Irwin Dominguez’s Story: Accountant To Internet Marketer

Being stuck in a career that you don’t like is tough. But, leaving it all behind to try internet marketing would be considered by many to be an extremely risky move.

I gave up being an electrician to go internet marketing… My thinking (at the time) was that, if this internet marketing didn’t work out I could always go back to the trade. So, I didn’t think that it was a risky move at all.

Irwin gave up being an accountant to live his dream of building profitable businesses online. He has built a successful Amazon review site and also has a website giving people some great advice on changing careers. I think this website has some great potential, but first let Irwin tell you his story…

Irwin’s Story

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Irwin Dominguez

Irwin Dominguez

My name is Irwin Dominguez and I live in Southern California.

I am a full-time internet marketer. I quit my career as an accountant in December of 2012 because I couldn’t stand accounting any longer. Plus, I love business; especially how business works on the internet.

I love to run, play basketball, hang out with my wife and read about internet marketing.

I invested in coaching to build Amazon review sites (4 or 5 months at $297 per month.

Also, I paid some guy recently $1,500 to coach me on how to make a product to show people how to build amazon products (it’s going to be a WSO from Warrior Forum). The big thing he’s going to show me is how to do webinars and sell the attendees on coaching. This fee is per month and I already regret paying him this amount in the first place. I’m just hoping to break even after making the product. I’m currently working on a video course.

I’ve also made money with eBay, Craigslist, etc.

I currently make money online as an Amazon Affiliate with most of the income coming from a review site I built from my coaching. I have made a decent amount so far, more than enough to cover for the coaching I paid initially.

I started making decent money on the site in February of this year. I made about $480 in February; I’m currently at $1,200 for March (month to date) and I believe I can make more per month if I can improve conversions.

Although the site is experiencing success, there’s a lot more work that needs to be done because some reviews aren’t converting when I believe they should.

I don’t want to be a full-time affiliate (only). I want to help people/ solve problems that I believe the internet can solve.

I built a niche website ChangingCareersAt30.net. I was getting about 1,200 uniques/ month until Google tanked my rankings on a few longtail keywords. The site is crap, but the traffic (when I was getting it) is so highly targeted. I surveyed the visitors when I was getting traffic and most of them want to change careers, but don’t know what they want to do.

I believe this niche is hungry for information and I can help them (and make some money at the same time).

I have A BUNCH of ideas; too many to be honest with you.

I won 2nd place in a startup competition here in San DIego called Startup Weekend. The idea was to help people who forget to cancel their free trials (think Netflix and Amazon Prime) and to help people manage their subscriptions. It’s called Subscribify. The developer has been busy lately so the project is on hold, but that’s just an example of the kind of ideas I have in my Evernote.

I definitely want to make more than any doctor or pharmacist, and I want to work when I want to work, which is a lot because IM doesn’t feel like work to me most of the time.

I definitely want to make AT LEAST 6 figures a year, it would be great if it would be by the end of 2013 (6 figures in revenue would be fine for 2013).

Relying solely on Amazon for a living is too risky for me. I have to diversify my income stream.

I’m a hard-worker, I know good money can be made online. I’m passed the most difficult part, which is believing that money can be made online. However, I know for me to get where I ultimately want to go, I will need coaching.

I have what it takes to make it to the next level. I’m ready for this; I’m all in and I will do whatever it takes to avoid working a dreaded day job again!

Thanks again for this opportunity.
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My comments to Irwin

Great story Irwin and congratulations on the awesome success you have had, in such a short period of time.

It sounds like your bases are covered with your Amazon review site, so I won’t comment on that. You are right though. An Amazon review site is risky because you could spend all your time and effort building a $10,000 or more per month commission from Amazon, and have it all taken from you overnight.

