5 Computer Illiterate People Who Make Money Online

dumb and dumber

Making money online doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to be a computer whiz, and you don’t have to be an experienced entrepreneur.

There are tons of people like me, not the smartest guys out there, who have figured out how to make money online. When I first started out, I was in high school, and I had no clue how to even set up a corporation or where to start. But, I figured it out over time.

Just to prove it to you, I’ll show you 5 businesses that are making money online despite the fact that their founders didn’t know anything about running a business when they first started.

#1: Timothy Sykes

timothy sykes

As you already know, most people lose money trading stocks. Tim, on the other hand, is really good at studying the market and trading penny stocks. Although he personally is able to make $100,000 a month trading stocks, he figured that he could make a lot more money teaching others how to become good traders.

He started TimothySykes.com so he could educate you about the stock market. His knowledge was so well received that people wanted more information, so he naturally started producing more content. But instead of just giving it away, he decided to charge for this extra information, which is in the form of DVDs.

Tim is making a whopping 1.3 million dollars a year from his blog.

#2: Chicks Love Me

mike and jason

Mike and Jason are two Southern California kids that specialize in the topic of dating. For a living, they teach men how to be attractive. When they first hit me up years ago for business advice, I thought these guys were full of crap and wouldn’t make a penny. Later, I met some of their customers, and I realized that they were solving a real pain in the market place.

If you fast forward to today, you’ll see that they packaged their knowledge in an ebook, which they sell on their website, Chicks Love Me. They are now pulling in around $20,000 a month in profit. That’s not too shabby for two guys who start their workday at 11 am.

#3: Toon Junkie

manu sethi

Did you watch cartoons like Duck Tales, Digimon and Talespin when you were a little kid? Manu Sethi was a cartoon junkie as a kid, and he felt that the cartoons these days just don’t compare to the ones that he watched growing up.

He is so passionate about cartoons that he started a business that allows you to share great cartoons you grew up watching with your kids.

Manu paid a developer to create an ecommerce site that primarily sells old school cartoons. Toon Junkie is now pulling in a bit more than $81,000 a month in revenue.

#4: YouPorn (NSFW)

youporn

A few years ago, I got a phone call from a Stanford dropout who decided it would be funny to create a YouTube clone that only had adult videos. He didn’t really have a business model, but he felt you shouldn’t have to pay for adult videos.

I haven’t talked to the founder in years, but at the time, YouPorn (NSFW) was doing three billion pageviews a month and $120,000 in revenue per month through advertising.

When I asked him how he made YouPorn so popular, he responded saying that he gives customers what they are looking for. And that happens to be free adult content.

#5: Bradford and Reed

andrew warner

A buddy of mine, Andrew Warner, wanted to start a business when he was a kid. At that time, he didn’t have any money or even a decent computer.

He wanted to create a way that would allow people to get free greeting cards online – e-cards. With the world becoming increasingly computerized, why can’t we receive greeting cards through email, right?

He decided to return his old J-Crew clothes for some cash. He then used that money to start an e-greeting-card company. He didn’t know how to program or create a website, so he found a business partner that could deal with the technical end while he dealt with the business side of things.

Within a few years, the company started to pull in 38 million a year in revenue and 18 million a year in profit.

Conclusion

By no means am I trying to convince you that creating an online business is easy. For every one of these success stories, there are thousands that have failed. At the same time, you need to realize that it isn’t rocket science.

Instead of worrying about all of the details, just go out there and put something up. If you spend too much time thinking about an online business instead of creating one, you’ll never make money.

In addition to that, the people I mentioned above did get lucky to some extent, but the real reason they are all doing well is because they solved a pain in the market place. If you can solve people’s problems, you can charge for it.

  • Timothy helps you make money from the stock market.
  • Mike and Jason can help you meet women.
  • Manu makes it possible for you to watch the old cartoons you once loved.
  • The YouPorn founder helps you watch adult content for free.
  • Andrew Warner made it possible for you to send and receive greeting cards online.

Do you know of other people who did well online but weren’t computer whizzes?

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Comments

  1. Great article, Neil! I actually knew about Tim and Andrew, but the other 3 are totally new to me. This is definitely a eye opener since many people don’t feel they can just bundle up what they know and sell it. Though it needs to be useful and unique, I’m sure we all have something, in terms of knowledge, that we can teach to others.

  2. It’s not as hard as people think.

    If it turns a head, it’ll make a million!

