My Adsense income is not really lucrative (not bad either) in developed countries, but many Malaysians would probably agree that it’s pretty good for people my age.
Money is just part of the reward though, there’s also the freedom to work from anywhere around the world with proper internet connection. In fact I’m writing this from Seoul (March 2010) where I’ve been staying and travelling for the past two months. And I’m planning to hop from city to city in coming years.
I started working at home since 2003; took me quite some time to learn the tits and bits of online business. I was first involved as freelancer and later became a middle man – finding good deals and outsourcing it to cheaper programmers (and designers etc.)
There was a good period in my biz before it went wrong a couple of times and I had to pay hefty compensation for it. I also realised that I was not building a business, but merely a self-employed… the moment I stopped working would be the end of my positive cash flow. It’s actually easier to just find a job instead.
But I was not going to give up just yet, and started looking for other options to build passive income. That’s when I discovered web publishing and Google Adsense.
I built my first Adsense-monetized website in September 2005. It took me four months to reach my first payout (US$100+), and two months later I reached the point where I could receive my Adsense check monthly. But things started to stall then – my initial blogs were reaching its max potential, and I needed to find ways to expand my income.
It’s the beginning of some ruthless trials and errors. I must have built over 200 of websites since 2005… most of them failed, but all that matters are the few that works. It took me about a year and a half to pass the monthly US$300 barrier, but things became pretty smooth since then.
There’s no secret to my success… it’s plenty of hardwork plus endurance. For the first few years I was working 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week. I rarely hung out with friends or had any leisure activities beside occasional holidays. It’s 24/7 of working, it’s what most people would define as no life.
But it’s all worth it now. Life is a bit more leisure these days; I’ve been working relatively less since mid 2009. Fact is I only need about two hours a day to keep things running… but I usually work for about 8-10 hours to find new opportunities.
The best thing is that I can take a few days off whenever I want to – the effect on my income is barely noticeable if I don’t work on anything for a week or two. Freedom has always been my goal for this career path, and travelling around the world is my passion; money is just a (very important) tool to achieve that.
There will be plenty of questions from you readers. The most frequently asked is probably “What is your secret?” But as mentioned earlier, it’s all about hardwork and endurance. Whatever I’ve done are all basic stuff (SEO, site management, monetization etc.) that can be found online easily.
When people asked me the “secret” question I would normally answer that they should never give up easily, that there’s a likelihood that they won’t get anything in return for the first year. Most would reply that they won’t give up, but ALL of them would eat their words in just a few months. It’s kinda ironic.
There’s one “secret” that I need to keep though, it’s the URL of the websites that I’m making serious money with. Choosing the right content is the major different between success and failure if the webmaster has done everything else properly. It took me a long while to find those that work (200+ trials and errors remember?)
And it’s not just about building a site and let it surviving on its own; I’ve spent months to develop each site until I realised it’s not going to work… that’s plenty of working hours before finally finding the gems that bring in nice profit. So please don’t ask me to show you those sites.