January 22nd was a red letter day for me. I’m actually writing this on January 28th, which is even a bit more exciting, but I’ll explain that in a bit. So what’s so special about January 22nd? It’s the first time I’ve made money from writing on this website (or any other website, for that matter).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve made money in IT for a long time. Probably way too long. Even some for writing, but that was for magazines with deadlines and word counts and all that other stuff. What started as a hobby back in the 80’s turned into sales, then into making a little side money supporting people with computer problems. Eventually I even made a little writing for some computer magazines, and later creating and supporting web sites. That’s all long gone these days. Though my primary source of income is still in the IT business as a systems admin, I don’t really do much side work anymore, at least side work for which I get paid.
But, I’ve been toying with this blog for a little while now. A few days ago, it was recommended to me that I apply for the Amazon Associates program. I’ve heard about it, and had a basic understanding of what they do, but never really put any effort into it. I decided to give it a shot and see what would happen.
So, I applied, and when I got my account information, I went back to the article I was working on about my Instant Pot Meaty Lasagna, and added product links to the items I used in the recipe. Frankly, setting them up was more trouble than I thought they would be, and I really didn’t like the way they looked, but I left them there. Then I forgot all about them for a few days. Over this past weekend, I looked at my Amazon account, and discovered people had followed the links, bought stuff, and I actually made money!!
OK, it wasn’t a lot of money, especially that first day. A whopping .04 – you read that right, 4 cents, or 4/100ths of one dollar. It wouldn’t even buy me penny candy in today’s market. But that was just the first day, by the end of the week, I had had made almost $10. Obviously, I’m not going to get rich doing that, but this blogging stuff really was just a “for me” hobby thing. My intention was (and still is) to simply do it for the fun of doing it. But, if I can make a few bucks here and there, I’m excited about that. In some ways, it reminds me of the early days of getting into computers when I just did it for fun, then stumbled on to making money from it. That’s worked out pretty well for me 30+ years later, so who knows what will happen.
My plan is to only use those advertisements to talk about products that I’ve personally used, give my thoughts on products that others have asked me to look at, or show products directly related to the article in question. In short, I’ll be honest about what I put up on the site, and not bombard you with useless ads.
I know, I know, to some of you this isn’t earth-shattering news. Lots of bloggers make money doing this. But it was an exciting surprise for me.