Over the last couple of weeks I have focussed on building content in livetocook.com and getting this content to display in search engines. This is not a quick process but I am starting to see some good results with traffic steadily building from essentially nothing to a couple of hundred page views a day. 

The basic approach I am taking is to write a blog article for everything I cook on a day to day basis and optimise these articles so that they attract traffic for the most popular keyword searches relating to the recipe I am cooking.  To help me achieve this I've started to use the keyword research tools at Jaaxy.com to save me a heap of time working out what people are searching for and how much competition I am up against for the keywords/phrases they are searching for.

So far this is working quite well for me and I am getting lots of impressions in major search engines but unfortunately I'm not getting as many visitors from these links as I would like so in addition to continuing to build quality content I am focussing on how to get this content to display in social media sites  and search engines in a manner which encourages people who see a search result to click on it.

I've been busy over the last few days bringing www.livetocook.com  back to life. 

Cooking is my passion so I have been making my favourite foods and adding the recipes for these dishes to my website along with photographs of the results which were also added to flickr. 

While doing this I have practiced my writing skills and learned a heap more than expected.

Given that my intent is to create a website that  indulges my passion for food and cooking whilst attracting a lot of visitors. I decided that I needed to learn how to write Search Engined Optimised (SEO) content which will hopefully result in a lot of organic traffic to my website.  

In the process of researching SEO I have realised there is a lot to be learned and that  it is a skill which is valued by website owners and can be performed from anywhere in the world. Useful and portable skills I have learned in the last week include adding open graph metatags to web pages, setting up facebook comments on a Joomla site, and how to add structured data to a recipe.

In addition to this I have set up Google Analytics and google webmaster tools for livetocook.com so I can see how successful I have been.

Learning the art of SEO has been added to my todo list.

It's been a very productive first week but the rewards are yet to follow.



After sitting down to write some content and finding myself lacking inspiration  I got hard to work procrastinating and started playing with my website. One thing lead to another and I decided to do a couple of quick jobs on the website.  First Job was to implement Two Factor Authentication on my admin interface  and this is as far as I got .

Things Just weren't going to plan.

Cutting a long story short  I worked through some technical issues and after a while I got things working .. Silver lining is that this gave me the inspiration to set up a blog at http://robcgalloway.blogspot.com to keep a track of my technical adventures and  to practice my content writing skills at the same time.

Not much progress today but hey every little bit counts.


After doing a bit of research today I figured that I may as well get paid to do things I was going to do anyway so I joined swagbucks, installed their browser toolbar, and set them as my default search engine.  By doing this I get alerted when sites such as aliexpress, godaddy and others are going to reward me for spending money with them. Swagbucks also reward me for searching using their search engine which is powered by google and bing. Its not going to make me rich but making a few bucks without any additional effort is better than nothing.

I also made the decision to start practicing my writing skills so that I can hopefully make  some money writing articles and copywriting.


Today I sat down and thought about the skills  and resources I already have at my disposal, and how I can start to use them to make a portable income.

Without much effort I came up with the following:

  • I'm literate,  I'm no  Arthur Miller but I can string a few words together into a sentence.
  • Having spent nearly 30 years supporting large scale telephone and contact centre solutions I have strong and adaptable technical skills.
  • I have been setting up and running websites since the late 90's and am proficient in creating web pages using html, php, and databases.
  • I'm proficient in the use of Joomla
  • Cooking is my creative outlet, I'm no professional but I'm a pretty good home cook and I'm keen to learn more.
  • I love woodworking.
  • I've had some success in the past with affiliate marketing
  • I'm proficient in sourcing & importing products.
  • I've had some success selling products on E-bay.
  • I've had some success selling products from e-commerce websites.
  • I understand the basics of Search Engine Optimisation ( SEO)
  • I have a good job which pays quite well.
  • I'm a quick learner.

Looking at this I figure I should be able to start making a few dollars fairly quickly while I start working on a longer term strategy to develop a real income.




Given that its day 1 and I haven't increased my portable income at all in the last 24 hours I think it is a good idea to come up with a plan which I can start executing straight away. If I don't do this it will be really easy to find myself at day 365 and be no closer to the target I have set myself.  After a little bit of thought I decided that I'm going to apply the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid ) principle to my plan and have come up with the following:

Step 1 - Identify my current skills and resources.

Step 2 - Identify how I can make portable income from things I am already doing and the resources I currently have.

Step 3 - Find opportunities to make portable income from my current skills and take advantage of them.

Step 4 - Look for opportunities to reduce my current cost of living without impacting my lifestyle.

Step 5 - Develop new skills which will allow me to make additional portable income.

Step 6 - repeat the above steps.



 I'm Rob  and this is the first post to the new startearning.com website.  By way of background I am a happily married guy who has been relatively successful in my career and although it is quite a few years away I recently started to think about  want to do when I retire. I have to admit that it didn't take long to decide that I would like to take off with my wife and see some of this big planet we live on and I would like to do it in comfort.

Unfortunately we have to wait until we retire to get our hands on our retirement savings so we can run with this plan and the problem is that I'm kinda impatient and would like to travel now. 

I currently have a good job that pays well but in order to keep making this money I have to turn up to work every day and spend the time I could be using to travel at work. Don't get me wrong, the job is great and it allows me to live well but I am tied to my work location and my employer determines how much time I can take off and when I can take it so travelling for anything more than a few weeks at a time is pretty much out of the question. 

I have decided that I need to fix this situation before I am too old to enjoy life. 

My plan to do this is as follows:

  • Move to portable sources of income which can be earned from anywhere in the world.
  • Diversify my sources of income so if something unexpected happens to one source I don't end up broke.
  • Reduce the amount of time it takes to earn income and create residual income sources that don't require significant ongoing effort.
  • Reduce the my cost of living while not reducing my quality of life.

My plan is to share my progress , ideas, successes, and failures  and share them here with whoever is interested so they can learn from my experiences and share their own if they desire.

I'm currently earning about $20 per month by completing online surveys so I have a long way to go.

Wish me luck!

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