Monthly Archives: August 2007

Business Idea / Help

I’ve been looking everywhere for a PAID service that lets me use the YouTube-like features, but without all the YouTubishness. I like:

  • Uploading my videos on a 3rd party service.
  • Free bandwidth.
  • Being able to embed videos into web pages with code snippets.

…these are all things so many YouTube clones are giving away for free. I’m surprised no one has an upgraded paid version where I can host my videos but customize them for my own businesses.

Does anyone know of one??

If not, this would be a great business idea to implement. Although it would probably be best for one of those bigger sites to just implement this. I would LOVE to pay YouTube $20/month to use their existing service, but allow me to customize the logo on the embedded video:

Not only that, but also I’d like to promote my own videos at the end, or at least post a link to another product, or perhaps show a special promotional announcement.

Of all the YouTube clones and wannabes out there, it seems everyone has been trying to directly copy the YouTube strategy, and no one remembered to CHARGE people, even if they want to pay!

Hard Work

After I was done with college, I’ve always struggled with staying focused on my own businesses, websites and various projects. When you don’t HAVE to wake up early in the morning and work, sometimes you don’t.

I’ve always had some sort of excuse for not working or being distracted. Even my recent stint at the loft was mainly an effort to be more productive. At one point I blamed the place I was living for being “too boring” and not stimulating enough, and then in another place I blamed it for being “too distracting.”

I would often go to coffee shops or various places to “Liven up the atmosphere” to get more work done, but most of the time the difference between staying home and going elsewhere was very little…and when you go elsewhere, it often means transportation time, buying coffee, being distracted by happenings around you, making a stop to a restaurant for lunch etc. etc. etc..

After a while of doing this and only being semi-productive each day, I got used to not doing much work each day. So what I THINK is a lot of work really isn’t even 3 solid hours worth.

So as of the last few weeks I’ve come to the stark realization that there is no substitute for plain, dumb, hard work. All the people I’ve seen who’ve really accomplished something have simply just worked harder than the rest. The big trend in business books now is to say “Don’t work hard, work smart.” From what I’ve seen, most people who’ve achieved greatness have done both at the same time.

Of all the little tips and tricks and motivators I’ve used over the years, the only one I’ve stuck to for a substantial length of time is making a to-do list the night before. So if it’s Wednesday night right now, I should already be whipping up Thursday’s to-do list.

FacebookProfile Site Sold, $5,500

A little while I go I was selling FacebookProfile, a site which I started in May 2006 as a small little side project. Traffic quickly rose on it as the popular social networking site Facebook got ever more popular.

Despite my lack of attention to it, I had managed to get the site to make about $100/month with just Google Adsense, but I was just letting the site sit there. It had tons of traffic, and therefore lots of potential for someone to take the reigns.

So I posted it for sale on the SitePoint forums and started getting lots of serious bids through private message. However I started the bidding way too low. Even before I posted the site for sale I had serious buyers trying to pay $3,000 for the site. Therefore all the normal bids on the auction I ignored, and only spoke with buyers who sent in much higher private bids.

The highest bid I got was $6,500 but I was wary because the buyer was dragging their feet and didn’t know much about the transfer of the website or how to operate it. I wanted a quick sale and quick transfer, so I sold the site to someone who knew what they were doing and could transfer everything without a hitch.

Within three days of posting the auction I had my $5,500 via Google Checkout, and less than a week later the full website and database were transferred over to the new owner without me doing much work (this is why I chose to sell to someone who knew what they were doing).

This profit tally doesn’t include the Adsense revenue the site brought in…probably somewhere in the hundreds of dollars range.

For me the transaction is over, but it’s nice to see the new owner is actually drastically improving upon the website. He added a whole slew of new features, posts, articles, re-structured the advertising and even added a Facebook Forum for developers and users.

———

So from a random idea last year, I got some good experience, several hundred dollars in adverting revenue and a nice $5,500 payout this year!

Online Business Ideas

People always ask me different ways to make money online. I like seeing new ways also, so one of the sites I visit everyday is the SitePoint Established Websites for Sale section. People post small and large interenet businesses for sale here everyday.

