From Video Games To Netbooks: How Chris Guthrie Made $150,000 Online After Losing His Job

By Yaro Starak
43 Comments

Chris GuthrieChris Guthrie is like your every day guy. He’s into video games, he likes computers, he studied marketing at Western Washington University, worked a full time job first as a game tester with Microsoft, and later in sales selling IT equipment. He also happened to be really good at the game Halo 2, so good that he decided to use his skill to create a website about the game to help professional Halo players (yes there are professional video game players!). Thus an internet marketing career began.

Chris started recording his game performances and shared the footage as video on his Halo site. Eventually he added a forum and thanks to the community he built, was able to start making money with advertising programs like AdSense. His next major success was with review sites, in particular one site that reviewed netbooks (small laptops) just as they were becoming popular. Thanks in particular to income from the Amazon affiliate program Chris was able to leave the workforce and become a full time internet marketer (well he actually was fired!).

Next Chris began buying and selling websites and creating more niche sites using his review site formula. Less than two years after starting his netbook site, he sold it for more than six figures using an investment banker as a broker.

Hear The Complete Story

Chris went from getting fired in 2009 to earning well over $150,000 in 2010 from the Amazon affiliate program and other income streams, and today makes his entire living online. Listen to this interview with Chris as he takes you back over his entrepreneur journey, including how he started his websites, how he made money from them and how he became serious about buying and selling websites.

Websites mentioned during the interview:

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43 Comments

  • very inspiring article on mking money and how to proceed

  • This kind of articles are really awsome because they give bloggers something that can’t be bought: inspiration.

  • Even though Amazon is killing some states at this moment..they are still the place to go the sell any item under the sun..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • The nexus tax is concerning that’s for sure but eventually they’ll probably just have to deal with it and allow affiliate programs in every state.

      If you were a big Amazon money maker I can assure you that there are ways around it if your state gets shut down though…

    • Yes, its absolutely true. I still love amazon.

  • WOW it’s huge affiliate income!!! Thank you very much for your mp3 Yaro. I’ve just download it.

  • I love hearing stories like this one. Working for yourself is an Awesome accomplishment, and the fact that you are making a ‘killer’ income as well.

  • Your Message
    Great stuff as always on your Blog Yaro! And congradulations on your success Chris. Yaro, any news about when the 2- Hour Workday Special Report will be available?

  • Hey Chris, awesome to hear about your success! I always love stories like this!
    You know what kind of makes me upset is that I have all these ideas yet I never have the money to make them happen or the skills.

    Back before facebook or myspace was even created I had an idea to do something similar back in 1999-2000 but I had no way to make it happen. No money, no skills and I lived in the country isolated from anyone who would be interested in doing anything with my idea. In fact I got my first computer at around that time.

    My life was going crazy too, I had depression, I didn’t have any friends, I just dropped out of high school. In fact I never thought I would drop out of high school, I didn’t think I was the type. It was weird because I saw trouble maker kids graduate and I was like what’s wrong with me and how could they graduate when myself dropped out?. I guess I had it with school and the pressure. My parents wouldn’t leave me alone and everyone was pressuring me that I need to do this to graduate blah blah blah, my dad always yelling at me. I just couldn’t take it and I didn’t know what to do.

    Anyway I started playing a game on the Internet one of the pioneering mmorpgs “Ultima Online” I learned a lot from this game and it even taught me how to type on a keyboard by practicing to talk to players in game all the time. I even became a top player on the shard I got to do things most people didn’t get to do.

    Even though I did learn some things from the this game and the Internet it got worse. Since I had no direction or any clue to what to do with myself. I then went to Alaska for a while but that didn’t work out and my parents were bugging me to come back home. I’m not sure if it was a good idea to come back home, my parents are too controlling or overprotective sometimes, they think they know whats best for me but they don’t. They can’t even help themselves. Anyway, so I came back to Texas and things got worse because I still had no clue what to do and my parents were always bugging me and my dad yelling at me to do something with my life.

    I just wanted out and to get away from all of this but I just wasn’t sure how to do it. I eventually ended up even worse off because of some decisions based on misinformation.

    It’s like the last half of my life was a total waste. Anyway, now I’m back living with my parents again back in the country. At least I have Internet, where I can create my own website. I creating a couple websites using free hosts and free domains since I didn’t have any cash. Both of them started to do good after about 5-6 months but I lost both of them because they were free sites.

    Finally after making some money on the Internet, I purchased hosting and a domain and thats what I have now, but I’m so drained from loosing my other two sites and all the negativity that my parents keep putting on me. I want my parents and brothers and I to get along but more than not we don’t always. It’s weird because I see people who have families that are full of love and stuff and i wonder whats wrong with the one I’m in. But I also know that there are families worse off than what I have. I’ve tried over and over to tell my parents things but they don’t listen to me for some reason ever since I was a little kid. I’m not saying I have bad parents, they do some things right. I guess they just don’t understand me.

  • This story reminds me of the video “King of Kong.” These guys recorded their gaming and submitted it to a review site. I can’t remember the name of the site, but it was hugely popular. The big event was to get to the King Kong kills screen. Thanks for the post.

    • Lol I’ve seen that documentary and oddly enough that guy lives about 20 minutes away from me too hah hah.

  • Hi Chris,

    Glad to see you on here. :)

    Very inspiring story and insights. Thank you for sharing.

