It must have been around the time i was 13 or 14 years old. The beginning was a stupid online browsergame.
I came across a quite famous game in Germany at that time called “Pennergame,” which had quite an unappealing name that roughly translates to “Homeless Game.” Looking back, such a disrespectful name and such a disrespectful game.
The game involved tasks like collecting bottles, getting better pets, teaming up with others, and trying to climb the leaderboards. Oddly enough, I became hooked on this game during my childhood. So hooked that I’d wake up early in the mornings before school just to sneak onto my parents’ computer and play the game.
In retrospect, I now see that despite the distasteful nature of the game, it was my initial introduction to the online world. As a teenager, I wasn’t interested in traditional part-time jobs, so I started exploring ways to earn money on the internet.
That’s when I stumbled upon paid mailing platforms. A concept which remains puzzling to me even now – you’d get paid for simply opening promotional emails and websites.
The earnings were ridiculously small, but these platforms had their own virtual currency, often linked to forums where users could exchange it for things like graphics, scripts, advertisements, or even money.
In my pursuit of new income avenues, I began creating graphics, logos, and banners. I learned to use tools like Inkscape and GIMP. My early graphics were far from perfect, but that’s how everyone starts, right?
I’d share the work on forums, taking suggestions from clients to improve. As my skills grew, I eventually started my own thread, offering my design services. This led to jobs and decent earnings while I was still a student. I continued to learn and expanded my skills to include other things, like using Blender – an amazing open-source tool, albeit complex.
First, I tried writing about electric car news on a website. I discovered through Google Analytics that certain keywords could generate income through Adsense. That’s when I started the website http://motoren-technik.net, focusing on topics with limited search results.
Without much extra effort, I managed to earn around 2000€ over about 1-2 years in Adsense revenue. However, since I was still a student and hadn’t registered a formal business, fear held me back.
Despite the decent earnings, I lacked the confidence to establish a side business due to bureaucratic concerns and doubts. I ended up cashing out the money through PayPal and taking down the website.
Looking back, I invested a substantial amount of time into these endeavors – a lot of time indeed. The hourly wage wasn’t impressive, but the real value lay in the self-sufficiency I gained. I learned for myself how to acquire and use various programs. I believe this is a crucial skill that many people overlook today – the ability to help oneself and learn through the vast resources available on the internet.