Having figured out the monetization aspect of digital publishing very early in my life, I should have done well soon after I discovered it but that didn’t happen. For the next many years since 2004, all I did was make pocket change every few months. In hindsight, I think here’s what happened.
It wasn’t until 2009 that I realized the true potential of the internet and what the internet economy was going to be like in the future. You see, until that time I hadn’t met or known or heard of anyone in Pakistan who had made a full-time career (or even pocket change) by running his business exclusively on the internet. It was January of 2009 when I finally read a report about a couple of teenagers in Pakistan making north of $5000 a month by writing blogs. After reverse engineering those blogs, I had finally learnt that it is possible to scale my business beyond $20 per quarter. All I needed was a proof of concept.
My other big mistake was not moving early on to a paid domain and hosting plan after I had received my first check. It was only after I studied their blogs, I realized the importance of having a proper Top Level Domain in order to run a full time internet business, without which my websites were as good as they are on the dark web where you could only access a website by knowing the exact URL. All these years, I had completely missed out on understanding that without having my websites ranking in search engines which wasn’t possible without a TLD, I was never going to be able to drive enough audience to consider this a career. Without having a proper TLD, I was never going to have serious ad networks like Adsense approve me.
Six days after the proof of concept, I bought my first .com domain.