A guy who was born in Canada, grew up in Indonesia, went to high school in Australia, spent half a year in Hawaii, and ended up back in Canada.
This is my story...
DR's Corner
Monday, June 13, 2005

Moving to DarrickRochili.com

Well, DarrickRochili.com is finally up. Still got lots of things to modify (layout etc), but as of today, my blog will be moved there.

My feed will be changed to http://feeds.feedburner.com/darrick.



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Saturday, June 11, 2005

My own domain

I've finally decided on a host: Site5.com. They've got a good reputation on forums, and decided to give them a whirl.

Also registered my domain name DarrickRochili.com, but haven't set up anything on the site as yet. I'll probably setup either a blog or site there within the next day or two.

My next hurdle is choosing a blogging platform, I'm quite torn between Nucleus, B2Evolution and . More research would probably be the order of the day. I might use Mambo for my Content Management System.


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Friday, June 10, 2005

Another response from an expert

I got this response from Tris Hussey of Larix Consulting.

>1. Would you be able to share some of the lessons you have learnt
>during your time in this business.
>
>
The most important lessons I've learned is having a really good RSS reader is essential, practise your writing, and keep yourself organized. Pro bloggers live and die by the amount and quality of information they have at their fingertips. Nothing beats practise for improving your writing. As you gain more clients, you're going to need to get and stay organized. This is easier said than done, of course.

Another really important part of this job is building good relationships with other bloggers and industry insiders. Nothing beats getting a hot tip to make a killer blog post/article.

Work on your blogging voice. Make sure it is natural and comfortable. Forcing yourself into a voice that isn't you will make your writing seem stiff and stilted.

>2. How long did it take you to build up your business to the point of
>achieving pretty good income?
>
>
That is an ongoing process ;-). It takes at least six months I think. My first "real" pro blogging gigs started in December 2004, it's June 2005 now and I'm now starting to get outside enquiries and come in and I haven't initiated.
A key part of this is making sure you have a solid blog of your own that you write for to show off your range of skills and topic coverage. Also don't forget to both link to and announce/promote your clients. This gives visitors a way to see your range of work, and spreads the Google juice around.

>3. Would you be able to recommend other people that I should also talk
>to, to get some more insight and knowledge about being successful
>online?
>
>
Paul Chaney, Jeremy Wright, Arieanna Foley come to mind right off. They are all easily Google for contact info...it's a great way to see what they are working on too!


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Hosting options

I've been scouring the Webhostingtalk Forums to try and find a good and reputable host, and have narrowed it down to 2 of these:
- Site5 or
- Reseller Zoom

I've found out throughout the years through experience that it's not easy finding a good webhosting company, and that's why I'm doing as much preparation as I can this time, so I won't be disappointed.


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Breakthrough pilot days 8 & 9

Sorry for the missing day 8 post, I've been so busy at home coz my wife wasn't feeling well. So here's a post combining actions for day 8 and day 9
- Emailed M.
- Posted bulletin board message on Friendster.
- Ideas: Jason Ryan Isakson ?
- Decided to test out 2 affiliate marketing programs (Site build it probably, Jason Ryan Isakson), personal blog, as well as site for promoting business (4 total sites).
- Got reply from Duncan Riley (answer posted below).
- Emailed D & K.
- Requested D & K to let some other people know about the project.

As I mentioned above, Duncan Riley of Blogherald and Weblogempire gave a response to my question, so here it is:

> 1. Would you be able to share some of the lessons you have learnt
> during your time in this business.
>
In terns of blogging: good content counts. Original content sells, you
can supplement your posting with commentary on others but its the
original stuff that brings in the traffic.
Generally, this probably seems old fashioned, but try to be as honest as
you can. The blogosphere talks, and if you don't tell the truth chances
are someone will find out. Sometimes being honest can have a slightly
negative consequence: for example its public record that I can't stand
blogging company SixApart after they screwed over their many loyal users
in charging for what was previously free, many people still love
SixApart and don't like my dislike of them, but at the end of the day
pandering to corporate interests based on chasing a dollar might give
you short term success but it doesn't work long term. People may not
always agree with me, but most respect my opinions because I'm honest is
sharing them, and I never sell them for money.

