SincerelySandy - 7:20 pm on Jan 6, 2006 (gmt 0)
After constantly seeing threads where people are asking other webmasters "how much do you make" I've been compelled to make this post. I won't share how much money I make but on the other hand people do need inspiration. WebmasterWorld is largely responsible for what I have learned and the sucess I have attained so hopefully this post will "give something back" , like inspiration if nothing else.
When I first found WebmasterWorld I only knew enough html to make a website and nothing more. I had made a website to sell a product I created. I came to WebmasterWorld trying to figure out how to get traffic to my site. Slowly but surely I learned what I needed to know to get my site to the top of the SERPs and get traffic. Turns out, no one wanted my product, but I had learned what I needed to know to get a site to the top. I also ended up gaining a working knowledge of a bunch of different programming languages. I learned much more than I ever wanted to know and I ended up finding out I was much better a making and promoting websites than I was a selling my product no one wanted.
So... I started creating informational type websites on subjects I was interested in and I ran advertising on them, mostly adsense. One thing led to another and I started doing freelance design and SEO for other people and businesses while I was working on my own websites and promoting them. About 1 year after beginning doing freelance work, I stopped. I was making too much money from my own sites to justify my time working on other peoples. It was not easy turning down the easy money and instant cash from clients, but the money I make from my own websites is even easier, if for no other reason than I work on my own schedule, and I don't need the instant cash due to a large enough recurring income from my own sites.
I'm NO genius! There are soooo many people that know so much more about various things to do with being a webmaster. And there are bound to be many people that are better at SEO than I am. But I've decided that it's not how much you know that makes you succesfull, it's what you know. Somehow, I have read and learned the right combination of things to be very successfull, in my own opinion of course. And most of what I know I have learned reading here. For over a year now, I only work on my own sites, about 2 hours a day, sometimes much more when I'm driven or inspired by an idea. I scan WebmasterWorld almost every day (just like a business man reads the Wall Street Journal, I feel compelled to scan WebmasterWorld everyday to keep current on what's going on), I do not have any scraper sites and I never steal content. I do have a number of sites on different subjects all of which either provide unique content or content that is compiled and presented in a more useable manner for the average joe surfer. Most of my money is made through advertising programs such as adsense and YPN, fastclick etc. I have had no job for years now, just my websites. I have only recently ventured into affiliate sites, not because I'm interested or think I can make more money with affiliate marketing than with advertising. My main reason is because I feel it's important to diversify in many ways.
Good luck to all the honest people out there, I hope I have helped somehow.