But up until now, I've never really considered trying to make money off of it with any kind of determination. Three things always held me back when it came to that. The first being that I always saw the Internet as something that should always be free and open and not subject to commercial exploitation. Yeah I know that sounds dumb considering the fact that companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Google are not only raking in the money but performing a valuable service to humanity in the process.
The second thing that really kept me from hitting the web like a rabid digital version of a 19th-century gold prospector was the fact that I am one of the most anti-materialistic people anyone around me has ever known. I have never and will never own or wear anything made of gold or silver, I find it repugnant that people kill each other over sparkly rocks that are just the result of old carbon under too much pressure, and people who refer to any of their possessions as "bling" immediately lose 40 to 50 IQ points in my eyes. I understand the necessity in providing for one's self and one's family along with saving resources for vacations and emergencies, and I always work hard to make sure that happens. But I have no desire to ever be rich or have a cup so full that I can't savor the flavor of life when others' cups are empty of anything at all.
And thirdly, I have also been in the IT field long enough to have a special black place in my heart for spammers. If you are to go into your spam folder right now you will see a billion and one "special offers" from some supposed Internet guru who founded the secret for quick and easy cash. I have had to repair the results of people fool heartedly clicking those embedded links on more than one occasion. But those are the worst-case scenarios, most of them are usually just a picture of some douchebag laying back on a chair at the beach with a laptop saying "This Could Be You!". Or they are posing in front of a Ferrari or some other crap like that. They rarely tell you that their big classified secret is to get you to send them money while getting your friends to send you money, that's basically what they all boil down to.
But recent events in my life, notably the birth of my daughters, is filled me with a new sense of responsibility and desire to strengthen the foundations of my economic outlook. So I have decided to perform this great experiment and keep you all posted as to my results. I want to literally make something out of nothing, and I believe that if I pursue it with the same determination I had last year to track down all of the audio recordings of all the Phish concerts I attended in college, I should be able to make it work. I may very well fall on my face, and I look forward to all the laughter and ridicule that will be well deserved. But if I do make it work, you all will have this feature to read at your leisure and see exactly how I did it. So let's look at the parameters of this experiment and start off with these simple rules....
I will not invest a single penny from my own bank account or pocket for any program or method that I try out. Any investment that will be needed must be made from funds that I have already procured from previous projects.
I won't take part in any strategy, program, or method that serves to exploit or lie to anyone in any way. This includes anything to do with pornography, drugs, mail order brides, or anything else that would prevent me from answering the question "Daddy, what are you doing?" with honesty.
Share everything good I find, and warn of any scams I see. If I find a way for us all to be financially independent though, I want a tin of cookies sent down here to the jungle.
So those are the rules. The point of this venture is to make something from nothing and create enough of a passive income to where if something should ever happen with my 9 to 5 job, I won't be dead in the water. It could be argued that this very blog is one such venture, but anyone who loves blogging will tell you that they do it more for the love of writing than the 30 or 40 cents a day they might get from AdSense. I couldn't spam out this blog anymore than I could have my daughters ever do the child beauty pageant circuit.
So thus far, my approach to this will be to find truly legitimate sources of nickel and dime income at first just to build funds to work with. Right now that includes some freelance article writing along with a paid to click campaign with multiple bux sites. And this beginning stage is going to be very slow going. But I am in for the long haul, and I am already beginning to see some results. I've created an Excel spreadsheet chock full of formulas that are keeping track of my results on a real-time basis. And so far I have made a total of $35.26 that theoretically should be going into my PayPal account soon. I say "theoretically" because I have joined 60 pay to click bux sites and I am not certain at this point which ones are scams and which ones will actually pay out.
For those of you who don't know what a bux site is, they are essentially web-based businesses that pay you to look at advertisements. You log onto the site, check your account for how many advertisements are available for you to view, and then click their corresponding links and keep them open for anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds. The pay per click ranges from a fraction of a penny to two cents on some sites. They also have different levels of membership that allow for either more links or more money per link depending on individual site. Like I said, I joined 60 of them. I have a technique using Firefox that saves a boatload of time and allows me to get credit for each advertisement presented to me. All 60 sites take me about an hour and a half uninterrupted, or three hours with a few breaks to do. I usually put on some good music and get a good rhythm to cut through the tedium of looking at all that spam. The $35.26 that I made so far took me about five days to do. But like I said, in the beginning this is going to be very slow going.
As soon as I am sure which ones are legit and which ones are just online ponzi schemes, I will post the links to them here. I am not going to lead anyone into something like this until I scout ahead for a little bit. The goal for me is to make at least $5 per site before I cash out, which is about the average minimum for them to release funds anyway. I will then take that money and begin investing in other ventures that I have spotted in my initial sniffing around.
So I am going to give it a week, and next Wednesday I am going to post the results of my efforts and give honest recommendations where they are deserved. I will show you also how to track your results as I have, along with showing you how to perform the actions the most ergonomic way possible. Who knows? Maybe we can all figure this thing out together as we go along! Either way, the point is to have fun with it and go into the thing with a skeptical outlook to prevent as much disappointment as possible. So I will talk to you guys Wednesday when I have my first week's results!