Who is Mike From Maine UPDATE: I got knocked down, but I got up again…and again…and again

It’s 10:40am on Monday, April 29th, 2013.

I’m at home sprawled out on my couch in Istanbul, Turkey with a cup of coffee, a glass of apple juice, and various empty cold medicine wrappers scattered around me.

I’ve got the flu. Boo hoo.

But I’m happy because I make money doing what I love.

There I am πŸ™‚
Photo on 4-25-13 at 10.51 AM #2

I wrote my original About me page back in July, 2012, but my “situation” has changed a lot since then.

For those of you who don’t know me I’ll give you a quick intro:

My name is Mike Thomas.

I’m originally from Bangor, Maine, but I’m currently living in Istanbul, Turkey.

Why Istanbul? Long story short, one of the advantages of working from a laptop is that you can travel. In 2008 I went to India for 3 months and then found myself in Turkey. Five years later I’m married to a beautiful Turkish woman and settled down.

I originally started MikeFromMaine.com as a travel blog to keep my family informed about where I was abroad. Unfortunately…or maybe fortunately…in July, 2011 ALL MY WEBSITES got hackedΒ and I had to start over.

Without really thinking about it I started using Mike From MaineΒ as a way to keep track of my spending while building Adsense niche sites. As most of you know, with all the shiny objects out there it can be really easy to spend thousands of dollars and have nothing to show for it.

I put up my first income report in October, 2011Β showing both income AND expenses.

Over the course of 2012 I continued building Adsense niche sites and documenting my progressΒ publicly as I built over 600 niche websites.

In June, 2012 I was able to report a profit of over $6,000 creating and flipping Adsense niche sites. It was then that I wrote my Outdated About Me page. It’s an interesting read, but keep in mind that it is indeed outdated.

Things were going well. At the end of June I was able to take a trip home to Maine to visit my family, and even go on a vacation with my girlfriend to the Turkish Mediterranean.
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By July, 2012 I made a whopping $13,000 in pure profit. All the hard work I had put into building websites was really beginning to pay off. I was at the point where the over $20,000 I had invested in building websites was now fully paid for. Any income that I was making now was gravy.

I did the only logical thing and doubled down on my investment by building more Adsense niche websites.

In August,2012 I did a complete redesign of the website. I also invested heavily in site creation, and thus only turned a profit of a little over $1,000. That was fine with me because I had been doing so well and I was investing in my future.

And then it all came crashing down in late September, 2012.

I was continuing on as normal, buying hundreds of new domains and starting to build them out into websites. Then the Google Exact Match update hit.

I lost about 90% of my Adsense income overnight when most of my websites lost their rankings in Google.

That was a truly difficult blow to my business. I even hesitated about putting out an income report for SeptemberΒ and thus waited until the end of October because I didn’t know how I was going to approach the topic with my readers.I was afraid that since I wasn’t making TONS of money anymore that my audience would abandon me or think of me as a failure.Β But I kept going.

I started The Mike From Maine Show, a daily interview program where I interview online entrepreneurs about how they make money online.

If I hadn’t started the show I don’t know what I would have done.

And actually my numbers in September weren’t that bad either. I made $2,603.40 in profit, but that would be the end of creating new Adsense sites.

In October, 2012 I was still able to make $2,480.55. Instead of selling websites that were making money, I repositioned myself and started selling fully-made websites that weren’t ranking. It helped to bring in some cash, but I knew that it wasn’t a long-term business plan so I didn’t put much energy into it.

The good thing is that my interview show had actually started producing an income fairly quickly. In October I brought in almost $800 in affiliate income from my guests’ products.

November, 2012 was a big shifting month for my business. Most of my revenue came in from affiliate income from doing interviews. My Adsense and website sales revenue was way down, but I was beginning to make it up with alternative revenue sources. Not all was lost.

In December, 2012 I spent over $1,300 on solo ads in an attempt to build up my audience for The Mike From Maine Show. I was able to increase my list from 800 to over 2,000 subscribers. I didn’t make any money that month, but I was able to increase my list by over 100%.

