Jim Westergren
A blog about me, my projects, SEO, Web Development and Personal Development.
"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

First annual report, my success online

On the 5th of December 2004 I returned to Sweden after having been worked in a non-profit organization in Denmark for 5 years. I had no contact with internet during those years and before that in 1999 I had only some minor basic knowledge with HTML.

Everything I owned then was about $40, around 20 books, some clothes and some other stuff. The only people I knew in Sweden were my family, some relatives and a few others.

But I had done my own studies in philosophy and had gotten every question I ever wondered answered. I no longer had any questions on how to live life, meaning with life, metaphysics and everything else that I had been figuring about earlier. Additionally I had learned the basics of managing a business, communication and got used to work a lot (I worked 70-100 hours a week for those 5 years).

This is the first report on what I have achieved year 1 and my plans for year 2.

History

My mother picked me up in a car in Denmark and I could rent a room in her flat. I borrowed my mothers computer to make the first web site. As I had no money I managed to get social welfare money for one month so that I could pay rent and food. I had dropped out of college and so I managed to get into school again. I was in school the needed hours per week to be considered a "full time student" and got money for living from the state. With this money I was then able to buy my computer and support my living.

I had to recover my lost knowledge about HTML and I made the first site about my short stories and essays. It was with dark background and frames.

My little brother told me about Google - a name I had never heard about before - and I got to understand that it is now Google instead of Altavista ...

I wanted to show up on Google and get visitors to my site and in this way I got into the area of SEO. I started to read articles from SiteProNews and various others - about 5 per week until I had read more than 50. I put back my old site about dragons I had made in 1999 on a free account on the Internet. I spent a lot of time submitting my two sites to search engines, web rings and directories. One of those directories was a ODP clone and by pure luck I got listed in the DMOZ - something I only understood what it was many months later. I was also submitting my short stories on various web sites to get feedback. I also made another site for an association I started to work with.

During this time I continued to write about one short story per week.

Then in beginning of February I did my first SEO job.

Shortly after that I remade my site about my writings so that it has a white background for easier reading and I also started to learn CSS which was totally new for me. I remade the site so that all design was controlled from the external CSS file. That was like incredible for me.

In April I made the JW Webbdesign site - my Swedish web site about SEO and web design. This I remade 3 times and a week later I put it up on it's own domain name and a web host.

In may I decided to start a company despite my parents advice not to do it and I registered JW Webbdesign as a company to the authorities in Sweden. It was in this time that I also started to involve in various forums. First a Swedish webmaster forum, then NamePros and Digitalpoint.

In June I bought arcadeshack.com on an auction for $75 and spent more then a week remaking it with different features.

In August I got the idea to make a list of the best free directories and list them. I took a free domain name for this, namely addurl.nu and later this list went from 100 to 300. Also I started a directory submission there that has been a total success.

During this time I also started to get clients for both web design and SEO and things started moving - very fast.

I achieved top 5 ranking on all major search engines for the term webbdesign (Swedish for web design) and this brought to me e-mails from new clients each week.

The money I received in my company I all invested in buying new web sites and buying links. In this way there was no income tax to pay and I could still live on the money from my studies.

This kept going on: clients in web design and SEO, managing my studies, my work in the association, own projects, investing money and so on - it was extreme some times, I can tell you that!

In middle of October I reached my first goal and could confirm: I am making a living online.

Today, 2 months later

Today I am operating 25 web sites with a total value of more than $7000. Each and every day more than 1500 people are visiting one of my sites.

I have established business partners in India, USA, UK and Sweden.

Even if I outsource half of my work I have hard time to keep up with clients coming to me even though I have doubled my prices.

My gross income has increased each month since I started to get income in august and are now over $1800 for December.

This was all achieved in one year, with no funds, no training - all by myself.

I am pleased with myself actually and it shows it can be done.

The future

The future looks very good.

I have now ended my studies and will move to a flat in beginning of February. This will enable me to be more effective. I will then also sell arcadeshack.com and hope to get as much as $2000 for it.

I have about 10 projects myself that I did not have time for that I want to put in reality. That I plan to get done during February to April.

In April my plan is to move to my business partner in India. From there I will run my business and also train them personally in SEO. They are running an IT company with 8 staff and I will make them all very busy, he he.

My plan in India is then to only work half of the days and the other half I will continue my writings. It was the writing that I originally came back to Sweden for and now when I make my living easily online I can put time for it. I want to finish my first novel and also write the other two novels. When I finish that I perhaps return to Sweden, I am not sure. The first novel is in Swedish, maybe I'll write the other ones in English, I will see about that.

You are welcome to follow my adventure on this blog!

21 Dec 2005

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About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur. He is happily married and has two lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing. He is the Founder and owner of TodaysWeb offering SEO, web development and manages projects such as DomainStats and N.nu. Read his ..

Design, text and CMS (N.nu) by myself.