All right, today, I am going to put my cards on the table. I want to share with you the way we have been building our online company, M-35 since March 2008. At first (even before we had a company), it was just a fun project with no name. We created a financial blog (The Financial Blogger) to see how it goes. My partner already had a few websites of his own and we thought that combining our resources together could lead to something at some point in time. After a year of working together, he offered me the opportunity to buy half of the shares in his sites and a few months later is when we created M-35.
Even then, we didn’t have much of an idea of what M-35 would become. I remember when one of my friends asked me the fatal question: “what exactly do you want to do with your sites?”. Discouragingly enough, I didn’t have an answer. I just replied: “well, we are trying to make it fly”. Make it fly… that was the best answer I could come up with while talking about a project I’ve been working on for almost 2 years at that time… quite pathetic!
Fortunately, we found our way and we now know where we are heading. We have been discussing for quite some time about disclosing the way we manage our online company but now that we are established and that we keep on growing, we have decided that it was the time to share more about “the big picture”.
I decided to explain it as if it was a big company, but in fact, we are far from it! It just looks easier to explain that way!
This is definitely the core of our company; it generates the bulk of our income and it is also our main focus. In this division, we have 6 writers (including ourselves) and one editor (sorry folks, my English didn’t improve overnight, I have a good friend of mine helping me with this!). This is how we generate content for 5 blogs:
The Financial Blogger – Working 4 days a week, Earning 6 figure income
The Dividend Guy Blog – The Place for Dividend Investors
Intelligent Speculator – Stock picks, Stock commentary and Stock trading strategies
Green Panda Treehouse – Personal Finance for those in their 20s
Do Not Wait – Your Retirement Planning Resources (if you haven’t check it out yet, there is a big contest ending on October 31st!)
We also run smaller financial sites but since they are not developed (or abandoned for the moment), we will not discuss them in this post.
Advertising Broker Division
With strong online relationships with both French and English financial blogs, I was able to establish a few deals for 2010. While this is not a huge part of my time and I don’t know if this will create a steady revenue stream over years, making the link between companies and blogs is very interesting. It is a lot of work (since you are responsible for everything and you have to coordinate the whole advertising campaign). After a few deals, it becomes easier since you are working with an established process. I hope to be able to broker a couple of deals per year.
Surprise, surprise! I have never talked about us having sport related websites, right? This is more my partner’s side. Our biggest site is Tennis Rulz which is a great tennis reference. This site was created before the techno bubble (crazy isn’t?) and still gathers a lot of attention. We would like to have a hockey website (but that is only to buy hockey tickets through our company expenses 😉 ).
What is to come
For the first time of our young careers (but long if you consider the web industry 😉 ), we know what we will be doing in the year to come. In 2011, there are basically 2 things we want to launch along with growing what we already have:
#1 Offering products (ebooks, investment newsletters and probably a CFA website)
#2 Consulting services (not related to finance but related to novice bloggers)
Both resources exist already but they are done on a very limited scale. We will now use our knowledge to leverage those 2 projects and make our company even bigger. If you have any questions, please share them ;-D
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