When I first started creating websites in 1999 I had very realistic, albeit humble expectations. I would design a website for my favorite video game so I could market a fan-made game of my own. It would be great, I said. I would make millions, I said.
As they sometimes do, things turned out differently. As I began working on the site I started gaining a sincere appreciation for the setup process, the mechanics involved, etc. I became obsessed with making sure that my site looked the best out of all the other fan-made sites. I wanted every feature they had and I wanted them all to be better. It wasn’t long before I thought about doing this as a profession. “You could make money doing this” my Father had mentioned. “Thats exactly what I was just thinking, Dad.” I replied.
First I had to make sure my site was the absolute best. I scanned all the traffic portals and “Top 10” ranking sites that were popular back then. I made a veritable hit list of all the sites I needed to beat and ranked them accordingly. After a few months of hard work I had my site in tip top shape, linked to and from a variety of directory portals. Traffic was steady but one of my more recent features, a discussion forum, was still in its infancy due to a lack of signups. Is this traffic real? I wondered quietly to myself. I began to realize it was time for me to strengthen my guerilla marketing options and really get the traffic flowing.
I opened up Pandoras box and began posing as a die-hard fan looking for more info online about anything and everything related to the game. “Do you know anyone with copies to the latest so and so?” I would ask with a link to my site gallery. “What site would you consider to be the best out of all these sites?” I would ask as a poll on a major forum made specifically for gamers. Soon enough, I was getting massive amounts of traffic and people were signing up to use the forums. I had a great community of loyal followers with a general interest in one thing. My favorite video game.
As time went on my enjoyment levels began to decrease as I no longer had an interest in creating video games but other websites now. This site had fully-flourished and I was very curious to see if those same methods would work for other markets. I began to test my skills with other projects and soon enough I was working for local businesses to enhance their presence online. To this day, some of the same methods and techniques used then still work now and I get a very nostalgic feeling knowing that this all began as nothing more than a hobby so long ago. I guess you never know what will tickle your fancy, eh? Nope.
Thanks for reading! And since you’ve made it this far, you should feel deeply encouraged to ask me a question in the comments section. Thanks!