    Stuck for ideas? Head into any book shop; close your eyes and point! Pick up the book you’re aiming at and I’m 99.99% sure you’ll be able to make it into a website and make money from it!

  3. I know I’m a part of the group of people lacking programming skills. One thought that always comes to my mind whenever I have an idea for a app/website/etc. is, if all I have is the idea and the drive+money to hire a programmer and make it happen….what is preventing the programmer from just taking the idea and going off into business for themselves? This is one of my primary concerns when outsourcing programming work.

    • Greg, have the developer sign a consulting agreement that contains confidentiality and invention assignment provisions. Doing so is standard practice.

      • If you outsource the programming work to someone in India or China, having an agreement is useless.

        There is a lot more to running a successful business than the technical stuff. ubuyibuy.com, an Asia-based group buying website probably whipped up with Ruby on Rails in a couple of weeks, started in June 2010, broke even in Oct 2010 and got acquired by groupon in the USA in Dec 2010. I think Neil has said before, ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is everything. As an entrepreneur myself, I believe this is true.

      • Yes… you can definitely do that.

    • That almost never happens…. I wouldn’t be too concerned with that.

  4. Indeed Inspiring. Solve the real pain & Get Rewards !

  5. @Greg

    No risk no reward.

  6. Social Media Analyst :

    I completely agree with you Neil that making money isn’t a rocket science. If we somehow become successful in locating the pain in the market, we can making money. I like this post. :)

  7. Great inspiring stories Neil. I also earn my living online and I didn’t know everything about the internet when I began except messaging and downloading stuff :)

  8. I agree

    All you need is an idea, drive, and elbow grease!

    Things eventually will turn out ok for you. There are 14 year old kids making 6 figures a month. Yes they have programming skills but another thing they have is that they made a website and put it out there. That is where 99% of the people fail!

    Get off your ass get a website and start marketing!

  9. Hey I’m not computer illiterate!

  10. Like Always Good article.

  11. Hi Neil,

    Great article, those success stories are always inspiring. I like how you’ve actually met these people.

    The advice you gave me while I was in Seattle still rings true. When is your course due?

  12. Nice job adding the social widget in the sidebar Neil; you might want to add a ShareThis.com widget as well in case people use other social networks =)

    Nice article btw show this to a friend to give him a motivation boost!

  13. Neil, I travel to work everyday in mumbai by local trains. I spend around an hour travelling. I’m just a regular guy working for a dot com in India. I wanted you to know that my train travel involves reading your posts on my cell phone. Even though the trains are crowded and we can barely move our arms in the packed train compartments, I make it a point to read any new post that you come up with.

    Your posts inspire me, keep fueling that fire to do something on my own. What you write gives me hope, that someday I might be able to do something I’m proud of. I just wanted to say thank you for all the wonderful posts. Your name will always feature in my list of people who helped me be successful(if a day like that ever comes). I wish all your dreams come true.

  14. WOW, what a concept to write article on, I am impressed and convinced. But still you need to do the RIGHT thing at RIGHT time in RIGHT manner with special tactics, only then you will be the boss of INTERNET WORLD.

    “Winners don’t do different things, they do the same thing differently” -Shiv Khera

  15. WOW, what a concept to write a article on. I am motivated. But still one have to do the right things at right time in right manner to be the winner. After all, “Winners don’t do different things, they do the same thing differently” – Shiv Khera.

  16. Truly inspiring post, sometime people just struggle online to make money trying to follow other people footstep but its not always the same you need to believe in yourself & do what you like the most.

    You never have to work another day if you do what you love.

  17. The big takeaway here Neil is this: You don’t need to be in the “make money online” niche to make money online. I’ve interviewed on my show literally hundreds of people. Some are super tech savvy and making a GREAT living online. Others don’t know the difference between a megabyte and spider bite and are killing it online.

    This is a great example for upstarts: Focus on the idea, execution and what you love to do. More people are online than ever and it is only going up. The opportunities are endless.

  18. Keep more inspiration like this coming!!!

    I have a real estate listing business that, for the most part, is run online. I’m now developing real estate related software that I will sell online.

    This kind of material keep me motivated and moving forward.

    Thank you!

    Bryan

  19. Hey Neil,

    Great post. Perfect examples. I know Tim and Andrew make it look easy, but they’ll be the first to say it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to make it on this list. And yup, the “dark side” got #4. I guess if there is a demand someone will fill it, haha.

    all the best,
    Sean

    ps – Should it be “who” instead of “that” in the post title? I just read On Writing Well and am seeing stars. I highly recommended to all bloggers. You read it?

