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Community Blog Cloud Ambassador Story: How Did a Grassroots Developer Earn a Net Profit of More Than One Million CNY in the Past Three Years?

Cloud Ambassador Story: How Did a Grassroots Developer Earn a Net Profit of More Than One Million CNY in the Past Three Years?

This article describes a story of our cloud ambassador, Zhang Xin.

This is a story of an Alibaba Cloud Ambassador in China, originally published on Alibaba Cloud China Site. To learn more about the international version of Alibaba Cloud Ambassador program, please check this page.

When facing dropout from the university, online store closure, and company ownership changes, what is the next step in life? Zhang Xin is always immersed in her own world in a daze.

Until three years ago, Zhang Xin casually forwarded a discount coupon for "buying Alibaba Cloud's servers" to several groups. Six months later, she unexpectedly received a bonus of 30,000 yuan because the number of orders was in the top 10. This is an official incentive policy for Cloud Ambassadors during the promotion of Alibaba Cloud. Zhang Xin has changed from a green hand of cloud computing to an expert that writes more than 700 technical articles after learning by herself. She has become the leader of the Cloud Ambassador promotion team of Alibaba Cloud. That coupon becomes Zhang Xin's lucky charm for her firm future.

Become A Cloud Ambassador by Accident

"Quick, register an Alibaba Cloud account and lend it to me." Zhang Xin was woken up by a phone call from a friend and did not understand what her friend was going to do. She only remembered that Double 11 was approaching in 2016 and almost gave her Taobao account to the friend. After detailed inquiries, Zhang Xin knew that her friend wanted to buy a server for a user who owned a website to assist O&M of large traffics during Double 11. Due to Alibaba Cloud's security mechanism, she needed to receive the mobile phone verification code to log into the background and accidentally discovered the Cloud Ambassador project of Alibaba Cloud. By sharing coupons (now in the form of red envelope links), she can help enterprises to migrate to the cloud with low costs. Zhang Xin casually forwarded coupons to several chat groups.

At the end of the month, members of the Cloud Ambassador group discussed who was on the list of awards this month. "Zilong, Liu Qiang, Daoyan...". Zhang Xin kept silent in the group but felt happy. "Haha, you forget me. I'm on the list, too." At 8 o'clock in the evening, Zhang Xin's name did not appear on the reward list. She seldom cooked, but she made noodles at home. Only the boiling water was making a sound in the whole room. She changed the account name of Alibaba Cloud to Keep trying and do not give up.

Should she give up or insist? This time, luck came to Zhang Xin again. Earlier, Zhang Xin took a stake in an Internet company with more than half of the shares. This company specializes in design of web pages and official corporate websites. "At that time, I was just a shareholder, and I didn't really manage the company." Because of her identity as an investor, she is also in hundreds of chat groups. These groups, which were once set up as "Do not disturb", have become a good channel for her to promote Alibaba Cloud. Zhang Xin once held 20 chat accounts, each with nearly 100 groups. In order to purchase more servers, Zhang Xin also registered Alibaba Cloud accounts with the names of her father, mother, and sister. A few minutes later, some group members responded with questions. "What is this?" "What is in discount?" In the face of a series of inquiries, Zhang Xin carefully studied the project rules. Then, she learned that users could get random deductions when purchasing servers through coupons. As a project promoter, she received rebates. She earned 60 yuan from the first order and 4,000 yuan from the second order. Then, in September 2017, Zhang Xin's mobile phone received an SMS message about rebate of 30,000 yuan. This is a three-month reward policy launched by Alibaba Cloud. According to the number of orders per month, the top-10 agents can get 30,000 yuan of rewards.

Zhang Xin got more than 20 orders that month, thinking that as long as there are more orders in the next month, it would be easy to win rewards again. At the end of October, she stood in front of the window of her house on the 30th floor, being confident. She waited for the SMS message from Alibaba Cloud, but her mobile phone did not ring all night. Zhang Xin just realized that the first reward was obtained by "luck". In the following month, Zhang Xin took the initiative to "find" customers. She did not ignore any customer who demanded cloud migration.

It's Never Too Late to Study

After becoming the top-1 Cloud Ambassador, Zhang Xin always lacked confidence. "I may be the bottom among Cloud Ambassadors in cloud computing." Zhang Xin admitted that her grades were not bad before senior high school, but she spent too much time playing. In the last year before the admittance exam of universities, she chose to leave school and keep her student status to prepare for the exam at home. However, after half a year in the university, she chose to leave the school again and opened a Taobao store. After the Taobao store was closed and the Internet company was sold, Zhang Xin became casual and calm. Until one day, a customer asked, "Both ECS and virtual host have the function of website construction. Which one is better?" Zhang Xin was bewildered. "What is ECS?" Programming language? I don't know how to use that. O&M? I don't understand it. If you know nothing about "cloud computing", how can customers believe your promotion?

