The First eBook I Ever Sold (and Why I’m a College Dropout)

78 amazing comments

a winding road blogging journey
Me and my buddy walking a rainy path in the highlands of Scotland.

When I was 16 I sold an eBook for $65 to a lovely man from Holland.

Actually, it was less e-Book and more real-book; I printed it out with a nice hardcover and literally posted it to the other side of the world.

As clumsy as that transaction was (I made him send me the money via Western Union) I am only now realizing something vital about that day.

And I’d like to share it with you.

Hopefully someone out there reads it and doesn’t end up wasting all the years that I have.

WARNING: Self-involved stories and lame nostalgia ahead. Proceed with caution!

Making that first sale…

You might have heard this story before.

When I was in high school I was obsessed with Kung Fu and Bodybuilding. I thought I was like some young Bruce Lee from Australia.

I used to train three or four hours every single day – often at the expense of exams or study or angst-ridden high school relationships.

But I also got pretty good (or so I thought!).

And so I decided to start a fitness website.

Looking back, it kind of makes me cringe. It had a flaming logo and a lot of scrolling marquee text on a black background. I also had no formal qualifications as a trainer – just a lot of lessons learned by exercising an unhealthy amount.

(If you want to avoid making your first website a crappy one like my first one please read this post.)

So I put all of my training routines and ideas into a fitness manual and posted it up on the site. Within a week I received an email from a guy who wanted to buy it.

*heart starts racing*

I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I caught the bus into the city to collect my $65 from a Western Union outlet.

Yes, I caught the bus.

I was ready to take over the world. And although I’ve never forgotten the feeling of that day, I’ve let it slip into the back of my mind far too many times.

And that has caused a lot of problems.

I think I hate my University degree…

I went to University and studied a degree that I hated for a few years.

I’d rock up to lectures every day and then right when the class was going in I’d lose my nerve and go and muck around in the computer rooms.

After a few months of this I realized that I was wasting my time (and money) at Uni and dropped out with one subject to go.

Yes, one subject.

I’d just sold a blog for almost $20,000 while working in the computer labs instead of going to tutorials.

There was that feeling again.

It was time to take blogging seriously.

I think I hate my business…

And so I got to work on building blogs.

Some of them worked (I sold a couple of others for 5-figures) and some of them failed hard.

But I was working from home building my own assets.

I was hooked.

The problem started when I began to run out of money. One too many blogs failed and eventually I started to take on web design and copywriting-type work in order to pay the bills.

And then my life became about finding and servicing clients.

Work became a chore. And I found myself not very well equipped to deal with the stresses associated with hosting medium-sized company websites, managing their emails, building new business and keeping everyone happy.

A few years in and I realized that I hated my business.

The goal was to use web design clients to pay the bills so I could build and grow more blogs. But I ended up getting lost in the day-to-day stuff and completely forgetting about what I actually wanted to do with my life.

While I was grateful for my clients and their money that allowed me to work from home, I knew it wasn’t me at my best and I knew it wasn’t a sustainable situation for my health or happiness.

And then I registered BlogTyrant.com

I haven’t told many people this but initially Blog Tyrant was meant to be a marketplace for buying and selling blogs, finding writers, photos, coders – anything you might need to run a blog.

But before I had all that built I decided to write a few articles and get the domain name ranking on Google.

The third article I wrote hit the front page of Delicious and brought in nearly 10,000 unique visitors in the blog’s third week. Here’s some proof:

traffic

There was that feeling again.

It was exactly what I needed – a reminder of what I was supposed to be doing and what I was good at – writing useful blog posts and building sites up in different niches.

And nothing against my clients, but it felt so good to be focusing on building my own business again instead of working night and day to build someone else’s.

Do you remember that feeling?

It took me years and years (and an income hit) but I’m finally working on the business that I want to be.

I love this website and the community that has sprung up around it. I’ve made genuine friends with other website owners and, most of all, the awesome people who leave comment-essays every week.

Every time I publish an article I get a little version of that feeling I got when I sold that eBook all those years ago.

And it makes me want to do more.

If you’ve lost that feeling I encourage you to figure out how you lost it.

