We see and share a lot of Internet marketing success stories because we need to learn by example and motivate ourselves to move further.
However today’s list is not just another one of that kind. The people featured today have much in common:
- They are 100% self-made independent entrepreneurs who have built their businesses from the ground;
- They never received any funding from outside: all they have earned is 100% theirs;
- They have never been taken over by larger corporations and their projects haven’t been bought by third parties: they have chosen to be independent and continue building their businesses on their own;
- Lastly, they are very successful and provided the three points above, that’s truly inspiring!
So who are they?
1. Kyle James
Site: Rather-Be-Shopping.com, coupon codes aggregator
Making money: Through affiliate marketing
Kyle is an online entrepreneur working on his site since 2000. Kyle has managed to grow the resource into the huge business that generates over 6 million a year in sales for the stores listed on my site. Rather-Be-Shopping.com has been mentioned on MSNBC.com, The Detroit Free Press, Washington Post Holiday Shopping Guide (2001), Reader’s Digest, and L.A. Daily News to name a few publications.
Secret of success: Providing high-quality useful content (While most owners of coupon code directories use affiliate data feeds and little to no original content, Kyle focuses on hand-picked deals and coupons and writes unique descriptions for each retailer he features on the site)
- How Coupons Work
- 5 “Money Saving” Tips That Don’t Make Cents
- How I Got Out Of Credit Card Debt
Interview: 10 Questions with Kyle of Rather Be Shopping and Search Engine Journal Interview of Kyle James, Owner of Rather Be Shopping.
2. Aibek Esengulov
Site: MakeUseOf.com, the daily blog sharing cool websites, software and Internet tips
Making money: Through blog ads
Aibek Esengulov has started MakeUseOf back in 2006 and developed into the huge resource with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, 114, 000 Facebook fans and over 22, 000 Twitter followers. Without any funding from outside, MUO has grown into the huge competitor of powerful blogs like Life Hacker and TechCrunch. MakeUseOf has been recommended by several mainstream sites and mentioned in hugely popular publications such as Telegraph, Fast Company, the Washington Post, and PC Magazine, including their Top 100 Websites for three consecutive years.
Secret of success: Persistence:
As an entrepreneur, I think the single most important lesson or the quality I would suggest to someone is persistence. For the first two years, I would work every day on MakeUseOf without seeing anything back in return. It was really easy back then to give up and start something else. I think persistence helped me here. I had a goal to make a popular website and stayed on it.
- GTD (Getting Things Done) Roundup – Time To Organize
- FREE MakeUseOf Guides
Interview: Aibek Esengulov, Co-Founder of MakeUseOf.com, Shares His Startup Story and Tells How Persistence Helped Him Succeed
3. Onibalusi Bamidele
Site: YoungPrePro.com, Internet Marketing Advice from a 17-year-old kid
Making money: Providing services
Onibalusi Bamidele did an astounding journey from a poor Nigerian kid to a successful Internet Marketer. He started learning Internet Marketing in 2009 and is now one of the most successful bloggers online.
Secret of success: Trust in his own powers:
Yes. I am special. Not everybody has all the above traits and all the other traits that helped me become a successful blogger
- The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging
- My Journey from a Poor Fatherless Kid to a Successful Blogger
Interview: Interview: Onibalusi Bamidele
4. Jill Smokler
Site: ScaryMommy.com, An honest look at motherhood
Making money: Through writing gigs
ScaryMommy.com averages over 500,000 page views monthly. It has been recognized with numerous blogging awards, including lucky number 13 on Babble’s “Best Mom Blogger” list. Her Scary Mommy Society provides a forum for other “scary mommies,” blogging newcomers, and smart people with something important to say to share their stories in a community setting.
Secret of success: Unique style: ScaryMommy features a unique style combining humor with in-depth insight. Definitely, Jill’s successful due to her writing talent.
- Making Money Blogging
- Being A Scary Mommy
Interview: Interview with a not-so-scary Scary Mommy
Note: For more fearless blogging mompreneurs check out and possible take part in the X Factor Awards by Home Loan Finder
5. Gary Arndt
Site: Everything-Everywhere.com, Around the world travel blog
Making money: Through sponsorships
Gary is special: he is successful without actually sacrificing anything. He lives a dream life of a travel blogger and enjoys his time while still being a solo entrepreneur. Gary Arndt launched his blog soon after he began traveling in 2007. Today, Everything-everywhere.com reaches hundreds of thousands readers a month! It was featured in Time Magazine, CNN and many other highly authoritative online publications.
Secret of success: Authenticity: Gary writes about what he experiences: he travels and blogs about what he sees.
- FREE eBook – 50 Favorite Travel Photos
- On Poverty
Interview: An Interview With World Traveler Gary Arndt
Note: When it comes to traveling, here’s the list of more travel start-ups and entrepreneurs to follow (via Sell My Timeshare blog)
Any other self-made people that deserve the honorable mention here? I am sure there are many people we can feature here: let’s discuss!
Ann Smarty is a newbie self-built entrepreneur behind MyBlogGuest, the large, still independent community of guest bloggers. She have had a lot of choices in her life but decided to stay independent and follow her dream. Join MyBlogGuest to find awesome guest contributors for your blog or start guest blogging on your own!
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