Web Hosting Dilemmas: Who To Avoid

When you’re running an online campaign and throwing thousands of dollars’ worth of traffic to the website in a single day it’s important you don’t experience any downtime. A few minutes of downtime can be the difference between making a profit or loss for the day and can have devastating effects on your business. With that said, here are my thoughts on web hosts to use and to avoid for different scenarios.

I’ve only had 3 years of experience with web hosting but in those 3 years I’ve been a customer to a hell of a lot of web hosting companies. From companies who offer “unlimited bandwidth” for ridiculously cheap prices to hosts that charge hundreds of dollars for dedicated servers I’ve seen them all. Even after 3 years, I still have trouble finding a decent host. Just today I’ve had 2 separate hosting issues. The first involving Sofa Moolah’s hosting account being suspended and the 2nd being a server side error that the host is refusing to fix. I’ll get into more detail about these further down.

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How Making Money Online Lost Me to Gambling

Let me grab your attention straight up: since the beginning of this year I’ve lost a grand total of $15,465.73 on online gambling. Wow, working out the exact number seems so surreal. What’s even worse is that this is just on Betfair alone and doesn’t take into account the offline gambling I’ve done when I’ve been out with friends. These events happened mainly from March to April and since April I haven’t touched any sort of gambling. Here’s my brief story of how making money online lost me to gambling.

Making money online has its privileges.  For one, I don’t have to spend several hours every day in peak hour traffic waiting to get to work. I can also work whatever hours I want which gives me freedom to do shit I want to do, whenever the hell I feel like it. To me, the best advantage is that I don’t know how much I’ll earn by the end of the year and I honestly don’t think I could cope knowing what my exact salary for the entire year will be. “Oh, I can’t go on vacation until… 2014 when I finally put away enough money to book a hotel”. Not for me. Besides these extremely lucrative advantages, I don’t think enough people talk about the negatives. Besides the stress involved, lack of social interaction etc. etc. I’ve come across online gambling as my biggest hurdle so far.

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Statistics & Thoughts for the First Month of Sofa Moolah

3 days ago Sofa Moolah turned 1 month old – strange as I also received an email from my domain registrar that the domain I purchased 1 year ago expires in a month. So in terms of website launches, it’s one of the worst traffic wise I’ve been involved in. Compared to my last blog which received close to 200,000 visitors in a few days, Sofa Moolah has underperformed. In the month it’s been live, Sofa Moolah has received 30,000 page views and 18,000 unique visitors. This isn’t all bad though, we had a few glimmers of hope. Let me explain.

Our bounce rate was extremely low and our time on site was extremely high. For anyone that doesn’t know what the bounce rate shows, it’s basically a percentage that shows how many of your site visitors come and look around opposed to people who arrive, read a single page and leave. Sofa Moolah’s bounce rate for the first month was 28%. This means that 72% of you guys are checking out the rest of the site. This might come down to the fact the website is new so people are curious so I’ll keep an eye on it to make sure it stays down.

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The Importance of Networking – My Experience with Power Users

Let me take you back to the beginning of 2010, a time when Digg.com was one of the most popular websites in the world averaging close to 40 million unique visitors every month. This small story happened a few months before “New Digg” was introduced, power users become somewhat obsolete and traffic to Digg dropped by 35% in a single month. Before the ultimate collapse of Digg I was able to successfully network with power users to promote a new blog I had started with a friend of mine. The blog was called AddToDesign and it attracted over 150,000 visitors to the site within 4 days.

Something every blog owner talks about when they’re first starting out is how they are going to get traffic. One of the worst things for a blog owner to experience is an unsuccessful launch for their website – it demotivates bloggers and can make you question whether or not you should continue. This is a problem I identified before launching AddToDesign and I needed to find a way to get off to a good start. I had been a semi-active Digg user for a while and the idea of seeing my blog on the front page of a major website would be the perfect start I was looking for. But how could this idea become a reality?

