Editor’s Note: While article marketing is still effective, I no longer rely on just article marketing to make a living doing what I love. If you want to know what I do now, read the article, The Curious Story of Hybrid Blogging.
Today I’m interviewing the lovely and always beautiful, Ingela Johansson, who also happens to be my girlfriend.
You wanted to know how my girlfriend is making money online, so here it is.
I’ve always enjoyed examples. It’s helpful to see how someone got started, how they overcame obstacles and where they’re at.
Sometimes it’s easier to relate to someone who makes $300/month instead of someone that makes $10,000/month.
It really isn’t hard to make money online, but you have to be persistent and focus on one thing at a time.
Your goal and purpose has to be clear. It has to be single-minded. Constantly jumping from goal to goal will get you nowhere.
You will run into obstacles, challenges and plenty of frustrations. Learn to enjoy them and look upon them as signs that you’re making headway.
With all that said, enjoy!
Henri: I know a lot about you, but most of the people that are reading this don’t, so tell us a little about yourself and your story.
Ingela: I have lived in a small city in northern Sweden all my life and was brought up by my mom with two older sisters and a younger brother. When I graduated from high school I had no idea what to do, but I was kind of sick of studying so I started working at a local restaurant.
A couple of years later I was fed up with my job as I found it both boring and stressful. Around that time I met you and a year after that, in the beginning of 2009, I started looking into making money online.
Henri: How did you choose a method to making money online?
Ingela: At first I started with Site Build It! and started on a website about dogs. I didn’t have the discipline and persistence to stay with that one though, and when I discovered article marketing, it seemed like a better fit for me.
Henri: Building authority websites takes a lot of time and effort. My Site Build It! sites took over 6 months until they started taking off. It’s tough in the beginning but the payoff can be big.
I’m sure many don’t know what affiliate article marketing is, so can you tell us a little more about what you do and how you make money?
Ingela: I have a small website about natural skin care, which is made up of one page that is about how to find the best skin care products. On it I promote a line of natural skin care products and have affiliate links to a company.
I write articles about natural skin care with links to my website that I submit to mainly an article directory called EzineArticles. When people read my article of course some will want to know more and click through to my site, and some of the people who read my site will click through to the skin care company and buy something.
That is when I get paid. The articles at EzineArticles get indexed by Google and keep generating traffic over the years, so more and more people will end up on my website.
Henri: A lot of people believe that products that are promoted by affiliates are scams, which keeps them away from making money as an affiliate.
Why do you recommend these skin care products and the company that makes them? Is it just because of the commission, or are they actually good?
Ingela: First I read about the products on the website, they seemed really good so I bought the line and tried them out. I really like them and use them myself since I’m very much into all things natural.
There is also a large percentage of people that come back and order more products from them, so they seem to work for others too. I would find it hard to write so many articles promoting those products if I was uncertain of their quality or thought they were useless. It really is the best company I know, so I’m happy to promote them.
Henri: How much money are you making right now?
Ingela: Almost $300 / month as of January, 2010. The good thing about the company I promote is that their affiliate program offers lifetime commissions, so I get paid when a customer comes back and buys more.
Henri: How many articles have you written to this point?
Ingela: Almost 1,100. I honestly didn’t think I’d get this many articles done, but there they are and more are to come. It sounded a lot when I had only written my first 10 articles, but it’s really only a few articles a day.
Henri: How long did it take you to reach this point?
Ingela: I started in September 2009, so it has been around 5 months. I had only written the content for my website before that, which taught me about using keywords right.
I didn’t know exactly how to write the articles in the beginning, but I looked at your articles for examples and got tips for improving my writing from you regularly.
I worked consistently, although some days I didn’t get anything done. Mainly because I procrastinated because I felt unmotivated and rather did things that I felt gave me instant gratification… like going on Facebook, surfing or reading about my interests.
Sometimes I avoided writing because I felt I wasn’t a good enough writer, and even because of the feeling of not writing enough articles.
So I wrote even less, which is kind of backwards :P. I also got side-tracked sometimes thinking about possible career options and other opportunities.
