Clicking My Way Into Making Money 201

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Clicking My Way Into Making Money 201

While we wait for the other 6 MITs to follow Diane’s lead, with her excellent post based on my Finding Your Growth Engine exercise, Jeff – our newest Millionaire … in Training! – welcomes us into 2009 with some insight into his own money-making plans


Making Money 201 is all about focusing efforts on increasing your income so that you can build wealth and make some headway on achieving your Number.

Being in the military affords me a nice and steady income (which I’m thankful for these days) but it doesn’t give me much of a chance to earn more by working harder or smarter so that I can earn that big promotion at work.  Nor can I focus on growth opportunities for the organization to improve profitability and earn more through profit sharing or bonuses.  This means I need to find an alternative, separate from the military to pursue new profits for my family.

But what should that be?

My required annual compound growth rate is approximately 38% to reach my Number.  I expect to use stock and real estate investments as well as some type of small business to make that happen.  I have more detailed plans for stocks and real estate that I’ll share another time, but today I’m going to focus on my options for a small business.

Ideally, whatever I pursue should be as passive as possible.  I’m not afraid of hard work, but my time is my most precious asset.  The more income streams I can generate that require little or no time/effort to maintain, the more wealth I can produce as an individual.  I think of this as leveraging my time.

Another reason I’m chasing passive income streams at this point in my life is that being in the military is a full time job that doesn’t leave me much room to head off in my own direction.  If I find the perfect business opportunity, I’m not at liberty to “quit” when I decide.  Therefore, my efforts need to fit with my present situation and service obligation.

My final reason for chasing passive income is that I have some big dreams I want to pursue on a full time basis as soon as possible.  Yes, I understand the point of our exercise is to achieve the Number so we can retire and fulfill our life purpose stuff.  But I think I can get on with it sooner than 10 years from now if I can generate sustainable passive income streams to live off of.

Currently my passive income efforts revolve around:

– Real Estate investment – One of my 2008 goals was to begin investing in real estate other than my primary home.  However, the Navy changed my real estate investment efforts and that goal with orders to Boston, MA.  I’m going to be managing the Navy’s recruiting efforts in New England.  Drop me a line if you want to join up.  Because of this change in plans I’ve had to defer my goal just a bit, but will still be a real estate investor very soon, I’m just going in through the back door.  I have renters lined up for my VA Beach home and am closing on a house in Boston at the end of January.  The Va Beach home is renting with positive (and passive) cash flow and the Boston house is a foreclosure that I’m picking up for $200K below market.  🙂

– An Internet approach – As I mentioned above, I need a business that I can fit into my military career.  The Internet is everywhere.  It never sleeps and my online activities can be tailored to my schedule.  I can devote some time over lunch, during my commute on the train, or even while on travel and in the evenings at home.  Thus the title of this post, I’m trying to click my way into increasing my income.

I think of the internet as a big river money just waiting for me to dip a bucket into.  I am using several approaches to try and scoop my bucket into that river.  Mostly centered around advertising and internet marketing, I’m using several blogs (I have ten right now) to target specific niche markets.  The idea is to drive highly targeted traffic to the niche blogs which contain Google advertisements and related affiliate products.  Traffic = Clicks = Advertising and Sales Revenue.  So far the websites are paying for themselves, and I continue to build content and generate traffic via backlinks and search engine optimization.

I’m also dabbling in running targeted Pay Per Click ads (they are at the top and right side of Google’s Search results) to sell affiliate products.  I paid for an online course to learn some of the in’s and out’s of PPC, but have only lost money so far in this area of Internet Marketing.  I’ve suspended my PPC activities for now because I need all the cash flow I can muster to finalize my real estate deals in the end of January.

For now I’ll just focus on my niche blogs since I’ve got that breaking even.  I’ve heard “stories” of folks on the internet using this approach to make several thousand dollars per month.  I’ve only been at it for three months now and am making whopping $45/month from my ten blogs.  It’s not much, but I see the potential.

The idea is passive income from military retirement (someday), real estate rentals, and internet income so that I can really begin to focus on what I view as my true business opportunity…building an Air Taxi business.

You knew it had to come back to flying at some point didn’t you.  🙂

In the mean time…Click Baby Click!

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Reader Comments

Sounds like a pretty solid plan Jeff!

Jeff, I also am doing some blogging and article writing. It is indeed slow going at the beginning but I think it’ll be worth teh effort in the long run.
I am working with which is also writezella and postzilla. Is this by chance the same you are working with.

I am also interested in the Pay Per Click stuff, where do you recommend I begin.

oops I mispelled it should be

Hey guys,

Thanks for the comments. Lee, I’m doing the niche blogging on my own. Everything I’ve learned on the topic has come from either or

Good Luck

@Jeff – I’m actually in the process of converting my current residence into rental. I need to find a new place first. Diane did convert her former residence to a rental. We should be able to share some ideas on this.

Hi Jeff, I have a question. Do you write your own articles for your blogs, if so, do you plan to somehow automate this or are the blogs a means to an end?

@ Mark – I would love to share ideas and lessons learned on the rentals. I have what look like an ideal set of tenants lined up for my current home (all references are coming back positive) and will begin working on the lease this week. I’m probably just going to purchase a pre-packaged Virginia Lease Agreement that I can modify some of the details on.

@ Josh – I do a little bit of both right now. There are plenty of article feeds available to help generate content. What I do is rather than automatically post the feed content, I review it and edit it heavily. I’m not an expert in many of my niche areas, so having the related content arrive on the doorstep of my blog helps reduce the amount of research and head scratching that I do. I edit it for my site so that Google doesn’t view it as duplicate content and give it lesser consideration in their search engine rankings.

For my Flagship Blog (Minding My Own Business) I write 99% of the content. There are rare occasions when the content feed will line up nicely with my Personal Finance philosophy and make it real easy to just call an article a guest post. Other than that, most of the feed articles for that blog don’t see the light of day.

Some of the more successful individuals who are making money in this manner outsource the content creation. They pay writers (similar to Debbie, I think) to author original content for the niche blogs. They post that original content then rewrite it (including links back to the niche site) and submit it to an article marketing service that will distribute it to several thousand sites. Not only does that increase potential traffic, but the increased back links to the niche site raise your rankings in Google’s view, pushing you higher up in their search engine results which tends to yield increased free traffic.

My strategy for now is to start small with minimal expenses (i.e. using free services for now). If and when I have some monetary success I’ll plow the profits back into some of the more expensive and productive automated methods at that point.

Good Luck