This is the story of how I went from being a bored financial advisor to owning a financial comparison website that lets me travel the world on the profits.
I’m usually not comfortable telling people how to make money online but I wanted to share my story because if I can do it then you can do it. I’ll also give you some tips on what NOT to do when starting a niche site like this. If you avoid the mistakes I’ve made then you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted time and energy, and you’ll probably start making money a lot more quickly too.
I am a qualified independent financial advisor, and although I had a decent job in the UK financial services industry, like many other people I found myself dreaming of making money online and living by the beach. I tried a bunch of things and nothing seemed to work until I started Compare Logbook Loans, a financial comparison site in the obscure niche of logbook loans that I’d never even heard of before.
It wasn’t an easy ride, and I’ve made lots of mistakes along the way, but it now earns me and my business partner a basic living each month, and since it really took off I spent most of 2011 in Thailand and Vietnam living by the beach. The site won’t make me rich – it now makes around $8,500 net profit per month between two of us – but because I get paid in UK pounds it allows me to live an excellent lifestyle in exotic places where I benefit from the great exchange rate.
There are many different online business models but the one I have managed to get working is a cross between affiliate marketing and lead generation. Put simply, this means that I get paid a commission by loans companies every time my website sends them a new visitor who goes on to become a customer. Everything is tracked automatically by online software and the lenders simply transfer money into my bank account at the end of the each month – it’s great!
Obviously there is a large amount of work of be done on the website each month – it’s not one of these automated cash machines that you hear about – but in relation to the income the amount of hours worked is pretty good and I can’t complain.
What NOT to do
Rather than just give you give you a chronological account of what I did, it might be more useful for you if I break it down into mistakes I made and how you can avoid them. I have always found negative advice more useful, simply because it is much easier to know when something does NOT work than when it does, because there are so many variables involved, including blind luck and random chance (which most of the so-called “gurus” never seem to mention.)
Here are a few of the mistakes I’ve made and what I learned from them – I hope this helps you to shave at least a year off your learning curve!