12 min 58 sec

Diamond in the Rough: Engagement Ring Hunt Turns Into Hustle

A search for the perfect engagement ring leads a software engineer in Baltimore on a mission to discover the algorithm for the ideal sparkly diamond. Along the way, he creates an affiliate side hustle with major potential.
Affiliate App Developer Hustle Research Retail

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What It's About

A hunt for the perfect engagement ring transitions into a unique affiliate side hustle.

Business Model
Skills Required
Developer & Research
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Beyond expanding the number of affiliates, marketing is Tony's main focus for the coming months. He knows he has a useful tool to offer people and is now focused on getting the word out. He’s going to dive deeper into Facebook Ads, and target more specifically by gender, relationship status, and interests. He's also getting ready to launch a blog on the website for SEO purposes and to share useful information that will educate diamond shoppers on how to get the best bang for their buck.

Fun Fact

Tony learned all about the standard 4C’s—color, cut, clarity and carat—but also found out that there are other factors that contribute to the sparkle of a diamond. Certain angles and ratios, specifically the depth percentage, table percentage, crown angle and pavilion angle, affect how sparkly a diamond is as does polish and symmetry.

Notes from Chris

Episode 150

I get a lot of questions about affiliate side hustles, and these kinds of projects are a great option for people with a certain personality and skill set. Today, a software engineer uses his research skills to find the perfect diamond for his girlfriend, then creates a diamond affiliate website for others on the hunt for the sparkliest diamond.

In June 2016, Tony Florida knew it was time to propose to his girlfriend of nine years, so he did what a lot of guys do: he started researching engagement rings. Tony wanted to get the best bang for his buck, so he set to work learning all about diamonds. He quickly found out that not all diamonds are created equal and not all diamonds sparkle the same. In his extensive research, he also came to realize that buying a loose diamond online was much cheaper than buying it in a physical store.

Tony didn’t stop there, he dove deep into the world of diamonds. As a software engineer, he saw an opportunity to write a software program that analyzed a diamond's specifications to figure out if a particular diamond would be sparkly and decided to adopt an affiliate model so that he could track the rates for those diamonds as well bringing in a tidy monthly profit. He did some quick research to make sure that something like this didn’t already exist, then bought a domain name for $10—TheDiamondApp.com—and got to work building a price tracking program for diamonds.

Through the partnerships with the diamond retailers, Tony now has over 1 million diamonds on his website that people can search through, and is finalizing the details of his affiliate relationship with three more retailers which will add even more searchable diamonds. He plans on reaching out to more retailers each month so that he can keep expanding the pool of searchable diamonds.


  • The Diamond App: Check out Tony's diamond selections on his website
  • Blue Nile, Zoara, & Brian Gavin: The three diamond affiliate partnerships Tony uses for his diamond app
  • Fiverr: Where he sourced someone to create a 2D animation video that explains what his website does

  • College Student Generates 50M Views on YouTube, Hires 13 Employees: After seeking a method to conquer her own skin issues, one woman takes to YouTube to help others shed their skin insecurities as well. Five years later, she has her own skincare line serving people all over the world!
  • Keyword Planner: This tool helps you reach the right customers with the right keywords and helps you to better build your SEO and ad campaigns
  • SEO 101: If you're looking to launch your own online presence, here's a Beginner's Guide to SEO
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"This website gives me more than just additional revenue—I feel ownership over my website because I built it from scratch and invested so much time on it. I also have complete control of the direction it goes, whereas, at work, I don't have as much say over where a project goes."
—Tony Florida #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau