A lazy procrastinator's journey from $0-2500 per month online (in 6 years)

... and how you can probably do it faster

There's no such thing as a "get rich quick" scheme... or at least, I never believe anyone who says there is. Making money from websites is something almost anyone can do, if and only if they stick with it and don't give up. So many people start a site, put up some ads, see some puny cents in their account, and then give up because it "clearly isn't working"... but these things take time. The most important thing is to just keep going.

I registered a brand new domain at the end of 2005, put my site up, signed up for Adsense and put some ads up (a small banner right at the bottom of every page, because I didn't like ads and didn't want them to be too obvious... and also because I had no idea what I was doing). :)

Here's my Adsense timeline from the end of 2005 until now (2011):

Date Date Earnings ($) Anything notable I did around that time
12/31/05 Earnings (Dec 1 - Dec 31) 0.24 Laughed at puny cents, thought "yeah right, but whatever, I'll leave the ads up anyways"
1/31/06 Earnings (Jan 1 - Jan 31) 5.36
2/28/06 Earnings (Feb 1 - Feb 28) 3.14
3/31/06 Earnings (Mar 1 - Mar 31) 1.71
4/30/06 Earnings (Apr 1 - Apr 30) 3.57
5/31/06 Earnings (May 1 - May 31) 2.49
6/30/06 Earnings (Jun 1 - Jun 30) 1.27
7/31/06 Earnings (Jul 1 - Jul 31) 3.88
8/31/06 Earnings (Aug 1 - Aug 31) 27.15 Added Adsense to another site that was getting a traffic spike.
9/30/06 Earnings (Sep 1 - Sep 30) 51.13
10/31/06 Earnings (Oct 1 - Oct 31) 37.33
11/30/06 Earnings (Nov 1 - Nov 30) 27.58
12/31/06 Earnings (Dec 1 - Dec 31) 20.36
2006 TOTAL 185.21
Found a couple of great sites with good online money making tips at some point in 2007. Can't remember exactly when though. Both of them are pretty outdated now.
1/31/07 Earnings (Jan 1 - Jan 31) 26.39
2/28/07 Earnings (Feb 1 - Feb 28) 34.72
3/31/07 Earnings (Mar 1 - Mar 31) 52.53
4/30/07 Earnings (Apr 1 - Apr 30) 26.24
5/31/07 Earnings (May 1 - May 31) 22.2
6/30/07 Earnings (Jun 1 - Jun 30) 20.51
7/31/07 Earnings (Jul 1 - Jul 31) 12.07
8/31/07 Earnings (Aug 1 - Aug 31) 29.09
9/30/07 Earnings (Sep 1 - Sep 30) 49.1
10/31/07 Earnings (Oct 1 - Oct 31) 40.08
11/30/07 Earnings (Nov 1 - Nov 30) 29.5
12/31/07 Earnings (Dec 1 - Dec 31) 24.08
2007 TOTAL 366.51
At some point in 2008, the owners of one of the great sites mentioned above decided to start The Keyword Academy. I was determined to keep using freely available tips and not to pay anyone for tools or advice.
1/31/08 Earnings (Jan 1 - Jan 31) 42.38
2/29/08 Earnings (Feb 1 - Feb 29) 36.08
3/31/08 Earnings (Mar 1 - Mar 31) 64.8
4/30/08 Earnings (Apr 1 - Apr 30) 72.43
5/31/08 Earnings (May 1 - May 31) 52.82
6/30/08 Earnings (Jun 1 - Jun 30) 45.15 Started really optimizing ad placements, adding articles and trying to get some links, based on instructions found online.
7/31/08 Earnings (Jul 1 - Jul 31) 57.44
8/31/08 Earnings (Aug 1 - Aug 31) 70.99
9/30/08 Earnings (Sep 1 - Sep 30) 135.12
10/31/08 Earnings (Oct 1 - Oct 31) 170.65
11/30/08 Earnings (Nov 1 - Nov 30) 195.14
12/31/08 Earnings (Dec 1 - Dec 31) 197.37
2008 TOTAL 1140.37
1/31/09 Earnings (Jan 1 - Jan 31) 182.04
2/28/09 Earnings (Feb 1 - Feb 28) 212.05
3/31/09 Earnings (Mar 1 - Mar 31) 258.26
4/30/09 Earnings (Apr 1 - Apr 30) 295.12
5/31/09 Earnings (May 1 - May 31) 393.61
6/30/09 Earnings (Jun 1 - Jun 30) 259.84
7/31/09 Earnings (Jul 1 - Jul 31) 172.46
8/31/09 Earnings (Aug 1 - Aug 31) 153.33
9/30/09 Earnings (Sep 1 - Sep 30) 302.6
10/31/09 Earnings (Oct 1 - Oct 31) 380.73 Launched a brand new site designed to get tons of long-tail search traffic.
11/30/09 Earnings (Nov 1 - Nov 30) 452.18
12/31/09 Earnings (Dec 1 - Dec 31) 400.64
2009 TOTAL 3462.86
1/31/10 Earnings (Jan 1 - Jan 31) 494.35
2/28/10 Earnings (Feb 1 - Feb 28) 373.69
3/31/10 Earnings (Mar 1 - Mar 31) 470.33
4/30/10 Earnings (Apr 1 - Apr 30) 552.53 I finally joined The Keyword Academy and started following instructions and building better backlinks.
5/31/10 Earnings (May 1 - May 31) 733.93
6/30/10 Earnings (Jun 1 - Jun 30) 488.76
7/31/10 Earnings (Jul 1 - Jul 31) 500.95
8/31/10 Earnings (Aug 1 - Aug 31) 548.92
9/30/10 Earnings (Sep 1 - Sep 30) 675.84
10/31/10 Earnings (Oct 1 - Oct 31) 678.13
11/30/10 Earnings (Nov 1 - Nov 30) 697.66
12/31/10 Earnings (Dec 1 - Dec 31) 755.19
2010 TOTAL 6970.29
1/31/11 Earnings (Jan 1 - Jan 31) 1079.91
2/28/11 Earnings (Feb 1 - Feb 28) 1033.17 Added lots more content to the long-tail site mentioned above.
3/31/11 Earnings (Mar 1 - Mar 31) 1347.09
4/30/11 Earnings (Apr 1 - Apr 30) 1426.21
5/31/11 Earnings (May 1 - May 31) 1690.19
6/30/11 Earnings (Jun 1 - Jun 30) 1749.66
7/31/11 Earnings (Jul 1 - Jul 31) 2306.56 My earnings always used to go down during this time of year, this time it went up.
8/31/11 Earnings (Aug 1 - Aug 31) 2616.17
2011 TOTAL SO FAR 13248.96

