Life on the road as a truck driver can be tough. Long hours on the road, sitting down for extended periods of time, bad weather conditions, and lots of stress means that this job isn't for everyone. I'm not a truck driver, but I have lived a similar lifestyle teaching. Wait, don't' laugh. Seriously. When I taught summer school in China I would be in the classroom for 10-14 hours per day, standing constantly, and the monotony of teaching nine year olds how to say, “My favorite fruit is…” is probably just as bad as the monotony of the road. Maybe.
Anyway, at one point I was so unhappy teaching that I thought about coming back to the US to become a truck driver. That plan never panned out, but I ended up getting involved in something called affiliate marketing during my free time after teaching in China.
I've since quit my job in China and have moved back to the US to do this full time, and I wanted to take the time to reach out to the trucking community today with this blog post.
What's Your Exit Plan?
Your body isn't going to be able to take the trucking lifestyle forever. And if you have a family, you have probably already felt the stress of being away from home for days on end. Is this a job you want to do forever? Probably not. So what's your exit plan?
Many guys plan to do trucking for a while, and see what happens down the road. Well, absolutely nothing is going to happen down the road if you don't make a plan and do something about it.
I also wanted to leave China, but I didn't know how. I never went to university, didn't have any real job skills other than teaching English overseas (I did this for 9 years), and didn't have any real passions to speak of.
So I turned to the internet to find ways to make money while I wasn't teaching. Soon enough, internet based business because my exit plan.
What's an internet based business?
There are many types of internet based businesses, some are legit, some aren't. Other words you see used a lot are biz op, make money online, online marketing, internet marketing, MLM, network marketing, income opportunity, and probably many more. What I do is ONE way to make a living though the internet.
My version of internet based business is focused on blogging, or writing for a website. The idea is that you create a website about a specific topic. That topic could be health & fitness, it might be hunting, or I've even seen websites about things like board games, beer, and wilderness survival.
Basically, you can make a website about anything.
I know you are probably thinking to yourself, “I don't know how to make a website, this isn't for me”, but believe me when I say that making the website is not the hard part. In fact, you can make one in about two minutes. Try it. Just give the site a title, and the automatic builder will set up the framework for you.
But building the site is only the start. When you surf the web, what do you look for? Information. We are going to be putting lots and lots of information on our website.
If you know a lot about the topic of your site, then that info can come from personal experience. Think it, type it, and post it to your blog. If your site is about something you like but don't know a lot about, you are going to need to do some research before you write for your blog.
Ad some pictures, some links, and respond to comments that come up from people that visit your blog. That's pretty much what this work is about.
How to turn a profit from your site
Of course the most interesting part of this whole thing is how to make money from your site. You don't want to be spending your time off just writing a bunch of junk without any pay day, right?
Many products, services, and the companies that distribute them have “affiliate programs” which allows for freelance advertisers (like me) to make commissions from the products they sell on their site. You receive a unique code for your links, and if someone buys something through a link on your site, you make a commission.
This is my job, and it's how I make money. I build a website, write content for it, and when people click links on my site to buy stuff, I make money.
Why Internet Based Businesses Are Great for Truck Drivers
Does the internet ever shut down? Nope. Are there people online 24/7? Yup. The incredible size of the internet and the fact that there are millions of people connected at all hours of the day means that with a website, you can make money at any time of the day, no matter what you are doing.
If you are on the road for 11 hours and do nothing to your site for days, you can still earn commissions. I often wake up $100 richer than when I went to bed. The most awesome experience for me was from the US to China after New Year's day and making $500 while I was on the plane. It's not joke, it really happens.
There's no inventory to keep, and no customer service to run. Comments and emails from site visitors can wait 24 or 48 hours or more if you just leave a note for them saying, “Hey, if I don't get back to you quickly, I'm probably on the road”.
Don't get me wrong, it's not magic. You have to put in the ground work, and set up your site so that people actually want to buy stuff from you. But once everything is set up properly, you can see how having an internet based business can boost your income in a very unique way. Check out Life As A Truck Driver to see how this guy has turned his career into an internet business. It's a bit different than what I've described in this article, but there are many types of ways to spin the “internet business” thing.
Before You Get Started
Before you start you need to know that it will take some time to set up. I would say that on average, you can plan on spending 3 months or more setting up your website properly and building traffic to it. There's going to be a learning phase where you are gong to run into quite a few confusing and frustrating situations, and you need to be able to work through those.
You also need to be able to properly plan. Part of being able to operate your website while driving is that you schedule your site to post automatically.This keeps fresh content on your site, new visitors coming in, and lots of activity which will boost your rank in the search engines. But to do this, you need to write articles during your rest periods, and properly schedule the articles to post while you are working.
One last thing is that you are going to have to tap into your creative side a bit. Writing stuff for the website that people will want to read and talking about products in such a way that makes people want to buy them requires a bit honesty, creativity, and confidence. You don't have to be a literary scholar or but you do have to be ‘real' and speak to your reader. This can be learned, but you need to be open to learning it!
Do not sell yourself short and say, “I can't do this.”
How To Learn Online Marketing
It doesn't take a genius to be an online marketer. It takes an idiot dumb enough to fail enough times that he can finally figure out what's up and what's down. I didn't start out knowing anything about all of the stuff I just explained to you. I spent time doing the research, building some lame sites, and then making better ones.
Teaching people how to create their own version of my success is what I do on One More Cup of Coffee. I have loads of blog posts about my marketing journey, how to improve your website, and how beginners can get started on the cheap. But the best place to get started for a complete newbie is my free 5 day email course. Sign up for that (it's free), and get some more details about what you'll be doing and how to get started.
Building Your Own Future
It's a bit cliche, but NOW is an opportunity to build your own future. It's going to be tough – adding a 2nd job that doesn't pay squat doesn't sound like something most people would do. But if you can power through the next couple months, lay the ground work for a legitimate, helpful, interesting website about a topic you care about, you could be setting yourself up for a real way out of the long hours on the road and long days away from home.
I'm sure you've got lots of questions right now. There's a lot to learn. Let me know if anything was confusing or you want to know more about something specific. I'm happy to help.
Good luck, and drive safe.