Hi, welcome to the Passiveclass blog!

My name is Lee Murray. I’ve been at this online money-making stuff since June of 2008.

One day in the very beginning, while exploring different online money-making options, I came across an opportunity called “paid online surveys.” I spent many hours a day mindlessly completing surveys…

Well, actually, most of my days were spent completely wasted, as I spent hours completing “qualifying questionnaires” to determine whether I actually fit a particular demographic which was even able to take the survey in the first place.

Spoiler: More often than not, I wasn’t qualified.

So basically, I was taking surveys to see if I was qualified to take surveys. Most of the time, I wasn’t. So I was literally just wasting time… and more importantly… effort.

Sometimes I would take actual surveys, where I’d spend what seemed like an eternity answering zillions of questions about a particular type of soft drink, laundry detergent, or ad campaign. It was boring.

Come to find out (the hard way), most of these surveys didn’t even pay cash. They paid you in points, or worse, drawing entries. It was clearly no way to make a living…

And I had a new baby boy to take care of.

And then, fate intervened…

One day, as I was exploring one of the paid survey sites that I had invested in, I noticed a little link at the bottom of the page that read simply “Affiliates.”

I clicked on it, and was presented with instructions on how to promote that particular paid surveys product in exchange for affiliate commissions. The world of affiliate marketing… I’d heard of it. But just very vaguely.

I was largely unfamiliar.

What’s crazy is that the vendor of that product was giving away a free e-book that taught folks how to promote this survey opportunity. THE ADVICE TAUGHT IN THAT BOOK WAS FREAKIN’ HORRIBLE!

My good luck was that, at the time, I didn’t know it was horrible. So I actually followed it.

And why was it horrible?

He essentially gave us an article to copy and paste into Hubpages. He encouraged everyone to use the same article title, tags, etc. Essentially, he wanted everyone to spam duplicate content to Hubpages.

But again, at the time, I was too ignorant to know that you should never do something so foolish.

So I did it. And I made 26 bucks! 😀

It was the first real money I had ever earned online. I was beside myself.

Of course, no additional sales came in. I mean, it really was bad advice… even then. But dumb luck blessed my family and me with a much-needed $26 commission, and a belly full of fire and optimism.

My Affiliate Marketing Journey Had Begun!

And I tell you, I don’t know if it would have had I not made that lucky sale. Again, the advice I followed was so awful that it could honestly only be described as dumb luck. But it was $26 bucks.

And that’s all it took.

From there, I was absolutely committed to making enough money online, via affiliate marketing, to live on. I hated what I was doing for a living (waiting tables and bartending), and I gave myself no choice but to become successful online.

I tried many things…

More of that same Hubpages strategy, which yielded me zero results. Posting classified ads on USFreeAds, which yielded me zero results. Article marketing, which yielded me temporary results (until Google Panda-slapped me). Niche sites (same story).

Posting Market Health affiliate banners all over Craigslist, which did work… but it was always super short-lived, as my posts would invariably get ghosted. I built spammy backlinks to Adsense posts. I did arbitrage.

Finally, I wrote articles for other online marketers.

This paid pretty well, and became my most steady and predictable source of income up to that point. I was earning about 100 bucks to write 10 articles, which I could usually complete within two days of solid effort.

The problem was, it was tiring. And it was one effort for one payment. Often, I was desperate for the money, so as soon as my client paid me, the money was spent on food, rent, or bills.

Then, I was still on the hook for two days of article writing.

I couldn’t get the next batch of groceries or pay the rest of the bills I needed to pay until I researched and wrote those 10 pieces of content for my previous client.

I tried outsourcing the content, but nobody I outsourced to was at the same caliber of writing that I was, and so I often ended up rewriting everything anyway.

Not a fun time.

To be continued…