Henri: Many struggle with the fear of not being good enough sometimes, myself included. Can you tell us a little more about how you overcame the fear of not being good enough?
Ingela: Well it is something I keep working on, the important thing is not to let it get in my way of productivity. I try to accept the feeling instead of avoiding it and work through it instead of procrastinate. Sometimes I still procrastinate but I think it is getting less and less.
Henri: What is your strategy for writing so many articles? Many people are put off by the amount of articles you have written.
Ingela: First of all I don’t think it’s an extreme amount, comparing to how many you and other successful article marketers have written. And it has taken me some time to get this far.
I have had to work on my discipline and on motivating myself. I don’t have a job anymore, so I’m motivated to make this work so I can keep the freedom of being my own boss and live on passive income.
I don’t know if I have a strategy, but I make small improvements as I go, both in how I write and how many I write a day. It’s hard sometimes as there’s no instant gratification, but I look at how well you are doing and get more confidence in that it really works.
Henri: Being your own boss is awesome, but it also has it’s downsides, because you have to learn how to get things done. Tell us a little more about how you made the transition from working to making money online.
Ingela: I actually quit my permanent position at the restaurant before I even started with anything online and went traveling a few months. But when I came back I went back to working a couple of jobs as a temp.
So that is what I did when I started with article marketing. Sometimes I worked five days a week and sometimes I didn’t get called for a couple of weeks. This allowed me to write while earning enough living from my jobs, and save up a little for our move to Spain.
Since the beginning of January I have transitioned completely from working to writing full-time, although I am still living off the money I made from working, my online income is growing nicely and I should be making enough this year to live on it.
Henri: What have been your biggest challenges when it comes to making the transition?
Ingela: It is always hard to let go of what feels secure, even if it is a false security that will prevent you from living your life the way you want.
Sometimes I found it hard to have many different workplaces as it made me feel like I couldn’t focus fully on the writing, but sometimes it was the opposite and I liked the variation and getting away from writing a bit.
It is a challenge to trust that things work just through hard work. My single biggest challenge has been improving my self-discipline though, as it never was very strong. It is getting better but I still have a long way to go.
Henri: You’re definitely on the right track! Building your discipline and learning what works for you is key. What do you like the most about article marketing and making your living online?
Ingela: I like that article marketing is simple as it doesn’t require me to research new topics every day, and I can write about things I know but in different ways and be a little creative.
I love being able to live wherever I want. I like that I can decide myself when I work and when I do other things. I like the thought of passive, lifetime commissions as it will allow me to live more like I truly want to and do what I’m passionate about even if it doesn’t pay.
Henri: Do you think anyone can make a living online, or does it require something special? I know many reading this are probably going “I couldn’t do that”. In my opinion, the only things that are required are hard work and persistence. What is your take on this?
Ingela: I think anyone who really, really wants to, can do it. If you take it slowly you don’t even have to work that hard, for example you can write one article every evening after work. It might take a few years but you can still succeed that way.
It’s not a race. It does require a willingness to change and improve, unless you are perfect already
Henri: And lastly, what would you say to people just starting out on their path to making a living online and increasing the freedom in their lives?
Ingela: How many hours you put into it determines how long it will take until you are able to make a living. Get help with things you don’t know how to do. Be patient.
You don’t have to believe it will work for you (although that helps), just keep doing the things that have been proven to work for others. Let go of or accept the feeling that it goes painfully slow in the beginning and just do it anyway.
Henri: I completely agree! Take action and just get things done. The results will follow. I’ve run out of questions, so thanks for doing this!
Ingela: You’re most welcome. Is it time for lunch now?
Henri: Lunch? Definitely!
If you liked this interview, you will love the Online Income Mastery course which contains article marketing and all the other strategies I use to build an online business around my passion.
I can’t believe it’s over two years since I interviewed Ingela.
We’ve moved back from Spain, and we had a baby boy in December 2011. Ingela hasn’t written a word for 2½ years, yet she’s still making $150-250 a month, because we focused on a lifetime commission affiliate program.