Friday, November 30, 2007

A million dollar dream

Ankur Shanker, like many of you out there, has a dream. To study in a well reputed college abroad. In his case, LSE (London School of Economics).

Ankur got an admit to LSE for the September 2007 session. But, he deferred it to 2008. Because he does not have the 55,000 pounds (or USD $ 100,000 )it would take for his tuition, boarding & lodging.

A Delhi College of Engineering grad (2005 batch) Ankur has some savings from a job as sr business analyst at evalueserve. And yes, he will apply for a scholarship. "Loan is not an option as I don't have collateral," he shrugs.

But Ankur has a 'plan'. He read an article which basically said,"You can earn millions from Adsense" and so he decided to put the theory into practice. Ankur has created a blog called His plan is to write 1 short story, everyday, for 180 days.

And he hopes enough of you will come to read the stories, and perhaps click on the ads, earning him cash.

It's a crazy plan. Can it really get you $ 100,000? I have no idea. But one must admire his spirit. His gung-honess. He is an average Joe in the literary sense (engineer, no great past writing experience, has read only a couple of short story collections - Jhumpa Lahiri & Rohinton Mistry).

But he thinks he can do it. And that's where it all begins, doesn't it. The will, the passion, the determination. It comes through when you speak to him. Which I did, before deciding to write about it.

The first story goes up tonight.

On my part, I am giving him this plug and wish him the best of luck in this endeavour. I hope the stories are of interest to readers (failing which the idea will, as well). But regardless of the quality of the stories, I think it's rather inspiring.

It's all about having a dream - and then doing a little something about it! Which is something we all ought to do more often.

More on the project here.

Update: the first story is quite interesting, in a Dilbert sort of way. Of course I did not feel compelled to click on the ads... But hey, it's a decent start!


  1. ...if a red paper clip can buy a house - a short story a day should go a long way! I'm sure going to make a few clicks for ankur:)

  2. Not sure what programme your friend is going on, but £50K for LSE and loggings is about double what it should be.

    My programme was £12K, but I live in London but if you don't then you budget anoth £15K max for living expenses for the year.

    I wish him well, LSE is an amazing place and he will have a great time if he decides to take the place up in 2008

  3. May be a bank won't loan him but wealthy entrepreneur can, if he can convince them that he will pay the money when he is done, and Ankur is sure of being able to pay off. Of course, he might have to pursue commercial interest after studies...

  4. Blog will not help. Or atleast he should not have RSS on the blog. otherwise ppl will simply subscribe to blog in their favourite reader and will not see any ads in their reader.

  5. i smell a slight problem here. Adsense prohibits publishers from explicitly ask readers to click on the ads. He has to be careful abt the wordings otherwise may get banned by adsense.

    however a great dream and all the best to him...

  6. This is a really interesting story. Ankur's plan might have succeeded a couple of years ago but today, with all the content pollution on the web today, I doubt if the blog will make the thousands of dollars he hopes it will.

    However, here is something that might work. Some big multinational might decide to loan the smart guy some money in return for a five year work contract. What do you think?

  7. I also hope Ankur is using a keyword suggestion tool that will tell him what the top paying keywords are. Else, at the end of a year, he might become a master storyteller with a book contract but that LSE dream might remain just that- a dream.

    Harish B, he is very smart. He tells people that clicking on the ads is up to them and he is not reponsible...blah blah.

  8. All the best for his endeavors. But he should also remember- apartheid is not yet an extinct word. (I am an MBA student in a US Univ, and it has nothing to do with the grades) There is a lot he'll face and he will either become an atavist or an assimilationist in the process. But who the heck cares as long as you are doing well in a B-school and earning a high end salary after graduation, right?

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Not one more poor student impostor. I have already seen many like the

    Google is for sure going to ban his Adsense account...because this is not the first of its kind..

  11. Dear Rashmi,

    Though it's nice of you that you encourage this guy by writing about his work in your Blog but you must be aware how much one can earn through Blogging. In fact if one writes his blog posts just for Adsense income, then it's only extremely good luck only that you can make some money out of it, that too if your Blog gets very popular, one way or the other.

    I think, one should Blog, just for his writing skills & not to earn Adsense Income. Otherwise also, it takes years together to get your Blog popular & then also it earns Pennies out of clicks. For Very Good Indian Blogs also nowadays, CPM is just 0.5 - 1.0 US$ (Earning per thousand page views). Anyway, I also admire this person's passion to do something but for his LSE money, he needs to look after some other alternatives.

    I am a regular reader of your Blog through RSS feed & I like your writings in "Youth Curry - Insight on Indian Youth". Congrats for writing informative articles. Keep it up.


  12. I am going to click for Ankur. While on that check out this interesting review of Cafe Coffee day here:

  13. @dumdum,
    Now, AdSense is integrated into Feedburner. Apart from this there is FAN (Feedburner Advertising network) too. In his case if he uses partial feeds then readers are bound to come back to read the full story.

    @harish b,
    I agree with you regarding AdSense policies. He has to be extra careful because the motive is quite clear.

    I agree with you. Now AdSense has changed the AdSense layout so that only Title & url is clickable. So, most of AdSense publishers are having less CTR.

    Blogging is about writing-
    1)what you(author) wants to write OR
    2)what people want to read
    In case where someone is doing a community work or something, there is no harm in putting AdSense to pay some bills.

  14. Hello

    i agree with ur views

  15. If the target is to save $100k in 6 months, you will have to earn ~$145k in the same period because all web income (from AdSense and PayPal donations) will be taxed at 30%.

