How To Start An Online Business In 90 Days That Generates Profits

I love building (and buying) internet businesses.

I first learned how to start an online business 16 years ago and the thrill never gets old.

Some I have started or purchased have been amazing successes and some have been total failures.

It is fun to see that after starting an online business all those years ago, it is still possible to start a new online business and get to $1000/mo revenue in less than 90 days.

And when I say new I mean brand new. There was no email list to pitch to, no following, just a brand new website starting from absolute zero.

Introducing Adam White

My name is Adam White.

I run Prosperly, where I teach about buying undervalued websites and flipping them.

Also for fun I took two years off and went and wrote and directed a feature film.

How To Start An Online Business With An Idea

When you are looking to start a business online, you need to come up with an idea that solves a problem. From that point, you can work on how to get started.

I work in the SEO world and am always looking for ways to make the SEO process easier.

One of the main strategies I use to do SEO both for myself and for clients is to do authority guest blogging.

I won’t go into the many benefits of guest blogging here (one of which is link building), but I will explain a little later how I used it to drive targeted traffic and sales to my new website.

As I was doing SEO for many websites I kept trying to find an updated list of blogs where I could submit a guest post.

There are several blog owners who took the time to put together extensive lists, but as I went through the guest blogging sites, I noticed that about half of the blogs on these lists no longer accepted guest posts.

I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to verify hundreds of blogs.

 It got old really fast.
So I started putting together my own list.

Every day the list grew until eventually I had a list of hundreds of blogs that would accept guest posts today.

The list became very valuable to me and then I showed it to some of my SEO friends and they started begging me to use it as well.

I knew I had something that would help anyone interested in doing SEO but as the list got bigger and bigger, it became more difficult to keep track of which sites I had actually submitted to.

I decided to take the list and build some online software to manage it.

This way I could easily sort the list by categories, and add tracking ability so I could easily tell which sites I had submitted to.

I called a friend who was a programmer and within a couple of weeks we had built


How The Business Makes Money

Even though there were free lists out there, they were outdated and a big time waster.

I decided that I would keep the list updated but people would have to pay a small monthly fee to have access.

They would also get access to the submission tracking software that tracks:

  • The date of submission
  • The anchor text used in the link back to their site

Again, this was something I needed as I was doing SEO for my clients.

How I Got Targeted Traffic To My New Business

One of my SEO friends who was an early tester on the site loved it so much he decided to write a guest post about Guest Post Tracker as a new SEO tool people should try.

As soon as the guest post went live I started getting targeted traffic right away and people immediately started signing up. My new business was already getting traffic from one guest post.

 The conversion rate of the traffic from this one guest post was over 3% which is phenomenal. A typical (good) conversion rate ranges from 1%-2%.

I was really shocked to see the website performing that well.

Here is how I set up the sales page:

how to start an online business with my real life example

I decided to go with a 1 plan option to keep things simple and it seemed to work really well.

I knew that I needed to try to repeat this strategy again.

I contacted my SEO friend and asked him if he wouldn’t mind doing another guest post on a different site that talked about Guest Post Tracker.

He agreed and when the new post went live it was the same result; Another small flood of traffic and more sign ups.

The irony of this whole situation was I was actually using the huge list of blogs at Guest Post Tracker to find good guest posting sites where I could submit a guest post to drive traffic back to Guest Post Tracker.

It was proof for me that my new internet business was going to be something people would use.

My ‘Eureka’ Moment

The guest posting was a great way to get small bursts of traffic to the site but I wanted something more consistent.

I realized that if I had a constant flow of targeted traffic,  I would make money.

My long term strategy with Guest Post Tracker was and is to get great Google rankings so I can get free targeted traffic all day long.

But I needed revenue in the meantime. I didn’t want to do PPC because my price point wasn’t high enough to justify it.

In many of the websites I had built and run before I had been successful finding other industry related websites to advertise on, who would send me very targeted traffic.

 And that is when it hit me.
Learn how to start a blog that people notice in 7 days

There were several blog posts that ranked all over Google for the phrases I was targeting, that had an outdated list of blogs that accepted guest posts.

 What if I could advertise directly on those pages and steal some of their traffic.
I approached a few of the bloggers about advertising in the blog post.

Two of them got back to me and said they would do it.

The one caveat I had was that my ad needed to be in the body of the blog post, in the top introductory section. It needed to embedded as if it had been written by the blog owner as part of the post.

They both agreed and when we settled on a price they placed the ad and we were off.

