How I Began to Make Money Online

Discovering Amazon, Adsense and others...

When I first joined the world of writers who published their writings online back on December 13, 2005 -- the day I published an essay titled Motherless onto my blog -- my mind wasn't focused on earning money online.

In fact, in 2005, I still didn't realize that people actually made money online.

I was just coming online as an easy means of publishing a few sample writings that had already appeared in print publications.

My intention was to forward the blog links to various editors of national magazines that I would pitch query ideas to, in hopes of gaining additional print magazine jobs or another column.

Maybe one too many "bong" rejection letters from the aforementioned editors-in-chief convinced me to turn my attention back to the mysterious world of blogging that was opening up to me.

I began hearing about programs like Google Adsense and Amazon Associates -- and after a whole lot of reading and online research, I eventually joined those programs and loaded up the code they provided me to run ads or pitch products on my website, gaining me a cut of the pay generated.

How Much Money Do I Make From Writing on the Web?

Let's talk real numbers...

I love it when writers publish their actual, honest amounts earned from various places.

In fact, I'm writing a book that uncovers a bunch of online entrepreneurs, bloggers, website flippers, etc. that publish their real earnings online --- and what they admit about how they made that income on the Internet.

More on that later...let's get into my real pay.

  • Back in 2005, I made probably a big fat goose egg online. After all, I'd just hopped on this train called the blogosphere in December.
  • But by 2006, I'd cranked out 180 blog posts on my Blogger blog, and began writing for a website called Associated Content (now Yahoo!) -- and the hundreds, if not thousands, began to flow into my bank and PayPal accounts. (I wished I'd published my income back then so I'd know for sure -- but I want to say it might have been $4,000 or so. I may have been too embarrassed to publish such a low number online.)
  • By 2007, I began tracking my income online, so I know that I brought home approximately $12,000 that year from all my writing endeavors and efforts. It was also the year that Google dinged me for linking too much to my own "Paula Neal Mooney" name with the same anchor text back to my own homepage (I didn't know!) but it turned out to be the biggest blessing, because it encouraged me to set up my own dot com and learn WordPress self-hosted blog stuff.
  • By 2008, I believe my writing income was around $38,000 -- let's go with that, because that's what I told the IRS. But seriously folks, I'm digging through my archives and I see where I made $2,000 from Amazon alone in December 2008 -- and my awesome inspired memory tells me it was that number.

(Yes, and now I remember writing popular articles about the FDIC troubled bank list that everyone wanted on one of my sites -- it's now deindexed by Google -- back in 2008, and those pieces sent my Google Adsense earnings up over $5,000 one month! Oh...glory days...)

  • By 2009, something else wonderful came along. Not only was I making money from writing primarily on my own websites and a few others, I discovered a place called that I kept seeing pop up everywhere in Google News.

I applied to join the site in September 2009 and was accepted -- and soon after was writing up a storm and raking in the dough. Therefore, by 2009 income was more than $43,000 earned online.

  • By 2010, the ball was still rolling and I was riding high with Examiner -- so much so that I neglected to write for a lot of other places. The money was just too good, and Google loved Examiner too much for me to turn away.

I pulled down over $50,000 in 2010 from all of my online sources  -- with representing a hefty $30K-plus chunk of those earnings.

  • And then, in 2011...the Google Panda came out to play. (Boy, does that Google engineer named Panda hate his name right now or what?)

Nearly anyone who has been online for any length of time has heard about the major change to Google's formula for ranking articles in their search-engine results pages that happened in early 2011. (Several others have followed since the major one.)

Some people were put out of business by the change. There were reports of other folks being in tears over the change, whilst others filled up Google message boards with rants galore.

As a result of this and other changes in my life in 2011, my take-home writing income (us writers usually have to pay our own taxes that aren't deducted first like a "real" job -- tongue-in-cheek, peeps, tongue-in-cheek) was $26,759.63.

How I Plan to Make Lots of Money in 2012...

...and find others already making cash on the web and help others make money online, too

The proverbial writing is on the wall.

When I sense the brook drying up in one place, I tend to look around for that new open door or waterfall of funds.

I've been reading a lot about the success of other people like John Locke, Michael Hicks and others who make money online by writing and publishing Kindle books -- the former pricing them at only 99 cents, to make the "low hanging fruit" attractive to all those new owners of Kindle Fire devices or iPads and such.

But I'm not giving up totally on Google, either.

Another good source of income is being had by folks on -- the ones who've successfully figured out a great niche, started a website around the topic, gotten enough backlinks for it to get recognized and monetized it smartly.

In my book, I uncover one guy who began a website in October 2011, outsourced the backlinking and content -- and made over $8,700 from it in December 2011 from Amazon sales.

How do I find the online money-makers?

My passion is not only keyword research -- like Jason C. Mayer, the popular jcmayer777 InfoBarrel writer that brought me here -- but also in uncovering real writers making real money online.

I set up Google Alerts on exact phrases like "my writing earnings" and "my Kindle earnings" and "my blogging income" and scour through them -- doing away with the overhyped guys just trying to sell stuff to innocent newbies, but following up with the ones who seem legit.

That's how I found Jason's article in the first place, and his record Adsense earnings on InfoBarrel are what encouraged me to branch out and try something different in 2012 to experience similar successes.

So stay tuned to my journey to discover how much my soon-to-be-published Kindle book about all these people making money online makes me -- and keep in touch so I can learn how much money it makes you too.