I work at home and I'm my own boss. Well, not exactly.
I've got these three little bosses telling me what to do all day long ;-).
I always dreamt of working from home, spending time with my family and doing all the things I love. And, very important, not to have a Boss! I also dreamt of financial stability and depending only on myself for my family's financial security.
The story below tells how I turned my dream into a reality.
It's a down-to-earth account of how our first Web site came into existence and how it earns my sister, Tamar (in the photo below), and myself thousands of dollars every month. It's a story of how I've built a stable stream of income that is helping me beat these challenging times while I still enjoy the freedom of doing what I want and being there for my girls – full-time.
In short, this story is living proof that what I'm about to tell you REALLY works and that anyone with a hobby or passion and with no prior internet know-how can create a profitable Website!
And to think that both Tamar and I aren't computer techies and knew very little about creating Web sites before embarking upon this adventure in May of 2003.
OK. So you want to know how?
In more than one word?
Sit back and get your scrolling finger ready. Here's our detailed (and often personal) story of:
How we built this site based entirely on SiteSell knowledge
How we work at home while our Web sites earn us both thousands of dollars a month!
And how it's helping us achieve our other (offline) dreams.
(This story was originally written in October 2003. The success since has been overwhelming both online and offline!)
This is not just a story of how a simple (and fun) Web site, built by two "amateurs", turned into a high-ranking, high-traffic, highly-profitable source of income - in under six months.
First and foremost, it is a story about how the creation of this site has helped my sister and I realize and achieve our true dreams.
My daughter Maya was born in June 2001. At the time, I could only dream to work at home. I was working as a Marketing Communications manager at a large High Tech company in Israel. The job was demanding, pay was OK (I guess...), I wasn't much at home, and family time was reduced to a few hours on the weekends.
I often caught myself daydreaming of how great it would be to work at home, be my own boss, be able to shut the computer whenever I wanted and play with Maya or go out to the café with my wife in the middle of the day...
I've run into lots of so-called work at home and get-rich-in-a-week schemes on the Net. And I must admit that some are quite tempting, especially to someone who was eager for a change like myself. But, as a skeptic, I never really bought into any of them and usually would just click on to the next page.
Until one day I stumbled upon a free 5-day email course that promised to enhance my online writing skills as a first step towards building an online business and being able to work at home. Again, my first reaction was: Yeah, right. But I admit, something about this particular course strum a sensitive chord, tickled my hopes of one day being able to work at home. And, it was free, so what the heck.
I signed up.
It may sound a bit dramatic, but I regard that very moment of signing up as a turning point in my life.
I have no better way to describe the course besides mind-boggling! It helped me understand that the key to work at home and earn a living from a Web site, is not to go out and learn HTML, graphic design or any other technical stuff (which already had me quite confused.)
The key is first and foremost the ability to WRITE words that can sell.
The course was so powerful and genuine, yet simple and down-to-earth, that it left me gasping for more.
After the final installment of the course, I immediately bought an ebook called Make Your Words Sell! (I paid around 30 bucks for it, but as of April 2008, it's FREE!). The book is co-written by the same author who wrote the free course, Dr. Ken Evoy. It is by far the very best book on writing (not just Netwriting but virtually any sort of marketing-oriented writing) I've ever read.
It took me just one day to devour its 300+ pages. And it's written so simply and eloquently, as if you're sitting in your living room with your old buddy Ken, having a chat over a cup of decaf (or Turkish coffee as customary on our end of the world...). I've read it several times since and keep referring to it and learning from it all the time.
With all the newly acquired knowledge, the next step was putting theory to practice.
My little sister Tamar (23, not so little anymore I guess...), who is an amazing artist (OK, I'm impartial, but I'll link you to some of her work in a moment) was working day and night as a waitress and didn't have any time for her own art. So I offered to build her a small Web site to promote her murals for kids' rooms. Maybe she'd get a job or two to even out the waitressing?
