I Need Your Help With A New Project – MarkitUp.org Preview

You can check out my latest project and register your interest here – MarkitUp.org.

In 2008 I returned from traveling around the world for eight months, visiting twenty-five amazing cities.

What made this trip particularly remarkable was that I came back with more money in my bank account than I left with, despite living in nice hotels and renting apartments during my travels.

I wasn’t backpacking or “roughing it”, this was a comfortable trip not hindered by budget, and I still came back wealthier than before my departure.

This year, 2009, I bought my second property, a fantastic apartment with an amazing view, huge deck, located in possibly the exact location on this planet I most want to live in.

Upon reflection after all of this, I realized that I’m pretty darn lucky. Lucky that I was born at a time when I could capitalize on the Internet and have this amazing medium to communicate with people, and make a living doing so.

Then I noticed something wasn’t right.

I stared at my bank balance and took stock of my material success. I had basically met all the goals I had as a twenty-something year old, in terms of monetary success, but there was a glaring issue that bothered me.

I like to give back and have supported charities that strike a cord with me. I noticed however that with my increase in income, how much I was giving back of my own money hadn’t increased proportionally.

Right then I committed to giving back more and earmarked some money that I would use to support causes during the next 12 months.

Then I had another idea regarding something different to do with my “charity money”.

I didn’t want to just give the money to support causes, which is good of course, but what I want to do is use the money to create a new business.

I’m an entrepreneur, so why not make giving back something greater by creating a new enterprise, which could potentially return much more to charity and be a heck of a lot of fun to build too.

I decided to start a charity that taps into the leverage points I have as a blogger and Internet marketer. However, I didn’t want to do it alone, I needed help.

Enter Chris Dowsett

I immediately thought of a friend, Chris Dowsett, who used to live in Brisbane. I met Chris through friends at university during my early twenties.

He had since moved to the UK and more recently was positioned in Singapore.

I thought of Chris because he has always been a giver, volunteering, working for charities, setting up websites to support causes and even going to Africa to establish a school.

I couldn’t think of a better person to partner with to start a new charity. In fact, I wanted Chris to be the head-honcho, the manager of the new project, while I provided the initial cash flow, the connections and help with ideas.

While I want to start a new charity, I still want to do what I do with my writing and training programs, so I don’t want to commit to leading a new project on my own, when my energy is elsewhere.

I knew Chris was keen to run a charity himself and if successful enough that it could pay him a salary to live off, so he could devote 100% of his time to it, that would be ideal.

I grabbed Chris on Skype, talked to him about the idea, and he quickly said “I’m in”. Fortuitously, Chris had recently left his job and was in between projects, so clearly he was meant for this.

That left us with only one problem left – we didn’t actually have an idea for a charity.

Brainstorming Ideas For A New Charity

Chris flew back to Brisbane for a few weeks to visit family and work with me to get our charity going, before heading off to the USA to visit his girlfriend.

We committed to come up with an idea and lay the foundation for our new business while Chris was in Brisbane, so he could go to work on the project while in the USA.

Although we didn’t have a concrete idea, I did know a few things. I wanted to follow a similar “ideal” model to what I had previously strived for in for-profit web businesses.

The project has to –

  • Be scalable following the many-to-many model. In other words, we can grow the project using the power of our users without any limitations. The more people on board, the better.
  • Leverage my existing strengths. I want something that bloggers and Internet marketers understand and are willing to use and share. This has to be something that taps into the community I have a presence in so I can use my connections to spread the idea.
  • Tap into Chris’ existing networks and strengths. Chris is a statistician by trade and already has contacts and experience helping set-up and support projects focused on education in developing countries.
  • Focus on education. As an information publisher I make my living through teaching. I’m also eternally grateful because of how much I have learned through studying other marketers, entrepreneurs and experts.

    Chris also shares this ideal and we both believe raising awareness through education is key to solving most of our world’s problems. Helping people who are hungry for education have access to it, is our goal.

  • Have the potential to become something really big. Although I’d be happy to give $100,000 a year to our cause thanks to this project, I want the potential to be there to give millions, even hundreds of millions of dollars, if it takes off. Thinking and aiming big is how you achieve big, and this project has to have at least the potential and not be restrained by the model itself.

This criteria is tough, but not unrealistic. The next step was to gather a little mastermind group to come up with ideas.

I called up some of my local friends who all have a charity-related vocation or aspect to their persona, and who know the Internet well, and invited them to help brainstorm ideas. This group included Catherine, a consultant to not-for-profits, Mike, an experienced social media consultant and entrepreneur, Gideon, Chris and myself.

Sitting at a table outside on my deck, surrounded by some fantastic people, we shot ideas and discussed options. Clearly the causes we could support were many, as were the methods to support them, but I kept coming back to the core ideals I wanted the project to have.

Towards the end of the evening a simple idea struck me. I’m not sure where it came from, and I wasn’t even sure how good it was as I said it, but the more we talked about it, the better it sounded. It fit really well with all of the ideals set out, matched my strengths and Chris’ and had the potential to be huge, if enough people supported it.

