History of a $100,000 Site

When I first started the journey of quitting the 9-5 rat race and becoming a full-time webmaster entrepeneur guy who makes cash on the web, I looked for stories and examples from people that had done it before me. I never found any that included all the gory details so I thought I’d share my experiences, warts and all.

The site I’ll be sharing the details of is www.Coolest-Gadgets.com (CG). I own and run quite a few sites but CG is my best success story so far. In CG’s first year it was making over $100 a day from Google Adsense, it’s now just over 18 months old and the forecasted profit for this year is well over the $100K mark.

To start with I want to share the traffic levels and Adsense income over the first year.

cg-analytics.png

I use Google Analytics to monitor traffic which is a very cool and free tool, highly recommended. The massive spike on the 21st April 2005 was caused by a Digg front page, for my post about a cool GPS tracker. What was really good about this is that not only was the product a cool thing to write about it was also on sale at an affiliate site (Think Geek) so not only did it draw a load of traffic but I also sold about 30 of them paying me a nice little commission.

cg-chart.png

There’s one thing that excites me more than traffic and that’s cold hard cash. So this next graph shows how CG’s Adsense income grew over the first 12 months (graph courtesy of one of Shawn’s cool tools).

As you can see the income was pretty slow to start with but really started to grow in the final quarter of the first year. In later posts I’ll explain what caused some of the peeks.

If anybody has any questions or suggestions about what else I can document please let me know via a comment and if it’s within a programs TOS I’ll be happy to share.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.

Comments

  1. Hey, great information. I am looking for more stories related to Coolest-Gadgets and web entrepreneurship as well!

    Keep them coming.

  2. Thanks for the first comment Daniel, I’ve got a whole notebook full of findings, mistakes and learning experiences from the first year.

  3. Thanks for the info guys, I will definitely be checking back often. The problem with the rat race is that this rat can’t run as fast as I once did. =P

  4. Hi BulbBoy, if you go in the right direction you don’t need to run very fast 🙂

  5. Wow, that’s AWESOME! Great work! I may have to wait a little while before making that type of money. I have decent traffic (~15K UVs/day), but I don’t think humor sites convert that well.

  6. Thanks Anita, that’s excellent traffic you have considering the age of your site, in fact it’s excellent traffic regardless of age.

    I think you’re right about humor sites not converting as well but where there’s traffic there is green so to speak 🙂

  7. Mate, this is one hell of a story. I’m not a full time webmaster yet as I work mostly as copywriter, but I’m getting there… eventually.

    Regards, George

  8. Thanks for the feedback George, I’m sure you’ll make it fulltime it just takes getting a bit of perseverance.

  9. How many page views does Coolest-Gadgets get per day? I read it daily and came herefrom your postabout the $200K offer.

  10. Hi Joe, it currently gets between 30k and 35K page views per day and then the feed is read by about 20K. In the last 18 months it has grown a lot quicker than I was expecting.

  11. Great idea, I will for sure be checking back often, as I would love to make money off my computer. The problem I seem to have is whenever I have an idea for a website I cant seem to expand it enough to make it interesting for people to look at or come back too. I think reading of your experiences will help me a lot. Thanks again for a brilliant idea for a site

  12. Terrence Walker says:

    That’s unreal! It makes me think I am not cut out for the web entrepreneurship thing. My sites been around for years and I easily get 2500 visitors per day, but it certainly doesn’t translate into income of any note. Maybe it IS that certain subjects just don’t convert well to ad money.

  13. Mike aka Cheesepoof453 (HM) says:

    So, what other kinds of ads played into this?

  14. Hi Mike, check out the latest post, I give examples of the various revenue streams there http://selfmademinds.com/200704/revenue-sources-for-a-10000-a-month-blog/

  15. This post has given me some hope for my own ventures. In January I started a discount shopping voucher code website as my first step into the world of affiliate websites. Six or so months in and traffic/conversions are still low but there are signs of it increasing. This post has given me a boost to keep soldiering on. I’ve loads of ideas for other sites and a dream of quiting the 9-5.

  16. Very good history for $100.000 site

Trackbacks

  1. […] The owner of the blog (yes it’s based on WP which makes it sort of a blog) Al Carlton spends his entire day browsing the web for gadgets. whether you want to have the website’s history as well as read Mr. Carlton’s advices you can visit his blog here . […]

  2. […] the rewards will come. I documented how traffic and revenue grew over the first year in the first post of this series but I’ll include the Adsense graph again as I quite like it […]

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