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Success Story: Mel Strocen
By: Developer Shed
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    Success Story: Mel Strocen
    by Kevin Bidwell

    Mel Strocen is one impressive guy. In the last eight years
    he has gone from a hobby to an online publishing empire of
    a dozen websites and hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
    Mel was kind enough to answer some questions for me about
    his success and how you can imitate his methods for your
    own success.

    1. How long have you been working online?

    Since about 1995. I launched my first website,, a
    search engine and web directory, in 1996. Initially, Jayde
    was little more than a hobby but, as traffic and interest
    grew, it began to take up more and more of my time.

    2. Is working online your full-time job?

    It is now and has been since 1999. Before that I worked at
    a full-time job unrelated to the Net and worked online
    evenings and weekends.

    3. What sites do you own/operate and what is the focus of

    Currently, my company Jayde Online, Inc., owns and/or
    operates a dozen websites with more on the drawing board.
    Five of those sites are web search engines, those being,,, and Two, and, are newsletter sites and focus on
    webmaster and online business related topics respectively.
    The remaining sites are a mixed bag: - newsletter directory and search engine - articles directory and search engine - directory of top-rated freeware
    applications FreeWebSubmission - free online submission
    service - similar to

    4. What were you doing before you were working online?

    I worked in the property management industry as a Regional
    Manager for 20 years. The job involved a wide spectrum of
    duties, ranging from advertising and promotion to hiring
    and supervising staff for commercial and residential
    properties across Canada and the U.S.

    5. What prompted you to start your online business(es)?

    Well, there was no one defining moment that I can look back
    to. It was more of a slow evolution where one thing led to
    another. As mentionned, I started my first website,, as a hobby. As traffic and interest grew, I
    began to give serious thought to how I could benefit from
    the site's increasing popularity. Back then, the Internet
    was still in its infancy and advice on making money online
    was scarce. Once I came up with a strategy that I believed
    would generate some revenue, I quit my job and started
    working online full-time.

    6. You have some of the most visited real-estate online.
    How did you create such a huge amount of traffic?

    One of the first things I learned online is that success on
    the Internet, whether you define it in terms of money,
    traffic or popularity, is all about numbers. Building and
    retaining traffic remains the number one challenge for all
    websites regardless of size. My approach to creating
    traffic is based on the implementation of 3 simple steps:

    Step #1: Creating and maintaining quality website content.
    Step #2: Developing, maintaining and leveraging online
    business relationships. Step #3: Using low or no
    cost promotion methods such as ad swaps, link
    exchanges, recirculation of traffic, discussion
    forums, articles, and press releases.

    A great deal could be said about each of these steps but,
    in brief, they summarize the traffic building strategy I've
    used on my websites.

    7. How many subscribers do you have to your various

    The number varies, but right now I believe it's somewhere
    between 700,000 and 800,000 subscribers.

    8. What were some of the keys to getting so many

    In general, the key is in the steps outlined above.
    Specifically, our web search engines have been the primary
    source for subscribers. Search engines attract webmasters
    who are trying to gain greater exposure for their websites.
    We try to provide that to them and then offer them
    additional information through our newsletters.

    9. What is the biggest break/smartest strategy you have
    used online?

    The smartest strategy has probably been creating websites
    that complement and support each other. Our search engine
    and newsletter websites are an example of this. Basically,
    it's an in-house linking strategy. Instead of relying
    solely on external link relationships to build traffic, we
    created our own internal and circular traffic flow.

    10. What is your biggest mistake?

    Well, there have been many, but I would have to say that my
    biggest mistake was buying opt-in email addresses to jump
    start the SiteProNews newsletter. A huge waste of money,
    although it seemed like a good idea at the time. The
    attrition rate was in the 95% range. The experience soured
    me on lead generation programs, safe lists and similar

    11. Who do you look up to online?

    I'm not sure I "look up" to anyone, but I certainly admire
    a number of people. Some I know personally and others by
    reputation only. Some I admire for their creativity and
    innovative thinking, others for their drive and hard work.
    A few of the names that come to mind are Jim Daniels, Mark
    Joyner, Shelley Lowery, Mike Banks Valentine, Mike Chen,
    Bruce Whitehead, and Jim Wilson who recently passed away.
    Do you have any "mentors"?

    No, I can't say that I do but, in the last 8 years, I have
    shared ideas with many of the great innovators on the Web,
    some of whom I've mentionned above.

    12. If someone were just starting out today, what advice
    would you give them in order to be successful?

    My advice would be that creative thinking, networking and
    hard work are still the keys to success on the Net. No
    other medium in the world evolves as quickly or offers such
    tremendous opportunities for the dissemination of new
    ideas. The Internet is the perfect vehicle for innovators
    to present new technology, services, products, programs and
    concepts to the masses. Anyone with a modicum of optimism
    and entrepreneurial spirit should be taking this vehicle
    for a drive.

    Thanks Mel!

    I have put together a small eBook with the inspiring
    stories of those who are succeeding online. You can grab
    your own copy of it here:

    Kevin Bidwell is owner of

    Kevin just finished a complete report on building a passive
    income. Grab your copy here:
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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