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|$100 / day or it's all over|
I'm 22 years old, a part time college student, and I live with a few awesome friends in a shared house. For the first time in a long while, I'm happy. Life is good - but not for long. Unfortunately, due to my extreme lazyness (compounded with some rather 'questionable' purchases), I am pretty much flat broke. I've done the sums, and in 3 months I will have a net worth pretty much on par with a cashew nut. Unless I'm able to start bringing in roughly $100/day by some time around my 23rd birthday (9th May), I will be forced to make one of two decisions, both of which will utterly annhialate my already fragile self esteem. These are:
1. Move back in with parents
2. Get a job at burger king
Now, you might be thinking to yourself that, while not particularly appealing, niether of these options is really all that terrible. And you would be wrong. I won't go into why this is the case at this point, but for now it should suffice to say that I would rather sell my body to complete strangers. And before anyone tells me to just go ahead and do that, I'm far too ugly to make anywhere even close to $100 a day, so don't bother.
Believe it or not, the mere thought of either of these things is enough to get the hair on the back of my neck to stand up on end, and as the complete financial meltdown gets closer, my psychological state is deteriorating ever more rapidly. Whilst only a few days ago I could push the thoughts of impending doom to the back of my mind, now I wake up with cold sweats on a regular basis. Yesterday my girlfriend told me I started hysterically screaming 'do you want fries with that?' and 'you can upsize that for 70 cents' at random intervals throughout the night.
To save my sanity and avoid emotional castration, I had to come up with a plan. Unfortunately, as well as being lazy, I'm also not the sharpest tool in the shed, so my plan is really not all that good. Basically, it goes something like this:
Step 1: Start up a website
Step 2: Find a related affiliate/advertising partner
Step 3: Get hits and sell stuff
Step 4: Bring in $100/day on a regular basis within 3 months time.
Step 5: Avoid asylum
So yeah.. that's, uh, pretty much the master plan...
Now I assume at this stage most of you are either shaking your head or laughing at me (or a combination of the two).
You're perfectly justified in doing so, but I'm still going to try. Although the odds are stacked against me, I do have a few factors working in my favour.
First, I've got lots of time on my hands. Theoretically, I could work 8-10 hours a day for the next 3 months on this.
Second, I've got reasonable web design skills. While I don't have any official qualifications, I'm decent at HTML and Photoshop, so I can at least create semi-professional looking sites.
Third, I've got about $400 that I can use as a marketing budget - pretty much what's left of my savings after I budget for 3 months of rent, food & misc. expenses.
Fourth, I have a basic understanding of affiliate marketing and SEO, since I occasionally read WW when I see something interesting.
And finally, I really, really, really don't want to move back home or work at burger king.
Now the purpose of this thread is to doccument my quest. Every day I will post a status report that details what I have done as well as how much money I have brought in. I'll also write a breif reflection on anything I've learned, and probably rant on about various unrelated things as my emotional state continues to deteriorate.
I hope you come along for the ride and whether I succeed or fail I'm sure it will be quite entertaining and I hope that you'll leave me a little tip, some encouragement or a scrap of advice once in a while.
Day 1 of 90 starts tomorrow - I hope to see you then.
|Every day I will post a status report that details what I have done as well as how much money I have brought in. I'll also write a breif reflection on anything I've learned, and probably rant on about various unrelated things as my emotional state continues to deteriorate. |
I don't think so; that's what personal journals and blogs are for. ;)
This whole situation is probably the most important part of your education you'll ever have: learning what reality is, and learning to recognize, live with, and adapt to reality in the real world.
1) I'm 22 years old,
2) a part time college student
3) I've got lots of time on my hands.
4) Theoretically, I could work 8-10 hours a day for the next 3 months on this.
5) due to my extreme lazyness
You said it, I didn't. But I do fully agree. And that's the problem; not your parents, and not Burger King.
1) That's old enough to evolve into thinking like an adult
2) See #5 above
3) See #5 above
4) Theoretically, that's 56-70 hours of free time a week, and realistically, you could be w*rking (there, I said the dirty word that you hate) 35 hours a week and still enough have time to pursue a dream, which is what immediate $100 a day in less than three months is.