January, 2013 was the first month that I broke $1,000 in revenue directly from doing interviews. I could see that the increase in subscribers had a substantial affect on my income. Unfortunately the 1,200 subscribers were actually acquired at different times throughout January, but even so there was an almost $200 increase in monthly interview income.

In February, 2013 I spent almost $3,000 on solo ads to build my audience again for the Mike From Maine Show. I was able to add about 2,000 new subscribers to my list, so it cost a bit more this time per subscriber than in January. I wasn’t able to make a profit because of my increased spending, but I wasn’t bothered by it as I was investing in my business.

And then we come to March, 2013. My interview affiliate income increased by over $500 from February to almost $1,600. With the increased audience came increased income.

BUT MY STORY ISN’T JUST ABOUT INCOME…no, really, it isn’t πŸ™‚

I’ve shared my financial details with you in hopes that you’ll believe me when I say that “making money online” isn’t easy. It takes time, hard work, luck…and money. No one is going to do the work for you or sell you an income. I can’t tell you how many people have emailed me saying something like “I have $200 to spend. Can I buy a website that makes $100/day?”. It doesn’t work like that. If it was easy EVERYONE would be doing it.

But that being said, it’s not impossible.

I know there ARE WAYS of making a decent living online. I’ve personally done it. I’ve talked to over 100 other Internet marketers who have done it as well. And I want to help you do it too.

 

What is the Mike From Maine Show?

Now that you’re read my story you’ve probably realized that there’s a connection between my interviews and my income. I don’t try and hide this. Most of my guests who come on my show have something to sell. They come on to tell us their story about how they became successful online and then we also talk about a product that they have for sale.

Let’s get something clear: this isn’t a webinar where I’m just helping my guest pitch their products. I do my best to ask my guests tough questions about their revenue or any claims that they have about the product that they’re selling. I also do my best not to bring “sleazy” Internet marketers on my show. I’ll be the first to admit that a few have slipped through the screening process, but it’s a rarity rather than the norm.

The point is that I do my best to bring you quality interviews with AMAZING online entrepreneurs who give out tons of free info and the OPTION of buying their products. It’s been a successful business model so far for my audience, me, and my guests.

And that’s the show in a nutshell. I hope you enjoy it and if you ever want to get in touch with me please feel free to contact me using the chat box below or by sending me an email at [email protected] .

I LOVE my audience and I’m super thankful to everyone for watching!

 

Please leave a comment below and introduce yourself…I’d love to know who is watching πŸ™‚

  • Awesome Mike, It’s great seeing your progress month to month. I am working as much as I can each and every day to get rolling with my own show knowing there is the possibility of making a side income with hard work and consistency.

    Reply

    • John,

      I’m glad to see that you’ve started doing interviews. It’s not an “easy” way of making a living, but it can be really satisfying once you start making some of the baby steps toward success.

      Reply

      • Hey Mike I bought a few products from you and one of your bonuses was hoq you made $14Γ—Γ—.98 with 2 videos and it seem easy to do as you claim.

        This sounds intriguing and nice to promote and hopefully to make sales. Affiliate marketing I have never pursued. Question about the video’s, could these be created on you tube as a live event to increase in rankings?

        Reply

    • Thanks, Owen…I’m hoping that my story is a little boring for the next few months as I keep working on. 2012 was a crazy year for me with tons of ups and downs.

      Reply

  • This is one of the few internet marketing related blogs I follow and I love how you threat your readers.
    A few days ago my Adsense acc was blocked -_- Idk why this happend.
    Byebye Adsense, welcome affiliate.

    Get better soon Mike and looking forward for the new interviews.

    Reply

    • Sule,

      Thanks for following along.

      I’m sorry to hear about your Adsense account. Maybe you should start doing interviews?

      Reply

  • Through the thick & thin, your positivity & entrepreneur spirit has remained the same. That’s the lesson that we must learn from your experience. U r Right… it isn’t about the money, it is all about creating value & staying persistent in your efforts. everything else will fall in place sooner or later.

    Best wishes,

    Chet

    Reply

    • Chet,

      I’ll be honest and say it’s not always easy to stay so positive…especially when the bills start rolling in. My plan as of now is to keep the interviews coming and start releasing products in the near future to add new streams of income.

      Thanks for watching!

