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Contact Info

Backgrounder

 

 

 

Jeremy Schoemaker is a multi-millionaire, but all he wants is to get accepted to the University of Nebraska.

 

The 33-year-old President of ShoeMoney Media Group, Inc., has been asked to speak at the University of Nebraska several times.  But his application to finish his college education and get his degree keeps getting denied.  “I don’t know why,” he says.  “My GPA is okay.  Maybe someone from there will see this and let me in!”.

 

Schoemaker is not your typical Internet millionaire. Here are some reasons why:

 

  • He wants to get his college degree.
  • His plan was to be a stay-at-home Dad while his physician wife worked.
  • He enjoys making his employees millionaires.
  • He lives in Nebraska!

 

He says, “Each day of adversity I breathe a sigh of relief.  Adversity brings opportunity.”

 

As his more than 13,000 www.shoemoney.com blog RSS feed subscribers can attest to, this guy knows how to make money online.  But it wasn’t always that way.

 

In 1995 Schoemaker was an appliance salesman at Sears when a customer offered him a job at an ISP in Moline, IL. He was known to have “computer skills” as he spent most of his free time at work playing games. “I knew nothing about the Internet and had a very limited knowledge of computers.” The ISP had only Linux-based terminals so Schoemaker had to quickly learn system software, web server management and mail system management.

 

He left the ISP and went to college at a time when there was no such thing as spam or phishing schemes on the Internet. In college, Schoemaker founded his first business making Macintosh gaming sites. Those early sites became very popular and allowed him to practice his skills and focus his talents.

 

“I didn’t go to class much and instead was taking calls from companies wanting to advertise on my site. All these places had newly created on-line advertising budgets. With on-line advertising, they could see instant and direct returns from their advertising dollar. With the help of my wife and her stable income as a physician, I was able to make a break from corporate life and work full-time on my online businesses.”

 

For the three years he “attended college,” Schoemaker continued to run his business. Then the dotcom crash happened. He had failed to plan for the crash and didn’t have the money to pay for his hosting. “I had spent every dime I had as fast as I could.” With $250,000 in debt, he took jobs with Wells Fargo and Commercial Federal Bank working on Linux security. He also moved to Des Moines, IA and then to Omaha, Nebraska where he married his wife.

 

While working full-time, Schoemaker still had several sidelines.  One was buying computers to recycle and re-selling them on Ebay. He also launched a Website, www.nextpimp.com, a community built around mobile media.  Then Schoemaker started doing research on how to monetize his Website.  Today he receives revenue from the website in the form of direct advertising, forum subscriptions, donations, and contextual revenue via Google Adsense.

 

Schoemaker continued to do more research and learned how to make money through affiliates and Google AdSense. For a long time he was bringing in $1,000 a day with Google AdSense.  In fact, he holds the U.S. record for the largest monthly Google Adsense check (over $100,000).

 

He started his www.shoemoney.com blog in the fall of 2004. Schoemaker had just gotten back from his first-ever search engine conference, and blogs were a major topic.  He had a bad experience with Best Buy and made a video of the experience, which he put on his blog, and someone from 20/20 called.  The blog traffic increased from the 20/20 production.

 

Then Schoemaker sent a picture to several online friends of him holding his Google Adsense check for over $100,000.  The picture showed up on the Internet and someone else claimed it was his.  So Schoemaker put the picture on his blog, and the traffic really increased, and he got asked to speak at conferences.  He has spoken at national conferences such as the Ebay Developer’s Conference, Search Engine Strategies, the Affiliate Summit and BlogWorld and at many smaller conferences.

 

Whenever Schoemaker mentions a product favorably, sales go through the roof.  He mentioned one product favorably, and in one day that person registered $40,000 in sales.

 

And when Schoemaker mentions what he is working on, people listen. When he launched Auction Ads on his site in March of 2007, he had over 25,000 users in four months.  Many of his readers were very impressed by the growth and started making a run at buying the company.  This is when Schoemaker sold it to minority stockholder MediaWhiz. They bought him out in the fourth quarter of 2007 (only four months after the company’s inception!).

 

Schoemaker also turns down most advertisers for his blog.  If he doesn’t like the ad or what the company represents, he doesn’t let them advertise. “I don’t want to have editorial constraints or promote something bad to my readers,” he says.

 

“I like to inspire people,” he says.  At the recent Blogworld conference, he met a man who said that Schoemaker had changed his life.  The man was making three times as much money as he had before.  “That’s what makes my day,” he says.

 

Here is his Philosophy and Business Model:

  1. Embrace new trends and look for opportunities to exploit them. For example, SMG entered the ring tone market early, captured traffic and has monetized it. Finding angles and exploiting them for profit is a key aspect of SMG. Maximum and diverse revenue streams are built on fairly narrow marketing concepts that are then diversified. This is what Jeremy Schoemaker calls, “The Coke Theory. If you are already making Coke then you can make Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, etc. and turn a profit on those as well.” A company can achieve growth through small degrees of separation between sites, maximizing diversity within a small industry.
  2. Focus on what you know. From the beginning of SMG, Schoemaker focused on the aspects of marketing that were second nature to him. He built his sites on those natural marketing principles while running the backend. Web design was a secondary skill, so he focused on the marketing of the sites, which then built revenue. Later he would invest in a professionally done design. Schoemaker continues to focus on existing sites and expand their income potential by building a network of sites centered on a central theme. Again, the “Coke Theory.”
  3. Small changes can equal big revenue. Once a base of traffic and revenue is built, don’t be afraid to experiment with the site. Once the traffic is there, small changes in design and structure can make big changes in revenue. Ad placement, recurring subscriptions and affiliate marketing can ad value to a site without disrupting the base of revenue. Monitor revenue daily, even hourly to see how your changes have affected revenue. If it’s not working, you can always go back to the way it was.
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