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The True Story Of My Overnight Success

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The True Story Of My “Overnight Success” as a Blogger

Blogging Overnight Success?

It is time to put the record straight.

The story of how I created is well documented but I have been thinking recently that what is not so well known is all the things I tried and ‘failed’ at before

I was thinking this in particular because I have had a few emails from people that 1) Assume I am some sort of overnight success and 2) people who had become disillusioned with their lack of online success.

So in this post I am going to discuss some of my earlier online endeavors (and ‘failures’) and what I learned from them.

Of course my definition of “Failure” may well be different to most people. You see, I see failure as nothing more than a learning experience — and if you have always learned something, how can it really be failing?

If you Google “overnight success’ it will turn up some interesting quotes such as this one by Monty Hall:

Actually, I’m an overnight success. But it took twenty years

Or this one by Diana Rankin

Instead of thinking about where you are, think about where you want to be. It takes twenty years of hard work to become an overnight success

The good news is it doesn’t have to take 20 years any longer – technology has sorted that out for many of us younger entrepreneurs, but the fact remains – all reasonable and sustainable Success is dependant of Work (often hard work) and diligent application.

If you are going to give up at at the first hurdle or when your first blog doesn’t turn out as you hoped then you may as well not start in the first place.

In this post I hope you will see that I am anything but an ‘overnight success” as I explain just a few of the online efforts I ‘failed’ at before launching You may also discover somethings about me that I am no longer that proud of.

eBay Business

Yes, my first online business was an Ebay one. A simple strategy – buy low and sell high and I sold pretty much anything I could get my hands on.

Ebay really started to go somewhere for me when I played an online fighting game called Runescape. (I am sure some of you have heard of it)

On Ebay I noticed there was a market for Runescape Gold (The better the player you were the more Gold you earned in the games — and the more Gold you had the more difficult it was to beat you – the better you could Arm / Protect yourself in the game) Because of this a market existed on Ebay for “Runescape Gold”

Not being modest — I was GOOD, so I started playing Runescape more in the evenings, winning lots of battles and earning more gold. Then in the morning I listed what I had won the night before, on eBay. Usually you would get around £40 per 1 million gold, usually breaking it up into smaller deals like 100,000 gold for £7. One guy I played with was quitting because he was going off to university and wanted the extra cash, so after some negotiations, he let me buy his account for $200. To most that would probably sound like a lot of money and a silly thing to do but when I tell you that he had around 400 million gold and the account was actually one of the best in the game you will now be thinking, WOW what a deal. I managed to in the end break down the gold into small portions and probably sell it for over £2000. (about $3200) Not a bad return for a $200 investment.

I decided to keep doing this with other people who were quitting the game for various reasons but after a while Runescape clamped down on this trade (as IP owner) and it was no longer allowed to sell Runescape Gold on Ebay.

Not so proud of it now — but that didn’t really stop me, indeed I got banned a total of 5 times before realising enough was enough.

After Runescape i sold all sorts of stuff, including wrist bands, remote control cars and Lacoste Polo shirts. After doing a few transactions here and there, I got a phone call from a friend who was selling on eBay, he told me he was getting out of the business and wanted to sell his stock. He had several hundred items, mainly Lacoste and Abrocrombie and Fitch. I paid him £2000 ($3200). I was foolish not to go through the stock before I bought it. I had presumed that because he was a family friend that it would be all great quality. Turned out around 30% was unsellable because it was factory seconds. Also most of it was silly sizes like extra larger and extra extra large but in the end this actually worked to my advantage because it seemed larger sized people went online to buy instead of going to shops.

The main downside of this business was that I had to constantly be packaging products and going to the post office, it was also more responsibly then I wanted as I had to make sure it got into the post right away. Often I would forget or leave it for days and end up sending two products for the price of one to make it up to the buyer.

Biggest Lesson Learned: Customers want it now and if that doesn’t work well with your work hours, then you will disappoint and they will leave negative feedback. I also found that there was a lot of things I could do to improve the result of auction, for example if I ended the auction at the busiest time of day in terms of Ebay traffic, I would likely make a lot more money from the sale then if I did it at say 10am.

