Empower Your Children To Out-Earn Their Professors

This post was guest blogged by Barbara Ling .

It had to happen. There I was, the calm, cool, self-contained entrepreneur who was happily building several sites simultaneously, writing my profitable blog posts and dashing off the “Why My Son Should Be In Mr. Wrangler’s 2nd Grade Class” when Honorable Eldest Daughter gently removed my brimming coffeecup from the chair, sat down and said in all seriousness, “Mom! Don’t you think I DESERVE an iPhone?

Figuring that the “Deer in the Headlights” look didn’t quite convey my bemusement, I responded, “Of course you do! And I will be the first person in line to cheer you on when you’ve earned the money to buy it!”

Not being daunted in the least (my kids have the persistence of a Twitterholic who has just spied the latest and greatest Twitter App), she assumed the long-suffering persona of Bambi and assured me that “Oh mom, my allowance doesn’t cover an iPhone!”

Ah hah! Thought I. Here’s a chance to stop the conversation in its tracks! Cleverly pretending to muse upon her woes, I finally said, “Well you know, you can always empower yourself (Mom is big on
empowering, you see, it frees her from being blamed for things like “Gosh Mom, you forgot to set my alarm clock and now I’ve missed finishing (or even starting) my 17 page essay that’s due today!”) and make money on the Internet! Heck, I’ll even walk you through every single step required.” I figured the concept of “using the Internet NOT for watching anime” would be soul-searingly devastating enough she’d back down and let me resume my work.

Oddly enough, she rose to the challenge…and thus was born a brand-spanking new entrepreneur.

And here’s how I did it. If you have children capable of working online, this could be quite profitable for you too!

Step 1.) Consider the source.

Sure, while it’s easy to tell your kids, “Hey kid, go research a targeted audience! Find out the problems that are craving solutions! Write an ebook that sells the solutions! Sell sell sell!”….in reality, that’s not optimal at all. You want their first entrepreneurial adventure to be a success – for that to happen it has to:

  • Engage their interest
  • Be easy to do
  • Be easy to monetize

I settled on blogging for the above reasons. You can blog about anything online, it’s easier than melting ice cream in an oven to find content on a daily basis…AND, due to eBay, it’s easy to monetize as well.

Step 2.) Decide on the project and choose the look/feel

For the reasons stated above, my daughter decided to blog about something she loves – Advanced Calculus and Differential Equations. Okay, no, that’s her mom. She’s blogging about The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 instead.

To blog, one needs a domain name and hosting. GoDaddy offers them cheap, and you can get free hosting at places like http://www.doteasy.com . Sure, she could have put her blog on the WordPress.com site, but I firmly believe if you’re going to make money, you want to be professional about it.

For the look and feel, I showed her how to research SEO-optimized themes to help with search engine visibility. ‘Course, she was sold instead on how ‘engaging’ a visual theme was. Can’t win ’em all.

Step 3.) Sign up kid for eBay, Amazon, CJ and Adsense affiliate programs.

These are by far the easiest way to monetize blogs. As you can see on eBay, there are hundreds of Sims items for sale. Amazon.com also offers great deals as well! And don’t forget about t-shirts, coffee cups, other SIM-related games, virtual reality, Second Life, etc.

In almost all cases, you’ll find the same thing regarding your child’s chosen niche as well.

Step 4.) Add the above affiliate programs to the blog template

Many SEO-optimized blogs are also adsense-optimized as well. It only takes a few line-tweakies to change the Adsense to eBay code to Amazon code and back again!

Step 5.) Install the following plugins

Blogs grow by word of mouth, so make it easy for your kid’s blog readership to increase. Add social networking plugins, CommentLuv, and especially anti-spam plugins like BadBehavior, Angsuman’s Referrer Bouncer, Simple Trackback Validation, and Spam Karma. This will help make it easy for people to tell friends about the content they find.

Step 6.) Teach your kid to install a Feedreader and find 20+ related feeds

Blog posts don’t need to be fresh and unique every day – your kid can also pick up on current niche-related news and write his or her impressions about it. Go to Google News and set up a keyword alert, and then proactively search at both Technorati and Boardreader for targeted blogs in the same niche. Have your kid add those feeds to the feedreader.

Step 7.) Blog and Network!

Here’s where your kid starts to actually post. I recommend posting at least once a day until the search engines start to pick it up (my posts are now indexed generally within 10 minutes of publising them).

