UPDATED July 8, 2019: CLICK TO SEE HOW MUCH MONEY I HAVE MADE ONLINE
This site is about my journey to make money online, but why should you believe me?
Especially when there are literally 4.3 billion results about how to make money online. Everyone and their dog has a side gig on the internet.
So why listen to this random stranger from the internet? Read on!
Table of Contents:
- Who are you?
- How much money have you made online? $9,020
- How do you make money online?
Who are you?
My name is Elmer J Fudd, Millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht.
Darn it! That’s not it.
My name is Mike Fuchigami.
I taught in an elementary classroom for 14 years in Ottawa, Canada. And then life threw me a curve ball while I was teaching Grade 8 at Longfields Davidson Heights, and I quit my job.
Now I need to turn these lemons into lemonade, turn my side gig into my main gig, and figure out how to make a living off the internet.
Why, yes, I’m a real person!
Ok, but why should I trust you?
Like you said, 4.3 billion results. What makes you different?
1. Because I’m not making millions of dollars. (Yet.)
I love that word, “yet.” It represents an idea:
- One day, if you keep going, you could achieve that goal.
- It’s easy to add “yet” at the end of a sentence.
- It’s harder to use strategies to overcome obstacles and actually achieve that goal…
Is it possible to make a full time living from the internet? I guess so.
- Michelle Schroeder-Gardner made over $1.5 million dollars in 2018.
- Paul Scrivens makes 5 figures per month – around $50,000 per month
In comparison, I made $2,795 in 2018!
No, not per month. $2,795 for all of 2018. Um, I guess that’s around $230 per month.
- At the very beginning, I was excited to make even ten dollars per month.
- Then, when I got to a hundred dollars per month, that was super exciting.
- Now, I’ve broken the thousand dollars per month a few times, and that feels great. But I’m not hitting it consistently, yet. (See what I did there with the “yet”?)
Sure, I’m not making enough to pay rent, but I’m using up my retirement savings to give this a solid kick at the can. Why, yes, you read that right: Right now, I make below the poverty line in Ontario – it’s a lesson in frugality.
NOTE: I do NOT recommend quitting your job and burning through your savings to try to make money online. Start by trying to make money from the internet as a SIDE GIG. Then, quit your job once you make enough to live on.
Eventually, I want to hit the 5 figures per month level. So I’ll level up once I make $10,000 per month consistently.
To be honest, that seems like a long way away. But, I’m pretty good at learning stuff.
I was an excellent teacher. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to digest stuff into bite-sized chunks for my students. When you have to teach something, you get really good at that subject.
The way I learn is by doing things. And talking about what I’m doing. And, if possible, teaching stuff that I’ve learned.
So, this website is a place of learning, tinkering, and sharing. I’m hoping to write about what I learn about making a living from the internet.
(I’m hoping to eventually figure out a way to grow into a community of like-minded goal seekers so I can learn from others as well.)
2. Because I’m telling you making money online is hard work.
So many places seem to say, buy my system and you too can make money! It’s so easy!
It might be easy, but I haven’t found that in my experience. (And, generally speaking, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.)
I’ve been trying to make (more) money online for over a decade. Still not stupid rich, yet.
So, why do people talk about how (easy it is) to make money online?
My hunch is the secret to making money online… is by selling people the tools to make money online.
If you want to make money online, you might need…
- Research tools to find profitable niche topics
- Courses and information about how to make money online efficiently.
- Membership communities to learn from similar minded people on the same journey.
- Stuff to make a website and monetize your content
- Ads and other ways to get traffic to your products
I guess, it’s kind of like Iron Man. Tony Stark makes money by selling weapons.
“Peace means having a bigger stick than the other guy.”Tony Stark
“That’s a great line coming from the guy selling the sticks.”Christine Everheart
Hmm. Maybe not. I thought there was something in there about making war by selling the tools to make war? I dunno.
