I started working when I was about 13 years old. “Working” is a bit of a stretch, because I just sold candy during lunch time at my junior high school, but nonetheless, I had a job.
I worked the pizza cart in high school from my Freshman to Junior year (year 1-3 for my non-US readers), and then I got an after school job at an auto shop for my Junior and Senior year.
But I got all those jobs through connections. They were friend of the family that had either worked there before or knew the person that owned it. In fact, I spend about 3 months before landing the job as a shop boy driving around town with my friend Philip applying to places like Starbucks, RiteAid, and even Food 4 Less (this was back in 2002)
I probably applied to more than 15 places, same as my friend, and we got nothing.
He ended up doing so tutoring at a local junior high, which was AGAIN, a connection to our AP history teacher.
You get the point.
Without the right connections, it's going to be tough to find work. Even the adults can't find jobs these days.
But having money as a teenager was SO awesome. We weren't poor when I was in school, but my parents were pretty strict about what they paid for and what they didn't. I had to pay for my own car insurance, my own gas, and any kind of activites that I did with my friends I had to pay for myself.
What I Do Now
I've had a pretty crazy line of jobs since that time, but now I work on the internet.
I have a couple blogs, and I make money from them.
What I do is pretty simple. Actually, the hardest part is just being patient enough to let it work.
I pick a topic. Not something broad, like “fitness”, but something specific, like running shoes for kids. Then I blog about stuff related to that topic (which we call a “niche”).
It might sound pretty boring to blog about kids shoes every day, but that's not how you do it.
There are a million other things related to running shoes for kids that would be fun to write about.
- Cross country shoes vs sprinting shoes
- Top 5 basketball shoes for teens
- How to deal with track injuries for kids under 10
- Do barefoot running shoes really work?
OK, so maybe running shoes isn't your thing. So what is?
Think of any topic in the world, and you can make a blog about it.
All of these things can be broken down into niches, or tiny sub categories.
Why not have a blog about gaming headphones? Or maybe one about urban farming?
Have an idea? Make a free blog here
How To Make Money From a Blog
But the works not done yet. Now that you have a topic and are writing about your niche topic, we need to consider how to make money from your blog.
There are a couple ways.
One of the easiest was to do this is just to put some ads on it. This can be done with Google, and you basically just add some code to the site (cut + paste stuff). Google automatically creates ads based on the users previous searches, and you make money when the ads show people click them.
I don't really like ads on the website I visit so I don't put ads like those on my own sites. But many people do.
What I do is called “affiliate marketing”.
What is Affiliate Marketing
Companies like Amazon, Nike, Walmart, and even Apple have what's called an “affiliate program”. You can sign up for free, and they give you a special link with a unique code on it.
When someone clicks that link and then buys something from the parent website, you are given credit for the sale. You make a commission that can range from about 5% to 75% depending on the company.
So what is do is just go about my business blogging as normal, and sometimes I blog about products related to my niche.
If I have a site about deck building games, I might talk about strategies for Ascension or Resident Evil most of the time, but then sometimes I can say, “Hey guys, there's a new expansion pack coming out. If you want to get it, you can buy it here.”
Or I can combine the two and write + promote at the time time. For example, if I had a blog about car speakers, I might write about how to install your own sub woofer in the trunk of your car, and then link to the equipment you need in the same post.
Your visitors get the info they want, and you get paid!
Why This Is Better Than Any Other Job For Teens
The money you can make is infinite. No joke. Obviously I'm not making “infinite dollars” right now, or I'd buy an island and chill out there for the rest of my life. But the point I want to make is that
- The internet never sleeps
- People from all around the world will see your site
- You are not working for an hourly wage
It's not uncommon to make hundreds of dollars per day doing this. Tons of people do it.
You can blog from home, sitting in front of a computer. You don't have to spend money on gas, or deal with an annoying boss/supervisor. No uniforms, no rules. And you can do it according to you schedule as well!
Also, remember, this is MY work. I do this full time. You can make serious money doing this, and it could be something that could pay for your college or that you could do for the rest of your life.
Things To Consider
This is not something that will produce income right away. If you need the money next week or even next month, it's just not going to happen. If you work consistently, you can expect to make some sales in about 6 months.
You have to be self motivated. Because there's no boss, no schedule, and no one telling what to do, it's easy to “forget”, or stop trying altogether. I see adults do it all the time. It can be frustrating to write for a couple hours and get $0 while your friend just worked for an afternoon and made $50
There's training you can take, but you need to be able to follow directions, and ask questions when you don't understand.
Special Considerations for Teenagers
If you do the training, you will have to pay a monthly fee. It's $47 per month or $359 per year. That sounds like a decent Christmas present or maybe something you could squeeze out of your parents, but please be responsible with your money. If you are unsure, ask your parents.
Because you'll be earning money, you may have to deal with tax stuff. With some of these affiliate programs, they require a social security number or other personal information like a home address and telephone number. Again, CONSULT YOUR PARENTS before signing up for anything.
You might have to start a Paypal account, and at the very minimum have a personal bank account. If you don't have one, get one. I believe you can get a Paypal account + debit card without a bank account, but there are some limitations on it.
And don't let this mess with your school stuff. The last thing I want is some angry parent calling me screaming how her little Jimmy failed math class because he was blogging trying earn money.
This is a real opportunity here. You could use this to make a bit of extra money in your spare time, or build the foundation of a true online business.
If you are excited and want to know more about how I build my blogs and how online business works, go ahead and join my free 5 day Affiliate Marketing Beginner's Course. You'll receive an email every day giving you details about how to pick a niche, how to get your first blog online, and where to get the best training available for newbies.