  20. John Geralson :

    Love this post but I am not sure how ToonJunkie gets over $81k month on sales. Would be great to know what type of traffic strategies the site uses to make that much. I am sure it’s not just PPC.

  21. Neil, thanks for the inspiration. It was in one of your other posts that I read about getting to market quickly and it’s so true – it will always seem like you’re not ready to launch but putting something up quickly and working forward is definitely the right way to go.

  22. That is really true what the founder of YouPorn has said. Give people what they are looking for. I actually tried that and it worked for me. I was running a game website and in 2 months I started getting 6k+ traffic a day but my hosting company asked me to move to a dedicated host as my traffic was causing them problem, but I couldn’t afford dedicated hosting so had to shut down the site. The traffic I was getting they only wanted free stuff so all I could make was something around 100 dollars from adsensea month but that doesn’t cover the monthly hosting cost for dedicated hosting :( Neil what do you think should I reopen the site and try it again with a different approach? Its also very important what sort of traffic you are getting, quantity is not always good. :(

  23. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for the great post. I’m super interested in starting a web-based business, and I’ve convinced myself that it’s not rocket science. Thanks for a post that confirms this.

    Joseph

  24. This again proves that tech skills are not needed to earn money online. All you have to do is have a business model and work hard every day.

  25. Great blog – I actually haven’t heard of any of these people, although have seen some of their sites. There are so many ebooks out there and other ways to make money, I agree the key is to solve a real problem.

  26. It is the “thinking” vs. “acting” camps. Too much time wasted trying to think about making that perfect start which seems to never happen. It may be copywriting, link building, learning JS or even cleaning the garage, nothing happens till I am out there to make it happen. So it is like Want to make money? (online or offilne) – Work Hard and Think Less.

  27. very inspiring. It is funny that you wrote this post when I have had this conversation a lot lately. I didn’t realize how many people were STILL computer illiterate. I have been walking around seriously thinking most people out there have computer skills. While I gave a pass to my mom who only uses the net to play scrabble. I knew enough to get by 5 years ago when I got into it and I personally am amazed that people come to me for answers. You can figure a lot things out on your own, and when you can’t; I have found that most people will help if you ask. If it requires more than that then hire someone. People think they need to know everything, they don’t they just need the will to figure out how to make it happen.

  28. Very inspiring. Seems like all one needs to know about computers to make money is *just enough*–just enough to implement your idea, or just enough to figure out where people are starting to gather, like Google when it was young, or Facebook when it was getting started, and then figure out how to use it to your benefit.

    • Just enough is exactly right… your time is the most valuable thing and fortunately enough it’s easy to just hire someone to do the little tasks here and there.

  29. Hey Neil.
    Of course it isn’t rocket science but it’s important to follow a clear
    blueprint that lead to success.

  30. This is one of the inspiring blog posts I’ve read for today! Yes, I agree completely how people can get success online just applying their knowledge and creativity even without computer knowledge. It also reminded me some of Hollywood and Bollywood’s Directors who have been making wonders in terms of showing technical wonders on celluloid. When you can realize the actual success behind such people, you will not worry to find a job/work in which you are skilled about. :) What say?

  31. Hi Neil, There are 2 things I stick to. Keep It Simple. And Just Get It Going. If you mess about to much with the “details” you could be missing out on masses of traffic. I came across a blogger the other day that had spent 2 months tweaking his blog, the blog looked very pleasing, sadly he had forgotten to write any content for his blog. Missed out on a reader here anyway.
    Being successful is just down to hard work, determination and not being scared to try.
    Pete

    • You’d be surprised, or maybe not, with how often that actually happens. People spend way to much time on details that they see as the right thing, which unfortunately isn’t the case.

  32. Great post!

    To some extent, being “computer literate” is a an hindrance to our entrepreneurial success. As technology experts, we tend to think that everything should be solved or sold by technology. Technology is just a small part of the business world. We need to avoid technological blinders..

  33. Online is the best option which we can earn from home.

  34. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for this advise ,
    “Instead of worrying about all of the details you just need to go out there and put something up. If you spend too much time thinking about an online business instead of creating one, you’ll never make money.”

    This is what I’ve been doing all this while, hope my new venture into blogging will help me to left my life.

    If possible, please visit ganeshmuthiah.wordpress to check whether my idea will work.

  35. stem cell stocks :

    creativity is important. You need to bring something to the table the masses arent. Come up with some unique ideas and you will be successful.