    Cheers,
    Allen

  • That is quite the accomplishments. This guy totally looks like someone I went to high school with. Anyway, what a great success story. Even after getting fired he made his way back up in less than a year.

  • Just wondering, how many of you comment posters leverage free traffic by posting comments on high traffic websites on a daily basis?

  • Hey Chris one word WOW…Hopefully I’ll be there one day, just started blogging and loving it – hopefully, so is everyone who reads my blog!. I love this site, there are so may people who give great advice and who you can aspire to. Keep um coming!

    • Hey Karen,

      Best of luck to you with your blog. I just checked it out and it looks like a very interesting niche!

      Chris

  • Awesome interview Chris, so refreshing to hear from someone similar to my age. Pretty cool how your initially branched off from youtube. In regards to forum traffic yeah I find it very hard to monetize, as the core members are very ad sensitive.

    About that halo course, I’ve never played Halo myself but I know the games that I play, people to pay others to teach them to get better so they can be more competitive.

    I can relate by the way on the weird sleep schedule, i mean look at me… 4 am… yeah.. listening to the interview lol.

    Another thing… I like your strong keyword in the domain strategy, that’s what Ive been leaning towards. in the past year.

    -Jean

    • Hey Jean,

      Thanks I’m glad you liked the interview. Yah I think one of the keys to online business is that you gotta stay on top of changing trends so you can easily migrate to various business models etc. :)

      Chris

  • This is great, I have something to listen to know on the journey home. That’s a huge affiliate income.

  • I always believe that if you love what you are doing somehow you’ll make money out of it. You are a living proof of this. Very inspiring story. :)

    • Golden Boy, you bring up a great point, I feel the same way too, especially if that something that you are doing has great potential to make money in and certainly there is plenty of it on the internet with the right entrepreneurial mind.

      -Jean

  • a very inspiring and interesting story. I always had suspected there were some people out there making money with Amazon Affiliates, but never heard anything about how they did it.

    Thanks for the post and recording.

    Brandon

  • a very inspiring and interesting story. I always had suspected there were some people out there making money with Amazon Affiliates, but never heard anything about how they did it.

    Thanks for the post and recording.

    Brandon

  • I have heard of people that make money from amazon before but have never heard a detailed explanation before.

    Thanks for the insight and it certainly started me thinking

    Brandon

  • Very fascinating story. I’m sure nothing could be cooler than being able to make a living through a passion such as gaming. Loved to listen to that. Well done, Chris.

  • I love hearing stories like this one.I always had suspected there were some people out there making money with Amazon Affiliates

  • Chris,

    It is interesting to learn that your Netbook reviews website was started at the beginning of Netbook popularity, versus starting one now or several years after a certain product launches. It seems like timing is a big part of the success formula with particular niches.

    “Isn’t it easier to sell a physical product by doing a review than selling a Clickbank product?”

    I would think that selling information products would be “easier” in the sense of their being no need to request a physical product to test. Isn’t their a lot more competition for a product that is so ubiquitous like Notebooks, versus a Clickbank product that less people know about. However, the bottom line is that is worked for you.

    Can video game professionals make a full time income? Are these pros treated like celebrities within the industry?

    It seems like you really tried a lot of different niches. How many websites, outside of your personal blog do you currently own and run?

    – Andrew

    • Hey Andrew,

      Yah that’s part of the key to success I believe -> Identifying trends on the web and then building websites to meet those trends etc.

      I think it’s easier to sell a physical product simply because there is a lot less research people do when buying a physical product over a digital one.

      For example, I have a course where I teach people how to make money with Amazon’s affiliate program but people that listen to this interview, read my blog post about the $90k I’ve earned with them so far etc. etc. will still be far less likely to buy my course because there are just so many scammy products relating to online business. So in that sense I believe it’s easier to sell a physical product.

      Yes video game pros make at the minimum low six figures and some of the most widely known ones probably earn close to around $500k per year (and those are the Halo ones). The Starcraft pros in South Korea are treated like celebrities there.

      I run a few dozen sites at least (hard to keep track of all of them)

      • Thanks for the response.

        Selling physical products was never on my radar, but I will definitely keep it in mind as I build more sites. I suppose if a buyer already has an idea of the physical product they want, it will not take much convincing to get them to buy.

        It is hard to believe that there are video game pros making $500k a year! Simply amazing. I wonder if their “hobby” becomes like work, considering the amount of time they must put in to master the game(s)?

        – Andrew

  • Wow what an inspiration! who would have thought playin video games could make you money. Btw… I think i have a chance of kicking your behind in halo 2. Bring it!! haha

  • I have downloaded the Mp3 file. The Audio is Very Good. This is an inspiration post to me. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Isn’t it just amazing how this guy took something that was just a hobby like playing a video game to a six figure business. Just think if websites were around when the first Legend of Zelda came out. I’d be a Billionaire Today. Cheers!

  • I have downloaded the Mp3. I cannot hear audio clearly. Is there any problem in the audio?

  • Great stuff, i just interviewed chris and he does making a killing with amazon’s affiliate program, kudos to him.

  • Thanks for the information, such stories inspire people, to do what they like and to make money on this.

  • Great post. I can’t wait to listen to the podcast on my way home. I first heard about the site and Chris Guthrie from Pat Flynn. I was very excited when I heard about his success story and am very glad that I finally have the opportunity to listen to his story on this podcast. Thanks a Million

  • Very inspiring post. I have forwarded this to a few friends who are in a slump.

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