And then work like crazy to get it back.

What about you?

Are you working on the business that you want to be?

Are you following the initial motivation that first compelled you to register a domain name and start a new blog?

I’d love to hear about your own journey and how you balance working on something you love with making enough money to pay the bills.

Please leave a comment and let me know.

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78 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Catherine

    I was made redundant and have found it difficult to find employment since. Some of it is age related, yeah, but I’m not past it yet! How hard is it to list your skills when you have to? I can never think of one thing I am good at.

    I have to find a way to make my own living. I know it will take time, but everyone has to start somewhere.

    Onward and upward (and maybe a new computer with a ‘K’ ey that works easily)!


    1. Ramsay

      Sorry to hear about the redundancy. My father went through the same thing and I remember it being really hard for him.

      The only thing I can really say is that networking really seems to be the key. Everyone I know who has done something good or got the job I wanted has been out meeting people at conferences or pubs as opposed to just resume writing.

      But I really have no idea about real-world jobs. I just watch my family and friends and take notes.


      1. Martin

        Catherine, a friend of mine just started a new job today. She’d been turned down by all the agencies and out of despondency decided to apply online somewhere. Something on the page didn’t work, so she called the helpdesk, and struck upon a very helpful young woman who gave her three perfectly matched job openings to apply to, one of which took her on.

        Point is: It really is about connecting, communicating, letting one person or situation guide you to the next. Call it networking or casting a fishing line or putting yourself out there – when you put out the message that you’re looking for something, your surroundings will respond, and you’ll find it.

        I once decided: ‘I’m moving house, I’m finding a new place to live – today’. I started talking to people, made calls, had viewings, and before 8pm that day I had signed a new lease.

        That, or you go the road many of us travel these days, and build something for yourself. It’s hard work, but it’s not that hard.


    2. steve

      Catherine,

      I’ve had to renew my income several times during my working career and it’s never easy. here are a few things that helped me. I hope they help you.
      1. If you’re struggling to find your strengths/skills you can Google “strengths finder” and take a gallup survey that will, based on your answers, list your strengths. It’s very helpful.
      2. Ask your friends and ex-co-workers. They know you and some will, hopefully, be honest. You need honest feedback, even if some of it hurts.
      3. Martin is right, networking is the key.
      4. Your new job is finding a job. So create a plan and follow it. “I will contact 25 people every day,” for example. “I will post comments on the following LinkedIn Groups every day,” to help others. I’ve done this several times. Some days I’m on the phone for hours and other days I left messages and never talked to anyone. However, if my plan was to contact 25 people and I’d done that, I took the day off. your situation didn’t happen in one day, although it may feel that way, and your solution won’t happen in one day either.
      5. Use your time off to get to know you better and enjoy your life. Read more, exercise, get to know your neighbors…do something for you.
      All the bets,
      Steve


      1. Ramsay

        Thanks for chiming in guys. This is seriously the best community.


  • Angela Alcorn

    Lucky for you, you worked it out eventually. It can take people lifetimes to find a direction they actually like.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah I totally agree. Some days I still feel like that but I think it’s so important to figure out what you want from your business as early as possible.


  • susie t. gibbs

    Nice.

    Do what you love, the money will follow. Right?

    I’m only just now learning how to connect the passion and ability with income. I am a freelance graphic artist and copywriter recovering from a late stage cancer and only work part time. I also keep a food blog devoted to low carb keto recipes, meals, tips, tricks and stories of Texas hijinx. But I’ve been clueless about how to monetize it so that it, at minimum, pays for itself. Thinking big, I’d love to have a little security income in case I need to work from my recliner!

    After four years, my blog has grown from 200-300 page views per day to sometimes as many as 2000 hits per day. Still not startling figures, but that’s been in about 8 months time. I credit you for helping me spur that small growth. It’s also seeing a tiny bit of income at the end of every month.

    So thanks for sharing your story, journey and expertise with me!

    Regards,

    Susie T.


    1. Ramsay

      Susie that is so awesome! I’m really happy for you. Thank you for sharing.


