How I Became an Overnight Success as a Blogger

To hell with the years of sweat, frustration, and self doubt.

Travis Hubbard
The Startup
Published in
6 min readJun 24, 2020

By the Spring of 2002, I had built and sold a consulting company, and had recently gone back to work as programmer with a huge media company in the Ashburn, Virginia area. I was married with kids, house, pets, debt, the whole thing. I worked a LOT of hours, so many in fact, that I came home one night to find that everyone had moved out.

Just like that, my life was turned upside down. It forced me to take a long, hard look at myself, my lifestyle, and my career choices.

As a form of self therapy, I started writing. My first personal website consisted of a few static pages and an “info product” that I sold in an attempt to pick up a few bucks to help me crawl out of debt and start to piece my life back together. It was slow going to say the least.

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

Blogging. The Early Days.

Writing on the web was different back in 2003. WordPress didn’t reach a 1.0 release until January 2004, and even with that, who was using it? Not me.

So like many people back in the day, I created my sites using static HTML with some PHP sprinkled here and there to help boost my Google rankings.

Between 2004 and 2008, I poured my life into creating small niche websites in an attempt to sell products as an affiliate, and to pick up a little AdSense pocket change.

I must have been doing something horribly wrong, because my revenue/time equation told me I was earning around $10 per hour.

I would have been better off, both physically and financially, mowing lawns.

Now throw your hands in the air
And wave ’em like you just don’t care

Blogging Is Like Meth, But It Won’t Make Your Teeth Fall Out

Numbers don’t lie.

I often looked at myself and thought: “Dude, you are toiling away in your room like a monk with little to show for your efforts.” But there was something to show for my efforts, a little money coming in here and there…



Travis Hubbard
The Startup

Developer, writer, digital alchemist. 30 years in software. MEng Stevens.

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