Once I got out of the eBay business I decided that I should learn more about Web Design and found myself on a design forum called GameRenders. The forum had a great model, every time you posted on the forum you get a point and there was a market place where you could buy, sell and trade with your points. I loved the model and without knowing the meaning of GFX, I registered the domain to go in direct competition with that forum and 100s of others.

I didn’t know much about web design, nothing about graphics, couldn’t even think about installing forum software but I managed to get my forum online and customized. I created friendships with the top users on the forum and other great designers and managed to convince them to join my forum and help build the community. In 6 short months, ShoutGFX had around 70,000 posts and 2,000 members. I remember I was running when I first met Yanik Silver back in 2006.

Unfortunately because of my great success, came jealous competition that hacked my site and destroyed it. I knew the old owner of GameRenders and asked that he took a look, fix it and let me know how it was done. He let me know who the Hacker was (someone we both knew). It may have been something to do with the maturity of the audience but when I brought this up on the forums no one seemed to really care – so I tried to fix the site and carry on.

Later I discovered that two admins on my forum wanted to delete my site because they had just launched their own site and it would be easy to poach my users if my site was no longer online. In the end, I lost the site due to not having a decent backup.

Nasty — But I learned a lot. Mainly the experience made me more mature and of course I learned that what goes around, comes around.

Biggest Lesson Learned: Keep backups of your website, you never know when you will need it!


ShoutGFX Design We Were Working On Before We Got Hacked

Webdesigndev V.1

A web design site seemed a nature transition from a design forum, I already knew quite a lot about the niche and wanted to give a website a try. I was using a forum called Pixel2Life at the time where I found a young programmer aged 13. At first I agreed to pay him $30 to code my design and as we started talking I found out that he knew a lot about programming and we added really cool things such as a CMS to easily add content (basically like WordPress but nowhere near as good), a custom Newsletter (not compliant with spam laws) and a bunch of other cool ideas I had.

When I launched the site I added Adsense to the sidebar of the site and above each tutorial, I saw that I was earning around $5 – $10 a day and was mildly impressed with myself but knew I had to do more so I could make more money to expand my business. I researched how others in my niche were making money and they were all using Adsense as well but the difference is, they placed images next to each Adsense text listing – in a similar way to how they also listed their Tutorials / main content. This made readers think the adverts were real content.


First Version of

So I did the same as these other sites and in no time at all my earnings with Adsense jumped from $5 – $10 per day TO $50 per day

I should point out this ‘trick’ is no longer allowed by Google but it was at the time. I didn’t feel bad about it at the time because the advertisers were getting targeted traffic from me – It was just one of the Tricks that online entrepreneurs were using just a few years ago. That said, it does not make it right and I am glad that Google clamped down on it.

After that I still thought I could do better, I went to my good friend, eBay and bought around 2000 website templates for £5 which included resell writes so I could sell it on. I created an advert to drive traffic to the page on my site where I was selling the templates and managed to increase my daily earnings to over $200 with the help of advertising. grew to over 100 tutorials and 200,000 monthly visitors in weeks and I was managing $1000 advertising deals – all at the age of 16.

It didn’t last long though, first came the bad news from my host, having a 13 year old program your site meant that he may know a lot about programming, but didn’t actually mean his code worked well. They told me it was badly programmed which caused huge issues with my server and finally they shut us down. After moving to a new host, I found I still had the same problem and shortly after that I got contacted by Adsense, telling me that the site was banned from the program. (poor quality traffic apparently). Then there was a decline of interest in the template pack so in the end I decided to shut down the site down and begin on my next project.

Biggest Lesson Learned: It is well worth the money hiring a professional. I decided to hire a 13 year old programmer who was cheap but lacked the skills to create a robust website that could handle a lot of traffic. In the end this ‘cheap option’ cost me a lot more then what a good programmer would have.

From building ShoutGFX I knew quite a bit about running a forum and promoting it. I decided to give it another try in a similar but more mature market. The site went well but never picked up like ShoutGFX and I decided to sell it on SitePoint for around $1500 a few months later.

Biggest Lesson Learned: It’s not always the best choice to spend your whole budget on building a site, promoting it can be far better use of funds. I spent $650 to buy the domain from a Domainer – which may sound a lot of money but at the time I had big dreams for the site and if it worked out, the price would of been well worth it.