  • coralcrue

    Your writing is inspiring, always. I was not much of a computer geek. I went to college, studied, got that university degree but still feel incomplete. The world makes me feel incomplete and there is this huge burning passion to do something with my creativity which can’t be used in my line of work. And then i stumbled on to blogging. I am not good at it. I am just reviewing stuff and now want to seek a change, learn to blog professionally and put up a site that i am passionate about….like you!! πŸ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      It sounds like a good start to me!

      Mind if I ask what you studied and why it didn’t fulfil you?


  • Michael Gorman

    Enjoyed the candour and journey in this post, you at least did discover your true calling and successfully built a life aroud it. I struggled for years in the offline world working as an IT Support person…I thought I loved technology, its appication to real world problems, but I grew to dislike the whole culture around corporate IT, and the daily round of problems that replicated exactly last month’s problems…I began getting interested in online business building about 4 yeas ago and taught myself HTML and WordPress, and relished the stories of freedom and living independently from online activity. I had always liked helping people and found people to be the most important aspect of my IT career while my colleagues sneered about the ‘users’…so this is really what I am working towards, helping people with my own experience & hard won knowlege in various niches – as long as it is real and genuinely of use i love online business and bringing that freedom to others. Great post Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing Michael. I sometimes don’t really think people understand how hard IT can be, especially in a support capacity. Couple the work with the fact that you’re sitting down all day and working weird hours and it can make a person pretty unhappy.

      Your motivation is also so good. The idea of helping people rather than denigrating them for not understanding. A few really big businesses have been launched with that model here in Australia – PC Doctor for example.


  • Kerry Russell

    Hi Ramsay,

    That’s got to be every newbie’s dream – 10,000 unique visitors in the third week of blogging, right? Congrats for that! πŸ™‚

    I can SO relate to your story. I never went to uni, but I was a high school dropout and from there I was a nightmare employee. Just hated being told what to do and when. lol

    Then in 2010, I realized that I wanted to work for myself and create my own destiny (work life balance, etc) and that’s when I discovered Internet Marketing.

    Heck, I invested tens of thousands of dollars into mentors and coaching programs, just learning the skills I needed to start an online business.

    And although I had some success during this time, which was my first 3 figure week from a video training course I created, I just couldn’t settle in the IM niche because I didn’t believe in the business model and found it slightly unethical if I’m honest.

    Then, I noticed that people were ‘ethically’ making money and living a great life blogging about topics they love – that’s when I made the switch and registered my domain name.

    That was 8 months ago now. No, it’s not been an easy journey building my audience from scratch, but I LOVE what I do and I’ve met some amazing bloggers (like yourself) throughout my journey. πŸ™‚

    There’s still a long way to go, but I know the effort will be worth it in the long run.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    Have an awesome day!
    Kerry


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Kerry.

      Thanks for sharing that story! Sounds like you’re really on the way to finding your little niche.

      What was your favorite course/coach?


      1. Kerry Russell

        Yeah, I really enjoy blogging and helping others learn the skills needed to start a blog around a topic they love as well.

        In my IM days, I’d say John Thornhill’s Partnership to Success program was my favourite because he’s the most honest IM’er I know – and he really goes the extra mile to help you out.

        I found your site through a guest post you did on Copyblogger not so long ago and I got to say, I love your blog πŸ™‚


  • Brian

    Great story, Ramsay. I think sometimes the downturns in business make you a sharper and more resourceful person. It seems like most entrepreneurs have a rocky path before they figure it out, but if it’s really who you are, then you’ll keep trying until you get it.

    For bloggers, I’d say that freelance writing is a great fallback while you build it into a business. A blog gives you credibility and freelance writing gets you into the habit of writing often and improving your skills.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah I totally agree with that about the rocky road. It’s a very common theme for anyone who has achieved something interesting.


  • Jamie Alexander

    Sounds like you’ve had a mad journey, Ramsay.

    It must have felt great when you broke out of the web design hell. I think that is what is happening with me at the moment. I’ve stopped working on my old blog, but I can’t find the time to start my new business. I think it’s been because of the traveling so hopefully I’ll be working on something I want to be my life within the next week.

