Welcome To My World…

Stephen Spry is a freelance web designer and Internet publisher who has been working online, full-time, since late 1995. I currently have (or have had) several websites of my own in a wide variety of niches… including employment, self-improvement, internet marketing, small business advice, self-employment, and article marketing, and also operate several significant regional and global web directories.

Throughout my Internet “career”, my primary focus has been to help small business owners succeed on the Internet by providing a wide range of useful and relevant information… without all the B.S. and snake oil that seems to accompany this industry!

I’ve always wanted a more “obvious” place to bring together a lot of the things I do… A place where you can get a feel for what goes on in the life of a full-time, self-employed, veteran Aussie webmaster and Internet publisher.

So welcome to my world… a site I launched around Easter 2009 to reflect on what I’ve done since 1995 while trying to earn a living online… and presented so that you too can benefit from my experience!

Please feel free to start or contribute to the discussions underway on this site. I really look forward to hearing from you!


Wow! It’s been a While

Hmmm… this is what happens when “life” gets in the way of things! I just noticed the last post I made here was w-a-a-a-a-y back in 2012! Seems to be somewhat of a SIX year gap in the anthology of things here…

So… I will try to get some updates done in the next few days to bring the story up to date 🙂

In the meantime, I’ve got a video I did for another site I’ve been working on recently which I can share with you right now… it’s fairly personal in places, but totally appropriate to help fill in all the gaps I may have missed so far LOL

BTW, the video is posted on this “new” site here… @ Your Brilliant Idea!

I hope you enjoy it… or at least find it interesting.

This is the life and times of “Mr Why” and is designed to help people understand how our lives can shape what we do…


July 2016 – 21 Years Online! Wow!

July 1995… that’s when I launched my first website online! Amazingly, it, and me, are still going strong online a mere 21 years later!

Australia’s Careers OnLine was my first website, developed as a result of my work at the time as a high school Careers Adviser.

It was THE first website of its kind on the Australian scene, and one of the trail-blazers on the WWW way back in the “good ole days” of 14.4k modems and dial-up Internet.

It proved “promising” enough in the next few months to enable me to resign from my teaching job in November 1995, and become a full-time Internet entrepreneur!

I spent most of the next few years developing my web design skills, and learning all about what businesses wanted from this brave new online world.

That was when I discovered my “niche” – developing “directory” based websites to help Australian businesses get found on the Internet.

And so, in 2001 – just a short fifteen years ago – this lead to the launch of my “Come On Aussie” online brand.

While it may never rival the big names, Come On Aussie certainly has served (and still serves) an extremely useful purpose in the Australian Internet scene, especially since I worked out how to re-use the content effectively on other sites.

Now… 21 years after I started on the big, bad WWW… I’m still around (despite a recent attempt in January by Mother Nature to rub me out with a heart attack and resulting triple bypass)!


I feel it’s time to celebrate, and this coming birthday month I’m sharing some great ideas to help you commemorate the big occasion with me!

So stay tuned!

And let’s toast to the NEXT 21 years!

Stephen Spry

(This item originally published here)

Using Articles To Build Content

One of the things I discovered early on is that adding article content to your website is a good way to build up content on your site and get a lot of extra “back-door” traffic coming to your site.

I’ve used PLR (Private Label Rights) articles. I’ve subscribed to various article membership sites. I’ve used articles from the major article banks (eg Ezine Articles etc). I’ve used WordPress plugins which automatically add articles to your site (but not scraping software which “steals” content from other sites).

And in most cases, plonking Adsense ads on these pages provided a good return for the effort.

So it made sense that perhaps I should expand on this and build my own “article directory”. To have literally thousands of pages of good quality information, on all sorts of topics, dishing up mega ad impressions and making a fortune from it!

And, like my other “directory” sites… it would build fresh and unique content automatically for me because other people are submitting material for publication.

Read the rest of this entry »

Clarity From Change

A recent move to the Gold Coast (Nov 2011) from the sleepy coastal village I had been in for the previous 11 years, has provided the impetus needed for some significant change in what I have been doing – in life, work, the universe etc 🙂

Certainly, the change in “lifestyle” has had an impact – this place is just so much more “alive” than where I have been. There are lots of things going on… just outside the window even… that are competing for your attention.

