Pop Quiz, Monday with Marc Andre

Marc Andre

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
My name is Marc Andre.

What is your job role?
I’m self-employed as an internet marketer, and I’ve been doing this full-time since 2008. During that time I’ve done several different things like freelance writing, marketing and SEO for clients, but the major focus of my business has been to build and maintain my own websites and blogs.

I’ve never had any employees, but I have worked with a number of freelancers over the years for different tasks involved with my websites or the products sold on those websites. My role involves doing whatever I can and then outsourcing the work that I don’t do well (usually web development and design) or that I don’t have time for (sometimes writing content for the blogs).

Tell us about your company?
I’ve had sites on several different topics like web/graphic design, photography, travel, and finance, so the business has touched a lot of different industries.

I’ve sold several of my sites in the past, so currently I’m really only working in the finance industry. My current project is a personal finance blog, VitalDollar.com.

Generally, I’ve been able to choose the types of things that I want to work on, and I’ve created websites/blogs on the topics that I enjoy.

As a one-person operation, I work for home. It’s been great to be able to work from home for more than ten years now, which gives me some added flexibility in my schedule.

What do you love most about your job?
I love that I’m able to work on the things that I enjoy. Photography was a hobby of mine. I started a photography blog, so I’d be able to spend more time on that hobby, and it turned into a really good experience that generated a full-time income for several years (I sold my last photography-related website in 2018).

I also like the flexibility that I have in my schedule. I have two young kids, and my work gives me the flexibility to see them during the day. I’m also able to take time off of work for activities at their school and pre-school, or occasionally take unplanned days off to do something as a family.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
The biggest motivation is just being able to provide for my family. My wife has been a stay-at-home mom since we became parents, so we’re a single-income family.

Aside from that, I’m also motivated by the challenges of running an online business, and I enjoy seeing and experiencing growth. I get to learn and experience new things all the time, which helps to keep things fresh and exciting.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I work from home, and by myself, so I don’t have any co-workers. I know a lot of people would really miss the personal interaction, but I enjoy working on my own, and I find that I’m able to be more productive and able to focus easier.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
There are a few ways I have fun at work. My son is 3-years-old. He’s in pre-school, but it’s only a few hours a week, so he’s home most of the time. I have fun by playing with him for a little while at lunch every day. That’s a privilege that many fathers don’t have.

Another highlight for me is being able to take short breaks and go for a walk around the block. I live in a quiet neighborhood with a lot of trees and nature, so it’s really peaceful and relaxing to simply take 10 minutes and walk around the block. I try to do that twice each day.

For several years I made the majority of my income from running websites/blogs related to photography. That allowed me to take work-related trips that were a lot of fun. I visited and photographed a few national parks, as well as many state parks and other places closer to home. Those days that involved hiking and photography were probably the most fun days of work I’ve ever had.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
The biggest challenge for me is time management. There are always 100 different things I could be doing, and I have no boss to tell me what to work on. Sometimes it’s hard to know what is most urgent or important. It’s also hard to stay focused on the task at hand and not be distracted by all of the other things I could be doing with my websites.

Another challenge is the fact that things change so quickly in the world of internet marketing. Social media platforms, Google search algorithms, technology, and even the competitive landscape can all change very quickly. I have to be able to stay on top of things and adapt when needed.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’ve learned a lot through the process of selling several different websites. One of the main lessons is that online businesses have value and there are a lot of investors who are interested in buying. The popularity of online businesses has grown, and that makes it more of a seller’s market than it was just a few years ago. If you have a website that makes a good profit and you can expect that profit to continue in the future, that’s an asset that you can sell.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in your industry?
For anyone who is starting out with internet marketing, my advice would be to take your time and don’t rush things. I worked on my business part-time for the first year and a half, while I still had a full-time job. Once it got to the point where I felt comfortable leaving my job, I made the leap to full-time self-employment.

There are a lot of ways that you can get started part-time. You don’t need to quit your existing job or take a big risk to get started.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:


Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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