When I was a college student, I became a big fan of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg & I wanted to create something like Facebook. I launched a social website in my college publicly at the age of 19 simply because Zuckerberg also launched at the age of 19! I followed what Mark did when he launched to ensure the success of my site. My website event was published in the newspapers! It became popular suddenly, but I failed to make it continue while studying in college. At that time I didn’t know how to marketing and business. My website gained 100k+ users after the big news & made some money, but I was a shy guy and failed to hire people to manage and marketing it. At the same time, I took another project (Right now I am working on that, Soon I will launch) In my final year exam I just shutdown the website. Now my social network website is not live.
I created my own social networking website and it changed my life journey entirely! I made a big profit within a few weeks that I never expected! I also got a vast experience in online business that I can’t compare with money. Using that experience and knowledge, now I have also been able to start another online business quickly.
Weekly, I spent just 1 hour at night writing 1 blog post to help people start their own online business easily. I do this because I want to share my story and experience and, also, you are not my competitors. After writing, every time I take a deep breath in and think to myself – Yup Today I helped some people.
The Social Network Website That Grew Before My Eyes!
When I was 18 years old, I read about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. At that time, he was the youngest self-made billionaire in the world.
I read the full story of Mark Zuckerberg. He launched Facebook at the age of just 19th. Within 3 years, he became a billionaire. His net worth grew exponentially, without needing to put in such significant effort like Apple, Microsoft, IBM, or other big companies had done.
I thought that running a social networking website would give me a high income without much effort. So, I decided to make a social networking website of my own like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr etc.
I started to think of new ideas, advantages, and disadvantages of Facebook and other popular social networking websites.
How I Started Making My Own Social Networking Website
This Decision Changed My Life Journey – But the Experience I Can’t Compare With the Money.
I read up about the youngest self-made billionaire stories. I read about Mark Zuckerberg more than a hundred times. He just launched his website, “The Facebook”, from his dorm room! He alone created a social networking website just by taking a little help from his friends.
So I was very confident.
I can make a social network alone..!!
I can manage a company. I wanted to launch my social networking website at 19, because Mark Zuckerberg launched in his 19th year too!
I had only one year of time to achieve my goal! Haha… Sounds crazy, right?
But I didn’t know how to code. So, I met a web designer near to my house. After discussed with him, I realized that I needed at least $2000. And, at that time, I had no money. So, I decided to learn Web Designing. You see, at that time, I knew nothing about Website Builders or CMS’s.
I joined 6-month course called “Diploma in Web Designing”. But I didn’t get enough time to study about web designing because I was also going to college.
I was shocked!
I learned that I couldn’t make a social networking website. I needed to learn Asp.net, MySQL, and PHP and more about hosting, online business, SEO etc.
Slowly I realized that it is too hard to get success in the social network like businesses. My dreaming and imagination were so powerful.
I left behind all of my negative thoughts. I started to learn MySQL and PHP. I searched for other online businesses. I got a good knowledge of Online Marketing, Entrepreneurship, SEO, starting a company, etc.
Then, one day, one of my friends who was working at Amazon told me about Website builders and the CMS.
Slowly, I understood that there was no need to learn coding to make a website!
I created a social networking website within 10 minutes!
That day, I cried for an hour. I wasted my life learning coding, but I finally had my website!
I learned so many tricks, tips, tools. Finally, I made a social networking website according to my new idea within a week..!
How I Made Two Social Networking Websites Within a Week Without Coding
Are you confused? I made a social networking site within a day using readymade functions! After that, I made another one in just 30 minutes. I even went as far as to make a step-by-step tutorial while I was creating my website!
Are you surprised?
Best of all, you can read that tutorial for free! Yes, you can see my tips for making your own website for free!
(Why I am giving this knowledge away for free? Because I want this site, WebsiteBuilderLy.com, to get more visitors and to become world no.1. If I made a paid video, then most people don’t watch and wouldn’t get the chance to learn these skills. This decreases My SEO.)
Here is its link – read my step by step guide:- How To Make a Social Network Website Like Facebook In 15 Minutes
But just making social networking website will not give you money. So, you should continue to read my story to know how I made money a few weeks after creating my social networking website.
