My Affiliate / Internet Marketing Story

It Started More Than a Decade Ago


My brush with Internet Marketing happened more than a decade ago – about one and a half, in fact. In 1998, I was eight and my father bought home a computer. It was a white bulky set installed with Windows 97. Back then, computer was a rarity in my part of the world. Yet, I was attracted to it, enough to lead me away from the cartoons on the television. Since then, we formed an inseparable bond.

Growing up, I was a whizz kid. When I was twelve, I started learning about html programming to make websites. Back then in 2002, the world wide web was still in its infancy and web pages were all coded in html and JavaScript, unlike the more complex css and php used today. Armed with the Notepad software that came in Windows, I designed and won a website creation challenge. The next year, I picked up programming and perused my father’s programming books from when he was in university. Like I said, things get a lot more complex these last ten years or so. Just on my own effort, I programed the ping-pong game that appeared in those arcades of old and created a swimming stickman singing Elvis’s “Love Me Tender” in 8-bit to win my first programming contest.

A Brush With Making Money Online

By then, I was hooked with everything tech and the Internet. My classmates used their computers for Starcraft and ICQ, while I used it to enrich my knowledge. I stumbled upon a banner ad promoting Internet marketing (while this was still effective back then) and I was snared.

I signed up for their email courses and read everything I could about it. I was a teen who believed I could do anything, and making money online was one of them. A lot of the techniques used back then were still used today. There is a reason why they managed to last so long. The web marketers of the past learned from the print marketers before them.

Hotmail with their small “recommend me” tagline underneath each email was touted the best viral marketing method.

Ebooks were sold in the form of pdf or the html ebook compilers which no one ever used again now.

I remembered that the Host4profit used to be the Bluehost of today. I think it started the trend of web hosts using affiliate program to gain referrals. It paid $10 each month to the referrer for each month the customer host with them (for life). Unlimited residual income. Without a doubt, a whole bunch of Internet marketers flooded the Warriors forum. They began promoting them and earned hundreds of thousands in the process. There were even commissions for second level referrals. So, these marketers recruited others to promote the hosts for them as well. Web hosting was not cheap back then. If I recalled, it used to cost $25 for one month of hosting with them.

Time passed and hosting became cheaper. The web host did not innovate and fell by the sideline.

A lot of the internet gurus I frequented in the past disappeared after all these years. I guessed they made their millions and decided to retire. Some retreated into their underground groups where they shared cutting edge tactics unknown to the mass. Back then, the big kahuna was Corey Rudl of Internet Marketing Center. Sadly, he passed away in a car crash. I think I still have an email of his death announcement somewhere stored in my archive and I never returned to the site since. The other big name that I really liked was Michael Campbell. His ebook “Nothing but Net” and “Revenge of the Mininet” introduced me to the idea of affiliate marketing and SEO (He was not the first but his ideas stuck the strongest).

If you search online, I am sure a copy of “Nothing but Net” could still be found somewhere. He started in the 90’s and the book was even written then. His idea of creating webs of small mini sites in all the animal shapes to pass on link juice could be traced even to the PBN of today. Of course, the flavor of SEO changed with Web 2.0 and Google penalizing such tactics. Authority sites were the preferred method now. The concept of the linking mini sites still works if you think of it in a broader sense. A review page for each product, tactfully linked under an umbrella. Also, many will never admit it now, but the savvy ones still maintained their own PBN (their own private mini sites) for ranking purposes. Michael sold many things, even parts to the military (if I remembered the story correctly) because someone stumbled onto his review mini sites and called him to order them after reading his review. He struck a deal with the supplier and sold a truckload of the parts.

In 2003 when I was thirteen and dipped my feet into the bottomless abyss of Internet Marketing, I created my own site on Geocities writing all about Zelda and Pokemon walkthroughs. My classmates were interested in dating and fretting over exams, while I signed up for affiliate programs and thought of riches in my head. (I had a pretty early Amazon affiliate program that was grandfathered by time.) I thought of one upping those gurus since I knew better than them and wanted a website that is not hosted on a free site of my own. Of course, who would take me seriously with a bright big banner on the top of the website saying, “Get your free website here”? I braved myself and asked my mother for her credit card and got a lashing instead. She did not trust the internet then or any sort of transaction done over it. It was many…many years after that when I got into university before I finally got a debit card of my own. By then, the Internet Marketing boomed died and many went on to the next gold rush.

After my mother sternly forbade me from getting anywhere near Internet marketing, I kept the dream of online riches buried inside my heart over the next few years. It was surprising how well I did in my public examination (top in the country) when I still buried my head reading on others’ marketing exploit instead of hitting my books.

With my exam’s result, I earned a full scholarship to the US to study mathematics (I told you I was a whizz kid). And there, I got my own bank account and my own debit card. And since, started again on my online entrepreneurial journey.

So, what is the Point of All This Story?

While my real money making ventures were hosted elsewhere, I still put in some affiliate links in this site. So, here’s a disclaimer. Assume all the links I posted here are affiliate links. I stood to earn a little commission if you purchased anything by clicking through those links at no loss to you.

Affiliate Links Used in the Site

Buyshared – Excellent and cheap web host. Great performance to price.

Impactshared – Another excellent and cheap web host. Also great performance to price.

Should I include a Bluehost affiliate link here? They paid out $65 per referral unlike the two above, only 50 cents.

Kinsta – Fast web host for business purpose. If you are earning a lot of money through the site, I would move them to managed hosting to give me a piece of mind. Kinsta is one of the cheaper yet excellent providers among managed hosts. At this price, you are not only paying for their infrastructure, you are also paying for their expertise and skills in keeping your site fast.

Amazon – Yeah, I used Amazon links, especially for books recommendations. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to