How I Used My Offline Knowledge To Make Money Online

My name is Mark Riddix and I am a registered investment advisor. I have worked in the finance field since my graduation from college and started my own investment advisory firm five years ago. I never dreamed that I would venture into the blogging arena.

The Story Begins

My path to producing online income was an interesting journey with many twists and turns. I would like to take a little bit of time to tell you about it.

I have always had a passion for investing from the first time that I heard about a stock and a mutual fund. I bought my first mutual fund in college and have been investing ever since. Every financial asset interested me so I decided that going into investment management would be a career occupation.

I had been working as an investment advisor for about three years and was always coming into contact with people that had questions about investing. My business catered to higher net worth individuals so I wanted to start a site that would address the needs of regular everyday investors. I had the bright idea to create a financial blog.

I figured that I could provide a little insight into the world of investing and answer questions that my site’s visitors might have. I named the blog Buy Like Buffett because he was an investing role model of mine and the name sounded pretty catchy. I really wasn’t seeking to make money online. I was just looking for a way to share information about investing with other people interested in the topic.

I Start To Blog

I proceeded to start blogging and wrote about my thoughts and opinions of different investments. I began blogging part-time and tried to stick to a schedule of writing at least three posts a week. I did this consistently for the first three months and then I started slacking off. I was getting very little traffic to my blog and my interest began to quickly wane. After a few months I started to skip my weekly posting schedule and was blogging only a few times a month.

I was close to giving up on blogging because it seemed too time-consuming and pointless. Why bother writing a post? No one is going to read it anyway! I had experienced blogger burnout in my infancy and was not even aware of it. Fortunately, I did not give up and decided to keep blogging for a few more months.

I recommitted myself to posting and would write a post at least three to four times a week no matter how I felt. I wrote about all sorts of topics related to investing. I wrote about some of my personal stock purchases and my stock sales. After a few months, I started to receive the occasional email from someone who was reading my blog. That really got me pumped because it meant that someone was reading what I had to say.

Making Money Through Ad Networks

My readership was slowly growing. I still had not made one cent blogging but that wasn’t my primary focus in the beginning. I was blogging to provide information.

It struck me that I could monetize my blog after about six months of writing regularly. I then went in search of ways that I could generate some income. I wasn’t looking to make a fortune. I just wanted enough money to cover my web hosting fees and money that I had invested in my blog thus far.

My search led me to a number of different ad networks. I have probably used every single ad network out there. You name it and I tried it. I used Google Adsense, Adbrite, Widgetbucks, Chitika, Clicksor, Linkworth, and Commission Junction.

I generated a little side revenue each month from these networks to cover my fees. I made my first ever blogging profit after about a year and realized that there was money in blogging. I was not making a lot of money by any means but even a few hundred dollars is a lot when you are used to generating no online income.

Making Money Blogging

I began devoting more time to building my site and increased my posting frequency. I started to write a post at least once a day and sometimes twice a day. I spent hours each day writing content, marketing, and promoting my website. I started submitting guest posts to a lot of larger financial blogs in order to build my name in the online financial community. I had 15 different staff writing positions at various financial blogs and churned out content on a daily basis. This gave me greater exposure and only helped to build my brand further.

My business was still generating money for me offline and my website was now starting to bring in additional dollars every month. My monetization strategy was finally starting to pay off. The writing jobs were bringing in a few thousand dollars a month and my income from ad networks was increasing.

Next, I started running paid posts. I had produced so many posts that other websites were contacting me and asking to run sponsored posts on my site. My blog was seen as an authority in the finance industry. I began by charging $25 to $50 a post and quickly increased that amount to a couple hundred dollars a post.

As my site’s popularity increased, I abandoned banner ads, text links, and most ad networks. My focus became on selling advertisements directly to companies.

I emailed a few companies in the finance space and began structuring monthly advertising deals myself. Selling ads is simple when you inform companies how they are saving money by paying a monthly fee versus paying for each click. I eliminated the ad network middleman and was making even more money.

Making Money Selling Products

As my blog’s popularity grew, I noticed that online income was becoming a bigger portion of my monthly household income. My online income monetization strategy expanded to include producing digital and physical publications. I wrote a personal finance book on money management and long term investing. The book has been sold directly through my website and through traditional bookstores. I also produced an investor guide to the Best Mutual Funds. I used my offline knowledge of financial assets to make money online.

My blog posts and financial products started to open more doors and I was able to get published in national magazines. I had a few articles run in Forbes. Recently, I had a story about my investing experiences run in the Wall Street Journal and an upcoming story in Black Enterprise next month. All of these opportunities have led to greater exposure for me, my business, and my website. Now I only write articles for a small number of websites and my pay rate has increased exponentially.

The next step was to share a lot of the knowledge that I learned from my three years of blogging, so I created a blog detailing my journey to making online income. The blog was self titled, Mark Riddix dot com, and is filled with lots of information on all of the ways that I found to make money online. This site explains all of the ways that website owners can start generating passive income. I also wrote an ebook called How To Make $2,000 A Month Online. Most bloggers may not have the success that Yaro did blogging but anyone can make at least $75 a day online.