    Don’t know if you’ve heard about the crap with Thailand and them kicking out all the long term visa runners, but I’ve decided to buy a business visa and live in a beach town in Cambodia because it’s so cheap I can cover my expenses in less than one hour per day, so then I have no excuses not to build my business. If I’m not working towards my own business in the next week I’m a lazy procrastinating fool ha.


    1. Ramsay

      That sounds ideal! What was the story in Thailand? Why did so many IM guys go there in the first place?


      1. Jamie Alexander

        I guess just living a tropical lifestyle for 1-2k per month is the main draw. You might not notice it so much living in OZ, but I come from Scotland so wearing flip-flops and tank tops for 2 years instead of 5 jumpers and 2 pair of leg warmers under jeans isn’t nice ha.

        But they’ve decided to get strict with rules (which is aimed at certain nationalities with ties to mafia activity and not IM nomads), so it’s not really a long-term solution any more.


  • Lee Trends

    Inspiring journey so far.

    The ups and downs can be scary but in the end hitting the intersection between passion and profit can be such a great feeling.

    I’ve dabbled for a while and have had many minor wins but have never focused full on, on my blogging/website business.

    Have decided recently to give it a full effort and work the proper steps. Following along case studies and ideas from your blog and others will be a great help.

    Kudos Ramsay!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks, Lee. And good luck!


  • Jake Parent

    Great stuff.

    Six months ago I quit my job to devote myself full-time to writing. At first I thought I’d be blogging. But one day soon after (like three days) I quit my job, I began the first step toward completing a life long dream.

    For the next few months I wrote 2,000 words or more every day and eventually ended up with my very first novel.

    The process has been a wild one. Lot’s of ups and downs and everything in between. But I’m excited with what I ended up with and will launch it next monthish. I’m not sure how it will do, but I know that I’ve never been happier, now that I answered my calling.

    Life is too short to sit around waiting for exactly the right time to do what you dream.

    Thanks for inspiring people to start living them… today.

    -Jake


    1. Ramsay

      Life sure is too short. Congratulations on the bravery! I hope it goes massively well.


  • Nabil Ansari

    I don’t know why, but it completely related to what I’m doing right now.

    2 years ago, I created a fitness website on blogspot. But soon I realized that it was not working. I started hating to work on it. So I left it there.

    After that, I started selling mobile accessories on eBay and Amazon, so that I can pay my bills. This is still helping me to get through everything.

    And then 10 months ago, I created my fiverr account where I rewrite articles, and post them to GoArticles. I’m still doing it, and it has increased overtime (which really makes me work day in and day out).

    And to top that, I had created a Get Your Ex Back website, but soon I was not able to pay the hosting bill (because it has some error in processing my credit card, I don’t know why). So it is now officially out of the way.

    And now I created a Viral Nova type site, named Viral Diary, on which I’m working really hard because the content that I put on it, really does makes me work more. Also, I’ve just dropped out of Uni (2 days ago).

    I don’t know whether I will be successful with what I’m doing. And this is why I had to write this little essay.

    This post really made me think about Back To The Future movie.


    1. Ramsay

      Good luck to you my friend. I hope it all goes exactly as you plan!


      1. Nabil Ansari

        You’re welcome, mate. πŸ™‚


  • Alex

    I’m doing exactly what I set out to do and run a blog about what I can do best (creative writing). I have a little money on the side, so I can fully concentrate on the blog for a while. Also, I have almost half a year worth of articles pre-written, and design, free ebook, etc. is all in place – which means I can mainly concentrate on bringing in traffic for a couple of months.

    If you are occupied with too many other tasks while running your blog, the danger is that you can’t put out enough content or can’t make that content good enough to keep people hooked. Also, it’s easier to always concentrate on one single task – like I focused on writing for months, and now I’m focused on traffic.

    Of course, there has to be a balance, one can be too well prepared too – and that will just be the luxury version of procrastination then…


  • grahame

    Hi Ramsay

    Thanks for your words of wisdom. I have been working on my website about travel in Thailand for over six years after my art gallery business went belly up in 2008. A friend suggested I start a travel website/blog as I love writing and travel. I’ve kept it going all these years and thought it pays for itself, I cannot stop now after writing 400+ pages.

