My Journey to Making Money Online

A Road in the DesertBecoming good at something takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, which is one of the reasons why you should only pursue what you are passionate or interested in.

It gives you the fuel to blast through the obstacles that will pop up on your path.

100% passion is not required, only interest and the willingness to move forward.

Most people tell me they don’t know what their passion is, but this isn’t the problem. The problem is being afraid of missing out.

Everyone has many passions and interests, and we don’t want them to slip away.

The good news is that choosing one doesn’t mean you abandon the others. You only need one passion to create a lifestyle business around, and then you can pursue the rest on your free time.

Pick one passion and give it all of your attention.

If you try to make them all work, you will fail. It’s not impossible, just improbable.

I struggled with this for several years. But luckily I learned how to make it work.

The focus I had allowed me to build a lifestyle business online, which allowed me to live in Spain for 11 months and learn the language (or at least part of it ;)).

$8,000 Up in Flames

Back in 2006, I was still playing poker. I enjoyed it, but I had an itch to do something else. I realized that I didn’t want to keep playing online poker for the rest of my life.

At the time, I knew nothing about SEO, affiliate marketing, advertising, blogging, or online business in general.

So, the first thing I did was sign up for 1-on-1 mentoring, because mentoring had played a big part in my success as a poker player.

The mentoring program lasted for about 6 months and cost me $8,000. There were a lot of unanswered questions during this time.

It might’ve been bad coaching, or just bad implementation on my part. Either way, it’s not something I regret, because I learned a lot about myself.

What happened was I built up a website, wrote a pretty fluffy e-book and wrote a salespage. I never gave it a chance. I just deleted the whole thing within a few months. I was confused and had no idea what to do.

The coaching had ended, so I had no one to turn to. I felt like more coaching wasn’t worth the money, so I stopped and jumped on board another opportunity. Sound familiar? ;)

Niche Websites

Site Build It! (aff link) spoke to me. It was simple. It was reasonably priced and the community was awesome, so I joined in 2007. I had actually tried it in 2006, but given up on it as well.

My two Site Build It! sites bring in between $1,000-$2,000/month. The income goes up and down, as I no longer focus on those sites.

The first site was a poker site, which was a horrible failure, but I managed to monetize it somewhat, which helps me pay for the hosting and then some.

The biggest reason my first site was a failure was because I neglected to follow the instructions. I think this happens to a lot of people; they join a course, don’t follow the instructions and then blame the course.

It’s all part of a learning process I went through. After 2 years I realized that my poker site wasn’t going to cut it. I received help from the Site Build It! forums and started a new site in the health nice.

I got in touch with another SBIer called Tomaz from Freedom Ideas. He was kind enough to help me for free.

This time, I was determined to succeed. My mindset had shifted and I was willing to do whatever it took. I followed the advice I got from Tomaz and the other people I had got in contact with and built my first really profitable website.

Article Marketing

Then I moved onto article marketing. What I did was put up a small site, and then drive traffic to it by writing almost solely for EzineArticles.

I no longer recommend that, as it’s much better to build up your own real estate and create an authority site, like I teach in Lifestyle Liberation Academy.

I wrote thousands of articles, and I got really good at writing. And to this day, I still have a few sites that bring in a nice passive income because of the work I did.

It’s nice to have the money come in, but I wouldn’t recommend people go after this way of making money online unless they are absolutely determined to succeed.

It’s not something that was enjoyable most of the time, which is why I started this blog. What I truly love is helping people create the freedom in their life so they can do what they want.

The Shift

Everything changed for me when I realized, in early 2009, that my poker website wasn’t going to help me make a living.

I had to stop fooling myself. It’s easy to believe that you’re perfect and the fault lies in the course, program, ebook or even Google.

When you’re honest with yourself, you learn to let go of what doesn’t work. Now, I am not talking about trying something for 3 months and buying each new course that comes out.

I went on for 2 years until I realized my mistakes. We all have to make mistakes until we learn enough about ourselves to actually take in what people are saying and apply it correctly.

In the end, you will determine your own success, so be kind to yourself, and keep moving forward.

Update

I’ve since come a long way. I’ve built a 10,000+ subscriber blog. I’ve written books, created courses, and connected with hundreds of people all around the world.

This article was about the beginning of my journey, but there’s more to it. If you’d like to discover what else I’ve learned, feel free to browse the articles on this blog.

If you’re completely new, I recommend you start in the Start Here section.