I don’t visit the page with the intent of buying any websites, but it’s a GREAT place to see different ways people have setup businesses and see how much they make. You’ll often see small side-projects people are trying to sell off, but you will also see the occasional big-time businesses being sold that makes tens of thousands of dollars per month.

Just something to keep in mind!

House Update

A while back I bought a house, and now it’s almost complete and almost time to start figuring out how to pay for it, what to buy for it etc.

I know pretty much nothing about any of this, so it’ll be a great learning experience.

It’s starting to near completion, and was interesting to watch being built!

Just a plot of land…

Structure in place:

Frame fully up:

Starting to look like a house:

From what I understand I just have to prove to Centex homes that I have about 3 months worth of mortgage payments in the bank and have decent credit, and I can get full approval. Seems almost a little TOO easy for taking a $150,000 loan!

As for the interior and exterior design, I did it all myself….and for that reason, I’m very scared. I’m the LAST person I trust with aesthetic design!

The exterior had to follow an algorithm for the neighborhood, so the house had to be a certain model to properly fit the plot dimensions, and I strictly couldn’t have brick since the neighbors on either side already have it. I also had to stick to a certain range of colors for the exterior.

However I did have full control over the interior design, and therefore the first consultation I had was horrible! The lady started asking me what type/color cabinets I wanted and then showed me samples of them. I completely and utterly had no clue what cabinets in a house look like. She then proceeded to ask me what color/style for all the doors, bathrooms, countertops, faucets, appliances, tiles, carpets and the list goes on. It was a rude awakening to how little I knew about designing a house.

I actually cancelled our first appointment halfway through since I clearly knew nothing about this stuff. I should’ve brought my mom!

So after looking inside other similar houses courtesy of my real estate agent, I finally picked out the interior. I’m anxious to see what it turns out like, and I’m sure I’ll be making many, many trips to Home Depot in the following months!

Now to find two roommates…

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My Experiences With Being On Digg

This past weekend NevBlog.com was on the Digg.com homepage. Several of my sites have had pages posted on the Digg homepage before, but this experience was definitely the most interactive!

*Digg.com is a social bookmarking site, and articles on the front page often get server-crushing traffic thrown their way.

My most fun experiences with being on Digg were this past one a few days ago, and the time my businesses HouseOfRave.com was on Digg and I made 320 orders in a day.

I briefly posted on this blog how if you search on Google Images the word “Facebook” my full profile comes up as the #1 result. This is partly a result of me owning FacebookProfile.com (which I just sold) and posting screenshots of Facebook. I also wrote how a Lebanese newspaper used this images in their article.

Well this article on Digg brought in thousands of visitors to that Facebook screenshot which includes my full name, old address and current cell phone number. The first day it was up, NevBlog.com unique visitors went from the 2,000 to 4,000 range to about 25,000 for the day. The next day it dropped to around 9,500 uniques. The third day was nearly normal traffic. However this was a medium sized Digg, reaching a peak of 700-something Diggs.

THE PHONE CALLS:
I generally get about one call per week from people Google Imaging the term Facebook and seeing my profile with all my information, but during my stint on Digg, I got about 50 phone calls from curious Diggers seeing if that number was real, in one day! All sorts of interesting zip codes, international codes and free online calls were placed to see if my phone number was real!

DIGG USERS SURPRISINGLY NICE:
Judging by the type of articles and stupid comments you usually see on Digg, you get the impression most users are bored teenagers (which is probably accurate). But of all the calls I got, for the most part it seems Diggers were more concerned for my privacy which was unexpected. Most of the people that called did so to simply notify me I was on Digg and that my phone number was available online. I would quickly explain the situation and that I knew my phone number was there, thank them and the conversation was over.

However I also got a few prank calls. These are most likely 13 year olds with not much to do. However it sounds like something I would do also, so I can’t complain, I thought the prank calls were rather funny (although sometimes the same people kept calling back which got annoying and lead me to believe these people sadly had NOTHING else to do).