    I currently receive around 1,500 daily visitors with around 4000 page views but am not experienced in monetizing the site. I have no HTML experience and am doing my website via a Canadian company called Site Build It. They provide all the tools needed to run the site for people like me with little technical know how. I look up to guys like you for guidance and inspiration. Thanks again for taking the time to inspire me.


    1. Michael Gorman

      With traffic like that it would not be too difficult to monetize your blog, have you thought of some high end affiliate promotions, like yacht chartering, or Aircraft chartering, putting a hotel booking form- or travel accessories – heck even an Amazon i-store.
      All travel related and ethical offerings – they pay very well. Depends if your readership are the types to buy stuff. But really there are a lot of options to make some money from your blog. Plus I would really think about taking control of your own asset – it is not hard to run a wordPress site with a hosting account-no one can shut you down then…


  • Gus St. Anthony

    Thanks for the insights, Ramsey.

    As for me, I am seventy six years old, retired from a long running commercial art business and starting a new career focusing on the faith based community.

    All this is very new. I have written and published a series of inspirational art workbooks (hard copy and e-books) and have begun a liberal blog as well.

    At this point, the cash flow is a tiny stream, indeed. My sales targets are church gift shops, Christian and Jewish book stores, missionary outreach programs and the home school market world wide.

    I have tried e-blast campaigns, direct mail campaigns, tele-marketing campaigns and, even, cold call direct sales. As of this writing, my web site has received about 800 hits which have resulted in a handful of sales.

    Now, I am also advertising for independent sales contractors in the USA and elsewhere.

    So, we’ll see.


    1. Ramsay

      Sounds like you’ve got some great ideas. Please let us know how it goes!


  • Steph

    I can totally relate to this, Ramsay! I’ve always dabbled a little in my artistic inclinations while working a corporate job but was taught at an early age that it wasn’t practical to pursue. My jobs allowed me to pay the bills and still ‘indulge’ in my hobby but never really go all in.

    Now that I’m adult, I can make some new, brave choices (funny how that works, huh?) My first attempt at showing my artsy side has been through my blog–it’s amazing to have that outlet of writing, but it’s still not exactly what I want to be doing. So last year I decided to stop pooh-poohing my painting and make it more of a focus. Through taking painting classes and really developing my own style, I feel closer to realizing my dream of inspiring others with my art and making money at it.

    From that experimenting, I’ve discovered my own unique brand that I think others will really connect to–inspirational art for kids (and the kid in you). I’m setting up my Etsy store and hope to be selling prints by the Fall.

    I’ve realized it’s all a fun experiment and the most important part for me is to enjoy the process. You never know what is coming up next! Thanks for the inspiring post.


    1. Ramsay

      It really is a bravery thing. I totally get that. Thanks so much for sharing and always leaving awesome comments!


  • Kim

    Great read! In just 20 years, I have been an actress, a manager, a pharmacy technician, a salesperson, a sales leader and mentor, and now I am dipping my toe into bogging.

    I find that each experience has built skills that lend to the next endeavor, but I truly love when I can let my creative side reign! Thanks for the reminder to follow our passion!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing, Kim. Hope you’re enjoying the blogging section of your journey.


  • Nishant Bazzad

    Thanks Ramsay for this wonderful post. I also hate my school and leave my school just 2 months ago for Blogging and now I start loving my life more than before.


    1. Ramsay

      Are you sure this is the right decision for you?


  • John Whelan

    Inspiring feedback! Great subject Ramsay.
    A previous commentor mentioned spending thousands on IM and feeling dishonest. I felt the same way in that situation.
    With hundreds of dreary hours trying to make money building sites and promoting other people’s products I ended up writing articles and blogging for other sites in my niche of expertise.
    It’s safe and a steady second income. One day I want to start my own blog again but use your resources as a blueprint.


    1. Ramsay

      What do you mean about IM feeling dishonest? What were you guys doing?


  • Dominic

    My girlfriend is in her last year of university and is stressing about finding a job. Not because there are none available, but because she doesn’t know what job she truly is meant to do.

