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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Starving Programmer - Making Money Online!

    Hey,

    To all of you that have been around for a while, is there any way to make money on the Internet? Don't think I'm one of those guys looking to make a billion dollars online, I'm just looking to make enough to live on. Resonably, a thousand or so a month.

    I've got a lot of programming expierence, not a ton on the Web side of things. I've tried other websites like RentACoder.com but never had any luck with them.

    Right now, I have a thousand dollars in the bank, and when its gone I'm out. I don't have a job right now, and I can't locate one. The jobs I do get I'm never am able to keep, mainily because its not doing what I want to do, that's working with computers. I live in a real small area so there's not much around here.

    I know at least some of you are making money online, doing things with computers. I was thinking about using some of my money to purchase vBulletin and try to start a support website, but the chances of that actually working, at least, in a very short period of time, are pretty slim.

    Please don't flame this thread. I'm really looking for advice. If I don't find something to bring money in before my money runs out, I'll be on the street (again).

    I'm willing to do just about anything. I can moderate forums, answer support questions, or write Windows programs in many different languages. I'm also good with MS SQL Server 2000.

    If you have any information for me please let me know.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast Rev's Avatar
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    hmm if you are good enought, make some content site about programing/comp or what ever interest you,place some ads(np. google adsense) and start praying for traffic(seo,link exchange,directory,spam).Within 6 months you schould be able to earn some money,but dont expect bilions of dollars.

  3. #3
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    hmmm...SPAM....dont get me started on that!
    If you found this post helpful, click rep!

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    Hi.

    Yeah, that content website sounds like a good idea, and if I also added a vBulletin board on the website it might even make things a little better. People would be able to talk about content on my website.

    I don't have a ton of expierence building websites, so I'm not sure that I could produce something worthwile by myself.

    I also read a lot of computer books, and programming books. I've got an entire library of books, maybe a review section on the website would be cool as well. I've wasted a lot of money of pointless programming books, that dont teach you anything. So a site where people could get a review of the books before they purchase them might be neat.

    I love working with computers, and was always told there was a lot of money involved in them, but I've yet to see one penny come from it.

    BTW, what are those google ads you are talking about? Are they free? What good would they do on my website, wouldn't they just attract business to google?

    Edit
    Does anyone know where I can get a good content management system? I don't have the time to build one. Are there any free ones that would work?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard Young Twig's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    I don't think content sites are going to get you the type of revenue you're going to need right away. It takes a good while to build up a content site to the point where you'd make a decent steady income. I'd recommend doing something ecommerce, perhaps starting out selling on Ebay, since your needs seem to be somewhat immediate. The trick with that is what product/service to sell.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis
    I don't think content sites are going to get you the type of revenue you're going to need right away. It takes a good while to build up a content site to the point where you'd make a decent steady income. I'd recommend doing something ecommerce, perhaps starting out selling on Ebay, since your needs seem to be somewhat immediate. The trick with that is what product/service to sell.
    Hi.

    I was thinking just the same, have you ever heard of this website, www.clicksmc.com?

    I saw their Ad on TV and basically they have a wearhouse with thousands of products. They send you a kit in the mail, and catalogs, etc, and give you, your own website. Then when people buy stuff from you, your price is wholesale, and then you charge the customer what ever you want, usually the suggested retail price. Like an item you can buy for $3.95 you can sell for $14.00 or what ever you wanted.

    It sounds pretty cool, and its a huge company, with Ad's on TV so it can't be a complete scam. but I'm just not 100% sure about it. I signed up for the free kit in the mail. But I havent gotten it yet.

    Basically I'd have my own ecommerence website, except I don't have any inventory, After a customer buys something, I order the from the wearhouse, pay the wholesale price, ship it directly to the customer, and charge them retail price.

    So thats a pretty easy way to get thousands of products to sell without doing anything.

