Self-Employment Progress Report for June 2009

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Every month brings new adventures. This month, I returned to work—I was asked to come back to the job from which I was laid off. This upset the routine that I was developing, which was probably a good thing. When I look back at my month of unemployment, I realize that I blew it. I could have done so much more with my time and made great progress in many areas, but instead, so many other things flooded in to fill my time void. It wasn’t a total loss; I started working on implementing the Getting Things Done system (which also got slightly derailed when I returned to work), and I got more focused on making replacement money—extra income that will eventually allow me to quit my job.

Where I Am Now

The most important decision I made during the past month was to dedicate myself to one thing: generating extra, work-from-home income. In the short-term, it makes more sense to totally devote myself to one thing (whatever it is) that has the greatest chance of making extra money. Then, once I have some stable and consistent money coming in from this one thing, I’ll begin to focus on other projects that I’ve already started. Since I have very limited time during the weeks, I’d rather chip away at one thing and get somewhere with it than to spread myself too thin and getting nowhere fast by attacking many projects.

Work-From-Home Income

Among all the Internet-based business pursuits available, affiliate marketing seems to hold the most promise and potential for generating income fast. We’ve already reported that we have made some money over the past month from our early attempts at pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. But how much I’ve paid out versus how much I’ve made doesn’t compare at this point. I’ve only made about $20 and paid out about $70. I chalk this up to the education costs (something I’ll probably write more about in the future) of learning a new skill. But I’m very much a rookie at this PPC stuff so I’m not going to sweat it. I am, however, going to take advantage of free (and some paid) resources to get up to speed as fast as I can.

Over the next month, I’m going to be focused exclusively on affiliate marketing so I can create a steady flow of passive income. However, I know it’s not as simple as hoping and wishing; I also know that this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Some people have great success and there is the potential to make a lot of money fast. If that happens, great! But I just want to start making more than I’m paying out. That’s my first priority and where my focus will be for the next month. I’ll keep you posted.

20 thoughts on “Self-Employment Progress Report for June 2009”

  1. Hey Scott,

    You are totally right on the ‘focus on one thing’ mentality. Ever since you guys pointed me in the direction of Flippa I’ve been totally focusing on that and it’s turned out great. As you know i initially started out by selling off some sites that Amy and I tried to market but failed miserably at!

    If we tried to focus on marketing all those sites we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with any of them!

    Your financial education is the single most important thing, focus on building that too!

    I can’t wait until I see you quit – I know you guys are going to do it!
    .-= Ian Anderson´s last blog ..Re: Getting my car wrapped in ads =-.

  2. Ian,

    Tammy and I have really enjoyed watching you and Amy paying off bills and getting so excited. We’re happy to have helped out in any way we could.

    Honestly, making connections with other “Quitters” and being mutually supportive was a dream of ours when we started this blog. If we’re going to be successful, we want to bring as many people with us as possible. It’s much more fun when you can share your journey with others. That’s why we are so excited for you and Amy.

    Re: financial education… YES!! We’re on the same page. Tammy and I started working on our finances a few years ago. We had a miserable financial life at the time and finally got sick of it. Though we’re not set like we want to be, we’ve cut way back, began paying off bills and saving money. And after a few years of this, we both have excellent credit, which we’re very proud of.

    Keep up the great work! We’re with you all the way!

    Scott

  3. Nice post… I have found that capitalizing on “Who I Am” gives me a niche and therefore completely eliminates any competitive edges out there.

    My book is almost complete and I believe it will result in a great “passive” income feed for the future, plus! I have a scheduled speaking engagement in September covering the book topic! Nice! Do what you love and your future runs backwards to catch you!

    Book Site http://www.accidentalincrease.com

  4. Steve,

    It’s taken me far too long to figure out that you have to first be true to who you really are before you’ll start moving your life solidly in that direction. There have been hints right along but I listened too much to what society was shouting into my ears. I’m done with that noise!

    Thanks for stopping by. You’ve got some nice things going on your site. I hope your book does well. Be sure to keep me posted about it when it’s ready.