This is what the ad placement looks like on one of the websites:

starting an online business is easier than you think

Between guest posts and these two websites, I started getting new signups every day.

All the while my Google rankings were slowly growing.

New Monetization Strategy

As much fun as it was to have one person after another signing up to pay a monthly fee to use my new website, I wanted to see if I could just charge a one time fee for lifetime access.

I recognized that if I continued to build up a subscriber base then the revenue growth could be exponential.

But for me, money now was more appealing than potential money later.

I made the one time fee a price I thought that would be greater than what a monthly subscriber would be worth.

I started testing different lifetime prices. And people still bought.

I only made one change to the sales page (the price):


Once I started doing one time fee pricing, the revenue started to jump dramatically.

I went from about $140 in January (site went live in mid Jan), to $220 in February and with the new one time fee pricing, the revenue jumped to over $1100 in March.

Now it is a matter of driving more targeted traffic, and finding the perfect price point that will maximize revenue.

It’s not just a matter of charging as much as possible.

I also want to grow my customer base so I have a strong base of people who know and trust me and will buy from me again when I launch any new amazing SEO software (hint, hint).

Wrapping It Up

I have to say I have been really surprised at the quick success of Guest Post Tracker considering the lack of a following when I started.

It has taught me a couple of valuable lessons-

  • Build products (or businesses) that you actually want to use and people will buy
  • You can start earning good revenue quickly without PPC, SEO or having an existing audience

Now my main focuses on the site are to build the SEO and to tweak and test to increase conversions so that revenue will improve and the website will become a more valuable asset.

Do you think I made a mistake switching to a one time fee for lifetime access?

What else can I do to drive up traffic and revenue? Matthew Note: you could make it an annual subscription

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

94 Responses

  1. Ujjal Dey

    Amazing post surely inspires many people…

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 22nd, 2020 at 12:12 am

      I certainly hope so.

  2. Cwangee Cwangee

    Such an amazing post,,, Thanks for sharing…

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 22nd, 2020 at 12:12 am

      Happy to help!

  3. Smishhra

    Thank you for this wonderful & helpful ideas…

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 22nd, 2020 at 12:12 am

      No problem!

  4. S Mishra

    Very informative post,really liked this post… Thanks for sharing.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 22nd, 2020 at 12:13 am

      No worries – hope you found it useful.

  5. Sanjay Mishra

    I just want to say thanks for your wonderful ideas…

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 22nd, 2020 at 12:18 am

      No worries Sanjay – hope you find it helpful.

  6. Idris

    Hey Adam, I am one of the subscribers with lifetime access…. The idea of guest blog db was amazing so without thinking much I bought it…

  7. Sila Mahamud

    This is one of the best tips to start online business within 90 days.Thanks for your nice information and that would be great tips for the newbie business man. Thanks a lot for your great information.

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 12th, 2016 at 11:27 am

      No problem Sila :)

  8. rationalweb

    Excellent post and good summary..Thanks for sharing!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 12th, 2016 at 11:28 am

      No problem :)

  9. Casey

    Hi Matthew,
    I have recently created an e-commerce website for an existing business with no website. The website is very industrial in nature and I have had trouble finding an affective way to generate traffic and particularly potential customers. The tip I see coming from most SEOs online is to “Find where your potential customers are online and start making connections.”
    My problem has been I can not seem to find these people ANYAWHERE online, despite the fact I have managed to find other online stores selling the same products.

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 12th, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Have you tried looking for relevant Facebook groups?

      • Casey
        July 12th, 2016 at 12:11 pm

        Yes I have. And it could just be that I am not very good at navigating on facebook, but I have not managed to find any.

        Thank you for responding, and for all of your helpful blogs!

  10. Klaus

    As Alex was mentioning about “missing answers”, I feel that this question:

    How to come up with your own online business idea

    Was not really answered in the article?

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 16th, 2016 at 11:55 am

      In the article it was explained that in the field he works in (SEO), he was trying to make the process easier which gave birth to the idea.

      So in think about how you can make things easier

  11. Malik Sharjeel

    I AM Looking this kind of post thanks alot admin :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 16th, 2016 at 11:55 am

      Thanks for reading Malik!

  12. Alex

    How to start an online business that makes $1,000 per month
    How to come up with your own online business idea
    How to instantly generate traffic to your new business
    How to instantly increase revenue by 512% with split testing

    Where are answers? =(

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 7th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Did you read the full post?

