I keep saying we will make this more frequent, but things keep popping up. So to alleviate that in the future, we've queued up a few of them to keep everybody motivated!
The third edition of InfoBarrel Success Stories is with one of the most helpful members in the InfoBarrel community. In this edition of IB Success stories we are highlighting ChezFat.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
First of all I wanted to say thanks for including me in the success stories series. I didn't start off here expecting anything like this but things have a way of coming together sometimes. To introduce myself I'll say that in general I'm a nice guy. I joke with my wife that I want to be "good" at everything but not really be an expert in anything. I think it makes you a well rounded person to be good at and understand everything to some degree so with that in mind I strive to learn as much as I can every day.
Although I obviously have an interest in this line of work (and I do mean work - I don't take this lightly) I also have a huge area of interest in finance and economics in particular. I also am an avid bowler and sport an average around 215 and have done so for many years now. I've thrown many perfect games and have three 800+ 3-game series'.
In addition to economics and bowling I am a fan of health and longevity in particular as I maintain a blog on longevity. I love fine wine and gourmet cooking. I am married to the best wife I can imagine who is smart and quite possibly the most perfect human on the planet. She's totally reasonable and outgoing and prudent and crazy... ohh yeah, beautiful too She makes me a better person and I like to think I do the same for her.
Additionally I'm a big fan of blogging and micro-sites and I am constantly fighting the urge to take on more than I can chew with the micro-sites. I like really doing well at something before taking on something else. And in regards to InfoBarrel I value my time and my freedom and I look forward to providing for my new family (baby on the way) with an alternative means of income which should bring more financial freedom to our young family. InfoBarrel is obviously a major piece of the puzzle for me.
What do you do in your free time?
See above. Looks like I write too much too.
How did you get started making money online?
My wife is in medical school and in the Spring of 2009 we were budgeting for our finances for the Fall of 2009 (we are definitely financial minded people) and I realized that she was going to lose her source of part-time income as her schooling ramped up. I thought at the time that I wanted to replace that income but didn't want to sacrifice my time away from her by picking up a second job so I started reading some of the various "make money online" (MMO) blogs out there and started my first blog - my longevity blog. I figured I started early enough to build up income big enough to replace her income but learning everything from scratch it took me way longer than I expected at first. By the time she lost her part time income I had been blogging for 5 months and had only replaced about 10 percent of it. :) I like to get good at things though so I kept learning and working and today I have easily replaced her income and now am working on replacing mine.
How did you originally hear about InfoBarrel?
After I had been blogging for a few months I came across a site called eHow and started writing for them a little bit on the side of my blog. My income began to increase a bit but I didn't really like writing there for various reasons that aren't important now. Over the course of the Fall (2009) I read some forum posts from various writers that had started writing for InfoBarrel instead. I also read a few noteworthy MMO blogs which referenced InfoBarrel as a potential source for making money so in mid-November I decided to give it a try... but with a caveat; I decided I'd give it a try simply because I could backlink my money making articles which were published elsewhere on the web.
What made you decide to really push to make money on InfoBarrel?
Amazingly I didn't really try to make any money on InfoBarrel for a long time. As I said before I used it to send backlinks to my blog and to my eHow articles. I wrote quality and relevant content but didn't give much thought to the earnings potential of the articles. I wrote roughly 150 articles like this mostly during November and December of 2009 with a few in the early part of 2010. By Spring I wrote a few articles here with revenue on my mind but it wasn't until July 2010 when I really decided to make as much money on InfoBarrel as I could. I can't really say what the catalyst was at the time but for lack of other reasoning it was because I wasn't getting the traction I wanted on my longevity blog (health is a tough niche) and I wasn't ready to try and build a whole new site from scratch.
I had also recently joined a program that helped you identify good topics to write on and also helped you find blogs to guest-post on and I didn't want to start a new site to test things out. I also didn't want to water down my active blog with off-topic posts so InfoBarrel was at the top of my list. Despite my revenue coming from many different sites by this point I found that my earnings at IB were better on a per page view basis than anywhere else... and I hadn't even been trying. I think that's why I jumped in running in mid-July.
What do you feel was the turning point when your earnings started to really accelerate?
What did it for me was when I finally decided that I didn't have to write about important topics to be successful. When I realized that mundane topics were profitable the light bulb really kicked in. I also realized that when you write for readers and for search engines (at the same time) you had to have a coherent theme for your articles full of information to disseminate but you also had to write for what people search for and in a way that is friendly to search engines.
