July 20 passed without fanfare – and without evening noticing it, in fact. Had this been a wedding anniversary I’d missed I’d be in the doghouse but thank goodness it was nothing so monumental. This happens to me every year, in fact, with the exception of this date in 2007 when MadridMan.com – the date of the domain name registration – turned 10 years old.
I’d had grand thoughts of organizing a huge affair at one of the larger downtown Madrid bars, reserving the whole room for the private gathering – by invitation only, and throwing a party worthy of newspaper, radio, and even television mention. I’d even looked into sending out news releases, contacting news agencies, etcetera, etcetera. But…. it didn’t happen. None of it. Instead, nothing was planned because it
was summer and no one was around anyway, I was lazy, and I thought
better of blowing my own horn for the sake of self-promotion. Doesn’t a business need promotion? Isn’t mine a business?? Well…. yes and no.
I’d started “MadridMan’s Yankee Home Page” – what it was called for the first ten years – on a free Geocities site in 1996, shortly after the invention of the graphical interface of the internet. At that time there was only my website and another one or two about Madrid in English so I enjoyed some incredible success since mine was one of the few.
Now, 13 years later, there are a couple dozen personal websites online about Madrid in English and a couple thousand more corporate websites about Madrid in English. Needless to say, now there’s a lot more competition and the piece of our pie gets smaller every year.
There’s a certain value applied to those who came first, those who stuck it out and rode through the storms. Only those who really enjoyed managing the websites and those making money survived. Fortunately, MadridMan.com have both things going for it.
Back in 2001 my Dad casually told me from across the living room, “Why don’t you contact a few language schools or hotels to see if they’d like to advertise on your website.” My response was quick and just a little bit rude, “Dad, no one in their right mind would want to advertising on my tiny, personally, horribly designed website.” To that, his reply was, “Well, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try and you have nothing to lose.” I promised him I would – and I did. The next week I sent out 5 emails to language academies in Madrid. 2 didn’t reply. But 3 did, all three saying they DID want to advertise on my website. I as shocked and truly amazed. And that’s how MadridMan.com began making some money. Shortly after that, clients started writing to ME, asking how THEY TOO could advertise and I never had to solicit clients ever again, they all contacted me since then.
Now, in 2009, MadridMan.com and “Martin Media, S.L.” – a registered company here in Spain – does pretty well for itself, although less-so in these times of economic crisis and increased competition. But I can pay my own salary and the monthly bills without problem.
Will I be able to do all this, managing MadridMan.com, BarcelonaMan.com, and all the other websites on my own for the rest of my working life? Who knows. I imagine someday contracting someone to assist me in the administrative or design part of the work but probably not both. I do love what I do although it can be overwhelming at times, lots of goals, lots of dreams & plans with no spare time to develop them, lots of emails back and forth with clients; both potential and long-standing.
But I cannot imagine giving up this “job”. Few people get to work at home. Mine is one of those jobs I’d happily do in my spare time if I had a “normal job”, something I’d like to do until the day I die to keep busy – assuming I can keep up with technology and internet trends. Who knows what’s in store for “MadridMan”. At least I’ve made a name (brand) for myself in this industry and that really does mean a lot.
P.S. Read more details “about MadridMan” if interested/bored/killing time at work.