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The Story of a $9M Lifestyle Business: Kean Graham, CEO of MonetizeMore (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Jun 23rd 2016

Sramana Mitra: Interesting. The reason why I’m curious about what you’re describing is that I have done quite a lot of travel. I continue to work while I’m traveling. At one time, I was calling my colleague in New Jersey. I said, “Guess where I’m calling you from? I’m calling you from a cave in Turkey.”

Kean Graham: Was that in Cappadocia?

Sramana Mitra: Exactly.

Kean Graham: It’s beautiful there. Did you stay in one of those cave hotels?

Sramana Mitra: Yes. After the Europe trip, you came back to Victoria?

Kean Graham: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: How long did you stay in Victoria and what was the next trip?

Kean Graham: I was in Victoria for probably about four to six months. The next trip was to Australia. I went to Australia and New Zealand. I also visited my sister in South Korea. That was about a three-month trip. I was also optimizing the work and travel and I was getting better at it. One thing that I had to go through was I went to this island in Australia called Fraser Island. It’s a remote beautiful island. However, there was no Internet connection.

The thing with my industry is we’re optimizing that. The reality of advertising is ads never stop. Whether it’s a weekend or a holiday, you always have to be optimizing that. I always have to be connected. I had to be able to set things up, manage expectations, set up these plans so that I could take a full weekend off with no digital. That was a bit of a difficult thing but I was able to be creative. It went well. There were not huge issues after it. I was able to take that digital hiatus.

Sramana Mitra: You said you continued in this mode for two years before you had additional employees or clients. In that two years with that client, how much did money did you make in total?

Kean Graham: I probably made about $300,000.

Sramana Mitra: You fulfilled your agenda of traveling and you learned a bunch of tricks in the process. Two years hence, that’s 2010?

Kean Graham: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: What happens next?

Kean Graham: We were able to get our second client called PennySaverUSA.com. They are another online classified that is very popular in Southern California. However, according to the other potential client, that could have been a fluke. It was important for me to be able to prove it out with a different website and a different situation. We were able to convince PennySaverUSA.com to try us with the same model – 25% of the revenue increase. I applied the same model and we were able to get immediate increases. They were also a long-term client. We were able to increase their  performance by 300%.

Sramana Mitra: What kind of numbers did PennySaverUSA have? How many unique visitors? What kind of page views?

Kean Graham: At their peak, they were close to a million unique users and had about 10 million page views a month.

Sramana Mitra: What kind of advertising revenue were they doing when you came into this scenario?

Kean Graham: They were doing about $30,000 to $40,000 a month.

Sramana Mitra: You managed to increase that by 300%?

Kean Graham: Yes.

Sramana Mitra: Did they also have a problem with you taking 25% of the gain?

Kean Graham: They were happy to let us have it. Luckily, I learned from my previous client and communicated MonetizeMore as a company.

This segment is part 4 in the series : The Story of a $9M Lifestyle Business: Kean Graham, CEO of MonetizeMore
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