      Reply

  • Hi Mike
    We enjoy your interviews
    But can’t figure out why in way over 100 subjects
    that you have not jumped on at least one and proved by the income,
    that it works?

    Reply

  • Very interesting read, Mike! Looking forward to chatting with you more in the near future πŸ™‚

    Is time management an issue if you’re working on making products too? Also, I should know this but I don’t… Do you have VAs?

    Reply

    • Alexa,

      Time management is ALWAYS an issue when you’re self-employed. I’m still trying to master the art of using my time wisely.

      I don’t currently have a VA, but I have in the past. Eventually I’ll outsource some of the stuff I do for my show, but not yet.

      That being said, I have outsourced transcription, but I put it on hold last month to cut costs.

      Reply

    • Wonderful read, Michael!
      I’d like to know what is a “VA” ?
      + I’m planning on starting an interviews blog in ARABIC πŸ˜€
      Quoting your brilliant idea πŸ™‚ Especially, we have some great Arab Marketers πŸ™‚

      Glad to hear from you Mike :p

      Reply

  • Hello Mike,

    I just came across your website today while making a search for Andy Brocklehurst from Somerset in the UK. Since I’d never seen a video of Andy before (until now I’ve only purchased his products, which are excellent, and I was curious to watch your interview. Andy has a really great voice when he explains how to use his software, and I was very interested to see what he looks like in person. And I must say that Andy came over as a REALLY genuine person. So thank you Mike, it really made my day to watch your interview. I’ve also just subscribed to your newsletter by the way because I find it fascinating to see the people behind the products that I buy. It really helps me to connect to these people.
    Keep up the good work!!! You’re doing a great service to the Internet Marketing community.

    Steve
    Germany (although I originally come from Cardiff in the UK)

    Reply

    • Steve,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Steve. That’s one of the ideas behind my show…to actually SEE the people that we’re buying products from. You can really tell the GOOD GUYS from the SCAMMERS.

      Thanks for watching!

      Reply

  • HI Mike
    like your posts and honest income reports received a email from your self this morning with a sales letter about your is it affiliate marketing sales through click bank interested but have deleted email by mistake please resend if possible ? also surprised to hear that you live in Istanbul lovely city spent some time there about 25 years ago
    cheers
    peter McGrath

    Reply

  • Hi Mike

    I really like your interviews and you often manage to tease out the personality of the interviewee. This often helps the viewer make a decision about whether to buy or not.

    Out of interest can I ask what setup you use to record the side by side interviews – is it skype with additional software?

    Cheers
    Grahame

    Reply

    • Grahame,

      Thanks, I try my best to get them to open up.

      I use eCamm Call Recorder on a Mac to record the interviews. If you’re on a PC you can use Vodburner.

      Reply

      • Thanks for that info Mike. There are so many of these great little products about and without someone referring them, you just would not find many of them – even with Google.

        Thanks again.

        Reply

  • Hi Mike,

    I just gave up trying to find an email on your blog, so I’m writing here. I just saw you in a video review you made for Ray Valentine (on his solo ad page) and was wondering which tool are you using there that shows click tracking stats?
    Thanks,
    Ron

    Reply

  • Hi Mike

    Just found your site about a month ago and I love it. You Interviews are fantastic and very informative. In fact because of watching these videos I have purchased three of the products so far. “Covert Pinpress” “Adsense Avalanche” and Kindle Guru”.

    I am having fun trying them out, I am already working on setting up the Adsense product…and when I have that going the Covert Pinpress will be next.

    Keep up the good work man and have a great day

    Sincerely
    Robert

    Reply

    • Robert,

      Thanks for the kind words…and for supporting me through my affiliate links.

      It’s nice to have some words of encouragement once in a while…much appreciated.

      Mike

      Reply

  • Hey Mike…great site… Can you please tell me what kind of software you use to create the split screen interviews that you do? They look great and I’m been looking for a good one to use. Thanks so much. Doyle

    Reply

    • Thanks, Mike.

      I use Ecamm Call Recorder on a Macbook. If you’re on a PC then I suggest using Google Hangouts (but you won’t get the side-by-side look).