In a matter of weeks Tamar was getting more than five calls a day (all via the Web site), closing lots of work - her average mural was about $250 - which was about one whole week of waitressing. She left her waitressing job and began focusing only on painting murals.
Take a look at her site. Although it's in Hebrew, you can click on the pictures. They speak for themselves.
Next came a call from a family friend from California, Ami Adini, who heard how Tamar was getting lots and lots of work just from her Web site. Ami, an environmental consultant, had spent quite a few dollars on building a company Web site, but was quite frustrated that it had not generated even a single lead. So we agreed that I'd rebuild his California-based site from my home in Israel.
This was a much bigger project than Tamar's site and I felt I needed a bit more knowledge to build it correctly. By now, I was receiving weekly newsletters from Dr. Ken Evoy, who had become sort of my internet Guru, and I decided to invest $30 in another one of his books called: Make Your Site Sell!
Make Your Site Sell! is considered by many to be the "bible" of selling on the Net (it's now also FREE as of January 2007). It covers every imaginable aspect of building a Web site that can really SELL. Again, written in Ken's down-to-earth chummy voice. It was also the perfect supplement to the first book I had purchased Make Your Words Sell!
Armed with the wealth of knowledge from these books I was ready to transform www.amiadini.com into a site that actually generated leads for Ami's services.
It's a very simple site, focused on a local clientele. It took me three weeks to build (I knew nothing about the environmental industry and taught myself just a bit of Web building using Dreamweaver to get around).
This is what Ami wrote me:
"Your contribution to our success is sizable. I have now stopped counting the calls we get from our Web site. Additionally, our enhanced newsletter (thanks to your efforts) is getting VERY positive reactions."
I had returned my $60 investment in the two ebooks a hundred fold.
Dr. Ken Evoy's company had a third product, it's flagship, called Site Build It!. After experiencing the success with the first two books, I was gradually becoming more and more interested in it.
Site Build It! (SBI!) sells itself as an all-in-one site-building, site-hosting, site-promoting suite of these tools. It supposedly eliminates all the confusing technical complexities and exhausting manual labor involved in building and promoting a site, and leaves you with the fun part - creating content. And ultimately reaching the goal of being able to work at home.
Sounds like one heck of a product, but I admit that my inner skeptic voice wasn't ready to part with the few hundred dollars Site Build It! costs.
However, my day job was getting more and more intense, I was barely seeing my family, I was dragging myself to work, and worst of all, my dream (upon which I will elaborate in a moment) was now light years away. And that's what got the red lights really flickering.
So one day I just got up and said to myself - ENOUGH! It's time to start moving towards my real goals.
I have a family to support, so I couldn't just get up and go, leave my job, hope for the best, and just start to work at home (although there were moments I was very tempted to).
So I took a deep breath, and invested the few hundred dollars in Site Build It!
My knees were shaking when I clicked submit on the Secure online Credit Card form. But, my third investment in a SiteSell product turned out to be the very best investment I have ever made!
My goal was to work at home and build an online business that would generate an income equal (or greater, of course) to the salary I was earning. And also wouldn't be dependant on any country's economy (as my country's economy isn't that stable).
Site Build It! comes with yet another ebook called the Action Guide that helps you get a potentially profitable site up and running by following a ten chapter program. I had no idea what my "money-making" site would be about, but after reading through the first two days, I understood that it would have to involve a theme that was close to my heart.
Travel or backpacking were the obvious choice.
And I was just about ready to choose the domain name and start building my travel/backpacking stories site, when I contained my enthusiasm, and took an extra moment for rational contemplation. With the help of one of Site Build It!'s powerful tools, I was able to measure the demand and supply for backpacking-related information on the Net and it turned out that there was lots more supply than demand.
Now, I was never really any good with economics, but low demand vs. high supply was a definite no-no. And I'm glad I stopped to think at that very moment because if I would have built a "coolest-backpacking" site, I'd probably still be working as a Marketing Communications Manager.
