With living in Spain and needing to get an income I have been trying lots of different ways to make money. I can tell you that it’s not easy. Getting a regular job in Spain at the moment is very difficult and even more difficult with being a foreigner. The best that I can manage at the moment is a summer job for 2 to 3 months working as a receptionist in a campsite. I have been working there for the last five years and every year the job gets a little bit worse. The boss is a pain in the arse, this may be normal for many jobs. Some of the colleagues that I work with are not really team players and have come back in to the job after losing their job elsewhere and taken work from me. I can’t really complain about that too much, that is just the way things are. The Catalan people are also going to look after their own. There is a high level of unemployment in the country and it is not surprising that things are getting a little difficult.
Making money online
If you believe the stuff that some of people put up online on various websites, it is possible to make a living from Internet business. Often it seems to me that’s the only people that are making any money are the self-styled gurus selling snakeskin oil to the people that are looking to make money on line. I have never bought any of these products as I really don’t trust these people. What I would need to see is evidence of these people having a proper business online and it seems that never happens.
I have tried a number of things and looking back, some of those things may have been completely stupid. I did have experience in network marketing while I was in Ireland and generally those sorts of things will lead to disappointment, either online or off-line. What I found with the online stuff is that quite often it is time-consuming for very little money. There have been times when one or two things tried, seem to be quite promising. Things never stay the same on the Internet though and the incomes that seem to have good possibilities dwindled away.
Working as a writer
Content is king on the Internet and that involves creating written content. There are sites which take your written content and will monetise it for you. Sites such as Hubspot and Info Barrel and over the last year I have earned some money from Info BarrelThe man. I created approximately 120 articles for Info Barrel and I still earn money from that even though I haven’t written for that site for some time now. Instead of writing for Info Barrel I started to work on the content for my own sites as I felt it would be better to have more control of my own content. Of course as soon as I did that there were changes to the Google algorithms for their search and the number of visitors that I received dropped considerably. This was despite the fact that all of the stuff that I did was completely white hat. I found that in the past where I tried to trick or game the system that generally it came back to bite you. So I was a little bit surprised that I should be getting less traffic when I should have been getting more. It is all about the traffic that you get, the number of eyeballs that get to see your content with regards the amount of money that it is possible to make. More traffic equals more money whether you’re using things like AdSense advertising, any other sort of advertising or whether you’re creating your own electronic products to sell. If people don’t get to see them, then you don’t get to make any money.
I do enjoy the writing and I would like to continue with this endeavour. I’m starting to think that at the moment the way forward will be to create content in the form of ebooks that I can sell. The benefits of this over giving the writing away for free and having advertising on the websites to create an income, is that I will be able to set the price of the product. I do have an idea for a book which is a non-fiction type of book and I’m getting organised to create that.
Working as a video content creator – YouTube
At the same time that I saw the income from the writing dwindle, the income from the advertising on my YouTube videos increased. I spent a year creating as many videos as possible for YouTube and I increased the monthly viewings of the videos on my Wizardgold channel from about 3500 per month to just over 20,000 monthly. I felt that I must have been doing something right and my confidence was growing with regards a video business. The videos that I produce are the reviews and tutorials of Mac and iOS products. The money seemed to be growing quite nicely although I have to say I am very disappointed with this month of January 2013. The growth in the number of viewers has continued at the same pace but the money this month has dropped by about half. Not only that but I have had a number of my videos rejected for monetisation and after reading the rules and regulations for monetisation, it seems that creating videos using images of software as I do with tutorials, may not be the way forward.
Creating original video content
It has been rather confusing on YouTube when I create two videos that are on the same topic, showing the same software and then one of them is rejected where the other one is accepted for monetisation. It seems rather hit and miss and the requests for more information from YouTube are so vague as to what they actually require. I try to be careful when actually adding images, sounds and music that are Royalty Free or are Creative Commons. It seems though, that sometimes the image of the software itself is considered to be a form of media that requires permission in the licensing of the software. If this is the case then the tutorials that I do of the Mac and IOS software will have to stop. It may still be possible if I can get specific permissions from the software developers, but this may be time-consuming and not always easy to get hold of. I have sent an email today to the developer of an audio application requesting specific permission to feature his software in a video. It will be interesting to see what sort of answer I get back, if I get one back at all. Usually I do find that the developers of software like to get their software featured, it is essentially getting a free form of advertising. While writing emails to small developers may work, in terms of getting permission, then with developers such as Apple, it may be more difficult to get an answer from them.
What about the future
I am at present about to properly start working on a TEFL course to learn how to teach English as a foreign language. I am looking forward to doing it even though I have been procrastinating dreadfully regarding the actually getting started. Once I have completed the course then I could set up my own class or my own business and gain an income. In the area of Spain where I live, there are already a number of expats that make a living by teaching English, so there would be some competition. I think that my unique selling proposition would be the fact that I would use technology to provide a 21st-century style of language learning. I would expect to be using iPads within the classroom and encourage my students to take full advantage of new systems of learning. I probably won’t be able to completely banish paper and pencil, but I would like to.
I still want to continue with my video creations, but I am wondering how I would manage to build up a following on YouTube if I have to completely turn around the style and direction of the videos that I produce. The 700 subscribers that I have at present expect to see these video tutorials of software that I produce at present and may not follow me in whatever direction I decide to go in. As I am writing this I don’t even have any idea how I might take this forward. Videoing myself doing silly dances in public is something that I don’t really fancy, as I think that is more of a young person’s game. Comedy of some sort are other could be a way forward, but I would need to think about how to do that with the restriction that I have in terms of being a one-man band videomaker.
It does seem that I may have to do effect a change of some sort with the video on account of the fact that if I continue in the direction I am going at present, there is the possibility that my account will be completely barred from monetisation. This is because on the emails that I get from YouTube they do say that there is the possibility of this if I repeatedly submit videos that are not suitable for monetisation. And this is why I am a little bit fed up, disappointed and mildly annoyed. Such is life!