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My First $250 Online and Beyond

By Kristi Sayles

"Jason, get off that stupid computer!"

I wish I had a luscious square of chocolate fudge for every time my husband and I have said that. Scratch that. I’d weigh 1000 pounds!

I've recently lost 25 pounds, so forget the chocolate and make that a dollar bill. Jason is my son. He's also one of the most respected internet marketing coaches and copywriters on the planet now.

How was I to know that he would someday support himself and his family with the skills he was learning as a kid?

We thought he was just playing around. 

I used to think of the techy stuff as just a waste of valuable time. 

Something to play a game on now and then.

That's pretty much all the computer used to be to me.

But not anymore...

Now it's a cash-making machine. 

My husband, Terry, has even started his own site at TheRodSite.com

How did all that come about, you ask?

Several years ago, I wandered over to Yahoo Chat where I just kind of lurked.

Suddenly, one of the entries caught my eye.

It was from a woman who claimed that she had invented a new kind of shoelace that didn't have to be tied.

Now, as a second-grade teacher and writer looking for content, I found that interesting, so I sent her a private message and asked if she'd like to be interviewed.

Within minutes we were chatting on the phone!

I found out that she and her husband had recently opened a new shoelace business that was booming!

They had even been offered a million dollars for the business, but they had turned the offer down flat!

It was a true rags to riches story that I knew I could sell if I could find the right publisher.

To make a long story short, I sold the article to a business success magazine and went on to write about dozens of successful businessmen and women through Yahoo Chat.

One of my most memorable was the 12-year old boy that built websites.

I thought it was funny that none of his prestigious clients knew that they had a pre-teen for a webmaster! He was that good!

I had gotten paid approximately $250 each for my Yahoo Chat articles and thought that I had found the business of my dreams. 

The editors of the magazines were actually emailing me to ask if I had articles for them!

But then something even more amazing happened... Jason got invited to speak at an internet marketing seminar! He grew to be good friends with Joe Vitale and several other big internet names.

He had created a software program that generated professional joint venture letters and was so helpful to marketers, that it got the attention of some of the biggest names in the internet marketing arena!

Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t jealous of my son. I was extremely proud of him and still am! Okay, maybe I was just a tiny bit jealous.

I mean, there I was feeling good about $250 or so extra a month when my barely out-of-his teens-kid gets invited to be a featured speaker at a prestigious event!

So, what’s a mom to do? I’ll tell you what I did. I got Jason to show me how to create software! 

I was shocked to learn that it wasn’t really that difficult and that I could do it on my own in no time when I had the scripts and website building software program! 

My first sale came from the Instant Query Letter Generator.

To be fair, Jason actually put it together for me when I supplied him with the information I wanted the software to contain.

I felt good about it because I had surveyed five editors that had published my articles to find out exactly what components they considered important in a query letter.

Just in case you’re not familiar with publishing terms, most magazine editors require approving a query letter for an article before requesting the entire manuscript.

It doesn’t matter how awesome your article is, if you can’t get past the first hurdle, you can’t be in the race at all, so my Instant query letter Software was a hit within weeks!

I had found a niche that nobody else had considered worthwhile! Nobody else was selling query letter software online, so I cornered the market. 

I began testing my prices while I got busy creating dozens of other writing software programs. Although I had sold the software for as much as $95 a download, I discovered that $67 seemed to be a magic number.

My know-it-all son had explained that I should end the price in a “7”, which sounded weird to me, but I tried it. He was right. 

Soon, I had a whole slew of products to sell on the website that Jason had built for me. 

I began investing my earnings back into advertising, and my Smart Author Software company was born!

One day, I received not one, but two interesting letters from customers. Both of them requested that I teach them how to make money writing for the Internet.

I hadn’t really considered coaching before, but it sounded like something I would enjoy, so I started a newsletter and called it the Writer’s EDGE Newsletter.

I gathered hundreds of subscribers that often turned into customers. I was tickled!

Soon, I was being offered joint ventures from other webmasters...

I discovered the joys of affiliate marketing!

Not only did I sell other people’s stuff that was related to writing for commissions, but I also started my own affiliate program and soon had an army of affiliates selling my software! 

Woo-hoo! It wasn’t long before I received offers from non-writing related webmasters.

At first, I turned them down since I didn’t think my subscribers would be interested in SEO, traffic generation, and such.

What a dufus!

I found out quickly that my subscribers were not JUST interested in writing, they were interested in making money!

So after surveying my list, I created another newsletter called “Your Make Money Mentor Ezine.”

Many of my current list subscribers joined right away. I later changed the name to “I Can Make Cash Newsletter,” because the domain name of “ICanMakeCash.com” became available. 

It seemed smart due to having such good keywords in the title and domain name. It was. 

Soon, I had a list of subscribers that I love and they love me.

Really. I have cultivated their friendship and trust by offering them valuable information and only reputable offers.

Once when I was feeling overwhelmed with all of my activities, I almost quit the newsletter business.

I changed my mind when I received a precious letter from a fan thanking me for teaching her how to make money. 

She had recently become unemployed, had two small children, and was alone in the world. 

Now, she could pay her bills because she had learned how to work online-mostly affiliate marketing with products that I had endorsed.

Wow! What a rush! I couldn’t quit. I was making a difference! Maybe not to everyone, but to that mom-what I said mattered.

Some of those subscribers didn’t opt-in to my newsletter just for the newsletter, though. I had an online talk show called Talk with Experts.

