For those who are new in his site, James is the founder of PinoyMoneyTalk and is earning $1k+ per month consistently. Check out this picture of his $4,500+ Adsense check, that’s around P200,000+ pesos. Wow!
Enough of the introduction, let’s get into James’ head.
James: Interestingly, we just finished our About Us page in the site. You can read our short history there. But to summarize, the site started in 2005 as a venue for Filipinos to discuss high-yield investment programs or HYIPs. Eventually, however, we got tired of HYIPs and started looking for alternative income opportunities. PMT now caters to discussions of just about any money-making opportunity — stock trading, mutual funds, problogging, work-at-home jobs, etc.
James: I only started focusing on Google Adsense in late 2006. Before that, the site uses Adsense but is not properly optimized, earning only a meager $10-20 per month. By adding more blog content and optimizing the ad units, I was able to dramatically increase the click-through rate (CTR) and overall performance of the ads. The site started hitting the $1,000-level in June this year, peaking at $1,800+ in July. Recent changes in Adsense’s policies negatively affected the performance of the ads, but fortunately our ad earnings still currently hover above the $1,000-a-month level.
James: Adsense still comprises the majority of my online income sources. I’d say affiliate marketing and direct advertisements provide only 20% of what I earn online. FYI, I still have a day job although it doesn’t pay much compared to my online earnings
James: I am connected to the net around 10-15 hours a day. Yes, I admit, I am an internet addict. LOL.
PinoyMoneyTalk is not really an online business, so there’s no need for me to advertise. I’ve never paid for online advertising in the past, although I had free coupons from Google Adwords and Bidvertiser that I previously used.
James: Making money online is no different from making money using traditional activities such as putting up a business or being employed by a company. One still has to work hard in order to achieve a sustainable level of online earnings. Earning money online, however, has more perks because you get to stay at home, you don’t report to a boss, and you control your own time.
A lot of people think it’s easy to make money online and that it’s possible to earn big bucks overnight. Those claiming this are lying or have not really made much money. Surveys say that only 20% of new businesses manage to succeed. Online, it’s possible that this percentage is much lower. Anyone can attempt to make money online but not everyone will be successful. If it’s easy to make money online, then everyone who has access to the internet should be rich by now.
James: After graduating from the university in 2002, I went abroad to study Master’s. Then for three years, I worked in the headquarters of a multinational electronics company, implementing a change management initiative in several countries. I started PMT on my second year of work and tried to manage the site while also working. I’m just glad my company did not fire me for that. Hehe…
Early this year, my contract with that company expired and I decided to go back to the Philippines to start my own business. At present, I focus on managing PMT and have also taken a job as a teacher in a university while finalizing the details of the business I want to put up.
James: Not really. For almost three years now, the site just relied on word-of-mouth advertising, banking on members to recommend the site to their family or friends. Search engine optimization or SEO does help but we don’t actively implement it in the site. I think our numerous articles and discussion posts regarding money and personal finance are what made the site be on top of search engine results.
James: If you can make money both from online and offline sources, why choose? Earning online is definitely nice because you get to be your own boss, but one should also remember that this may not be sustainable in the long run. One should thus learn to diversify, that is, to not rely on only one or a few income opportunities.
In my case, I channel my online earnings into passive offline income opportunities, as I explained in the article Make more money offline using money earned online. That way, even if I don’t get to earn online anymore, I will still be making money from other sources!
James: I’m not sure if you can consider these useful but I’ll just share the ideals I live by.
1. Find your passion. You can’t really give your all to something you don’t like doing, so don’t just love what you do, do what you love!
2. Success doesn