> 2. How long did it take you to build up your business to the point of
> achieving pretty good income?
>
Define good? seriously though, I'm happy with my income, but the
blogging side doesn't pay for everything yet, although it does buy some
great toys :-)
As well as author blogs I also write web pages for corporations, do
presentations and marketing material as well (Indesign etc) , and also
dabble in ebay a bit as well. If we are talking serious money (6
figures) there are still very few people doing this in blogging, but its
not impossible. My mistake, I suppose in retrospect, is I chose to
become the best in a topic that doesn't pay highly in terms of Adsense
rates: ie: the subject of blogging. 2 years ago Adsense wasn't available
and I didn't know any better, but I've met a lot of my aims in terms of
exposure. I still get a buzz from being quoted in the MSM for example,
the other week it was the Wall Street Journal. I'm regularly sought out
for advice from the press, even if I'm not always quoted. The direct
income from the Blog Herald isn't great, but as I've said it pays for
lots of toys, but in terms of leverage I'm hoping it takes me to bigger
things, which is where my new blog network Weblog Empire comes in. I've
started with a number of blogs that are quite blatantly aimed at a
consumer market with a high rate of return, call this if you like a way
of leveraging the Blog Heralds traffic into more profitable ventures.

> 3. Would you be able to recommend other people that I should also talk
> to, to get some more insight and knowledge about being successful online?
>
Darren Rowse from Problogger is No. 1 on the list, although so many
people are asking him the same questions I'm sure he'll start charging
for the service soon. What I like about Darren, aside from the fact he
is a fellow Australian, is that he's humble, approachable and just plain
down to earth. Nice guy with a capital N. His story of accidently
becoming a Problogger is amazing in itself, and he's the only person I
know online outside of the big blog networks making 3 figures a day out
of Adsense.


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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Breakthrough pilot day 7

Summary of activities:
- Emailed R & A
- Emailed T & H
- Emailed Seth Godin - Seth sent a bootstrappers bible document - very helpful, I'll quote some stuff after I've gone through it.
- Emailed C, asking if he wants to join blog network, topic (personal training).
- Emailed Tris Hussey from Larix Consulting.
- Contacted A about possibility of designing site.
- Researched various blogging platforms. (very interesting stuff, many choices, CMS, blog only...)

Idea:
- Start my own blog network with a couple of friends.
- Ask a buddy at work about contributing to blog posting (he's got specific knowledge that is very rare online).


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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

NBA Finals

Just thought a break from posting about the project would be nice here.

The Pistons beat the Heat last night and are going to meet the Spurs in the finals.

Some thoughts:
- My prediction: Spurs in 6 games, due to the extra week rest and easier series.
- Even if Dwayne Wade had played game 6 & 7 at full strength, and Shaq didn't have that thigh bruise, I still doubt Miami could beat the Pistons, they're just too balanced & have a toughness of a championship team.
- Scores like 65 - 60 can be expected, after all these are 2 great defensive teams.
- Chauncey Billups at clutch will be matched by Manu Ginobili at clutch, these two players are ice cold in critical moments.
- When will the Raptors ever be in the Finals?


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Random ramblings

Well, I slacked off yesterday and forgot to email 2 people and make 2 requests because I've been so busy reading. To make up, I've emailed 4 people for day 7, and will think and decide on a domain name today.

The only hurdle I have right now is that I still can't think of / find new people to contact for requests, and don't know what to request from them. I've received surprisingly little response from the people I've contacted, so here's a post asking for ideas on who you think I should contact?

The main criteria for people I need to contact:
- Making a living / full time income from online based businesses (blogging, affiliate site, e-commerce site, etc)

Any response would be greatly appreciated.

Breakthrough pilot day 6

I did lots of reading today, and absolutely forgot about my plan (hey, a plan is there so it can be changed right? :)). The 2 main topics that I've read about are related:
- Affiliate Masters course, which although promotes a product, contains lots of useful information about starting such a journey.
- The product that it eventually promotes called Site Build It.

On a side note, I'm still having trouble thinking of a topic that would keep me interested for a long run.



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Monday, June 06, 2005

Niche

It's becoming more clear that in everything I'm going to decide to do, I need to find a specific topic/niche that I am interested in and would like to talk about. This is causing me trouble right now, since I'm not sure what specific subject I can/want to discuss on a fairly consistent basis.

