Website Income

My Online Income History and New Business Strategy

This post has been updated in 2016 to bring everyone up to speed on my business and what I will be doing in 2016 to grow my business.

I started working online to make money in 2007 while in College and have slowly built up online business to the point it is at now.

Like many of you I have been grinding away online building up a business and did not experience over night success.

There are no tricks and many people will see my income numbers now and forget the long long road I have taken to get here so I like to keep this post updated with my entire history of how I have made money online.


No matter where you are on your journey I am here to help along the way. I work to share everything except my passwords with the goal of providing useful information and examples of what you can be doing to build your own business.

3 Things to Know About This Site! 

  1. I don’t promote information products
  2. I have never used an information product
  3. My goal is to create USEFUL & ACTIONABLE posts!


Here Is My Online History Starting Online in 2007…

  • Pre University – Side Hustles
    • Lawn Cutting
    • Selling Skis on Ebay
  • 2004 Went to University
  • 2005 – Bought International Edition Textbooks from India at 90% Off and Sold for 75% off to friends
  • 2005 Started listening to AudioBooks and a few had significant impacts on how I thought about business.
    • E-Myth Revisited
    • Rich Dad Poor Dad
    • The 4 Hr Work Week
  • 2006 – Started a Bike Parts Company – Never Manufactured a Part
  • 2007 – Started a TextBook Selling Website – Sold One
  • 2008 – Got Engaged
  • 2008 – Started a Small Membership Site That Organized Old Time Radio Shows – Cost $2,000 Made $150
    • Learned about ODesk (blew my mind)
  • 2008 – Built a Sales Page to Sell Excel Templates – Started making a few sales – $100/month
    • Learned about article marketing
  • 2009 – Built some “Feeder” WordPress Sites to Drive Traffic to Sales Page – $200/month
    • Learned about SEO
    • Learned about wordpress
  • 2009 – Graduated with a Mechanical Engineering and Business Degree
  • 2009 – Started Working in Project Management for an Oil and Gas Company
  • 2009 – Started replicating the “feeder” sites and made them into money sites – $750/month
    • Outsourced everything article marketing, web creation etc.
    • The dream of a self growing fully outsourced system was strong!
  • 2010 – Attempted to build a Facebook Team Gift app after coming up with the idea at my Bachelor party with friends– FAILED – $1,000 gone
  • 2010 – Got Married
  • 2010 – Built a team on ODesk to promote each website using Yahoo Answers and Blog Commenting – $1,250/month
    • Built the team up to 15ppl
  • 2011 – Stopped Being Profitable & Cut Back On Team To Become Profitable – $500/month
  • 2011 – Started Building Private Blog Network and Testing Other Strategies to Improve Ranking and Drive Traffic
  • Feb 2011 – Panda hit – No Impact on My Business
  • 2011-2012 – Started focusing on lower quality exact match domains that required less work and my team was building 2/week – $1,500/month income
    • Never used “automated” link building methods!
    • Never used spun content on my sites (but yes I was one of them that used it on article sites)
  • Apr 2012 – Penguin hit – Small Impact
    • Doing some research and trying to think about SEO like Wayne Gretzky played hockey “go where the puck is going to be not where it is” translated into “give the search engines what they want not game the current loopholes”
  • Summer 2012 – Decided to shift focus to build up my larger more useful sites – $3k/month
    • Sites like grew to 800 visitors/day
  • Aug 2012 – Decided to create a public case study through showing how I was going to build (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden)
  • Sep 2012 – EMD Update Hit – 15%-25% of my sites got killed(all smaller sites) – 5% of my earnings affected – $3k/month
    • EMD update reconfirms I believe I am on the right path with larger more authoritative sites.
  • 2013 Feb – (My Case Study Website URL is Now Hidden) averages over $1000/month for month 6, 7 and on track for 8 – $4k/month income
  • 2013 Aug – Began using PBNs to rank my websites and grew my passive income portfolio – $6k/month income
  • 2013 Nov – Based on my on my monster post Ultimate Expired Domain Guide I launched my PBN creation service – $10k/month income
  • 2014 – Continued to build my passive income portfolio and my services business – $11k/month average
  • 2015 – Focused on systematically growing my passive income portfolio which grew to $14k/month for its best month – $18k/month
  • 2015 Sep – Added FBA Business model to my strategy for Q4 2015 – $24k/month average
  • TODAY – Business Direction for 2016

See all my income reports here


net income

My Online Income Goal:

Make over $15k/month (RELIABLY) move my family to our hometown by the age of 35 – 4 years to go. Get more time with family, friends and experience the activities I enjoy. Solve real problems with my business.


How Am I Going to Get There?

It is time for me to either confirm I am on the right path and scale or pivot and test a new model.

Here are the requirements for whatever business model I choose:

  1. Limited Time – Due to time with my wife/son/daughter, a busy and unpredictable day job and other activities I don’t want to live without(sports and camping)
  2. Ability to Walk Away for Extended Periods – Like I mentioned above I need to be able to not work on the business for a 1-2 week stretch. Outsourcing and systematizing is key
  3. Add Value(solve real problems) – I did the no value exact match niche sites and I am not willing to go down that route again. Whatever I do must add value to the internet – I believe it is the only way to build a sustainable business.
  4. Enjoy The Work I Do – I need to do work that I enjoy – luckily for me I really enjoy systematizing  work and managing teams executing my strategies. Developing a strategy, setting up systems to have other people execute and then managing that process is definitely central to my business.
  5. Reliable Income w Growth Potential – If I do the things I mention above I believe the income streams will be reliable but it is important to make sure that the income is diversified and reliable. Exploiting a temporary loop hole in Google is not adequate. 
  6. $15-20k/month – Relatively self-explanatory, this is my target RELIABLE monthly income


How am I going to move toward the above in 2016…

2016 Goals and Plan:

2016 goals



About the Author Jon

I am a 36 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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