Retireat21 was born out of an idea I got at the Underground Online Seminar that Yanik Silver held in the UK in 2006

I had noticed that there weren’t very many young people in the Internet Marketing business – so I wanted to connect those who did and inspire those who were not yet involved in Internet Marketing.


First Version of

My original idea for Retireat21 was some sort of social site and in fact at the beginning it went really well. Each user had a profile page, could leave comments, vote up and down young entrepreneurs and we also had a big contest. Along with that I added pages about creating your own website and business and a bunch of other cool options. Although we had a great start, we still ended up with the same issue as last time, bad coding (didn’t learn the first time).

The most exciting day was when I release my young entrepreneur rich list and received over 50,000 visitors in one day and I was mentioned in news papers around the world and was mentioned in AOL and Yahoo news along with 1000 of other sites. I even ended up appearing in a leading Brazilian Newspaper.

Over the years we have worked hard to restructure the site and in 2010 do plan to make the move to a new design and to use WordPress for all of the site – not just the Young Entrepreneurs Blog

Biggest Lesson Learned: Content is king, once I learned that I started to get a sold following.

Webdesigndev V.2

With Retireat21 finally earning some money, I decided to go back and look at again. This was also just around the time of my “near death” experience in Ghana. (Not sure how many of my IncomeDiary readers know about this – but another life-changing experience)

I always enjoyed and knew it had great potential. So I decided to hire a designer and with in 1 hour had a design I liked and found a programmer to convert it from PSD to WordPress. I relaunched it using old tutorials and it quickly made its way up to around 35,000 monthly visitors but because I couldn’t bring anything new to the site, struggled to bring it any further. Another main concern was monetization, I was banned from Adsense and couldn’t get more then $300 – $500 for advertising on the site.


Second Version of

Biggest Lesson Learned: At the time of creating WebDesignDev V.2, I had all the same content on Retireat21 for at least a year and when I copied it and put it on the new site, WebDesignDev instantly out ranked Retireat21 in Google. I put down the success of WebDesignDev in the search engines to a great bit of software called: WORDPRESS!

With so many people asking me how I created and, I knew I had to create a great FREE guide. Add that to the demand for more interviews and lists in a broader niche then just young entrepreneurs, IncomeDiary was born.

To get the full scoop on how I created IncomeDiary and how you can create a similar blog, check out this post

Biggest Lesson Learned: Consistency is important for success! If you take your eye of the ball, your level of success will drop.

WebDesignDev V.3

Early in 2008 I went back to with a different approach – this time, not to deliver step by step tutorials but to give inspiration and showcase some of the best web design on the net. I was also fortunate to find a young writer who was interested in the web design niche and willing to write for a revenue share. This made a big difference and we were able to bring the site from 30,000 visitors monthly to 160,000. As some of you know – I sold last month for a nice $xx,xxx figure. Very pleased with that because just a year or so ago I was considering accepting an offer of $5000 for that site!

Biggest Lesson Learned: got me by far the most traffic of any of my sites but when all was said and done it earned me the least. I just did not have the time to take WebdesignDev to the next level which is why I sold the site. For me I find it better to concentrate on the sites that make me the most money right now – rather than distracting myself with lower earning sites. That is the case for me right now — I am not necessarily suggesting that will be the case for you.

My “Unfair” Advantage

I was fortunate enough to start my online business very young. I now realise I started my business with very little in the way of overheads – after-all I was still living at home with my parents. A significant advantage for sure but then I was no A Grade Student and I really struggled because of my dyslexia – so in many ways starting an online business was more difficult for me.

But I did have an “Unfair Advantage” — but it is perhaps not an obvious one if you don’t know my whole story. You see I was fortunate that early on in my online career I met and hung out with some of the most successful people online such as: Yanik Silver, James Schramko, Ryan Lee and Alex Jeffreys.

So many people get disillusioned when their first blog or online business does not work out as they expected – and make the fatal mistake of giving up.

Look, if it really was that easy, then everyone would be doing it.

Personally I don’t consider it very difficult – but it is vital to no under-estimate the amount of effort required.