5) Quite frankly, speaking as a parent who raised a child through to being a mature-headed, logical-thinking and productive adult, if I were your parents I would not even consider letting you move back in, since that would be enabling #5 above.
|Day 1 of 90 starts tomorrow - I hope to see you then. |
Why not start Day 1 today? Procrastinating from the begining doesn't bode well...
I think your best bet is to have a blog and try to monetize it using paid blog services. It seems that you like to write, so, why not take advantage of it?
5) due to my extreme lazyness
I second what Marcia says about the laziness - get rid of that and you have a great chance of succeeding.
1. No computer games - there is only one computer game and thats traffic to your website.
2. Find your niche - what are you interested in or have a good grounding in (and no that does not mean computer games!)
3. Build site content plus links - repeat until your are completely knackered. (The content should come easy as you are a pretty good writer - your original post shows you have the talent to write entertaining content.)
4. Did I remember to say 'NO COMPUTER GAMES'
Oh dear, I had predicted a post like this somewhere down the line, but I hadn't expected it to be the first response!
I do appreciate your advice (even though you did use *that* word) and I know you mean well, but I respectfully disagree. Without trying to come off as a pretentious know-it-all, reality is far more subjective than most of us would like to believe. In that sense, there is no 'Real World' - there are conventions, social expectations and what the majority of people generally consider to be 'normal', but these things are hardly 'real' in the true sense of the word.
I don't mean to wax philosophical, but my point is that just because I'm not interested in following the typical route, doesn't necessarily mean that I am living in any more of a fantasy world than the cubicle-dweller trying to climb the corporate ladder.
If, on the other hand, by 'thinking like an adult' you are referring to taking responsibility, then I wholeheartedly agree with you. In a sense lazyness is a failure to take responsibility for ones own life, and I fully admit that I will need to change my ways in that respect. But if you are merely using the term 'adult' as a proxy for convention and conformity then I will pass, thank you very much.
Of course we might as well be speaking different languages to one another, since you will put my comments down to the impetuousness and inexperience of youth and I will assume your idealism has been crushed by the establishment, but I thought you deserved a reply anyway :)
P.S: World peace is a dream - $100/day from affiliate marketing in 3 months is just damn unlikely!
It just dawned on me that I spent the better part of an hour responding to Marcia's post (thanks alot Marcia!), and I've only just realised that LifeinAsia, defanjos and Ian posted replies as well. Thanks guys!
Unfortunately it's now so late that it's early, and I need to get some sleep, but I promise I'll reply first thing tomorrow.
Though I think I might have just adressed your post, LifeinAsia :)
|But if you are merely using the term 'adult' as a proxy for convention and conformity then I will pass, thank you very much. |
I think you'll find that most of the 'old timers' in the world of SEO will find that statement extremely amusing.
SEO used to pretty much equate with non-conventional and non-conformist, its a bit more mainstream these days and there are corporate types around too.
I'm sure you'll find that Marcia was talking about the need to discipline yourself to working when there is no one there to push you to do it and to understand the difficulties and responsibilities that come with living a 'non-conventional' lifestyle. And just so that I don't appear to be painting everything with a black brush there are also great rewards and benefits in suceeding, such as the ability to hold your head high in almost any social situation.
I've decided on a blog, as defanjos suggested. My subject matter is going to be personal finance, with a focus on credit cards - debt, budgeting and frugal living will be ancillary topics. I know that most of you will probably think I'm certifiable for choosing such a competitive niche, but the money is just too good to pass up. 'Credit cards' has a CPC of $10.56 on the Google AdWords Keyword tool and has a fairly high search volume. The affiliate marketing options are also really good, with commissions for successful credit card applications usually in the mid to high $XX range.
With this kind of moolah at stake, I know I'll have to work hard. Really hard. But I think if I can come up with a few unique marketing ideas and write some truly kick ass content, I'll have a good chance of breaking into the market.
Bought a .com domain name for 2 years ($9.99 * 2)
Bought 6 months of hosting ($5.95 per month)
Total damage so far: $55.68
Budget remaining: $344.32
I installed WordPress on my server. It's the first time I've ever used it, and I'm finding it really easy and user friendly. For now, I'm using a pre-made theme, but I've designed a mockup of my own theme in PS and it looks great. Unfortunately, I don't think I have sufficient skills to code it up myself, but I've found someone who says they can do it for $50. At this point it might be a luxury I simply can't afford - $50 is about 15% of my remaining budget!
