As he got started building his sites, Shaun began collaborating with his then-girlfriend (now wife), Christine. "Christine had started posting makeup tutorials online," he explains, "and we decided to turn them into a blog and use AdSense to earn money – and that changed our lives completely." Christine's makeup website quickly found success, and after five years of working on it, Shaun decided to pursue his passion for gaming and launch a gaming website. "I created my first website for gaming and slowly built an audience and used ad revenue to fund the site," he says. "Then I started another website that I sold three years later and actually ended up taking an early retirement – that's how impactful ads have been – to have the opportunity to retire early was totally unexpected."
But after about a month of retirement, Shaun decided he wasn't ready to leave his passion and started building a new gaming information website, Try Hard Guides. "I wanted to create a site that was simple and straightforward and got people answers to their questions right away," he says. "Along with helpful content, Shaun was after a sense of community and engagement with his audience. "I wanted space to create a community so we allow comments on our site. A lot of websites have gotten rid of this, but for me it's important to be able to hear from our readers. One of my favorite stories is that on my last website, a grandma would leave questions about playing video games with her grandchildren and I'd get her an answer and we'd have a nice little exchange. When I started my new website, that same grandma commented and was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I found you again!' I just loved the fact that a grandparent is playing video games and that I could help them get the answers they needed to spend time with their grandchild. I was so amazed."