As I have said in previous blog posts recently you have to be prepared to invest in yourself, educate yourself if you ever hope to move from being a Wannabe Blogger to an A List Blogger

Give yourself an unfair advantage – get yourself a coach, a mentor or join a Mastermind. That has been the single biggest influence on my own online success


I was looking for a story that might inspire those of you who are considering giving up or who are disillusioned and I came across this one:

Abraham Lincoln’s Incredible Journey To Become The 16th President Of The United States!

I think President Lincoln lived one of the most motivational and inspirational lives ever.

Think you have had it hard – look at this “Failure” time-line

* He had to work to support his family after they were forced out of their home. 1816
* His mother died. 1818
* Failed in business. 1831
* Was defeated for legislature. 1832
* Lost his job and couldn’t get into law school. 1832
* Declared bankruptcy, and spent the next 17 years of his life paying off the money
he borrowed from friends to start his business. 1833
* Was defeated for legislature again. 1834
* Was engaged to be married, but his sweetheart died and his heart was broken. 1835
* Had a nervous breakdown and spent the next six months in bed. 1836
* Was defeated in becoming the speaker of the state legislature. 1838
* Was defeated in becoming elector. 1840
* Was defeated for Congress 1843
* Was defeated for Congress. 1846
* Was defeated for Congress again. 1848
* Was rejected for the job of Land Officer in his home state. 1849
* Was defeated for Senate. 1854
* Was defeated for Vice-President — got less than 100 votes. 1856
* Was defeated for Senate for the third time. 1858
* Was elected President of the United States. 1860

I hope you enjoyed this post – I believe passionately in helping as many people as possible to succeed online.

As you can see, I did not always get it right – but you will also I hope note that I NEVER GAVE UP. Actually as I read it I actually impress myself – It makes me wonder just what could be possible to achieve in next 4 years – when I reach age 25.

I look forward to your comments.

To Our Success


PS: I just came across this great quote from that great Positive Thinker – Mr Jim Rohn. It seemed to fit in well with my strategy – hopefully it will inspire you also.

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.


  1. Andrew @ Blogging Guide says:

    Your posts, Michael, are always ones I look forward to. I know I am going to learn and be inspired.

    You seem to have learned so much in such a short amount of time and what definitely comes through while reading your post, is your determination and attitude towards risk.

    You are going to be a huge success.

    Excellent stuff.


    • Awesome story Michael. Very inspiring as usual. You tell it how it is without the hype. Thanks so much


  2. Roosevelt Purification says:

    Michael you’ve out done yourself. I am glad and really proud of your post, I wish I read something like this just two years back!

  3. David Walker says:

    Hey Michael,

    This is a great post and I find it really interesting when people reveal all the other projects they have been involved in the past, whether successful or unsuccessful.

    I love that quote about it taking 20 years to become an overnight success, it feels like that a LOT to me 🙂

    Like you I have had my fingers in many pies over the years but it makes it all the more satisfying when you settle on something you are comfortable with, enjoy the most and KNOW it is going to be your most successful venture of them all!

    Good stuff, man, I always enjoy visiting your blog so keep it up!


  4. Adam Bader says:

    First time here Michael, but this is a great post. I have gone similar stages and as you said If it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

    Keep up the good work 🙂


  5. vickie hall says:

    Hi Michael,

    I really, really loved this post. Thank you for the encouragement and for sharing your time line of successes and failures. The depth in which you explained your time line was really informative.

    I am a graphics/web designer and recently switched my company site from a static type site to a blog style site and I’m loving it. Just have to get in the groove of writing on it often.

    What you’ve shared today has really inspired me to just keep at it! And I plan to!

    Thanks again for sharing,


  6. Michael Anderson says:

    Hi Michael,
    Great post. I always find those who strive to succeed despite their many falls and disappointments inspirational. I recently posted a blog on Terry Chang – who is CEO of the Chinese equivalent of Amazon. An amazing character who really struggled then succeeded. Don’t know if you allow links in your comments but it’s here if you’re interested:

  7. David - Zen Choices Blog says:

    Very inspiring stuff Michael. In addition to my newbie blog, I also started out on eBay and still sell there.

    Thanks for detailing your journey so far!

  8. Amazing post Michael! Very well written and really motivational. I especially liked the way you ended with the story of Abraham Lincoln. As always, its a pleasure to read your posts!

