Some of you may already have your own website or blog, but if you don't, that's the first thing you've need to do. Creating original content and then putting ads on your site is probably the simplest, most common way to make a pretty penny residually (other than savings and wise investment of course). There are tons of free web hosts and blogs out there so you have no excuses. The trick is, you want to make more than just a penny.
Once you have a website, how do you start making money. The majority of people will tell you, get a lot of traffic and then people will click on your ads. That's true, but they've skipped a crucial step. In March I had the good fortune for my site, scratchProjects.com, to get on the front page of Digg. According to Google I got about 19,000 page impressions and made about $25 that day. It was awesome. Unfortunately, my site only had 3 tutorials at the time. People came because I had a good idea, but left because it was still in the infant stages of it's execution.
Without any content, it's impossible to maintain high traffic levels. Every time a put a new article on my site I see a sustained increase. My last couple projects have been quickly thrown together, just to add more pages. But, there is a definite correlation between the quality of an article and the amount of traffic and click through generated. This week I'm going to spend some time make a quality tutorial on a topic that I believe is in high demand, "How to Program an RSS Reader in C#".
Before I get into my project for this week, I thought it might be helpful to talk about Adsense revenue sharing. It's the next big thing in content-based sites, but not only can it be helpful to the publishers, but it can also be a good opportunity for writers as well. Most revenue sharing sites fall into one of three categories: forums, blogs, and articles.
On forum sites you typically get a percentage of the revenue on any thread you contribute to. These can be especially useful for people that already spend way too much time on forums as it is. Just start splitting your time between your old forum and your new, money making forum. The first bulletin board to ever pull this off is the Digital Point Forum, which is aimed at webmasters.
Blogging has grown to be a huge phenomenon. Everybody has begun sharing their lives on the internet, some to make money, some for the joy of it. If you're blogging just to make money, then most likely you'll fail at it. You have to have another reason to wake up and start typing each day otherwise you'll probably end up quitting pretty quick. The benefit of joining into a larger blogging site is that you can use their traffic to drive hits to your site. Building traffic from nothing can be a daunting task, so any little edge can help. Plus, most blogging sites are free to start so you can do it without any initial investment. Blogger Party is getting popular and I'm experimenting with Senserely Yours right now.
Finally, there are article sites. If you don't have the time to constantly be updating your blog or checking the latest forum news, these work great. Also, you can give them an article in order to drive more traffic to your other sites. I run a programming site called scratchProjects.com that allows you to share the revenue generated by writing programming articles. Then there are less specialized sites like Article Trader.
So if you can't think of an idea use some else's, and while you're at it, use their traffic, and their revenue model, all through Adsense revenue sharing. A full list of revenue sharing sites is maintained at AdMoolah. Check it out.
I set out to start this project without using any money that I've already earned. I can only reinvest what's been earned from this project. My intention is to show that it doesn't necessarily take money to make money (although it helps). All you need is a good idea, or in our case 52 good ones.
Starting with no money, doesn't necessarily mean starting without any resources. So the first thing I did was consider what I had to offer. Like most people trying to make it rich on the Internet, I'm technology minded. I've been a hobbyist web designer for about 8 years. I also have experience as a Windows systems administrator (web servers, not desktop support), and am about to start a new job as a C# programmer.
After designing website for 8 years, of course I've still got a few out there: a web hosting company that has about 5 customers (I've never taken the time to finish the site or market it), a programming tutorial site (this is growing, but only makes about $12 a month, it really needs some good content for it to take off), some customer sites (don't know how I can use them since they've already paid), and now this blog. The beauty of a website or blog is that once you write something, you almost never have to revisit it. The page is out there, attracting interested readers, night and day, for as long as the site exist.
The point is that everyone has things they do well. My girlfriend is a photographer, and could easily write great articles on photography, cameras, and digital techniques. I'm a programmer and computer nerd, I've got a MIS degree so I know a thing or two about business. A hobo could write about all the thing they've seen on the road, and as long as they can write a coherent sentence, it might be the most intriguing read of them all. Take a minute to thing about what you know and what you can offer the world. After you've done that, consider things you don't know but would like to. As you learn, so will your readers.
I've been brainstorming part of the day and experimenting the rest of it. While $5 a day doesn't seem like much money, it's going to be tough to think of 52 different way to consistently earn that much. Especially considering that I'm going to try this with no start up capital.
What if I could think of 5 ways to earn $1 a day and they only took four hours each to implement. The ends may justify the means, but if you thought that 52 $5 ideas is tough, try thinking of 260 $1 ideas. So while I may throw in a few of those "smaller" money makers, this is the $5 project and I plan to keep it that way.
I'm a normal guy with a normal job. But that's all about to change. Like most people I've grown tired of the standard 9-5 work schedule. I don't want to come into an office anymore. It's time to take the first steps to freedom, and here's how I plan to do it.
Each week I will attempt to come up with and implement a new idea designed to make $5 per day without any additional work. Brainstorming can take as long as required, but implementing it should take less than 20 hours (after all I still have my day job). After one year, I should be able to quit my job. Here's how the math works out:
$5 per day * 365 days a year = $1825 per year $1825 a year per idea * 52 ideas in a year = $94,900
So nearly a six figure residual income. Time to get started.