As far as content goes - it's pretty much what will make or break me. I'm hoping to write a minimum of 2 quality articles per day for the site, and possibly 1 more for submission to those 'free articles' websites, since I'll need to start building up as many incoming links as I can. I've also been toying with the idea of employing a cheap freelance writer for just this purpose.
Total money made today: $0.00 (I haven't even bothered to put Adsense on my blog yet - I've heard that it's a good way to get the site spidered by Google, but I think I'll wait until I have a little more content first)
defanjos - I think I'll take your advice. Is it better to keep things ad-free until you reach some kind of critical mass?
Ian - Your advice was eerily prescient, since I am a bit of a computer game junkie. Thank the Gods I am not into World of Warcraft or any other MMORPG!
About staying disciplined: I certainly can't disagree with that. I find being self-motivated for an extended period of time to be exceptionally difficult.
|Now the purpose of this thread is to doccument my quest. Every day I will post a status report that details what I have done as well as how much money I have brought in. I'll also write a breif reflection on anything I've learned, and probably rant on about various unrelated things as my emotional state continues to deteriorate. |
start a blogspot blog and put adsense on it. you gotta make your $100/day as all of the world's wannabes will watch your blog all the time.
yes yes, your parents should not let you back home again.
"yes yes, your parents should not let you back home again"
Hey, thanks so much for the words of encouragement.
P.S: Dad, is that you?
Tighten up your expenses.
I have... it's 3 months of living on ramen and macaroni. That's the most tragic part of it all. I have to remind myself to take a multi-vitamin every so often so that I don't get scurvy...
>>>3 months of living on ramen and macaroni.
Geez, how much is your rent? I've lived in SAN FRANCISCO on far less than your goal and ate beef, chicken and salmon every day, not to mention organic vegetables.
Chicken Ramen is amazing, Costs £7 out the restaurants in Glasgow.
While im posting in this thread jleane, create a really good article and submit it to digg and other social networks if its a very good article something that will interest the masses then you will end up with many great links not to mention a boost of traffic.
100$ a day from a blog within three months with a budget of 400$ I am not sure this is possible? It took me to have some really great ideas to break the 100$ and a few more good ones to times that a few.
sections to include in your blog:
- how to go dining on a budget
- how to be a good boyfriend on a budget
- evalutating neighbourhoods for cheaper and/or better housing than you have now (maybe good niche for adsense?)
That's great that you want to look into affiliate marketing, but I bet if you started looking at jobs at elance and such for copywriters, you'd not only find a good niche, but also get paid to learn and write about these things :)
There are many ways to earn a living from the internet, and just looking at your copy, this seems to be one of your stronger points, so why not earn and learn from this?
|I've designed a mockup of my own theme in PS and it looks great |
|Bought a .com domain name for 2 years ($9.99 * 2) |
Bought 6 months of hosting ($5.95 per month)
I realise this may not be very helpful, but were any of those three things essential?
Do you really need a domain name? my_fantastic_blog.blogspot.com (or similar) is good enough for some fairly big-time bloggers (?)
How about hosting your blog for free (e.g. blogspot...) and save hosting bills (?)
Do you really need to spend time working on a custom template? Plenty of serious bloggers use totally b(l)og-standard templates... stop spending your time in PS and start spending time on content (?)
|using the term 'adult' as a proxy for convention and conformity then I will pass |
If you're paying your own bills you can be as nonconformist as you want.
Ponder this: few things are more conventional and conformist than running home to Mom and Dad because you couldn't get your act together.
|I find being self-motivated for an extended period of time to be exceptionally difficult. |
Seriously, you might have more energy and better concentration skills if you ate healthier.
You might want to kill two birds with one stone and research how to have more energy and better concentration skills. Then put your results and what you found to be helpful on a free blog using a standard theme. Save your money for some healthy food.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 5:19 pm (utc) on Feb. 14, 2008]
|Theoretically, I could work 8-10 hours a day for the next 3 months on this. |
I always say that you know you've become a successful affiliate marketer when you get your workday down to 12 to 14 hours. ;-)
|Bring in $100/day on a regular basis within 3 months time. |
Doable. Another of my oldies: What can I do today that will make me $1 more tomorrow and each day thereafter.