    • Thanks Rachna, always great to hear from you. Your site was a great inspiration for


  9. Agent Deepak says:

    Micheal Thanks for sharing your story. Its gives me lots of confidence and I can say that I can achieve success.

    Thanks again.

  10. Hi This is the truly inspiration post from you more than your interview posts.

    Entrepreneur differs from business men in certain points. One of them is , he learns quickly from his experiences(failures 🙂 ).

  11. Luke Etheridge says:


    A truly fantastic and inspiring blog post buddy! Personally, I am really happy for you and the success that you have managed to create online.

    Now knowing that things were not always so great and that a considerable amount of failure and learning from mistakes has been one of the main reasons for your success, this gives me a lot of hope.

    I started my blog about 3-4 months ago and I’m loving every minute of it. I found Income Diary in December and it has helped me to understand just what I am getting myself into, as I am sure it will continue to.

    I wish you huge success on your path to age 25 😉

    Thanks again bud,


  12. awesome article!.. this is what I love about income diary, less posting but very worth to read once it’s updated

  13. Very encouraging Michael…i have wanted to start bloggin for a while now. I now know all i need is a consistent change in direction.

    Consistency is the key here, not perfection.

  14. Joseph Ajilore says:

    Hey Michael,

    This is a great read, it really shows how people make up their own story for people because of perceptions, but they forget about the failures and hardwork one must endure to get to the point of becoming a credible source.
    I guess sometimes it is better to forget the hardwork and to understand that it is not going to be an easy ride, but it will be fun, educational and benefical.

  15. Well done Michael, no one realizes the hard work that goes into an online business, they just see the finished product.

  16. Great post!…. you are never to old to learn or start over. Believe in yourself and take “failure” as experience.

  17. This post is one of the best post that I ever read.a lot thanks

  18. Inspirational story, Michael. When you put it into that perspective, “overnight success” does seem like a hoax. That said, if you enjoy what you’re doing, in hindsight all of those years probably don’t feel that long.

    As for Lincoln’s track record: I honestly did not know he went through all that. Funny how it doesn’t mean anything to the casual observer until the very end when he finally gets elected for the presidency.

  19. What a post! Indeed overnight success! We would be all be better to learn the salient lesson that there is nothing like overnight success and that every ‘failure’ should be taken as lesson on our way to our dreamland. Thank you so much

  20. Wow, awesome post. Inspiring.

    Thanks alot – I look forward to your posts, and this one was above and beyond.

  21. I was enthralled throughout that… Look I’ll be honest, most of the time I only skim over your posts (direct result of being subscribed to so many feeds) but this one really caught my attention.

    It was interesting to see where you came from before this site, and it also makes you seem more human lol. Or maybe that’s just me.

    Either way, great post, and thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Heather,

      Glad you enjoyed the post, YES I’m human 😉

      Don’t worry, I don’t blame you for not reading posts, I blame the writer 😉


  22. Michael,

    Dude, thanks for leveling with me. I’m 19 right now and it’s very encouraging to see someone who has pressed through to see breakthrough.

    I have gone through many endeavors, though a heck of a lot more half-hearted than yours. I still have yet to make a dime online, but I know it’ll come.

    Thanks bro.

    keep on keepin’ on!

    • Luke Etheridge says:

      Hey Michael,

      I second that buddy! Good things will certainly come to those who learn from their mistakes and persist with their dreams! – Great Blog…I’m sure success is just round the corner mate.


  23. Shane Hudson says:

    It is great to be seeing and reading about all of your websites. I can remember Shout GFX and (if any of you other readers did not believe him) it was BIG. It is where I learned almost every Photoshop technique that I know now.

    Of course Retire At 21 was (and still is) a great site too, that is when I first started talking to Michael on MSN properly (I added him when I first got on Shout GFX but he never spoke to me!).

    So I think everybody really needs to understand that although his previous projects have developed Michael into the man he is now, they have also developed other people and perhaps is the reason why some of us are doing what we are.

    • Hello Shane,

      Thanks buddy, I’m glad you enjoyed ShoutGFX and kept with me all these years.