    Regards,
    Scott

      1. Scott,

        My book was scooped up by a publisher last Friday! Not even 1 week after completion! They offered me a book deal and will be launching the book (and myself) at the National Bookseller’s Expo in May of 2010!

        Holy crap!!!

        Steve
        .-= Steve Sisler´s last blog .. =-.

        1. Steve,

          WOW!! Congratulations! Who is your publisher? What is the title of your book and where will you be selling it?

          Best of luck!
          Scott

          1. The publisher is “DC Press.” The title of the book is “The Power of Accidental Increase; why some people create more by accident than others do by purpose.”

            It will be presented to Borders, Walmart, Sam’s, Amazon, etc.

            Steve
            .-= Steve Sisler´s last blog .. =-.

  5. Yes affiliate marketing can be successful, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking it is passive income.

    It takes as much work as a near fulltime job to make a job equivalent income.

    Yes there are affiliates making huge sums, but here is the sobering statistic – 99% of affiliates make no or very little money.

    Why? Because 99% of people have no idea of what they are doing.

    You MUST actively promote in your niche areas, ongoing. Most people put up links or make one blog post about something and move on, leaving a trail of brief effort that brings no or little result.

    That said – there are many people (well the 1%) who make six digit incomes.

    There are some good forums around, but I would avoid any books, ebooks etc on the subject. In the affiliate world in general, they are written by those who cannot do, but talk about it.

    1. Matt,

      What you said is something that Tammy and I are beginning to learn through experience. We’re still very much beginners. We’re plodding through the newbie learning curve, trying things that ebooks suggest only to find that the techniques worked a couple years ago when the ebook was written but the game has changed.

      We’ve made mistakes and we’ll make more, I’m sure. We’re also trying to get one successful campaign launched–one where we earn more than we pay out. It hasn’t happened yet.

      I would love to hear any other suggestions you have. Also, if you can recommend any good resources for inside affiliate information, we could really use it. We’ve come across a few but we’re still sorting through a mountain of information trying to find what is real and useful.

      So are you currently running any “successful” affiliate campaigns? Thanks for stopping by and offering your insight!

      Scott

  6. For affiliate income I operate in several areas. One is travel, but that has become sooooo competitive that well it is not really anything of significance any more.

    The other think that I do is run an online mall, featuring affiliate merchants. This works quite well, and allows me to identify merchants who convert well (sadly many merchants have not much more clue than affiliates) and those i put the effort into, even to creating niche sites for them.

    NICHE is the word though – I do reviews of people’s websites and there are a steady stream of people selling things like jewelry – there are way too many jewelry stores out there. Maybe if they identified a niche, but they don’t. (A bit like I need to do with travel!!)

    If you are starting a mall, look at merchants like ClixGalore. They have hundreds of merchants from which to choose.

    Then you can see who gets the clickthroughs and who gets the sales and go from there!

    Some reading
    An affiliates guide as to why not to use banner ads

    How to choose an affiliate program that will make you money

    1. Matt,

      Thanks, again, for your insight. Tammy and I have already been discussing which niche markets we will focus on as we get more involved. We have realized that you have to take this seriously and do your homework if you want to be successful. This is definitely NOT a get-rich-quick scheme!

      Thanks for the links/reading resources. All advice is appreciated. I might throw some questions your way in the future, if you don’t mind.

      Cheers,
      Scott

    1. It officially goes on sale this coming May, but will be available for purchase through the publisher in October 09.
      .-= Steve Sisler´s last blog .. =-.

  7. Let me start by saying great site. Im not sure if it has been addressed, however when using Safari I can never get the entire blog to load without refreshing many times. Maybe just my laptop. Enjoy!

    1. Eduardo,

      Thanks! I’m glad you like our site. We’re working hard to ditch our day jobs and enjoy sharing our journey. As for your Safari issue, I just loaded up our site in Safari and it loaded up first time without a problem. Although, I don’t have the most recent version. I’m running 4.0.3 right now. I hope you can solve the issue. I don’t know if I can help, but let me know if you can’t solve the problem.

      Thanks for being a reader of A Couple of Quitters. We sincerely appreciate it. Let us know if there is ever a topic you would like to see us cover, related to starting a business or quitting your job. :-)

      Cheers,
      Scott

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