Unexpected Experiences Through My Social Networking Website
I gave my social networking website’s name as: TanPage.com. After creating my “TanPage” social networking website, I discovered a big problem – how to promote and get visitors to my social network?
I never thought about this before creating the website. So, I told my friends, and a few of my friends shared my website link on Facebook.
I became so happy. I shared my website link to all other social networks. I was confident. I started to dream; one day or another, my website will give a lot of money.
My First Rejection
I shared my website link to all my social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Line, WeChat and many more. I thought I would get a huge amount of traffic, but slowly I realized that no one was coming to my website!
Now I started to imagine me as a third person to myself. Okay, I continued to my imagination, one of my friends made a social network. He shared it on Facebook. I don’t know what he has done. I just see that he shared its link like this – “Hey, friends! I created a new social networking website! It is more than Facebook or any other social network. Explore.. Come on! Click on the link.”
I will click and see. Oh..! Okay, so that my friend is close to me, then I may create an account. But after that…..what then? Tomorrow, I may Log In but if there is no liveliness on the site then why would I hang around? No one shared anything here. Because, in the beginning, there were only a few accounts. So, no activities! And so before long, I forgot that theoretical website.
I stopped my imagination. I then understood where I was going wrong.
My Second Rejection
I started to invite my friends personally. But their replies really just made me angry. Some of my friends told me things like, “hey dude, just create my account also.” They didn’t actually want to join. So, I stopped inviting friends.
My Third Rejection.
I was upset. But I never gave up.
I got an idea. I told about my social networking website to the principal of our college and I also requested to get permission to launch my website in the College Auditorium in public. But he didn’t have a good knowledge of technology, so he rejected my request.
How I Turned My Rejections Into Injections!
I never stopped my efforts. I analyzed what went wrong every time I got rejected. I observed a few website opening functions on YouTube. I also read about how Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook.
He launched at his college function hall with all his classmates. I’m a big fan of Mark. I also wanted to launch my social networking website in the same way what Mark did!
I collected a few influential people in our town. If they were willing to attend my launch, then perhaps the Principal would believe me & would give me permission to launch my website officially in the college. So, I just mentioned a few influenced people with silent behavior so that, if anything went wrong, then the harmful effect will be minimal.
I wrote and printed a letter with all details about my website, how it works, the advantages and the legal aspects. I also wrote how this would not be harmful to the college and society. I gave that letter to the principal.
I highlighted how the college could get benefit by launching my website. All media will make news about this so that our college would become famous. I also succeeded in convincing our college’s management department.
Finally, I got permission to launch my website publicly in the college Auditorium.
I was finally proud of myself – I’d turned my rejections into a success injections!
I also succeeded to get a day to launch as I wished. I took March 9 because, that day, at our college ground a cricket match was being held there. So, all local media would have come to our college anyway.
The cricket match usually takes the whole day, but my social networking website launching program would be complete in just 1 hour. If I took this advantage, I would be able to get more media and a greater Audience exposure to my program to our College Auditorium from the cricket audience.
I became so happy. I was happy for all my rejections, because, if I didn’t get rejected before then I may not have come up with the idea to launch publicly! I had turned all my rejections into powerful motivation!
I shared this news in my friend’s circle. Within no time, this news spread all over the college.
All my friends asked me if I needed any help with the launch. I took all of these offers as being to my advantage. One of my friends named Rohit Hegde came and told me that he had good knowledge about video editing and that he was interested in taking part in my project. He created an introductory video.
I met some of my relatives who work in newspapers and other social media platforms and got their support, too. I also invited our town news press to my social networking website’s launching function. With so many newspaper and media representatives, I would surely get a lot of advertisements without investment.
But, I completely failed in this task. I knew if I simply invited them to come along then they would never come. After all, at the time, I was just a college boy.
So, I decided to invite them as a special guest. I searched for some psychological tricks such as how to impress others by just doing simple tasks and changing the way I looked to others. It was easy, really – I just searched on Google and saw a few official letters, then I wrote and printed them very professionally. I included all of the necessary information and invited them.