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The Conclusion: A 6 Figure Business That Fell Apart When I Was 16

I really have to apologize for leaving you guys hanging on the first part of this story. I was undecided on whether or not to break the article up into 2’s and after some feedback on Twitter I decided to. Below are the middle and the ending. Again, I was undecided on whether or not to break this part up but I left it whole. There are 23 paragraphs, double the original. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, this is the 2nd part on a story I posted yesterday. You can view the original here. By the way, this is the first time I’ve ever told this full story.

Let me clarify that because the tracking information said the order came on a Thursday I had to take the day off from school. My mum left for work at 6:00am and I’d usually get a lift to and from school with my mate so my sisters didn’t know I was taking the day off. That afternoon, the first home were my sisters. They got in and were confused as to why I had a room full of MP3 players. Being a cool brother (ha!) I gave them both an MP3 player for free. My mum got home at 5:00pm and I was hesitant to tell her I gambled away my savings. I showed her my order and the look on her face was one of shock, excitement and nervousness. I reassured her that I’d be fine and hopefully they’d be packed and posted to customers within a month or two. Turns out my estimations were wrong.

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My Early Business Life: A 6 Figure Business That Fell Apart When I Was 16

I originally planned on making this topic into an eBook and have it released alongside “How I Launched, Marketed and Promoted A High-Traffic Blog in Under 15 Days” but I’ve decided against it. I wrote this (very personal) article to document the rapid rise and ultimate collapse of my very first business which I launched in 2008 at age 16 and to tell you what I learnt from this experience. I’ve tried to be as transparent as possible with regards to financial information and other experiences along the way.

The business was called ZOR Technology. In this early recount of my business life I go into detail of how I created an online business that was importing crates of consumer electronics from China, had revenues of high 4 figures per month, made me a power seller on eBay, generated national media attention and put me in one of those ridiculous “top 10 young entrepreneurs in Australia” list. I also talk about the fall of ZOR which involved the intention to sue from one of the biggest companies in the world (read the first ever post on Sofa Moolah for more information about this) and a lifelong suspension from eBay.

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Work Online? My Insight Into Setting An Hourly Rate

As a freelancer, when I started out one of the most baffling aspects of the job to me was setting an hourly rate. I hadn’t really given it much thought, I just knew I wanted to develop websites and that I needed clients. When I got my first design gig and I got an introductory email asking me to reply with a few details and my ‘hourly rate’ it struck me that I had no idea what to charge.

It can be one of the most odd situations to jump in to, especially if, like me, you came in to this from a pretty bog standard job where your pay cheque came in at the end of the month at its usual rate. It can be easy to set your rates too high for your experience, but even more so it’s possible to undervalue your own work and take a rate far lower than you should be.

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Facebook Case Study: How PayPal UK Got 177,000 Fans for Under $5,000

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the true value of a Facebook fan. Some, particularly those in the direct response world, have said that having a lot of fans on Facebook isn’t necessarily going to translate into revenue. Others, primarily those in social media, have claimed that the real value of a Facebook fan varies from business to business, with some proving quite profitable.

It’s not my place to comment on the real value of a Facebook fan. They do vary from one industry to another, and it’s definitely a field that benefits some businesses more than others. Local brands, for example, tend to do very well on Facebook, whereas high-value services and expensive niche products rarely appeal to the wide audience that Facebook is capable of generating.

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Welcome to Sofa Moolah

Wow, it should not have taken this long. It’s been almost 7 months since our first landing page went live and in excess of a year since the idea was conceived. Many things have held us back but we’re here now and it’s time to begin.

Our idea for Sofa Moolah is simple: we want to document our journey of making money online while also showcasing interviews with other successful entrepreneurs, display case studies that work and also give out material that our users will find helpful.

Time for introductions. This could get confusing as I’m trying to write for both of us, and you the reader have no idea who’s writing this. To simplify things, we’ve both written a short bio below. We’ve tried to avoid cliches such as writing in third person. Here we go.

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