Enjoy!

Image by Wolfgang Staudt

Get the FREE Ebook and Discover:

  • How to turn your passion into a lifestyle business
  • The two ways to find your profitable passion
  • The biggest mistake you can make (and how to avoid it)
  • And so much more!

Comments

  1. Hey Henri!
    Awesome to see you doing so well! I have to admit I’m a little envious how you grow so fast. It’s nice to understand that you have a background in internet marketing, it makes everything a lot easier. It’s taken me 18 months to get a decent understanding of blogging and affiliate marketing and only now am I starting to get some decent results.

    Keep up the good work Sir!
    Diggy

    • Thanks!

      As you can see, I’ve been through my fair share of mistakes. We all have to go through our own thing. The main points though: keep going, learn and destroy ;)

  2. Interesting voyage. I have a SiteBuildit site which never really got going. Maybe I was confused about what my goal was or maybe I just gave up too soon. I am going other directions now though so far I haven’t pulled the plug on my site. I think what characterizes successful people is they keep going. They identify what is good and useful, discard what is not and try new things just like you do. There are many roads and vehicles to success and what is good and useful for one may not be for another. Great to hear about your success but even better to learn about your journey.

    • I do think Site Build It! is extremely useful for a lot of people that aren’t as techy, but finding what works for you is still key. It’s a fine balance though, because you don’t want to start chasing new courses and giving up too soon. Pick one thing and stick with it for at least 6-12 months and see what happens.

      • I needed that advice 6 months ago but I probably wasn’t smart enough to take then either.

        • Yeah, I was the same way when I was going around buying everything. I see now how foolish it was, but even if the perfect opportunity was right in front of me, I would not have been smart enough to take it. We all have our own paths to travel.

  3. Your journey is scaringly similar to mine, only that you started 2-3 years earlier. I used to play poker, I liked it but I didn’t feel like I’d want to do (just) that for the rest of my life. I started focusing on other online aspects after procrastinating and playing WoW, EVE Online and some more poker before I finally got myself moving (largely thanks to reading Tim Ferriss’ 4-hour workweek on April 2009).

    I made a site/blog on Poker (see. scary.) and then moved to blogging and started studuying Internet marketing, SEO, etc. I was learning the ropes, building affiliate sites and all that. And that’s what I’ve been doing since last May, learning each day and moving forward.

    Again, thanks for sharing the story and your experiences. These kinds of posts are great!

    • Wow, those are some interesting coincidences ;)

      I haven’t even read Tim Ferriss book, but I just won it in a contest, so I’ll read it very soon! Your blog looks great and your content is good (I’ve been lurking).

      Keep on keeping on!

  4. What a fantastic post. I love it, the amount of passion I have is ridiculous absolutely over boiling. That said you’re right you don’t need to be totaly passionate in order to be a success.

    It DOES require hard work though.

    Good work here!

  5. Good stuff, Henri!

    I like how you hung in there as long as you did and then realised it just wasn’t working so you decided to change and do things differently. An approach we can all appreciate.

    It sounds like you’re well on your way now though. I’ve heard of SBI and have to admit I was skeptical but now I think I might look into it further.

    Thanks! :)

  6. Dude you’re like a machine! 3000 articles is impressive. How does outsourcing the articles go? Do you have any quality issues?

  7. Hi Henri,

    I was hoping someone would ask the question ‘What is article marketing’ but no one did, so I will ask it. I haven’t come across that term before.

    I love reading stories like these, but it shows us how it can be done. It’s very interesting that you mention SBI because I looked into that a couple of years ago and thought that it was scam. Good for you for making it work. Maybe I should revisit the idea sometime.

    $8000 is an expensive mistake, but like you said, it was a learning opportunity. That’s the productive way to look at it.

    Great article!

    Karen

    • Article marketing is basically submitting your articles to article directories. This gives you traffic and links to your blog. I’m in the process of writing an entire article on it right now.

      • Great, I’m looking forward to the article. Are you going to include specific directories? That would be very helpful :-)

        Thanks,
        Karen

        • I am going to talk about directories, but isn’t going to be exactly what you think, it’s going to be much better ;)

  8. Looks like you have come a long way from where you started. I think it’s awesome that you are making money online. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that overnight success is a myth. I’ve had to keep that in mind and also adjust strategies at each level of growth. I think another point you made was following instructions to a tee. That is really one of the simplest, yet most powerful things anybody can do.