    I figure there are some downsides, there has to be, there always is, but with my computer expierence I think maybe I can get around a few of them and at least make a grand or so a month.

    Has anyone else ever seen their TV Ad? If so what did you think about it?

    Thanks for all the help.

  8. #8
    My true identity MaxS's Avatar
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    ClickSMC doesn't look to promising.

    Ok lets see here. In my opinion, there is money to be made as far as websites. You can possibly sell for affiliate programs such as amazon. I haven't heard of big money coming out of but It can't be too bad. I would PM 'Nintendo', maybe he can help you with that.

    You may want to read a bit about SEO and start up a few websites. Once you have them up, do your best to get them ranked high in google. You really need to bring in traffic to make money off ads.

    Programming/Computer related content sites should do well as far as google ads. I would think google ads pays decent for content like that.

    https://www.google.com/adsense/

    Another way to make money is to head over to webhostingtalk.com and try to get hired a support rep. If you work from like 9-5 everyday, you can definitely make enough cash to hold you, but then you aren't working for yourself.

  9. #9
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    Hi.

    I'll take a look at those websites and see what I can find. I know that www.jodohost.com has a web host reseller program for about $35.00 a month. Which might be a good idea, because I'll get my own website, which I may be able to make money off of, and then I'll also have other people I can make money off of, by hosting their website. If I knew I could get a least one or two websites hosted right away to offest the $35.00 every month, I would sign up but I'm not sure if I can take the chance of loosing the money.

    Does anyone think it would be worth spending the money on vBulletin right now? I've never really tried to get a community up and running before and I'm not sure how long it would take for me to get enough members.

    I just have to keep in mind that the little bit of money I do have has to also go for food and stuff so I can't spend it all.

    Thanks everyone for your help!

  10. #10
    Commander Awesome DevonWright's Avatar
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    Start with Simple Machines or phpBB and then move up to vBulletin once you are familiar with them.
    Ultimate X:
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    All of your Ultimate Marvel needs.

  11. #11
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    That sounds like a good idea. Is it possible to upgrade from phpBB to vBulletin? If I start with phpBB right now, I don't want to loose all my members or content later when I upgrade.

  12. #12
    My true identity MaxS's Avatar
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    Yes it is. Once you buy vBulletin, they provide conversion scripts from phpBB and other major boards.

  13. #13
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    Cool.

    Thanks Everyone!

  14. #14
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    I would not suggest starting a content site. I have friends that have been running very successful content sites (1,000,000 plus visitors/month each) and they are still not making enough off them to make a living.

    I am full-time self-employed doing web development, programming, SEO and hosting. I consult with businesses in my local area as well as all over the country. I've been doing web development for 5 years though, and was in graphic communications before this... so I've got some experience to draw from. I've built a client base over time that generates repeat business.

    Don't take this as a flame, it's just advice. I think you should get at least a part-time job somewhere to bring in a little money as you get your businss up and running (whatever it will be). When I finally broke free and went completely full-time I had a full list of clients and several good jobs that I was working on. You don't want to be desperate for your next client right off the start... it makes it much harder to find work.

    If you had a part-time job, maybe at a local computer store or electronics store (like a Best Buy or Staples) that you could work at night, you could spend your days working on finding clients or building your content sites and getting traffic.

    Anyway, best of luck...

  15. #15
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Starting a forum would be even slower way to make money than a content site. Yes, do a content site, yes do a forum, but those would be part of your long range plan and not part of your short term plan. The idea you mentioned about the SMC site, the concept is good, it's just that I don't think SMC is going to be a good source of products for you. Reselling hosting is a tough market to crack, but if you're good with sales you could build up a hosting company fairly quickly to the point where you'd have a decent income. Running a hosting company is very hard work though. If a client has a problem with their site at 4AM, they really don't care that you're in bed sleeping, they want their site back up right then and there. You're a programmer, why not write a nice little piece of software that people would find useful, and set up a site to sell it.

