Some people have asked me why I started FreeAdLists.com, especially since I have a fairly decent paying job with benefits. Frankly speaking, I just wanted to do something on my own. I started development work on the free classifieds website in Dec 2006 and launched it in mid-March 2007.
To be honest, at times, I wondered why the heck I started this endeavor because it took up too much of my time and my visit rate was quite discouraging. I had some serious doubts because I didn’t really have any solid knowledge in running a WWW website. But then I remember my original reason for starting the endeavor, it was my attempt at starting something on my own and it ostensibly smelled like entrepreneurship. Some people have quipped that it’s just another classified ads site…”what’s the big deal.” I listened to their reasons but ignored (ok, barely) the criticism to just give up. In any business, you’re going to have some detractors, and I would strongly argue their input is important to your cause. Why? They will motivate you to improve and persevere in your pursuits.
Now we are into another year and FreeAdLists is doing better. The visitor rate is improving and we are getting several thousand visitors per week. Granted many of those visits are repeats (not complaining though) and compete.com reported 12,223 uniques in Nov 2007. This was done on a very limited budget, limited time resources, light SEO work, and mostly word of mouth. It’s no Craiglist but who is in this free classified ads space.
Anyways, I joined Kiva.org which is a non-profit organization to help entrepreneurs in developing nations start or expand their small businesses. Now I am part of this noble effort as a small lender. Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions to find qualified borrowers. According to the folks at Kiva.org, all monies go to the borrower. They will ask for a very small donation to help offset operating costs but it’s not mandatory. I have always liked the idea of entrepreneurs (risk-takers) trying their hand at entrepreneurship.
Helping people around the world get out of poverty is the right thing to do. Maybe you’ll do the same…
Happy New Year