  13. Mohit Gangrade

    Hey Matthew,

    You always publish awesome content. Adam did a really great job with buying adverts.

    I will be launching my first business by the end of this month and I am really excited to use Guest Blogging to drive some revenue.

    And if the budget allows, I will also try buying adverts on blogs relevant to my industry just like Adam did for Guest Post Tracker. =D

    Keep kicking asses.

    Mohit Gangrade

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 6th, 2016 at 9:01 am

      What are you going to launch Mohit?

      • Mohit Gangrade
        June 6th, 2016 at 10:47 pm

        It’s a SaaS product that will help you collect more leads from your site :)

        • Matthew Woodward
          June 7th, 2016 at 9:01 am

          Nice looking forward to seeing it :)

  14. Nasser

    Mathew Woodward,
    first of all i would like to say very much for your information,which you sent me. I am studying now the whole information and ideas in order not to have issues when i start.I am really happy to have you i should say and you have really pure Heart , I like your character and your attitude because you like to help people. To be honest with you this crazy world needs people like you.
    Best regard

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 1st, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Nasser, I wish you the best of luck in your future projects!

  15. Ferzy

    Interesting concept for sure, glad to see some innovation here. I think it’s an useful addition to the arsenal of anyone doing seo, but perhaps some filtering and segregation is in order?

    I see that Techcrunch is on that list, big PR agencies and well funded startups have trouble getting featured on Techcrunch, it’s almost impossible for someone who does “guest blogging” to score a guest blog there, despite the fact that they have a submission page.

    Still great work nevertheless

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 27th, 2016 at 10:33 am

      Well yes just because you apply for a guest post never guarantees it, and honestly you should see some of the requests I get – they are shocking to say the least and this is just a small blog compared to someone like TechCrunch!

  16. Richard Kearsey

    Hey Adam,

    Nice post and it is really helpful for small business owner.How can they get the traffic to the website.I am going to bookmark this blog post and waiting for the next.

    Thank You.

  17. Bethany Thomson

    This sounds very interesting …. I`ve tried to start own business in 5 areas, but I failed every time ….

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 25th, 2016 at 10:09 am

      What do you think the reason for that is?

  18. Michael Ullman

    Having done a somewhat similar resource guide (not for guest posting), I tested similar pricing strategies.

    What I found was that, despite the need or desire for ‘cash now’, if I priced at a higher-but-one-time fee, I painted myself into a corner: having to support the already-paid users with potentially no ongoing revenue if new sign-ups stopped.

    One legit argument against flat-fee pricing is that there is no financial incentive to continue supporting the product.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 25th, 2016 at 10:11 am

      That is very true indeed! What pricing strategy did you eventually settle on?

      • Michael Ullman
        May 25th, 2016 at 10:48 am

        After doing the math every which way, I opted for 3 payment options: monthly ($37/mo.), 6-month ‘pre-pay’ discount ($185, or monthly x 5), and 12 month ‘pre-pay’ discount ($335, or monthly x 9).

        The breakdown was: 65% chose monthly, 10% went for 6-month discount, 25% went for 12-month discount.

        • Matthew Woodward
          May 26th, 2016 at 10:22 am

          That is fantastic information, thanks for sharing!

  19. Elvis Michael

    Adam, great stuff.
    The psychology of pricing can be a very scary, but interesting thing. I have been reading up on it, and it’s amazing how (sometimes) the overall customer base improves once you increase the prices, because it essentially weeds out the complainers and cheap people.

    I believe it was Ryan Biddulph that increased his Kindle book prices from 99 cents to 9.99, and buyers still kept buying or even increased.

    1. Did you notice whether your signup rate increased after you increased the prices? (due to higher perceived value on the buyer’s end)

    2. Did you notice whether the refund rate remained the same/improved/worsened after increasing the price?

    Keep it up!

  20. Ivan

    Awesome post…

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 19th, 2016 at 11:40 am

      I hope it inspires you Ivan!

    • Adam White
      May 19th, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      Thanks Ivan. I hope it gave you some actionable ideas.

  21. Ste

    Adam, something you might want to look into is that your payment system is in USD and a US address payments ystem. So if someone from outside the US wants to pay by debit/credit card for your lifetime access plan and doesn’t have a US address they can’t proceed…you’re potentially missing out on major income there…and just lost me as a customer.

    • Adam White
      May 19th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. Thats definitely something I will look into.

