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INTRO Alright, let's do this... Here is my story - How I went from being poor to a little less poor, and am now looking to go fast :

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New Contributor
Oct 12, 2021
Hi there! I recently bought the book and decided to join. I run a few websites, and on one of them we have an "Inspiration Hub" category where users post their stories. I figured I would save time and re-post my recent entry from there. It pretty much sums up my life story.

Let's begin!

Born and raised in the United States, I have pretty much worked labor-type jobs since I was 16. From K-mart (a store) to paving roadways, to construction. I was a carpenter (like Jesus) for most of my life. Got pretty good at it too, started doing construction on my own (company) that was finally picking up. However, I went on vacation to Europe where I met my wife. Due to the past travel laws, she couldn’t move to the US, so I’ve moved to Europe instead. From a young age, I was pretty much a disaster when it came to finances or managing my money. I spent it all on stupid stuff and parties, and I only had 1400 USD when I moved to the EU.

It felt like starting over, life 2.0. However, that’s when I decided I would go online full time. Why? Because ever since I got my first online device (WebTV, Google it), I was fascinated by the idea of making money on the internet. On top of that, wages in this country are sub-par to say the least, so the internet was my only viable choice. I started running websites around the age of 20, and many times I was successful at it. I was pretty bad at monetizing them initially, but over time and after many countless attempts and 5 tutorials, I started to get the hang of it. Over time, my after-work hobby was sometimes making me more money than my 9-5 job. I was hooked and wanted more, but I was always afraid to quit my real job and trying working on the internet full time.

So, what are my accomplishments?​

I am 40 years old now so it would take a book to get into specifics, but here is a small rundown of my history:
  1. Forums. I was quite successful at creating and populating gaming and general discussion forums. AdSense monetized.
  2. Blogs. Again, when I was young, gaming was my life. Ran a few successful gaming blogs. Again, AdSense monetized.
  3. Random scripts I’ve created for basically spamming social media networks. No, I am not a coder, but I do know how what #000000 means. Back in the day Twitter/Facebook was notoriously easy to manipulate via 3rd party apps. I had ideas, hired coders, created scripts, and then I sold them to people who needed them. This was very lucrative, by the way.
  4. I created ebooks related to making money. I had one 19-page book make me XXX-XXXX per day. Albeit, this lasted only a few weeks and in reality, only two of my books made money.
  5. CPA/content lockers. Oh my lord, I was addicted to this. I was doing anything possible to make money with them. One of my main winners was streaming (and blocking) UFC fights. On game night, I could easily earn XXXX. (please don’t sue me, UFC)
  6. I did some sketchy stuff too, thanks to BlackHatWorld tutorials. One cool method that really worked was to listen to the radio commercials, find an ad that had a web address mentioned in it, create a similar sounding domain + website, slap a CPA offer on it, and promote it on AdWords. You would not believe how much money this brought in. People usually listen to the radio in their vehicles, but very few people remember the exact URL stated in the ads. They just remember bits of it, so as long you registered something similar, these people would Google it, find it, and fill out your offer vs. the one advertised on the radio. I’ve milked this method for 2-3 years which brought in XXXX’s dollars per month. Set it and forget it, once everything was online you didn’t have to do anything but collect the money.
  7. Auctions/eBay. I used to flip stuff on auctions. You would not believe how many grandmas in the US toss good electronics to thrift stores or even things like software. I would go shopping, buy stuff for cheap, then flip it on eBay for real current market value.
I also did a lot of sketchy stuff while being young, from keyloggers to trojans, to even botnets. However, I don’t regret a single thing, because in the end, it increased my overall knowledge of how the internet works.

Fast forward to 2013 (when I moved to the EU). Here I am in Poland, with 1400 USD in my pocket, no place to live, no car, no job. We rented a flat with my wife and I started grinding. Since I mainly dabbled in social media, that’s where I have begun. I had to buy a few fanpages to realize some of my ideas, but buying P2P is hard without looking legitimate. So, I’ve created a small blog-based site called, just so I can present myself better to potential sellers. I bought a few pages and went on with my ventures, setting the site aside and forgetting about it. I made a few dollars here and there during this time, but it was only enough to pay the bills. After a few months, I’ve accidentally revisited the site and noticed that lots of people are emailing it asking to buy/sell fanpages. The site basically positioned itself to the top of the search results for buy/sell fanpages. Remember, that was the time where this stuff wasn’t so mainstream. And if I had to bet, I was one of the first people who started an online shop for buying/selling fanpages (correct me if I am wrong).

So I’ve capitalized on the newly found pool of clients and started buying/selling pages. Once I’ve started, the money instantly started pouring in. I literally had stacks of money hidden in our apartment. Mainly because I was the person investing in the pages, so every flip was pure profit. Remember, in 2013 Facebook reach restrictions were next to nothing, so website owners drooled over any fanpage they could purchase and paid premium prices. It wasn’t uncommon to see 100K pages sell for 4000+ USD. And if you had a 1m+ page, boom!!! You could sell it for 25,000-40,000 USD easily. I kind of regret a little for not doing what the buyers of these pages were doing, which was using them as traffic funnels to their websites. I’ve seen users make XX,XXX per day for YEARS, some using small networks of 20-30 fanpages. But I didn’t like hunting for content or updating so many pages, found it cumbersome and boring, so I stuck to buying and selling.