I got a few newspaper editors’ addresses from the internet. I directly went their house and personally met with everyone. I invited each one as a special guest, and I also mentioned the interested influencers from my list, all agreed that they would come along to my program.
I was so excited. I prepared seminars and studied all tricks to get a good impression from news channels, papers, social media etc. I was fearful about my function, of course, because what should I do if no one attends? So, I just contacted my college G.S. and requested him to support me and I got permission to mention my social networking website launching program on the college notice board..!
Even then, though, I wasn’t satisfied. So, I requested to my class teacher to get more audience to my function and also I got an offer that during my social networking website launching program our class will not conduct. However, I faced a few technical problems at this time too.
Starting My Website and the Technical Problems As Run In Gum
My social networking website name was TanPage.com, however, if anyone searched for “TanPage” in the search engines, my website result link was only coming in 3rd place. So, most of the people were clicking the first and second link.
The first and second results were coming from another website similar to this name; for example, there is another website called Tanpages.com. However, most inappropriately, this seemed at first sight to be a Double X site! Fully naked girls’ photos were there – of course, this was very confusing to people.
I was so irritated. I wanted to come to my website link as the first result in the Google search results. A few of my friends laughed at me for this.
I feel like really fucked up.
How I Solved The SEO problem?
- I wrote many blogs on my website and gave many links to it.
- I also suggested that my friends should search TanPage keyword on their devices and I instructed them not to click the first and second results. Click only the 3rd result. Do this task many times. Thus, I increased click-through rates organically without paying anything! So, my website rank increased.
- I also suggested my friends should sign in with different emails in Google Chrome then search my website name and click on the 3rd result. They did this several times with different devices such as their phone, desktop, tablet, and using their parents’, sisters’, brothers’ and relatives’ phones and devices.
- I made local SEO in my town. So, if anyone typed my website name from a local region, Google gave my website first preference.
- I requested that people should search “site:tanpage.com” so that only my website result would appear on Google!
- I also instructed my friends to search different strings related to my website keyword. For example, “some name tanpage.com”. This meant that all results came from my website only.
- I requested a few bloggers to link my website with my website name as the anchor text instead of the URL.
Finally, my website came first within just 4 days. That was just 2 days before my launching program…!
2. Account Verification Emails Going To Spam Folder
In my website, after creating an account, an automatic account confirmation email would be sent to the user’s email. But this email was going to the spam inbox. I searched how to overcome this spam, but I never got a solution. I felt heavily distracted by this.
How I solved the account verification email spam problem?
Suddenly, I found a “Not a Spam email” option in Gmail. I got an idea. I instructed my close friends to go to their spam list and mark the TanPage email as not a spam sender. I got out of this problem after only 12 people did this. After that, my emails started to go directly to users’ inboxes. This happened just 1 day before my launch date..!
How I Launched My Social Networking Website Publicly In Front Of 1000+ People!
Most of the invitees had turned up. All attended, including the principal himself! Luckily, my friends had helped me to get more audience.
I was really surprised to see that huge audience. The whole auditorium was full. I didn’t observe anything! I took a long breath and started my seminar. In my presentation, I focused mainly on these things:
- Why my social networking website?
- How you can get more advantages than Facebook or Google+.
- I also showed my awesome videos.
At last, I got huge support and got long claps from the audience. I was so happy. All teachers and guests are wished me the best of luck with my site.
After my seminar, the media took an interview about my social networking website. I got questions related to the legalities, the site’s advantages, about my business, privacy policies, how much money I had invested, how many people were involved, my full story, if any accounts had ever been hacked, and if so, what actions would I take?
I answered all questions quickly. They asked a few difficult and technical questions, and admittedly, I actually didn’t know the answers to those questions. So, I answered that we have a team of experts. For any query, you can contact via our company email so that there was no need to worry about any such issues.
After Launching My Social Network, How I Tucked In The Biggest Victory Of My Life!
The next day, I was really shocked. All local papers were published with my news in it and a big photo of myself with my website. A few state-level papers also published my news and a national-level paper called the “DECCAN HERALD” also published my social networking website launching program news with a big photo.