      Reply

  • Hi Mike,
    This is Archie, a Nova Scotian living in Bali.
    Discovered your site a few months ago. Your struggles are likely a good picture of how hard it is to make money online. Yet you did beat the odds.
    Your show is a very good way of trying to pick out the good ‘objects’ for sale on WSO etc. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

    • Archie,

      Ah, like me you’re living in a foreign country.

      You’re right that it’s definitely not easy to make money online, but if you keep at it there’s light at the end of the tunnel…but it takes TIME!

      Thanks for watching!

      Reply

  • Mike,

    Great way to show grit and tenacity. You would be a good fighter as you have a strong chin. I think this is the biggest difference between those that hope to make money online and those that do make money online.

    I look forward to interviewing you for my blog!

    Regards,

    Scott from Boston aka MASSMAN

    Reply

  • Heya Mike! Have a quick question for you, but first a preamble to give you an idea of my situation:

    I currently own a martial arts studio in Colorado, and have done pretty well creating an info product. The info product has sold about $2M but I’ve only gotten about $300K of that because I took on partners and had to share πŸ˜‰ I still get a royalty but need to supplement that.

    In about two years I’m looking to turn over my studio to one of my black belts, take my lovely wife to Central America, and get my feet in some sand. I wanna develop an income to take with me wherever I go.

    Recently wrote an ebook called, “Get Paid TODAY!” about structuring small bizzes to be profitable from the get-go… but it’s mainly predicated on starting up local sticks-and-bricks bizzes in the U.S., like my studio for example. I’m a little hesitant about completely uprooting and depending only on internet income while I’m abroad.

    WHEW. Long intro to my question. My question is this: since you interview so MANY varied internet income guys, where do you see online income going in the next two years? Where do you feel the best opportunities will be, and what would you stay out of? I don’t want to plan to get my income from a field that’ll be entirely saturated just two years from now.

    Would appreciate your input, Mike! Thanks.

    Keep Stepping,

    Kurt

    Reply

    • Hey Kurt, nice to hear from you.

      Congrats on your info product…$2m in sales is a HUGE achievement.

      So, where is Internet marketing going in the next two years?

      1. The Facebook ride is coming to an end

      Facebook has become a free traffic source for people creating pages and then marketing over and over to them like a list. That has worked for a while, but Facebook has recently changed their algorithm so that your posts published on your pages are seen by LESS of your audience. You can still get your message to them, but you gotta pay.

      2. Email marketing will continue to be the BEST way to reach your subscribers

      Recently Gmail changed their inbox so it’s more difficult for marketers to reach their audience, but even with that change it’s still the best way to get people coming back to your website and offers. For me my most important asset is my email list. If MikeFromMaine.com got hacked I could simply restart it and send people to the new site. Most of my traffic comes from email, and I’d be nowhere without my list.

      In short, I’d focus on having a website that you own and an email list. If you have that then you should be set.

      Thanks for stopping by πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  • Hi Mike,

    That was an inspiring story and refreshing to see honesty instead of an easy and incredible quick rise to riches. My name is Rav, and i have recently undertaken a mentorship with Marc Milburn.
    I think the “Mike from Maine” show is genius, and i like the originality of the idea. This is something i am trying to be from the onset and in to my first product.

    Keep up the good work, your stories help.

    Much Love

    Reply

    • Rav,

      Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to watching your journey, and hopefully, some day in the future, having you on my show.

      Good luck!

      Reply

  • Hi Mike – Just came upon your show in an interview on Tee Cash kit you did back in February. To be honest I got sucked in because you were from Maine (so good idea to keep that in your web name!), then I saw that you were from Bangor! Small world, I grew up just outside of Bangor in Winterport but spend most of my teen years and early 20s in Bangor (plus there isn’t much in Winterport so I essentially tell people I am from Bangor as well ). I am now living in Phoenix and planning a move to Portland, OR in 2015. Like to do lots of traveling and just getting into possibly some TeeSpring campaigns. I have dabbled in a few other entrepreneurial endeavors over the years but am most excited about Tee Spring.

    Looking forward to following you and seeing how you are doing, glad I found your site and good to connect with a fellow “Maine-ah”. Take care!

