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How a 17 Year Old Girl Earns $70K Monthly From Her Website

September 10, 2007 by  

I came across an interesting story from Connected Internet about a 17 years old Ashley Qualls who earns as much as $70,000 a month from a website that gives away free layout for MySpace.

Most of this income comes from Google AdSense.

So far she has made more than $1 million from her site at Whateverlife.com. Her first AdSense paycheck was $2,790 and she had rejected $1.5 million buyout offer.

Whateverlife attracts more than 7 million unique visitors and 60 million page views a month. That’s a larger audience than the circulations of Seventeen, Teen Vogue, and CosmoGirl! magazines combined.

In contrast, TechCrunch.com gets 4 million page views per month, 15 times less pageviews.

ashley-qualls.jpg

Quantcast, a popular source among advertisers, ranked Whateverlife.com a staggering No. 349 in mid-July out of more than 20 million sites. Among the sites in its rearview mirror: Britannica.com, AmericanIdol.com, FDA .gov, and CBS.com.

What’s interesting is that, she started the business without the support of financial backing from anyone or professional mentors to guide her along the way.

But Ashley had no connections. No business professionals in the family. No rich aunt or uncle. In the working-class community of downriver Detroit, south of downtown and the sprawling Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan, she bounced back and forth between her divorced parents, neither of whom attended college. Her father is a machinist, her mother, until recently, a retail data collector for ACNielsen. “My mom still doesn’t understand how I do it,” Ashley says. To be fair, she did go to her mother for the initial investment: $8 to register the domain name. Ashley still hasn’t spent a dime on advertising.

It all started as a hobby. She began dabbling in Web-site design eight years ago, when she was 9, hogging the family’s Gateway computer in the kitchen all day. When she wasn’t playing games, she was teaching herself the basics of Web design. To which her mother, Linda LaBrecque, responded, “Get off that computer. Now!” For Ashley’s 12th birthday, her mother splurged on an above-ground swimming pool–”just so she’d go outside,” LaBrecque says.

One thing that struck me when I first visited her site was the unconventional navigation scheme. I suppose it’s well suited for the demographic its targeting.

The design has an added advantage in that the ads look as though they are part of the content, which I am sure improves the page click through rates tremendously.

She has dropped out of high school to concentrate on her online business. If you were in her position would you consider dropping out of school (and perhaps forget about going to college/university alltogether) to concentrate on your business?

Read the full story: Girl Power

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44 Comments »

Comment by Mr. Rajawang
2007-09-10 07:59:13

wow, if the story is true, That’s is unbelievable!! A millionaire!

Comment by Gaman
2007-09-10 08:20:42

It must be true :)

Comment by weirdoux
2007-09-11 11:56:57

that’s sound too big for me man. but i know it’s true.

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Comment by pinolobu Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-10 10:21:31

Q: If I were in her position would I choose to drop out of school (and perhaps forget about going to college/university all together) to concentrate on my business?

A: definitely. Successful ppl have gone on the same path, incl Dell and Gates. At my alma mater, a budding comedian dropped out of uni, then years later the same uni gave him an honorary doctorate.

Comment by Gaman
2007-09-10 13:48:33

But Dell and Gates finish high school

Comment by pinolobu Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-10 21:10:44

correct, but i was going along the “must have university degree to be successful” thinking most ppl are on. of course ashley was further down the academic ladder than bill or mike.

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Comment by Gaman
2007-09-10 21:31:13

OK. Off topic – are you in anyway familiar/associated with the name Ben?

Comment by pinolobu Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-12 16:31:24

Yes – close association…

 
Comment by Gaman
2007-09-12 18:58:03

Are you Ben? :)

 
Comment by pinolobu Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-15 02:34:16

Not exactly, he’s my alter ego.

 
Comment by Gaman
2007-09-15 10:12:56

I see

 
 
 
Comment by pinolobu Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-20 00:41:52

A better example: Sir Richard Branson. He left school at 16. In the UK that would be either at form 5 or lower 6th.

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Comment by DerekBeau
2007-09-10 12:30:25

Her success is amazing. I wish I would have gotten into the MySpace niche when it was young.

