Just imagine being a teenager and earning $100 each day. Shame it’s not a story about me.
Read the interview to learn what he’s been up to now and how he operated his Twitter Empire!
Mr. Web Capitalist Interviews Victor.
What’s your name?
I go by Victor online.
I’m a Singaporean with a Chinese name IRL which sort of makes it an inconvenience to work online.
People tend to avoid foreign names when they are looking for work done due to quality reasons from third-world countries.
Could you describe what do you do and how you earn your living?
I started running Twitter accounts when I was 15, which I then grew it to a network of 2 million followers in a span of 2 – 3 years.
Here’s one of my accounts.
I ran all different kind of niche accounts back then, I’m very big on testing scalability.
From @pleasuregif, @beyondathletes to @retrieverpics, @advtimereaction. There’s a big difference in activity and growth in every niche. Very interesting to see first hand.
In 2016, I got a bunch of my accounts hacked and suspended within the short span of 2-3 months. It made no sense to continue building my net worth on sand, it is just not healthy to constantly waking up in fear of suspension and being hacked everytime you type the wrong password in or having all your assets suspended with just a false DMCA/by association with spam accounts.
I gave up Twitter when I was 17.
Though I did regret not properly cashing them out and just leaving them to go inactive (15-20K USD worth of accounts). Twitter ended up suspending a lot of my influencer friends for the next 2 years.
Moving on, I started looking into other revenue streams – Amazon merch, Forex & SEO.
I bought courses for all of them, not the Udemy courses – the legitimate paid courses that cover all angles.
I tried to “have it all”. But it just doesn’t work out.
But in IM, you gotta focus on 1 thing, and that just 1 thing will bring your success.
I dropped Amazon merch and Forex since they have barriers to entry for me. (No design experience and high skill curve for trading).
It took me almost a year to get me started on SEO, I spend a lot of time reading and learning. Without skin in the game, it’s hard to understand what’s BS and what’s not.
I took action last November after a long break from my Twitter failure, I entered crypto early and it made me x3-4 of what I put into it, which funded my niche sites.
How did you get started?
I went into BlackHatWorld and looked, I spent 6 months reading and learning. Then I took action.
Following on Twitter was easy and there was a high payout on MyLikes back then, basically, if you can get anyone to trade retweets with you – then you will get paid.
It was a lot easier to make money. I had 2 accounts with 80k+ fake followers (cost $10-15), follow 20K-30K people by hand – it was making $100+ a day just by trading retweets with other accounts.
There was no skill curve, no barrier to entry and no competition.
I now fully focus on trend and niche research to find niches/market like this now.
How to make money on Twitter? Is it still possible to make money on Twitter?
Yep! It really depends on how you grow it out.
I saw a lot of success stories over the years, here are a few that are really worth noting.
Youtubers like Taylor Nicole Dean only had their career blow up from Twitter. She had 20k+ followers way before she had Youtube which really jump-started her Youtube career.
Rich Brian was part of the ‘influencer’ community too, he was being retweeted by a lot of us through our bigger accounts cause he’s just that funny. But a big part of it was his ability to create a hit song, which went viral on his own account. He had around 20-30K followers I think. Most of the community sort of knew each other even in 2014.
If anyone remembers Alex from Target, he was being pushed by influencers reposting content. Buzzfeed featured a few of us talking shit about how someone else is claiming credit for it.
A bulk of the Twitter influencers were monetizing their impressions with e-commence stores, a bulk of them was doing drop shipping in 2014-2015, way before it became a trend this year.
A lot of companies/brands were buying Twitter rethemed accounts with 20-30K followers (cost was $1/k for real followers), giving it the ‘social proof’. I sold a 20k account once to a company, they rethemed it into a bar’s Twitter account.
If I would do it all over again, I’ll grow a personal account + niche account (Slime ASMR account, selling slime etc) that cannot be copied or replicated. Most accounts I see don’t really last a year or so.
The few that do always end up being suspended due DMCAs as their only way of monetization is pushing out content to gain followers/impressions.
Each follower you gain for a brand is worth a lot more compared to just a content account reposting tweets.
Also, ad impressions are fairly cheap ($20/100k impressions) if you are involved in that space, branding is key to stand out.
How much time did you spend each day to operate your Twitter empire?
3-4 hours for maintaining, 6-7 if I’m trying to push growth.
It’ll take like 20 mins to find good content if you have 2-3 accounts.
But I wasn’t very smart back when I was younger. I had 30-40 accounts with no botting process done because I thought I was very smart back then lol.