    I think this story is a testament that not everyone knows exactly what they want to do. People get bored. People want learn different things or do other jobs. New interests pop up. It’s just a matter of moving through and enjoying life.

    I truly believe that when you’re doing something you were “meant to do,” you’ll realize it. It’s about poking around at many opportunities until that door opens and that “Aha!” moment happens.

    Thanks for writing.

    -Dominic


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks for sharing Dominic. My partner went through the same things. It’s a difficult thing to support someone through as they kind of have to discover it for themselves.


  • Yolanda

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Ramsay!

    I’m in the infancy stages of starting a business that I know I will LOVE.

    I think it’s so important to create and/or find work that absolutely excites you.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Yolanda!


  • Cafebiblioart

    It takes a lot of courage to do what you did. It is truly admirable. I am studying for a degree that I am no longer interested in, but blogging helps a lot. I just need that certificate in my hands and afterwards I can do something else. In the meantime I blog about something I enjoy.

    I started my blog because I wanted to meet people with similar interests. In the beginning I did not care about making a profit, but then I started uni and I started to care. Not that long ago I stumbled upon your blog and I started toying with the idea of moving and starting a self hosted blog. Finally, almost two weeks ago I did it. It is hard work moving, my new blog is a mess, I definitely need to work on it to make it as popular as the last one (not very popular compared to other blogs, but it was enough for me). Hopefully one day it will become something more, maybe it will even help me pay the bills. I would love that, but I will be more than happy if it will become at least a “portfolio” of some sort that will help me land a job that I will enjoy.

    I am glad that you are doing something that you love. Keep up the good work!


    1. Ramsay

      Good on you for finishing your degree first!


  • Caril

    Thanks for all your information Ramsey. The issue I keep coming back to is how to earn money through a blog. Similar blogs in New Zealand are either government subsidized or marketing only i.e. no income stream is generated from the blog.

    You seem to make money from selling things through the blog. Is this the only way to make money on the blog? What about recompense for all those hours of creative writing?

    Looking forward to your response
    Caril


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Caril.

      The idea for most blogs is to gradually grow a mailing list that you can then promote your own products or affiliates to. A lot of the really successful blog, however, have clients that they consult with.

      How are you doing it on yours?


  • David Gillaspie

    Thanks for telling it like it is, Ramsay. Your posts were a big help when I started my blog and I’m a fan.

    Your good will shines through every time. Looking for more light myself with each post.

    best regards,

    David


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks David. That means a lot.


  • Martin

    The balance between passion and profit is a tough one for me. I want to help my readers in every single article. I also realize the need for making money. After 6 years, I still struggle with that balance.


    1. Ramsay

      How are you balancing it Martin? Do you feel like there is some kind of conflict between those two?


  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Ramsay,

    I love your story. Through establishing clarity – aka, doing crap you got sick of doing – you found your bliss again, and here we are. You’re rocking it dude.

    I went from fired security guard, to blogger, to world traveler….then 3 weeks ago, I finally found it; a blog I was meant to write. I had some nice success with my old blog but I was never clear on 1 topic nor did I have an unending passion for covering that topic.

    That changed 3 weeks ago when I started Blogging from Paradise. I got so focused, so clear and heck, I’ve never enjoyed the journey like I’m digging it now.

    As you noted above in the comments, outreach is huge. Networking like a pro with top bloggers, commenting on blogs, promoting others and building friendships will take you to places you could never reach on your own.

    I worked a number of jobs I disliked because I accepted what life seemed to hand to me. Then I got serious about starting an online business but it took me 4 years to find what I was truly passionate about, and that was teaching folks how to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

    After traveling the world for the past 39 months – typing these words from Fiji – I’ve found my purpose for now, and it feels amazing to know this, and to be living my passion.

    Ramsay, what a powerful message here. Your story will continue to inspire so many folks.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Tweeting in a bit.

    Signing off from Fiji.

    Ryan


    1. Ramsay

      Nice work Ryan! Sounds awesome. How is Fiji these days? Politically okay?