Once the first posting is complete, encourage your kid to comment at other niche blogs so as to generate a backlink to their personal blog. The more traffic generated and the more visitors that persue the site… the greater the chance of affiliate earnings.

Now, what else can your child blog about? How about targeted niche products on Amazon.com, complete with their affiliate link? Or they can search on Clickbank for niche products (did you know there’s over 26 Clickbank products for World of Warcraft?), contact the authors and ask for a free copy to review (I did that with my World of Warcraft blog). Once reviewed, they can include a direct link to the product with their hoplink used as the URL.

Once they’re comfortable with the whole online adventure, they can add in an optin autoresponder, write up a free report, create an ebook and do any of the other activities we consider normal for
making money online.

The above are some ways you can start your child on the road to making money on the Internet. But! Before you do this, you MUST educate him or her about predators online…and how they must NEVER EVER EVER give out their email addresses, real names, addresses and the like. ‘Matter of fact, I’d recommend having all site email be sent to you first so you can clear out all the porn and other undesirable ickness that comes with the territory.

More resources for kids online safety include:

Kids are no longer restricted to lemonaide stands and Girl Scout Cookies to earn money – give them the self-confidence (and profits!) that come from building, maintaining and growing a world class site. The benefits they’ll receive will far encompass more than mere monetary satisfaction…for a long long time in the future as well.

32 thoughts on “Empower Your Children To Out-Earn Their Professors”

  1. Cronus says:

    I myself am only 18, and this does seem like a smarter route than the one I took way back when lol. I decided at 15 to learn to code online games myself, ended up making more profitable sites than I could imagine. Now that I’ve sold all of those sites(and paid for my first year of college, I have started a blog. I have monetized it but I am not expecting big results. I really just like to write, and always have. The blog gives me a chance to mix my favorite things, writing, running websites, and making money.

    Your strategy is very good but maybe a bit more of a breakdown would be best? I don’t know many “kids”(perhaps I’m not allowed to call others kids yet, lol) that know what SEO or a feed is.

    1. I agree with you Cronus. I too started on the internet at age 15. I am now 19, and have had a few successes and many flops. Nice Strategy John, but if you went out on the streets and asked random kids what SEO is I can guarantee that at least 90% will be clueless. ESPECIALLY in the US.

      1. Syed Balkhi says:

        I started at age 12 by making crazy websites for game that I used to play online. Than I realized I liked making the websites for the group more than playing the game so here I am…

  2. Thiago Prado says:

    Whatever you want to own you have to work for that, even if it’s a kid. The points presented in the article are very good to show the kids how easy they can start making their own money.

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      while the easiness maybe a motivator, they have to realize it is not as easy as it seems…

  3. Edward says:

    Are you sure you want kids to blog?
    There are a lot more things that kids can do than blog. I started my interest in computers when I was 8 – I built my first computer. My first money-making site was *not* a blog, but an Arcade website. Nowadays, that niche is getting very crowded.

    I maxxed out my income two years ago – $600 in one day! Definitely more than my high school teachers. Too bad I’m not making that much anymore…Oh well – I have two years before I leave high school.

  4. Asela says:

    Good strategy Barbara… I just hope a lot parents instill such values in their children rather than giving in to everything they ask. I am sure your daughter will turn out great because you made sure that she had a head-start in life. All the best to you both!!!

  5. Chris says:

    If you can keep your kids’ interest with such a project this has to be so much better than letting them sit and waste hours a day on Youtube, Facebook etc. It’s also something that you can work on together.
    If the blog does well then he/she will get a social element from interacting with their readers, a useful set of web publishing skills for the future and a handy source of income to buy more gadgets/clothes/toys.
    When my son’s older I hope he’ll be interested in giving it a try.

  6. Good work Barbara,In 1982 when my son was 5 years old I bought him Apple PC, he played with it, learned mathematic, physics, language and many other things, at high school sold program he developed,got Master from Australian Uni, now working with International Organization and also as freelance software developer.

  7. I think that the reason Barbara wrote this post and John choose to publish it, is because the steps covered on how to make money online work with everyone – not only children. This is good advice for everyone

    1. Terry Tay says:

      That’s true! Anyone can take what was mentioned and make money from it.

      John even has Sally all ready for when she wants to start blogging with SallyChow.com

  8. Flimjo says:

    Heh, this post is actually a summary of how to start a blog and monetize it. Adults can read this for themselves, too!

    Either way, I love the idea of empowering children to become entrepreneurs. School isn’t designed to teach them these things; rather, it teaches them how to be employees. Thus, it’s up to parents to prepare their children for the tech-rich 21st century.

