Make Money from Home Free: How I Made My First $4,739.27 by Blogging and Writing Online Without Spending a Dime

by Paula Neal Mooney

Many of you liked my post detailing how I made $4,375.75 online.

It’s only two weeks later but my blogging income is increasing, and since it’s the first business day of the month, I thought it was time to get on schedule and start posting my income monthly.

Put your email address here to get free daily updates in your inbox, and find out how much more I’ve made next month, in hopes that you will, too.

Making Money Online for Free
While the fascinating and funny Mitchell Harper from the skyrocketing may have 10 grand to drop on promoting his site, others like me find it a fun challenge to make money from scratch.

So here’s the break down of how much I’ve made online -- check my previous post for the backstory.

This time I’ve sorted them into the most and least hopeful online money-making avenues:

Good Online Money Makers:
Online Local Mags like Cleveland/Akron Family
Still sitting at $1,230.00, my next $100 check for my next online and print essay should be in my mailbox soon.

Associated Content
Up to $1,190.04, representing an additional $78.99 earned in just 14 days. I’ve included money for one news story, my pageview bonus bucks for March, and the $39 referral bucks ($3 times 13 people) that I’m sure AC will have in my PayPal account any moment now. To get yours, sign up for Associated Content, get paid 5 bucks for approved news stories, bonuses based on pageviews and $3 for each person you refer in April.

Amazon Associates
Increased to $657.59, up a good $84.12 in a couple of weeks. It’s chugging along at a good pace; do the same by joining Amazon associates and finding a soon-to-be-popular (and preferably expensive) product to promote that you can get a good search-engine optimized jump on.

All in all, readers have purchased $10,666.81 worth of stuff on Amazon via my blog. Amazon doesn't pay you anything to refer others to them, but I’m really excited about increasing this number dramatically, especially after reading Scott Allen’s thorough and detailed and good tips on how to make more money with Amazon.

Ghost Blogging
Up to $400.00, which is $150.00 more than last post. Ironic, it’s my dad’s tax blog that I started a $30 per month Google Adwords campaign on that has yet to see a profit, while my free blog has made the money. But I believe his blog will increase soon, too.

Google Adsense and Referrals
Rising to $330.18, an increase of $27.22 over last time. I removed my wide Google Adsense banner incorporated into my posts to make my blog more readable, so my Adsense earnings dropped.

But I still have hope in making more Google Adsense money thru referrals, which pay as such:

  • Recommend the free Firefox browser..."Browse the web faster. Get Firefox with Google Toolbar" is their pitch, and it's so true for me. Download this browser if you haven’t already. It’s made my blogging life so much faster and better. And get $1 every time someone downloads it thru your blog, based on their location and if they have Windows.

  • Pitch Google Adsense to your readers...Generate revenue from your website. Google AdSense. Get paid varying amounts when readers click on your ads. When a publisher who signed up for Google AdSense through your referral first earns $5 within 180 days of sign-up, you will be credited with $5.

  • Encourage others to download the free Google Pack of products including Google Earth (that controversial decided to show pics of New Orleans before the levees broke, Picasa, and other good products. I love looking for my house and those of my family and friends on Google Earth...Crop, sharpen, make pictures pop. Get the free Google Pack. And make $1 each time someone downloads it via your website!

  • If your readers are bloggers, urge them to use try Google Adwords...Increase traffic to your website. Get Google AdWords.

    Here's the deal:
    o When an advertiser you refer first spends $5 within 90 days of sign-up (in addition to the $5 sign-up fee) you will be credited with $5.
    o When that same advertiser spends $100 within 90 days of sign-up, you will be credited with an additional $40.
    o If in any 180 day period you refer 20 advertisers who each spend more than $100 within 90 days of their respective sign-ups, you will be awarded a $600 bonus (bonus payouts are limited to 1 per year).

  • Get money!Auction Ads
    My revenue jumped from $3.42 to $22.40, up $18.98 in a couple of weeks, probably mostly from referrals, ‘cause I moved my Auction Ads way down on my blog. So if you’re running prominent Auction Ads and referring, you have the potential to make lots more.

    So Join Auction Ads and start showing eBay ads on your blog and especially referring others. I know ShoeMoney (who runs Auction Ads) has deep pockets, and he sure as heck got that $22.40 in my PayPal account quickly this past weekend!

    Some claim PPP is in trouble and tight on cash ‘cause they’re offering advertisers $5 post sales, but I’m up to $177.00 earnings with them without having posted for pay in a while.

    Most of that money represents referrals, so sign up to make $15 for every person you refer to PayPerPost and make $7.50 to blog about this post -- click this image, sign up with PayPerPost and check out their Review My Post program:

    They even have a new referral box you can plop on your blog, but it confused me by listing my logon ID defaulted in the box, so I took it off so as not to confuse my readers. I’m waiting for PPP to fix their site and recognize our Technorati rankings to get serious about blogging for them again to make it worthwhile.

