Stephen Spry is a freelance web designer and Internet publisher who has been working online, full-time, since late 1995. I currently operate in excess of 25 sites of my own in a 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. 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!
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!
(This item originally published here)
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.
Towards the end of 2007 I had, what was in hindsight, a major brain freeze!!!
Actually there was a product “package” that was available for the personal development market, and I thought it was a doozie.
Well worth the US$997 to purchase, or so I thought!
Now you didn’t actually get private label rights, where you can actually re-write the source docs and brand them as your own.
But it DID give you a reseller licence for a package that was (supposedly) doing really well in the personal development arena.
And that meant I could practically do what I wanted with the marketing of that package to make a killing… Oh yeah. Like I said earlier… Brain Freeze! I believed the hype and bought the dream…
Wot was I thinking???
While the Google income has been kind to me over the years, I was still looking for alternative income sources… as you do!
So there always has been a need for a useful “Plan B” to supplement my income long-term, instead of putting all my eggs in the Google basket!
Over the years, I’ve tried several things to do just that…
Including: Read the rest of this entry »
Even though I’ve been online since 1995, earning a buck on the Internet has not been easy… and it still isn’t. Not really!
The early days of web design were a lot like the days when desktop publishing was introduced, where absolutely “anyone” can do it!
Heck there were (and still are) software packages available through my son’s primary school for 8 year olds to do their own web pages… that’s how “easy” it is supposedly… Not!
Anyone that “knows” understands that building a web “site” is but only one variable in the much bigger, complicated equation of getting a business online.
But you can’t really tell the public that, and my competition was hotting up, with the “kid-next-door” and “Joe Blow” all able to supposedly do the same thing I could… and they could do it for peanuts too!
But you know what you get when you pay peanuts don’t you? 🙂