It has been more than 3 years since I started blogging. Lion Blogger was the first blog that I created on WordPress. Before that, I had about half a dozen blogs on Blogger, all of which failed miserably in making money online.
Google Adsense was my preferred choice of making money when I first started. 4 months later, somebody click bombed my blog and I lost my first hard earned $45. In this case, Google didn’t even consider my plea. I gave them the IP addresses from which the click bombing was done which I had tracked using Google Analytics. Ultimately, my Adsense account was disapproved.
After that, I tried a bunch of other ad networks like Adbrite, Infolinks, Bidvertiser, Admaya, Kontera etc. But none of them were generating any significant money. Eventually, I lost interest in using Ad networks.
Moving Towards Freelancing
After the failure with ad networks, I decided to move towards freelancing. It was one of the best moves I have ever made during my blogging journey.
Ever since I saw the movie ‘The Social Network’ I was always interested in creating web applications. Naturally, I went for PHP and MySQL. In between the break of 2nd and 3rd year of engineering, I did manage to learn some of the basics.
So, with freelancing, my first option was developing web applications. However, those are generally hard to come by in the beginning. So, my 2nd option as a freelancer was content writing which I was good at. It took me another 6 months to get my first content writing gig.
After a year of blogging on Blogger, I decided to go with WordPress which offers more flexibility. Luckily, I actually won free hosting for a year from a contest that was running on my friend’s blog. And hence, Lion Blogger was born on 4th Jan, 2013.
IBM and more Freelancing
A lot of good things happened, after I created Lion Blogger. My first success was winning a blogging contest that helped me make $250. After that, I was getting a lot of content writing gigs. As months passed, I started to make more and more money. In a short time, I had come from making nothing to a few hundred dollars a month.
In the middle of 2013, another great opportunity came by from IBM. The company has a program called Global Remote Mentoring Program which allows college students to complete a project under a college mentor and an IBM mentor. Luckily, me and two of my friends got a PHP and MySQL which we were able to complete successfully.
The basics that I had learnt the previous year, did help a lot. Along with that, I was able to gather the insight on how a project is developed. It was an extremely valuable practical experience that boosted my confidence.
The project took 5 months to complete. 2 months later, another opportunity came by from IBM in the form of a contest. It was the Master the Mainframe Contest, 2013. It started from November, 2013 and ended in January, 2014.
The contest was only open to students. They can gather valuable experience of working on a world class system – IBM’s System Z (z/OS). There was a dilemma for me here. I actually had a vacation planned in December long before the contest was announced. So, I had to leave before I could complete the the whole thing. Luckily, there were some problems with the DB2 database during the contest and the end date got postponed by a week. I got the good news from Facebook when I was having a family lunch at a restaurant in Pattaya, Thailand. That gave me enough time to come back home from my vacation and complete the whole thing.
When the results were declared, I found out that I had come second in India. The guy who came first was from IIT Kanpur. As the second prize winner, I got a flipkart voucher of Rs. 45k and bought an iPhone 5C from it.
After the contest I was able to get my first web development gig. All the knowledge and experience that I had gathered from the contest as well as the project the previous year helped a lot.
Immediately after that, my online income took a huge jump. For the first time, my income had crossed the $500 mark.
First Job and Training at Infosys
Two months after the Mainframe contest, I was able to land my first job at Infosys. The company is known for the best DCs (Development Centres) in India.
Infosys has the biggest corporate university in Asia at it’s Mysore Campus. All the freshers are sent to the Foundation Training before moving on to the Production side. Once the training is complete, the trainees are released to a Business Unit based on the domain they were trained in.
Accommodation wise, it’s the biggest in Asia. 14,000 trainees can be accomodated and trained at one single go. Most Infoscions describe the Mysore Campus as ‘Heaven on Earth’. I was fortunate enough to stay at the campus for 4 months. I recently completed my training and have been posted to Infosys Bangalore, the company’s corporate headquarters.
Conclusively, I would like to mention that blogging had a huge role in everything I have achieved till date.
The next post is going to be exclusively on the Infosys Mysore campus. So stay tuned.