Who I am

I guess it is long over due that I write this entry into this blog. I bet you are curious as to who I am, why I blog and why I keep blogging.

This page post may end up being a long one so get yourself comfortable, get something you can safely consume or drink around your keyboard or touch screen and we'll get going.

My name is Jan (although my father used to call me "Jane Anne" or "Plain Jane" at times, and I thoroughly hated it) and for now I like to keep my last name private, after all, this is the internet and screen names are the norm. You can call me Jan.

I grew up around electronics and my first job was in Silicon Valley in California. Around 1979 I built my first computer from pirated parts. In those days you had to have an IBM programed chip to run programs and an operating system on it. One of my brother's in law had a chip programmer and he is a software engineer. So for under $100 I got my first non-game system computer that ran DOS.

One of my passions is writing so during my spare time I toyed with trying to put together desktop publishing booklets and club newsletters (remember those?) This was all BI (before internet) and it gave me plenty of time to learn different software programs, word processing and some elementary programing. At the same time I had a high tech career in Silicon Valley as a electronics test technician.

Then came the internet. My father had toyed around with BBB's which were the forerunners of the internet but I never bothered with them. His greatest thrill was being able to access the local library's card catalog to see if a book was available. I, on the other hand got involved with going online around 1990 when the internet as we know it today, was very young. I enjoyed visiting the message boards that were popping up everywhere. It was the new age of socialization online. It was not until the mid 1990's that companies started to realize that the internet was a great place to advertise. That was when pop-ups, pop unders and all kinds of advertising bombarded us, and still does on some websites.

In the late 1990's I tried my hand at seeing if I could run a website and actually make money from it. I remember at least 3 of them that were all flops. I actually had traffic but I had no SEO skills at the time. I did not know what SEO was. Google was just an infant and Alta Vista was king. Mutual linking and link exchanges were the norm for those times, webrings were all the rage.

From around 1999 to 2002 I found a way to make money online - day trading. Yes I played the stock market. There were days I made several hundreds of dollars in 15 minutes and there were days I lost thousands. It got to the point I would be watching CNN and those other cable stock market channels for minute to minute up dates. Damn, I had to break that habit. Then came 9/11 and I flat out quit day trading.

The year 2002 also marked an end of my days working in Silicon Valley. Due to 9/11 and the economic slump that followed, the company I worked for was absorbed into a larger company who decided to downsize much of their newly acquired workforce. I loved that job and was with them for almost 15 years. It was culture shock for me to be unemployed.

At that point I was unemployed, a mother, wife and sole income earner for the family. FYI, hubby is disabled. So now what do I do? There were no jobs, at least none that I managed to get interviewed for. Correction I did get one job for a high paying job to help construct the world's largest clean room for a new experimental laser. I was hired over the phone on a Friday and was scheduled to start the following Wednesday. I had to do the pre-drug test, even got to tour the place. I got a call on Tuesday to say that the project got put on hold. I never heard from them again but I did hear through the grapevine that the project was in limbo for 2 years after that and I am not sure if it ever got going after that.

Between job hunting, I still found ways to earn money. I joined that SMC club where you buy stuff at wholesale cost and mark it up about 300% and sell it. I actually made some money at doing it. My mistake was not selling enough of it online but by listening to the company that promoted their catalog sales. They made their money from selling you their catalogs which you in turn would mail out to your customers - for free!! I had my first taste of retail and wholesale sales. Since SMC in those days wanted a yearly membership fee, I dumped them after the first year and found other wholesalers that were not fee based.

In 2004 it was evident that my feeble attempts at retail drop shipping were not going to hack the mortgage payment any longer, so we sold our home and moved from sunny California. Better yet I was able to find a job again. It was while at that job I learned about power selling on eBay and blogging.

Even though I had sold stuff on eBay before 2004, I had not heard all the tricks to get huge sales on there. One of my co-workers did and I learned from him. Soon I was earning $350 a week profit on eBay and that was every week not just a spike here and there. Of course my items were all priced over $40 and I never had items start at less than I wanted to sell them for in the first place. None of that .99 cents garbage auctions. About the same time I learned about blogging.

I think I first learned about blogging in the early 2000's, around 2004 I think. The blogging I learned about was community blogging, where you joined a community of bloggers, set up a blog in that community and shared any revenue from Google Adsense. This was also my first experience with Adsense. That community was the now defunct Blogfeast. I had an animal blog on there where I would talk about my pets. At the same time I also learned from the other bloggers about other blogging communities and about venturing out on your own with your own blog. A few months into my animal blog on Blogfeast, I started another one on Wordpress.com. At the time I did not know that you could not make money on the Wordpress.com blogs but it did not matter since my animal blog was a fun hobby. Blogfeast went bye-bye about a year after I joined them but I continued with Wordpress.com. I had a PR of 5 and 1500 visitors a day on my blog at Wordpress. The blog was one of the highest ranked blogs on Wordpress at the time in 2007. That was until I wanted to start earning money from that blog.

So now I have a blog on Wordpress but needed to move it over to another blogging format where I could earn money from it. Boy did I fail for almost 6 months on that. First I set up a website where I could blog about going to see the website I had set up and had some articles and videos on there that were geared to making money for me. That didn't work so I grabbed a back-up of all my blog posts and hosted my own wordpress blog using wordpress.org software and getting my own domain name. At the same time I found blogger and bought the domain name for this blog. So in 2007-2008 I started all over again. But this time I knew how to do it and make money at the same time.

My goal in the very beginning was simple, make $1 a day, every day, online. Heck $7 a week should be easy, right? Wrong!! I had to resort to online surveys (some I still do since they pay $20 for 15 minutes and I am not one to turn down easy cash), selling on eBay (but now the economy had started it's nose dive so eBay was not fairing so well) and doing "paid to blog" gigs.

With the paid to blog stuff I was now making at least $5 a day but some of those companies you had to fight tooth and nail to get the good paying ones. Of course once I got a taste of paid blogging I started up other blogs just for the paid stuff. I then joined about 5 paid to blog companies and only 2 of them are still actively in business. The other 3 are still there but I haven't gotten work from them in almost a year now. I now earn about $150 a week from paid blogging gigs on my blogs that I started up just for that purpose. I have also started up blogs just geared for Adsense with no other advertising on there and they do pretty well.

I now have about 15 blogs that are actively added to each week. I have dumped some along the way that just didn't work out for me and others that just took off from week one. I have some that Google shows having no links pointing to them, yet they have daily visitors sent from Google searches. This blog has over 4K links pointing to it, yet only a hand full of visitors a day - go figure. So why do I continue to blog on this blog? Simple, I see so many people getting ripped off by people selling useless blogging information online, I thought I would give my knowledge away for free. I just like helping people.

I am not one of those professional bloggers that makes a gazillion dollars a month, just a blogging mom that can manage to pay the bills (in fact paid off a lot of bills too) from earning money online. Basically, like the title of the blog, I am "scratching out a living."