The Meeting of Minds


Scott and I have been in business together for just over a year but we’ve never actually met or even spoke on the phone, all communication has been via PM’s, email and MSN messenger. That’s all about to change this weekend as we are meeting up for the first time, which means we can talk shop whilst the other halves actually shop.

One of the things that will be up for discussion is the direction that we’ll be taking Self Made Minds AKA “this site” so this post is to get a bit of input about what you think we should talk about (over a beer or three). Ideas from me are:

  • SMM Idea - Case Studies - Creating new sites from scratch and documenting their progress but what sort of case studies would our readers like to see?
  • Discuss sharing statistics from other sites that we own (jointly or individually)
  • Re-investing profits
  • SMM Marketing - How to increase our readership
  • Does beer taste better in Scotland or England

So if there is anything you’d like to know or stuff you think we should talk about now is a great time to ask. I’m really looking forward to the weekend and just hope I can understand Scott’s Scottish accent.

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.


  1. I think case studies on a whole process of buying a site to building it up and seeing the whole process would be good from starting at the purchase to seeing a regular income of something like $10/day.

    Also different types of sites like how to start a forum from scratch, or add a forum to your site, or renew an old forum and get some life back in to it.

    Maybe you could take a SMM visitors site per month and give advice to the owner of the site and then follow up 2 months later to see if the advice was followed and post what the results were.

    Statistics are always good. I am up for seeing more of them 🙂

    • I second the case studies. Maybe do a basic mini-site using some affiliate offers. A step-by-step process from the keyword research through to the PPC.

      People want to see the process in action. Contributions like this should increase your readership.

  2. I don’t think the beer article will take very long 🙂

    • Well maybe not the article but spending time on the research shows true dedication!

      I’d like to do site reviews as that could also be a community things so rather than just ideas, sites could be put up for review that are stagnant or need a fresh pair of eyes & ideas to push them on to the next level.

  3. beer research mmmmhhh
    Of all your posts the one that I think resonated with me more then any other was the 5k hour post.

    Simple ideas which people can take their own handle on, case studies which build on this will always get my vote 🙂

    oh and Level 20 is doing my head in!

  4. Wow never crossed my mind you two had never met thats a story in it’s self 🙂

    I think their is a market for building a site from scratch detailing everything from the start including researching & buying the domain. A little like your Friday post “becoming a regular” Mondays could be the lesson for the week in creating & later improving a site.

  5. I would be interested in a few case studies where you start (one or more) mini-sites with main target of making money with a certain affiliate program…

    From start (keyword research) to end (getting SE traffic, tweaking and testing site, etc.)

  6. 1. Definitely
    2. That’d be cool
    3. Of Course!
    4. Ya, probably a good idea to discuss that.
    5. Scottish beer hands down. (mmm….Belhaven!) I like darker stronger beers, but maybe that’s just me.

    I think Mathew has a great idea. Start from scratch with a site, and show every step (and I mean every) of the way from ground 0 (thinking about it, coming up with plan, biz, domain) to a certain level of $/day.

    I’d follow that like a hawk. Hell I’d help ya, it’d be fun and a great learning experience for me.

    Interesting idea just hit me. Make like 2-5 teams of X number of people (skill balanced teams mind you, that would take some work and evaluation), give them a small set of resources (server space, oversight) each with the same mission of making $X/day or whatever. First team to meet certain benchmarks wins (and get’s to split some prize or something).

    It could be Scott’s team versus Al’s team! Kinda like that Trump show.

    Heh, just a wild idea to get your readership more involved.

  7. Here is an idea for you guys to discuss:

    You may want to offer some sort of “consulting” type of service where you help, lead, direct and educate people who would like to operate traffic based web sites for profit. I have personally been operating a successful practice exam website for some time and feel quite confident that I “know” the “in an out’s” of making money on the web but I have been unable to get a grasp of creating and operating a mini-site. I own which is a name that I feel strongly could somehow be monetized very well. I would welcome the opportunity to work together in partnership with you all the while paying you a percentage of my ongoing revenue. With this model you would be sharing the business risk with each person and would need to evaluate the individuals who would like your service but the upside could be huge. At the end of the day, with this kind of business model you would really own a percentage of several web businesses forever. Just a wacky thought…..want to help with

  8. I am surprised that the two of you have never met.

    I really like the case studies. You can find monetization strategies everywhere but to find a good case study is much harder. So, from inception, construction, fruition and growth would be great for me.

    • I agree. Many of the concepts you guys cover (mini sites, property development, etc.) are completely new to me and the start to finish details are invaluable. I made my first offer for an existing website yesterday and this is completely based upon what I’ve learned from this site. Thanks!

  9. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions guys, I reckon we’ll have to spend the majority of out time in the pub to discuss them all 🙂

    • The longer it takes to discuss your ideas, the more Scottish beers you can have! Also, if you see this on tap and really want to make me jealous you can brag about it. Their St. Andrews Ale isn’t bad either 😉

  10. If you can include a way for your readers to invest in your ideas to help them grow - I think many of us would be game seeing your success to date.

  11. I think all of the above ideas are great. The contest would be a great learning opportunity for those of us who are less experienced and a great way to increase your readership.
    I have always thought about going to DP forums or somewhere similar and trying to get a small group together to work on a project. I have always thought that working hand in hand with others would be a great way to learn more than just going it alone.

  12. Cool idea.. Definitely case studies and as well as how to bring web site income into next level , let say if a web site stuck at a specific marks for few months ( with the same amount of traffic ). Any ideas on how to approach the big advertiser directly even if we are not the big guy with only about high XXX visitors per day. Private email coaching will be good as well if available! 😛

  13. Hey,
    This picture caught my attention, its great, our minds often work like that, which work do we do first..this one or that one, then sometimes if we not careful we can choose the route of distration. 🙂

  14. Case studies would be very good BUT we all know that one of the keys to ranking high are links.

    And you guys already have some many resources for getting links that your case study would be unrealistic for someone starting new.

    So if you could eliminate links from your resources and show how to build them without any previous good PR sites / links, then it would work.

    Jonathan Leger is doing a case study and he used his own service to get links to the site. How realistic is that?

  15. case studies would be great, taking sites from start to …. well, not finish, but regular updates of income, links, estimated value etc etc.
    I’m sure I’ve got several sites that could do with some fresh eyes, and several domains that are just sitting waiting to be developed.
    I’ve been stuck at a certain adsense income (a very low one) for ages now, so any ideas to get that moving would be good too.

  16. Beer definitely taste better in Scotland!

  17. I have been reading all the entries of the last month as I wan on holiday in Egypt and didn’t have easy Internet access. But I felt that this post is something I should comment on.

    I feel that a couple of sites you start from scratch and work on explain the tiniest detail on them and allowing everyone to monitor their progress. I reckon it would be a great idea to do it in a semi-compatative niche as it will present you with a bit of a challenge, especially when you start from 0.

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