  22. Brucode

    Hello Matthew,

    Guest posting is a great idea that I already heard but when I had tried it by request to submit my post it was not accepted by the even single site administrator, Although I just tried 4-5 sites then I decide to stop trying guest posting. Now after reading your blog I want to try it once but have not a collection of sites can you please suggest me some free sites for guest posting. I already check a sites list which you mentioned but it is not free of cost, initially I want some free sites for practice.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 19th, 2016 at 11:45 am

      It sounds like you need to improve either the quality of your pitch, or the quality of your post, or both :)

  23. fastfixiebikes

    Great software , at least as an idea.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:27 pm

      I think the execution is awesome as well :)

    • Adam White
      May 17th, 2016 at 8:16 am

      Thanks. It fills a need in the marketplace which is why I think people are willing to pay for it.

  24. Michael

    You are going to build more revenue if you make it a subscription model-the email list will allow you to build consistent income, plus affiliate revenue from site content – I guess you could offer services also. I am looking at the ‘Freemium’ model with locked content-do you think this is a viable business model, rather than charging upfront?

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      Or even a completely done for you service which could easily command a $997/mo retainer

      • Adam White
        May 17th, 2016 at 8:17 am

        Yeah I have offered the “Done For You” service on another website I owned and then sold. It was very successful.

    • Adam White
      May 17th, 2016 at 8:15 am

      I havent tried the Freemium option but it would be smart to test it. My motto is test everything.

  25. Darren

    Hello Matthew,

    I clicked on the link for Prosperly but it doesn’t appear to be active, it goes through but i am greeted by a message that says “This mailing list is not currently active.
    Please notify the website owner”. Just thought I would let you know in case you are not aware of this.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      It’s working here, do you mean the actual site or when you try to opin on prosperly?

    • Adam White
      May 17th, 2016 at 8:14 am

      Darren, yeah I noticed that too. Thanks for the heads up.

      • Darren
        May 17th, 2016 at 9:52 am

        Hey no problem Adam, i’m no expert when it comes to marketing but if I can help in any way I will.

    • Adam White
      May 17th, 2016 at 8:29 am

      If you click on the form on the right side bar or on the popup window, both of those are still working. Trying to get the top form fixed now.

  26. joe

    I like your post,How can i make money online

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:31 pm

      Do you have an idea?

      • joe
        May 17th, 2016 at 6:47 am


  27. Casey Gentles

    Hey Adam, this is a great post and as it relates to the price point, I would give two options. One for persons who can’t afford the yearly/lifetime access so they can pay monthly with the option to upgrade later and one for those who want o get the huge discount upfront.


    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Yes that would be a good pricing strategy but I don’t agree with lifetime access as a long term pricing strategy

    • Adam White
      May 17th, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Casey, thanks for the idea. I have tried both of those options. What I am testing right now is how long those people that signed up for the monthly actually stick around. Once I know their value as a customer then I will have a better idea on what the lifetime price should be.

      • Casey Gentles
        May 17th, 2016 at 8:48 am

        You are welcome Adam. Another thought that came to me is that you could also have a list of premium sites (higher quality blogs) as an upsell for a slightly higher price. I know a lot of persons would take this upsell because everyone wants a link from a high quality blog. Not saying the other blogs are not but the ones in the upsell could be classified as A-listers if you get what I mean.

        Good luck though and come back and post and let us know what worked best for you.


        • Adam White
          May 19th, 2016 at 12:42 pm

          Would love to do a follow up at some point. Thanks again Casey.

  28. Stan

    Great stuff Mathew. With so many out of date databases out there for Guest Posting, a well oiled and regularly updated list will always be a welcome tool for SEO management.
    Well done, as always, you delivered.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      It will indeed, however – I cannot take any credit for this one :)

    • Adam White
      May 17th, 2016 at 8:24 am

      I’ve been called Matt before. Doesn’t bother me. :-) Glad you like the site.

  29. Fraser Hulbert

    Hey Matthew,

    Do you have any particular method of coming up with new business ideas?

    Also, what software do you use to build a new website?


    • Fraser Hulbert
      May 16th, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Also, do you use web designers and sales copy writers?

      • Matthew Woodward
        May 16th, 2016 at 8:35 pm

        I do all of my own sales copy but for design I use templates where possible :P

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:34 pm

      Just browse around forums and find common problems that are easy to solve.

      I like WordPress myself but there is not a one size fits all glove and sometimes you need to go custom dev!

      • Fraser Hulbert
        May 17th, 2016 at 1:53 am

        Okay thanks!

