Who are we?
Over 15 years ago at a college in Chicago, Michael and Tom met in a sound design class when Tom caught a glimpse of Michael looking up modchips for the original Xbox online. A conversation sparked and an immediate friendship was born. After figuring out that the two had a lot in common there was no doubt that they had just met a lifelong friend.
While in college, Tom began getting interested in affiliate marketing. He’d been building websites for a couple years, but wanted to try his hand at making money on the web in other ways outside of just adsense. His first foray into affiliate marketing came during the online poker boom. He figured out a way to get quality sign-ups to online poker sites, that would pay him about $75 per real-money player. It wasn’t a perfect system, and it’s surprising that he never got scammed, but it worked for a while… and then online poker got banned.
Over the next couple years Michael began to get involved with affiliate marketing as well and the two began to try out a new system called BANS, which utilized eBay in order to make money. They each created their own sites in different, but similar, niches to see what methods would work and which wouldn’t. The sites were semi-successful, but nothing life changing.
At this same time Michael began to start his own tech company (which would later morph into a marketing company) and Tom continued working at his full-time corporate job, while working on websites in his downtime. He built an extremely successful fan website for the movie ‘Cloverfield’ which followed all of the viral marketing aspects of the movie, and was averaging around 40,000 visits a day leading up to the movie’s release date.
After ‘Cloverfield’ was released, the site lost its impact and fell to the side while another project came along, presale passwords. Tom built a very successful site that listed out presale passwords for concerts and sporting events, while redirecting people directly to Ticketmaster and Stubhub in order to get a percentage of the sales. This site worked for a while until Ticketmaster banned presale password sites from their affiliate program, which caused him to sell the site and move on.
While Tom was working in the corporate world and dabbling with affiliate marketing, Michael was busy building a business of his own. He started an IT company soon after graduating college, but quickly realized that IT can be pretty annoying so he wasn’t sure if he wanted to do that for the rest of his life. After seeing some of the small success Tom had been having, and through the gradual evolution of his company, Michael shifted gears and started offering digital marketing work to clients. Eventually he was able to move completely away from the IT/Tech Support side of things and fully focus on marketing. And after a few years he was able to bring Tom on as an employee.
Michael has built a successful digital marketing agency in the span of just a few years, and it continues to thrive and help clients bring traffic and quality content to their websites, but just like anything, it can get old.
After many years of working to build the company, it’s come to a point where it’s time to shift gears a little bit. They’ve gained all of this knowledge over the years and applied it to many successful campaigns for our clients, but they’ve never applied those same tactics to their own ideas. And that’s all about to change.
The digital agency will continue to support our clients and give them the attention they deserve, but they’re also going to be focusing on trying to build up something of their own.
Internet Gangsters is their way of documenting the things they are trying, to spread the knowledge that they’ve learned, and to help start a dialogue about the different things that are possible when it comes to making money on the internet.
So stick around, maybe you’ll learn a thing or two…