At this point I needed some help, a pair of fresh eyes, and "enlisted" Tamar. I asked her to follow the first few chapters of the Site Build It! ebook and help me come up with a concept. Now, when Tamar does something, she tends to go overboard. For about a whole week she sat day and night searching for a topic with high demand and low supply.
And I remember the fateful phone call with her:
"Elad, I've got a site concept for you! But you've got to sit down first and promise not to laugh... OK?"
I promised and she continued:
"Kid birthday parties."
I admit, I couldn't stop laughing. Kid birthday parties?! I'll be able to work at home with that?! Huh?!
But after a few minutes (in which Tamar almost hung up.) it dawned upon me:
I've got my little Maya and another little girl on the way (and hopefully many more...)
I'll be in the kid birthday biz whether I want to or not for the next 20 years (at least.).
I always like to do things with a creative flare.
And, I love birthdays and parties - especially when they're for my loved ones.
Hey, we may be onto something.
After her brilliant idea, I asked Tamar to join forces with me and take part in building this site. It was perfect timing because she wanted to take a break from painting murals before taking off to the US to start her art studies at one of the most celebrated Schools of Art & Design and I was dying to just get going and work at home.
Tamar and I did lots and lots of research on kid birthday parties and started experimenting with our ideas on kids and during parties whenever the opportunity arose. We wrote up lots of content for the site and I was in charge of strategy and building the site from a technical aspect (although, with Site Build It!, you really don't need any technical knowledge because you can build a site through simple building blocks and monitor every aspect of traffic through a consolidated control center).
In no time, both of us became kid birthday junkies!
There are two ways our site makes money:
1. Ads, such as Google Ads - We earn money when people click on an ad that appears on our site.
2. Affiliate Marketing - We provide content and make suggestions as to where to buy quality products. If a visitor clicks over from our site to our affiliate (partner merchant) we earn a commission (while the customer doesn't pay even a penny more for the product.) Fair enough.
I won't get into the details of affiliate internet marketing because it's all explained here...
The underlying philosophy is to rank high in the search engines for keywords that are in high demand and that way generate lots of traffic to our site and lots of clicks on the ads and clickthroughs to our affiliates.
In August 2003, just four months after starting the site and during a month in which many people are out vacationing, our site generated a Net profit of almost $1,000! The site was ranked 50,821 at Alexa and we had close to 500 subscribers to our "Partyology" newsletter. And my dream of being able to work at home was slowly getting closer.
(Oh yeah, and during August I was also on vacation for a whole computer-less week of Scuba diving in the Red Sea while our site continued to work as usual.)
In October 2003, commission was up to $2000 and since then stats have been continuously increasing.
As for Tamar. She moved to the US and continued creating some amazing works of art. As you've probably noticed already, I'm a proud brother, and when I asked to "show off" her work in this story, she protested vehemently (such a humble being.).
But I'm bigger and stronger :-)
Tamar gets a percentage of the monthly earnings from our site (a great student salary) and can now focus solely on her dream - ART - without having to waste any of her time on minimum-wage student jobs.
Here's Tamar's artistic interpretation of how SBI! has set her free and changed her life:
Click on the clip to learn more about how you too can free yourself!
Tamar provides content and inspiration when she can (mainly during vacations.). I work at home full time and I've been doing the rest, trying out new strategies, making mistakes and learning from them, and all the while, using the wealth of SiteSell knowledge and Site Build It! power to strengthen our site. Oh yeah, and having fun all the while!
I admit that since I started to work at home, I haven't read any other online marketing books (and I probably should). But I'd just rather read and re-read the books and free courses I already have from SiteSell because there's so much more I can learn from them and I already KNOW how much they work.
But that's not all.
Way back at the top I mentioned that besides wanting to work at home, I had another dream which seemed light years away. Well... I'm also an aspiring actor/storyteller and I've always dreamt of putting together my own storytelling performance.
But I never got around to it.
