So I've been trying to make some extra money online now for a little over year, and I have to say ...... it's a mighty tough way to make a little extra dough!
Now I have to admit I'm very, very bad at following instructions, and I've been trying to do this in my spare time, but still, for the amount of time and effort I've put into it, I'm not really seeing much of a return.
Maybe I'm choosing a poor method? I'm using the "advertise via Tumblr, (and a bit of Pinterest)" approach, whereby I try to get lots of followers to a few Tumblr accounts, and then add posts that link back to my "money" sites.
My money sites at the moment are two Amazon "stores": 1) Tea Universe, ( http://tea-universe.com or http://buyingnirvana.com/teashop ), and 2) Awkward Uncle's Curiosity Shop, ( http://www.awkwarduncle.com or http://arph001.com/uncle ). As of 07/2018, I am down to one store: https://awkwarduncle.wordpress.com/ .
I started Tea Universe first, early last year. At first sales were slow, (VERY slow!), but towards the end of the year things began to pick up a bit, with sales in December approaching $40.00 . (Yes, that's for the whole month. I told you this was a difficult way to make money!) January sales were also good, but February sales dipped down below $30.00, and March sales didn't even break $20.00.
So far April looks to be even worse.
As for "Awkward Uncle" ..... Ha! Don't even ask! Sales from that store are so poor they can't even be called a rounding error!
I'm also using Adsense, but that has proven a futile way to earn money as well, at least for me. Besides, based on the experiences websites I'm familiar with have had with Google, I wouldn't rely on that company as your main source of income. (And note that I'm actually toning this comment down since I'm writing on a Google site!)
Maybe I'm just not very good at creating interesting Tumblrs? These are mine, if you want to check them out:
I also have some other blogs floating around, but since I devote about the same amount of time to them that I do to this neglected blog, they're kinda lonely. (Unread and unloved!)
So what's the point of all this, other than to whine? The point is that IMHO the best way to financial independence is the old tried-and-true routine of being paid for highly skilled labor.
For example, take me. I consider myself a chap of middling intelligence, and meager ambition, but thanks to a skill I learned in my early twenties, I've done okay. The skill I picked up was how to program in COBOL on IBM mainframe computers, and I've been able to make a good living using that skill for close to 40 years now.
I make about $70,000/year now, which includes holidays, vacation days, sick time off, a 401k match, and subsidized health insurance. I work in the comfort of an office building, sitting on an ergonomic chair. The only hazards I face are grumpy boss types, boring assignments, the irritations of dealing with bureaucracy, and an occasional back-stabbing co-worker.
Do you think making affiliate sales on Amazon will provide you a good, stable income for 40 years?
My point is this: study hard while you're still in school, apply yourself to the difficult, unsexy subjects, and then work hard to be very good at a skill that not everyone possess. If you do this, you'll have a much better chance of financial success than the guy who opts to take the easy route and gets a degree in philosophy. (That was me at one point, by the way. Fortunately I had the time and resources to recover from this stupid choice.)
I'm not the only one who says this; as best I can follow him, (he is a brighter bulb than me!), this is also the message of the venerated Mr. Money Mustache.
Sure, the idea of working independently from home, away from grumpy bosses and mind-numbing meetings, is appealing and perhaps fun, but if you really want to make lots of money you need to do the type work that not everybody is capable of doing, either due to lack of ability or training. Even if that includes wasting two hours in a ridiculous meeting when you have an unrealistic deadline to meet.