My Internet Business Insights

(and how to get 100 more of them for free)

Internet Business InsightsA couple of fellow authors have recently published the great book titled “Internet Business Insights.” They included 100 distinct perspectives of successful online entrepreneurs.

My friends ask them the same set of questions, very helpful for aspiring digital entrepreneurs:

How did you come up with the idea for your business?
What was your first major breakthrough?
How long did it take you to reach 100% digital freedom?
What was your biggest mistake?
What is the single most effective tactic you discovered?
What advice would you give someone wanting to achieve similar success?


For the last few years, I have been publishing my income reports, trying to demonstrate what it takes to become an author in the Internet era and how you can make a living from that.

Below are my answers and at the end of this post, I shared how you can get 100 more of such stories for free:

How did you come up with the idea for your business?

It was quite a bumpy ride. First, I discovered I wanted to become a writer. I had no idea what it really meant to be one, but I knew I wanted to write and that I needed to make money out of that. I had enough of my IT career and the corporate world. I also realized that working for someone else is not a way to achieve financial independence.

I dabbled with this and that for several months – I started a few blogs, wrote a couple of short fiction stories in my native language, but these all were dead ends.

About half a year after I had decided to be a writer (and I hadn’t earned a dime during that period), my friend remarked how interesting my post about creating a personal mission statement was, and that I should write an eBook about this.

I researched a bit and decided to publish on Amazon, which seemed both relatively easy and doable without many resources. I found a free Kindle publishing course and got basics from there (e.g. how to set up a Kindle publishing account), then after extensive research, I bought Steve Scott’s book and used it as a blueprint for publishing my first book.

It took me 46 days from writing the first word of my book till hitting the “publish” button. I started from a free promo, and my book was downloaded over 400 times. I was stoked! People were willing to read what I had written!

Then the sales started to trickle in, and I was hooked. People not only wanted to read what I wrote, they were willing to pay for that!

I earned the first money out of my day job and for something that I loved to do.

I wrote “A Personal Mission Statement: Your Road Map to Happiness” from my experience. I had already been involved in the massive personal development program of my own design, and I concluded that sharing my experience would be easy for me. I didn’t err much in that regard.

What was your first major breakthrough?

At the end of January 2013, eight months after publishing my first book, my fifth book “Master Your Time in 10 Minutes a Day” became an Amazon bestseller.

A mix of many factors led to that effect. One of my new friends that I met in a Facebook authors group made better covers for all of my books, including “Master Your Time,” so I finally had decent covers.

Another man I met in that community offered me a joint venture. He edited my book and helped me with marketing.

At that time I had already made some connections with other bloggers and authors. At the moment of the book launch, I released a few guest posts, and I leveraged some resources to get the free promo going.

But the biggest factor was that my mentor, Steve Scott, advertised my book to several thousands of his subscribers.

My book got about 4,000 downloads in a few days and sold hundreds of copies in the following month.

In January, I earned 2% of my salary. In February 2013, I earned over half of my day job salary.

It was like a dream come true.

How long did it take you to reach 100% digital freedom?

I’m still not at the point of 100% digital freedom. My business provides enough income to quit my day job, but we would have had to downsize our lifestyle and my CEO (read: wife) is not ready for that.

However, after four years of doing “my thing,” we decided (read: she decided) that this side hustle income was enough to quit her job. My wife gave a notice last month (literally two weeks ago).

What was your biggest mistake?

My biggest mistake has been impatience. I said “has been” because it still negatively impacts my decisions.

In the last few years I observed from the first row how my friends built their authorpreneurship to the level that allowed them to support their families full time. I saw how Steve Scott built his business from 4-figures to 5-figures a month.

I compared myself to them, and I got frustrated. Out of that frustration, many evil things were born.

I was disappointed with my results despite the fact they were much better than MY past performance. When I released my 6th book, it was nothing like a success of “Master Your Time,” but it did better than any of my first four books. “From Shy to Hi” is still one of my best performing titles. It sold well over 1,000 copies and, for the past several months, it has been consistently selling about 100 copies a month.

But I was so disappointed after its launch!

When my book sales didn’t match my past performance or achievements of my peers, frustration got the worst of me. I vented to my friends, subscribers, and other authors. No one likes grumblers. I surely lost some respect in their eyes.

My frustration affected my productivity. Too many times I succumbed to the line of the least resistance. I slowed down when I could double down. It only added to the volatility of my business income and to the frustration.

Life and business is a long-term game. Only after three years, I started to reap the fruits of my hard labor. If I had put my nose steadily to the grindstone, it would has probably taken me less time.