  24. I always enjoy reading your posts. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Really Great stuff, I love the Lincoln timeline it kinda puts failure into perspective doesn’t it. We often look at the destination and overlook the journey. You are a lot younger than I am but I must say your lessons are beyond your years not just learning how to earn online but the spirit of giving back. Abe would be proud, keep up the good work 🙂

  26. Brad Campbell says:

    What’s up Michael – that post really hit home with me. It’s inspiring to see that someone who’s killing it has had their fair share of slip-ups and failures (learning experiences) that they’ve had to overcome, just like the rest of us.

    It’s easy for a relative ‘newbie’ like myself to assume that the successful bloggers somehow had a different, easier path to success and that they’ve done everything right from day one…

    this post was a great reminder that the only difference between the super successful and the average person, is that the successful person truly learns from their ‘failures,’ regroups and then continues to march straight ahead with a new and improved approach…

    …while the average person accepts defeat and chooses NOT to adjust and move forward.

    Awesome content once again.

    I’ll be at Ryan Lee’s event in a few weeks and look forward to meeting you.

    • Hey Brad,

      Great to hear from you and glad you took away something from this post.

      See you at Ryans 🙂


  27. As always,an Exceptional Motivational article.

  28. Michael,

    GREAT post!
    Reading the progression of each of your sites/lessons learned was and should be eye opening to anyone building an internet business. The fact that you kept at in and simply moved on to the next thing clearly is what we all need to remember.
    LOVE this site….great info. about Lincoln too…
    Thanks –

  29. Jerry Gillies says:

    Talk about full disclosure! I have never seen someone go into such detail about “how I got from there to here”, and it could easily be a model used in MBA programs. You have a unique gift of combining humility with an authority and certainty that is impressive. And you demonstrate how good you are at learning from your challenges. Valuable information and insight for any aspiring entrepreneur!

  30. Pete Williams says:


    I couldn’t agree more about getting a mentor to help you succeed with your business. I am currently working with someone that you mentioned you met and hung out with early on, Alex Jeffreys. So far, so good!

    Thanks for the excellent post!


  31. Great post Mike 😉

  32. I really enjoyed reading this, Michael! It’s so refreshing to know that your biggest successes didn’t come until years down the road.

    As a young entrepreneur, it’s easy for others to think that you are an “overnight success” because you couldn’t have possibly been working on this stuff for years, right? 😉

    Loved it!

  33. Ultimate Lifestyle Project says:

    Fantastic article. Thanks for taking the time to write and sharing your real experience. So many people always assume that success came easy to those who have it, when in reality, success was the accumulation of many trials and errors. Truly inspiring.

  34. Marcell Purham says:

    I have to admit I really didn’t like you Michael when I first started to learn about you because I thought you were misleading people but know I see that you’re really trying to help others succeed. I remember starting Webdevtuts because you inspired me with your success and others entrpnuers success. The thing that got me the most that you stated was do whats you love and dont think about the priz. I did that and look at it, 7 months later going better than ever before.

    Great article Michael you’re truly the one to inspire 🙂

  35. Azad Shaikh says:

    Great post indeed. Best wishes for your future success.

    Warm Regards,
    Azad Shaikh (The Internet Geek)

  36. Your failures seem much more instructive then you successes. Really enjoy this post.

  37. Hey Mike

    You are a really guy with the willness to work and make others work in their domain..COol the story is quiet inspirational….

  38. Rick Resch says:

    Hello Michael,
    It seems that all great minds have had their ups and downs. It just is that you should NEVER give up! Reading your business history makes me look at mine and to be inspired to keep going despite all the things that have gone wrong and like you said to learn your lessons from your mistakes.


  39. One of the best and inspirational post i have seen today. Thanks a lot Michael, its an amazing experience to learn from failures and success.

    I have a similar story but it starts in a total different way, would love to share it someday soon :), cheers and good luck

  40. I can honestly say with Michael is what you see is what you get. Their is no hidden agenda. Nothing in life is easy. We all have to work hard for the things we want in life. As usual awesome post and inspirational.

  41. Nice Post, you’re the best…….

  42. Amirthanand says:

    Michael, I always like your posts and often get impressed about how hard work you have done….you had dyslexia. But still how hard you tried….i am really shocked about this….