        Where do you get your templates from? (e.g. GetResponse, LeadPages, Optimizepress)

        • Matthew Woodward
          May 19th, 2016 at 11:45 am

          Templates to do what?

          • Fraser
            May 19th, 2016 at 12:27 pm

            For web design

          • Matthew Woodward
            May 20th, 2016 at 11:15 am

            I just use any WordPress theme that is responsive, clean and simple

  30. Sanjay Banerjee

    sounds good

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      That’s because it is =D

  31. Hung Pham Viet

    It is a excellent idea to monetize a site, thank you.

    • Adam White
      May 19th, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Hung, Im glad you like it.

  32. Tausif

    While reading the post midway my thoughts were exactly as Mathew said in his note. Make it an annual subscription of $17-27. This will help a new person exploring into the online world reducing his investment ($20 is also a great deal to a newbie).
    YOUR PROFIT: You get a regular flow of money and it does not stop after a year or so but keep on increasing as the subscription will be auto renewed. So the people not usingyour list will also be paying you year after year.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 16th, 2016 at 8:31 am

      Yeah I think that is the smart move going forward :)

    • Adam White
      May 16th, 2016 at 10:04 am

      Tausif, That is an interesting idea. I tried annual subscriptions one other time on a different site and when the renewals started hitting it seemed to create a ton of customer service headaches for me. It was a totally different industry and the price was higher. Is there a good way to avoid the headaches?

      • Tausif
        May 16th, 2016 at 10:25 am

        Hello Adam,
        First of all, glad to see an engaging writer.

        As far as headaches are concern, I am assuming them to be cancellation related. If the product is low cost and high value you are rarely to see cancellations as the user base does not notice auto renewal unless they dig in their balance sheet (happened to me).

        Keep the price of the product less and the value high (continuously updated list). Also engage with your subscribers with new features or new categories (niches) they can post is as guest bloggers. This will help develop confidence and reduce cancellations drastically.

        • Matthew Woodward
          May 16th, 2016 at 8:35 pm

          Great long term strategy :)

        • Adam White
          May 17th, 2016 at 8:22 am

          Great ideas. Definitely worth a shot.

      • Mike
        May 16th, 2016 at 11:30 am

        Simple; make re-occuring anual paypal or cc has to be valid at least two years or really really cheap monthly 5 dollar or less. or offer at 60 day no cc offer. if they stick around after they wil pay forever.

        plus where is this tutorial ? How To Start An Online Business In 90 Days? There no link on this post.


        • Adam White
          May 17th, 2016 at 8:21 am

          Those are good ideas I can test out.

          This post is the tutorial on how I did start an online business and made $1000/mo in less than 90 days. :-)

      • Rick
        May 16th, 2016 at 12:08 pm

        An extensive FAQ and Knowledge Base can do a good job on keeping clients from hitting you up all the time Adam. However, they do take some good amount of work to create.

        Also put a note on the contact page that you will get back to them in up to 3 business days or more (and put a link for the FAQ+Knowledge Base with a good CTA), since people want fast answers to their questions they will think twice before getting in contact directly and will check out the Knowledge Base/FAQ.

        A good example of a great KB is MailChimp. Go to their website and click on the menu item “Support” and you will see a great example of “Self-Service Support”.

        When the business get into a point where you don’t want to answer the questions anymore (because they are too many and too frequent), hire someone from the Philippines part-time (like 1-4 hours a day) and you will be fine. The cost of a VA from Philippines is pretty cheap, so that will not mess up your ROI.

        • Matthew Woodward
          May 16th, 2016 at 8:32 pm

          Awesome additional advice Rick!!

        • Adam White
          May 17th, 2016 at 8:20 am

          Rick, thanks for the idea. I guess what I meant by customer service headache is people forgetting they had a subscription and then coming to me upset because they got billed again. But I guess that headache is worth it if a large portion of the members that renew.

          • Rick
            May 17th, 2016 at 10:55 am

            Oh, about that you can schedule an email for 51 weeks after the subscription / re-subscription to remember for the customer about the rebill. If your service/product is really good and useful, there is no reason for people to do not renew their subscription.
            I think you would need a programmer to do a customization combining your email marketing tool API and some other API like the one from your payment processor (like the Paypal API) for this idea to work. You can find cheap programmers on Upwork, I recommend the ones from Romenia, there are some good ones from India too (especially companies, just make sure you check out their portifolio/reviews before hiring).

What are your thoughts?

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