Any ideas anybody?

Breakthrough pilot day 5

This was a slow day, I missed one action. Had lots of things going on a Sunday and had to cut down on some time working. Managed to get some reading done though, and couple of great ideas. Oh, and I've managed to veer out of my plan for the week again :)

Here's a summary of what I did on day 5:
- Emailed D & A.
- Emailed Duncan Riley of Blogherald.com and Weblog Empire.
- Read more about affiliate marketing & networks.

Ideas that came into mind:
- Join blogging network to build traffic eg. Weblog Empire, but need good topic to write on.
- { I'll keep this one a secret for awhile :) }
- Offer product from Indonesia to one of the affiliate marketing systems that sell products online (high consumer base).


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Sunday, June 05, 2005

Breakthrough pilot day 4

Day 4:

- Researched affiliates & ads, looked at sites making money from these.
- Found some more info about pay per click sites.
- Sent messages to various people on Sitepoint forums who're earning a full time income from online businesses.
- Emailed R & D.

Some thoughts & ideas:
- Driving traffic by buying, targeted content.
- Separate sites for various methods: PPC, Affiliates (such as Amazon), ads, blog, SFI, GDI.

I got a response from 2 people yesterday, both very helpful advice on starting out on my own business, and both of them living a full time income from their online businesses.

These people are members of Sitepoint forums, and I'll use their forum name here:

Nintendo:
1. Would you be able to share some of the lessons you have learned during your time in this business?

The biggest thing I learned was to shut up about something if you discover something that makes you nice earnings.

For example, you make something that has very little competition, ie Amazon AWS stores with mod_rewrite, two years ago. You soon rack in the cash BIG time, like $13,000 in six months, just from letting Google Googlebomb you, causing a half a million URLs to be indexed. You also give the script away for free. *BIG NO NO.* Soon a lot of others are using it. There sites get indexed in Google, and BANG, your earnings CRASH, even with 1,000,000 AWS URLs indexed in Google now!!! Crash as in under $1,000 for a quarter on a non-Holiday quarter. That's what happened to me and the Amazon program! 'Redistribute the wealth' and you lose big time! Double the competition and you cut in half the number of visitors you get!

Think of Steve Jobs telling Bill Gates his Apple secrets, and then Microsoft takes over the world! That's what happened to me with the Amazon program. Me being Steve Jobs, and the over 150 other webmasters being Microsoft!!

Don't put your eggs in one basket.

For example, some people rely on 100% of there income from Googles AdSense. Yet, at the same time people report getting the invalid clicks E-Mail, where Google dumps them from the program. Try to make money from as many different affiliate programs as possible. Right now I get earnings from six affiliate programs. If I ever get dumped from Google, I'll easily be able to replace the ads with something else. Amazon, ClickBank, Commission Junction, MaxBounty, and ShareASale are some great programs to look at, for leads and sales. I stay away from the CPM banner programs.

Sell your own products.

It's just another way to make some money. Many people make and sell E-Books or articles. Some of those have reseller-rights where you can sell them over and over making money each time after making back what you paid to get them. Some people make $10,000 a month by doing that and promoting there pages through PPC such as Google AdWords.

Content is king.

For content sites, using public domain content is an easy way to get content. You can for example, edit those books and resell them or put them up on your own site with out having to ask any one for permission.

2. How long did it take you to build up your business to the point of achieving pretty good income?

In 2003 I started making Affiliate program sites, and in January 2005 I started doing this full time.

3. Would you be able to recommend other people that I should also talk to, to get some more insight and knowledge about being successful online?

Aspen (Note: Co-incidentally, I also asked Aspen the same questions)

Aspen

1. Would you be able to share some of the lessons you have learned during your time in this business?

See: http://www.websitepublisher.net/successful_website/

2. How long did it take you to build up your business to the point of achieving pretty good income?

From the start of myself trying to make a for-profit website it was 2 years until making enough to live off of. 4 years for a 6 figure income. I've now been doing it for 6 years.




These responses are very helpful, and the sites they gave me contain lots of information that will definitely be useful in the beginning of my quest. I'm starting to get an idea of how long it will take before I can start earn a full time income from doing this.

With many thanks to Aspen and Nintendo at Sitepoint forums.



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