How I Made $1000+ a Month as a College Student

I do this. Every single day.
I do this. Every single day.

Holy crap it’s been a while. Almost a year to be exact. Regardless, I’ve been actually making money online, and IT’S FREAKIN’ AWESOME. Seriously, I’ve waited like 5 years for this. Yay. But enough bragging, you could totally do this too, whether you’re a college student or not, you can earn something on the side for sure. If you aren’t in college, this might take a bit longer to set up since you’re working, but it still works. Here are the two ways that I’m currently earning income:

Freelance Writing from Elance

Wage:  0.05 cents/word (1000 words is roughly 50 dollars not including Elance Fee)

Monthly Income: Around $450/month ($0 right now though, read below for why)

I should mention that my current situation is that they are switching to a much better CMS(like WordPress) and  are currently not paying for any new articles at the moment. However, Elance is great for getting writing gigs. With my particular employer, there isn’t a word limit, meaning I can write as much as I want to as long as it’s at least 1000 words. So with that, I’m making at least 50 dollars per article. The ability to increase my income is dependent on increasing my word count per article or assigning myself more articles for the week. While I have the option, it’s seriously as exciting as eating sand. Writing about mundane topics for 1000 words is hard enough, let alone 2000-2500. I’m lucky in that I only have one employer who pays me very well, but if this is something you want to do, feel free to get multiple contracts from those who are hiring if you’d like.

This also isn’t strictly for writers either. If you do web design, programming, even photography or illustrations chances are your skills are needed. If you have any questions about how to freelance your skills, leave them in the comments. 

Upsides

  • Can increase income
  • Work from home

Downsides

  • Topics can be boring; research is time consuming
  • Elance is competitive, expect rejection and low priced bids at first

Bottom Line

If you do plan on freelance writing, be sure to keep your profile up to date and your portfolio fresh. Use your academic papers as writing samples or blog posts that you’ve written previously. Writing samples are your friends and Elance is very competitive, so get your experience and feedback in. Don’t have any? Then start writing! Write about any topic you want, as long as it’s well researched and has a consistent voice, you should be fine. I do plan on quitting as soon as my other source of income can supplement this (which won’t take very long if I apply myself) because as stated earlier, freelance writing is very time consuming.

SEO Consulting

Monthly income: $1k

My friends have asked me what it is I do, and I usually just say that I do “Internet” or “Websites” and that’s usually good enough. Well if you’re one of my friends reading this (which you probably are…sorry we haven’t hung out 🙂 prepare to be filled with shock and awe and discover what it is I do!(Not really)

SEO? What the hell is that.

It’s basically getting websites ranked in Google. For example, whenever you search in Google, whatever shows up on the first page is golden real estate. That’s where I get websites to show up. That’s basically what it boils down to, oh and we apparently have a long standing battle with Matt Cutts and Google to game the system, so there’s that. I have 2 clients with one of them paying me about $1k per month. WHADDUP.

Website Making

When doing SEO, there’s also the route of making your own sites, writing articles, making videos and monetizing them with ads, affiliate marketing, or products. I have done this, but they aren’t doing too well after the Google update. Regardless, I hand wrote all the damn articles last summer and I should show you anyway because my pride can go f*ck itself.

http://foodmixerreviews.net

I have some other blogs in the works, one about nutrition and another about not being a wimpy skinny boy anymore, but those are currently in the works.

Upsides

  • It’s in VERY HIGH demand
  • You can charge a lot depending on the clients you go for(like doctors/lawyers in your area)
  • You can outsource the whole thing (I just hired a writer from the Philippines last week)

Downsides

  • Getting leads is hard (surprise surprise)
  • There’s a bit of a learning curve
  • With personal sites, you won’t see money for a while(it took me 3-4 months to see any money coming in)
  • Google’s algorithm update keeps you on your toes

If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, I don’t wanna get too technical and junk, so you can look at these sites since they explain it world’s better than I ever could (but I probably will try to later on anyway).

Some Awesome, In Your Face, Kick-Ass Resources(I go to these places basically every day.)

Seosunite.com Forum

Source-Wave.com

Matthew Woodward’s Blog

Viperchill

Cloudlivingjourney.com 

My 5k/month in 1 Year Plan

So there’s this “plan” that I have, where I basically want to make 5k a month through what I’m doing right now. I want to quit the writing job (which is basically nonexistent at this point) and do more personal SEO sites that interest me. I’ll probably do more affiliate sites for Amazon(like my food mixer site) and try my hand at local clients. The great thing is, I can really spread my income out wide and do a lot of things with SEO. So I got options. I’d ideally like to be making 3k/month by graduation, and 5k/month by next year. I’m already 1/5th there, how hard could it be right???

Anyways, that’s the end of this post. Again, If you have any questions about how to make money with your existing skills, leave them in the comments and we’ll figure it out.