    Good luck. $100k sounds like a big target for a new blog but definitely not impossible.

  16. cool idea.. though i dunno wheteher its actually possible...but there's no harm in trying..

    please view my blog:

  17. If something sounds too good to be true, It is too good to be true.

    And Mr. Garthwaite, schools charge more than double the fees (of what it charges to domestic students) if you are an international student.

  18. Sifar,

    You would normally be right for most other universities in the UK (it would have been a lot cheaper for me to go to Oxford or Cambridge)!

    LSE, for most programmes (there are a few exceptions) charges home students and international students the same, so as a home student I paid £12.5K which is what international students also paid.


  19. For better results, he has to appeal globally, where my tool to translate blog post in different languagse can help him

    As well as distributing stories as PDF.

  20. I guess this wont survive a month..Adsense team may ban his account soon

  21. lol. that would be one of the silliest things I've ever heard, or read.

    he's an engineer from dce. thats good. he's got a good job. thats great. he wants to go to lse. thats cool.

    but he needs money, so he's blogging for it? come on. maybe if it was the dilbert blog, he could think of making that much money.

    running the risk of sounding cold and heartless and cruel towards someone's dear dreams of going to a truly great college (i have similar aspirations myself), i can only say that its absolutely ridiculous. a complete non-writer will write a story a day for 180 days, to raise that much money?

    facts please. a post a day does not get you clicks on ads. a fantastic post a day does not get you clicks on ads. a brilliant, moving story, the greatest ever written, delivered day after day, does not get you clicks on ads. nobody clicks on ads. so what is this? why not just put up the one single post, saying "please click on right, left, top or bottom, because I want to study at lse" and leave it at that? then publicise like hell. which i'm sure he must be doing, what with blogs plugging him and all. just that it still wont work.

    i know of people who've gone abroad to study after working for a few years. and their route, the obvious route, was hard work. hard work not at playing amateur badminton, or running marathons to every temple in india, or writing a story every day online. they worked hard at what they were good at, and earned the maximum they could. reaching a point where they could have just continued working at increased salaries, they quit to pursue the experience of a foreign education. that, in my opinion, is inspirational.

    not this, really. this is stupid.

  22. hey ankur, three cheers for ur aspirations about LSE...hey but comeon dude, do u think this is gonna solve ur issue...wake up and might as well look out for some pratical options...

    This really sounds stupid that u gonna write 1 story everyday, i doubt u hardly gonna earn anything from this.

  23. dont want to dampen the spirit, but it "sounds" similar to cyberbegging.

    read this

    it also has "make a donation" link, which undoubtedly makes it a case of cyberbegging.

    the only difference is that it is wrapped in such a nice way that it feels like "cyberearning" ... essentially even the idea is begging us to click on the ads or donate him directly ....

    the guy is one of us and hence it is hard for us to think him as a "beggar" and I am not saying he is ...

    i, in fact, will applaud him for the idea and for the courage and effort to come up with something like this, it is easy for me to stand on sidelines and comment, it is easy to dream and make a real project to earn million dollars on an idea like this.

    best of luck,

  24. I am a lazy bum too - who wants to go to Harvard (though I am yet to take the GMAT). I would also love to earn free money from Adsense. And what the heck, if I can make that kind of money from Adsense, why do I need to go to LSE? Some plan I must say!

    If you are going visit that stupid site to click on Adsense ads, Please visit my site too. Trust me, I need the money equally bad. To retire soon.

  25. Assuming that his intentions are noble, his idea of earning a million bucks in 6 months is going to be tight. Wish that his intentions ae noble and he gets to go to LSE.

    it would have been begging if he had put up just a blank page with Adsense on it and had asked us to click on them. But this guy is coming out with stories at the rate of 1 story a day and asking us to click on the ads only if we like the story.
    I haven't had the time to check out his story 'cause of my exams, but when I do read his stroy and like it, I will definitely click on the Ads and a demnstration of my appreciation and NOT because I want to fund his LSE sojourn, which by the way would be a result of his efforts

    You could check my blog here

  26. Hello am a regular reader of your Blog through RSS feed & I like your writings in "Youth Curry - Insight on Indian Youth". Congrats for writing informative articles. Keep it up.
    please view my blog:

  27. .....all the best ankur,but i really suggest, try some other ways of earning money...this really doesnot seems the best option...

  28. hello I agree with you regarding AdSense policies. He has to be extra careful because the motive is quite clear.

  29. wishing him best of luck :-)

  30. great spirit, but he might run into trouble with google. i think he should try other options, like investing his savings in the stock markets (ofcourse, with strict stop losses). or if he does not want to take any risk, he can try becoming an amway distributor or something. or take an education loan if he wants it that badly. again,great spirit,but i dont think he has too much perspective, because making $100,000 in 6 months is not a joke.
    tip: thats about the median salary that is given to an MBA from HARVARD!

  31. i dont even think a high traffic blog like youthcurry can make $100,000in 6 months. but hey, if people are sympathetic enough and if google doesnt mind, maybe u can get it. it isnt the most honest way, nor is it the most original, but i sure hope he can make it.

  32. he should try making the adsense ads more relevant to his page, or get the most competitive ads on his page. e.g web marketing ads get you handsome returns. evidently, theres an ebook on how to make the most of adsense, by joel comm. maybe he should read it and optimize his page. anyway, theres no point saying all this here. ill just paste this one on his page.

  33. ... Absolutly no comments .. How he started...

    BUt ,,, Ys... I prefered "SIP" than "Delayed investment" ...

    Good Thng to Start

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