On a cold day of December, a young man who just graduated college few months earlier, experienced how it feels to be in the grown-up world.
His name is Nick, he likes football, playing videogames like Call of Duty and other things we shouldn't mention.
Nick received the beginner treatment in his online money-making journey.
He was tricked by the evil tricksters.
By the so-called Internet Marketing fake Gurus.
But let's get back to the beginning for a moment.
After graduating college, he didn't know what to do with his life, just like many youngsters.
Nick was forced to look at reality, when he was reminded by his parents about the college debts.
Nick's parents couldn't afford all that debt.
Feeling the pressure, Nick put his videogames aside and started looking for a job.
After some failed attempts and 1 week later, he finally has a chance to work at a gas station.
The gas station job wasn't exactly what Nick had in mind for his future.
It was quite the opposite.
Working at night in winter was a big NO for Nick.
Few days later thigs changed.
Spoiler alert, Nick leaves.
Two days later, after a big dose of online MEMEs, Nick's hopes started to flourish again.
As a YouTube ad grabbed his attention.
The ad was about a cut and clean dude, swinging Benjamins.
Nick was inspired and intrigued by that ad, and he envisioned himself having that lifestyle.
He started making up movies in his head about getting rid of the debts, and making a good living.
As Christmas was getting closer and closer, Nick started to do more research on the topic.
He finally finds a so-called Guru of online money making.
As Nick gets bombarded with big claims, his expectation limits seem to blur.
Nick is excited, and he can't wait to get started.
But, as he looks at the price of the seemingly magic system, he realizes he can't afford it.
Nick doesn't want to ask his parents for money, he already eats their food and lives under their roof.
That would be too much.
Frustration starts to kick in, Nick wants that system at any cost.
After thinking and thinking, he came out with a clever idea.
A clever, but painful idea.
Nick had to sell his video game console, all his games, and the TV, too.
He listed his stuff on eBay, and crossed his fingers.
Nick's goal was to get the system before Christmas.
Three days left until Christmas, and Nick was able to sell almost all the items.
He didn't get as much as he wanted, but he got enough for the system.
After a moment of hesitation, Nick decides to push that button.
Finally, Nick had what he wanted.
The money-making system was in his hands.
As a big smile appeared in his face, it slowly started to make his eyebrows rotate.
Nick can't understand the system.
He was brand-new to that world, after all.
Last day until Christmas, Nick starts to get more familiar with the system.
But he doesn't know how to make it work.
Things are gradually getting worse for Nick.
As Nick starts to lose almost all his hope, mental gymnastics prevent him from losing it all.
He reminds himself that sales have to come. "The system sells itself" he was told.
It's Christmas day, and no sales in the horizon.
Nick doesn't know what to do.
And his uncle knocked out all the hopes he had left.
What did his uncle say to Nick?
Nick is starting to lose all his hopes, and things couldn’t get worse.
As the evening was approaching, Nick had a family dinner.
His parents, siblings, uncle and cousins were present.
As the dinner went by, his uncle starts asking the typical questions.
"Do you work?" The uncle asks to Nick.
Feeling a bit of pressure and awkwardness, he just replies "I'm trying a thing."
That little exchange started to feed the fire of curiosity in his uncle.
And in the other people sitting at the table.
Nick's uncle works as an air-conditioner salesman, and when in one of his questions he hears answered "online money-making system," he starts to giggle, and says "that's bulls--t!"
As Nick gets mad and madder in his mind, his uncle starts to point out the problems.
"Selling money making magic tricks will backfire, "says his uncle.
Then Nick's uncle starts to break down the main issue.
His uncle tells Nick about his daughter's boyfriend falling in the same trap.
"He lost all his money, and almost went homeless if it wasn't for his parents!" the uncle yelled.
Then his uncle proceeds to tell Nick about his daughter's boyfriend friends who weren't as lucky.
As Nick gets angrier, he proceeds to leave in the middle of dinner time.
He goes back to his room, and slams the door with anger.
As he sits on his gaming chair, he decides he wants to prove his uncle wrong.
But he didn't see it coming.
As he navigates, he sees other so-called Gurus spilling money bills from money-bill-spilling toy guns.
And as he is seeing the clean and cut dudes playing with money bills, he notices something.
On the right side, he sees a video.
The video contained his system's Guru on the thumbnail, alongside few others.
The video was about exposing fake Gurus, selling worthless systems for a fortune.
As he's in disbelief, he slams his fist on the desk and his anime figurine falls off the desk.
As he leans down to get the figurine under the desk, he slams his head when getting up.
His anger reaches its limit, and he starts throwing everything on sight.
Angry, frustrated, sad and depressed he falls asleep.
The next day, in the morning, as he's looking at the window, he reminds his uncle's words.
"He was right," he kept saying to himself.
"There must be another way" was the only thing Nick could think all day.
