Besides my full-time job, I also looked for various ways to turn my leisure time to something that was at least productive and fruitful to me. Though most of it became chilling time in front of anime or game or youtube shows, I have tried. Until now I still can't make a living out of what I have tried, but at least I believe that I found the most suitable way for me to turn my free time to pennies, and I have fun doing it. Through my story, I hope that I can inspire you to forge your path of making money online. You might not make a lump sum out of it, but you will find the joy to discover that, the internet can give you more than just Facebook news feed or Netflix.
1. Online stock
The millionaire next door was the first book that changed my attitude towards making money, and Rich dad poor dad along with The richest man in Babylon were the two books that ignited my determination to jump into the chaos of online stock market. I created an online account, buy the recommended stock education book on Amazon (I even turned all my learning into an article and posted it on Medium...)
Having faith in my knowledge, I entered the battle with other professionals and the result was something you could easily anticipate.I failed miserably.
My knowledge was right, the book about stocks was not wrong, and I believed I had done all the right things I can to analyze the finance report. And yet, I didn't know that the stock market was a crazy entity, and the stock battlefield was much crueler than I expected. I was deluded that I could beat other well-equipped professionals and convert all of their loss to my profit.
Fortunately, it was not too late for me to realize that handpicking stocks is a loser's game. I stopped buying individual stocks and followed one investing strategy posted on Lifehacker. No need to spend time on researching companies' financial situation, or subscribe to financial latest news anymore. This "set and forget" investment strategy is such a peace of mind!
2. Blogging on my website
I found the best investment strategy that suited me and helped me step on the first block of building wealth. However, long-term investment isn't going to bring cash quickly soon, so I have to find other ways to earn pennies within a shorter timeframe. After considering various methods of making money online, I decided to run a personal blog. I chose it because:
- Minimal starting up cost. A domain fee per year costs less than 2 cups of Starbucks, and with a static site I don't even have to pay for hosting fee.
- I can program a website, do all the technical things myself. A well-coded blog can be used as a skillset showcase and prettify my CV.
- I can write articles, and I believe I can turn what I know and my experience into words. English is not my first language, but I can write in English without relying too much on Google translate.
- More than that, I love the idea of having my own place on the Internet!
And in 2018 January, my blog debuted on the internet! But making money with blog is a long journey, and I didn't write often. A year passed and my blog hadn't attracted any visitors on the internet.
I kept writing anyway. I tried to craft every writing carefully, and I always asked myself "Would this article bring any value to me if I were a reader". And on a sunny day, one of my posts eventually got attention from the search engines, I started to see search engine traffics going to my blog.
When daily arriving users reached 50, I tried putting some AdSense ads in my blog. I was very excited when I saw the first pennies appeared in my Adsense dashboard! A modest amount of traffic (~70 users per day) brought 2$ a month to me!
That was when I saw the potential of blogging. 2$ isn't even enough to eat out, but a voice already sparked in my mind. I can freaking do this. I can get money from the internet just by typing words!
3. Medium blog platform
I saw traffic coming to my blog, but disappointingly, bounce rate is still high. People only come to see the tutorial, they don't engage further. My other posts about self-help, thoughts, personal experience... virtually got zero views. Because my blog is nowhere near being well-known, the only traffic I expect to see is through search engines.
I looked for other ways to reach new audiences, and I came across Medium. Because Medium suggests a variety of categories to readers, my other posts will have a chance to be given a read. People on Medium are reading articles of multiple categories, not just looking for "how to reset Jetbrains product trial" 😂.
And without a second thought, I published all of my blog content on Medium.
In the beginning, the result wasn't optimistic either. No one noticed my posts for months.
I kept writing anyway. I tried to craft every writing carefully, and I always asked myself "Would this article bring any value to me if I were a reader".
I published my writings on both my personal blog and my Medium account.
Gradually, a few wanderers came reading my posts, and I didn't know since when two of my posts were distributed by "curators" 😂
I thank you all for empathizing with my thinking! I'm not an expert in financial or psychological field, but I'm glad that someone found my writing helpful and wanted to share them!My writings generated only a little amount of allowance, but I'm very grateful to you for your support!
These little encouragements truly motivated me to keep writing and publishing! Knowing my writings are somehow helpful to others is the best feeling I've ever had since I started blogging!
I realized: If we are honest about building something that will become helpful to people, that's also equal to helping ourselves. Give to life first then life will reward you two-fold, creating a win-win relationship.
"Make money online" is not an alien word in 2019, and everyone has their method of benefiting from the internet. For me, it is very cool to build an online blog as "my own home on the internet", with each article as a brick, progressively forming themselves into a house. I know blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it certainly tests my patience and needs a lot of care before it can bear fruit. But I also learned that being myself and keep writing with all my sincere heart, together with resilience, constant commitment and time will eventually find me an audience that shares their mutual inner voices with me. We will bring value to each other and advance together. SEO or promoting is also vital, but what matters the most is what a blog primarily delivers: Words! Even if you have no experience in making money online with blogging, put all your heart and soul in crafting your best contents, and gather experience on the way of learning, that should be the initial momentum to carry you to success.
English isn't my first language, I don't have TOEIC or IELTS certificates, and my major wasn't literature or journalism, and I can still get a few dollars from blogging. You will DEFINITELY DO BETTER!