11 Online Business Success Stories – How Did These Marketers Get Started?

online business success storiesI had this strange idea — People who are failing, fail at something because they don’t know what is the right thing to do. In their despair, they give up all-together. But how do others find their right niche and turn it into an online business success story?

These guys have found it and will tell you in their stories that only after you have failed so many times, you will be able to find the right mix. Indeed, perseverance is the key to success.

Alex Fortin

online business success story alex fortin

Alex Fortin runs TeespringExpert where he teaches others how to succeed with Teespring. I was curious about how he got started. Let’s listen to his online business success story.

I have always been fascinated by success. I read Napoleon Hill many times, pushing to the front and a lot of other self-help book or business-oriented book. This has been instrumental in my journey to success, reprogramming my brain to make it understand and seek success.

In 2011 I started my first website. It was a rating website kind of like “hot or not,” but instead of rating the “hotness,” you would rank people by their outfit. The idea was that every time I was going out, I had a hard time choosing the right outfit. So I needed somewhere to go where I could get feedback on my outfit.

I hired a developer to make this happen and I had zero knowledge about online marketing. It never took off and so I shut it down after about a year.

My roommate at that time was also interested in online marketing. We decided to launch a blog together that just talk about our different online experience – what we do and how we approach everything. I was also running some affiliate website and really that’s at that time I started learning about SEO and CPA.

Fast forward a few months, I decided to give a try to the CPA world. I read everything I can on the subject, got myself set up with prosper 201 (cloaking software), and started doing some advertising on POF. It was a lot of analysis and it was really time-consuming.

This is right about that time that I heard about Teespring. There was this huge buzz around it. People were making a lot of money and I wanted to take a stab at it.

I tried designing a few shirts myself but my photoshop (read paintbrush) skills weren’t gonna cut it. So I hired a designer and we got to work. After my 5 designs, I was making about 50$­­–100$ a day. Coming from the CPA world where people “dream” of results like this, I was pretty happy with this.

A lot of people were trying Teespring but most didn’t have success. I was getting a lot of request about how I do everything. So I created a website which is Teespringexpert.com where I explain in details how to step by step create a successful campaign. I am one of the first persons to ever have offered a course on Teespring.

Now I’m running Teespringexpert.com alongside AlexFortin.com.

I have a lot of plans for the future and I’m super excited to wake up every morning and do what I love.

When you have a dream, study the steps and take massive action then success is bound to come.

 

Daniel Scocco

online business success story Daniel Scocco

Daniel blogs at DailyBlogtips which is one of the finest blogs that I have seen. The tips are crisp and reflect distilled wisdom of ages.

Here’s his story:

I started my first websites back in 2005: one called WebTechToday (which is dead, and the domain is no longer mine) and InnovationZen.com (which is still alive and making some money, despite not having worked on it for years). Initially, I just wanted to write about my main interests (technology, business, and innovation), but the sites started growing quite fast. After four months or so I was getting over 1,000 visitors per day, and I couldn’t believe that so many people were visiting my website.

It was around that time that I decided to play around with monetization as well. The first month I used AdSense, I made $20 or so. Not enough, but certainly enough to get me excited. That is when I decided to quit my job and start working full time on my online projects.

Over time I launched several other websites (including DailyBlogTips.com and DailyWritingTips.com which are still going strong), I bought some websites, sold some, and so on. At one point my portfolio had 15 or so websites, but managing all of them was hard. Today I own only 5 or so.

Around five years ago I also started to migrate from website owner to programmer. I started learning how to code because I wanted to be able to work on larger projects and to build my own software and applications. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, as being able to write software opens many opportunities for you, both in terms of your existing projects and in terms of new projects/ideas.

Today I still manage my websites but most of my time I spend developing new web and mobile apps.

Zac Johnson

zac johnson

ZacJohnson blogs at ZacJohnson.com and also heads NeverBlue. He shares tips and tricks on affiliate marketing. No spoilers here, but Zac started at the age of 15.

My journey where I first started and how I got to where I am today is a long, but fun one. I first started to make money online back in the mid-90s. I was around 15 and in high school at the time. My first few dollars were through postal mail and people would actually send me a dollar inside of an envelope. This was in exchange for a 468×60 banner design that I had created for their sites. The funny thing is many people wouldn’t send the dollar in the mail and don’t forget… this is way before anything like Paypal was around.

That part of the journey is important because it was my first realization that I could make some money on the internet… even if it was just a few dollars.

