The story behind Self Made Minds is a familiar one. A couple of guys got tired of the nine-to-five and wanted to make a living online and on their own terms. Al Carlton and Scott Jones started Self Made Minds to describe their journey in creating online businesses that can generate six figure incomes. The pair ordered up a ReviewMe review of Self Made Minds, and what I found was something that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen before.
Like John Chow dot Com, Except…
Self Made Minds primarily talks about making money online, different revenue sources, search engine optimization, and all that kind of good stuff. It’s a relatively young blog, having been around for about a month, but there’s already a good amount of useful information and commentary here on Adsense, blogging, and building traffic. The key difference that you’ll find, however, is the Self Made Minds does not depart into the world of food, cars, and scantily clad women like how you find on John Chow dot Com.
Instead, it’s all about making money online. They talk about money making tips, online business ideas, affiliate marketing, business news, and finding paid writers. You know, because a good freelance writer is hard to find.
Cream of the Crop
Considering that these guys are easily pulling in five figures every month — that’s in US dollars, although Al and Scott appear to be based in the UK — they know what they’re talking about when it comes to developing a website, building an audience, and then monetizing that traffic. Here are a few of the highlights that I came across as I perused the not-so-lengthy archive.
- How long will you trade hours for money?
- Revenue Sources for a $10,000 a month blog
- Why ethical blogging is good for your business
- Mini Sites don’t always make mini money
- Examples of Different Internet Business Models
You should also definitely check out the History of a $100K Site, an ongoing series that outlines the entire starting-out process.
So, How Do They Make Money Online?
Both Al Carlton and Scott Jones do not have regular jobs and they rely solely on their (online) businesses to “put bread and beer on the table.” While Self Made Minds itself is not shy about advertising, the real money comes from their several websites. One of which is Coolest-Gadgets.com, a site that — as you can probably guess — talks about all sorts of cool gadgets, like solar powered gear, spy stuff, and remote control toys.
Regarding Self Made Minds, they opted for a three-column WordPress layout wherein the column furthest to the right is dedicated solely to affiliate marketing. The middle column has the basic navigation as well as an Adsense wide skyscraper that blends in very well.
Got Your Mind Made Up?
There are a couple of curiosities that I must point out. First, while they know that the inline 300 box from Google Adsense is one of the most lucrative, Al and Scott don’t use it. Instead, they rely solely on the 160×600 wide skyscraper. The duo also knows not to put all their eggs in one basket, but other than the affiliate links on the far right, the only other advertising on Self Made Minds is Adsense (though there appears to be a fair variety on Coolest-Gadgets.com).
Second, because they only post once a day, alternating between Al and Scott, skipping weekend blogging altogether, I don’t think it is necessary to have the “read more” links for each post. John has mentioned this in previous entries on John Chow dot Com and I have to agree: Get rid of the “read more” unless you’re doing several entries every day.
Other than these two issues, I think that Al and Scott have a good thing going with Self Made Minds. They have a healthy level of traffic with plenty of comments from visitors, and I encourage you to add their blog to your daily stroll through the blogosphere.