    I was searching a Mastermind for helping me in my future….Please if you can help me in my online success…..

    Please help me…….My id is

  43. Really nice and mind blowing post. Am gr8 fan of Micheal Dunlop. He and I are of same age i.e 22. This teaches us that success comes to those who work hard and do not worry with initial failures. work smart and get success.

  44. Wow. Got here because of a twitter post. I’m enchanted with your story, your transparency, your humility and your encouragement. Thank you so much for this terrific post, which I will be passing on. I’m hooked, and look forward to your next post–and I’ll be checking out your other sites. Thanks so much for this and keep moving ever forward!

  45. elie palima says:

    hi michael,

    the post was really inspiring!

    me and my wife enjoyed reading the post.

    I’ll certainly look forward to learning more from you..

  46. Woa man, I like how your success went. I’ve played Runescape too, how awkward is that?!?!

    And also what makes this more wierd is that you tried ebay, lol I was gonna make preparations for ebay next month by going to flea markets, pawn shops, etc. to do the same thing you did. Plus on top of that I’ve made a site about 2 months ago (but I’ve only just started to use it like at the beginning of this month). It’s a tutorial site for web development. How wierd man, I’m glad I read this, honestly. I was gonna delete the mail I got from this blog but something told me to read it, I’m sure glad I did! THANKS MAN, REALLY NEEDED THIS TODAY!

    You can expect for me to come back for sure next time, and all the other times. I think this was a great time for me to come to your site! THANKS!

  47. Crazy stuffs Michael! It’s always great to hear the real success story like yours, so that people won’t have the illusion of getting “an overnight success”.

    Whether failure is a real one or just a learning experience, it’s important as a stepping stone to success. I also love the story of Abraham Lincoln, didn’t know that he had to go through so much to get to where he was.

    20 years to get to where you want to be, that means I’d be about 44! Not a bad thing really, but of course I’d do my best to shorten the period as much as possible. Well, take care and thanks for another great post!

  48. Great story Michael, very inspiring!

  49. Very Inspiring Michael,i have failed many times in may of the websites and blogs i started but this post has given me hope to strive harder and success will come soon.

  50. very inspiring michel, thanks for sharing your experience, sure it make me stay motivated

  51. Tammi Kibler says:

    Hi Michael,

    Great post, very inspiring.

    I am having trouble with the 7 day course. I subscribed, I confirmed, but I didn’t get the first three e-mails. The first e-mail I received is the Day 4, which references earlier material.

    I tried another e-mail address and appear to have same problem (it hasn’t been 4 days yet, so I have received no e-mails).

    Is this information available on the site?

  52. great post michel, would you kindly comment on website building tool of “website tonight”

    or can u please tell me the link for knowledge of various tools helpful in building a website.

    devender kaushik

  53. Anthony Angelo says:

    You are one of the most consistent good bloggers. Always enjoy your articles and very inspired. I will dare to dream, learn from failures and keep moving forward. Thanks for such a good content in your website!

  54. Some good stuff here. I’ve gone through the same route as you started out. Started online with ebay the same way too. I will document my experience just as you have done some time soon.

    My current site has kicked the quickest so far out of all of my sites. I’m getting praises here and there for the content, which is great. But now it’s all about tweaking and testing. Lets see how things ramp up in the coming months.


  55. King Sidharth says:

    Dear Me!
    That was a true story worth making a film on! Love it to the core and the best thing is that you learned by your mistakes. It sounds obvious to learn form them but majority of people don’t – not their fault, they don’t even know their mistakes.

    I’ve had many failures too. But lessons are always great – and next thing is always so much more better and awesome.

    Pleasure of being incomplete is like no other. Looking forward to your next endeavor.

  56. Lakhyajyoti says:

    It was you who motivated me to start a site.My site EARNINGDIARY just completed one month and now I am happy with what I am doing.

  57. Thank Micheal for sharing your experience! Nice post!

  58. Web Design Puerto Rico says:

    wow i really read all that and was a good source of inspiration

  59. Amazing post! I really like to read such kind of posts where people tell their story of success. I feel really inspired on reading this. Now, I’m up for doing something great. I’ll surely meet you when I become a successful internet entrepreneur.

