Homeless Man Becomes a Millionaire Online

Mark Anastasi Explains His Online Business Success

Homeless man sitting on steps in Kiev, Ukraine
••• Hans Neleman/ the Image Bank/ Getty Images

Editor's Note: The following was an interview conducted between Mark Anastasi and Bryan Haines. Additional comments by Brian T. Edmondson are indicated in italics.

Bryan: How has the internet changed your life?

Mark Anastasi: Back in 2004 I was an unemployed security guard, $12,000 in debt, with no job, no money and nowhere to live.

The Internet allowed me to connect with millions of people, from around the world, that were looking for products to buy! By applying the marketing strategy suggested to me by my mentor – The Laptop Millionaire – my business took off like a rocket.

Mark's story is not an isolated incident. There are numerous people who are starting online businesses and making anywhere from a few hundred extra dollars a month to creating full-time incomes on the internet. Whether you are just looking to make some extra money with a side hustle or want to create a full-time income with your own business the internet is one of the most available vehicles to do that due to the low costs of entry compared to traditional businesses.

Bryan: What techniques did you use back in 2004 to go from zero to $10,000 a month?

Mark Anastasi: I wrote a 70-page ebook on alternative therapies, uploaded it to Clickbank.com, and started charging $67 per download. I was driving traffic to the website by spending $15 a day, approximately, on Google Adwords, and getting 200 to 300 visitors a day.

The simple method described above still works today. You can sell digital information products online (including ebooks) and utilize marketplaces like Clickbank (which is one of the most popular platforms for selling products online), or sell the products directly from your own site. While you can still use Google Adwords as a method to drive traffic, another popular option today is using Facebook advertising and usng banners ads on other websites.

Bryan: How sustainable was the income from your first project?

Mark Anastasi: That’s the most amazing thing. It peaked in 2007 with $462,000 in ebook sales that year – from a business I spend less than 2 hours a year on, but I still make money every single day, from that ebook and the other 26 ones that I uploaded on Clickbank.com.

Now, affiliates drive traffic to my websites, and they make 50% of each sale, but it’s completely on autopilot. Twenty-seven streams of passive income.

This is one of the biggest benefits of selling digital information products online. You work once to create the product, upload it, then there are virtually no costs associated with the sales... and it can be virtually automated. Recruiting affiliates and offering them commissions to help generate sales is a great way to reach more people and increase sales. When you are selling digital information products online you can offer very high comissions to affiliate partnes (50% or more) because there are virutally no costs associated to selling digital products.

Bryan: Which of these 32 ways are the most profitable? Which ones work best for you?

Mark Anastasi: Here is the list of 32 strategies that have been proven to work for myself and my students:

  1. Commenting on blogs, forums, Amazon, questions sites, Facebook Pages, YouTube videos (
  2. Twitter, the Twitter JV strategy, and the Twitter Direct Reply strategy
  3. Selling tweets and retweets!
  4. Pay-Per-Post (Blog hijacking strategy, or selling blog posts)
  5. YouTube! (Uploading videos to YouTube, YouTube video hijacking, YouTube advertising)
  6. Giving away viral ebooks that include affiliate links
  7. Selling ebooks on Clickbank
  8. Selling PLR products
  9. Licensing products, bundling them, and selling them!
  10. List building and email marketing!
  11. Solo Ads, Adswaps, and Joint Ventures
  12. Selling gigs on Fiverr.com, Buying gigs on Fiverr.com, and Fiverr Gig Arbitrage!
  13. Buying & selling web businesses on Flippa.com
  14. Webinars, webinar replays, and joint venture webinars
  15. S.E.O (get your sites ranked on the search engines, and get free search traffic)
  16. Review sites
  17. Blogging
  18. Selling online advertising
  19. Selling Leads! Also: CPA marketing
  20. Local Business Marketing
  21. Buying expired domains that still get traffic!
  22. Outsourcing! hiring outsourcers in the Philippines
  23. E-commerce sites (e.g. purepearls.com, bike gear on www.cyclestore.co.uk, etc.)
  24. Membership sites
  25. Facebook Pages (getting thousands of ‘likes’)
  26. Article marketing (e.g. ezinearticles.com)
  27. Selling products on eBay
  28. Selling deals on Groupon & upselling other services! (also: LivingSocial, etc.)
  29. Selling on the Amazon Kindle platform!
  30. Web TV shows & uploading content to iTunes!
  31. Pay-per-click advertising (Facebook Ads, Google Ads)
  32. Media buying

There are many, many more ways to make money online, but these are the ones that have been proven to work for my students and me.

While many of these methods still work today, I would emphasize that creating valuable content (in the form of blogging, podcasts, videos, etc.) still work very well, along with seeking out joint venture partners, and doing paid advertising on networks like Facebook and Google.

From the list above there are many free options to choose from if you are just starting out and don't have a budget for advertising. Once you start generating enough profits you'll want to begin investing in paid advertising which can grow your business much more quickly and is much more scalable.

The most profitable ones are probably WEBINARS, and MEDIA BUYING (this means buying a lot of cheap advertising online, and directing the traffic to highly-converting affiliate offers) .

I know this will sound like hype, but laptop entrepreneurs are making millions of dollars a year just with a laptop and an Internet connection, thanks to these two strategies. It is because these two strategies can afford you the most amount of leverage.

A lot of people make very decent money as well from offering Local Business Marketing services. You can make $30,000+ a month by setting up a company that manages the social media presence, SEO, and other Internet marketing services for business owners.

The strategies that work best for me include list building and email marketing, selling ebooks, and webinars. But then again that is because I enjoy the process of researching and sharing new content.

Bryan: Have you tried all of these techniques?

Mark Anastasi: I’ve tried 21 of the 32 selected strategies myself, but over the years I’ve tried a hundred more that didn’t work!

The key to being successful online is to try many things and keep moving forward if you fail. Sometimes you'll have to experiment with a few methods or make some tweaks before it begins to work. Most people get discouraged and quit to soon before finding success with an online business.

Mark Anastasi is the author of The Laptop Millionaire and is an online business expert. Learn how to make money online with Mark.