Martin, I'm in Sydney and we have a bit of a 'rental crisis' here - there simply aren't enough places to go around, so prices are through the roof. I suppose it's not much of a crisis if you're a landlord!
Having said that, you're right - my 3 months estimate comes from a calculation of $65/day, $45 rent and $20 for everything else (bills, food, entertainment etc). So really, the title of my thread should be $65/day or it's all over, but I thought I might aim my sights a high :)
rj87uk - I'll definitely give that a shot. Unfortunately, whilst I am an avid reader of Reddit and Digg, I don't post much and thus don't have any friends. Would be worth trying to build up my friend network a bit before I start submitting articles?
Onlineleben - BIG thanks for these article suggestions, I think I'll get to work on them right away. Any other article suggestions from anyone would be much appreciated!
eljefe3 - Thanks for the compliment. It had crossed my mind, and I may end up doing this as a last resort. Unfortunately, I try to be a bit of a perfectionist when I write, and at the going rate of 0.03 cents per word, I can't see it being worth my while.
Webdoctor - Stop ruining my fun :) Seriously though, I know you're quite right, but I thought of a great name and it wasn't taken so I just couldn't resist. I promise I wont open PS again for the next 3 months, but I'm not sure I'll be able to resist getting my personal template coded.
buckworks - Very true. Your post was both frightening and motivating.
Jane - I think you're right, my current diet is really bad for me both physically and mentally. I'll push for some more fruit and vegetables next time my roommates and I do a grocery shop. And eating healthy on a budget is actually a great idea for article, thanks. "Staying sharp on $10 a day".
Jim - You're scaring me. Last Wednesday I wasn't even conscious for 14 hours :) But I'll do whatever it takes to make this work. And I'm glad at least one person thinks it's doable.
Well folks, its now 8.30 AM. I'm going to get to work, I'll post a status report in 10-12 hours. Thanks again for all the advice. Please, please, please keep it coming.
|You're scaring me. Last Wednesday I wasn't even conscious for 14 hours |
I think your writing is actually pretty witty and you seem like someone who could make a living as a writer. You clearly have the brains for it. But I would start out with some less competitive, long tail terms and then work your way up from there. I'm not sure about the three month time frame, but I don't see why working at Burger King for awhile would be the end of the world. I had jobs like that when I was in high school and college and so did most of my friends.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 10:40 pm (utc) on Feb. 14, 2008]
I think this is the beginning of a plug for an ebook or some other information product. The original poster uses so many terms related to marketing so liberally that I have a hard time believing she is indeed as green as she claims to be. The 'burger king job' and the tale about the parents seems too corny to be believable.
"How I went from happy, self-sufficient college student to emotional cripple in 90 days (and how you can too!)"
When people mistake your actual life for some B grade marketing ploy it really makes you think...
|When people mistake your actual life for some B grade marketing ploy it really makes you think... |
I could point out a dozen giveaways in your original post but if I did, it would become a reference point for someone following your footsteps next time. So I won't :) .
I wrote 3 articles of roughly 350 words each. Posted 2 to the blog and 1 to one of those 'free articles' websites which will apparently take up to 7 days to make it through the spam catcher. Although they're all reasonable, I really think I could have done much better. Still, it's a start, and I have a few ideas for some really interesting content.
I've also been looking into hiring a freelance writer to assist me - that way one of us could write full time for the site (probably me) and the other could write for the article submission websites. So far I've been offered bids of between 1.5 and 4 cents per word. Seems really cheap. Too cheap, in fact.
Still no adsense, so no income!
P.S: Thanks again, Jane.
EDIT: Vik, for what it's worth (probably not much), everything I said about my circumstances is true. I won't be plugging anything in this post or anywhere else for that matter.
"How I went from happy, self-sufficient college student to emotional cripple in 90 days"
jleane,I hate to tell you this, but while you may have been happy with your lazy, undisciplined lifestyle (by your own definition), I'm not sure how you can claim to be self-sufficient if you have been and still are living off savings. Those savings came from someplace, and unless you earned the money yourself and it came, instead, by parental funding or government educational grants or loans, it's hardly self-sufficiency.
There are some very possible avenues of pursuit open to you, but you'll really have to first level with everyone and re-adjust yourself to having an open mind to creative, pro-active options.
Hi Marcia, yeah the savings were from a job I had a couple of years ago when I was still living at home.
But I do take your point.
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