My Online Journey

[I wrote this post in 2008, on one of my other blogs, jimkarter.com. I am moving it here as it is about my journey in the world of web.]

start of journeyI received an email from one of my readers, asking me how I managed to be a success in the web business. Like him, there would a lot of people, who would want to know how I generate traffic for my websites. I thought, it would be a better idea to write about my journey of internet adventure and how I reached, where I am today! Let me give you an insight on how it all began. I am sure, it’s gonna be a big post, so bear with me. :)

Year 1997

I belong to a very small village in the state of Rajasthan, India. I did my schooling in a small city. In 1997, I got selected to study engineering at I.I.T. Bombay, one of the prestigious technology institutes of India. This is where, I first touched the computer; this is where, I first learned FORTRAN, C and C++.

Year 1999

In 1999, I was appointed as the Computer Secretary of my hostel (H6 IITB). I got my first PC (Intel Pentium 133 Mhz with MMX) and managed to get the internet connection up-to my room. This was the time of great technology and internet boom. All those “Get Paid to Surf” sites were making a lot of money by installing that small advertising bar at the bottom of the desktop. I, along with 3 other colleagues, started a company to bring that get-paid-to-surf business to India. We registered two sites called earnindia.com and publixzone.com. These were our first sites. Venture failed, sites lost. Pockets burned. Moved on.

Year 2001

graduatedI graduated from IIT Bombay and joined VERITAS Software (now Symantec) in 2001 and worked there till February 2004. In 2001, when I joined VERITAS, I had access to quite good (read as fast) internet connection. That is when I registered my first website hindilyrix.com (this site gets around 7 million page views per month now). It was just a hobby site of mine. The site, initially didn’t do well, and there were hardly any resources to monetize it properly. But slowly the traffic started to grow and I started earning few pennies out of it. Then, one day Google Adsense was launched and everything else is history!

Year 2002 and 2003

By this time, my first site was doing pretty well. Whatever I earned from this site, I invested in building my other sites. At the end of 2003, I had around 5+ sites generating a few dollars per month. My day job was also pretty good, hence I was able to save some good money. One fine day, I decided to quit my day job and enter into internet business full fledged. Planning took some time and it was not until Feb 2004, when I finally quit my job.

Year 2004 - The Toughest Year of My Life company

This was the year, when I quit my day job (Feb, 2004). I started my company with the help of one of my friends [Mr. Amol Naresh]. The company was officially launched on 1st April 2004. In this year, my wife was pregnant; we were expecting a baby in the month of May. Company formation, salaries and initial investment were heavy on the pockets. I almost ran out of money, at one point. With the arrival of the baby, the money became even scarce.  Many times, I thought that I should ask my dad for some money, but could never do that. My friend and I were the only two people working for the company. In two month’s time, we were able to build more websites and earn some pennies, and that is when, we hired the third person. In the next two months, we hired the 4th person, and then the 5th person. In all these times, I was almost out of money and my bank accounts showed nearly zero balances. It was till the end of year 2004, when our efforts paid off; we  managed to get good revenue from our new sites on which we all 5 were burning the midnight oil.

Year 2005 - 2006

In year 2005, our company grew in size and revenue. This was the time when I slowly started making the company independent. I started delegating work to the employees who knew what and how to work on.  The company now stands independent and I am there as a mentor to my people.  With some of my responsibilities delegated, I had time to slowly start working on my own sites (the ones I used to work before starting the company). These sites, initially didn’t belong to my company, as these were personal sites. Then slowly, I started outsourcing the work on my personal sites to our own company, and if needed, I outsourced it to other companies/individual as well.

Year 2007 (Current Year)

The company has grown quite a bit. It now manages around 300 websites. With time, I registered many more sites. I personally manage a few of them. wealthySo, it was not just one night’s business to start and make things run smoothly. I had lots of ups and downs in this business. There were times, when I was almost out of money. It’s the hard work that paid off. When I started, there were not many places (like digitalpoint) to help people find information on making money online. I had to make my own online money-making strategies and try and test it myself.

Finally….

Finally, I am happy that I took that toughest decision to quit my day job to start my own company. I thank god for being there and for helping me sail through the toughest phase of my life.