I interviewed successful marketing professionals and grilled them on how my listeners can replicate their successes.

It became pretty popular, so I required people to sign up for each interview.

I have interviewed some of the most well-known marketers in the world! I actually met many of them when I attended the World internet marketing Event in San Francisco and have the photos on Facebook to prove it.

I have had my share of exciting experiences since that first $250 check for the shoelace salespeople I found online… I don’t want to bore you with ALL of the details, but I would like to mention that I have especially enjoyed being chosen as a Mark Joyner "Space Monkey."

I entered a video contest he held and I was one of the lucky winners! 

Sixteen of us were given the dubious title of Space Monkey-as beta testers for his new 7-Day Business Turnaround Kit.

It was an intensive course, but I made money very fast! I not only met Mark through telephone conversations, but I also met Steve Roye of the NetSlingers.

He called me and invited me to be a guest on his talk show with him and Andy Duncan. I was SO nervous! 

What in the world could I discuss intelligently? 

I finally decided that article marketing would be my topic. 

I had been advertising with article marketing and even had an Instant Article Creator Software program to promote during the show at a special price!

The show was a delightful one! Not only did we all have fun, but we also split over $1200 each for the sales we made during that one call! 

Steve suggested that I start my own teleseminar show and I’m glad I listened!

Talk with Experts became yet another income stream. Thanks, Steve! You’re all right in my book!

I can’t leave this out either… I met the most awesome man at the seminar!

Sure, I met the “greats” like Mike Filsaime, Bob Jenkins, Frank Sousa, Steve Roye, Stephanie Mulac and her adorable clan, Paulie Sabol-and many others-and they were great. 

But, there’s one particular guy that stands out to my mind. His name is Al Altienza. 

Al greeted me with this… “Oh my God, it’s you-Kristi Sayles! I’ve been a subscriber and customer of yours for years! It’s so wonderful to finally get to meet you in person!” 

Wow! Of course, I invited him to sit with me. I didn’t want to lose this one.

He made me feel like a movie star!

If that wasn’t enough, he caused me to win the brand new laptop computer that they raffled during the seminar!

If he hadn’t been kind enough to write the winning ticket number in large numbers for me to see, I could never have seen them!

I had lost my reading glasses somewhere between Dallas and San Francisco and couldn’t tell the 3’s from the 8’s. Contact me, Al. I want to thank you again.

Okay, so much for the amazing part of my journey, there have been downturns too...

Have you ever heard of Joe Sugarman? 

He is a multi-millionaire marketer that invented the BluBlocker Sunglasses and a whole lot more! 

Well, I interviewed him! It was an incredibly successful interview! I had tons of subscribers attending and I thought this was going to truly put me on the top! Turns out, I should have been reading my comments that were flooding in during the show.

I had forgotten to turn on Joe's audio!

It was humiliating! I dreaded calling him, but I had to let him know how I had truly wasted his valuable time! He was such a prince about it! 

He offered to do another interview, but I was just too embarrassed to schedule another.

The awful comments on his Facebook made me want to sink into oblivion.

Another struggle I remember well is when Phil Cullum and I decided to host The Music City Marketing Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. 

We had a line-up of every BIG name in internet marketing promising to speak.

We had wonderful banners, graphics, and ads everywhere. 

We even had Clickbank on board!

They agreed to let us sell tickets for $197 each. We had a swanky hotel and all looked great. Until it didn't.

Ever heard of the H1N1 flu? It wasn't bad enough to cause everyone to go into hysterics like Covid-19, but it was bad enough to make me have to cancel my conference!

People were just too scared to gather in one place and guess who got the flu? That's right - yours truly.

If I hadn't had the support of my awesome husband and my LORD, I would have fallen into a deep depression.

But, I'm back. I've already made over $50,000 online this year, so I know there's something to "this internet thing."

You have to remember, this has all been part-time. I'm a very busy public school teacher and an online tutor too!

So, what advice do I give new marketers that want to experience this kind of exciting, domino effect of success?


Just DO something.

Create a software, write an ebook, interview people, sell other marketer’s stuff, make videos and audios, design websites, write and submit articles-but DO something.

You may not get wealthy immediately, but you’ll learn a lot if you pay attention to what works and what doesn’t.

Then again, you just MIGHT get rich immediately.

Stranger things have happened.

If that happens, contact me. I want to interview you!

There are two major hurdles I see to making money online:


Once you have those two conquered, you’re on your way to making your first $250 and far, far more online!

May God bless all of your efforts!

He wants HIS kids to be healthy and wealthy!

Don’t let anybody tell you differently.

I’m not just a money-hungry female. I’m a Christian first and foremost. I’m even our church song leader. I praise God for the Internet!

Has God blessed me with millions yet?


Not yet.

But, I have made enough to make charity donations, end my son’s and my own dental problems, take luxurious, romantic cruise vacations to exotic places with Terry, supply parts for our 1967 Camaro, pay off credit cards, and attend one of the most expensive seminars in the world-namely, John Childers Million Dollar Speaking Seminar that was held in Nashville.

Could I have done all that on my teacher salary?

Get real.

Hey! If you are really serious about making money online, or just curious if it could work for you, you should listen to my mentor, John Thornhill.

He is in the TOP 1% of all vendors and affiliate marketers on some of the most well-known sites such as jvZoo and Clickbank.

He knows what he's talking about! Click below to attend a FREE training session with him!

He's going to teach you how to make SIX-FIGURES online.

You don't want to miss it...