The Thing About Starting an Online Marketing Business

This week I’m featuring the writing of my friend Brent from Debtfiles. He caught my eye with his quirky/fun writing style and I had to ask him to write something for Gundomoney. Enjoy.

First off, thank you Elsie for allowing this contribution on your very cool blog!
I want to talk today a little about online marketing, and in particular full time online content marketing.

When you work from the comfort of your own home publishing content on your websites.
-No boss
-No commute
-No hassles
-No workplace drama
-No cap on your earnings

It’s a dream millions of people have, but a very small percentage ever get to that point.


Is it because they aren’t willing to work hard enough? I think not. Is It because they don’t have enough desire. I think not again. Is it because they’re not very smart? Definitely not! I’m a self-confessed jumble- mumble brain in the 8th degree. I never was the brightest bulb in the trailer park (yep…literally, I was born in a trailer and lived the first 3 year of my life in a trailer park with my loving parents).

So what does it take to succeed to the point where you make enough money online that you can tell your boss “thanks very much for the employment, but here is my two weeks notice.”

Answer = Horse blinders

Yes, those black flaps you see in the picture above. An obvious metaphor I know, but bear with me please.
This is the definition of horse blinders;

Horses have peripheral vision, which means they can end up running off course unless they are made to remain focused. Blinders are small squares of firm leather that attach to the bridle at the side of the horse’s head.

How The Simple-Minded Succeed

This is why you hear drunken, and disgruntled Uncles (poet) at Christmas say things like, “Look at that asshole! He’s so dumb! How did he ever get all that. He must have been given a leg up from somebody well connected. The guy’s just a no-talent lucky prick!”

It’s not smarts that makes us succeed. It’s rarely because you’re connected. Your family background or family “connections” might make it easier to get lift off, but you will soon crash and burn if you don’t put on your blinders and stay focused. I know some reading this will tell me of exceptions, and yes there are, but not the majority.

Nope, most successful people just have good old stick-to-it-ivness (word of the day = invness). They see their goals and dreams straight ahead of them and they don’t get sidetracked by other people and other ideas. They have an open mind on HOW to get where they’re going, but their mind is closed in their resolve to make it.
Or cry trying.

And We Had Days of Crying


When my wife and I started our online business in 2003 we were 100% clueless. My wife was very supportive (IMPORTANT: another subject for another post – lightbulb Elsie ;-), but I had quit a career job as a mechanic for a major Canadian airline, and we were up to our eyeballs in debt.

This caused a lot of stress for us both, and stress is what adults get if they don’t know how to physically bawl like a baby on a daily basis (wouldn’t that be nice…feels so good).

We actually went into a lot more debt in the form of home equity while I struggled to figure out a way to get traffic to our websites.

When I look back on it I did it all wrong. I should have built up traffic to our websites to the point of making enough to pay all of our bills – then quit my job.

Not only did I lose the employment income, I lost seniority, flight benefits, and medical coverage. On top of that, I was still sending $400 a month to my ex-wife for child support. Our family thought I was completely bonkers (fuckin’ truth tellers).

But the horse blinders remained on and I was determined to succeed.

When I started out I was spending a lot of time on Internet forums and chat rooms trying to figure out the “trick” to getting online traffic. I was sure there must be some fancy secret to getting profitable traffic, and I was going to find that nifty piece of super-duper-wiz-bang-software that would make all of our dreams come true.

Believe me, I tried every black hat, gray hat, yellow hat, and purple hat method to getting traffic to a website, and none of them worked with any degree of certainty.

What I learned was this. The ONLY thing that worked was actually sitting down every day and writing a piece of content. A piece of content like the one you’re reading. A piece of content that exists only on one website, with each sentence and word pattern typed out naturally. No consideration to keyword density and all that mumbo-jumbo.
After I realized this was the way to go, I went back to those chat rooms and forums, and used two fully capped words when newbies screamed for “the answer”.



Isn’t this gorgeous – my parent’s had a model just like this in our trailer when I was toddler – I still remember playing with it. Beautiful piece of technology. POWER!

But It Wasn’t Quite That Simple

If you want to make a full time living with your online writing, you can certainly just be a blogger and eventually you could make it. For sure! And to all the bloggers in our personal finance community (you know who you are ;-)) reading this, I’m preaching to the converted. We all know it’s possible and that’s why we always come back and add more good content to our blogs.

But that could take a real long time with a ton of daily effort.

Consider doing what I did, and learn to use your writing talent to grow profitable targeted traffic faster. Start by creating your first niche website, and learn to enjoy writing about BORING subjects. Start a simple blog that’s compares car insurance companies. Be creative. Create little fictional stories about Joe and Susie Blow who needed car insurance because they’re insurer sucks (it’s crack cocaine for search engines).
Or write about different:

  • web hosting companies
  • credit card offers
  • vacation packages

Now I know you’ve heard all this before (niche traffic, yada, yada, yada), and you probably think the Internet is saturated with all the subjects listed above.

Sure. Lots of people launch web sites on these subjects, but MOST of them aren’t experienced writers like we bloggers are. I’m guessing that most of the people who read this post will be like Elsie and part of the PF blogging community.

Well guess what? You my friends, can write the PANTS off most of the garbage niche websites floating around out there. Your content will curb kick most of those niche sites – the ones making big money as we speak.

It will take time for Google, Bing and Yahoo to index your new niche site, but in about 8 months your traffic will start flowing in, and so will the money. Make sure whatever niche you choose there are two defining traits. Use Google keywords planner for this research.

1.) it’s a niche that has a lot of traffic
2.) it’s a niche that merchants pay BIG dollars for leads

Have fun, prosper, and get free!

P.S. – just in case there are any cynics that don’t really “buy my story”, below is the header image I had for one of my old “online income” blogs back in the day. Take special notice of the checked off green box showing AdSense estimated earnings. This was just our AdSense account and did not include all of the affiliate commissions earned between 2005ish and 2009ish.
I hate trying to satisfy the naysayers because I know they’ll claim it’s just some image I pulled of the Internet, and yeah….sure I could.
Fun fact….it’s real kids. 😉


Brent Truitt is a full time Internet marketer and part time blogger who lives in Canada and the United States. You can connect with him on Twitter @IAmBrentTruitt or visit his personal finance blog

I’m Elsie (aka Gundo) welcome to my blog! I’m a money coach, self-taught life enthusiast, and ameture botanist. I write my hopes and dreams down here, as well as some of my money triumphs. I hope you enjoyed what you just read. Learn More


  1. Elsie says:

    Thanks so much for guest starring on my blog Brent! I loved what you wrote about needing to cry. I never want to give into the urge to be emotional but I find there’s no other way. If I don’t cry that stress builds up and comes out in worse ways.

    You’re right that everyone is looking for the magic answer in everything: weight loss, getting out of debt, and yes making money online. It’s so true that you just have to write. Just go do it that’s the only answer.

  2. Brent Truitt says:

    Thanks Elsie / love your presentation and edits!! Nice, and thanks for the kind words!!


  3. Desiree Mosqueda says:

    yay!! Content marketing!!

  4. ZJ Thorne says:

    There are definitely no tricks outside of just doing the damn thing. So true! Focused people get stuff done. Stuff can be read by others whenever convenient to them. Then, profit. Simple formula.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…DIY Laundry DetergentMy Profile

    • Elsie says:

      Everyone just wants a magic answer in life. In everything I have mastered I’ve learned that there is no magic answer, it’s always been the long way through the woods.

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