    Online money-makers I’m watching to see how much they make
    I’m always on the lookout for free stuff, and the $164.64 worth of free stuff I’ve gotten thus far has been updated to include the 3 lbs. DVD pilot I forgot that Associated Content sent me.

    Still at 65 bucks earned and paid, I like sites that pay fast. No referral program yet, and a few of my bids have been rejected or are still pending. I don’t see any other interesting advertisers out there I want to blog about as of today…

    Text Link Ads
    They’ve paid me the $25.00 promised, but my referrals have not grown as much as I expected. has a great explanation as to why this is happening.

    So sign up for Text-Link Ads, and encourage the people you refer to install those scripts for at least 7 days or more!

    AdBrite is my only revenue that somehow dropped from $5.45 to $0.16 without me doing anything. I’d better check again, but I don’t think they paid me and I’m misinterpreting it. Feel free to sign up to try and make some cash by referring people to AdBrite, but as my friend Bonnie reminded me, be warned that if you run their ads, they will redirected your blog at least once per day to advertisements.

    Just joined and somehow I’ve already made a penny! But I don’t necessarily hold out much hope for this one, because not only do people have to sign up for SlashMySearch thru your blog, (if the dad-blasted referral link is working!) they’ve also gotta search in order for you to make money. I’ll keep my eye on this one...

    I haven’t made any money yet by referring folks to PayPal, only because I didn’t realize they had a referral program! So, for the 1% of the North American population who doesn’t have account, sign up here and get one already!

    I love my PayPal account. I even got the PayPal debit card (though admittedly it doesn’t work everywhere, but ALWAYS works at the ATM!) that I use quite a bit to grab cash from all these places that pay me thru my PayPal account. It’s the bank of the future...

    Earnings for Blogging About Swag
    Still need to email HarperCollins about my 20 bucks owed.

    I’ve got one referral listed, but no cash yet. Sign up to see how much you can make, then tell me!

    Still nada, but once I actually take the time to research some of their products, especially the ones Rosalind Gardner describes pay out handsomely with good pay out rates, could be a winner.

    Chitika eMiniMalls
    Nothing yet, but seemingly good for those with product blogs, so sign up and refer folks and get 10% of their earnings.

    Zilch. Need more time to find good products and services.

    Zip. Just found my password again last night.

    No sales yet; no referral program.

    So-called money-makers that I’ve lost hope in:
    Though I’ve made 225 good and promptly-paying dollars with ReviewMe, no more offers have come down the pipeline. But sign up with ReviewMe anyway and submit your blog for approval. It can’t hurt...

    Only $16.00 because I refuse to blog about online gambling and such...

    Made $35.00 with them, but nothing more. I just rejected an ad with them.

    A mere $15.00 ‘cause no interesting offers and no revenue sharing and no referral programs.

    Filled with plastic surgery advertisers, no referral program to speak of and only $10 made.

    Zero. Can’t even find the money stats they claim you’ll make…

    Blogging Ads
    Nothing from what I remember. Is this a scam?

    Sites that rejected me, but I will try again with my new dot com:
    Yahoo Publishers Network
    Burst Media

    Writers, try these places, too:
    Writer's Digest Contests – I’ve made $156.25 when my “Looking for Mr. Byline” won their Chronicle competition and then got published in their print mag. (Check my older post for the links to these places if you'd like to know more.

    And sign up for updates about free ways to make money at home and other miscellaneous ramblings from me. I'll investigate the shams, scams and real money makers -- and save you the time and trouble!


    Villager said…
    Paula, I haven't made a strong effort to monetize the Electronic Village. However, you make a strong case for it. You had a ton of information in this post. I'll need to come back to it a few times over the coming days to see how I can implement some of these ideas. I just wanted u to know that your efforts and transparency in sharing this information with your readers is appreciated.

    peace, Villager
    Thanks for sharing Paula, I am trying to get my blog to start making some cash. I just started so I know it will take time but I will keep you posted
    Bonnie Calhoun said…
    You so rock girlfriend! I will follow your lead in this monetizing arena.

    I'm making some nice change...especially at Associated Content...sold 3 articles just today!
    Jennifer said…
    You just amaze me girlfriend!


    Anonymous said…
    Hi paula,
    I have liked your blog. It is just unfortunate that I do not leave in the US thus that I can make money with most of the programs you are making money with.
    I live in Uganda and so paypal payments could not come to me because my country is not paypal approved. But I love the ideas you present.

    You see, I am also making money online and such information as this one on your blog is priceless.

    And, You have a very nice blog lay out. I will add it to my favourites at technorate. Wait for my email about this addition as you say.

    Any way,wish you success online and please keep on posting more.

    Lubowa.M.Planet (owner of the following websites)
    1) Make money online squidoo lens
    2) Make money online quick and easy website
    3) Affiliate marketing tools review site
    Lubowa.M.Planet said…
    Hi paula,
    I have liked your blog. It is just unfortunate that I do not leave in the US thus that I can make money with most of the programs you are making money with.
    I live in Uganda and so paypal payments could not come to me because my country is not paypal approved. But I love the ideas you present.

