Making a living from working online

Jason Schuller, owner of Press 75 and ThemeGarden, wrote a good post about how hes making a living online from developing and selling WordPress themes.

In response to this article Jeff Chandler wrote a very honest article entitled ‘Jason Schuller Did It – I Can Do It To‘. In the article Jeff explained at how hes moving into a house with his wife to be and is feeling the pressure of having to make more money. He currently works in a grocery store but is looking at ideas as to how to make money online.

My situation is a little different but there are many similarities. I'm also moving into a house in a few weeks and I'm concerned about the increase in expenditure. At the start of the year I sold my previous main site for $60,000. Which, granted, is a lot of money (It was around £37k). However I didn't really see any of it as the money went towards my tax bill (which was larger because of the sale) and my deposit for the house.

Because I sold the site, my monthly income has dropped. This has happened to me several times in the past when I have sold a big site however I have always had the safety net of my referral income from the gambling sites i created between 2003 and 2007. Unfortunately, this income is starting to drop. If I rented instead of buying a house then I would have had a lot more money saved to invest in new projects or to buy an existing website which has a decent monthly income. However I really wanted to get ‘my own place' and get a foot on the property ladder, particularly with how cheap houses are just now.

Though because of this I find myself in a similar situation to Jeff i.e. I'm starting from scratch. This is something I've done before as my backpacking trips a few years ago to Australia, New Zealand and most of Asia were funded through selling sites which were making me money. If I hadn't sold any of these sites then my monthly income would probably be $10k+, but I don't have any regrets as I had a great time.

I do understand that it takes time to get a website established i.e. to get it to a level where it is making decent money online. Though I'm positive that I can develop WP Mods and get it making money a lot quicker than it took me to monetize my last site.

Thankfully, I do have savings to keep my going until my online income improves. Though obviously I don't want to be on the breadline either. If I do find I'm struggling to pay the bills then I would simply get a part time or full time job to supplement me until my online income is back to a good level.

In fact, I was interviewed for a 3 month contract with a bank recently for a complaints job which paid £150 a day (around $220). Unfortunately, I didn't get the job as there were other contractors available though the interview went well and they are keeping me in mind for future positions.

At first I wasn't keen to take a contract job, even if the money was good. In many ways it felt like giving up. I gave up a career in the financial services to work online not because of the money, but because I love working online for a living. If I had stayed in the financial services industry I'd be making around £300 a day or more, but I don't believe I would be as happy in my job. So going back to it, even if it was only temporary, felt like I had given up my dream in many respects.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed. I realise how this additional income could really help me, both in the short term and in the long term. The money I earned from such a job could let me invest in new projects and buy an existing one to help secure my long term future online. So this may happen in the future.

I'm going to work my ass off in the next few months to increase my monthly income through WP Mods and other new sites. I know I will make money, it's a matter of ‘when' not ‘if'. If I do struggle to increase my monthly income as quick as I would like then at least I am in a good position to take a part time job or a full time contract job to help me. At the end of the day, bills need to be paid. I will let you all know how I get on regardless and tell you all about the ups and downs :)

Also, I'd like to wish Jeff the best of luck with his online venture. I'm sure once he finds a good plan for his site he will find his feet and start increasing his income.

Good luck,
Kev