The following is a paid review and is completely of my own opinion and is not influenced by being paid. If you’re interested in having me review your site or product, please view my advertising page.
Back when I was working really hard on my websites, before I started to live pretty well off of them, I would often need motivation to build up energy to keep cracking away on them. I often say that motivation and inspiration are crucial tools, for me at least, to help you on the road to success. When I really get inspired or motivated, I’ll work with a rejuvenated passion which does wonders for efficiency, creativity, and effectiveness.
Back in the day (before the Make Money Online blog storm) I used to get my “motivation fix” by going on webmaster forums and looking at how much others were earning online with their websites.
But now there is a site dedicated specially to manufacture inspiration and motivation: RetireAt21.com
RetireAt21 is run by Michael Dunlop, a 19-year-old entrepreneur who is keen on striking it rich and earning 10-million dollars by the age of 25. The site is composed of several different sections and features, but there are three main areas which I will discuss here.
The interview section on RetireAt21 is the heart and soul of the site. Michael has interviewed many successful entrepreneurs, and there are new interviews regularly added. Most of the interviewees are young web entrepreneurs, but there are also a few older entrepreneurs and offline businessmen as well.
There are a lot of “big name” contacts in the online industry who have been interviewed. Some of them include:
- Rand Fishkin (CEO of SEOmoz.org)
- Matt Mickiewicz (24 year old SitePoint Co-Founder)
- Yaro Starak (Blogger of Entrepreneurs-Journey.com fame)
- Sean Belnick (20-year-old whose website brought in $38 Million Dollars)
- Tyler Cruz (Even an interview with me is there!)
The interviews are a good read, and a good source of inspiration. I look forward to seeing even bigger names being interviewed in the future.
RetireAt21 has an active blog which has been regularly updated since its inception. The posts are very interesting and unique – they range from general blogging tips, online marketing, personal tidbits, and related YouTube videos of entrepreneurs.
I found it very addicting, and actually read through the entire archive to the very beginning of the blog, which is something I rarely do.
It is a very entertaining blog. I think part of why I enjoyed it so much is that it isn’t saturated with posts about contests or the overdone “make money blogging” tips many blogs produce.
Michael recently made a good post on the Top 30 Young Bloggers Under 21 which, while an interesting read, made me feel old 🙁
The forum at RetireAt21 has over 4,400 posts and 1,700 members. It focuses discussion on web development and making money online with such sub-forums as Internet Business Discussion, Making Money Online, Design and Development, and Entrepreneur Discussion.
If I could make one suggestion, it would be for Michael to consider reorganizing the sub-forums in order to focus the discussion on a tighter target. The webmaster forum niche is saturated, and there are already large successful forums which are extremely hard to compete against.
Considering that the rest of the site focuses more on inspiration, young web entrepreneurs, and Internet moguls, I think it would be better for the forums to cater to that fact as well. For example, instead of having a Marketplace (which will never truly be able to compete with Sitepoint and DigitalPoint) and Programming Your Site sub-forums, why not have “Motivation & Insipiration” and “Drawing Board” – a sub-forum to share or expand on ideas?
I think that structuring the forum to tie in closer with the aim of the site would give it a greater importance and appeal. Another idea would be for Michael to invite some of his interviewees to participate in a Q&A thread on the forum, answering questions from the general public.
Young Rich List
The Young Rich List at RetireAt21 is a list of the top 50 online entrepreneurs under the age 30. The list includes photos, the websites that the web entrepreneurs created, their age, and their net worth.
Consider it a Forbes list for us web entrepreneurs. It’s truly amazing to see how the Internet has made many people in their 20’s multimillionaires, usually within only a couple years, too!
Before I made my living as a web entrepreneur, I used to work at a governmental Internet access centre, which was provided for through a youth grant. It was mostly used by kids aged 10-13, and almost all of them came in to either chat on MSN Messenger or play the online MMORPG Runescape.
So, when I saw on this list that Runescape’s creator has a net worth of over half a billion dollars, I was amazed. I knew that Runescape was popular, but not that popular.
The same thing goes for DeviantArt. I have heard about this site a lot over the years, but never knew it was that popular.
This is again why RetireAt21 is a good resource for inspiration. Most of these multi-millionaires are in their 20’s and got rich by coming up with good ideas and seeing them through to fruition.
There is a bit of an issue with some spelling and grammatical mistakes throughout the site. It is not a huge concern, but definitely something that should be addressed, especially on the static sections of the site.
I can understand having spelling and grammatical mistakes in blog posts since posts are usually meant to be temporary, but there is no excuse to have such mistakes on static, or permanent, sections of the site. For example, the Young Rich List spells “MIllion” with a capital “I” on each of the 50 rows. This is a permanent main page that is viewed often. Most of the mistakes are very simple ones that can easily be fixed (“I” is spelled as lower case “i”, homonyms are misused; “their” is spelled as “there”, etc.).
Michael is actually dyslexic, but that is no excuse! Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, and Thomas Edison were all dyslexics. You might argue that they were scientists and inventors and didn’t require a good writing skill. Well, Agatha Christie and even W.B. Yeats were dyslexic, too! So, I won’t accept dyslexia as an excuse.
The small spelling mistakes and other errors are indeed very minor and small, but even so, they take away a lot of the professionalism of the site. It is an easy fix, and something that Michael should try to pay more attention to in the future.
My other suggestion would be to make the blog the front page of the site, since it will always be updated with new content. The current front page is fairly useless, especially for repeat visitors. The only thing on it that is of any usefulness are the snippets of the 3-most recent interviews. But since the blog already announces when new interviews are added, this can easily be scrapped.
Putting the blog on the front page would also allow Michael to build the site around the blog. It’s easier to build the site around a blog than it is to build a blog on the interviews. Just look at how SEO guru Aaron Wall built his SEO Book product: he repeatedly preaches in his book how he leveraged his blog in order to promote his e-book, which is how he wrestled his way out of the saturated SEO niche.
I really believe that putting the blog as the main page would be a very beneficial improvement.
As stated in my introduction, I believe that inspiration and motivation are extremely useful tools to have for any entrepreneur. RetireAt21.com is a good resource for this, especially for young web entrepreneurs.
If you ever find yourself disheartened or with a lack of motivation, head over to RetireAt21 to rejuvenate yourself and recharge your batteries!