    You see, I am also making money online and such information as this one on your blog is priceless.

    And, You have a very nice blog lay out. I will add it to my favourites at technorate. Wait for my email about this addition as you say.

    Any way,wish you success online and please keep on posting more.

    Lubowa.M.Planet (owner of the following websites)
    1) Make money online squidoo lens
    2) Make money online quick and easy website
    3) Affiliate marketing tools review site
    Hey Villager - Monetize! Might as well make some spending money off that great content over there...

    Hi Latimer - Let me know how it goes with your monetization...

    Thanks, Bonnie, you rock too. I'm gonna catch up with your new AC article soon. I like what you've written already. You're inspiring me all over again... :-)

    Hey Jenny - Long time no see. (At least on my part, heh?) I gotta catch up with the How to Tell if a Guy is a Jerk posts. I ask nearly everyone this, but would you please add an email sign-up box to your blog? Blessings...

    Hi Lubowa - I love hearing from folks from other countries. Wonderful that you're reading me from all the way from Uganda.

    I just tried to favor your 3 blogs on Technorati, but Technorati said it couldn't find them.

    Have you added them? Please leave me another comment soon and let me know when they're up, so I'll favor them.

    Plus, I plan to change the NOFOLLOW to DOFOLLOW on these comments, so hopefully that should help your rankings, too.

    Yes, I pray they open up more of these money-making opportunities to other countries to give everyone a shot at making good money for the Lord's use.

    Looking forward to hearing from you all again...

    Thanks for reading!

    Laura said…
    Great piece Paula! This is both informative and inspirational!

    Keep up the good work.
    Villager said…
    Hi Paula! Thank you for sharing this information. As promised, I have been back to learn some of your blog-monetizing tips. I added two (2) more AdSense ads to my blog today. I also added the 'firefox' referral button. Finally, I placed my Amazon affiliate widget in a more prominent place on the blog. I will keep trying to follow your tips! Thanx again. Villager
    Anonymous said…
    Hey water baby lol! I am still reading, you have provided such great information and reviews! Nice to meet you!
    JA Huber said…
    Your enthusiasm is contagious! I turned down a task for blogsvertise about 2 weeks ago and haven't received any other task assignments. Oh, well.

    Keep on blogging!
    GLJ said…
    I have used some of all of your suggestions on all my blogs with a good amount of success.

    Right now im trying to get one another program to make as much as Google which right now accounts for well over 50% of my blogging income.
    Hey all of y'all!

    Laura - Glad you're getting some blog rest but don't stay away too long!

    Villager - Hope your two more AdSense ads are performing well. Sometimes it's a slow dance...

    JoyAnn Bradley - That was funny what I emailed you, heh? Sometimes I'm just a little too fast with those hot keys...

    JA Huber - Yeah, I'm lovin' Sponsored Reviews a whole lot more than Blogsvertise right now.

    Glenn - It's so great to hear that people have made some money since reading my tips.


    Don said…
    Paula, I've felt almost overwhelmed at times by looking at possibilites of making money with blogs. However, I'm putting together a theme for my blog and I've even thought about having local business people on to advertise. Have you ever tried that?
    Hi Don - Nope, I've never had local people advertise, but I'm excited because I just bought a couple of ads on my dad's tax blog from John Chow's blog thru Text Link Ads new post-level ads program.

    It only cost $8 per ad per month. I started buying 2 for now.

    It's a lot easier than when I looked into advertising with Text Link Ads before.

    This way, all you gotta do is pick the post you want to advertise on and then buy it.

    Stayed tuned...I'll let you know how much more traffic they drive and how much income goes up.
    Hock said…

    I just found your blog today while surfing through someone's blogroll. I'd tell you but I forgot who. :) You should be able to make some good money from TLA since you have a PR5 homepage. Have you sold any links yet?
    Hi There, Hock -

    You've got an interesting blog on niche marketing. So you really like HostGator, huh?

    So far so good with DreamHost with my other site...

    Last time I checked I'd earned $50 thru TLA for referrals.

    Not sure if any link sales have come thru since then. But hopefully they will.

    Take care and glad to meet you,
    Hock said…
    Hi Paula,

    Hostgator works great for me as far as shared hosting is concerned. I'm also using VPS hosting with Spry and they have also worked out well. I've used a few different hosts until I found these two.

    I'm happy to see another Christian blogger. :)
    Erisha said…
    This is wonderful. I find your blog very interesting and informative. Look forward to more. I've subsribed to your feed. Looking forward to earning money online as well!
    Trish said…
    When I grow up I want to be like you :)

    I just recently started my own blog and am following your tips such as removing the nofollow for comments.
    Anonymous said…
    Great work and very inspirational. I'm enjoying reading how you're making money.
    Type At Home
    Paul said…
    That is a lot of money! I wonder if I could make even half that.
    Takumi86 said…
    That is a nice list, actually i have a post about 101 ways to monetize your site, maybe you could have a look if you'd interested :)

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