DIGG TRAFFIC:
Usually when a site of mine ranks high on Digg it isn’t much of a problem. My experience with being on the front Digg homepage is this:

1st Day – 50,000 to 70,000 extra unique visits.
2nd Day – 15,000 to 30,000 extra unique visits.
3rd Day – 1,000 extra unique visits.
4th Day – Regular traffic.

Even when I browse through Digg, I generally look at the article, read it, then exit. Most likely I’ll never see that website again. This pretty much holds true to the traffic patterns I’ve experienced.

SERVER LOAD:
Digg generally delivers a server-crushing load of traffic to some sites, which is why many sites go down soon as they get on Digg. I have my own dedicated server, so it generally handles the job, but it DOES go down several times during a large Digg. Especially when the Digg involves a large screenshot image plus many other images. NevBlog is not an efficient website to say the least, so every page load of the site is quite a bandwidth hog.

When FacebookProfile.com was on Digg, it hurt my server more than NevBlog because it’s all database driven. The amount of SQL queries racked up quickly, and would overload the services on my server causing Apache outages. This sucks because I also have about 4 websites on my server that get high traffic and use up a lot of processing time, if some of these are not up, I cannot make money. This is why I specifically wanted to host BodyMonkey.com on a separate service, to hedge my losses if something goes wrong with my server.

BEING ON DIGG MAKE YOU MONEY? IT VARIES:
FacebookProfile.com got a lot of extra hits from Digg several times, but the advertising revenue only went up slightly. Digg users are used to quickly skipping through articles, and generally never click ads. I sure don’t.

But get this…right before Halloween 2006, HouseOfRave.com was on the front page of Digg and I got 320 orders in a 24 hour period from it!! That’s two months worth of orders in ONE DAY!! That’s also thousands of dollars in profit from one big Digg.

The Digg article linked the Glowing Hair Gel product on HouseOfRave, and subsequently tons of blogs started writing about that product also. Now if you Google the term “Glowing Hair Gel” I am firmly planted as the #1 spot. Ha, even if you Google the broad term “Hair Gel” in Google I am still #3!

It was a blessing and curse at the same time to get all these orders, because while I had just made several thousand dollars in profit from that one day, I was still manually processing orders at that time. With the method I was using, it took me two solid days of the most mundane work EVER. Basically copy/pasting information from hundreds of orders…over and over and over till each one was filled.

So it seems you can make loads of cash if a PRODUCT or SERVICE gets exposure on Digg, but pay-per-click doesn’t perform as well (at least in my experience).

I’ve actually never Dugg an article myself to get exposure, it just happens organically. If you try too hard to get on Digg, you most likely won’t.

Well anyways, that’s my experience with being on Digg!

NevBlog Advertising

Thanks for your interest in advertising on NevBlog.com.
This blog is about my personal financial journey starting from the age of 22 in November 2004. Since then, this blog has been linked and written about in a variety of blogs, websites and major publications such as:

  • Business Week
  • The Wallstreet Journal
  • Yahoo Finance
  • Vedemosti (The Russian Wallstreet Journal)
  • The Financial Times
  • The New York Times.

The blog is about the financial learnings and happenings in the life of me, Neville Medhora. I graduated from University of Texas and have currently never had a real job thanks to starting several small businesses. Since high school I’ve started online web businesses which have grown to be my full time profession. This website is mainly about personal finances, small business experiments, money and lifestyle improvement.  Take a look around the site and see if your advertisement would benefit from being on NevBlog.com.

NevBlog ranks extremely well across a variety of search engines for a very large number of search terms, and is even currently #1 result in Google for the term Financial Blog. NevBlog gets between 2,000 and 4,000 unique visitors per day, and occasional spikes of traffic from large websites like Digg where traffic can go upwards of 30,000 unique visits in a day, and has hundreds of quality backlinks across many search engines.