In the July/August time frame I really began writing articles that contained huge amounts of synonyms of keywords and really began heavily interlinking posts. But most importantly the earnings really started kicking in significantly when I started writing about topics that had a commercial aspect to them. You can't expect to make money selling information - when you give away information (write informational articles) which has close ties to commercial products and services, that's when you can expect to make money.
If I were to start over from day one I would pick one relatively mundane topic that has commercial appeal and write 21 different articles (all very long) on different aspects of that topic and interlink them like crazy - each article linking to 10 others. I would then build backlinks to them using article marketing and guest-blogging. This would be at the top of my to-do list. It took me a year to really "get it" when it came to guest blogging. You get some trickle traffic from the blog you guest-blog on and you get the benefit of a backlink which is hugely important - far more important than I ever would have imagined when I began in May of 2009.
If you don't mind me asking, what kind of monthly revenue are you seeing off InfoBarrel?
I like telling people this - In June of 2010 I made less than $10 on InfoBarrel. In July I committed to making as much money on InfoBarrel as I could. I published this openly on my Residual Income blog and then publicly came onto the IB forums to say basically the same thing. In July I made over $40, in August I made over $80, September I made over $200, and in October I've made well over $300 from all sources combined on InfoBarrel. I do make money in other places but this has become a significant source for me in only four months of work. By my calculations and due to my work ethic I do not expect a plateau of income here on IB until I stop focusing on writing on this site. The methods and techniques I use are basic and easy to understand and duplicate - it just takes a lot of hard work and a bit of a learning curve. Lazy is not in my vocabulary... well it is, just not for more than two days in a row. :)
What are your long term plans with InfoBarrel?
I like to do things well and help people as much as I can. I have tried my very best to be as helpful to others in the community (see the forums) as I possibly can. I know that there are other people in need of more income much more than I am and I do my very best to help them as much as I can. As far as I see it the more we help each other out the more we help ourselves.
I plan on remaining active in the community and building on my successes. I like to do everything well and I don't expect to be the best at this but I demand a lot of myself. As my time on IB ages I expect to make enough money to support myself totally. This is not a pipe dream in my mind. It is simply a matter of learning from what works and not spending time on what doesn't. And then leveraging up. The more I learn and work the more efficient I become and the more successful I will become. I believe that and I believe everyone on this site is capable of it too.
I don't want to make it seem like InfoBarrel is the end all however. I think it's important to spread yourself around and diversify but I also think it's important really nailing something before moving on to a new project. I plan on nailing IB and helping as many people on my journey as I can... and when I really nail it I'll still be here just not focusing on it as intensely. After all - eventually I'll have plenty of articles and friends made to help spring board a personal project which is yet to be determined. The community here is awesome and the ownership and staff - I'm looking at you Ryan - can't be beat.
What new features would you like to see on InfoBarrel in the future?
Honestly, I'd like the ability to have control over my ad placement on an article-by-article basis. This isn't offered anywhere on any site that I know of and it seems like it would be an amazing feature that would be a huge selling point to many experienced content writers. It could be abused I know, but on a limited basis - maybe under pre-approval - it could be an amazing feature unique to InfoBarrel. After all not every article is geared for ads - some would be better with fewer ads and some would be better with a different ad placement. For instance - many authors do not have access to Adsense, the major ad provider for IB as of Fall 2010. For writers like this opting out of Adsense for other placements focusing on different platforms could be beneficial. Also, having ad placements designed to optimize Amazon or other affiliates would be nice. Other than that there are many other small things I'd like to see but nothing substantial - a lot of it is site design related but
Out of your library of articles, what article is your favorite?
I have a lot of favorites - the ones that make the most money are high on the list :) but probably my favorites have to be my set of articles I published in December 2009 which were on various bowling related topics. One notable one is my Roller Bowling Ball Bag article which really isn't written all that great but is the early version of what I do now. These articles were probably my first articles I ever published on InfoBarrel in which I didn't publish them for backlinks but for their money making potential. They haven't made me much of anything but they are relevant to my interests and they were the start of better things to come for me and my time here at IB.
If you could be any kind of animal what would you be and why?
I would be a cat - hands down the greatest animal around. I have three cats and I envy their lives. I toil away at work and on InfoBarrel just to buy them kitty litter, cat food, and toys so that they can lounge around all day and wake me up in the morning because they are hungry. I love them but man, I want that life.
PS: This is ChezFat’s actual kitty!