At the same time, being in a new place does have its bad points… the social “isolation” (i.e. lack of friends etc) does take some effort to overcome, particularly for someone who spends most of their time indoors on a PC!!!

It’s certainly provided plenty of “thinking” time and, surprise, surprise… I HAVE actually taken some action as a result!

Naturally, I’ve tried a couple of new things (as I always seem to) on the web… putting it out there to see what happens (one of which I will absolutely NOT mention here because nothing did happen lol !)

Which goes to prove that you have to keep trying new things… because you never know what might be the next big thing 😉 And even if it isn’t, you will still learn a lot along the way.

But overall… it has been a good move for me so far 🙂

I also tried to revitalise an ancient project that has been in hiatus for quite some time… so see if it can gather some speed in the “new” environment I’m in. While interest does seem to be there with Just What Guys Want, more urgent “financial” pressures have meant that it has to go onto the slow burner for just a little while.

(Update… this project has since stalled… again – oh well! LOL)

I’ve certainly done a LOT to revamp Come On Aussie… adding a whole new slew of options/features for people who submit their FREE LISTING to my Come On Aussie Australian Web/Business Directory website.

For a free listing, it certainly offers a LOT of linking power if you want it! (Note – no longer free since early 2014)

There has also been a lot more recent (and sustained) interest in the advertising packages available at Come On Aussie.

So much so that I am pleased to say that it now exceeds my Adsense income… AND it is a lot more “regular” (less up and down from month to month). It’s also good to note that I have some VERY regular, long-term advertisers there – some who have been with me even since the GFC back in mid 2008!

I’ve also had the “pleasure” of completing a mammoth programming job so that I can now offer some really effective online advertising to anyone who has an Australian website listed on my Come On Aussie directory.

This can result in literally HUNDREDS of ads for you if you want it… think in terms of EVERY page in that directory in your “category”… and at really good “mates rates” too LOL

So that’s it… We’re now up-to-date in the Anthology to June 2012! Stay tuned for more exciting stuff!!!

I DO have some great things planned for the second half of 2012 – MORE stuff which allows Aussie businesses to get the word out there about what you are doing!

So if you have an interest in any of:

then I will have some exciting possibilities for you to consider real soon…

So cheers for now!

Stephen Spry

Can You Earn Money Online?

I mentioned in a previous post that I was working on developing content for a complete course in Internet Marketing based on my years of experience (since 1995) online as a web designer.

This IS something I have been labouring over for many years, so I finally decided I would get something actually “happening” with it… and got buried inside the computer for several fairly intense months working on this.

When the content was about 80% ready, I “soft-launched” the course… as you do… to see what actually happens… to see how the market might respond, work out where the bugs are, fine tune things, to determine whether Google loves you and will actually return any results about your site… all that sort of stuff.

Well all I can say about that is that the “Make Money Online” market is not for the faint hearted! My “success” with that course has been non-existent, with only a few “dodgy” signups from the same IP address range! It seems someone has “discovered” my content and wants to back-engineer what I have done.

Well save your time and money, because it isn’t worth the effort LOL

It certainly proves that NOT everyone can make money online as simply and as easily as “they” would have you believe!

And it doesn’t matter how much you “love” your material, or how much “passion” you can put into the project… If the market doesn’t respond, you’re cactus 🙂

What it tells me (now) is that all this “content” I have is best used as search engine fodder on my EXISTING sites to build up my “brand”… to get more search engine love, traffic and a bigger following there, rather than trying to establish a new brand from scratch.

As a “one man band” I simply do not have the resources (time AND money) to put into the amount of development and marketing that would be required to get any sort of decent results from that sort of thing.

So it’s back to the drawing board for me…

And that means looking again at what I HAVE got that is working, and working out what more I can do with it…

Without actually “breaking” what is there 🙂

And… as you will see… it doesn’t stop me from trying to develop new ideas and websites that might work well for me into the future… Or maybe it’s just my ADHD that’s the problem here, causing me to lose a little focus on what IS important?