  9. Affiliate17 says:

    great post John! I wish I could’ve started blogging and got into this business when I was younger. I was always into making websites, personal websites mostly. But still I would get views. If only I had known about affiliate programming.

  10. Pek says:

    That’s a wonderful post John. Although not yet a parent, I often wonder how I would instill an entrepreneurial mindset to a child. Not only that, but to show them that it’s OK to just try something just to see if it works. Also, this post is very beneficial to newbies like my wife and I who are new to the blog world. Keep us updated on her progress. I think we all want to find out how this turns out and if she is able to stick to it.

  11. Imed says:

    wonderful posts and it gives the kid to motivation to work and innovate! rather then being a lazy potato

  12. Great article, if more parents thought this way people wouldn’t growint up thinking that getting a “good paying job” was their ticket to freedon.

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      haha .. forget the parents teaching .. I think if My company get big enough… I will support all the kids and send them a book written by me on their 12th birthday.

      If they read it …. They are smart, if they don’t I don’t think they deserve to go in the industry.

  13. Yuwie money says:

    I will keep that in mind. My son in 2 years old now and by the time he`ll hit the first grade, I hope he`ll be a proud member of money making blog. 🙂

  14. Phil says:

    I agree with Flimjo, this is great advice for adults starting out too.
    I’m starting out myself and think this is useful. Gets me thinking about getting the next generation started on the right ramp.
    Wow, never even thought about the topic from this agnle. Very useful tips and I’m glad it emphasizes safety. Makes me wish I was a kid again.
    Thanks a lot!

  15. Barbara Ling says:

    Here’s an update – my kid has gotten so much into this that she has set up a “blogging schedule” like so:

    “Mom, on THESE days I’m going to blog. On THESE days I’m going to comment at other related blogs. On THESE days I’m going to….”

    This happened because she realized time for homework is still a priority. 🙂


    Barbara, author of the guest post.

    1. Cronus says:

      lol wow. I don’t even do that. I’m sure she will eventually get tired of it though. Your always more excited when you start, but kids interests dont stay in one area long.

      1. Setting up a schedule helps you stay on track. I think it’s great move for a 2nd grader and you never know where she’ll end up. More power to her!

  16. Barbara Ling says:

    >> Your always more excited when you start, but kids interests dont stay in one area long <<

    If the kid wants an iPhone and there ain’t no other way kid is getting the money to obtain that iPhone, methinks the interest will remain high (at least until the first goal is achieved, after which I’ll compel the craving for the next goal…. :mrgreen:


    1. Ashley says:

      Good article for adults and kids!

      Can you give us a status report? How are the earnings going? That would be my biggest worry – that they’d spend a ton of time doing something and then only earn $2. How long has her blog been up and how much money is she earning?

  17. Internet entrepreneurship should be required learning in grades 1-12. Do you think that would take care of welfare?

    1. Syed Balkhi says:

      that can be one of the magnet programs … I like that idea

  18. Luis Gross says:

    I totally agree, I’m 19 and as soon as I have children I’m going to
    get them ready to start raking in by 13. I think it’s only right and your kids will thank you in the future. When all their other friends are still getting allowances and asking mom and dad for that new car, your kid will be out buying one! Great post John.

  19. Felex Tan says:

    We can request anything if we work for it and deserve to get it.I will buy BMW 5series when i achieve my 1st millions by 26 years old.

  20. Wade says:

    Great post. I have had similar ideas, though not for my daughter because she is only 2. My fiance is into home decor (the new country style you find from lakeside and gordmans). I also thought of a blog for all mothers. I think this would be better, as she can talk about everything from laundry, house cleaning products, to decorating and gardening. I would have to do some research on if there is many products from affiliate networks. Maybe lakeside has an affiliate program or something. I would also have to talk to her about what she thinks she would be able to talk more about. After all it would be her site. I would get it started for her, then let her take over the posts and products to market.

    Her oldest brother is into sports, and is on the computer for fantasy sports, stats, and all that stuff. I could set him up a sports site. All he would have to do for posts is research ESPN, MSN, Yahoo, and find many posts on spots topics. Then he could take it in, and get ideas of what to write about. Then once a week or so find new sports products to market.

    If I get their sites up, I would have a free advertising spot, and they could help further the profits/traffic to my site. The possibilities are endless because everyone has a hobby. It could be computers, money, sports, mother hood, sex… The list goes on!

    Shudogg Dot Com – Make Money Online Blogging

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