Relying on any one thing in business is a recipe for disaster. Amazon can change the rules and your income could stop overnight. Hopefully this never happens, but you must prepare in case it does…

Moving on to your ‘Changing Careers At 30’ website. This is an awesome idea because you are solving a problem which presents itself to many people. I have 2 sons who are 19 and 16 and they are trying to make a decision about going to university. I have spoken to many people who have done the whole university thing, started work and then realized they didn’t enjoy the career.

It seems like this is a big problem and many people are scared about having to retrain and start all over again, in a new career. Your website could be the perfect resource to help them out.

It sounds like you know that the website needs to be upgraded. If you could share what your thinking is, I’ll do a critique of the site in the next post.

Cheers
Ian

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  • Irwin

    Hey Ian,

    I had no idea you were going to post my story on your blog! This is exciting, not only because I get to learn from someone as experienced as you, but because it’s “open book” and whomever wants to learn from this gets the opportunity to do so.

    Okay, on to the details about the website:

    I started the website a little over a year ago as a niche adsense site. I learned a few things about building niche adsense sites from Trent of Online Income Lab back when he was teaching people how to build niche sites not too long ago.

    I wrote the article that’s on the homepage targeting the keyword ‘changing careers at 30’ and I wrote the other five or six articles targeting related keywords. The other one to two articles on the site was written by someone I found on Freelancer.com I believe. Those articles also targeted related keywords.

    The last time any content has been published was ~ June 2012.

    The articles are low quality, especially the outsourced articles. The header was done courtesy of a Fiverr gig.

    Shortly after letting the site sit for a little bit and earning a few dollars from adsense, I decided to drop adsense and focus on list building and amazon affiliate marketing. I found a “crappy” PLR book on changing careers and I changed a few words here and there to customize it for my needs.

    I thought the book was crap and I felt bad for giving it away, but I was so busy with other things I didn’t to just let it keep going.

    I grew a list of about 70-80 people, but the open rates on my emails were low, somewhere around 10% I believe and it’s probably a combination of a poor giveaway, poor copy, and waiting too long to email the subscribers (there would be a month or two lag between emails).

    I felt really bad giving away a crappy ebook, especially when some people would email me asking for advice on changing careers. One guy in particular said “my ebook” is the reason he has confidence he will find what he wants to do with his life one day (he’s studying to be an attorney but he hates it) . That was the final straw and I knew I had to stop giving away the crappy ebook because I felt bad. Plus, I was a using a pen name and not my real name.

    I felt bad because I changed careers in my 30’s and I really feel for these people that are confused with their careers.

    Around this time, I’m getting around 1,300 uniques/ month.

    I stopped giving the ebook away and decided to do a pop-up survey to ask people how they were feeling about their current career situation.

    About 80 people answered and a majority of them said they’re currently in careers they don’t like but they don’t know what to do.

    I had a plan to drop the pen name, use my real name, and make a quick video to show people who I really am and that I can help them. The video is still on the site right now.

    I tried to continue building a list with that video, but only 1 additional person opted in.

    After that, I got sidetracked with other things. I decided to play around with some CPA offers (currently on the site) and had 1 whopping signup so far.

    Also, all of a sudden, immediately after turning on adsense again on the site not too long ago, my daily uniques went from ~70 or so to now less than 10/ day. What a coincidence with the big G!

    So this is where I am with the site. Barely getting any visitors now and the current content on the site sucks. However, I know there are people in this niche that need help and like you mentioned, I believe this site can be the answer (after it gets a lot of TLC, of course).

    Sorry about the novel, I just felt like giving the whole story with the site.

    Let me answer some of your questions in your email:

    – I’m targeting the United States right now, but I’ll help as many people as I can if possible.

    – I have a budget to buy traffic. Not too much, but I understand business involves risk so if the numbers make sense I’m all for it!

    – I do have analytics on the site and I will provide you with access to the analytics if that would help.

    – I provided you with the full back story. Hopefully, I didn’t miss any important details.