  16. #16
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    Hey Bjarne,

    First - I give you lots of credit for looking for a legit way to make some money online, and I think all the advice given to you so far has been right on the money.

    Second - Not to say it can't be done, but I don't think it's too realistic to get into almost any online business and expect to be making $1000 a month right away. Developing forums or content sites take time and it's best to have some money in the bank before betting your entire income on one of them.

    Third - I think Beley's advice to get a part-time job in a somewhat related field is best while you're trying to get a web business going. Heck, get a full time job and spend a few hours at night working on something web related that can make you some money and grow into something bigger over time. You need to make your first $100 a month before you make your forst $1000.

    Fourth - All my life I've heard people say "Do what you love and the money will follow" but after much thought I've realized that's not entirely true. If what you love doing is something no one is willing to pay for - then you've got a problem! Sometimes when you need a paycheck almost any job will do for a little while - so even if you can't find the exact programming job you want, you can probably find something in a related field that would keep you happy and maybe even lead to a job in the particular field you enjoy.

    Fifth - While you might be a great programmer, realize that people don't just buy programs...they buy what the programs will do for them, whether that's save time or money or whatever. If I were you, I'd try to find out what problems business in your area have and then develop a program or some kind of solution to help them out. People buy things to solve problems, and your compensation is largely tied to the size of the problems you solve in life.

    Sixth - Sell some of those old programming books you have on Ebay and pick up a few about marketing to learn how to market yourself properly. Some great inexpensive books to read are Dan Kennedy's "No B.S. Sales Success" and "No B.S. Business Success" - and Jeffery Gitomer's "Little red book of selling" is great too.

    Hope this helps!

    Steve
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  17. #17
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    Thanks, that was good advice from all of you. I know what you mean. I am going to try to get another job again, but its hard to work at a job that you hate, and when I know I can be doing something else, its even harder.

    I have been thinking about writting a program and selling it. Just a bunch of little things, mainly Windows-based stuff. The problem is I don't have many ideas for things outside of business stuff. Like POS Registers, Customer/Employee Managers. Etc... Whats your advice on that? Like if I'm giving the software away for free, its not a problem because I can slap a "Use at your own risk" and "beta" titles to the program, however I've always been scared to charge for something because its mostly business related stuff and I don't feel like getting sued by some ungratefull SOB, and as soon as I slap a price tag on something its a completely different game.

    I guess maybe what I could do is start writting a few programs, and take some of that money I have and get an laywer. Have him right me up one of those Microsoft documents that no one ever reads, basically stating that the maximum I can be sued for is the original price of the software.

    I'm so worried about making my programs 100% correct the first time, like pure OOP. But I guess maybe what I should do is just start making some. The first few are not going to be 100% correct, they may be a little slow, but I can reprogram them, and make my future software using a lot more OOP as I learn more.

    Do either of you have any comments on this, or any more advice? I would like it very much thanks.

  18. #18
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    I think you shouldn't be trying to figure out how you can make money online, but just how you can pay your bills at the moment. So what if you can't get a job doin something you really like right now? Try telling your landlord, "Hey, sorry, but there aren't any available jobs that interest me at the moment. Get back to me next month."

    Just get a job that will cover everything right now, and give you some money to start your online venture. You said you've got a grand in the bank right now - allocating 16% of your funds to a VB license doesn't make much sense to me, especially when you've got no visible income.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't do an online things - by all means, go for it. You just gotta worry about where your next burger comes from.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Member obscend's Avatar
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    To be totally honest here and give my own personal opinion, there's many sites out there like sitepoint.com which you can inquire work to clients looking for exactly that - a coder/web developer.

    From experience, you could definetly earn a pretty fair income monthly online from doing coding alone, and then I'd try to set aside some money to buy a domain and hosting to build a portfolio/small online venture offering clients custom work, etc...

    Or maybe try an online business venture?

  20. #20
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    I think I'm going to try and make a few different software programs and see if I can't sell them.