I got hundreds of greetings and well wishes from friends and relatives through Facebook, messages, calls etc. I switched off my phone. I became a celebrity in my college (and I also got hot girls!) In a single day, my social networking website TanPage.com got more than 3,500 accounts and 500,000 hits.
But Server Loading Problem Made Me Mad
500,000 hits, but only 3,500 accounts. I began to doubt about my website because it had relatively fewer accounts compared to the number of website hits. So, I checked the whole website.
After I tried to login, it automatically logged me out my account! I was really shocked. I tried many times. But the same problem continued.
How I Fucked Up?
First of all, I didn’t understand why this was happening. I contacted my hosting company. As it happens, they were a very poor hosting company (although I won’t mention that company’s name because we made a non-disclosure agreement).
The hosting provider understood his mistake and gave all of my money back, including an extra $900 also. That’s what he took for security and maintenance.
In social networking like websites, security and maintenance are more important than any other task. Bluehost gives you free Security, Maintenance & everything with their hosting plan for just $2.95 – at that time, I didn’t know about this!
He said that upgrading the hosting plan was the solution. For upgrading, I needed to spend more money. I had no money at that time so I tried to get some investment – but I didn’t get any.
And so, because of that, I failed to continue my social networking website TanPage.com. So many people called and complained to me that they couldn’t create their account on TanPage. Once again, many friends made fun of me.
But the hosting company provider promised a 1-year guarantee before I purchased the hosting plan. That meant for a minimum of 1 year, I had no need to upgrade because the plan was unlimited visitors.
So, I asked why this happened? Why was the server getting down? They didn’t answer my questions satisfactorily.
Finally, I understood that they hosted in a poor cheap hosting and they didn’t give me sufficient space and bandwidth as they had promised before. (Because they never expected this huge traffic spike!) That hosting company was just a local company run by one of my friends’ friend – that’s why I took services from that company.
So, my dear readers, When it comes to business, choose the best service in the world, don’t choose the services/products just because the service owner has a good relationship with you. Make sure you’ve checked all features before taking any hosting plan!
If you want to make any type of website, getting the hosting company right is very important. I highly recommend Bluehost. All my websites are now hosted here. They give 24X7 free support with chat, phone call, ticket or messages.
How I Made Money From My Dead Website
I needed to answer to my parents about the money that I wasted (or invested?) for my website. But I was never afraid of my money.
I went to the hosting office with my friends for supporting me. I asked him about the failure of the server. I started to argue that he promised a 1-year hosting plan with unlimited! He said the website used a lot of resources. but within a single day, how was it possible to use up 1 year plan’s resources?
He had also promised that 25,000 accounts can able to run on this hosting plan. But only 3,500 accounts were created. I also warned him.
He agreed with me and he gave all my money back. I got a huge amount of traffic. So my website is valuable now!. We calculated website valuation.
I was shocked. The answer was $32,86,000. Within a week, That is over 3 million! I made that much of money. But the problem I then faced was – how to sell a website? Finally, I made a deal with him that he should help me to sell my website; in exchange for that, I needed to stop spreading bad news about his company.
I guided me about website for sale marketplaces. It is easy to sell a website on website buying & selling marketplaces such as Flippa, FE International etc..
But nobody interested to buy the website for $3million. No one responded!!!.
I decreased my pricing to 2.5 million, then $1.9 million. Then only 2 people responded that they may buy it for $300k & 50k.
Then FE International advisor helped me.
Since my website traffic was suddenly spiked and got attention on national news paper, my website sold quickly. Sold for $900k & they take 10% commission. I got more than $800k profit!. Yup – it was a profit within a week!
My aim was to make a billion dollar company. Regardless, I was somehow happy. I may not have succeeded in my online business, but I got a lot of experience that money can’t buy. This experience is much more valuable than what I lost
I never worry about my friends, relatives and contacts comments. Now, I’m planning my next big idea instead!
Jack is the Co-founder of WebsitebuilderLy, a Software Engineer from Standford University, An entrepreneur with 12 years of Website Creation, Management, Marketing Automation & App Development Experience. Worked for the world’s leading companies such as Roblox, HTC, etc.