Making my first sale on Etsy: A Reflection

We did it. We totally did it.

Words can’t describe how excited I am about this. I ACTUALLY SOLD SOMETHING TO SOMEONE WHO WASNT MY MOTHER. A real life person! Shouts out to you, new customer. You have given me motivation to actually do this and not kick it to the side like I do with all my other escapades. While it’s only my first sale, and it’s not enough data really to track a trend, it definitely did come out of left field for me.

# of views does not equal number of sales.

This one was a surprise, and while its obvious advice, its baffling when it hits you. I got a request for a custom order for a photo I haven’t even promoted yet, and was not featured or did not have that many views.

focusing on good photos

this leads me to believe that i may have to take shop on the content that I provide, although it could be a billion other things.

custom equals good. packages?

i guess people do like some choice and custom orders are what got me my first sale, so i might just keep going with that and add some nice packages, like packages for the home, the office, etc.

providing good customer service/follow up/retention

well now i can test out my customer retention model and customer service model. offering a discount for repeat purchases is something i’m looking into implementing, and of course building a list for a bimonthly newsletter as well. we’ll see how it all goes!

showing my product to the best place for it: Etsy itself.

this doesn’t seem that much of a revelation, but I have been posting my blog posts and shooting them to twitter, facebook, and social bookmarking sites, but most of my traffic comes from Etsy, and I need to be more involved with Etsy and the community there.

While there are other things like seasonal trends and colors that are in style, thats all I can really assess from my first sale. Now time to set some sales goals and really get the ball rolling. Ciao!

 

-Patrick

 

 

Selling my Photography on Etsy – Why I’m Doing It

So I’ve decided to try my hand at selling my photograph prints on etsy (I’ve also applied at a restaurant as a barista, can you say typical NY starving artist? Oh joy to me.)

Well I’ve decided to try and really push my photography and selling prints to people. They’re a little on the expensive side, as each one is custom and hand made by me. I’ll post more pictures on the process and things, but you should check out my photography page and look at some of the prints, and if you’re on etsy, add me to your circle! I’d love to check your stuff out.

I have a whole marketing plan and all that, but it’s all just a pipe dream for now. I’ll be making a contact list and reaching out to my extended network both here and at home for anyone interested in canvas art. Either way I’m essentially moving from amateur hobbiest to semi-pro, but it all starts with the first sale! My first sale will validate my idea and feed my ego, which is also sometimes   a good thing.

I’m also doing this in tandem with my Amazon Affiliate websites, which I’ve been slacking on ever since I started on etsy, so I gotta start hustling some more again and get things back on track.

The reason why I’m selling on Etsy is because aside from having an awesome office, I feel like it resonates with creating something of value, that you can offer to the world, which is totally bringing the hippie out in me. I sort of am excited to learn how to stretch my own canvas, do acrylic gel transfers, ship my stuff out and get paid for it. It’s like I’m creating something unique and tangible that someone else wants to buy. I’m showcasing my perspective of New York and presenting it in a unique way, where no two prints, even of the same picture, are the same. And who knows? The next 2 years, it could be NYC, then the next 2 years after that, maybe Shanghai, the Philippines, Africa, Ghana, you name it.

It meshes perfectly with the idea of making an income online and loving what I do every day. I can just take my camera and walk around NYC and it could potentially fuel my income, which sounds great to me. It’s going to take a great deal of work, and with the Amazon sites I may and already have found myself split in two directions, but these two things, when set up correctly, can definitely be my own blueprint to success that I’ve only dreamed about.

So once again, come check out my store at http://www.patrickdomingo.etsy.com  and I will keep you posted, since I’m going to try and start documenting my online journey with etsy and Amazon. Cheers!

Cheers,

Patrick

My Current Project: Setting Up Online Income Streams

So I haven’t at all been posting on here because I’ve been working on figuring out a way to set up some online income streams. Now, before you call “Bullshit” on this, hear me out. A lot of people are making a living online, even some people are selling their art on Etsy (which is what I plan on doing) and have made a decent side income on it. My goal is to have multiple streams of these, so I can diversify my income in case one goes under. I want to treat my income like people treat stocks –don’t put them all in one basket.

I’m setting up some websites that can cover my basic expenses (around $3000/month) then I can do my whole “travel and photograph the world” plan I’ve always wanted to do.

What’s awesome about this, is that most of the work solely depends on how much I put in, and once it’s set up, it will continue to grow with various tweaks and tests. Don’t get me wrong, this is a hell of a lot of work and takes months, even years to set up. I’m going to try and hack my way into it. More on the websites later.

P.S. I’m trying to tweet more, mainly asking questions and things like that, none of that “omg this is my day” crap. Follow me! 😀 @patdomingo

Cheers,

Patrick