The next big thing was having discovered the Amazon.com affiliate program. I then created a celebrity movie directory site and linked all of the movies back to Amazon. The site ranked very well in the search results and ended up doing six figures in sales, and I would earn my 5-15% commission on each sale.

I then fell into the world of affiliate marketing and saw that I could then make more money from people filling out a survey or completing a credit card application versus having to actually pull out their credit card and make a sale through Amazon.

That was how everything kinda rolled out of a few years and got me heavy into affiliate marketing.

I used these same principles and tactics to create my own affiliate programs in 1999-2002 through Commission Junction, and also on a MySpace resource site that I created in 2006. It went on to generate $800,000 in profit in just four months. In 2007 I also launched my blog at ZacJohnson.com to help others learn how to do the same and share my online business success stories…

RadhaKrishnan

radhakrishnan

RadhaKrishnan is an entrepreneur based in Calicut, India. He heads his own SEO consulting firm Webnamaste and is one of the most successful people in the country by doing so. Doing what he loves also gives the freedom to do what you want and RK due to his popularity has given him a chance to visit over 26 countries.

Let’s dig into his online business success story.

It was in the year 2005, during the 4th semester of my Biotechnology Engineering course, I had a road accident, injured my knee and that limited my mobility for about 3 months. I always dreaded being idle and wanted to do something worthwhile with my time when I was resting. I Googled for ways to make money online, and my search landed me a part time job as a writer, and a few link building gigs, while browsing through the internet marketing forums (that didn’t even pay! It’s a different story altogether!)

Later, I started building websites and monetized them using Google Adsense, which didn’t work for very long. As a college kid, making over US$ 600 per month was like a dream come true! But I saw a glimpse of the vast potential of digital marketing as an evolving industry, and its need to bring online visibility for offline businesses. By the time I graduated out of the college, I had the necessary skillsets to be employed as a Digital Marketing Consultant, and that was when I was hired by Position2.com office in Bangalore – a leading digital marketing company based in Santa Clara, USA. The job gave me all the skills on managing a campaign professionally, and on creating stellar reports.

The recession hit us very hard in the year 2009. That’s when I decided to quit the company, as my part-time freelancing gigs were bringing in more income than my 10 am to 9 pm day-job. I eventually started WebNamaste in the year 2009, with just US$ 1500 as the investment and hired a friend to help me out with the campaigns. What started as a 2-member team in a 1-bedroom studio apartment in Bangalore with just 2 clients, is now a 20-member company which has now served over 235 clients globally.

Starting my own business during the recession is the best decision I’ve ever made. Moving back to Calicut, my hometown, was the next best decision. Now WebNamaste focuses on building Apps that makes lives easier. We aspire to start building our own brand and to create more employment and entrepreneurial opportunities that make a positive difference in our community.

Matthew Woodward

matthew woodward

Matthew is one of the coolest guys you can meet. His link building videos are an exception to anything I have seen online. He regularly posts income reports in excess of 10k a month. His blog Matthewwoodward.co.uk has won several awards and been featured multiple times.

When I was younger, I was always interested in becoming a journalist and playing video games.  I was a Nintendo fan-boy and one of the websites I read when I was 13 asked for volunteers to write news & reviews.
That was my first venture into the online world properly, back then I had no idea that you could make money on the internet. I was just happy to have the opportunity to write about what I loved.

As time went on I involved myself in competitive gaming and we would record ‘demos’ or short movies or matches/players best bits.  In fact, I believe I was the first person to do a 360 no scope as seen at the end of this video.

The problem was it was very difficult to share those videos, YouTube didn’t exist yet so I built my first website to help the community share them and discuss them.  I had a paper round at the time to fund the dedicated server needed so much!

It was those years of my life that really helped to shape what I do today.  That is when I started to learn about video editing, animation, building a website, managing a community, writing content & more!  Even though my mum would constantly shout at me to stop wasting time on that bloody computer ^^

Kathryn Aragon

Kathryn Aragon

Kathryn Aragon is the Chief Editor at CrazyEgg. I have learned a lot from Kathryn which has helped me hone my skills. She also runs  KathrynAragon.com where she offers smart marketing services.

She is a woman who knows her way with words and brings out both finesse and magic in her work.

Her story is very inspiring and here it is.

I got my start in the second grade when I wrote my first story and the family went wild with praise. The attention, though short-lived, was addictive. My goal from that moment was to become a rich and famous writer. Emphasis on rich and famous.

