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Thread: Success Story - Casting the Net for money; From hobby to a steady 5-figures

  1. #1
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    Success Story - Casting the Net for money; From hobby to a steady 5-figures

    Spotlight :Casting the Net for money

    Samsul Zamzuri Abu Bakar, who works up to 12 hours a day on his laptop, has a monthly five-figure salary.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Fed up with day jobs and measly pay, a small but rising number of people have become full-time Internet entrepreneurs, some raking in five-figure salaries, often in the comfort of their living rooms.
    A popular Internet income generator is through the sale of advertisement space in websites and blogs. Others sell anything from e-books to software, either authored themselves, or through an affiliate programme.

    There are no statistics on the number of Malaysians who have gone full-time into online money-making ventures, although anecdotal evidence suggests more are doing so.

    However, before Malaysians start jumping on the Internet income bandwagon, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has a word of caution: Beware of online scams.

    "Surfers should not fall for get-rich-quick scams that are aplenty online. MCMC continuously monitors and acts on them," said a spokesman from the regulatory body from the communications and multimedia industry.
    But for those who have struck gold online, the returns are generous, not only in terms of pay.

    Most work from home, which means they do not have bosses breathing down their necks, don’t have to get stuck in traffic jams and can spend more time with their families.

    Liew Cheon Fong, who runs a technology blog (, claimed he was the first Malaysian to go into blogging full-time in 2005 in what started out as a hobby to share computing tips with friends.

    The Kluang-based 27-year-old computer science degree-holder posts a few entries in his blog daily. He needs to keep his entries interesting to attract web traffic, failing which his income could dip.

    One of his sources of income is Google Adsense, an online advertisement programme run by Internet giant Google. Liew gets paid whenever visitors click on advertisements placed on his blog.

    Website operators who sign up with Google Adsense display advertisements related to their websites. For example, a blog on pets may feature ads on dog shampoo or pet grooming services.

    Often, revenue generated online is in US dollars and credited into e-commerce facilities like PayPal. While Malaysians cannot withdraw money from PayPal accounts, many use them to make online purchases instead.

    Unless you earn a monthly five-figure salary like Samsul Zamzuri Abu Bakar, 32, a Sungai Buloh-based Netpreneur (see accompanying story). He has opened an account with a United States bank which allows him to withdraw earnings credited into PayPal.

    Then using his ATM card, he withdraws his money here.

    But Samsul, who co-runs several blogs on gadgets like handphones and digital cameras, said many people have the misconception that entrepreneurs making money over the Internet involve "just working a few hours a day and spending the rest of the time watching their money roll in".

    Samsul spends up to 12 hours in front of a computer, either liaising with his co-bloggers, marketing his blogs or simply surfing the Internet for ideas or to keep abreast with the latest developments in technology.

    There are also drawbacks when your sole income is derived from such unconventional means. A common complaint is erratic income.

    In Samsul’s case, revenue peaks during the Christmas and the US summer seasons when sales of technology items go up, while for the rest of the year, earnings can be slow.

    Last June, Liew’s income was badly hit when Google dropped his blog’s ranking, resulting in a drastic reduction in the number of visitors to the site. Liew has since recovered after Google upgraded his ranking. Now, almost a quarter of a million visitors go to his blog per month.

    Gobala Krishnan, 27, who sells e-books and software online, said it was more important to plan ahead and follow it through. Otherwise, his earnings would be affected in the long-run. He claimed to be making RM20,000 to RM30,000 per month.

    How does one identify online cheats, especially since some of the operators are based overseas?

    Krishnan offered his rule-of-thumb: "If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Just like any business, Internet business takes capital, time and dedication."
    From hobby to a steady five-figure income

    Email to friend Email to Friend Print article Print Article

    SAMSUL Zamzuri Abu Bakar, 32, gets puzzled looks whenever he tells people about his profession.
    He blogs, but for most people, blogging is a hobby, not a job. The economics graduate also does marketing but his neighbours don’t see him leaving home smartly dressed to meet clients with briefcase in hand, like most marketers.

    In fact, Samsul Zamzuri is often at his home in Sungai Buloh. He is one of a small but rising number of Malaysians who earns an income solely through the Internet.

    It started off in 2003 as a hobby for the technology enthusiast, then working as an internal auditor. His first website offered free downloands of software allowing Windows-run computers to have a Apple Macintosh interface. Both are rival operating systems.

    "After a while, my friend suggested I put up advertisements there. I signed up with Google Adsense and my first US$100 (RM350) cheque came six months later," said Samsul Zamzuri.
    As he devoted more time online, traffic to his website soared — and so did his income.

    By 2005, while earning about RM2,000 from his day job, Samsul Zamzuri was already chalking up between RM7,000 and RM8,000 in advertising fees from his stable of websites and blogs.