Let me rephrase, I HAD never got around to doing it.
In October 2003 (with a bit more time on my hands and a whole lot of amazing energy), I uncorked the champagne on a new storytelling and music performance called:
Together with my musician partners, we interweave a dialogue between storytelling and music. The stories are based on my amusing travel experiences. I also do some singing and act out different characters. It's a very unique show, it's the fruit of our creation, and we've been getting really great feedback and reviews.
So why have I brought it up now?
Well, besides having realized an important dream, I still had to market it.
So what did I do?
You got it.
I built a one-page site (in Hebrew - but with pictures and a video clip). The simplest site ever. A day after putting it online, I closed two performances. In December 2003, only two months after curtains went up on our new show, we performed NINE times in both private and public affairs (seven performances came in through the Web!).
Just goes to show that the knowledge I gained from the SiteSell products has no language barrier.
As a final word.
I left my day job much earlier than I expected to and I now work at home full-time on our Web sites. I'm also performing in front of audiences quite a bit now. I have a rule that I close my computer (with lock and bolt) every day between 4-8 pm to be with my family. I spend lots of quality time with them!
And I'm achieving my dreams and enjoying every moment of life. So is Tamar.
I wish you the same.
P.S. I'd like to say a special thank you to Dr. Ken Evoy, the founder of SiteSell. Ken (if I may), my virtual friend and Guru, whom I regard in high esteem. He has helped me make a difference in my life and I'm sure in many others lives by building a company that shines above the rest!
As I mentioned above, this story was written in October 2003. I've updated it several times since. You can read the updates and find out more about how we work at home here... )
And as a finale, here's a short clip that sums up my love for SBI! in just 60 seconds.
Now it's time to stop dreaming and start doing.
Click on the clip and start your own journey towards freeing yourself and being able to work at home!
If you're still a bit sceptic about Site Build It!, I can understand. I probably would be also. Even after my own success with SBI!, I still often ponder if others have also experienced success with SBI!.
So instead of just pondering, in April 2008 I decided to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and meet face-to-face people like myself who are building their Web Sites with SBI!, AND, of course, to meet the founder, Dr. Ken Evoy.
Following this adventure to Canada I have all the proof I need to spread the word that SBI! is really changing people's lives around the world... Here's the complete story...
We're really proud of our Coolest Party sites and put a lot of energy into building and maintaining them. It's a family of Web sites built by my sister, Tamar, and myself.
All of our sites are built using Site Build It!
Join My Facebook Page...
My girls are growing up.
And I haven't missed a day of it!
My eldest daughter, Maya, is two-years-old when I start my first Site Build It! Web site...
My dear wife gives birth to our second daughter, Noa, while I "give birth" to our second site...
I launch our third site (and take a breather from "launching" any new children ;-)...
Two more sites are built as we get ready for another child... Maybe a boy???
Shira, our third daughter, is born... No new sites this year.
Two more sites are built and that's it! I swear I'm not going to build any more new sites... Well, maybe...
I also travel across the world to meet other people who, like myself, are using Site Build It! to build their Web sites. The trip is documented on this, my first, "non-coolest" site...
Over the years Tamar has created hundreds of orginal party printables. They're all available free accross ours sites. Hundreds of thousands of people have downloaded these printables! So Tamar came up with an idea to create a site with all the printables in one spot. And, she'll also be creating many more printable designs and Templates - All free. Welcome the latest addition to our "coolest" family:
Once again we branch off to create another homemade cakes site, this time dedicated to wedding and anniversary cakes:
Here are all of our Web sites along with their Alexa Traffic Rankings.
Alexa.com is the leading traffic-measurement company on the Net (like the Nielsen TV ratings, except for the Web). It is an Amazon-owned, Microsoft-powered Search Engine that measures traffic-popularity.
With over 100 Million sites on the Web today (and growing by the minute), you'll see that our sites are in the Top 1% of all the Web sites in the World!
This site: my-sbi-adventure.com