This is only my Adsense earnings, I also make roughly $100-200 a month from Chitika, and anywhere between $100 and $400 from Amazon (that one varies a lot).

The most important point I'm trying to make here is this: Anyone can make money online from websites (either just one or several)... but no matter how puny the amount you're making, no matter how little you want to write in a month, don't give up. Do little bits here and there... do nothing for several months... whatever works. Just don't give up.

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Don't think of it in terms of "oh, $50 a month isn't enough to live on"... think of it like this: my income doubles each year, and sometimes even triples... I don't think you can get a salary that does that. :)

If a lazy procrastinator can do it, so can you. Keep those sites up and running. Keep adding stuff whenever you can be bothered to. You'll get there a lot faster if you actually work hard, but if working hard really isn't your thing, you'll still get there, it'll just take longer. My laziness isn't the only reason it took me this long to get here, the other reason is because I was basically blundering along figuring things out for myself most of the time.

Getting Started

Domains: You'll need a domain and some hosting to get started. I get all my domains from Gandi.net - they're not the cheapest, but they're ethical and I like the fact that I never have to worry about hidden charges or any sneaky stuff. If you really want cheaper domains, I've heard good things about Namecheap... and I've heard horror stories about GoDaddy (I won't even bother linking to them).

Hosting: As for hosting, I've used various hosts in the past, and I have 2 recommendations for getting started... Hostgator, and Hawk Host. Hostgator is a very well-known company and has good support and you get "unlimited everything" (nothing is ever really unlimited though, so keep that in mind). Hawk Host is actually cheaper (if you want to host more than one domain), also has great support, you don't get "unlimited everything", but in my experience my sites load much faster on Hawk Host than on Hostgator. The Keyword Academy people recommend Hostgator, but you really can't go wrong with either of them.

How to actually make money: I would seriously recommend signing up at The Keyword Academy, especially if you're new to the whole idea of websites and making money with them. They'll walk you through getting everything set up and pretty much hold your hand the entire way. I'm the kind of person who prefers to learn things the hard way and do things on my own, but even I found their advice and tools really helpful.

If you actually follow their instructions and keep working at it in a consistent manner, you can probably get to $2500 per month in a year or two. One guy on the forums there actually made it to $5000 per month in 10 months.

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The first month costs just $1, so if you want, you can just sign up for one month, read all the instructions, watch all the videos, check all the best tips in the forums... and then quit. Even if you forget to cancel your subscription and end up paying $33 for month 2, you can just ask them for a refund and they'll give you one, no questions asked. You probably won't want to cancel after checking them out though. :)

Also, you might want to read my series on How To Make Money With Your Website: (Part 1)  (Part 2) (Part 3), it covers the same basic process taught at The Keyword Academy. They'll just make it a lot easier to follow and go into a lot more detail than I did... I'm lazy, remember? :)

Good luck, and feel free to ask questions in the comments below. :)

Note: The Keyword Academy, Hostgator, and Hawk Host are affiliate links, so I'll get a commission if you sign up after clicking those links. I figured I should mention that, but I'd still recommend them even if they weren't affiliate links, though.

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Posted in: Money by on September 24, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

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