3. Because what I’m really trying to sell you is a lesson in resilience, grit, and tenacity.
Both literally, and figuratively.
I think the goal of trying to make money online is kind of like trying to achieve every other goal and obstacle.
This is really a story about perseverance, learning from your mistakes, and sticking with it until you win.
Nothing in life worth having comes easy.Theodore Roosevelt
Perseverance is a muscle. The more you pick yourself up, the easier it gets.Michael Fuchigami
You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.Babe Ruth
I need to find a way to not give up.
I think grit, tenacity, and resilience are transferable skills. This means, if you grow confidence in your ability to stick-to-it in one area of your life, you can apply those same skills to keep going in other areas of your life.
In other words, you know you can get through this because you’ve gotten through worse times… (kind of like how the characters in Dragon Ball Zkeeps on facing more challenging bosses: at first they get completely trashed, but then they level up and find a way to overcome adversity… until the next boss. Lather, rinse, repeat. This is how we build confidence.
So, I’ve come up with a system to help bring structure to my efforts to make money online, to get a six-pack, to overcome depression, etc…
I stand behind my ideas and I stand behind my process. Visit SEOT.ca for more information, but basically:
- I use strategies and evidence-based research to support my direction
- I apply effort in what I do,
- I monitor and optimize what I do based on data, and
- I tinker with new ways to discover hidden gems.
Let’s get in the game and see what we can learn.
How much money have you made?
UPDATED: July 1, 2019
So far, I have made approximately $9,020 since January 1, 2019 which is when my life began, again.
- I made $3,173 (CAD) during the first three months of 2019 (Q1 2019).
- I made around $4484 (CAD) in April – Jun 2019 (Q2 2019). These numbers are tentative, and do not reflect any refunds made to the merchants that I make affiliate links to. Stay tuned!
NOTE:Although I made $45,000 as a side gig from 2007-2018, I’m not counting that because this is my story about life after teaching.
Income Report (Q2 2019 Apr-Jun)
Here’s the story so far:
May 2019 was an epic month: I made around $2,725 (CAD) that month.
June 2019 was also awesome: I made around $2127.
Where did the money come from?
The bulk of it (almost $4,000) came from affiliate marketing links on my Make Money Online 2008 Project 1.
- One of my suppliers was having an incredible sale so around 10% of the clicks from my site converted into sales.
- Unfortunately, the sale ended and accordingly had a drop in commissions in June. So, it was good while it lasted but not sustainable.
- And then, I think I may have lost around $4,000 in affiliate sales. More to come about that story!
I think a big strategy that helped with generating sales was updating the sales page daily to help it get more traffic (and more sales, accordingly.)
I have a few projects on the go.
- Product reviews on my website (affiliate marketing).
- Digital marketing services for small business
- Selling teaching resources (digital products) through Teachers Pay Teachers (a third party marketplace)
- Selling teaching resources (digital products) through my own website
- Crowd-funding support for my perseverance website.
- Selling coasters with my daughter!
Income Report (Q1 2019 Jan-Mar)
From January 1, 2019 to March 31, 2019, I made $3,173 from online streams of income.
So, in the first quarter of my new life as an online entrepreneur, I made roughly $1K per month.
- Jan 2019: $956
- Feb 2019: $834
- Mar 2019: $1,384
The bulk of this money came from product reviews (affiliate marketing).
- I made $438 USD in commission in January, 2019
- I made $475 USD in February, 2019, but $114 was refunded to the consumer when they made a return.
- I made $823 USD in March, 2019, but $145 was refunded.
The window for returns to be processed by the merchant seems to be approximately 2 months from the sale date (and not the initial click date of my affiliate link,) so I’ll probably have to finalize my income reports about 2 months after the quarter finishes to have accurate numbers.
Where does my online income come from in Q1 2019?
