ARG Media Ltd: Adam Grunwerg
Digital media publisher and consultancy specialising in the finance, student and gaming niche
Tell us what your business does:
We run a growing portfolio of media websites in the student, finance and gaming niche.
Most of our sites are monetised from CPM deals and advertising, however we've also enjoyed significant earnings from affiliate marketing and pre-sold ads.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
During University I was working as a freelance writer for some big affiliates in the gaming industry e.g. PokerNews.com.
One day my employer convinced me to set up and run my own website. The first ever site I launched was in the UK student poker niche, covering live events and online tournaments.
Since then I started developing websites in different niches including a few large acquisitions which have since paid off handsomely.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The website industry is a rapidly growing business where a number of young webmasters and entrepreneurs are making silly amounts of money very fast.
I knew many others in the industry the same age as me, who were earning more than £10,000 per month, and that's really where the motivation came from. When you see others having relatively quick success, it inspires you to try it yourself and see what's possible.
As for making money, I tended to target upcoming markets with little competition.
What were you doing before starting up?
I was basically at University writing freelance content for others. Not many students know it but you can make quite a lot of money writing freelance content or copywriting over the internet.
I was earning upwards of £60 per day with a few hours’ work writing content during the second summer of University.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I've always enjoyed making things or managing projects, but that's more of a personality trait then wanting to work for myself.
How did you raise the money?
I earned a sizeable amount from writing content online (more than £1,500 within a couple of months), which got me a long way.
Setting up and running a website only costs around £50 per year. If you write your own content too then you don't really need to raise much money. You just need to be patient with your sites and build up enough traffic.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
I've had a number of challenges and setbacks which still continue today.
There's the pressure of working alone, pressure from parents wanting me to get a job, pressure to earn enough money, loneliness from working at home etc.
I guess the key is just to connect with other start-ups and individuals like yourself with whom you have something in common. This helps alleviate stress and spread good ideas.
How much do you charge?
What was your first big breakthrough?
I bought a small site for £200 a couple of years ago. After adding some more content and marketing through SEO, I started to make £300+ per month. This was the first time I began to make serious passive income with a site and it encouraged me to continue my business.
The site has since earned me more than £10,000 and I haven't really updated or touched it in over a year.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Make sure whatever you do, you're constantly investing in yourself and building a strong skill set. This massively reduces the pressure and risks in case you fail. The harder you work to learn new things and make new contacts, the more opportunities will come your way.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
I'd like to be happy where I am first of all. After that, I'd like to be managing sites that provide a lot of value to users and hopefully be settled with an office in London.