  36. You need a few things – luck is a big component for sure, doing’s one homework (e.g., market research) and tinkering (ability to make changes based on info feedback or heuristics).

    Agree, you don’t need to be technically savvy or smart (smart as defined by high GPA) for that matter. The idea doesn’t even have to be good – there just needs to be a market for it. And don’t fear failure but avoid it if possible (i.e., tinkering)

    Vergil Den
    http://www.vergilden.com

  37. Great examples, very inspiring stories! Of course I wouldn’t advise any computer illiterate person to start an internet business (we could do an article of 5 people who won the lottery without proving that it’s a good business strategy!) but inspiring nonetheless

    • Interesting concept… however the internet business and the lottery are completely different. You can easily make money online without being computer illiterate. Winning the lotto is pure and simple luck. Your chances of becoming successful online is more so the time effort and energy you put into it.

  38. These are awesome stories, somehow comments from Tim Sykes and Andrew Warner seemed as insightful…lol :D

  39. Such inspiring stories always boost up our confidence and risk capacity. What ever i felt is we need strong and convincing concept, good strategy and hard work and at last best promotion on the Internet. These are all combination can create success story.

  40. Great article Neil.I think your story can also be included here.:)
    I read about a guy in India. chandoo.org is his website.He provides Excel tutorials in this blog and buy selling Excell templates to consumer he earns money.
    Great post.Kepp it up.

  41. Free Logo Designs :

    You need imagination and creativity to do money online, not a set of specific skills. You just need to know yourself and find a way to make money from it.

  42. Hardest part by far is just finding that business that you can dedicate your time to.

    Make sure it is a business that makes you money.

    Rob

  43. Right, Neil. Carry on, we want to learn more of the magics from you. And David, you are right as well, we can easily share our knowledge, that will expand the web rapidly.

  44. Very inspiring and exactly the point I usually share on radio, that there is nothing that can guarantee success but on the other hand nothing can stop someone if they want to do something. As you mentioned all the guys had something to offer, if one realizes that I am sure things work great from there.

  45. If its not hard then i’ve had a few sites and they have not been profitable. I’ve put in hours of work online but now it will affect my home life. So how do you manage it?

  46. Great examples of people starting online businesses with no real technical know-how. Sometime I get caught up because I am technical and want to either do it myself or technically perfect. I think the best bit of info in this post is your conclusion –
    “Instead of worrying about all of the details you just need to go out there and put something up. If you spend too much time thinking about an online business instead of creating one, you’ll never make money.”
    Excellent advice!

    • More often than not, people become perfectionists and when that happens, everything stops. You just gotta ignore some of the reasons why you can’t, and look into why you can.

  47. I knew about Andrew Warner, but not about the others. Just goes to show – if you can pinpoint a crowd with a need, you can have it made. It’s all about getting into a prospective customer’s shoes and providing an answer to the most frequently asked questions. Great stuff!

  48. Excellent article. That gives me enough confidence that I too can in this league someday. All that is required is a fresh thought or, idea that I believe will work. And I too can be on this list some day.

  49. Edinburgh Driving School :

    As bad as it sounds i love using “stupid” people as fuel and motivation to help me take the next step towards success.

  50. Reading stories like these is sometimes tragic, because we always know there are plenty of people who probably failed trying to execute the same idea. But these guys did it better.

    Motivating though.

    • There are millions that have tried the same, some smarter than others. But success on the internet is obviously not just knowing about computers and the internet.

  51. I hope i make some money with internet one day, the day is not far…just need some time to spend on which is a difficult thing for me now

  52. Enjoyed reading Neil. These stories are actually pretty inspirational for me. I think if you can do something your good at to provide a solution to something that is wanted by consumers you can find some real success like the people listed above. Thanks for sharing.

  53. If you have a real determination to succeed then you can seriously go a long way in what you are doing, all these people that you’ve talked about in this post are some examples of it.

  54. Normally, timothy is selling a membership? Am i right? That’s pretty good, but do you think, that if we invest just $1497 per month with him, do we have to chance to earn more money than that price?

    Normally, i have done penny stock once, and i have got huge losses. I really do not know, that people sell techniques. Can you assure me, that i can earn more the money i invest in getting his techniques?

  55. Man I thought youporn would be making more money then that but that is still real nasty. That is the best domain name to buy for that. Kind of built for success.