We agreed that it was the best option and decided to run with it.

So What Is The Idea?

I can’t reveal exactly what our project is about just yet, but I can tell you we need your help. In fact the success of this project depends completely on whether Internet marketers grasp it, support it and use it.

I’m absolutely itching to launch this, but I don’t want to give away anything until we have a working model, so when I tell you what it is, you can use it immediately.

What I can tell you is that it’s going to be something you can plug right into what you do already if you are an Internet marketer. It will enable you to generate donations for the charity, which will be used directly to purchase education support services, items and infrastructure, starting in Africa where Chris has a team ready to start distributing, though we have plans to grow to other countries and provide other services as well.

My hope is that this service will become the de-facto method for Internet marketers to give back, leveraging what you do best and not requiring any work on your part beyond installing some simple code into your web pages.

Chris has been hard at work registering our charity and setting up our blog and logo. We brainstormed and did domain name research to come up with a company name and decided to run with MarkitUp.org (Mark It Up).

We are not 100% sure on the exact slogan to go with the name Mark It Up, but it means something along the lines of “Marketers using Information Technology to help people rise Up from poverty“.

Here Is What You Can Do Today

We’ve set up the MarkitUp.org email newsletter and we are ready to take subscribers who want to know exactly when our service is ready.

If you like the idea of giving back as a result of doing what you already do online, you’re keen to support this new charity and help Chris and I grow it into something significant, or you just want to know what I’m up to, please register here –


Thanks for your support and I look forward to seeing you put the first Mark It Up tool into action.

Yaro Starak

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Hey Yaro

    I like your drive to give back through a philanthropic venture like this – and to dream big and smart with it too. With the viral potential of the internet, anything is possible with this global community.

    Good luck with this project and look forward to your updates having now signed up myself


  • Awesome! Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with.

    I like this far better than the “friend” who was trying to push you into buying an expensive car by telling you yours looked “girly”.


  • I just registered at MarkitUp…all the best Yaro!
    I think this is gonna be something with you right behind the wheel

  • Registering… done.

    So I’m intrigued. And I want this to take off really big… so you can outgrow the space you’re in right now… heh… total self-interest here.

    More seriously, if you can also find a way to measure results, that would be really great. Too little of that going on, and I’m more inclined to put my money where I know it will be get results.

  • Yaro – just signed up.

    Glad to help in any way I can. In fact, I think what you’re shooting for here – educating people as a means of delivering them from poverty – is a profound principle. The idea of micro finance has done much for people already, but what about the idea of “micro-education” where they can take a new skill and leverage it to great benefit?

  • This is great! I’m sure that this project will change the world. Social entrepreneurship is the wave of the future. As can be seen through the examples of Sir Richard Branson and Muhammad Yunus.

    I’m excited (already registered) and sure would like to help in any way I can. It would be great if there was a way for us to network and create projects (kinda like JVs in Internet Marketing) inside Markitup.

    Best of wishes to you, Yaro!

  • I can’t wait to see what you come up with. You have helped so many people build their business, including me, that people should be standing in line to give back to you.

    Good luck!

  • Hi Yaro, thanks so much for the article. And thanks to your readers for being so supportive!

    I’m really excited about Mark It Up – and, just like you, I’m itching to get our there and start building more schools.

    Good things. Thanks again and looking forward to lots of people signing up for our email updates. 😉

  • Great idea to start your own charity Yaro. It is easy to just dump money into existing charities, but a lot of them are setup with too much overhead. So it is nice to be able to help better manage that donation money. I’m sure many internet marketers want to give back. It would be great if there was some type of badge & plugin type setup to automate everything.

  • This is great news, Yaro. As a regular follower and student, I knew it wouldn’t be long before you went and did something like this. 🙂 Am really happy that you chose education – as that is truly the gift that grows and keeps on giving. Nothing else comes close. Best wishes to you and your team and always glad to help. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Yaro – It’s great to see someone who has achieved your success truly doing something to help less fortunate people. One thing I’ve found disturbing/sad about other successful internet marketers’ sites is that they often highlight the excesses their success has brought them, rather than using even a small portion of it to help others.

    I look forward to seeing MarkitUp.org when it is ready.

    Take care,

  • This is a great idea! I’m very happy to hear that with your success you have reached a point where you are much more interested in giving back. I will check out the site right away, Yaro. Cheers!

  • Great Idea, I just signed up and looking forward to helping any way I can/

  • Awesome concept Yaro. It is always great to have a group of people to kick things around and really take project forward. Looking forward to seeing what you have come up with–fabulous name and acronym.

  • AP

    G’day Yaro,

    Good one mate, sounds like your on to a winner ( I have signed up and would be happy to take donations on my site/s).
    I have thought in the past about putting some sought of Automatic donation system on my first site – mosquito nets online but instead I just donate 10% in nets to people that buy 10-500 for small aid purposes.
    If you guys need any advice on mosquito nets (cause they are a great product to donate and save lives) I know the main suppliers and have built up contacts on all continents.

