After Several Failures, A Successful Website Launch

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It was an experiment gone bad. Actually, it was proof of how difficult it is to be successful online. About a year or so ago, I registered the domain I had plans on creating the BiggerPockets of Personal Finance. It would be easy: Get some good articles, set up a successful forum, find great information to share, and voila!

I began putting the site together, but was always distracted by the other sites I was operating. The enthusiasm wasn’t totally there. The forum looked to be off to a decent start . . . a good group of BiggerPockets Forum members came over and got the place off and running, but without my full attention, things began to falter.

Many people take for granted what a challenge it is to build a great website. I’ll demonstrate what I’m talking about. When you surf the net, there are always a few cool sites that you find and bookmark . . . once in a blue, I actually go to a handful of the hundreds of sites I’ve saved. Recently, I thought I’d go through my bookmarks to see what had become of these sites. I was off to a good start, but it began. That awesome blog I was hooked on hadn’t had a fresh post in months. That promising idea of a site was now an empty shell. As I went through, I had to delete one site after another. Many great ideas that once seemed like sureties had withered to nothingness.

Since I was in this mindset, I thought it would be interesting to go through my emails. I wanted to check out some of the old link suggestions that I had rejected or ignored. As the webmaster of a successful site, I get tons of link suggestions every week, and can only put the best ones up on our site. The numbers just got worse . . . probably 1/2 of the links suggested to me between a year and 6 months ago were either inactive or had changed hands to be something else. I guess I ignored the right ones.

So, what do you care, right?

Actually, it is a fact of everyday online life. Websites Fail. Many people think it is easy to just throw up a website and you’ll start making money and getting people to visit it. This is far from the truth. That guy you’ve been hearing about lately from Digg, Kevin Rose, who made $60 million in less than 2 years, put in hard work, time, and Perseverance. Every internet entrepreneur worth his salt did it with hard work and Perseverance . . .with a few exceptions like Alex Tew.

It was now my turn. I realized that my original idea had failed and I knew that I would not let it die. A few months ago, I went and turned the site into a blog about personal finance. I was pumped. It would be easy to do. . . just post regular articles about finance and that would be it; I loved talking about finance, stocks, bonds, and money. About two weeks into it I again gave up . . . another failure. This pattern was a little disconcerting to me, but I still had BiggerPockets, one of the largest real estate portals online. I had built it from nothing. I couldn’t let this bump in the road slow me down.

Fast forward to a week ago. It was again time to focus my energy on this site. This time, it had to be different. The reason the previous two sites had failed was because of me. They failed because I did not have the time to maintain them or monitor them. This new site had to be one that was effortless. It should be something that ran itself. I started toying around with some ideas, and began to build what you see today. . . is a simple site that accomplishes big things. On this one page website, you can find everything you need for personal finance. I’ve combed the blogs, the forums, and all the other resources out there to create a Giant, Easy to Navigate, Most Useful and Best Financial Sites Compilation! Now, it is still in its early stages, but you get the idea. Bookmark just one site, and you’ll have every online financial resource you really ever need at your fingertips.

The best part for me is that once it is complete, it will be self-sustaining. Every month or so, I’ll need to make sure that all the links work, but that’s all! I will be taking suggestions for links, but that’s about it. No forums to run, no blog to write in. SUCCESS! I have come up with an idea and implemented it as I had planned.

I realize that I could have just told you to stop by and check out Personal Finance, but doing that would have deprived you of knowing about the blood and sweat and PERSEVERENCE that goes into building a site. Compared to, it was easy, but that’s not the point. My challenges have become a learning experience for me, and for all of you readers.

That said, I believe that this blog, Real Estate News for Real, has reached a fork in the road.

While real estate is very interesting and exciting, I think it might be interesting to start filling you all in on being an entrepreneur. This blog will continue to fill your minds with interesting and timely real estate news, tips, and information, but I will also try to help demonstrate what it takes to be a web-entrepreneur. I think it will help to make this a more interesting and diverse place.

Stay tuned, This is just the beginning!

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin is a serial entrepreneur, investor, podcaster, publisher, educator, and co-author of How to Invest in Real Estate. He started BiggerPockets to help democratize the real estate investing landscape for himself and others, aiming to make it accessible for everyone, regardless of income or education. Today, BiggerPockets is the premier real estate investing website online with over one million members and reaching over 70 million people with the message of financial freedom through real estate investing. Joshua, along with his wife and three daughters, make their home in Denver, Colorado, and spend any time they can traveling, exploring, and adventuring. Read more about Joshua’s story in 5280 and


  1. Staying with an unsuccessful Web site is one of the toughest things I’ve ever faced. Of course, on the Web, we expect things to happen so quickly, so when the money doesn’t come raining down, it’s tough.

    But good luck, I’ll be sure to check it out.

  2. Well Said!

    Info Junkies in the REI arena make REI info-mercial gurus rich!

    92% of all REI Courses stay on the bookshelves, not even used!

    Why? Many reasons, mainly fear and never had any real past success at anything.

    So the hard belief is not there. In the HEART. Not the MIND.

    Many of my students THINK THEMSELVES TO DEATH.

    I believe, along with many others, that the two most important things you can do to be successful is to take action and be disciplined.

    Tom Hopkins, a noted sales guru from way back, said in one of his books that the key to success was discipline, not determination.

    Isn’t PASSION enough?
    Isn’t DETERMINATION enough?

    NO. You need PRECISION in this business, which takes discipline.

    By the way, I have used as a successful sales person and a high producing sales manager Tom Hopkins’s book, “How to Master the Art of Selling”. Get the book and be a better parent and a better business person.

    Getting back,

    What is discipline?

    Discipline is doing the basics very well to make you successful everyday, day after day, year after year.

    If you are trying to lose weight, the only way to accomplish this is through action and discipline. Walk 30 min EVERY DAY, drink alot of H2O, and eat alot of salad. Then eat what ever you want! 🙂

    Doing the basics in real estate investing is simple.

    Making calls everyday, more importantly, returning calls everyday!

    How many of you have called realtors or investors only to have them never call you back.

    Searching the newspaper everyday, calling key investors everyday and feeding your mind with real estate articles and books everyday is discipline.

    The next part is to take action.

    If you find that first deal that fits your numbers and criteria, what do you do?

    A lot of people go back and rerun their numbers, call their friends and family searching for any reason or justification NOT to do it.

    STOP IT!

    If you have created your desired numbers on sound research, when you find something that fits the criteria, do it!

    What is that NIKE ad? Just do it!

    I can tell you that there is so much room for mistakes in real estate it is ridiculous so get out there and take action!

    I challenge people to go to my site and LEARN.

    Then DO.

    Without the DOING the LEARNING is just entertainment.

    And, Write this down:

    Common Sense + Action = Power

    It is common sense to have systems for Motivated Sellers, Eager Buyers and Happy Private Lenders.

    It is ACTION in the PROSPECTING that makes the business HAPPEN. Then CLOSING. Then FOLLOWING UP on the REJECTS.

    Why follow up? Because EVERYONE CHANGES THEIR MIND!

    All the best to all at

    Brian Gibbons
    Since 1986, Teaching one Newbie at a time, 1 on 1

  3. I certainly empathize with your experiences with a website that requires too much baby-sitting. I can’t imagine running a monster website such as, that would be just plain nuts! Very best of luck to you in all your future web-based endeavors!

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