    Reply

  • Mike…
    What a pleasure speaking with you. It rare to meet someone as authentic and genuinely helpful. I have really enjoyed your programs. Almost ALWAYS come away with some kind of Internet Marketing guidance or tip. But, more importantly I always come away with a bit more confidence and hope for my future in this work.
    Best always to you
    Don McDermott

    Reply

  • Hi Mike,

    So great to visit back after almost 2 years and see that hard work and persistance pays off yet again. There are SOOOO many people out there wanting to make a quick killing, but you and I know that doesn’t exist so well done again and keep up the great work.

    Hard work and smart work will always win!

    Paul.

    Reply

  • hey Mike,
    your story touches the soul, the income brings curiosity because i ask myself questions on your advertising systems, i’m a believe in the truth , and being up front for me is also scary because i see how much we all spend and thew result of income not as promising as we would like.

    great to hear your story, i personally don’t do much with my show and i certianlly don’t interview as many guru’s, maybe the heavy hitters are right when they say there is a “shift in the industry” but what i do find also interesting that i can see right through some of their sales tactics because if they are jumping on the things that work, well i do laugh and ask myself have they nothing succewssful to show for their hard work.

    sorry this sounds confusing.. i see products selling online that i sell in the real offline world and now are being sold by Internet Marketers.

    would love to be in touch with you some time, you truely have seen and done a lot since 2011 , very impressive !! well done on the site.

    Reply

  • This is the most comprehensive site I have been to with links facts to back up everything you say. No wonder your audience loves you and continues to follow you. Great job Mike and I wish you the very best with more ups then downs.

    Reply

  • Hi Mike,

    I am a fan – I’ve been studying what your success has brought you and am just starting out at $0. Thank you for your advice and spirit.

    -J

    Reply

  • Hi Mike,
    Awesome and Valuable blog. Mike I’m new to IM and spent a lot (more than $500) purchasing courses and training. Nothing is working properly OR may be I’m not implementing them properly.

    But what I’ve learnt for not being able to get success is hopping around from one thing to another. You need to stick to something to yield good result out of it before you move to another.

    I tried clickbank but failed yielding no sale no conversion. Then CPA attracted me (Of course CPA is a very good place to make money). Learnt a lot about CPA. yesterday I purchased “CPA Givaway Frenzy”. Applied to CPA networks. Didn’t get approvals from any of them. (Don’t know how to get approved)

    I’m really in a mess Mike.

    Could you please help me out and give me a guideline so that I can stick to something which will give me positive results so that I feel more encouraged to move further with it.

    But one ting is for sure Mike, I’m desperate to be successful in IM and I’m not going to give up empty handed.

    Thanks Mike,
    Best Regards.

    Reply

    • San,

      When I got back into Internet marketing in 2010 I spent about $10,000 to $20,000 on IM courses and software. I remember at one point I was paying $150/month for a piece of software that I didn’t even use πŸ™‚

      If you want to be successful you need to pick one thing that really interests you and run with it. I know people making money selling books on Kindle. I know others who create software. I know others who make info products. I know others who sell T-shirts on Facebook. I know others who blog.

      The point is that you need to DO or MAKE something in order to succeed. You need to create something of value that others will be willing to exchange their money for.

      Also, you need to start treating this like a business and document everything. You need to have a public blog online where you document your journey. I’ve had a lot of success sharing my ups and downs. Now that I’m making $20-$30k per month people actually believe me because I showed when I was making $300/month or less.

      Build trust. Build loyalty. And build that email list…it’s the most valuable asset you have.

      It’s not easy to make money online, but it’s a lot easier than going to “work” every day and building someone else’s dream πŸ™‚

      Reply

  • Hi Mike,
    Inspiring story. I stumbled across your blog some time back when I was doing research on a product and looking for an honest review. Since then I come back to your blog and have actually purchased one or two things based on your review. I saw a product called Traffic Fusion recently and was wondering if you have any opinion on it. Thanks.

