This post is from my friend, Josh.
Years ago, when I first moved out of my parent’s place, I found myself in a tough predicament, where I was making just enough money to pay my half of the rent and living expenses but not much. It was stressful to say the least.
Then the magical envelope came to my mail … a credit card application. I was thrilled because I saw it as a way to at least have some leeway in my spending (yes, that $300 credit line was exciting). Being young, inexperienced, and foolish about my finances, I can let your imagination fill in the blanks about what happened after I got the card …
I was down $600 and growing interest factored in as yet another element of my growing financial depression. Something had to change.
There were two options for me:
· Move back with my parents (and plead they help with the bills)
· Put my Web skills to work
Being stubborn I opted for the grind. I decided that what I would do is a mixture of web development and article writing for small businesses (and marketplaces that I could find).
Before all that I had to brush up on the finances so that I would head out in the right direction – this included:
· Learning everything I could about frugal living and having a savings plan/goal to maximize the money I had been currently making while finding the right angles to lower the stress caused by my growing debts.
· Doing the research online about getting my credit history cleaned up, which had a ton of great information on their blog about credit information I so badly needed.
Those items out of the way it was time to get down to business but what I quickly found out was that it would have been far easier to pick up a second job to earn the money but here’s the thing …
The money I make now, which allows me to work full-time from home, started off so low that it would have been easy to call it quits – but I stuck with it.
I decided that I would do a combination of activities after having done my research:
A. Write for Web 2.0 websites like Helium, Hubpages, and Squidoo to build passive income
B. Write articles for small businesses in my area for their company blog
C. Work on building a website of my own where I could sell ads
The first successful blog
All of it sort of came together once I got my first blog up and running. I focused it around one of my hobbies related to music and spent hours upon hours each day creating content and interacting with other bloggers and the community in an attempt to build traffic.
The first major success was pairing up with Amazon Associates which is an affiliate program for Amazon that gives you a cut if someone buys through your affiliate link. Since I was doing product reviews for the hobby items it made it quite easy to earn a commission here and there (though it still wasn’t enough).
The first successful paid article
For months I was writing for sites like Hubpages and Squidoo because I read everywhere how easy it is to earn passive income by writing topics that gain a lot of traffic and then earning through the advertising options (or affiliate links) you could include.
Needless to say it brought in pennies but I stuck with it long enough that it taught me a lot about elements of Web writing that really helps in getting found like structure, search engine optimization, link building, and distributing the work.
I eventually landed on marketplaces (like Helium and Ghostbloggers). Helium was what you’d call a “content mill” where you got paid a few dollars for each article you wrote – and write I did! I churned out hundreds of articles in a span of a few months which earned me enough money to pay off that credit card and give me some money to throw into savings.
Sites like Ghostbloggers didn’t sell my articles too frequently but when it happened I earned a whole lot more which encouraged me to start a portfolio and really go after the better paying clients.
A step into full-time
The experienced I gained from building a successful blog allowed me to easily build a portfolio site which I used to bring in new clients for the writing side of what I had been doing. It took a little while but I eventually landed a few key roles writing content for other websites that was making more money, consistently; it was so consistent that I was able to say sayonara to my old work and pursue this online thing full-time!
When I think about how all this came to be, it really blows my mind. On one hand I had taken on this huge stress by getting a credit card too early and abused it too stupidly but on the other it lit a fire under me to really invest in what would eventually become my passion.
I guess I’m one of the lucky few that have been able blog away the debt.
You can too if you put in the time and effort. All you need is a good idea, knowledge of a topic, persistence in your content creation, and being good to people that visit your site and profiles. It may only start with a few bucks for the month but keep at it and it’ll grow.