It’s been a while since I was actually excited to write a blog post. I just finished reading Jeremy Schoemaker’s (aka Shoemoney) post with his very generous offer of not only paying for but getting someone a ticket to the 2008 SEO Thinktank event.Â This post is a look back on my history on the internet and also my entry.
1998 – As far as I can recall this is when we first had internet and only one phone line…those were fun times. I used to get in trouble ALL the time if my parents needed to make a phone call or if they went out they could never reach me because the phone line was always busy. They eventually tried just cutting off the service but of course I was already way ahead of them and had unlimited usage of NetZero. I forget exactly how but I think you could just keep making new accounts and get another 10 hours or something like that.Â
In 1999 NeoPets.com had just been launched and I got really into it. When I say into it I mean like hardcore. This is also when I first learned about HTML. If you have never played neopets than you may be lost but basically you have pets where you feed them and do other things. I remember being one of the richest players because I had a great system set up. I usually woke up early around 5am and I would play for 2-3 hours before school, come home and play as much as I could at night (it was easier to use the phone line early in the morning with everyone sleeping). They had this thing where the stores would restock items every 15 minutes or so and they would only ever stock like 1 of the godly items at a time so the first person in usually got it. I had sticky notes all over the border of my monitor with all the EXACT times the store restocked so I knew when to refresh and buy all the good stuff. I felt like a king on that game with all the wealth, yeah it was virtual and meant nothing but it felt good at the time. Also remember I was only 11 at the time. Oh yeah and if you didn’t notice I get addicted to things pretty easy (this will come up more and more later).
After I got done with neopets a few friends of mine were into a game called Diablo. I saw my friend playing it and decided to buy it. I had only been playing it for about 6 months when Diablo 2 came out which I immediately purchased. I want to state right here that Diablo 2 pretty much ruined my social life for my 4 years of high school. I do regret it but I also don’t because as I will explain in a bit it made me a lot of money.Â
So now that I was playing Diablo 2 it wasn’t until about a year into playing it that I got to know some more well known people and eventually found out about a popular forum where I joined and within a year or so was made a moderator. That forum soon died after and everyone moved to a bigger and better one where I became a higher up moderator very quickly. I actually moved up the rank quicker than anyone has ever done. I am still an admin on the forum to this very day but that’s only because it’s not devoted to Diablo anymore it’s a forum about everything. The forum is PostAbout.com and my username is Enzo.Â
I was that kid you always saw outside his house trying to sell stuff. I remember when we went to our cottage every weekend I would get out my old toys and anything I could find and try to sell them to people passing by. I have been always thinking of ways to make money since I was a little kid.
Now onto the good part and how I made a ton of money from Diablo 2.
After playing Diablo 2 for a few years and getting more involved and becoming friends with important people I eventually got in contact with one of the top “dupers” at the time (a duper was someone who knew how to hack the game to make duplicates of items). I got real lucky with this connection as only a handful of people knew and could even talk to a duper. I took advantage of this and started an online Diablo 2 Item store which is still running today called EnzoD2.com. I started EnzoD2 in 2004 with no money to invest and a very slim knowledge of HTML experience. My first website was so ugly looking I think the only reason I made sales is because I had items that nobody else had. I got in at the perfect time when the duper was doing exclusive “dupes” for people and I had a ton of godly items so I got a bunch of them duped for my store. When I made my first few hundred dollars in sales I invested it and got an actual nice looking web design with a custom built backend inventory system. Skipping through all the boring stuff EnzoD2 eventually took off and got very popular. Sales were averaging $2000 profit per week. I was working my ass off making sure orders got done quickly and support was taken care of. It was only a matter of time before I needed help so I hired one of my good online friends to take over and run the store for me. I trusted him with everything considering he had full access to my paypal account and I allowed him to pay himself every week. Eventually it was time for me to start College and after a few weeks I didn’t have the time to commit to the online business anymore so I sold the business to my friend who had been helping me run it for a while. To this day if you go on Diablo 2 you can ask pretty much anyone who “Enzo” is and they will know who you are talking about. I don’t claim it but my name is definitely one of the most well known and most players considered me to be the richest player of all time. I quit playing soon after my store took off because of lack of time.
Two years go by and so did many new website startups. I am a very impatient person and when I don’t see results soon I tend to give up trying. I have since learned to switch this habbit as I know that making websites successful usually takes a long time. I have made websites for pretty much everything. I can’t count how many forums I have made for numerous things. I’ve made top list sites, file sharing sites, etc. All of those really didn’t go too far except sell some banner ads and such. I scratched the file sharing site when bandwidth and storage soon surpassed any profit I was making from ads. I recently started up a image sharing website called PicPanda.comÂ less than 6 months ago and it’s actually getting popular. I have yet to monetize it and as it stands theres over 15,000 images uploaded and over 800 registered users. I either plan on trying to compete with flickr one day (yeah right) or selling it. I could talk about numerous other websites I have but most are pretty boring.
As it stands I am still a full time student in my Second year of Business Administration – Marketing (I took a year off to save money). I absolutely love marketing and everything to do with it. Since I started college a few years ago my life turned completely around and I am probably one of the most social people you could meet.
As far as my entry to Jeremy’s SEO Thinktank contest goes, I think the above sums most of my experience up. Since I live in Canada and being a full time student with little money I don’t have many opportunities to attend events which seem to all be located in the USA. I wanted to add that I only started blogging about 4 months ago and to be completely honest it was only because I stumbled upon Shoemoney’s website and saw his huge adsense check that I decided I wanted to get into blogging. So whoever you decide to bring with you Jeremy I wish them the best and I am glad this contest came up because I have wanted to do a look back on my history on the internet for a while now. I would love the opporunity to connect with the guru’s at SEO Thinktank and I feel I could learn a lot. I have lots of knowledge and stories to share with the online business world. I just turned 21 so I am legal to drink everywhere now. (BTW I can drive to Buffalo airport) =)