Welcome to the world Alex

14 Nov

Welcome to the world Alex

My son at just a few weeks old.

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Here Today Gone Tomorrow

24 May

Sometimes opportunity presents itself and you need to take advantage of it. I tried to start early. I remember when I first was exposed to the internet just as I was entering high school. My first contact with the world-wide web was at school and I knew I needed to get it at home. I remember those early days when everybody was connecting through dial-up and it sometimes too minutes to download a picture.

Around that time I had some interest in cashing in on this fangled new internet. I started of by building a couple of rudimentary websites. If you like you can go visit CHRISNET, it still floating out there on the web almost 20 year later . Back then there wasn’t any fancy software for easy website construction. Everything needed to be coded manually and there were no shortcuts. As you can see my pages weren’t much to speak of. One dedicated to Teri Hatcher who made a come back with Desperate Housewives, and one to Kathy Ireland one of the Sport’s Illustrated models of the day.

I had also made an ill-fated attempt to make a sports page that would feature my weekly NFL picks, but that didn’t go very far. The funny thing is if you take a look at the pages they managed to get over 200,000 hits. Back then most web pages were made by independant users and they definitely looked the part.

Back then to know how many users had visited the site almost every site had a counter, much like the one my site had from digits.com. Almost every site had one back then, these days they are seldom seen. I remember when my site first took off. Not many people were visiting my site and then I listed it on Yahoo. That was back when Yahoo was the big search engine, and it listed things through a directory rather than a search like Google today. That meant if you searched for Teri Hatcher there was a directory that listed the Teri Hatcher websites similar to the Yellow Pages. There were a few other search engines such as WebCrawler, Alta Vista, and Excite; but Yahoo was the real driver of traffic.

As soon as Yahoo listed my website I was getting 400 hits a day for my Teri Hatcher site and 50 hits a day for my Kathy Ireland site.  I actually can remember the day when the site got listed and I was shocked at how many visitors I was getting. I wasn’t sure if it was correct at first. At first I was just happy to have the visitors, but then an opportunity arose.

Sites began offering to put banner ads up on people’s web sites in exchange for a fee. There was a large number of these sites in the fledgling days of the internet, but I settled on one called The Commonwealth Network. You can still see the remains of the link for the banner on my web pages. Back then they were offering just about one cent for each page view. That is an unheard of amount in today’s advertising market. I signed up and I was earning around two hundred and fifty dollars a month.  That was good money for the amount of effort I had put into my sites, and I never thought it was going to end.

And then it ended. Sites that had been getting paid good money from these sites were considered no longer suitable due to content. Looking back it was obvious that many of these sites were paying at levels that were unsustainable. They wanted to get in and become the big players in the online ad game, but the vast majority of the sites faltered and are long gone.

Sometimes opportunities arise and the prizes go to those who are ready to step up and answer bell.

 

I tried a few other sites that were based on pay-per-click but nothing ever really panned out. The well had run dry. There was a brief period where the money was plentiful, but it was gone as soon as it came.

 

What do you want to do with your life?

19 May

What’s important to you? If you could do anything imaginable what would you do? I know these are pretty loaded questions but I find myself dwelling on them almost everyday. I know many people just dream of winning the lottery and living an easy carefree life, but that’s not for me. If I won the lottery my first thought would be how can I invest that money and turn it into more. I love strategizing, chasing goals, and beating my competition. Many days I find myself unhappy at work, but it’s not that I hate what I do. I actually love my job running a business and working with and managing people. Where my dissatisfaction originates is not with the job I do but with the people I work for. Now to be honest I have learned a lot from many of the people I have worked for, but with other people I report to I have fully come to understand that often it is who you know rather than what you know. I want to be the author of my own destiny, the driver behind my successes and my failures.  I think this blog is going to be about my journey to the discovery and fulfillment of my goals. At first I planned on this blog to focus on ways for people to make a little bit of money on the side in there hectic lives. I was going to go into things like doing online surveys, mystery shopping, or selling items on Ebay. I might still go into some of these topics, but the goal for me was always financial freedom. I wanted to find ways to pay off my house faster, help out my families financial situation, and have a bit of extra money for life’s luxuries. One thing you have to realize about me is that I am very risk averse. If you look at many rich and succesful people you will see people who live without fear. They risked it all and came out huge winners. Unfortunately I look too much at the people who risked it all and came out huge losers. That’s why I want to start with making a little extra income on the side. Maybe if I start small it can blossom into something much bigger.

Hello World Part Deux!

