On the weekends, I wrote articles and gave them away for free. Then some videos. And made some forums. I reduced my expenses.
Then the videos started to send me money, and I monetized the articles.
And then one day, my piddly income was bigger than my expenses. I was able to break away
And the I did some kickstarters, made some movie-like things, wrote a book.
Now I own a couple hundred acres and support a half dozen people. I have been free of the 9-to-5 for about 15 years.
And it all started with giving stuff away for free.
What kind of articles were you writing?
What's your website?
I wrote: My first article was before the internet became popular. I made a handout for a class I was teaching, for free, to about a dozen people in 1994. In 1995 the internet took off and I posted my article. It was the only one of it's kind for many years, so the search engines loved it. The article advised people how to have a better lawn with less work and zero toxins: https://richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp -- I think I cut deeply into the profits of weed and feed companies for many years.
Later I made forums at javaranch.com and then permies.com.
My big passion was about gardening, and that grew into permaculture. A few months ago somebody wanted a list of everything, so I made this: https://permies.com/w/stuff
This is the most in-depth article I’ve ever read on lawn care. I’ve learned so much in five minutes. Thank you!
You made permies?! I love your website. Thank you so much.
You are javaranch? Awesome. It was a great resource when I was learning.
Bookmarked! This is gonna be so much help.
man your site is awesome!
Excellent information. Thanks for sharing.
Dang that article is legit! I've learned a lot from just skimming through it.
This is very good information - about getting out of the 9-5 and about lawn care. Thank you for posting
OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU. I am also a big fan of manual mowers, and now I have science to back it up.
Big fan of your website permies !!
Man, I used Javaranch a ton in the early-mid 2000s. Thanks for saving my ass at work more than once.
you made javaranch?! you literally helped me get my degree. thank you so much :)
As a writer I'm hoping something like this happens to me. Although I have no idea how to start writing articles and get exposure...
I wrote:I started off with zero exposure. I just put it up because I felt the other info was poor. And then later things I put up because there was nothing about it anywhere on the internet (like hugelkultur). And one article started off as a reddit reply, which eventually became such a big reply that it took me two full days to finish. And then, of course, the reddit peeps had moved on to other topics. So I massaged it into an article.
So it wasn't about the money. It was about the need to say a thing.
Thanks for the advice. I agree with you on the last point; the reason that I write is because there are so many things I want to say. It would just be nice if I could also get paid for it.
I wrote:I guess I'm saying write without thought about pay.
I've written thousands of things, and only a handful actually turned into coin.
But I also turned to a hundred of those things and glued them together to make a book.
The genius isn’t the important part.
The important part was the willingness to do lots of work for free.
That’s the genius part.
The hundred people that did hard work for free and are gonna die poor anyways aren't posting
Also the timing.
The important part is doing highly monetizable work for free.
Like there are hundreds and thousands (the majority) of video editors, youtubers who never make it big.
I wrote:The important part is to do something rather than do nothing.
99% of my stuff is seen by only a handful of people.
Thats not what we are talking about. Yes doing something is better than doing nothing, its obvious, its nothing to talk about.
Doing something for the sake of doing it wont bring you lots of money.
that's not going to work for everyone.
Shamelessly plugging your own work and talking to yourself from an alt account
Why, when I search for your name does it suggest ‘Paul Wheaton scam’ in the suggested searches?
No clue. Try it and see what you find.
15 years ago. Keywords. This is not really doable by today’s standards. Nice try though and good work I guess.
I wrote:I didn't try doing keywords. I just shared a thing.
I have not attempted any SEO for at least ten years. I suspect it is all different now. But what I do is the same: give stuff away for free. Help people.
Everything I do is: try 100 things, 2 will work out, and you never know in advance which 2.
So the long and short of it is you started getting famous by being old enough to utilize the internet right when it was getting huge and were able to get lucky by posting about lawns and being the only person to do so online at the time. Thanks for the tip.
like is no one gonna address how this dude is literally a weird kind of sort of cult leader
TLDR: OP started a cult
Catie George wrote:
I feel like, but have no proof, that avoiding the offputting ad-ness of a lot of other sites has helped grow your following. I probably wouldn't be here regularly if "Buy my ebook!" Was a banner ad I had to turn off every time I open the the site, but dont mind the tiny ads at all. I havent bought anything from you but have bought something from a staff member. But then- i also have never bought off of a "Buy this thing! Sign up for my newsletter!" Full page banner ad either.
but it is not something that a busy person can fit into their life without some discipline and sacrifice - especially a person with a family. It's not the lifestyle for everyone.