Almost two-thirds of my online income comes from passive-income sources. (This is the “make money while you sleep” category, but it still requires a lot of hard work to create the content and market the traffic to your site):
- I have links to other merchants (affiliate marketing) – 62%
- I sell digital products on Teachers Pay Teachers – 4%
The final third of my online income comes from active-income sources.
(This is the “I get paid for working, and if I stop working, I stop getting paid” category that most of us are in if we have a traditional “nine to five” job.)
I have some fantastic clients that I do small business digital marketing for, but this isn’t my end goal.
- It pays the bills (for web hosting, and other digital services that I use for my passive income sources)
- It’s lots of fun – my clients become my friends. I’m in the relationship business.
- I learn a lot by doing, and not sitting in a classroom reading case-studies from a textbook.
But, I don’t want to become a millionaire from active-income sources of money.
- I don’t want to create a web design company with underlings that do the grunt work.
- There’s only so much time in the day to create assets, whether they’re digital passive-income assets, or I’m doing client work. I’d rather teach people how to fish, and learn from their fishing experiences, than simply fish myself… if that makes sense.
My goal over this year (2019) is to reduce my income from small business clients to 20% of how I make money.
This means, I need to double the amount of income I make from affiliate marketing and digital product sales. I have my work cut out.
Income Report (2007-2018): $45,198 CDN
I started to make money from affiliate marketing in 2007 when I made $207. You can read about how I learned to make money online from one of my grade 7 students here.
Over the past 12 years, I’ve made around $45,000 (Canadian) online through this side hustle of affiliate marketing.
About these income reports
To be honest, I haven’t really figured out how to do these income reports, yet. A few things are confusing me:
1. I make most of my internet money from affiliate marketing.
Essentially, I review products on my WordPress websites and when my visitors click on an affiliate link and purchase something from the merchant, I get a commission.
When you buy things from a store, there are always a few people who return the product and get a refund. So, even though I might make a sale in January 2019, they might return it in February 2019, and then the merchant might process the return and deduct the sale from my commissions in March 2019.
So, I want to do a regular income report to log my process, but it’ll be delayed by a few months, I think.
2. I get paid in USD but I think in CDN, eh.
I live in Ottawa, Canada, but the services that I use to make money from the interweb think in USD.
So, when I track things on my whiteboard, I record the USD amount, and then ask my Google Home how much that is, in Canadian funny money.
But, of course, Google is giving me a wholesale / interbank rate that is different from what I’d actually get from my bank, or paypal, or other exchange services.
And, I haven’t been able to get my affiliate link provider to direct deposit into my USD account. Bottom line is I’m losing out on the exchange rate (twice, because I pay for webhosting and other costs in USD), and I can’t figure out in my head how to do my income report in Canadian dollars, when I’m reporting a few months later.
My brain hurts.
How do you make money online (MMO)?
I have several projects on the go. I’m not sure which one will ultimately be successful, so I’m watering a few different patches of grass to see which will become a beautiful lawn…
MMO #1: Content Marketing
Content Marketing is when you create articles, videos, blogs posts, social media posts to generate traffic and followers. We then monetize that traffic in different ways.
I have two sites that I’ve been running for a number of years. One of them I’ve monetized through affiliate links, and the other one, I’m still trying to figure out how to monetize.
MMO #2: Digital Products / Marketplace
Creating digital products (ebooks, lessons, courses) or providing digital services (photoshop, voice work, animation) that you then sell through an established marketplace. The marketplace takes a cut of your product sales.
Right now, I’m experimenting with two different ideas:
1. Selling Teacher Resources on Teachers Pay Teachers
Teachers pay Teachers is a site where teachers can sell lesson plans, resources, and handouts to other teachers.
World’s most popular online marketplace for original educational resources with more than three million resources available for use today.
Right now, I’m trying to sell some lesson plans on our Educircles store.
Since the store opened in Feb 2018, I have created 15 digital products and made $451 USD.
2. Selling Resources on my own marketplace
Stay tuned. Still working on this post.
(Just when we get to the juicy part. I know, right?!)