    • Overnight success is definitely a myth. For anyone new reading this, keep going, even if you fail, because those failures are what will lead to your success, if you learn from them.

  9. Really inspiring Henri! I never heard of Site Build It, but interested in checking it out. I would luv to learn more about article marketing. Thanks for sharing your journey and inspiring us to go for our passions and help us find our way online :)

  10. Phew, for a while, I thought you write all the 3,000 articles!

  11. The Master-Key to Riches by Napoleon Hill is also a life-changing book that talks about how walking the extra mile is usually what it ultimately takes to become successful (I highly recommend all of Hill’s books). Commitment alone will take you really far, but that’s also one of the hardest things to control.

    • Commitment is key for me, and I think it’s much easier for me to stay committed when I chose things I actually care about!

  12. Nadia - Happy Lotus says:

    Hi Henri,

    Good for you for finding a system that has proven successful. That is awesome.

    We each have to find a method that is in line with our skills. I think it is important to be honest with ourselves and know our potential. We each have our own niche. The key is to find it and make it our own.

    And I am with Eric Nishio, that Napoleon Hill book just rocks. :)

    • I agree completely. We all have to find our way, and that is best done by taking action and trying stuff. I guess I’ll have to check that Napoleon Hill book out then if it is THAT good ;)

      • Cheers, mate. There’s one thing that always piques my curiosity, and it’s the fact that they never try to teach these principles in school… Why, oh, why?

  13. Henri,

    Nice post. It was cool to see how you’ve learned along the way. Regarding this: “The biggest reason my first site was a failure was because I neglected to follow the instructions. ” Do you mean instructions on creating a sales site, choosing a niche…? What do you mean by that? Can you expand?

    • My problem was mostly in choosing a niche and the right keywords (since this was mainly a website focused on SEO). Of course, if you’re blogging, it never hurts to plan your keywords, but it becomes less important when you use social media and other traffic generation methods.

  14. Thanks for this Henri, I did research Site build it myself, but decided in the end to go down the wordpress road, but great to hear about your experiences. One question … where do people create and get their email lists from?
    Looking forward to hearing more Henri!

    • For e-mail lists there’s MailChimp and Aweber. I personally use Aweber, but I’ve heard good things about MailChimp.

      Check out their prices and make your own comparisons. I don’t think you’ll go wrong with either one.

      Hope this helps!

      • you’re a star! thanks Henri … funnily enough I signed up for mailchimp last week as I’m thinking about doing a newsletter so I’ll look into it more there. :)

        • You’re most welcome. Now get that e-mail sign-up form up (with a nice free e-book) and start pouring on the value ;)

    • For Blogs, Henri’s recommendations are it.

      One thing about MailChimp though is that you do not pay a dime until you have over 500 subscribers which is awesome for beginners. After that you start to pay $30 month for 501-2500 subscribers.

      If you want to use static niche sites, you can use Getresponse, SendFree (1 month free test which i am trying out) and Freeatuobot which is free in its entirety. There is also another one by MIke Filsaime. Don’t remember now but you can Google ” Mike filsaime” and when you get to his site, check out all the products he’s got and you will find the autoresponder there.

      There is also the option of E.G.G.S – Email Go Getter System which you can install on your server and configure for double opt in or single and create various lists.

      BTW, Nice to meet you and I hope I have been of Help.

      Cheers,
      Olusegun

  15. Michael D Pollock says:

    “Becoming good at something takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, which is one of the reasons why I recommend that you only pursue the things you are passionate about.”

    I love that. Sort of boils all down. Thanks Henri.

  16. Hey Henri,

    Thanks for sharing your story. You know, I read one of your comments where you said you make money from niche sites in passing and I wanted to know mire but did not want to be forward so i decided to chill, forget about it and let LoA bring it to me naturally and Viola! Here it is.

    I’m trying to build passive income too and i know it will work out. 2000+ articles, that is A LOT! which outsourcing site did you use and who can you recommend?

    Cheers,
    Olusegun

    • That’s cool about the Law of Attraction. I stumbled upon Freelancer (formerly Get a Freelancer) in the beginning and that’s what I’ve been using exclusively.

      You can find great writers there, but make sure you are specific about what you want and ask people to provide samples. Sometimes you’ll run into bad writers, but that happens. Keep looking and you’ll find good ones!

  17. I’m pretty shocked how similar this is to my path. I guess its pretty common, alot of pro poker players are quitting ATM. but still… wow.