What is the single most effective tactic you discovered?

In self-publishing, the most effective tactic is to nurture your own email list. The only method remotely as effective is leveraging someone else’s email list. But if you can do that, it means this “someone else” invested in the #1 tactic first and built their list.

You can tap into your email list’s potential in so many ways that it’s mind blowing. It’s irreplaceable at the moment of a book launch. It’s priceless in the process of getting feedback about my projects in progress. I always consult my readers about my covers and titles ideas, and I always invite them to beta-read my manuscripts.

Surveying my list spared me involvement into projects where there was no demand. I beta-tested some ideas and ditched them after investing a dozen, not hundreds, of hours into them.

When you have an email list, it’s also easier to be invited into some joint ventures.

And, most importantly, my email list is MY resource. It’s independent of Amazon’s or any other big player’s whims.

What advice would you give someone wanting to achieve similar success?

“A similar success” in my case means a nice side income out of the side hustle. I don’t dedicate more than 20 hours a week to my business and often barely more than 10. This side income is volatile and jumps from 15% to 194% of my salary.

Having that in mind, I have three pieces of advice for you:

1. Prepare yourself for the marathon.

You cannot get a full-time income from a part-time activity. Well, not very quickly. But if you keep going, keep hustling and keep networking, unexpected opportunities will arise. Last month I made a deal with an author, and I run his Amazon advertising campaigns. My commission isn’t very impressive, but I dedicate very little time to running his campaigns because I did my homework while running my campaigns. What is more, this model is easily repeatable. I can take 20 or 100 more clients like that. Maybe this business will be my final sprint to the digital freedom, who knows?

You cannot predict where you will be even in two years. A year ago I barely knew what Amazon advertising was about. Ten months ago I created my first ad campaign. Today I can potentially generate thousands of dollars a month using the skillset I developed.

When I started in May 2013, my only source of online income were Kindle sales from Amazon. Nowadays, I have several streams of income – Kindle sales, audiobook sales both from Amazon and iTunes, paperback sales, digital sales from stores other than Amazon, two different packages of coaching, translations, and affiliate sales. All those resources were built with time.

But I was SO frustrated along the way! A year ago my book sales dwindled to the lowest level since November 2013.

Online business is a marathon. You never know how you will monetize your experience in the future.

Keep hustling regardless of the current results. Your future results may be so much bigger.

2. Find a mentor.

In fact, you can have multiple mentors nowadays. You can follow online a very deliberately-picked pack of people and learn from them in different areas of your life and business.

When it comes to self-publishing, the biggest impact on my business came from Steve Scott. I learned the basics from him, and I shadowed him relentlessly. Within several months, I was able to create a lively relationship with him. We exchanged favors and, at a later stage, learned from each other.

However, he was not a perfect model for me. Steve can work full time on his business, I had a full-time job and a long commute. He had a hefty head start compared to me. He already had been a successful online entrepreneur before he became an author. He knew infinitely more about traffic, email marketing, leads, conversion of leads and all of this “magical” stuff.

Thus, I learned from others at the same time.

3. Network, network, network.

All the breakthrough I’ve ever had came from networking.

“You cannot succeed by yourself. It’s hard to find a rich hermit.” — Jim Rohn

Thanks to connecting with others, I got my first proofreader who edited my books #1–4 for free.

One author helped me with my terrible covers. One guy helped me with releasing my first bestseller. I cannot even count all the times other authors helped me with promoting my books.

Being featured on Steve Scott’s email list has always been a great way to catapult my books’ ranks.

I worked out relationships that allowed me to get discounts for some services.

My history with Buck Books allows me to be featured on their site practically every time I articulate such a wish; there is no entry barrier for me.
It’s just the top of an iceberg. I have more such stories. Network, it brings results.

Internet Business Insights


That was my shot at answering those awesome questions.

“Internet Business Insights”
is full of insights and advice from other authors, bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, coaches, freelancers, and many other kinds of online entrepreneurs.

In the book there is a section that compiles the 30 repeating themes that were mentioned again and again by multiple experts.

You can verily use this book to shortcut your success as internet entrepreneur by learning from the best.

Completely FREE

It’s an outstanding resource (over 502 pages in paperback!).
I’m elated to be able to offer the book to you completely free.

To get it for free in an eBook form, simply sign up HERE.

You’ll be notified when the book is free on Kindle (the closest date is 9th of July and about once a month after this date).

Enjoy it, and feel free to ask me any questions about my insights in the comments below…

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