to do that and could write about it easily – so I did.
I spent months on the site; making content, trying to gain traction, but it seemed like the audience wasn’t really there.
I should have quit at that point but I wanted so desperately to make money. So, following guidance from the online world, I created an eBook on how to manage cashflow for small businesses (a topic that was relevant, but not appealing to my audience at the time – probably my biggest mistake).
Somehow I miraculously made 3 sales. Three sales at $27 per copy meant $81 in my pocket. But, since the book took me around 30 hours all in all to write, edit and produce; that works out at under $3 per hour – not so great.
So I switched it up!
I didn’t want to spend any money, but free online resources were only getting me so far.
I caved and bought a few online products that I was confident would teach me what to do. I won’t tell you here what I bought and how it did/didn’t help – I’d rather save that for the blog!
Anyway, I started trying out affiliate marketing. My aim was to get sites to rank on Google for very specific keywords and to offer genuine reviews for products in the hopes that someone would like the review and therefore click through and buy the product, giving me a commission.
It was a complete flop.
I think I made one sale throughout the whole process. One sale with a commission of around $20. I knew what I was doing worked but I just wasn’t getting enough traffic to the site to make any real money from it.
So I started thinking more about how to get traffic. Google, social media, traditional advertising – it was on my mind constantly.
But I still needed money.
Meanwhile, I bought a book called “The Laptop Millionaire” – which I still recommend to anyone interested in entering this industry by the way – in which I learned a lot of new things. One of the things that interested me the most at the time though was a site called “Fiverr“.
Fiverr is basically an online marketplace where people buy and sell services/products for $5. You can add extras and give custom offers to make more money but the basic “gigs” are always $5.
So I started a Fiverr account and got going.
I made a few sales but didn’t really get much interest at first. It wasn’t until I bought a product through my old affiliate advertising program that I actually had any success.
It was an eBook called “Fiverr Success” and it literally taught me everything. Within a week I went from an average of less than one order a week to averaging a minimum of 10 orders per week.
At last I was making some money!
I carried on like this for a couple of months, happy with my additional $250 or so in extra income. But it didn’t take me long to realize that this wasn’t an effective way to make money.
Sure, the extra money was great, but what occurred to me was that this isn’t scalable. It was going to be very hard to sustain a business or make serious money from these small $4-8 average sales (after Fiverr’s fees – 20% – which is ridiculous by the way) although I will admit that it is a great way to get started or earn a side income.
It struck me that I would have to make 500-1,000 sales a month to make this “business” justifiable. I came to the conclusion that this just wasn’t a reality, and after peaking at $300 sales in one month and dropping below $200 the next, I knew I had to change something.
So I got my thinking cap on.
I already had a small income stream here that took minimal effort to maintain, but wasn’t really going to grow. I didn’t want to offer more expensive services through Fiverr due to the fees. But I realized that I could upsell to the customers I had already had on Fiverr.
I was also really interested in how to get sites to show up on Google. It was a mystery to me – even though I’d probably read over a thousand blog posts on the subject.
So, I bought another course. I’d learned before that sometimes it’s just easier to pay someone a small fee to find out information that saves you countless errors and valuable time.
I continued selling on Fiverr, but when I delivered their order, I would say “Hey, so you just ordered this SEO gig from me, would you like me to manage your SEO completely for you?” and that’s how Bambu SEO was formed.
I’m not saying you should go onto Fiverr and start an SEO business and do things the exact same way I did. It won’t necessarily work. What I am saying though is that when you hit a roadblock in this business you may have to use your imagination to get around it. Every problem has a solution, you just have to find it.
Since then I started Top Shelf Media which offers all kinds of online marketing to businesses and other consumers. I want to help people, and I genuinely enjoy interacting with clients.
That’s why I started this blog. I’m so thankful for those that helped me and taught me along the way, and now I want to help others.
Where am I now?
Providing Services @ Top Shelf Media
Saying Stuff @ Blog Traffic Builder
#BlogAtom – Coming Soon!
Facebook Group @ Elite Bloggers
Social media links in sidebar.
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