    Reply

  • Hi Mike: Just wanted you to know that I am really glad that I hear you now and really enjoy your show. It is wonderful that someone as sincere & honest as yourself can relay to all of us in internet marketing that life has it’s ups & downs. I wish you continued success and keep up the wonderful work. There are many of your loyal followers who get their inspiration in life from you.
    Thomas Jones

    Reply

  • Mike your site and story are amazing. You’re doing what I aspire to do. I wanted to ask you a question. There are so many products being pumped out, that it’s hard to keep up or make a decision on where you want to start. I love to write, I know I will want to set up a website and tell my story to the world. Is list building/affiliate marketing the way to go? How about cpa marketing. Also too, I saw another product called simple niche profits. That looks very good as well. I am just getting information over load as to how to start. I am willing and able to work hard, just wanted to know how to do it the right way

    Reply

    • Thanks, Jake!

      I personally believe that list building and affiliate marketing is the EASIEST way to make money online. Eventually you can start creating your own products and build your list even further. This is EXACTLY what I did…and it works πŸ™‚

      Reply

  • WOW I can totally relate to you with that 2012 EDM Match update – it took me from 20k profit a month to about 1.5-2k a month profit and just scraping by because I had just signed a year lease on an apartment that was in a pricey area. Looking back at it I’d never pay that much for rent again anywhere, but that resinates with me a lot man – I’m still working on getting back up from it because I haven’t yet completely got back to that level.

    Reply

    • Tom,

      Yeah, that Exact Match Domain update really messed up my business model. That stinks with the lease on your apartment. One thing I’m careful about now is to not live above my means. Even though I’m making quite a bit now, I never assume that I’ll be making the same amount in a month from now…anything can happen.

      Good luck moving back up to $20k/month again! If you did it once you can do it again…I know πŸ˜‰

      Reply

  • Hey Mike,

    Hope all is well!

    I just wanted to share some thoughts. Great blog, btw.

    I’ve been plunking around online for a number of years, but haven’t created anything out of it all. I am now, however, rethinking my own motives/goals. I am also in the real estate business (30 years), and that’s what keeps us fed etc. Dennis Becker mentioned to me, that perhaps that’s why I haven’t made any money with IM. Too comfortable…who knows…

    Although, we have lost everything twice in the last 30 years. So, I am still hungry. Having said that, the real estate market in the Toronto, Canada area has been exceptional, and rebounding from financial ruin can be quick if you’re a hard worker.

    I think it’s partially, that I haven’t found anyone that I felt I could really trust, who is actually reachable. On that note, Mike, I have really enjoyed your interviews, and appreciate the business model you’ve chosen to utilize. I like video, and I don’t mind being in front of the camera either.

    I purchased your latest product with Brett Rutecky (it’s an excellent product, btw), and through your bonus course that you included, I made my way here. It’s through that bonus course that a light bulb went on in my head. I feel there is hope for me, yet! πŸ™‚

    Keep well, Mike, and keep cranking out those awesome interviews! My best to your wife also.

    Cheers!

    Tony

    Reply

    • Hey Tony,

      Thanks for the kind words. If you don’t mind being in front of the camera then it’s a HUGE advantage as far as branding yourself goes. Let me know if I can help you in any way.

      Reply

  • Hello,

    I’m looking for something to make a little extra money on the side. Right now i’m a college student and I don’t have a ton of time to devote to online opportunities. Can you recommend an opportunity that doesn’t take a lot of work? You know, something that kind of “works on it’s own” after I set it up. Thanks

    Reply

  • love your interviews, inspiring. But Im busy too and maybe a couple times a month I have time to watch your past episodes. But one thing is driving me crazy–your banner ads cover up most the right side of episode list so I cannot read if I want to click that episode. Can you please reformat. thank you

    Reply

  • Hey there Mike,

    I’ve been following you for a few years and always admire the way you handle your business and have been so open about everything. The world of IM needs more of this.

    Haven’t been able to follow much lately as I’m putting most of my time into my own MMO membership site but just know you’ve been an inspiration.

    Reply

    • Hey Tony,

      Thanks for that…I think that the IM niche needs more transparency…it’s a dirty niche.

      Good luck with your website!

      Reply

  • Nevermind- the clickmagnet works fine on my computer, just not my phone- kind of weird. The entire email comes through just fine on my phone, just not the clickmagnet part. BTW- I bought it and I think it’s cool.

    Reply