First Paycheck from an Online Side-Project

A few months ago I began my journey towards developing a side project, and I just received my first customer payment. 

Over the last half a year during my free time I taught myself how to build a website. This is the YouTube video that guided me through the whole process. The video literally walks you through each step, which makes it easy to understand why it is over an hour long.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cbvZf1jIJM

Steps to Building a Blog

Below, are the rough steps that it took to put things together. The key is to not get discouraged, because sometimes there are nuanced things that require troubleshooting.


  1. Brainstorm what you want to do, market research if starting for a business

  2. Choose a logo: https://hatchful.shopify.com, https://logomakr.com

    1. I wouldn’t spend money on one, you can always change it down the road

  3. Choose a website url

    1. I like to use namecheap.com, good prices and easy to use.

  4. Choose a web hosting platform: Siteground.com, Bluehost.com, Fatcow.com, Hostgator.com

    1. Find which one works best for you, I have been happy with Siteground.com so far.

  5. Connect your website URL to your hosting service (This can be confusing)

  6. Install WordPress on your hosting site

  7. Log into your wordpress. Your website url.com/admin. Example: mywebsite.com/admin

  8. Install your theme.

  9. Install plugins. Elementor is really helpful.

  10. Start building content and experimenting! 


There is more to it than this to become proficient, but at least this will get you started! Now back to the reason that I started my own side project and website.


The name of my side project’s website is: orthoconditioning.com. It is a platform to help medical students learn orthopedics and to increase their chances of matching as a resident into the competitive specialty of orthopedics. 

Build Something that You Enjoy

My goal with this project is meant to be an outlet for my love of teaching and is really something that I wish I would have had access to as a medical student. 


Recently I received my first deposit from a member of the website. The potential of earning money on the scale of what the internet enables is profound. These concepts of online presence should be something that is taught in grade school because the potential is so vast.


Here is the a screenshot of the first deposit from my Stripe account:

This was a project that I have really enjoyed and my hope is to really help teach students about orthopedic surgery, a topic generally ignored in medical school, despite musculoskeletal pathology being so common. I did have ask why I was wanted to build the platform to be profitable.

Imposter Syndrome

Part of me felt strange charging for something. You ask yourself, how much should it cost? Am I being greedy? Are people actually going to pay for this? There are numerous factors that determine how much you should charge for something. Commonly a mix of research and experimentation is conducted to determine a reasonable price for your product or service.


There is so much strategy involved like what your target customer is, your cost of manufacturing, what you need your margin to be, how much of a competitive position do you have? (My plan is touch more on this in a future post.) One factor that I did consider is a larger purpose for this side project. Below you can see a screenshot from the website showing the high-level purpose of the platform.


Part of the reason to have a goal and system in place to make this platform profitable is to be able to funnel the earnings from the project towards philanthropy. This is has been a life-long goal, to make a sustainable business that I can direct funds towards helping people. I believe this is what draws me towards entrepreneurship in general, being able to solve a market problem and help people with the product/service as well as using the funds on the back-end to also help people in creative ways.


I look forward to keeping the the lessons learned in this start up at the forefront on this platform. So many topics in business can be helpful in numerous areas of life and especially when seeing it applied. Again, just like orthopedics, business and finance is another topic that is largely ignored in school all the way from high school through medical school.  

Experiment and Learn Continuously

Despite this being an early beginning, who knows if  the platform will be profitable and catch on. We will keep experimenting in the meantime.


So moving foward, think about the things you really enjoy in life and keep an open mind about developing other interests outside of medicine or your current job. Always keep an eye out for opportunities to place yourself in to learn new skills. Think about starting your own website based on those opportunities you see and in what you enjoy and use it to develop your voice, writing skill, research skill, and more.


If you have questions, please comment below!


Here are some other great resources on building your own websites, just be aware of affiliate links:


https://passiveincomemd.com/how-to-start-a-blog/

https://www.physicianonfire.com/blog/

Neilpatel.com





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