    It sounds nice and everything getting a job, either part-time or full-time however there arnt very many jobs around here. I live in a really small area. The population is way under 4,000 people. So there's not much choice for a job, and I can't afford to move.

    I've been trying to find a job since I got laid off, but since the country sucks right now, everyone is fireing and no one is hiering. At least not around here.

    I hope I can find a job next week some place, but I'm not going to count on it.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Member obscend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *pBeefStick
    I think I'm going to try and make a few different software programs and see if I can't sell them.

    It sounds nice and everything getting a job, either part-time or full-time however there arnt very many jobs around here. I live in a really small area. The population is way under 4,000 people. So there's not much choice for a job, and I can't afford to move.

    I've been trying to find a job since I got laid off, but since the country sucks right now, everyone is fireing and no one is hiering. At least not around here.

    I hope I can find a job next week some place, but I'm not going to count on it.
    Good luck with finding a job, and also, if you can, selling commercial scripts online is a pretty good source of income if it's quality and trendy

  22. #22
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    I just counted up all my old computer books. I have over $1,000.00 worth of books that I could sell. There are some classics that I will never sell, well, maybe for a million dollars then I'd just buy it over again for $50.00 and leave the country. HEHE!

    Actually, I have some classics that are out of print and its almost impossible to find them anymore. I've tried to sell books before on eBay and never had any luck because I didn't have any raiting. They wanted me to buy things to build up my raiting before selling things and I can't afford to do that.

    Is there any other place I am allowed to try and sell books? Its it OK to try and sell them on SitePoint? I know they have some marketing boards, but I'm not sure what all you are allowed to sell on them.

    Mostly, everything I have to sell are programming books, of one type or another, and a ton of certification books, for A+ and N+ etc... So it would have to be some place like a computer website where people would actually be interested in them.

  23. #23
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    Man, you don't get anything for selling programming books. I've got about the same amount, most costing 50-60 bucks. You're lucky to get 15 for any of those. So your $1000 collection just became a $250 collection.

  24. #24
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    Heh, this is a rip off I know. I just went to Amazon.com and tried to sell a few of my books. I entered the ISBN and it said the compition prices for my books are $6.95 US. I looked at the suggested retail that I paid for the book on the back. $64.95!!! It will most likely cost $10.00 just to get the package and ship the stupid book.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by *pBeefStick
    I've been trying to find a job since I got laid off, but since the country sucks right now, everyone is fireing and no one is hiering. At least not around here.

    I hope I can find a job next week some place, but I'm not going to count on it.
    While there've been many good comments and ideas shared with you here - In order for anything to start paying off for you I really think you have to start with a change in ATTITUDE.

    C'mon, is it really true that EVERYONE is firing and NO ONE is hiring?

    If you walk out the door in the morning to go look for a job with the attitude that nobody's hiring - what kind of success do you really think you're going to have?? If you were an employer - would you want to hire someone with a negative attitude like that or a positive attitude?

    Instead, why not wake up in the morning believing that THIS will be the day that you find a great job, or develop that perfect profitable business idea? Sure, not every opportunity you look into will be a success, but this attitude will get you a lot further than going out expecting to fail.

    Most of the limitations people run up against in life are purely self imposed, and the old saying that "If you think you can, or think you can't - you're right!" is just as true today as it was when Henry Ford first said that years ago.

    It all starts in your mind my friend, and if you want to experience success in business or anything for that matter, you need to start BELIEVING that you can be successful and then take ACTION to go get the success that you desire.

    Expect success,

    Steve

    P.S. I see what you mean about selling books on amazon. That stinks for you trying to sell your programming books there, but there's a positive side to it in that you can find some great deals there and add some more books to your library.

    I'd suggest spending about a buck and buying a copy of Zig Ziglar's "See You at the Top" http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...149866-0075123

    It's a fantastic book that's contributed greatly to the success of many people that I know!
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