Of course, to my mind, there was just one path to that goal, and it was writing novels. In spite of my talent with nonfiction and journalism, ignoring encouragements to go into business writing, I was determined to pursue fiction. As you might guess, it was a slow start.

It took years for me to admit that business writing was a legitimate way to meet my goals. Perhaps the only way to make decent money at writing. That’s when things finally began falling into place. Of course, nothing is ever wasted. Those years of studying storytelling and publishing were the perfect background for a content marketer. I understood the need to create a platform (name recognition and credibility, in business-speak). I knew how to create and recycle content. And it was only a short leap to see how content could create an effective sales funnel.

I hung my shingle as a copywriter, but immediately stepped into social media and content marketing as a way to market myself. If I had it to do over again, I’d also add guest blogging to that mix. But my plan worked well enough. Within two years, I caught the attention of Crazy Egg’s blog editor, Russ Henneberry. I wrote for him for a few months, and when he left, he recommended me to take his place.

Have I reached my goal? As far as I’m concerned, I have. I make a living doing what I love, working with people from all over the world.

Success, for me, has been about making smart decisions (better late than never) and being in the right place at the right time. It’s also about doing the work whether anyone seems to be noticing or not. Because, eventually, people do notice, and then things can fall into place quickly.

 

Michael Lavrik

michael-lavrik

Michael runs one of the world’s oldest and longest running web hosts Interserver.

Let’s hear him out.

“My name is Michael Lavrik I am an operating partner at Interserver but my official title is Director of Business Development. My colleagues and I work out of our office/data center located in Secaucus, NJ. The business was started in 1999 when I was only 15 years old. We started by reselling virtual hosting accounts for another provider, then bought our first dedicated server, switched to co-location, then a rack, then multiple racks, 15 years later we operate two data centers in Secaucus NJ. and expanding rapidly into other locations like Los Angeles, CA.”

Interserver has been providing affordable web hosting solutions since the year 1999, way before hosting providers like Hostgator came into the scene which was only in 2002.

Michael says that the reason behind the success has been the experience that comes with it and running a time-tested and proven formula for success.

 

Carol Tice( Make A Living Writing)

carol tice

Freelance writer, Den mother, hope for thousands of struggling freelance writers, Carol Tice represents the epitome of freelance writing success. While most freelance writers are barely making it, Carol earns over $5000 per month as a blog writer. She shares everything about her online business success story on her blog Make A Living Writing.

Strangely, though, Carol started out as a songwriter and was fully determined to make it big in the music industry.

She didn’t know it then. But her mind was working all the odds in freeing her from this career. Songwriting was another name for starving oneself to death.

Money had to go for band members, for renting halls; while the job itself produced almost nothing save rejections.  An opportunity presented itself in the form of an essay writing competition in the L.A weekly and she poured her heart out— detailing on what it was to be a songwriter in L.A. and being crushed between starvation and a dream.

She won and the magazine paid her $200. The tiny sum was the crux of the Carol Tice that we see today.

She found many gigs branching out from that one gig; became a staff writer at trade-pub and then started freelancing once again in 2005.

Her story is one that inspires a lot of writers (me included) who are working towards making it big.

 

Sophie Lizard

Sophie Lizard

Sophie is a freelance writer and shares her freelancing success tips on BeaFreeLanceBlogger.

It all started after losing my day job in the 2008/09 economic downturn. After spending a few months wondering what to do about it, in early 2009 I  decided to start freelancing via an online marketplace called People Per Hour. After a few gigs through that site, I started to get referrals. I believe the main thing that helped me succeed was my attitude. I always consider myself part of the team rather than an outside “hired help”, so I offer opinions and ideas wherever I think they might be useful. Of course, this way I tend to get involved in more than only the original project.

Hope that helps you too!

 

Kulwant Nagi (Blogging Cage)

Kulwant Nagi

During his childhood, Kulwant liked to play with pigeons and parrots. He cleared his Bachelor’s in Engineering and was all set to do his Masters in USA after having cleared GRE (Graduate Record Exam).

But then all hell broke loose.

In Kulwant Nagi’s own words “After preparing for this exam for more than 18 months, I cleared this exam with a big score and applied to 6 reputed universities in USA.

To my surprise, I got admission in all universities and now the confusion was; where to go.

One college offered me $11,000 scholarship, so obviously, this was my choice. It was Rochester Institute of Technology, NewYork, USA. I was too much excited to start my new life.

I booked my ticket for USA (which was on 13th August, 2010).

So excitement was on its par.