    In August that year, he took the drastic decision of quitting his job to focus on his online ventures.

    Now, he owns more than 15 websites and earns a five-figure salary. Some of the websites are on gadgets like handphones and digital cameras. He hires bloggers from countries like the United States, New Zealand and Ecuador.

    Samsul Zamzuri bears the costs of running the websites and shares the profits with his partners. All his marketing (to get companies to advertise) is done online.

    His top revenue earners are directory websites where companies pay to get listed, and are then ranked higher in search engine results.

    His number two money-earner is his first website (, the one which got him hooked into online forays in the first place. Samsul Zamzuri claimed he had been offered up to US$20,000 for the website, but declined the bid for sentimental reasons.

    His advice for those who want to follow in his footsteps?

    "When you start, don’t think of making money first. Treat it like a hobby. Be patient and hard working. The rewards are sweet."

    Liewcf's Blog
    The interview I did with New Straits Times (NST) has been published in today’s newspaper on Page #12, “Casting the Net for money“.

    NST Interview: Casting the Net for money
    Image: NST: Casting the Net for money

    The article interviewed three full-time Internet entrepreneurs in Malaysia: Samsul(Alang), Gobala and me(LiewCF). In the article, we share our stories and experiences of making money online.

    Read the article online at here and here

    Advice to make money online

    “When you start, don’t think of making money first. Treat it like a hobby. Be patient and hard working. The rewards are sweet.”

    Thanks, Alang. I totally agree.
    What you might not know behind the article

    I was contacted by Mr. Chow for the interview first and it had been delayed for sometime. Chow asked me for recommendations of other Malaysian full-time Internet entrepreneurs. I gave him a list and apparently he picked Alang and Gobala.

    Alang is my idol. He taught me a lot about Google AdSense. He was making $100 per day when I was still only $10 per day. Although Alang’s main income is not from blogging, he still inspired me a lot and has always been my target.

    To your surprise, both Gobala and me are from Kluang, Johor - a small town in the middle of Johor. So, move to Kluang and your children will become Internet entrepreneurs too! :P

    Gobala is a successful Internet Marketer as you can read in the article. He is making RM20K to RM30K per month. By the way, I haven’t met Gobala before.

    I was told by Chow that he is leaving NST. Wish him luck in his new journey. No, he is not becoming Internet entrepreneurs after interviewing us.

    Read also:
    - Kisah saya di NST (Alang)
    - NST Internet Home Business Interviews (Gobala Krishnan)

    P.S. Jenny How pointed out that is the only URL in the whole article. Strange.

  2. #2
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    (Alang) Samsul's Blog
    Kisah saya di NST
    May 11th, 2007 · 32 Comments

    Saya begitu terkejut apabila dimaklumkan bahawa terdapat cerita mengenai saya di MHI (Malaysia Hari Ini) pagi tadi. Sekarang cerita tentang pelaburan haram begitu hangat malah saban hari keluar di kaca televisyen, saya risau jika nama saya juga turut dikaitkan dengan perkara tersebut. Rupa-rupanya, bukanlah secara langsung berita mengenai saya di MHI, sebaliknya merupakan liputan berita hari ini di mana terdapat kisah mengenai saya dan usahawan internet lain di New Strait Times (NST).

    Sebenarnya 2 minggu lepas, saya telah diwawancara oleh seorang wartawan dari NST yang ingin mengetahui lebih lanjut tentang bagaimana menjana pendapatan daripada internet. Tujuan beliau adalah untuk menimbulkan kesedaran yang terdapatnya peluang sebenar untuk menjana pendapatan dari internet bukan hanya dari skim pelaburan sahaja. Dan artikel ini sedikit sebanyak menerangkan tentang apakah kaedah-kaedah tersebut. Walaupun sebelum ini saya agak keberatan untuk membenarkan kisah saya keluar di mana-mana penerbitan, tetapi untuk membetulkan persepsi orang ramai terhadap menjana pendapatan dari internet, saya sanggup berkongsi pengalaman saya. Selain saya, terdapat juga cerita mengenai LiewCf dan Gobala Krishnan.

    Bagi sesiapa yang membeli NST, anda boleh membacanya di muka surat 12. Selain itu, anda juga boleh membacanya di laman web NST.
    Gobala Krishnan's Blog
    NST Internet Home Business Interviews
    May 11, 2007 | By Gobala Krishnan In Internet Home Business | Comments(0)

    A week ago I did an interview with NST (New Straits Times) of Malaysia. You can get the full article here, but it looks like for the second time the NST editors did a massive editing job on my artice (the first was about MySpace). I’m considering if I should waste my time again in the future, maybe I should go to The Star they could probably do a better job

    Here’s the full interview, with some very useful information what was unfortunately left out:
    Full Unedited Version of NST Interview, 11th May 2007.

