On average it takes anywhere from 18-24 months to start earning real money with your online business. Any legitimate business will take time and effort to grow. You probably realize by now that anyone pushing a get-rich-quick strategy probably doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
During that 18-24 month period of uncertainty, you’ll experience hard work, and little to no financial reward. This can understandably be very demotivating. However, if you keep at it, you can achieve success. Anytime I personally start a new website, I know going in that it will take at least 18 months to profit. I’ve built over a dozen sites with this mentality and while I wish I could tell you ALL of them have made me money, I can say that most of them have. It is true that mixed in with my successes, I’ve also had some failures. However, these failures have always taught me invaluable lessons that nobody could ever teach me. I had to learn for myself, and buy learning what doesn’t work, I’ve also learned what does work.
I’ve already shared my own personal experience with affiliate marketing success, so in order to help keep you motivated through this process, we thought we’d share just a few successful online business stories with you about everyday people just like you who achieve their dreams.
Shane and Jocelyn Sams
Shane and Jocelyn Sams were two elementary school teachers working in southern Kentucky until 2012 they started a small online business that would make them millionaires. They were working their 9 to 5 jobs, bringing home about $5,000/month together after taxes, and had a terrible boss. They hated their lifestyle and wanted to do more. Sam had read about how to make money with affiliate blogs and started building a few websites where he would post a variety of different content. In the early stages of their business, they were not making much, just a few bucks here and there.
Jocelyn saw what Shane was doing and they started brainstorming ideas on how to take their business a little further to make more money. They decided to do what they know best, use their teaching skills. So they started offering lesson plans, e-books, and other resources to teachers. Their site Elementary Librarian started growing and they quickly began making a lot of money, so much they were both able to quit their jobs and focus their time online business. They are one of our favorite successful online business stories because they demonstrate how using something you know, that you are passionate about, can lead to a better lifestyle and income. You can read more about their story on their site.
Elizabeth Rider didn’t start out to build an online empire. She was simply a woman passionate about healthy living who started a blog seven years ago to share her expertise and connect with others. Her great sense of humor and informative blog posts started attracting a large audience. She had read successful online business stories and knew that with a large audience she could start making money. She took some time to learn about how to work with affiliates and quickly started monetizing her blog.
With the money she was earning from her blog, she reinvested in her business and started offering coaching sessions, wellness bootcamps, and selling partner products. Now she is one of the leading nutrition gurus in the country and is making seven figures a year with her website Elizabeth Rider. Elizabeth Rider is one of the best successful online business stories because she just focused on doing what she loved and was able to build that into her dream job. You can learn more about Elizabeth Rider on her site here.
One of the best known successful online business stories is that of Aibek Esengulov. Aibek was just a young guy when he started his website MakeUseOf in 2006. He was passionate about technology and just wanted to share that passion by writing about the latest in hardware, software, and information technology. After a few years, he was able to position himself an industry thought leader and people would follow his website to learn about the latest and greatest in technology.
It took Aibek two years to start generating revenue and he credits his current success to persisting through that time period. He would blog, add new content, and keep his readers up to date on the latest and greatest in technology everyday even though he wasn’t making any money at the time. That dedication paid off and he grew such a large audience now he makes a ton of money simply selling ad space and working with affiliates. Aibek now has an entire team that helps to run his site.
The Biggest Online Companies Had Humble Origins
You can’t talk about successful online business stories without mentioning some of the big dogs. Many of the most popular websites in the world had very humble beginnings. They were started in garages, on whims, or were simply passion projects that grew. Here are some of my favorites:
- Plenty Of Fish: Plenty of Fish was started by Markus Frind when he was bored at work one day. His coworker told him about online dating sites and so he decided to check them out. He was immediately frustrated that you had to pay to message with other members and decided to just create a site where you could chat for free. Markus eventually sold the business for a cool $575 Million cash deal.
- Runescape: Runescape was designed by Andrew Gower who just decided to make a game he wanted to play. He put the game online so others could join him. People loved the game so much that he quit his day job and focused on expanding his website. Now Runescape is a multimillion dollar online gaming platform.
- Threadless: Threadless was started by Jack Nickell and Jacob Dehart with an initial investment of $500. They just wanted to create a place where they could sell t-shirts they and their friends designed to other friends. Their cool designs and design submission platform quickly caught on with people looking for unique things to wear. Now the company generates $50 million dollars annually.
Of course, for every “big dog” you’ve heard of, there are the little guys you’ve never heard of. I may not own a multi-million dollar business, but I do earn a solid 6-figure income and I’ve been earning that for several years now. There are thousands of people just like me. I’ve even met these folks at places like Affiliate Summit, when thousands of us from all over the World get together. Then there’s the semi-public guys such as Pat Flynn and Matthew Woodward. The list goes on and on, so if you ever feel like it just isn’t possible for somebody like you to build a profitable online business, remember that most of us started exactly where you are today.
What All Successful Online Business Stories Have In Common
All of these successful online business stories have some things in common whether they are a big or small business. The first is that all of these entrepreneurs decided to pursue something they were passionate about. That’s exactly how I got started, too. In fact, when I started my very first blog I was simply writing about my truck driving experience for fun. I had no intention of making money from that, but it turned into a real business for me (coincidentally enough allowing me to quit my trucking job!).
That passion helps engage people and helps to grow an audience. Secondly, successful online business owners can’t do it alone. All of these entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to generate revenue and sought guidance on how to monetize their passion project. Finally, all of them put in the time. They worked on their business everyday, even when they were not making any money in the beginning. That is the case with any of the successful online business stories you will read. To this day, I still force myself to do at least SOMETHING on my business every single day. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, at least I’m moving forward every day. So keep these things in mind when you are working on your business.
If you want your business to one day become one of these successful online business stories, you’ll need a solid business plan and some great guidance. One of the best ways to make money online with your passion is with affiliate marketing. There are a lot of companies online that promise to help you get rich quick with affiliate marketing, but most of those over promise and under deliver.
The ONLY service I recommend for learning how to build a successful online business from scratch is Wealthy Affiliate. They will actually show you how to take what you love doing, build an audience, and start making money. If you use my affiliate link to sign up for your free account, you will also receive a special personal message for me within the Wealthy Affiliate dashboard. Make sure you read it! So if you are feeling a little demotivated, just remember it takes time, work, and professional guidance to become a success story, so don’t get discouraged, just keep putting in the work and one day it will pay off big for you!