  60. Wow! very inspiring, thank you for sharing.

  61. Al Greco says:

    Hey Michael,

    Just browsing some of your stuff and came across this interesting post. I stopped what I was doing just to get an idea of your background, which was actually, quite different than what I had expected.

    Amazing to hear what you have accomplished at such a young age (and I was thinking that at 20 you had done a lot!), and it is truly an inspiring story.

    I can only say that as interesting as your past development online was, I am very interesting about hearing how this model ( develops, as I imagine to some extent that the monetization model (or components) will shift somewhat from those of your earlier site models.

    Oh, and I do love those interviews. Always great to hear accounts of how other people started online, and how they are developing their businesses. I pull all of the MP3’s and listen to them in the car or on the treadmill… I find it so much more valuable and life-enriching than just listening to music.

    Keep up the great work, you really are an inspiration, and I can’t wait to see how your career develops… I’ll be eagerly watching 😉

  62. Tony Tovar says:

    Great Post Mike,

    I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it. I’m curious what happen in Ghana that you almost died. Anyways, great work here.

    Best Regards,
    Tony Tovar

  63. inspirationfeed says:

    Your story is very inspiring, and your 100% right, “Never Give Up1”

  64. Michael

    Thanks for the inspirational post. Very good read when you are feeling bad about not having ANY earnings from your sites!

    I think I’ll bookmark this page and come back whenever I’m feeling like giving up…. 🙂

    Keep up the good work


  65. Millionaire Acts says:

    Wow, you’re story is indeed inspiring Michael. Failures are definitely part of every success. I definitely agree with your claim that connections are indeed important.

    As in my case, ever since I befriended some of the big time bloggers here in our country, my online income went up to the point that it already surpassed my day job income.

    Kudos to your success at a very young age!

  66. Hi Michael, you might remember me from, I was the owner you mentioned in your post named Llamaman. I found your site when searching for gamerenders in Google!

    Its great to see that even though you had problems with ShoutGfx (yes I remember it!) you were determined enough to continue with web development. Now your clearly a huge success! Congratulations and I wish you luck with your future ventures.

    – Joe

  67. Truly blown away by you.

    Thank you!

  68. Anass Farah says:

    Great article Michael, we will learn a lot from your mistakes. then testing is really important, and the great job that incomediary do these days didn’t come from nothing. Honda have the same difficult life as Abraham lincoln, at the end he gets what he wanted.
    Thanks again for the great article.

  69. Wow. This is a great story Michael. You truly modeled a very successful young man but still down to earth. I’ll always looking forward to accomplish the same you did. Keep on inspiring us. Thanks again Michael.

  70. Nicola Cairncross says:

    Dear Michael, really enjoyed this post and the one about how you started too.

    I was at that Yanik Silver Underground event with Steve Watson, and we remember meeting you and being really impressed that a teenager would even think to attend an event like that. It’s really great to see how successful you have become. I’m hoping a bit of your inspiration will rub off on my daughter Phoebe who’s 15.5 and about to leave school.

    I have a big question for you – could even become a blog post perhaps?

    How do you make the leap from say 1000 unique visitors a month to 1000 a day? Your traffic seems astronomical to me, as even my most popular site has only ever reached 5500 uniques a month, with a weekly ezine, guest bloggers, members returning daily etc.

    Blogging unique content alone won’t do it no matter how good – I know because I do blog regularly on WordPress – so what is your SECOND biggest strategy for jumping your traffic from the mundane to the stratospheric? Apart from your list posts, that is.

    Warm regards as always

  71. says:

    That was really some good stuff man I liked how you opend up your world to us and let us see your faults but also your triumphs!! Always inspiring to me man.

    P.S Wow Poor Abe he did live a hard life..but he will always be legendary and talked about!

    Louie 🙂

  72. Nawel Nanou says:

    Hello Michael, thank you very much for this post, what you say is very inspiring, and I think we should all remember what you provide us through this post, because actually, success does not come directly, it need a lot of hard work, and what impressed me when I read it the way you see failure, “as being a way to learn continuously”, it is very sensible!

  73. NLStudio-Blog says:

    Dear Michael, really great post you made. Inspires me after difficulties with my online business. Thanks a lot man!

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