But soon I came to know that we don’t have enough money to afford this education. We tried many banks, asked from many relatives, many friends but no one was there to help us. In short – we were completely helpless.

So I thought my story ended here and all dreams were ruined.”

It was from these ashes that Kulwant picked himself up and moved on with life. Coming back to India all he could do was stay away from his family for some peace and start looking for a job.

It was during this time that someone contacted him with an MLM opportunity. The idea of becoming an entrepreneur and making it big sounded lucrative and he took it.

But after some time he felt that the world of blogging was a much better match for him than MLM or network marketing. The domain kulwantnagi was bought on July 2011 and he started blogging in September 2011( three years now).

He then started BloggingCage which is an excellent resource for marketers at all levels.

In this short time, Kulwant has managed to carve a name for himself in this industry and is one of the most well-known bloggers in the country.

BloggingCage is one of his primary earners making him more than $1500 per month with reviews and or paid posts. He also runs a couple of affiliate niche sites that bring in $500 to $800 every month.

Jeremiah Smith

jeremiah

Jeremiah runs Simple Tiger a firm that specializes in inbound marketing services, along with his brother Sean.

Let’s hear his story.

I found SEO by accident. While working as a webmaster for a small mom and pop shop that sold ATVs, dirt bikes, go-carts and scooters. I built their site, loaded up all their products and made it look nice and pretty. Then my boss came in and asked me how we get on Google. That was such a simple question back then and immediately made me think; “I don’t know”.

After a quick search in Google for “how to get your site in google” I found this interesting new industry called SEO. 😉
Fast forward 6 months and my client’s site is now performing 40% better than it was last year entirely due to the SEO work I’ve done. I decided; “This is it for me”.
I put SEO on my resume, landed a job at a major ad agency in Atlanta working with a long list of Fortune 500 corporations and seeing how the big boys played the game. The difference in what they did wasn’t really that big, just how they did it. I then went on to work with a smaller ad agency in Atlanta that focused on helping startups get going. I brought them an SEO department and began signing up new clients and using these techniques I’ve tested and honed for years in order to drive these small startups into profitable companies.
Eventually, my side consulting clients got so numerous and demanding that I didn’t have the time to run a small business and work as an employee for another agency. So I made the decision to go out on my own and build SimpleTiger. The rest is history. To this day I’ve never looked back and I owe so much of my success to this amazing, throbbing industry, the gracious people and wonderful agencies I’ve had the pleasure of working with and for in the past. I continue to help agencies to this day and SimpleTiger’s primary focus is on helping agencies that need an outsourced specialist to provide their clients with effective SEO services. We also work with some fun startups because deep down inside that’s where our heart is.

 

Concluding thoughts on these online business success stories!

So that’s it folks. Remember, the key is to keep going and soon you can write your own story!

So, how do you find these inspiring online business success stories? Which one was your favorite? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

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20 thoughts on “11 Online Business Success Stories – How Did These Marketers Get Started?

  1. It is really nice to see Kulwant Negi in this list and he proves that Indian blogger also has a very good reputation at the world level as well . I believe that soon we will see more Indian blogger in this list

  2. I wish the article had also included those success stories which are outside the bracket of “SEO writing/Blogging tips”. Blogging is more than writing tips. The general perception is unless your blog is about tips/seo/tech there is little chance of it making money and getting popular

    1. Well, I feel you are right. And I tried too. But everyone wants something in exchange for the time they are spending. For those outside this niche what can I offer? They don’t links because they won’t reveal their money earning sites or businesses and links are the only things that I can offer.

      So, it’s practically very difficult to achieve this.

  3. Learnt about new bloggers here. Good to see how they shaped up their dreams. We just started our journey in this blogging world as well. Hope to make it big as well 🙂

  4. Those are some inspiring people right there. I have only heard of Matthew Woodward up til now, as I have been following his blog for the past year or so. I’m definitely going to check out teespringexpert, since I am a cartoonist and marketing products like tshirts is something that I’ve been wanting to learn about.

    Thanks for the great post, George!

  5. Kulwant Negi has been inspiration for many. He is a good friend and a famous blogger among Indians. Glad to see him getting featured over here.

    1. Great selection of inspiring personalities. I definitely feel motivated to keep pursuing my dreams after reading your article. It is awesome to feature people with a special sparkle here!

  6. This is great successful story that our brothers brought to our knowledge as far as online business is concerned. I am from Kenya and really inspired with the story of these young men who turned their hobbies into business venture.Very soon I will release my online site. I am motivated. God bless you.Amen.

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