A headache later, Nick went back at his laptop.
Nick wanted some fun, and no, not that type of fun.
He wanted to see some MEME videos.
At some point, in the middle of the video, something clicked in Nick.
Not his neck, something else.
He saw an ad, not a third-party ad.
An ad from the video creator promoting T-shirts and Hoodies.
An ad telling to check the link in the description.
That moment temporarily knocked out Nick's soul out of his body.
Nick is a bit tempered, but he is no dummy.
He started looking for stuff to sell.
And a way to get as many views as possible.
Nick completely changed the way he thought.
Instead of doing what he was told, he would look at what people were doing.
After reading tons of articles, and watching countless videos, Nick noticed something.
Every successful person has a website, and a good chunk of them sell stuff.
Nick starts looking for the best website builders.
And after trying complicated and expensive software, his last pennies fell off his pocket.
Figuratively a pocket full of holes.
And as the last money he made by selling the remaining videogames fell off his pocket,
Nick was forced yet again to look for a better way.
Something proven to work.
After a bunch of failures, Nick finally finds the right website builder.
But it took overlayed shades of darkness on his eye bags.
Nick had to find an inexpensive alternative.
Most expensive website-builders need rocket- science knowledge.
Coding is not for Nick.
And he has no money to hire programmers on places like Upwork.
But inexpensive doesn't always translate into a correct answer.
As Nick noticed, free website builders often mean limitations.
And the limitations weren't the main problem.
Same as the expensive alternatives, many of them are complicated.
After days of trying every known website builder, he finally finds the right one.
Long story short, Nick got into WordPress.
It was under Nick's nose all the time.
But the shiny website builders were getting all the attention from it.
Nick's hopes were revived.
All Nick had to do was build up his website using WordPress, and start planting content.
No coding required.
WordPress dominates for a reason.
And there is no hype around it.
As a reminder, Nick isn’t a dummy.
Nick did enough research to know it's a slow process.
Just like a tree, you plant it and after some time it will grow.
The more Nick takes care of his seed, the healthier it will grow.
That's what Nick reinforced in his mind.
But that was just the beginning of Nick's journey towards the legit online business model.
Nick wanted to speed up the process.
He needed something to sell.
Nick had yet to decide what to sell, and how to sell it.
It has to be something Nick likes to talk about.
Something he can create content on.
As Nick looks around the internet for information.
He remembers something important.
After getting the right website builder, he now needs something to sell.
Making a product wasn't in Nick's plans.
At least not for the moment.
Making a product takes money, time and responsibility.
None of which Nick wanted to give away.
Remembering what he read in one of the countless articles, Nick went for the affiliate route.
In other words, Nick would sell someone else's product/service and get a cut.
So, he can tell the meme "Nice Cut Gee!" every time he makes a sale.
Only MEME people like Nick get the joke.
Nick learns about websites like Amazon, Click Bank, JVzoo, WarriorPlus, and CPA networks.
The most popular in their category.
Nick is satisfied with how things are going.
The process is quite slow, but he knows it's the way to go.
Nick is looking at the countless products available.
He doesn't know what to choose.
As hours pass, Nick finally chose a product to promote.
He copied and pasted his personal affiliate link.
Things seem to go smoothly.
After finding a product to sell as an affiliate, Nick is ready to go.
He chooses the product, got the link and starts creating content around the topic.
Nick is happy with the 50% cut he might get.
And the upsells' commissions would mean effortless gains as well.
Nick is ready to slowly and safely climb the mountain of success.
But his patience starts to run out, making him make another expensive mistake.
His patience ran out.
After building his nice little website, Nick started farming some content.
But the visitors seemed to not appear.
Maybe a couple per week.
Nick knew it was risky, but he couldn't go nowhere with a handful of visitors per month.
He had an idea.
He decided to get back to eBay, and list some of the things he wasn't using.
His favorite shoes and expensive special-moments suit had to be sacrificed.
But at least he had some money to invest to get traffic.
He found a website promising "100,000 unique visitors for $200".
Nick took a deep breath, and crossed his fingers.
He did it, he bought the clicks for his website.
But that's where the problems started.
He received all these clicks within 2 days.
But not a soul bought from his site.
He asked on a marketing forum if others had a similar experience.
One of the forum members replied with:
"LOL, you really paid for traffic? All those are fake clicks created by bots. Of course, they didn't buy anything. You got duped bro. You best learn SEO, so you can rank your sites on Google and get real traffic."
Nick realized what had happened.
He stepped on unknown territory.
His leg got caught in a bear trap.
Nick didn't see the danger sign.
It was partially covered by thick tall bushes.
All his money went in the dumpster.
Here we go again.
Nick has to revive himself again, just like a phoenix.
Or even a better analogy, like a videogame.
You play and die in the game until you win.
You will eventually win if you keep playing.