  • Slavko Desik

    It was the first time I got rankings, traffic, shares, likes, a comment. The first time I made an adsense earning (0.2 $ I think). And no matter how many different projects I tackle, I always repeat this mantra that all of that is done so I can work on my blog, on content creation, on what I did when I started. All of that is here though, and articles like this one make me realize it in an instance. I’m, in fact, deliberately or not, pulling myself away from my “thing”.


    1. Ramsay

      Ah the first Adsense click! Those were the days!


  • Elena

    One course to finish? Man, hate it or not, I would have still finished it ;). But, that’s just my personality flaw–I like to have things finished.

    I am finally where I want to be, doing what I love; however, the day in and day out maintenance and blogging details sometimes do bug me down. Being a full-time mommy and wife on top of that make things a bit more challenging.

    I am working on outsourcing some of the technical things I need done, however, I found that sometimes finding the right people to work with is the biggest part of the challenge, followed only by making sure there is enough $$$ to pay for quality work.

    If I could easily deal with these two things and just do what I love most, I would be happy.


    1. Ramsay

      Elena that absolutely is a hard thing. It took me probably 5 years of experimenting until I found the coder that I am now using and happy with. Once you find them make sure you pay them lots of bonuses and look after them. You want to hang on!


      1. Elena

        Did you find someone local, in the US, or some other place? This seems to be the hardest part for me at this point–finding the people I can trust. I found a good web designer and love her, but now needs someone to help me create a membership site and…so far, no luck! I interviewed three people and each one just did not work out.


  • Lewis LaLanne

    Just last night, the very first girlfriend I ever had, sent me a picture of what I signed in her 6th grade year book.

    I wrote, “Your cute and I hope you have a great summer.” and finished it off with some chicken scratch that was supposed to be my name.

    I was in 6th grade and I couldn’t even use “Your” correctly. Well, maybe I could and being smitten made my thinking fuzzy and I had a momentary lapse in reason.

    Being twitterpated with the ladies became a theme with me and combined with hard partying led to me to leave 12th grade – in order to have money to party with and look fresh for the ladies with – and start working for a commercial construction company as hired muscle.

    If you would’ve ever told this disillusioned 16 year old high school drop out that he’d one day be running a business that involved him writing every day, getting paid to learn, and getting paid handsomely to advise and write for clients and that he’d absolutely love what he was doing, I’d tell you, you must be high on some of that bomb ass weed I was puffing on.

    And yet here I am.

    A person who truly started at the bottom education wise being that I didn’t study or do any school work after the seventh grade, choosing instead to only show up to school to hang out with friends, to becoming a person who is able to make a living for himself as the result of years of self study on topics that genuinely fascinate me.

    I’m always excited to hear about people like you who have harnessed a love for a topic and are making a mark on the world as the result of sharing the fruits of their evolving wisdom with an audience who adores them.

    Congratulations Ramsay on being in tune with what makes your heart sing. Thank you for finding your way. I wish you even bigger and brighter success and friendships to come.


    1. Ramsay

      Awesome story bro! Love it. Congratulations and don’t stop!


  • hernany

    Been getting your stuff for a long time now… i used to run an unsuccessful blog where your stuff was one of the blogs on my blog reel. Now I run an unsuccessful e-commerce site while working a day job at a law firm after an unhappy 6 years in IT support. I’m 28 and it’s really tough. I outsourced a lot of the programming and some design work and living with the in-laws while we’re supposed to be saving for a house or new apartment at least, but my website consumes so much of my earnings and i find myself stuck in its vicious appetite and my own appetite for freedom — so much so that it has become my little dark secret. I don’t know how many times you had to cope with failure before it worked but I envy you and hope one day I can tell my story like yours.


    1. Ramsay

      Sorry to hear it’s going hard. It seems like most of us go through some period like that. Make sure you keep learning and connecting with people who have made it happen in your niche. That can make all the difference sometimes.


  • Brian Yee

    Ramsay, this post is inspiring!

    To find out what you love to do and make a living with it is something that many people can’t imagine with. For most people, it’s either “money” or “passion”, you can’t get both. But you did it!

