Back then, it took some gentle reminders from my wife, Josie, to understand I don’t need to make money online. I’m hardheaded, so it took a lot more than a few reminders to make it sink in.
I was online long before I started writing, but it didn’t become something somewhat continuous until after I moved to the Philippines in 2006. Most of my online time had nothing to do with writing. I taught myself everything I needed to know about the web and I use a lot of it today.
My military pension kept me financially at ease back then. I’m still financially at ease more than 10 years later.
I started my first blog at the end of May in 2006 to keep from being bored. Being retired from the regular work force, I didn’t have a job to eat up my time. I wasn’t a party animal or a gambler, so I didn’t fit in well with relatives and neighbors.
Somewhere along the line, I found out I could make money online with what I was doing and it was pretty easy. In 2011, I was making more than a thousand dollars a month doing it. It was a nice addition to my fixed income and it allowed me to do some things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
Then Google did some algorithm changes and it started getting harder and harder to make money online. It started becoming something like work, which was completely opposite of what I wanted it to be. It wasn’t just Google. The rise of the social networks started happening around the same time. Facebook and Twitter, no doubt, were taking away a lot of the attention I used to get.
I told people for years that all I really needed to make was enough to cover what I spent for web hosting and my Internet connection. Up until 2015, that may have been true. Now it’s just an excuse to complain.
When I started all this, Josie and I didn’t have cell phones or the associated services. I had a DSL connection and a land line and that was it. My yearly tax returns included them as expenses until 2014. I treated what I was doing as a business or I would have paid more in taxes than I needed to pay.
In 2015, we both got smartphones and the services to go with them. My monthly DSL bill dropped enough to afford them. Josie and I didn’t make enough money in 2015, even with the extra income, to file a joint return. We didn’t have anything deducted anyway, so it didn’t matter to us.
I make enough money online to cover web hosting (at $10.00 a month) and a bit more. I don’t always make enough to get paid for it every month. Some months are a little tighter than others. At the rate I’m going, I probably won’t make enough to pay taxes for several more years.
As Josie reminded me over and over, I’d still be doing what I do even if I made no money online at all. The alternative is to sit around bored or get in trouble doing other things.
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