I loved how things were going, but year after year Facebook began to tighten the reach screw, so I thought it’s time to branch out to other platforms, that’s why I’ve started Again, it was an instant success, and till this day that website has made me the most money. Currently, it’s being neglected, and to be honest, it’s kind of abandoned, but it still brings in leads every day which I funnel to my new escrow based site. Skip a few years forward to where Facebook made fanpages pretty much useless for traffic, the income started dropping. Other platforms never brought in as much money as Facebook did, so I started to get worried. That’s when SWAPD was born. I thought about how online communities (once established) are hard to kill, whether by search engine algorithm changes or other factors. On the other hand, starting forums is very, very hard. But in the end, I believe SWAPD did become a small-time success and I am happy with the way it turned out.

How much do I earn?​

Well, to be honest, I don’t even know, but I do know I make a modest amount compared to my other online buddies. What I can tell you is how it feels going from being poor to actually having some money. My family isn’t wealthy, most of them are factory workers, truck drivers, so on and so on. Even while working in construction I made more money than them. My upbringing didn’t give me much or present good opportunities. But that’s not the point I was getting to, I wanted to explain the feeling I mentioned earlier, as I sometimes forget how bad I had it. There were days where I had to pick, rent or groceries, for example. I never want to go back to those days.

Me Today​

  • Today, for example, when I go grocery shopping, I don’t look at price tags. I get what I want when I want. Some of you may laugh, I know it’s a small thing, but back in the day where every penny counted, grocery shopping was a math test in my head. Can I afford this? Maybe I should get the cheaper frozen pizza? This change also includes restaurants. I don’t have to pick between paying a bill or eating in an upscale restaurant.
  • Today, when I travel, I usually travel where I want, and not where I can afford to. Albeit, I have a wife who is really good at finding deals. But back in the day traveling for leisure was an alien thought for me. And now, in the past 6 years, my wife and I visited 56 countries/places, and we don’t plan on stopping.
  • Today, I own a brand new townhome and a brand new condo. I never in my wildest dreams would think I would own property, but at the moment, we are slowly planning to purchase another one, in a not-so-distant future. We were able to obtain these properties in just a short 4-5 years.
  • Today, I own two new cars. All my life I owned and drove falling apart vehicles. They’re not supercars, but I own them, paid cash for them, they’re mine and debt-free.
  • Today, paying bills is the least of my financial worries. Paying them almost seems funny because they seem so minuscule, and years ago every month they caused stressful situations.
  • Today, I am actually sick of my social life. I went from “nah I catch you guys later” (because I couldn’t afford to go out), to “oml please stop calling”. The funny thing is this is a little problematic for me as it’s keeping me away from work.
To recap, I could stop making money today and not worry too much. Because I have no debt, I have some equity, and the internet is paved with money. It just takes some persistence and hard work. It also helps that I live in a country where USD (the currency I make money in) is in demand, as in, the conversion rates are in my favor. For example, making 10,000 USD in Poland equates to making 30-40K in the US. So, I cheated life by moving to a cheaper country! My current monthly earnings are average compared to the western world, but in this country, I make as much as our senators. So, if you’re having a tough time, move to a poorer country and be poor-rich like I am :).

Throughout these years I’ve learned that the line between being successful and struggling is razor-thin. At any moment things could go either way, so I am thankful for what I’ve achieved and hope I will find enough energy to continue my ventures.

/end paste.

I've joined this forum because I feel like I need to expand, I feel stuck managing my current sites and I don't think they will help me achieve my goals. Hoping to collaborate, learn, and try new things!

Thank you for reading!

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Jun 8, 2017
Lovely intro. I am reminded of my own addiction to CPA in younger years. There was (and is) a lot of grey area in 'internet marketing'.

Simon Angel

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Apr 24, 2016
Nice story man! I can relate to a lot of that.

And that tip about moving to a cheaper country can be life-changing for many out in the west! I live in Bulgaria myself and did the math myself, and yes, the US is about 4-5x more expensive when it comes to groceries, utility, rent, and entertainment. Getting paid in USD means I almost 2x my money after converting to our currency.

Since me and my girlfriend always wanted to travel - and we're about to - which are your favorite countries to visit?


New Contributor
Oct 12, 2021
Nice story man! I can relate to a lot of that.

And that tip about moving to a cheaper country can be life-changing for many out in the west! I live in Bulgaria myself and did the math myself, and yes, the US is about 4-5x more expensive when it comes to groceries, utility, rent, and entertainment. Getting paid in USD means I almost 2x my money after converting to our currency.

Since me and my girlfriend always wanted to travel - and we're about to - which are your favorite countries to visit?

If you didn't travel much I suggest going from low to high. What do I mean by that? For example, if for your first trip you will visit a magical place like the Maldives, then every trip you take after that you will compare to one of the most beautiful places in the world (which are the Maldives). That will, in return, kind of spoil all your next trips :D It may sound silly, but it's the truth. I honestly don't know what to recommend to you, don't know what you're into. But let me give you a few places that burned into my mind.

If you're into seclusion and pretty beaches = Maldives
If you're into high-tech and fancy = UAE
If you're into adventure/wildlife = Kenya
If you're into a mix (party place + nature + pretty beaches + history) = Mexico (Yucatan Peninsula to be more specific)
If you want to see a whole different world, visit Asia. Mainly = China/Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam. I took a tour of these countries and from all the places I've seen these struck me the most. China is amazing, it's an economic powerhouse. They make the US look like a tiny village. Thailand is OK, but Cambodia and Vietnam are very unique. From their jungles/history/people. It's amazing.

Honestly, it's hard to recommend a specific place, but from what I recall, Asia burned into my mind the most. Perhaps because the culture is so different. After traveling a lot you realize, for example, that most places you visit have lots of similarities. So in short, you get bored.

I sometimes make videos of our trips, feel free to see Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam in this clip:
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