    I’d like to write a success story like yours but I don’t reach the ideal success I want yet. However, it’s getting closer. Hopefully I can write you my success story very soon πŸ˜€


    1. Ramsay

      Good luck Brian!


  • Chris

    Thanks for your posts Ramsay! I have been blogging for a long time but not seriously. I recently decided to get serious about it and did a little research. That is where I stumbled upon you (well I didn’t really use stumbleupon I used google.)

    Thanks for your insight! I will begin working on putting some of your suggestions into practice…now I just have to figure out how to write an eBook and what to put in it for my particular niche….never thought it would be this much hard work but I guess that’s the nature of the business.


    1. Ramsay

      Please let me know how you go!


  • Joe

    Hey Ramsay
    It’s nice to hear about your story, I think a lot of us readers can relate. The fact you are transparent about what you went through to be where you are today is comforting- it wasnt all successes and ridiculous monthly income reports which can sometimes feel a bit ‘me and them’.
    I quit my job in 2013 and went into copywriting/ content marketing to support myself, much like you. After one year things really picked up – i started ranking in google – and now I am making as much as i did in FT work. But I have to work solid hours and the whole point of my endeavour was to have more time to work on other stuff I actually enjoy! The problem with my business model as well is that it isn’t scalable- clients are expecting me to do the work so I only earn for my time :/ Live and learn.
    I have been thinking about joining Glen’s marketinginc as he knows what he’s talking about and i like the agency model there.
    Anywho im also working on my first app game which should be done by start of september hopefully if writing work doesn’t get in the way πŸ˜‰
    Also going to listen to your xperiements podcast today, will leave feedback. I was thinking of starting a case-study type blog too about success and failures of joining the laptop lifestyle. But I can’t help but think there’s too many of those blogs now!


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Joe.

      Thanks for the awesome comment!

      I feel the same about the income reports – I guess it’s inspiring but for me it always feels a bit awkward and showy. Perhaps it’s an Australian thing?

      Hope you like the podcast. Make sure you shoot me your game when it’s done!


  • Ken Lyons

    Hi Ramsay…

    I just wanted to say thanks for running BT and sharing so much information. I started my own blog a little while ago over on WP.com and really didn’t have any plan on how it was going to work. It was just something that I figured I should do to help promote my photography business. Since discovering a guest post of yours on ProBlogger I’ve been hooked πŸ™‚

    I’m investigating the best method of moving my WP.com blog over to a self-hosted version as well as changing it’s name / domain. I now have a plan of how I want to make the blog work for me, rather than me working for the blog – and I think that now is the right time to do that. I don’t have many followers, so I guess I’m going to be starting pretty much from scratch, although I do have a few email subscribers to bring over from WP.com (one thing I did learn a little while ago, before “meeting” you was to ditch the rss follow button on WP and enable the Email Signup. I don’t have a lot, but it’s a start πŸ™‚

    I have spent a fair chunk of time over the last two days reading your posts and various comments. I’ve just started writing my first eBook as a give-away for signups. I’m planning my second eBook, which I will offer for sale and will be signing up for Aweber shortly.

    In short… you’re a life saver. Thanks for the priceless information and guidance you give. I sense that it brings you great pleasure and I hope you continue to reap the rewards.

    Ken


    1. Ramsay

      Ken thank you so much for that feedback. Absolutely made my day!

      In terms of your migration, make sure you talk to your chosen host about it. They often do migrations for free in order to make it easy for you to move over to them.

      Ramsay


      1. Ken Lyons

        Thanks Ramsay… I’ll check with my web host about the help. I forgot to say in my original post – it’s nice to see someone from Adelaide making a big difference. I’m about 80km north of Adelaide πŸ™‚


        1. Ramsay

          Awesome! Good old SA.


  • Fiona

    I started up my website almost years ago after I went on maternity leave from my office job and realised I couldn’t face to go back. My passion is writing, ideally fiction but I know it’s hard to earn a living from that so for now I write content for my site, freelance for several magazines and have a non-fiction book coming out in a few months time. I feel like I am getting there step by step, hopefully in 5 years time I’ll be writing fiction for a living.


    1. Ramsay

      Keep at it! As the saying goes, it took me a long time to become an overnight success.


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