This post may contain affiliate links from Zazzle or Amazon.

laptop ladyIf money were the only reason I write online, in my blogs and communities, then pennies is the payout and I wouldn’t consider it worth the time. But if writing is more than earning a paycheck, then my success has made me wealthy.

It all depends on how we value our time, effort, and results.

I’ve been attempting to build an online business, and part of a business is producing something, while the other part is its ability to provide income.

While I started out writing and creating websites just for the excitement of it (and watching the site statistics!), the reward of feedback in reader commentary became an important part of the reason to write. At that time it was reward enough for me.

As the internet became bigger it became important to put some of my writing into its own hosted domain. That cost money. Thus was born my initial attempts at monetization with much trepidation. In fact, I was so timid about adding Google ads and Amazon associate links that I made almost zero every month. And only a penny or two usually on other months. That went on a long time, long enough that I wondered whether online earnings might be an Urban Legend.

[su_box title=”Caution”]While taking advice from this post, use it mainly for information purpose only. The “content farm” writing sites have changed so much in recent times that this information is outdated.[/su_box]

I finally earned something

After I did start getting some small results, it just seemed that the boat had passed me by, and I did miss out on the early days when some savvy entrepreneurs were turning their websites into businesses. Today, though, I see that with lots of hard work, it is possible to build your income with writing online.

I’m not successful enough to parlay expertise into training and tutorials, but I can share how some endeavors are working for me.



lensUpdate Squidoo was bought out and absorbed by Hubpages.

Squidoo is presently having its share of hiccups, but it has worked out very well for me. I went overboard the first year that I figured out what Squidoo was about, helped along by their friendly monsters, but it helped me learn tremendous amounts about online business and marketing in a community setting. I am earning regularly from the lenses I’ve written. I’ve written about two hundred in total, but only about 58-59 earn anything. There is a tiered structure in Squidoo which means that the top earning lenses might earn dollars while the majority earn pennies, plus the shared associate earnings from Amazon and eBay. Potentially you can earn from Cafepress, but I don’t personally find that this is a stream of income.

I have found Squidoo to be affirming personally, overall. And that fits in with my view that work we do is more than about the money earned.

The primary reason I began writing on Squidoo was for the purpose of providing my own backlinks to my garden website, as I found garden bloggers less than supportive of my work. Squidoo has been better for helping me write on a wider range of topics, more than any benefit from the backlinks. And it is responsible for helping me see an increase in Amazon orders.

My latest lens is “Making Fairy Houses” which is in the Gardening niche of my writing.


Although lumped together with Squidoo, HubPages is very different. I am too new at it to assess ityet, or even tell much about the nuts and bolts. I began there as a way to intersect links across the web, and to see if ther income that is promised is possible for me. There are a number of people who write both for Squidoo and Hubspot.

I think the community here is a little more rough and ready with prominent forum arguments and less willingness to embrace someone new (at least that is my perception so far). The truth is that every online community has its learning curve, so I will need to report on that later. With money earned, however I have already seen $.20 after posting 4 hubs in about five days. By comparison, Squidoo did not earn me that much until I had been writing for about three months.

It was that sort of earnings comparison that lured me over to Hubspot.

I began with a garden topic, “Front Yard Curb Appeal” and moved onto Local community events with the “Ohio Renaissance Festival“.

I am not comfortable making pages on controversial opinions or even much personal storytelling… although I might branch out into the storytelling. I need to improve and exercise more in that type of writing.

My goal

This year I set my goal high. I would like to earn $1000.00 a month from my the revenues of affiliations. As of now, that seems too high to reach, but I want to stretch and see if it is possible. It will take concerted work, I know that much!

For those who want to try for themselves:
You could join Squidoo, or HubPages, or both.

[su_box title=”Due to vast changes “]Due to vast changes it is no longer useful to either join these sites, or to use referral codes to encourage others to join. Hubpages is fighting for its life and Squidoo closed.[/su_box]

That is one lesson I learned, in action. Always include your affiliate referral, because you never know!

A Word about Zazzle

Here is another program I was slow to learn and didn’t see any results form for many years. I finally have a fairly regular check that arrives from Zazzle. I rarely get referral income, but there has been some purchases of m products. This is probably the most underutilized of my efforts, and I think it could be significant if I learn a bit more, and produce more often.

For all the little updates I make about Squidoo, visit my blog ilona1 Squidoo.