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$10,000 per Day – Interview

A couple of months ago I wrote a post titled Do Ugly Blogs Convert Better? which was based upon the revelation that a Canadian dating site by the name of ‘Plenty of Fish‘ was reportedly earning more than $10,000 a day via AdSense and affiliate programs.

$10,000 a day – that’s $3.65 million per year….

Richard Giles and Duncan Riley have interviewed the creator of Plenty of Fish, Marcus Frind on a fascinating podcast here.

Despite growing many times over in the last year he’s still a one man band competing with companies with big money and loads of employees. Quite an inspiring story.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Bellois(pl) says:

    $10.000 per day… That’s really impressiv.

  2. chase says:

    It is inspiring but only a small number of people can do, since the market is saturated with ideas.

  3. jimmy says:

    a $1.00 per day would be suffice here :-)

  4. Jack says:

    Its kind of strange seeing that such a messed up site is earning such huge amount. blogosphere never cease to impress me. I guess the best we can do is experiment till we find the right site for ourselves.

  5. Steve says:

    I first came across Marcus through a thread at the WebmasterWorld forums entitled “How I made a million in 3 months” It’s an interesting read as are some of Markus’s other posts from years back when he wasn’t making quite so much.

    I think his success is great. I’ve read other interviews with him and most of his success can be attributed to a lot of hard work over the last few years. His story does give inspiration to the rest of us. It shows it can be done. the rest id really up to us.

    As far as the success being due to the ‘ugly site’ I’m not really sure that’s the case. I’ve seen other say the same thing about an ugly site being an ingredient in successful AdSense sites since people will just leave the site quickly often via one of the ads.

    What I think more the reason for Markus’s success is that he’s build a site with a trememndous amount of traffic. From what I know he actually gets a very low click through on the ads, something in line with what most of us get. Markus does attract millions of visitors a day to his site though and so even the low click through can bring in a large revenue.

    Even though I do web design work I’ve never thought the aesthetics of a site is what truly makes for its success. Ultimately its the content of a site that will keep visitors coming back. There is a certain triiping point in a sense for a site that seems to take it from an amateur design to something more professional that I think a site should achive in it’s design, but often anything beyond that is really just eye candy. That doesn’t mean you should shoot for an ugly site. And for some industries such as within the art world having an aestheitcally pleasing site is going to be important. For most though it’s really just about content.

    Darren I have liked the way this site looks since the first time I visited and consider it one of the nicer ones I’ve seen. It’s not why I come back though. I come back because you provide excellent content and I’m always learning something new.

  6. Steve says:

    Just rereading my comment and I suppose someone could argue based on my last couple of paragraphs that I think an ugly site is a way to go. I just want to make sure everyone knows that’s not at all what I’m saying. I think all sites should try to be aesthetically pleasing and I really enjoy when I find a great looking site.

    The main point is that it’s your content that will ultimately drive your success or failure. An ugly site can be just as successful as a beautiful site. Both can also be failures too.

  7. Don M says:

    Maybe he is just keeping his biz secrets close to his chest, but it seems that he offers lots of contradictory information. At first he starts out how everything is smooth and how great Windows servers works. A little while later he talks about how he is slammed with traffic and is looking to expand his server layout. Then at the very end he talks about how he only works one every 3-4 days because it all just runs itself now.

    Maybe it is my law enforcement background but he kinda sounds like he is talking a game.

    But like I said, it could be because he is just keeping his business secrets to himself ….

    DM

  8. Paul says:

    I just think this supports my theory that you don’t need all the bells and whistles to have a successful site. Like anything, you need to provide something enough people want and they will make your site a success.

  9. Ugly html websites also do better than beautiful ones. This is what all the “scraper sites” have known for a long time. If you satisfy the user completely on your website (in terms of design and function), then she has little reason to continue on to the advertiser’s landing page.

    If the visitor lands on your page, doesn’t find what she’s looking for, but does see a highly targeted ad that matches what she’s looking for, she’s likely to continue on to the advertiser.

    At some point you could overdo it though, and end up with a website that people hit the “back” button on instantly. Achieving a CTR of 25% of over in Adsense is a good indication of a static html website that is designed just right. IMHO, of course.

  10. A.H says:

    Very inspiring story, thanks for bringing this up Darren, and great job on the podcast!

    - I think that what i’ll really take from this story is that it is possible to succeed when you’re on a “one man’s show”, i’m currently kind-of a one man show on two-an’-a-half blogs and i’m finding it pretty challenging.

