This guide is not a ‘how to get rich’ plan. It is simply an outline of the things I did to make a GrownUpGeek.com successful in a relatively short period of time. I make no warranties or guarantees that you will have the same success as I did. I am by no means an expert, so take my experience with a bag of salt.
I hope that by learning the things that worked for me and adopting the things that make sense to your website you can be as successful, or more successful as I have been. Please also keep in mind that I’m not a writer so forgive the sloppiness and rambling unstructured nature of this e-book.
I am a 40 year old I.T. department manager for a mid-sized manufacturing company. My main area of expertise is in TCP/IP / Microsoft Windows networking and customer service. Before I started my website, my only knowledge of web-design or HTML was limited to using Microsoft FrontPage a few times to modify a pre-existing company intranet. Using Microsoft FrontPage is about as technical as using Microsoft Word and certainly did not make me a “webmaster” – So I basically got started with my website(s) with no real website experience. I knew nothing about UNIX web servers, complex HTML or CSS, marketing, search-engine optimization, advertising, or anything else. I learned virtually everything I needed to know by doing research on the internet and reading user-forums and e-books over a period of about three months. My point here is that you do not need to be an expert in web-design, or anything else to start a website and make some extra money. You do need to be smart, and be able to learn and adopt to new things, and you do need to have a passion about something – anything, that you can create your website around. You will also need some free time, and you might want to warn your friends and family that you won’t be seeing them for a few months.
How I Got Started:
I had been looking for ways to supplement my income for a long time. I am not a risk-taker, and have never been prepared to invest any large amount of money, so my prospects at creating my own business were limited. I did some eBay selling for a while, and made a few dollars, but it turned out to be more work than it was worth (I forgot to mention that I am also very lazy).
One evening while researching “how to make money on the internet” I stumbled across a website that explained how you could make money by using Google’s AdSense on a website. Google’s AdSense program allows you to put ‘contextual’ advertisements on your website – each time someone clicks on one of those ads, you make money. The amount you make per click will vary from $.01 to $20. I was (as usual) quite skeptical, so I researched this idea more. After about a week I came to the conclusion that a person could make some extra money with Adsense and other internet advertising methods, and I decided to give it a try.
My initial up-front investment was $107 for a domain name and one-year of prepaid web-hosting – and believe me, spending that first $100 was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. I can remember pacing back and forth across the kitchen, afraid to approach the computer to give that credit-card number out of fear that I would never see that $100 again. I make decent money in my ‘day job’, so even if that investment went right down the toilet, it would not break me, but $107 is not chump change! Based on the research I had done, I learned that most people don’t make any real money for at least one year when starting a website. My plan was to break-even in the first year, then worry about profit in the second year. All I needed to earn in order to break even was about $0.29 per day. Based on my research, this was not only entirely possible, but probable, so I was confident the risk was minimal. I set aside my fears of failure, went to PowWeb.com and typed-in my credit card information.
It took less than 4 months for me to recoup that initial $107 investment and it was at that point that I realized I must be doing something right with our website. During my research I’ve read countless accounts from other site owners complaining that their website was a year old and they were only making $.03 per day, etc, etc, so I knew my recipe, whatever it was, worked.