Confession: I’ve been struggling with starting an online business since 2008.

Maybe you’re the same. Maybe not.

My first taste of success came with a site called It no longer exists, but for 3 years or more, I averaged $300-400 a month in AdSense revenue from the site and built an e-mail list of 2,500 – 3,500 subscribers.

Todd Temaat

"I’ve been messing around with starting an online business since 2008."

You may remember that 2008 was the beginning of the housing crash and there were millions of homeowners trying to escape from foreclosure. I did some keyword research and found that hardly anyone was offering a hardship letter sample that people could use to explain their situation. This was a key piece of the package they had to put together for the bank to save their home, but there was very little about it online.

I developed a sample hardship letter and put it behind an e-mail sign-up form. Because I was listed in the first or second position for almost any search term including the words “hardship letter”, people found my site organically and signed up.

I wrote articles based on the news of the day and sent an e-mail through my Aweber autoresponder every time I did. Subscribers would click to read the article and some would click on the AdSense ads. I would make several hundred dollars a month in the typical AdSense income model.

Through a combination of the government cracking down on foreclosure advice, AdSense becoming less and less effective and a number of life events, I finally shut the site down in 2011.

Why ConvertKit's Product Creation Masterclass?

Since then, I’ve pretty much stayed out of the internet marketing world until the last 6 or 8 months. And I’ve been struggling to figure out what I can do, what I want to do and what will actually make money. Which brings me to the ConvertKit Product Creation Masterclass.

Because I’m a ConvertKit affiliate, I got an e-mail last week giving me advance notice that they’ll be offering this masterclass to help beginners like me build their first product. You’re welcome to join and go through the class as well, of course, but as I thought about it, I decided to go through it publicly. More about that decision in a bit…

I’ve been working on an idea over the last few weeks about putting together a product or series of products. They would teach people how to use the themes and plugins from ThriveThemes to build their websites, e-mail lists and businesses. The problem is – I don’t know how to figure out whether it’s something that just sounds good to me or if it’s something that will actually sell.

I’m hoping the ConvertKit Product Creation Masterclass will help me figure that out…and you can come along for the adventure.

Key Takeaway

I thought that by doing the masterclass publicly, I could accomplish 3 goals that I know I need to work toward in order to be successful:

  1. Build an engaged mailing list
  2. Research my market and product thoroughly
  3. Help others like me reach their goals

By doing it publicly, I’m hopeful the little bit of peer pressure will make me dig in a do the work required. It will also give me a group to bounce ideas off of and ask for help.

My plan...and why you should care

​The Product Creation Masterclass will start April 24, 2017 and continue for 4 weeks. Everyone that signs up with ConvertKit will get an e-mail lesson every Monday through Friday. That’s 20 lessons full of impactful case studies and instructional how-tos to help us create our first product and start earning money. The lessons will also include interviews with industry experts and a free trial of ConvertKit.

​You may see other affiliates promoting this same masterclass over the next 3 weeks, but I guarantee none of them will be letting you watch over their shoulder as they implement the lesson material.

And none will be evaluating the course along the way, either.

​I have taken courses from Jeff Walker, Frank Kern, Ramit Sethi and others over the years, so I will be comparing, contrasting and adding bits and pieces of all that info into my daily blog posts as well. Remember the StomperNet guys? I have their stuff too…

​What else will you get by ?

I’m going to share all the inside details about my product, my mailing list and the reasons I choose to do some things and not do other things. If you’re familiar with Pat Flynn’s monthly income reports, it will be something like that…except right now I have no income.​

By signing up, you’ll also get notified by e-mail every time I post an update about the experiment so you don’t miss out on anything.

​Of course, if some motivated observers choose to sign up through my affiliate link for a free 30 day trial of ConvertKit and then choose to continue using the service after the free trial period ends, I could make some money, but we’ll have to wait and see.

​Hopefully, by the time that would happen, my product will be ready for prime time.

​Please leave a comment below and let me know what other stats you’d like me to track to make this useful for you. And if you’d like an e-mail every time I update them.

Stats (as of 4/1/17)





E-mail subscribers


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Experiment Posts in the Order They Happened

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