How I turned a recipe book into a successful business. My father's recipes helped me building a site that is getting me with more than $1,000 a month in commissions from affiliate programs.
I have to admit it, I got my degree in Computer Sciences, because I just couldn't stand working at my parents' restaurant. While I was studying, I helped them in almost every possible job you can imagine in a family restaurant: cleaning fish, washing dishes, serving tables, preparing the bills, you name it, I've done it! I just could not bear with it, so every time my computer vocation fainted I remembered what it was like to work at the restaurant, and I instantly found motivation: I am proud to say that the restaurant made me a good student! I ranked in the top 10 on my promotion at university!
After getting my degree, I got a job as an IT consultant, and I believed the only contact I was having to have with a restaurant or anything related to it would be as a customer. But I was wrong: life changes, and sometimes does it in unexpected ways: my restaurant experience was going to help me develop a steady additional income source, and has even lead me to consider the idea of going full time into it!
Years later, when I was already working as an IT Project Manager for a big consulting firm, I was quite fed up with my job: long hours working (as in the restaurant, by the way), lots of traveling, boring projects... It was time for a change in my life!
I had the need to do something different, something that I really liked, where I was my own boss, where I could express myself. I needed to be creative, to take some risks. I was quite lost on the corporate labyrinth, and I needed to find my own way.
So I started searching. I was not looking for a new job - my current one wasn't a dream, but it paid my bills and I wasn't bad at it. I wanted something additional, where I could start at my own pace, without having to quit my current job at the very beginning (that was back in 2004, right after the 'New Economy' crash, and I was quite concerned by the failure of Internet start-ups).
I started to research the Net, and I found an interesting concept: affiliate programs. The idea behind them was quite simple; 'You bring us customers, we pay you a commission on their purchases'. However simple the idea, the implementation of it wasn't that easy. I did not have any customers to deliver to anyone. So a little more research was needed.
I kept looking, and I ended up searching for 'affiliate programs' at Google (where else? ;-). And I found it!
Yes, on top of my results page, I found something different from all I had seen before. Many of the affiliate programs promised incredible results in record times (you've already seen them: 'Earn $10K+ in a week!' and things like this). They all sounded like miracle solutions, and, if you read a bit about them, were more or less sophisticated scams. They all were saying 'pay first, and all the secrets for affiliate marketing will be revealed to you'. I did pay for some of them, and I got deceived once and again.
But there was another one that was not like that: It was Dr. Ken Evoy's SiteSell. It promised success, of course, but in a different way. There was a method. There was a process to make money on the Net. And it was absolutely free. The only thing you had to pay for was for the usage of SiteSell toolsets. But the methodology, the Affiliates' Masters Course - an incredible 200-page pdf file - was there to be used. I downloaded it, printed it, and read it cover to cover. I just could not stop! It made sense. Every single chapter made sense. It was written in a didactic way, with clear examples, and it was even funny, full of sense of humor!
After reading this e-book, I just could not stop. I was in my way. I found the 'system' I needed to develop my Internet business. And I did start!
After reading the Affiliates' Masters Course, I just could not wait to put into practice what I had learned. I was seeing it! The only thing was that - to take full advantage of the Ken's techniques - you needed to purchase Site Build It!, and I found it quite expensive ($299 at the time of writing this article). So I did not buy SBI!. I believed I had all the technical background needed to set up a site on my own, without having to use any kind of tool...
That was a mistake. To make a long story short, what I tried to do was replicating manually something that SBI! would do automatically. I created my own site, developed my own content - Spanish recipes - and started trying to promote it in the net. It worked to some extent, but I found it very disappointing: lots of work with little short-term results. It was quite discouraging...
So in the end, I had to admit it. Ken Evoy was right. You needed a method, but a toolset like Site Build It! was necessary to make everything work. I finally purchased it, and the only thing I can say is that they overdelivered what they had promised me... In a single word: WOW!
After getting my SBI!, I started creating content for my first SBI site (spain-recipes.com), and I began to see results: traffic was growing by the day. I followed Ken's process, and the number of visitors started to climb. With no need for an expensive campaign! Just by building more and more content, that in my case were Spanish recipes, it happened just like Ken had promised. I just could not believe my eyes!
Soon afterwards, I wanted to go one step beyond. I had content, I had traffic, but I wanted money. This is where Presell & Monetize techniques came into. I followed Ken's advice, prepared my pages for preselling and selected a few merchants related to my site's theme. I did it, and it worked (once more, I have to say). Money started to roll in. Just a little at the beginning, but it grew month by month.
Nowadays, I'm a happy SBIer (I'm not the only one, check out this page). I've got two recipes sites (spain-recipes.com and tapas-recipes.com), and I'm getting about $1,000 in commissions a month. It's not much, but one thing I haven't said is that some months I work exactly 0 hours in any of these sites. SBI! just keeps bringing traffic in, and new visitors are discovering Spain, and its recipes!
What else can be said? Well I could describe in detail SBI's process, to illustrate, in a practical way how to build your own recipe site. I'll do it, I promise, but that will be another article, so stay tuned to my RSS (see the top of this page) to find out when I publish it.