I began in 2009. My wife and I have decent jobs, but both of us would rather be frolicking on a beach in Jamaica rather than slaving away for The Man every day.
I first investigated tons of sites looking for every option that was out there for making money from home. I quickly realized that there are a lot of ways to make money online that require ongoing work to earn money. By that I mean sites like Project Payday or CashCrate. You work – they pay – done. They are legit places to earn money. I'll discuss those more later.
That works for a lot of folks, and if I wasn’t already employed, I may have tried those (or if I suddenly become unemployed, I may yet try them out). But what I really wanted (and still strive for) was a way to earn money while I wasn’t working.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to working…to build something. I’ve put in tons and tons of hours already – studying, writing, learning, etc. I work on this when I get home from my job. I spend weekends working on this stuff. Most lunches are spent researching or writing. But I believe all the work will pay off someday with an income stream that will allow my wife and I to eventually quit our jobs.
My First Online Payout
So the first thing I did was write an article for eHow.com. It was an article related to my work so I felt pretty confident about the content. It was accepted, so I wrote a few more. Eventually I started earning a few cents a month, then a few dollars a month.
When eHow was bought out by DemandMedia, I quit writing for them. I may write with them again, but I’ve been tied up with other projects in the meantime. I’ve currently got 18 articles posted with eHow. It only generates $5 or $6 per month. But it occurred to me that my content is generating revenue that I’m splitting with eHow. I’m giving away part of my money!
My First Money Making Website
So in January 2010, I launched my very own niche website (also related to my job). It gets very little traffic right now. That seems to be the hardest thing. Everyone on the net gives the same advice “Focus on content. Great content will be rewarded with traffic.” Um… no. They won’t. That’s not enough. Money from this site is pitiful. But I continue to write for it and will post how things are going.
I believe I have very good content, but there’s a whole other thing to this online money-making game. And that’s marketing. Getting your name out there. Getting the search engines (SEs) to notice you and rank you well. Getting back links to your site. And on and on.
My Second Website
Notice that there’s no “income producing” in the heading for this paragraph. That’s because no money has yet been earned with it. And it may never produce income. I signed up with Niche Profit Classroom to generate what I thought would be some real cash. I’ll write a review later, but it wasn’t nearly as helpful as I thought. I’ll probably wind up re-building the site and taking another crack at it.
Ever since my early research, I heard about how great Squidoo was at making passive money online. So I finally put up a few pages recently. Traffic is still the problem. No one has looked at any of my “lenses” as yet. I put them up in May 2010. It is now August 2010.
My Next Income Producing Website
Building A Website
When I began my research into websites, an awful lot of “experts” out there insisted that learning html was the best way to go. Their claim was that you only had total control over your site if you understood the underlying code and could change anything you wanted. That’s true, but after a couple months of learning and trying it out, I had a pretty ugly site. It worked…but it didn’t look very professional.
I got a beginner’s amount of knowledge into html and css before moving on.
· My brother loaned me a 10 year old copy of Microsoft’s FrontPage 2000 to try out. In a sense it was much easier to use. I didn’t have to write any code. I could pick out themes and templates, but the fact that it was so obsolete meant that there was nowhere to get help when something went wrong. And something always went wrong.
I’m told that FrontPage 2000 writes poor code for websites anyway. I don’t know much about that, but lots of snooty programmers on the help forums really tore it apart.
By coincidence, my wife had recently purchased some software, and with it came a program called Dreamweaver. This was better than FrontPage 2000, but probably required more education than I have. I have since seen that there are classes dedicated only to Dreamweaver. If I had that education, it might have gone better for me. As it was, I somehow got some files corrupted and lost the ability to change any of the pages… it was a mess.
I finally found something I like with Wordpress
You may notice that this site is says blogspot in the URL. That comes from Blogger, Google's blogging software. I thought I'd try it out and I must say it is much easier to use than WordPress. I haven't used it long so I can't say whether it has all the features, but it sure sets up fast and is made for techno-clueless like me.
Ok, that's enough for now. I'll post more as my efforts to earn money produce some sort of results.