    How do you generate income from the Net?

    I am in the information marketing business, which means that I sell ebooks, software or any other solutions that help other business owners to improve their own Internet based business. As long as there is a need for information on a certain market, I will survey that market, find the solutions, package it and sell it on the internet.

    How much do you make (a ballpark figure if you do want to disclose the actual sum)

    I make between RM20,000 to RM30,000 per month, depending on the trends and the amount of sales. By end of the year my earnings will reach close to RM100,000 a month or hopefully, more than that.

    Based on your estimates, how many such people are there in Malaysia?

    As a matter of fact, I’m probably one the first people in Malaysia to conduct an extensive survey of over 1000 people in Malaysia who are interested in starting their own small Internet based business. From my research, the market in Malaysia is very new to the idea of making money online. About 67% said they have just discovered the idea, and have yet to try it. 33% said they have started in some way, and only 3% are actually making money from the Internet on a consistent basis.

    Most of these results will be analyzed and discussed in my upcoming book, which will be published around August 2007.

    What are their main sources of income (Google Adsense perhaps?)

    Google Adsense is probably the easiest way to make money online, as all you need to do it put some codes on your website and make sure you get as much traffic as possible to those sites.

    However, there are so many other ways. I have personally interviewed over 12 local entrepreneurs on my site and from that I can see that the other popular methods are selling on Ebay or auction sites, selling products via a dropshippers, selling advertising space, selling as an affiliate for a commission, and much more.

    So each person’s source of income varies according to what market he targets, and how he approaches that market.

    Tell us something about yourself (eg age, edu background, how you got started).

    I’m actually from a small town in Johor called Kluang, and that’s where I grew up. I graduated from Multimedia University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Multimedia Marketing. As relevant as that may seem, in 2005 when I decided to go full time with my own internet business I had to learn everything from scratch, by trial and error.

    Prior to that, I was working in Telekom Malaysia Berhad as a sales & account executive for almost 4 years since I graduated. I realized that a 9-5 job doing something meaningless was not what I wanted my future to look like, so I decided to take a risk and I can’t say that I regret it.

    What you enjoy most doing this?

    I enjoy the fact that every extra hour I put into my own business translated to more income for me. And you can actually see this happening in a few weeks or months, so you get a sense of closure and accomplishment.

    I also enjoy the freedom of time that I have now, to go where I choose, do what I choose, when I choose.

    What are the drawbacks?

    The drawback is that you’re now in charge of everything. If you fail to plan both short-term and long-term goals, it’s only a matter of time before you face difficulties in your business. But if you can have the discipline to do what you’re supposed to do every day, there are no drawbacks.

    It’s certainly better for me now than any job or business I’ve tried in the past.

    How do newbies identify money-making scams?

    Basically if it’s too good to be true, it’s a probably a scam. Anything that promises you can make money on the Internet without any capital or work is something you should be wary of. Just a like an ordinary business, it takes capital, time, and dedication to make it work.

    Gobala Krishnan


    Besides me, 2 other Malaysians were featured, Liew CF and Alang. I have a free podcast interview with Alang that you can download, and I also have interviews with Liew CF and many other Malaysian entrepreneurs on my Internet Marketing Malaysia site.

  3. #3
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    Wow. They are definitely admired.
    Maybe we can create a thread for those with 4 or 5 figures: "4 Figures Club" or "5 Figures Club" as thread titles.

    Who else have that figures?

  4. #4
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    Yo. That's Alang Our legendary webmaster, whom used to be a regular in this forum.

  5. #5
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    And also liewcf.

  6. #6
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    Hi Guys,
    WOW what a success story. Its good. Guys I also have some directories from where you will get information about drop shippers are as follows:

    Property Directory | Wholesale Billiards
    Wholesale Batteries |Stock Brokers Directory

  7. #7
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    I have my little own success story too!! Although small it's a personal success to me! I made USD 150 this month from Adsense!!

  8. #8
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    for me that's success story will not function at every one.
    but i also congrats them honestly
    i ost like to read people falls story,i have learn to avoid from thats

  9. #9
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    Good to hear some success stories

    It is encouraging for all of us to read success stories like Alang, LiewCF and Gobala who are milking the internet. I think most of their income comes from Google Adsense plus sponsorships but you need to sit in front of the PC most of the time looking for interesting articles to blog on.

    This is much better than working for other people, no more office politics and getting caught in snarling traffic jams. You are your own boss and you call the shots. There is flexibility in the way you work at home by blogging. Congrats to the 3 of them.

    Diana @

  10. #10
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