    Keep up the good work.


  • It’s amazing how you came back with more money than you had when you left. That sure must feel good!!

  • Well I wish I had that same “glaring issue that bothered me” .. lol… But as I begin my marketing career online my blogging experience is meager. ( My 2 new blogsites are featuring a virtual Christmas Tree idea! ) This is more great inspiration and I also will be fascinated to see what your idea is!

    Always great ideas here and I’ll be spending more consistent time connecting.

  • It’s really nice of you to support people who aren’t as lucky as you. I think that people should help each other. Keep it up!

  • OK – I signed up for early notice at MarkItUp! I’m excited!

    I too believe that, for the power of education to help lift the world out of poverty, we need to focus on the EDUCATION of the children of the world. I’m in…

  • There are sites that help people with precisely this problem, not knowing how to to who to give. The sites are mostly self supporting non profits and this is as good an entrepreneurship as any. Some remarkable things have been achieved by such sites.

  • I am sorry that I did not include another important comment. I am really touched that you thought of scaling up your giving to keep pace with your own progress. I salute you.

  • what else can I add? good for you mate! you are like a role model to me!

  • I really wish you well with your new project and I can’t wait to read all about it. You’ve got my support 100%

  • Canadian Entrepreneur

    You Get Back What You Send Out!

    It’s great to hear you and your team can create something like this with your skills and abilities so quickly. You will leave a great legacy about the Internet Marketer Yaro. Congrats to Chris as well for finding his path with a purpose driven mission. Keep in touch!


  • Great one Yaro! I’m so glad this is happening and it is praise worthy you ‘re doing this very early. Guys like J.D Rockefeller gave back to the society later in life when their active years had been spent but you thought of this now.

    I hope to be able to make my contributions soon. I have signed up already at markitup.org 🙂

    I think it would be a good idea to create a buzz online about this you know – applying Internet Marketing to charity. I’m sure lots of people are waiting for this wake up call.

    We are all connected on this planet and the lop-sidedness of the distribution of wealth, though a little bit leveled by the internet is still huge.

    Great thinking again.

    • Liked your ThinkandImagine blog Segedoo.. noticed your link in twitter-posts about the autoblogger.

      Are you using that at all? Any feedback about it?

      I may consider – but to use it sparingly. Pulls ONLY from ArticleBase tho’ doesn’t it.

  • Best of luck Yaro. It sounds like a great concept.

  • this is great yaro… All the best and gud luck to you..

  • Hey Yaro! I’m super excited to see where this will lead and will be looking forward to spreading the word when you get the working model.:) Good luck!

  • All the best and gud luck to you..

  • I like your ambition and approach.

    I especially like these points:
    – this service will become the de-facto method for Internet marketers to give back.
    – I’m an entrepreneur, so why not make giving back something greater by creating a new enterprise, which could potentially return much more to charity and be a heck of a lot of fun to build too

  • Great idea Yaro,

    I’ve just signed up and will help in any way I can ’cause the Children are the pillars of a future civilization. They are the leaders of a future society. Education is one prime factor, which various children charity organizations cater to bring about effective results. Many underprivileged children do not enjoy the right to education. They are instead forced to start working right from a tender age. If we help them today then only they can step ahead to bring about a meaningful change in the society.

  • Yaro,

    A very noble and creative idea.
    It is the unselfish nature that you and many other people have that makes our world a great place.
    If we as individuals have the ability to help others in need, then it is our duty to do so.
    Good for you Yaro.

    Best Regards,
    Neil Uttamsingh

  • Sweet. Good luck with everything Yaro – all the best!

  • Your are in my ideal situation. It would be such a good feeling to be able to go wherever you want whenever you want and not worry about losing too much money.

    And it’s a great idea to give back, so I really like and appreciate what you’re doing.

  • Great idea.
    yep.You got my support too.

  • I will have to watch developments with your charity. I really want to get into giving back too. When the taxman is going to take so much of my side income, I might as well give some of it to a more worthwhile cause. It may also help create a buzz about my side business and help build it up to a full time venture.

  • Great blog post you deserve all the success you have earned. You were not scared to face adversity, and were willing to work hard to get it. If your donating to charities that reflects on your character as a good human being, which is not a bad trait to have especially in this day and age. Good blog post I plan on revisiting often thanks! Jay…

  • I know there used to be a site that previewed the clothes on Subeta before I bought them but I haven’t been able to find it lately. Does anyone know the site?

  • This looks like a great project, I cant wait to see more detail about it in the future. In the mean time. I will register.

  • Your are in my ideal situation. It would be such a good feeling to be able to go wherever you want whenever you want and not worry about losing too much money.

  • Very inspiring story, Yaro. That’s awesome. 🙂

  • Hey I checked out the charity website since you posted this. Love what you’re doing. Say, how do you get the word out about that site? How much have you received in donations? Keep up the good work. 🙂

  • 8 months traveling around the world? WOW! I would love to be able to do that kind of thing. I guess you must have had an amazing time! How is the new project coming along?

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