  56. Neil can you suggest some of best online method you have crossed in your life

  57. Hi Neil,

    I spent about 6 months last year running a business that helped people who speak English as a second language write CVs. It was pretty successful, but not enough that I could afford to leave home, and so I used my experience to market myself for a 9-5 job. So yeah – I guess it’s about filling a need.

    Thanks!

    Pete

  58. about youporn: “he gives customers what they are looking for”
    that should be quoted strong…that’s the key for many many business things

  59. yeah, it’s definitely been done before and yes the requirements are pretty crazy. A lot of legalities must be followed. Great thing you didn’t drop of out of school though :D

  60. Excellent article Neil,
    It is a fact that many dumbs are making millions. Pronouncing the word “Business” may be easy, but doing business is hard.

  61. Hello Neil,

    I like to contact Timothy because i also want to earn online, But don’t know how we can earn Money from blogging. So please let me know how i contact with Timothy?

  62. It kind of burns me up inside seeing this because of how pure lucks plays a huge role in their success, along with having the ability of identifying a niche that has a huge available market. But at the same time it shows me how many options are available in online marketing and with the use of creativity and some luck it’s possible for anyone to get something going…

  63. thanks for the info, get more pics, i love it. you are doing great!

  64. I agree Neil. Its definately not rocket science. Create a website with products & sevices that people are looking for and who knows where it will take you.

    The biggest challenge facing people with all these business ideas in there head is acting on them. I’m mindful of the thought:
    ‘Faith Precedes a miracle’. This occurs in business everyday. The idea once implemented starts to be a ripple affect.

    Many elements fit in this category for example I’m reminded of 2 quotes. The first quote:

    ‘Where performance is measured, performance improves. Where performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates’.

    “Work will work when wishy washy wishing won’t.”
    — Thomas S. Monson

    Thanks Neil

    Richard

  65. YouPorn was started by someone who knew quite a bit about the web to begin with, it has since been sold for an undisclosed amount of money. The site’s owner was in litigation court a number of times… whats $120k a month when your losing millions in litigation? the fortune was made in some ways off copy written and stolen content(in many peoples opinion) and was ran by hiding behind the DMCA. is this really a business you should be pointing out to other to aspire to?

  66. I was just sharing this post with my wife and she stated that the Internet has become the “Great Equalizer”. There are so many ideas (including the 5 mentioned here) that might not have been given the time of day. But thanks to the Web and some brain-power by the 5 people above, they have made some nice cash… Hats off to them…

    Regards,

    Johnny
    ww.johnzseoguide.com

  67. Great article! I have a friend who imports and exports lighters, so I decided to make a website with all of his products. Trying to start your own company/business is a lot of work, but it’s definitely exciting and is something you can call your own.

  68. Yes, me I am not a millionaire yet but I am out there everyday, i work from home and am on FB, Twitter, linkedin, blogger etc. so I feel I am putting the pieces together and I am learning so much from your guys. I have only done biz Face to face for a long time.

  69. I had never heard of the Toon Junkie but I am with him on the thoughts that cartoons these days do not measure up. Yea they have more educational ones these days, but they took all the fun out of being a kid with a huge imagination.

  70. Perfect examples of solving obvious problems that no one sees. A few of these are problems right in front of everyone’s faces that everyone just doesn’t think about. Very creative! Awesome list, this provides good motivation for people thinking about starting an online business.

  71. Neil I really appreciate the depth of your thought when it comes to all I’ve been reading on your website. Online business is the way to go for some of us who work 9to5 and will also want to have another stream of income. Its just that alot of odds are against us in Africa and the popularity and acceptance of online biz. I really dont mind if you can decidate some space to sharing insights on how to really earn online from our own part of the globe. Great work you’ve been doing I must confess.

  72. We can succeed in online business if we are well planned, Your blog provides more information Neil…

  73. Timothy Sykes is my favorite. I have purchased 2 of his DVDs, and they are absolutely the best material man can get on this topic!

  74. Really nice post! First time i read it… So, as far i understood.. Tim biggest profit comes from his blog teaching how to trade stock… or is he really making some good money following his own tips?

  75. An online business definitely isn’t rocket science but you have to work extra hard because there so much competition out there. Even kids are making a lot of money online without even trying hard, from their small box room. You don’t need a big office or shop front.

  76. hey neil,
    Totally agree with you that online business is not a rocket science. i am impressed by the way you have explained your thoughts.

    Thanks.
    Matt

  77. If we somehow become successful in locating the pain in the market, we can making money. I like this post.

  78. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem
    to get there! Thanks

  79. This info is worth everyone’s attention. When can I find out more?

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