After that, as long as she saw books related to cloud computing, Zhang Xin downloaded and read them. She always kept Kindle in her hands and followed many famous bloggers on Zhihu and Weibo. What mobile phone apps send her are no longer gossips of stars but information about cutting-edge Internet technologies. When she knew that other Cloud Ambassadors have personal technology websites, Zhang Xin realized that reading alone is not enough. She must write something. As a result, she targeted individual users instead of enterprise users. The website "cnzhanzhang" came into being. This website mainly focuses on technical articles. In two years, she has written more than 700 original articles, solved many technical problems for users, and got many orders." I am much more serious than the time when I was studying in school." When Alibaba Cloud changed the list to "Top Six in Income", Zhang Xin's name was ranked sixth. Before going to bed, she repeatedly looked at the list and suddenly found that Zilong, the top-1 agent, had the performance three times that of her. She immediately had the worry that she would lose face if she were removed from the list. She got up, turned on the computer again, and changed the passwords of all accounts to jiayou2018. (This year, passwords are jiayou2019.) It's like a marathon. The first five people are all leading the way. Zhang Xin wants to catch up. "I need to believe that the list is real, and I also need to believe that if others can take the first place, so can I."

Change Attacks into Business Opportunities

The ranking in the list became a motivation. When Zhang Xin was still trying to catch up with the leaders, she became a thorn in the side of others.

One morning, she was awakened by an SMS message and learned that her website had suffered DDoS attacks. DDoS attack means distributed denial-of-service attack. The instantaneous traffic reached 100 GB, and the cloud server was directly stuck in a "black hole". At first, the web page denied access for 30 minutes, then 2 hours, and then 5 hours. After Zhang Xin finished lunch, the website recovered. However, when she opened the website, it was attacked again. "Bang!" She pounded the table, and the website was interrupted for a day.

In the following days, DDoS attacks did not end, accompanied by some CC attacks. CC attacks were DoS attacks at the WEB application layer. What is the difference between the two? Simply put, DDoS attacks target the server of the website, while CC attacks aim at website pages for user access.

Zhang Xin found that DDoS attacks were very passive, and the most effective solution was to purchase Anti-DDoS Pro. However, Zhang Xin chose another solution. She optimized the website and server internally, changed the website pages to purely static pages, and reduced access to the database. As for Anti-DDoS Pro? For her website, the cost performance was not high. Zhang Xin knew who launched the attacks, but she didn't want to fight back. Instead, she found a new business opportunity. At that time, Alibaba Cloud launched Anti-DDoS in the cloud security field to specifically deal with DDoS attacks and CC attacks. When the server suffers from volumetric attacks and the service is unavailable, users can purchase this service and configure Anti-DDoS Pro to divert the attack traffic. By doing so, the stability of the origin server can be ensured.

To this end, she specially wrote an article on the website, and some users came to inquire. Zhang Xin immediately recommended Anti-DDoS to users. Thus, she earned the first bucket of gold in the field of cloud security. This business opportunity became a way for Zhang Xin to expand in the new field. This experience convinced her that there were still many "virgin lands" that had not been discovered. Even in groups that are explored by Cloud Ambassadors too many times, there are still chances because members change every day. So, it does no harm if you explore again.

"The process of learning about Alibaba Cloud also made me realize who I am." Once upon a time, Zhang Xin thought that academic qualifications were just a piece of paper. Now, she realizes that you can decide whether it is important or not only when you are qualified. So she enrolls in an online course, and she plans to prepare for exams to be a full-time graduate student.

In the past living environment, Zhang Xin never had the opportunity to know so many scientific and technological fields. "In northeast China, few people know about cloud computing." Zhang Xin's mother also made a joke because she didn't know Alibaba Cloud. "Hello, this is Aliyun (Alibaba Cloud in Chinese)." "Yun who?" "Aliyun." "I'm not Aliyun." It turned out that the word "yun" is also in her mother's name. She thought that the social security bureau had misremembered her name and was afraid that her retirement pension would be suspended. In fact, Zhang Xin's first impression of Alibaba started from Taobao, which is added the word "technology" in the company name. At the same time, she also thought that it was an "unprofitable" service vendor. Zhang Xin understands that the original intention of Cloud Ambassadors is to match Alibaba's value of "customer first". Cloud Ambassadors shoulder the mission of serving more small and medium-sized enterprises for cloud migration.

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