He realized he could get real traffic and sales if he did a good job with the SEO of his site.
In other words, you need to be good with words.
More specifically keywords.
Another piece of the puzzle was added in Nick's bigger picture.
But the picture is not yet stable.
The pieces might crumble at any moment, and Nick knows it.
Now Nick has to acquire the SEO skill.
Something completely new to Nick.
As nick learns what SEO is, he continues his journey.
After all those pounding experiences, Nick doesn't want another one.
He learned from his mistakes.
No more dangerous shortcuts.
His pockets are empty.
His goal is a step-by-step process now.
Learning SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the mission.
The only possible outcome is winning.
That's all Nick is printing in his head.
Nick is learning how to rank high on Google, Bing, and Yahoo using keywords.
In other words, he has to learn what people search online.
He starts reading forum posts and buying courses on the subject.
As time goes by, Nick's SEO skills get better and better.
The process is slow at first.
But he is learning fast.
His daily traffic is increasing.
Later on, after not being able to sleep, Nick goes to his laptop.
Turns it on, and checks his Gmail.
He almost fell off his chair backwards.
A sale punch hit Nick so hard he lost consciousness for 20 seconds.
As Nick regains consciousness, he realizes it wasn't a dream.
He made his first sale doing online marketing.
It's only $19,90, but his soul was full of joy.
And his PayPal account will have something other than dust in it.
Nick's future doesn't seem that dark anymore, there is a little light in the horizon.
He just has to follow it.
He has to keep going until he reaches it, as the light gets bigger and bigger.
Nick is more motivated than ever.
Nothing seems to be able to stop him.
3 days later, a couple more sales kick in.
2 days later, 5 more sales come in.
This continued for weeks.
Nick checks his affiliate stats.
He made $1,486 in commissions during the last month.
Nick starts to dance as his mom sees him, standing behind the door halfway open.
As Nick notices it, he recollects himself.
His face turns into a tomato.
As his mom disappears as a ghost, Nick gets back at his laptop.
Spending all day on a screen wasn't exactly how Nick wanted it to be.
Nick hasn't exercised for a couple months.
He has no videogames to play, he sold them all.
All he did was eat, sleep, type on a keyboard and repeat.
There is not much time left, Nick has to go on his own way.
No more mommy and daddy providing for him.
Nick is a grown man.
It's time to get even more serious.
The last part of Nick's journey is approaching.
Will he stand strong?
Will he achieve his dream?
His PayPal account is getting thicker.
Not only that, Nick is getting thicker, too.
5 months have gone by and his SEO efforts are really paying off.
In the previous month, he made $4,874 in commissions from his affiliate website.
3 more months go by.
Nick is ready to leave his parents' house.
One hug in one side, to another hug in the other side, Nick finally leaves.
Nick's back-bone has to be reinforced with some calcium.
As he proceeds to go in the wild grown-up world all by himself.
Nick has to further level up.
He cannot afford another year of eat, sleep, type and repeat.
Things have started clicking for him.
He likes the money he is making.
He is almost addicted to it.
But he wants to find a way to work less and earn more.
After hours of research Nick finds a way to accomplish it.
"The Pareto Principle."
Nick now is working 80% to get 20%.
He has to turn it upside down.
Just like his life.
Nick wants to work 20% to get the 80% in revenue.
That's working smart instead of working hard.
But Nick has to do the right things in that 20% of time.
Otherwise, no substantial results for Nick.
Few weeks in, and "The Pareto Principle" seems to start working.
Nick is making better content for his WordPress website.
And more people are looking for his content, because he is focusing on the right keywords.
Nick's pockets are heavier, but not enough.
His pants aren't falling down yet.
Then Nick remembers something he heard from a successful online marketer.
"You need a list, an email list. Otherwise, your visitors will leave, and might not come back."
Nick has another thing to learn.
After getting an autoresponder and adding a little opt-in form on his site.
Nick is ready to grow his email list from zero to as much as possible.
Months go by, Nick becomes wealthier and more competent.
His list is getting bigger by the minute.
Email marketing was the final piece of the puzzle.
That's what Nick realized.
Now Nick has a complete view of the bigger picture.
Nick checks his affiliate stats for last month. He made $10,089 in commissions.
A tear starts to fall from Nick's eye, the other one is about to fall too.
But Nick wipes them out, he's a grown man.
Even though it was a beautiful moment.
As Nick remember his adventure, a movie started to play in his head.
It was the movie of his life.
From him getting tricked by a fake guru, to him finding the right path.
It took a lot of energy and time from Nick's life.
But in the end, it was worth it.
Nick now has reached his goal.
Wealth, but more than that he wanted happiness.
And he finally got it.
This is how Nick's story ends.
Nick sacrificed all he had to accomplish his dream.
But you don't have to get that low.
You can learn from Nick.
You can learn from his mistakes.
And maybe you will achieve your dream.