In a new series of articles comprising interviews, product reviews, and actual progress reports based on his own efforts and experiences trying to generate a genuine virtual income, Blogcritics writer Christopher Rose starts to explore the true potential, the good guys, the liars, and the charlatans of the online moneymaking webiverse.
From affiliate marketing to making and selling your own digital or physical products, Christopher is going to put his life and his own personal future on the line to tell the truth and report on the best and the worst online marketing people and products out there.
To launch the series, Christopher presents the first half of a two-part interview with one of the more interesting people out there, one Chris Carpenter, a young American who has gone from working as a waiter in Salt Lake City to living his fantasy beach bum freestyle life in Mexico through his clever take on using Google Adwords.
His first product was the highly respected and reasonably priced Google Cash e-book, which came out about four years ago, and his latest product is the rather more expensive and just a little bit controversial Google Cash Detective, which draws upon the work of his e-book and makes the whole process easier to implement.
Tell us about your background. Where are you from and what did you do before getting into the virtual income lifestyle?
I grew up all over the world. My father was a diplomat in the Foreign Service. We moved from country to country every three years or so.
I've always enjoyed the outdoors and have been an adventure nut since I was a child. I worked all sorts of temporary jobs and night jobs to try to keep my days free so I could do my adventure activities like skiing and surfing and mountain biking, etc.
As an adult I lived in Salt Lake City Utah at the base of the Cottonwood Canyons, working night jobs so I could ski during the days. I worked as a waiter, as a bus boy, as a bartender, all sorts of service jobs. The good thing about the service jobs is that it frees up your days for skiing and mountain biking, etc.
When and why did you start to look to the web as a way of earning a living?
The downside to working night jobs is that the pay is quite dismal, and you’re still stuck to one area since you have to show up to work after your ski day. So you don’t have a lot of money and time to travel to other ski areas. This for me was still much better than the alternative of working a 9-to-5 JOB, but as I mentioned, you’re still stuck. You’re barely eking by with money and you can’t do much adventure traveling since you have to go to work and you have limited funds.
That’s how it was for me five years ago. I was happy. I was doing what I loved. I worked so I could do what I loved: skiing, biking, kayaking, climbing, etc. But I felt stuck — no money, no time off from work. And I really wanted to travel the world going on adventures and doing the things I love. I wanted to go helicopter skiing in Alaska, surfing in Fiji and other places.
Those things are expensive though. So I got a real job and worked like crazy. I commuted over 45 minutes each way to work, and sat in a cubicle in front of a computer five days a week. I was only able to go skiing on the weekends. I became a “Weekend Warrior”. The idea was to work hard for few years and save up money and then go on a bunch of big trips. After almost a year of working like a dog and neglecting my passions – I managed to save a whopping $0. Yup, in fact I was $11,000 in credit card debt. Now I couldn't quit my job even if I wanted to, because I had to work to pay my bills and my debt. I was stuck in the rat race. And I was miserable.
I decided then and there that I was going to dedicate myself to finding the answer. How can I live my dream lifestyle of traveling the world and going on adventures? I searched and searched. Is it being a writer, or a photographer, or some sort of an adventure guide? Nothing I came up with satisfied the criteria of no time constraints, no money constraints, ultimate flexibility, and no geography constraints. I had pretty much given up and settled on the fact that I was going to be a 9-to-5 slave or work in a restaurant at nights so I could play during the days.