Interview with Randy Brown, website geek and guru

Randy Brown GrownUpGeek.comToday I have an interview with Randy Brown, man behind highly successful GrownUpGeek.com. Mr. Brown is the man whose free ebook How I Made a Successful Website in only 4 months inspired me to stop messing around with stock market earlier this year (a very good decision). It made me realize that Internet is one great, unexplored market and a great opportunity for an open-minded and ambitious entrepreneur. Websites today are piece of real-estate property and webmasters today are landlords of the future. Randy is one of the gurus of the trade and I am very happy for the opportunity to talk with him. He was very open and gladly accepted this interview.

What motivated you to start GrownUpGeek.com?

For a long time I wanted to create a website that I could point people to for answer to the questions that I got almost every day.. I am in the I.T. support field and it seemed like many people that were new to using computers or new to using the internet needed a place to go that was easy to use, where they could get answers to their questions & problems. It seemed to me that many of the "get help for your computer websites" were so jam-packed with advertising, small text that many people probably find them difficult to use - especially people new to the internet - so I felt there was a need for a simple, easy to use and easy to read website for "beginners". Once I realized that I could put advertisements on the website that could make enough money to cover my hosting costs, I decided to give it a try.

Do you currently own any other websites?

I have my blog, where I discuss what I'm doing at the website, etc. I also have one other website that has been on the back-burner for almost a year. On this other website, I have used the same formula - simple navigation, easy to use, etc, but the niche is the local area where I live. Because I have not invested much time or effort into the site, it gets very little traffic. I also started a forum a few months after I started grownupgeek.com, but that forum failed miserably, mostly because I did not have the time or energy to build it.

How would you compare a normal day job with being a webmaster of a busy site?

I still have my normal day job even though I made more from GrownUpgeek.com in the last three months than I made at my job, so every day I compare the two and ask myself why I still have the "normal job".. For me it boils down to stability and security. If I've learned anything since I started being a webmaster is that on the internet nothing is guaranteed and things change rapidly. Even though being my own boss, sleeping in as late as I would like, and working on my website in my pajamas would be nice, the steady paycheck I get from my job is also nice. Other benefits like health insurance and a retirement plan aren't so bad either.

Give 100% at work

What do you consider your most significant accomplishment as an Internet entrepreneur?

I think that creating a website with little or no knowledge of website building, SEO, Marketing, etc and being able to generate over $1,000 per month after only 4 months was a huge accomplishment. Having a website that at two years of age has over 14,000 active members and generates over $8,000/month with virtually no advertising or marketing costs is also an accomplishment that I am proud of.

What is the current state of your Internet ventures and what are your plans for this year?

The current state of my ventures is GrownUpGeek.com, and my other 'work in progress' website. My plans for this year are to continue to make grownupgeek.com more popular and profitable, start spending more time on my other website, and.... Drumroll.... QUIT MY JOB... I am also in the process of putting together an ebook (my 2nd) that I hope to have completed before the end of 2008.

What is the most used software on your computer? What about most used websites?

By far the most used piece of software on my PC and my iMac is Firefox.. The websites I hit the most are Google, Digital Point Forums, and a few Money-Making blogs.

You are proclaimed "Firefox Referral King". Can you tell me more about that?

When GrownUpGeek.com was 3-4 months old, most of the earnings were coming from Firefox with Google Toolbar Adsense referrals. The reason that I was able to get so many Firefox conversions was because of a simple method I invented to endorse the referrals. Google liked this method so much that they now it as an example in the Adsense help and support pages. Google also made me the very first Adsense Success Story based on referrals and of course, they could not have made my site a success story without blogging about it in the Official Adsense Blog. That my friend, is why I am the Firefox Referral King ;-)

I have a website where I wanted to try Firefox Referral Program. Last month there were about 5000 visitors and 95% of them used Internet Explorer. Yet, there were no downloads of Firefox. What would you do to improve that? :-)

I would endorse the referral more - you need to make your visitors realize why they NEED that free copy of Firefox.. Maybe your game works better with Firefox? Maybe your game ONLY works with Firefox? Your visitors are coming to play a game, so they wont just decide to try Firefox without a good reason - you need to give them that reason.

There are tons of information on how to make money online. If you had to choose just one source for newbies to begin with, what would that be?

First choice would be the DigitalPoint Forums. 2nd choice would be to find the blog of someone that actually does make money online, but does NOT do it by filling the blog full of spam and advertisements and read that blog often.. I can really only think of one like that.


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One Comment

  1. Jan 10th, 2008 3:53 AM

    This is a great post! Randy Brown really reveals a lot in this short interview. I've also begun to read his free eBook that you recommended. Thanks!