    Let me see… here’s some more:

    – My wife is a college counselor/ professor and has a license to administer a personality test, one of the things I took that changed my life (it made me realize how wrong accounting was for me and was the thing that got me started in discovering my passion for internet business)

    – I figure I can use my wife’s experience as a resource somehow if the opportunity presents itself

    I’m looking forward to your feedback. Thanks!

    Irwin

  • Irwin

    “I thought the book was crap and I felt bad for giving it away, but I was so busy with other things I DECIDED to just let it keep going.”

  • Thanks Irwin, now I have a good idea of where you are coming from and where you want to go…

    Unfortunately many people teach to just throw up something quickly to see if you get any takers, and this is a BIG mistake. You have to commit fully from the beginning, and (because of your research) be absolutely confident that this will work…

    Those temporary things that you think you will improve later, tend to become permanent, because you just don’t get the time to go back and change them… There is always another priority.

    However, you also can’t be a perfectionist and never implement anything…

    Give me a few days to do some research on the niche and I’ll give you some ideas of where to go and what to do.

    In my working life I’ve been an electrician, business owner, managing director, real estate agent, MLM’er, trader, IM’er, coach and other things I’ve forgotten… So, the problem you are solving for people is very close to my heart.

    Cheers
    Ian

  • Irwin

    Thanks Ian. The niche really hits home with me, too because like I mentioned, I changed careers in my 30’s and I know how much it sucks being in a career you don’t like.

    I look forward to finding out about your research. If you need access to the analytics data let me know.

    Irwin

    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Irwin,

      Yes, please give me access to your analytics. It’ll help with the critique.

      Cheers
      Ian

  • Joe

    That is a great story Irwin and a nice idea for a site and project.

    I too followed the Online Income Lab training for a while too.

    Looking forward to following your progress and seeing how the site develops.

    Joe

    • Irwin

      Thanks Joe!!! I forgot how I found out about OIL, but I do know that I found Nate and Strayblogger through one of Trent’s podcasts.

  • Kent Faver

    What a great article Ian and story Irwin! My story of online success or lack thereof with my various sites is highly similar. Lots of ideas, hard work, success in other business areas (offline), but sporadic and limited success. I can relate!

    While I’m no expert, it is clear you have a real passion in this area but are getting distracted by all the other opportunities out there. This was part of Ian’s story too if you listen to Yaro’s interview.

    I agree with you that this niche is hungry for information! Why not take down the adsense, build great content regularly, build your list and offer coaching to them at $100/month, or whatever price you decide? People are hungry for information, connection and to do what they love – just like us.

    Best of success to you!

    • Irwin

      Kent,

      That’s such a great idea (coaching)! I was thinking about that or a membership site. The people are hungry for information and I feel so bad for them.

      I actually emailed someone today from the list I built a few months ago (that’s not currently active) and spent about 45 minutes answering his questions about changing careers.

      I should actually make a blog post about the answers I gave…!

      Anyways, thanks for dropping a note Kent and best of success to you, too!

      Irwin

  • Izzy

    Great story, one that I guess a lot of people can relate to. I think your “changing careers” website has a lot of potential, as a 31 year old, who is considering a career change i’ll be giving it a visit!

    • irwin

      Izzy,

      Thanks and I agree, I wholeheartedly believe the niche has a lot of potential. I really feel for those people and want to help them. Make sure to visit the site in the near future, not right now because it currently sucks! 🙂

      Irwin

  • owen

    Great story, Irwin.
    I had several jobs between the ages of 20 and 35. You have the desire and the determination to make it in this business and that means you will get there, eventually.
    Great post, Ian

    • irwin

      Thanks Owen!

      The internet is my passion and when I’m “working” on the computer, it doesn’t feel like work. I’m just so glad that my wife supports my obsession! There’s no doubt in my mind I will get where I want to go, I’m just too determined and I love the web so much. I hope my optimism doesn’t blind me! 🙂

      Irwin