Biography: The Rise of Ngo: Chapter 3
The next phase of my journey was what I call the black hole of Internet marketing. For every 10,000 people who try to make money online, maybe five will actually end up earning a full-time living from it.
- Information overload – Affiliate marketing, e-books, blogging, YouTube, vlogger, SEO, e-commerce, consulting, develop a service, 4-hour work week muse, etc. The problem is some people can’t focus and end up drowning in opportunities.
- Shit information – You don’t have enough experience yet to separate the dirt from the diamonds. Most bloggers in Internet marketing just write fluff because they have no knowledge. They make their income by pretending to be experts so they can sell products and prostitute themselves for paid reviews. Forums are full of keyword warriors who don’t make money.
- No action – Don’t confuse motion with action. Motion is reading about shooting a basketball, and action is going on the basketball court and shooting the basketball. The problem is most guys will spend 90% of their time reading and only 10% doing. Fear and laziness hold them back.
Since my first exposure to Internet marketing was Shoemoney and John Chow, I thought that blogging was where the money was. I got an account at HostGator and set up my WordPress site.
I decided on two different niches. The first was a “make money online” blog from a newbie perspective. Yeah, not very creative.
But I wanted the second topic to be in a field that wasn’t competitive yet but that would boom in popularity. Around that time, a new show called “The Pickup Artist” was airing on VH1. I thought interest in this niche would explode in the upcoming months. I didn’t know much about the topic, but that didn’t matter. I googled PUA websites and rewrote articles.
For about two months, I was blogging every day. I learned everything from scratch. Setting up hosting, signing up for Adsense and affiliate programs, marketing the blogs, etc.
I plastered my blog with Adsense ads and felt a rush every time someone clicked and I’d earn $.05. To promote the website, I’d post all day on forums and promote on social media such as Digg, Netscape, etc.
The most amazing feeling I experienced when I converted my first lead. I was promoting David DeAngelo’s e-book and earned a $40 commission. A few weeks later, the check came in the mail. The moment I deposited that check, I realized this industry was real.
After two months, I gave up on blogging. I realized the best blogs come from people who are already experts in the subject. I just told myself, “I’ll start CharlesNgo.com a few years later when I actually know what I’m talking about.”
Free vs. paid traffic
I spent the majority of my time going to different forums and blogs, and it definitely looked like paid traffic was the place to be.
To get sales, you need people (traffic) to visit your website. There are primarily two methods to generate traffic: free (search engine optimization, article marketing, etc.) or paid (spending money on Adwords, Facebook ads, banners, etc.).
A large majority of people were doing search engine optimization at the time, but I didn’t want my livelihood to be dependent on just Google. What if they have a big algorithm change and it messes up all my websites? Also, it just seemed like all the guys doing paid traffic made a lot more money.
I shifted from blogging to paid search. Now, all my time was spent learning about Google Adwords, Yahoo Search, and Facebook ads, which was opening up soon.
Graduation and the job search
I graduated from Georgia Tech in December 2007.
Unfortunately, I still wasn’t making money from affiliate marketing, so this meant I had to find a job to fund my living expenses and pay for my business. PayPal locked my $10,000 for a few more months, and since the account was also banned, I couldn’t flip items on eBay anymore.
I started my job search on Monster and Careerbuilder. I had a degree in business and marketing, so I was just trying to find whatever job I could get. My main concern was about the hours because I wanted to work on affiliate marketing at night.
I went for several interviews and got three job offers. One was in sales, one was as a junior analyst, and one was to work for an Internet marketing agency in Atlanta.
I ended up accepting the Internet marketing job even though it paid less than the others. With that job, I was helping with the Adwords account of a Fortune 500 company.
The money is the motive?
“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.” – Fight Club
Money was never my prime motivation.
What motivated me was the thought that Internet marketing was my last chance at the life I wanted. Growing up, I never excelled at anything in life. I wasn’t the best student; I didn’t play sports; and I didn’t have any hobbies outside of video games.
Deep down, I needed to prove to myself that I could be really good at something. How many people drift through life just…existing? For the first time, I felt like I had a real goal and purpose.
We all have dreams of who we want to be when we grow up, but we live in a system that’s designed to beat you down. As a kid, you enter school, and for the next 15 years, you are being molded into a person who is supposed to listen and obey. The people at the top don’t want a society of thinkers; they want worker bees who never question anything.
Once you get that new house, new car, and credit card bills, you’re a slave to the system. People sell out their potential and dreams just so they can “keep up with the Joneses.” We only have one shot at life, so why settle for being a hamster in a wheel?
The journey to success is lonely. When I was staying home on the weekends building my business, everyone was out clubbing and getting drunk. I preferred reading books about copywriting to playing video games or watching TV. What helped me through the daily grind was visualizing the future I wanted. Sacrifice today for a better tomorrow.
If you tell others you want to do this “Internet marketing” thing, some are going to discourage you and say it’s unrealistic or a scam. Why? Because they’ve already given up on their dreams and they want more company. If you end up succeeding, it’ll make them feel worse and less secure. Discouraging you is their way of protecting their own egos and a way of nipping your dreams in the bud.
Next chapter: my 14 failed campaigns and my first $100k campaign.