Why this Blog?

If you’re reading this, you may be asking yourself,  “does the world really need another money making blog?” The world may not need it, but I do! Let me tell you how I came to start this site.

In 2004, after nearly 20 years in the working world, I realized a dream. It was a dream of owning my own business. I owned a successful duct cleaning business in the past, but a messy divorce forced the sale of that company. This was my Dream Business: I bought a Hot Dog Truck! I made the best hot dogs in my area and after about 18 months in business I was doing $300-400 dollars per day. That was pretty good money in my book and, more importantly, I enjoyed my work.

In February of 2007 I started a website to help promote my business. Not a lot of hot dogs get sold in February in New England (I was closed that winter), so I had some time to figure out how to start my own site. I decided on a blog format since it seemed at the time “everyone” had a blog. I also liked the fact that I could set up the site myself and that there were plenty of free hosts out there.

While I was learning about how to get the blog going on my own, I read A LOT about how to do it and stumbled on many sites that told me how I could make money with my blog. I figured I had a few months off, so I might as well try my hardest to make every penny I could from this blog. I decided to try every money making idea I came across on my blog. I didn’t make much at first, but I kept learning and trying new things and, most importantly, I NEVER GAVE UP. The remainder of the winter of 2007 was devoted to my blog.

Once the spring came, I opened up the Hot Dog Truck and went back to selling hot dogs. I told my customers about the site, took pictures of people’s hot dogs, put a lot of silly hot dog related content on the site and encouraged people to visit.  I continued to spend at least an hour per day posting on the site and learning more about how to make some extra money with it. It was a slow process!

If I told you I made $156,392.78 in just one month blogging, I’d be lying! I made next to nothing, but I was determined to keep plugging away. My customers liked the site and it did help promote my primary business in a small way, so I kept going.

As my readership grew, I started to earn more and more money from the site. I worked on it in my spare time and I even started some other blogs. My wife thought I was wasting my time; that made me even more determined to carry on! By the Spring of 2008, I had made enough money with the site to take the family to Las Vegas for a week to see my wife’s folks, pay for an attorney for some business issues, buy a motor scooter and put a few bucks in the bank. All told, I made about $5,000 in my first year of blogging. It wasn’t enough to live on, but it was strictly a part time venture and “found money” as far as I was concerned. I was having fun with it and I still had my Hot Dog Truck. Life was good.

Fast forward to Memorial Day weekend of 2009, my knee swelled up like a cantaloupe. I went to the ER and was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. The knee was swollen and immobile. I was told to stay off it and keep it immobilized while taking antibiotics to control the Lyme. Selling Hot Dogs was out of the question-I had to stay off my feet and, since this was my left knee, I couldn’t even drive the truck (it was a BIG & HEAVY E350 with a 4 speed manual transmission that had a very long throw on the clutch).

Once the swelling went down, nearly a month later I got an MRI and was scheduled to see an orthopedist on July 6. On July 5, I had major chest pain. I thought I had broken a rib. I went to the ER and was found to have a MASSIVE pulmonary embolism. This is a blood clot in the lung caused by a blood clot in the leg breaking loose and traveling to the lung. The admitting doctor said people who have embolisms that big usually show up at the hospital already dead! I was lucky to be alive.

I spent 36 hours in ICU and a total of 8 days in the hospital. I am OK now, but I need to take blood thinning medication for the foreseeable future. I sold no hot dogs that summer and I sold the truck in the fall of 2009.

I also went back to school in the fall of 2009 to get my Master’s degree in Education. I became a full time student and did my student teaching practicum in the spring of 2010. In May of 2010 I was ready and qualified to be a High School English teacher. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of teaching jobs out there this year (there aren’t a lot of ANY kind of jobs for that matter).

So here I sit, with no job and no Hot Dog Truck. I am looking for a teaching job, but I am becoming resigned to the fact that I might have to wait until next year. I will substitute teach to network for 2011 openings and earn some extra cash, but I am left with a lot of time which I plan to spend expanding my “internet empire.” I have tweaked some of my other sites and they are earning income, but I wanted to start this blog to help others who may need or want to earn extra money online.

Over the past three and a half years, I have read a great deal about how to make money online and how to run blogs and websites. This blog will attempt to chronicle how I did it, how I got to where I am today and where I go in the future. I’ll point people interested in making money online to the resources that were helpful to me.

I’m not an expert or a guru and I’m not re-inventing the wheel here. What I want to do is provide a resource reference for people just starting out with blogs and making money online and earn a few bucks for myself in the process!