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Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges is now live

Eight months ago I asked myself a simple question. Is it possible to make money online selling content and advertising to people I haven’t met with only Google as a facilitator. The general answer I had received over the past few years was yes but the details about “how” were missing.

Three friends held out their hands so that I could experiment and discover this brave new world. The first is the guru of SEO led businesses in Pakistan, none other than Zafar Khan of Sofizar. Zafar’s openness and willingness to lay threadbare the secrets of the magic sauce behind SEO was amazing as well as inspirational. The second was Badar Khushnood at Google who helped out multiple times in demystifying myths around Google, facilitated troubled waters around my Adsense account and also gave me the most clear headed future roadmap for Learning Corporate Finance. The third and final will unfortunately remain un-named for now but if it wasn’t for this gentleman the adventure would have never happened. For it was this mentor who actually sat me down patiently one Saturday afternoon, almost a year ago and walked me through the process of connecting the dots between dollars, pageviews, content and SEO.

So about a year later, here is what I have to report. After 8 painful months and a number of false starts and embarrassing mis-steps, the adventure that started as Learning Corporate Finance is now a full fledge business. No earth shattering numbers, mouth watering valuations, or printing press revenues as yet, but still a business.

In our first proper month with an online store in October 2010, 7 months after launch, Learning Corporate Finance booked US$160 in content sales an another US$17.6 in advertising revenues. So just under 180 dollars in revenue with about 7,000 unique visitors a month and 15,000 page views in our first month with an online store. And this despite the fact that from a contribution, growth and effort point of view October was a write off on account of my participation in the APICTA ICT Awards and our effort to find the business a new and permanent home at Finance Training Courses. The three months of my comical efforts (tragic from a personal point of view) to redirect the old site to the new one deserve a book rather than a post which I will write as soon as I have recovered from the trauma of the last two weeks.

So now the game is on in trying to move this forward as quickly as possible by adding as much traffic as quickly as possible before the year is out. The goal in October was to cross 30,000 visitors and 90,000 pageviews per month before the end of the year and I am open to any help, suggestion and ideas that will make that possible.

For now go give Finance Training Courses a peak at its new home.

5 Responses to “ is now live”

  • I hope you know about Google Webmasters. Since you have never mentioned that on your blog, i just wanted to bring this up. It shows you how the search engine sees your site; must be checked out regularly.

  • Nash says:

    Is it me or does this feel like Avicena 2.0? (Oh the irony!)

    • Jawwad says:

      Yes Nash, it is Avicena 2.0. What took a a couple of hundred thousand dollars and 2 years of my life at the turn of the century took a week in wordpress a decade later (isn’t that scary). So the technology is now WordPress supported by our technology team (initially me working at night, now one more colleague at work) and the content gets generated as part of our training and risk practice.

      I had two students/clients who kept on badgering me for putting my content online and I finally gave in early February. The reaction we have had so far just goes to show that hard work never goes to waste. It always pays off, sometimes even ten years later…

      I told a friend recently that a time wrap brought me exactly back to the point where I was ten years ago.

  • Nash says:

    I like the sound of it; it sounds like a happy ending (or a happy beginning?). Over time, the cost of a web startup is becoming smaller and smaller. From Amazon’s hosted Web Services, google optimization & monitoring tools to remote teams, hosted blogs, hosted pictures, hosted videos, free social media pages & social publicity. Cost is really becoming less of an excuse now for web startups.

    The world has truely changed.

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