Are there any must-have tools for Twitter?
I would say Buffer for scheduling tweets and posts
Bot for automation (follow/unfollow) – There’s no way you can do 30-40 accounts by hand if you have an IRL job. 1 VPS ($10/month) and a $100 bot can do you more good in you are going for follower count and not activity.
If you are going for activity, I would recommend joining Tweetdecks – although they seem like they are no longer a thing for influencers. (I haven’t been in the space for years so I’m not very sure on that)
Buzzfeed did a few pieces on Tweetdecking:
- “Tweetdecking” Is Taking Over Twitter. Here’s Everything You Need To Know
- Twitter Just Suspended A Ton Of Accounts Known For Stealing Tweets
What were the mistakes you made that got your accounts banned?
Twitter suspends you via IP.
Back then, there was a lot of trading retweets and had a lot of co-owning going on. Every account on the same IP was being suspended. There was sort of a purge every few months to clean out accounts.
Retweeting ‘health ads’ (I was paid out for it too, from exposely.com – I don’t remember what were the ads though)
Basically, you get suspended for anything if Twitter feels like it.
Since it’s a private company, they don’t really give you a reason (they just mention you’re breaking their rules, not a specific one) for it unless you know people internally to help you with it.
Why don’t you re-start your Twitter journey? Seems like you have a lot of experience.
I don’t like that fact that Twitter can just take away everything from me after months of hard work, besides the skills I got from it can be replicated on other platforms.
I can grow an Instagram account as well as I grow Twitter accounts. (Tried and tested)
And Twitter is dying. When the trend is going down, it easier to abandon ship and jump to somewhere else.
For now, 2 trends I’m spotting are: Google + Instagram/Youtube (Personal branding wise)
What’s your typical workday like?
I worked a physical job previously but now I’m waiting to enlist in the army in a month or 2.
I’m not a ‘grind it out’ person, I look for an edge. I read a lot and take action when I feel like it’s something that I can exploit/game.
My typical day goes from reading, learning from paid courses and researching ideas.
Now, I’m working on a Pinterest site, monthsary.co.
It’s a lot easier to game Pinterest since it’s a visual search engine and it doesn’t take a lot of money to win. Content quality doesn’t need to be top tier too since you are not competing for ranking positions but clickthrough on your pins. There’s a piece for everyone.
I’m running a few other smaller niche sites and building social proof for my service-based biz. – upperhand.net
What makes You the most money?
Definitely building assets, I’m just not as good at monetizing.
But I was offered 8K USD for one of my Twitter accounts which I grew in 2-3 months from a friend. I sold it before he threw me an offer and sold a site for 1.6K with pretty much 1 article on it.
What is your Top source of traffic?
It used to be Twitter, I pushed around 150-200 million impressions/monthly at my peak.
I’m working on SEO/Pinterest now.
What do you like about online marketing?
Winner takes all. I love competition. I’m a strategy guy so it makes it more exciting than it should be for most people.
Which blogs do you read?
I tend to follow smaller blogs/accounts. They tend to be more honest about their work and actually have skin in the game advice instead of rehashed BS.
I spend most of my time reading on Twitter and looking up on things if I need it.
Are there any must-have tools or resources you recommend for internet marketers?
What does the Internet Lifestyle mean to you?
Freedom to live.
I worked a number of jobs to understand why I need to do what I do.
I have worked as a customer service for Grab, at a petrol station, bike marshall etc.
I have seen a lot of people stuck in the jobs they hate because they didn’t try when they were younger. They are stuck in their stale routine because they have no other way out.
I don’t want that for me or anyone I care about.
What advice would you give to people just starting out with an online business?
- Take a year to read books
- Get a mentor
- Paid courses
When you are new, you are like a blank canvas.
You have no experience or skill sets or understanding of the market.
All your ideas are most likely to fail.
At this point, It’s easier to keep up a habit of reading or just talking to people and try to get a mentor.
And mentorships work.
I mentored this 19-year-old when I was 17, he blew up from being retweeted on my accounts, got featured on the news as “couple goals”.
Now he’s a 79K influencer on Instagram (@thomasandannalise)
He never once paid me back for the mentorship though lol.
I’m mentoring a national team athlete now, he just got his first paid gig for Facebook ads.
You just need someone to see something in you to prosper, you just gotta blow up once.
If you liked this interview, then read my interviews with other online marketers.
Did you like the interview? Got any questions about Twitter?
Or maybe you know someone who should I interview?
Let me know by leaving a comment below!