Before I get to the life-changing dollar that I made mostly by accident let me tell you how it came to be.

As I mentioned in my last post, early on after I graduated college I had begun my own design business, The Designary. It was mostly a non-starter, but it did lead to one very large step in the right direction for my future internet marketing endeavors.

Having a “web design” business, it was sort of essential to have a web presence so I needed to find a name for this new line of work and get online.

I purchased

As you often find with domain buying your first option for a URL is already taken. You have to get creative. I tried for,,, and before I came to the last available option

The process of researching which domains were already bought, which domains already had websites on them and what my potential competition was doing to make money intrigued me.

From that point forward my interests drifted from the design world to the entrepreneurial and analytical world. I spent any extra money I had (which wasn’t much) attaining domains that I thought were unique or searchable. I’ve since dropped many of them including, and, but hung on to my eventual first money-maker,

Chicago 5K

After landing a full-time job at in 2010 I had to rely less on The Designary to pay the bills. This meant less stress and more freedom to pursue my own hobbies.

While there I became much more familiar with the web design process and decided to build a website about the different races in Chicagoland. I really had no interest in running at all, but I knew that a lot of other people did.

Only having experience in hand-coded html at this point I was tipped off to a CMS (Content Management System) called Joomla that allowed you to easily build websites from predefined templates. Being a complete novice I couldn’t figure out how to get it set up for the life of me. After some further research, I turned to WordPress instead and never looked back.

I set up a website with theme installed after a bunch more beginner’s hangups and started to copy and paste whatever race info I could find from across the internet (not a good idea in today’s world). I then installed Google Analytics which was, and still is, a must for tracking your visitor statistics including how they got to your site, how long they stay and where they live.

After a few weeks online I found out about Google AdSense. I wish I could remember where or how I discovered it, but for anyone who doesn’t know it’s basically the greatest thing known to man.

Teaching Moment

What Is Google Adsense?
Google Adsense is a publishing network that allows content publishers, more commonly known as website owners, to paste a small snippet of code on their website and generate income. It directly correlates to Google Adwords which is an advertising network.
How Does Google Adsense Work?
Basically Google set up an ongoing auction for advertisers to bid on keywords called Google Adwords. The advertisers pay Google to show their ad to people either searching for that keyword or looking at closely related content. When you install the code snippet on your website Google shows the results of the auction based on their assessment of which keyword(s) your page is about. If someone clicks the ad on your site Google pays you about half of whatever the advertiser bid. EASY RIGHT? If you don’t think so drop me a comment and I’ll try to clarify.

And Then There Was Money

I installed Google Adsense on my site and within a day I had made over a dollar! It’s a strange feeling to get so excited about such a small amount of money, but it’s not just about the dollar. It’s about how I made the dollar.

One Dollar Bill

Sure I had put a lot of work into building the site, but at that point most of the pages for the running season had been built. So really now I could just sit there and people would visit the site and occasionally one would click on some random running ad that displayed next to my content. It was completely passive. I didn’t have to work for it at all!

The dollars continued to come. Some days it was $3, some days it was 12 cents. The thing about it though is that once you get a taste of seemingly free money, you want more. That’s when I got serious.

Next : It's All About The Keyword
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  • Hi, i was searching online on how to become an online entrepreneur and i came across your side. I was able to learn something from your site and i’d just like to thank you for sharing. :) Keep it up and all d best!

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