    - We have to keep in mind that what we’re talking about is a website and not a blog, which means not a business that has to be updated daily/weekly in order to gain more visits, which is makes a lot of difference.

    - I’m not for ugly sites, and i’m not for over advertised sites, but recently i’ve seen a lot of sites with massive traffic (ranging from 17K-25K/day) that are over advertised and that don’t look too special, and they ARE making good dollars out of this thing. That’s why i launched a new blog which takes a very different approach of my other ones, but i prefer not to reveal it just yet =).

    Thanks again,
    A.H

  11. Ian says:

    Don’t waste 30 minutes of your life listening to this. I didn’t learn anything other than:

    a single person can run a multi-million dollar web site

    Lots of wasted time of poor questions and even poorer answers.

  12. A.H says:

    Ian: If it took you too long to learn that a single person can run a multi-million dollar web site then i don’t think i should take your advice, eh?

    And now that you’ve learned it, is it the feeling that you can’t do something with it that makes you come here and say these things? don’t you think it should be more encouraging than wasting your time?

    Think about it =)
    A.H

  13. Darren Rowse says:

    Sorry you felt that way Ian.

    While it might not have been scintillating interview technique I linked to it more for inspirational purposes than anything else.

    A story of a guy growing a one person business with a profit of over $3.65million in 2-3 years is to me an inspiration and the kind of story that I need to hear about from time to time.

    I also thought there were a few useful tidbits of advice in there for people starting out.

    Perhaps it was pretty basic for more experienced listeners but I thought it was a worthwhile interview to listen to as I worked yesterday. Sorry you felt your time was wasted though.

  14. Darren – thanks for posting the interview. It was inspirational. I used to frequent a blog a while back that was full of stories like that of Marcus, but sadly, like most sites, it did not survive. There aren’t many people out there making the kind of money he is,and it is extremly impressive that he is managing everything on his own. I don’t know of many other one person businesses that are as successful (taking away celebrities, athletes, etc.).

    Thanks again!

  15. Thanks for posting the interview Darren. I thought it was a very inspirational interview. Markus seems like a very down to earth person for the amount of money he’s making. You could tell by his tone how in awe Richard was of Markus. I think the best lesson I got from the interview was when Markus said he normally only works on his site for an hour a day. Now, for bloggers, we obviously have put in more time because of the amount of content needed, but I think it shows that sometimes we get a little too caught up in tracking every single statistic. Sometimes, it’s best just to sit back, add your content, and let your blog do a little work for you.

  16. Cary says:

    “Sometimes, it’s best just to sit back, add your content, and let your blog do a little work for you.”

    Couldn’t have said it better… it’s frighteningly easy to get wrapped up in re-designing, logging into AdSense obsessively, and following every other blog in your niche, while what you really need to do is blog, blog, blog :D

  17. My time was wasted two months ago when I saw the web site in question. The design is ugly, and the content is even worse. I didn’t click a single ad, and I haven’t been back since.

    That he’s making $10,000 a day makes me think of something P.T. Barnum once said.

  18. Vasia says:

    Thanks for this interview Darren.
    It is an inspirational and amazing story. Others have brought up some interesting questions. To expand a bit on a law enforcement fellow’s comment I would like to ask an “unthinkable” question. Do we know for a fact that this guy makes as much as he claims?

  19. Kudo’s to Marcus, he was the first and all they write about him is true. He was just at the annual Dating Conference in Miami last week. But there are other dating sites that have been around longer. My site is in the top ten of Google, MSN, and AOL for all the top dating keywords. I am the owner of SinglesCanada.com and have been on the net since 1998. The difference with my site (apart from a better look) is that we spell check profiles . Hey not all of us are great spellers, so why not help customers so they get an equal chance at meeting someone. We also send suggestions on how to improve their profiles as well as dating/relationship advice. Also we double review every ad as there are so many Russian, Ukraine and Nigerian scammers out there that are posing as Americans and Canadians and using photos they have stolen from the Internet. It is known in the Industry that they go to modeling sites and just copy photos from there to post on dating sites. Have you seen some of those professional photos on other sites? Our customers are very active in reporting the odd ones that slip through the net. The difference between a good site and a great one is actually listening to customers suggestions, getting a great design for the site, constantly making improvements, and most importantly responding to customers emails in a timely manner. That is why I am still going strong after 9 years on the Internet.

    Just my two cents worth.

  20. date free says:

    Does the guy still make that much money now, after all those years?

    I think his revenue is slipping fast cause i see that his alexa rank is decreasing.

  21. I’m perfectly willing to settle for $1000 per day myself.
    The Necro Files

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