17 May

Well I started off well-intentioned but everything just fell apart. I decided to restart this blog after a pretty pathetic first attempt. I think what pushed me to go again was the renewal notice that my domain was about to expire. I kind of like the domain and think I can turn this blog into something interesting that people might actually find some value in. I think this time I’m just going to make this blog a little bit more freestyle. At first I had planned on doing a topic for each post, but this time I think I will just write about what I’m up to right now and what ideas are floating around in my head. As of now I am mostly just writing to myself. My stats show that somehow one visitor a month has made their way to my site. They must have really gone down the Google searches to come across this gem. Or maybe they used the site MillionShort a site which omits the 1 million most popular web sites from your searches. Just as a note, I did get some surprisingly good results when I used it as my search engine.

Anyways, just about a year has passed from my first posts, and I am still looking for some alternate sources of income. Once again work has gotten in the way. In the retail world you can work shifts all over the map. Morning, evening, closing, or night shift can by the norm. On top of that your days off often end up split or on completely different days from week to week. I honestly don’t even know what my schedule is going to be next week and I’m the Assistant Store Manager. The pay can be pretty good and there are quite a few benefits, but the headaches are never-ending. With my schedule there is almost no way for me to take on any sort of part-time job, because I would need an extreme amount of flexibility from any employer. In any case what I am looking for is something that can turn from just income on the side, to perhaps a new career. I would like nothing more that to start-up my own business and work for myself. I want to become an entrepreneur, but sadly I don’t have the courage to jump in head first. I’m the guy who takes 10 minutes to work himself into the swimming pool rather than the guy who jumps in head first. But there are many good reasons to proceed with caution. For one I have a baby on the way due in September, and my wife and I have just purchased our first house. Now with more bills to pay and a mountain of debt we need to be a bit more careful. So I’ll start off slow, but this time I am going to see it through.

 

Paid Online Surveys

11 Jun

One of the easiest ways to earn some income on the side on the internet is to participate in paid online surveys. All is required is a bit time and patience and you too can can make as much as a South East Asian factory worker. Don’t expect to make too much, although some more lucrative opportunities may arise. Most sites begin with a few general interest surveys in order for the sites to appropriately target users.You will need to divulge information on your age, sex, marital status, income and more. You will be asked question ranging from what you search for online to what brand the blinds are in your home. Some surveys can be quite interesting while others can be extremely dull and tedious. Surveys will last anywhere from a few minutes to close to an hour. Topics are varied but often follow similar themes across various sites. In some cases you may answer a number of questions in a survey before being disqualified for various reasons. Different sites also offer some variations on rewards and payment, but most operate in a similar manner. Below I will mention 4 different sites I have tried. I will try and give some of my personal experiences and try and give an honest account of my impressions. I fill also discuss the benefits of the referral systems for each site so you know what benefits you can receive for referring friends or family to the sites. As I use the sites I will add updates to let you know about my progress and experiences.

Ipsos i-Say

Toluna

Opinion Outpost

Mindfield

Hello world!

5 Jun

Welcome to my new blog: Income on the Side. First let me introduce myself. My name is Christopher and I am 32 years old. I have been married to for close to 3 years now. I went to University and after dropping out of Computer Science after 3 years I ended up with a BA majoring in Sociology with a minor in Economics. One summer I took a job at a grocery store to help pay the University bills, and after graduating I stayed with the same employer and moved up the retail ladder. I met my wife at the same company and we both work in the same job at different stores. We both are tied down by full-time jobs, but we are always looking to make a little extra income on the side. We both have a schedule which changes from week to week so we can’t commit to other jobs, but we do have blocks of time where we could be doing something else. This blog will be discussing various ways in which to make a little extra income on the side, online or in the real world. Maybe you are like us and want to make a little extra income for a summer vacation or new TV, or perhaps you are a stay-at-home parent looking to do something with your spare time. Whoever you are or whatever you want doesn’t matter. What we want to provide you is information and our experiences to help you understand what opportunities exist out there and how you can utilize them to fulfill your desires. The list of topics we will cover will be extensive. We have tried numerous things and have lots to share. I will not limit myself to any topics. If it involves earning money, saving money, getting things for free, or even personal finance, it will be fair game for this blog. Some of the things we discuss may even start out as something small and then grow to something even bigger.

The most important thing though is that we maintain our integrity and are completely honest, otherwise this blog will have no value to you. We will be as open as possible with you and tell it as we see it. We won’t tell you something in order for us to make a financial gain. I believe that over the long run dealing with people openly and honestly leads to greater gains over the long run. So if we try something out and it makes us two dollars in ten hours of work then we will tell you that, even if we could make a ten dollar referral fee. For example, this blog is an attempt for me to make some extra income on the side. What am I going to do? I don’t know. How am I going to do it? I don’t know. At this point in time this whole process is completely foreign to me. What I do promise is that whatever I learn, I will do my best to share it with you. So join me on this journey and check back often.