TYPES OF ADVERTISING:

125×125 BOXES:

Purpose: Meant for exposure to viewers of this blog.  Great for upcoming programs, CPA offers, credit card offers, courses, industry announcements.
Price: $80/month.
Location: Right-side navigation area, above the fold:

TEXT LINKS:

Purpose: These are for companies wanting additional search engine exposure for certain keywords.  These links are all fully recognizable to search engines on every page of NevBlog which is classified as a financial site.  Great for cash, financial, stock, insurance, loan or mortgage related companies.
Price: $80/month
Location: Bottom-right navigation area, below the fold:


PRICING: $80/month per link or advertising box.

To sign up for a link or 125×125 Box, please signup through this PayPal Recurring Payment link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_xclick-subscriptions&business=service%40houseofrave%2ecom&item_name=NevBlog%20Monthly%20Text%20Link&no_shipping=1&no_note=1&currency_code=USD&lc=US&bn=PP%2dSubscriptionsBF&charset=UTF%2d8&a3=80%2e00&p3=1&t3=M&src=1&sra=1

Restrictions: Once again, used good judgement here. I won’t display anything I find offensive or innapropriate for the site. I might also reject an offer if the site is extremely scammy or non-reputable.  I do this to protect other advertisers and myself.


LUMP SUM PAYMENT:
If you want to pay in lump sum, please send PayPal payment to: service (at) houseofrave .com

————————————

GOT OTHER IDEAS?

Think you’ve got a unique way of advertising on NevBlog? Run it past me, I’m always down to hear innovative ways to advertise! Perhaps you want to take up several spots of advertising and link them together to be unique, I can work with you on these ideas. There have been some pretty unique and successful campaigns on NevBlog in the past:

THE PIXEL SALE EXPERIMENT:
Checkout the original post.

This involved putting a small grid on the right-hand navigation where advertisers paid $50 for a tiny little square. This involved no text links and just a miniscule little square, but it surprisingly raised a lot of money in a short period of time for such a new site at the time, and got a lot of attention.

INTEREST.COM ADVERTISING BUYOUT:
Checkout the original post.

Interest.com who is owned by BankRate.com (The large company that does loans for Ditech.com and other big lenders) bought out all the advertising space on NevBlog for a 10 month period. I was also featured in their new “Blogs of Interest” section of their webpage. The deal bought them 4 ads total for all different parts of the site: Header, footer, left navigation and right navigation.

CONTACT:
Email: nevmed (at) gmail .com
Phone: 713.301.1546

Selling FacebookProfile.com

In May 2006 I started up FacebookProfile.com and it almost immediately started getting good traffic.

Today the traffic is over 2,800+ unique visits a day. In July the total was 73,735 unique visits.

As I’ve become more involved in other ventures, I decided to not let this site stagnate and sell it while it’s still on an upward traffic trend. I’ve placed it on auction at the SitePoint forums here.

I’ve already been offered over $3,000 by people prior to this sale, so I’ve set my minimum bid to which I can get out of the sale to $3,000. Even from the hour or so ago I’ve posted the ad I’ve got several high bids.

With Facebook Apps out and Facebook users coming on board by the tens of thousands per day, I’m sure someone could really take this site to the next level.

With the amount of traffic and high amount of advertising clicks (even though there are only two ads on the site) the site should fetch my asking price. Hopefully the person who buys it knows how to properly place ads and use different systems other than Google, they could really boost profits right away.

Lebanese Newspaper

One day a bunch of people from Lebanon tried adding me as a friend on Facebook. One of them notified me my full Facebook profile was published in a national newspaper over there!

If you go to Google Images and type in “Facebook” I am the first image to come up, so they used that image in the newspaper:

I’ve got no clue what that article says, but it’s pretty funny :-)
It reminds me of the article in the Russian Wallstreet Journal.

In case you’re wondering, since I own FacebookProfile.com (Which I’m currently selling) I published some screenshots of my Facebook, coincidentally they’ve reached the top of Google.

What’s interesting is since I published that fully un-edited screenshot of my profile I get about one phone call per week (usually from some bored teenager) who says, “Ummmmm….do you know your phone number is on Google?”