When I first started to look into making money online ten years ago I was a sucker for every magic bullet guru program that I came across. I spent at least $2000 trying to find the key to Internet riches, before I realised that there isn’t one.

For six years I just got on with my garden and had a real life outside work. Then the crash hit Ireland and I lost my job. At 57 years of age my chances of finding a real-world job were non-existent so I had another look at the possibility of earning online.

In the meantime I had moved out of Cork city into the country, only five miles away, but I had managed for four years without any Internet connection apart from a dial-up one for emergencies.

I spent a thousand euro on a satellite connection, which still costs me €60 a month for a very limited service that I cannot use Skype, video or audio on. I realised I had to approach the whole Working from Home idea as work rather than searching for magic bullets.

What I Did

I came across an InfoBarrel article by Howie on how you could make residual income by writing on the site. I was hooked. The idea of earning forever from everything I wrote was awesome.

I spent a lot of time on the InfoBarrel forum, made a lot of contacts and learnt a  lot. I started writing on Day 1, even though I knew very little about what would work on IB in terms of earning money.

I asked for a challenge and Ryan (admin) challenged me to write one hundred  1,000 word articles in a  month. I did it, won that month’s competition and wrote nothing else for three months because I was so stressed.

What I Should Have Done

I now know that writing positive reviews of products or services is the best way to earn money on the site and should have stuck to this type of article instead of some of the philosophical and negative articles I wrote in those first few weeks.

I should have continued writing like this every day, but I could not bring myself to do so. I am not part of the materialistic society; I do not buy unnecessary things and could not bring myself to write about them in a positive light.

What I AM Doing Now

I switched my focus into working for my own site, with some InfoBarrel articles still. Most of my sites died within a few weeks because I could not raise any enthusiasm for them; it is difficult to write about LED bulbs and garden buildings day in and day out.

I sold three sites I no longer wanted, making $1,000 in the process.

I found a paid job moderating blog posts at MyBlogGuest.com and am back to writing InfoBarrel articles again. The paid job pays the bills and my IB articles should give me a long-term income for when I no longer feel like writing.

What I Did Right

You may have heard of the 5 Currencies; Time, Knowledge, Contacts, Reputation and Money; ever since talking to AJ these have been at the focus of my online efforts.

I spend Time to hopefully earn Money eventually, but if that is not immediately possible then I spend Time increasing my Knowledge, building Contacts and growing my Reputation. My Contacts and Reputation led to my moderating job and to other InfoBarrel users offering me paid jobs.

The 5 Currency idea was one I was using before meeting AJ, but verbalising it makes it more powerful and I really commend it to everyone. Forget Money and concentrate on Knowledge, Contacts and Reputation. Money will come through your growth in these three areas.

My Difficulties

I had depression for a year, but have beaten it now through medication and coming to terms with life’s changes.

I live in rural Ireland, which I love, except for my Internet. I wish I could find broadband and phone deals that applied where I live in the back of beyond rather than the slow and unreliable satellite connection that I am stuck with.