Here Today Gone Tomorrow

24 May

Sometimes opportunity presents itself and you need to take advantage of it. I tried to start early. I remember when I first was exposed to the internet just as I was entering high school. My first contact with the world-wide web was at school and I knew I needed to get it at home. I remember those early days when everybody was connecting through dial-up and it sometimes too minutes to download a picture.

Around that time I had some interest in cashing in on this fangled new internet. I started of by building a couple of rudimentary websites. If you like you can go visit CHRISNET, it still floating out there on the web almost 20 year later . Back then there wasn’t any fancy software for easy website construction. Everything needed to be coded manually and there were no shortcuts. As you can see my pages weren’t much to speak of. One dedicated to Teri Hatcher who made a come back with Desperate Housewives, and one to Kathy Ireland one of the Sport’s Illustrated models of the day.

I had also made an ill-fated attempt to make a sports page that would feature my weekly NFL picks, but that didn’t go very far. The funny thing is if you take a look at the pages they managed to get over 200,000 hits. Back then most web pages were made by independant users and they definitely looked the part.

Back then to know how many users had visited the site almost every site had a counter, much like the one my site had from Almost every site had one back then, these days they are seldom seen. I remember when my site first took off. Not many people were visiting my site and then I listed it on Yahoo. That was back when Yahoo was the big search engine, and it listed things through a directory rather than a search like Google today. That meant if you searched for Teri Hatcher there was a directory that listed the Teri Hatcher websites similar to the Yellow Pages. There were a few other search engines such as WebCrawler, Alta Vista, and Excite; but Yahoo was the real driver of traffic.

As soon as Yahoo listed my website I was getting 400 hits a day for my Teri Hatcher site and 50 hits a day for my Kathy Ireland site.  I actually can remember the day when the site got listed and I was shocked at how many visitors I was getting. I wasn’t sure if it was correct at first. At first I was just happy to have the visitors, but then an opportunity arose.

Sites began offering to put banner ads up on people’s web sites in exchange for a fee. There was a large number of these sites in the fledgling days of the internet, but I settled on one called The Commonwealth Network. You can still see the remains of the link for the banner on my web pages. Back then they were offering just about one cent for each page view. That is an unheard of amount in today’s advertising market. I signed up and I was earning around two hundred and fifty dollars a month.  That was good money for the amount of effort I had put into my sites, and I never thought it was going to end.

And then it ended. Sites that had been getting paid good money from these sites were considered no longer suitable due to content. Looking back it was obvious that many of these sites were paying at levels that were unsustainable. They wanted to get in and become the big players in the online ad game, but the vast majority of the sites faltered and are long gone.

Sometimes opportunities arise and the prizes go to those who are ready to step up and answer bell.


I tried a few other sites that were based on pay-per-click but nothing ever really panned out. The well had run dry. There was a brief period where the money was plentiful, but it was gone as soon as it came.



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