 
Comment by eshark Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-10 15:00:17

Wahh! $70,000 a month.. some more she was only 17, aiya! good for her! this is the power of internet!

Comment by Gaman
2007-09-10 15:21:04

And she got started in 2005! What were we doing in 2005? :)

 
 
Comment by eshark Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-10 15:56:59

Err.. 2005 I still collecting money to get married!!

 
Comment by TextAdSearch
2007-09-10 18:44:56

How many times have I seen this story! How many times have I seen that cat (the cat does all the work by the way).

 
Comment by Wahlau.NET
2007-09-10 19:39:27

whoooooeee…..that is good money

 
Comment by keeyit
2007-09-10 20:59:25

The title is so attractive ! 70k… !

 
Comment by Kay Kastum Subscribed to comments via email
2007-09-10 22:39:33

Now that’s what I call another internet success! See? She can do it? Why not us huh?
If it was me, I would see if studies were in the way. Or else I’ll just hire a tutor.

 
Comment by dott-com
2007-09-11 09:14:34

congrat also gaman your blogs get list on Top 100 Make Money Online Blogs – http://www.45n5.com/top100/

Comment by Gaman
2007-09-11 10:03:24

I am honoured to be at number 17 :)

Comment by dott-com
2007-09-11 10:05:07

lol…I think u are only Malaysian there.

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Comment by David
2007-09-11 11:17:22

One great inspirational story there!

 
Comment by Tim
2007-09-12 14:54:37

Millionaire is NOT equal to HAPPY Life ! :)

–blog for dream–

 
Comment by iter
2007-09-14 22:24:32

eh.. i also had start to blogging a few months .. so far i just earn $ 5.87 :( . other gets aver $1K for a month… ehehhe.. it might i still didn’t have domain and hosting.

Comment by Mr. Rajawang
2007-09-15 10:49:41

domain and hosting will be needed later in your blogging ‘career’. :) If your blog got quality and good content it won’t matter whether it is blogspot or paid domain.

 
 
Comment by Jali-jeni
2007-09-17 03:46:26

I wish i could be like her. I am so new in this blogging thing. Oh men….

So many thing to learn….

Nice website you have here.
:)

 
Comment by dicky
2007-11-05 14:26:30

this kind of thing normally wont happen in Malaysia! Our education dont focus on creativity!

She did 1 website then can rest for her whole life! Wow!

 
Comment by Cat
2008-01-01 09:42:23

For her site whateverlife.com being so popular i never see whateverlife layouts on myspace profiles. I seem to see pimp my profile or headrush layouts. Wouldn’t her layouts be on like everyones myspace page if shes getting that much traffic. and she only has a small ammount of “friends” on her myspace profile even though her “add me” link is on her front page and index2 page. hhmmm… curious.

 
Comment by rexus Subscribed to comments via email
2008-07-28 09:44:16

hi,i read the story and i really impress.this article really can attrach more ppl in blogging and increase your traffic too.i hav one request and need to get your permission 1st.i never saw this article in any of chinese version website,most of the chinese are using the same article traslate again ,again ,and again .and i found some of your article was really interesting,so i wonder if u agree to let me put ur article in my blogs in chinese version with picture along??
i think it can be increase your website traffic as well as i put a link to here.

Comment by Gaman
2008-07-28 12:22:42

could you let me know the blog you intend to put the article at?

 
 
Comment by yoseph
2008-10-17 20:03:47

heyy very good storyy kk very good job she millionare oo thats cool

 
Comment by dave
2010-01-19 15:35:57

I would easily drop out of high school if i was making 700,000 a year. you even have to ask? this is one site that flys under all the techie’s radar.

 
2010-04-24 23:11:51

Are a lot of money there.
I don’t know if really is true, but you never know…
She has this passion and just follow and along the way money are coming… I’m happy for her and hope to hear such stories also in our country.

 
Comment by satu kata
2010-06-13 18:10:35

waow it’s a great

nice post

 
Comment by Fash
2011-03-17 20:28:57

It’s just amazing how much she can win a month, but I think she worked very hard to create such a website.

 
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