Making Money Via Marketing

My latest venture has led me down the path of affiliate marketing. I have been able to create additional income by reviewing and promoting different blogging products and services on my latest website.

I started marketing sponsored tweets, blog reviews, and hosting services. I am careful to only recommend products that I really believe in. As individuals buy specific products through my site’s links, I am able to make a percentage from each sale.

Niche blogging has become a new interest of mine. I have started creating a few more blogs catering to specific topics that people are interested in. I have been filling the sites with content and have added Google Adsense and Amazon Affiliates links selling blogging products. These newer blogs will not require me to tend to them daily and should generate their own income.

Recently, I have launched an article writing service that provides content for Internet marketers and website owners. I have hired a couple of writers to write the articles so that I can focus more on content management. This business is only two months old and is already bringing in a nice amount of income each month.

The money that I make online gives me extra capital to invest and put into the market. My goal each month is to take the money that I make online and use that to purchase more stocks. This plan has worked really effectively so far. My blogging experience has taught me that there are so many paths to making money online that any website owner can benefit from.

How Can My Story Help You?

One of the things that I would like to get across is the importance of perseverance when trying to make money online. Small hiccups occur from time to time but you should never allow them to deter you from your long-term money making goals.

I learned how to make money online through the trial and error process. The exact same thing can work for you. You may find that your site isn’t optimized to sell your own products but is perfect for selling the products of others through affiliate marketing. I have learned that the key to online success is to match the right blogging topic with the right product and the money will start to trickle in.

Coming up next on my column here on, I will go through a step-by-step process that I used to take a relatively unknown site and attract web traffic and advertisers. I will explain the entire process that I went through and how I launched my plan of attack four years ago.

In the beginning finding ways to make money online was not the easiest thing in the world to do but I learned a lot in the process and would like to share my experiences with you. My goal is to make the path easier for the next online entrepreneur who is seeking to find their own path for making money online.

One of the things that I absolutely love about working as an entrepreneur is the freedom it provides. You have the freedom to create your own schedule and plan activities around your work. I love being able to open up my notebook and earn money online at anytime of the day or night. Whether you are seeking full-time income or just some supplemental side income, your online business can help you reach your goals.

In upcoming posts I will take the time to discuss the following areas:

  • How to Take Your Offline Knowledge And Use It To Make Money Online
  • How to Start A Blog From Scratch
  • How to Make Money Writing For Your Own Site And Other Websites
  • How to Grow A Website From A Small Readership Into A Loyal Following
  • How to Sell Products Related to Your Niche Online
  • How to Take The Money That You Earn Online And Increase It Through Investing

Each of these topics is a real passion of mine and played a role in my journey to creating an online income stream. Hopefully by sharing my experiences, I can provide some insight into any questions or issues that you may be having. That way you can be on your way to making money online that much faster.

I am looking forward to sharing my ideas with you in future posts and hearing from you as well.

Click here to read part two of this series.


About Mark

Mark Riddix is the CEO of New Horizons Financial Management, an independent investment advisory business and the creator of the financial blog Buy Like Buffett. His blog teaches individuals about investing, entrepreneurship, personal finance, and proper financial management. He shares a number of wealth building strategies with his site’s readers. Mark has been able to use his financial expertise to create a passive income stream online. You can read more about his journey to producing online income at Mark Riddix dot com.

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  • I’m also in the finance niche and I love Mark’s simple approach to investing and conversational blog.


  • I think in the end making money online is just a business like any other business… Those that come to it with get rich quick dreams ultimately
    fail. But the skills that u would use in any business are valuable online too. Great post!

    • Good point Vinay! It is the slow ans steady approach that works. Thanks!

    • Hi Vinay yes it’s the same, we must treat our online business like off line business.

  • Very interesting article, a friend of mine started making money online after he was fired. He started it because he had nothing to do and he doesn’t even need to work, he makes a lot of money online.

  • Huge article! Really hit home as I have just started my own blog that shares my experience of starting my online business.

    What was the key factor in turning your financial blog into a success? At what point did you start to see constant traffic coming to it?

    • That’s a good question. I think making my site more visible by writing for other sites and guest posting. As my name appeared all over the blogosphere, I started getting more traffic to my own site. Blog networks were a big help too.

  • I cannot believe what I just read. Thanks a ton!

    Ironically, I have just started learning how to invest in the stock market. For the past three years I’ve built my Internet “passive” income up to a nice steady stream. Just two weeks ago I decided to start learning how to invest using the TDAmeritrade Thinkorswim software. I made my first five “Fake Money” stock trades two days ago.

    I will be studying your “Buy Like Buffet” blog for sure-just bookmarked it!

    The thing I love about making money online is that there is a guaranteed return on your investment. Everything I have invested time into online has generated passive income; It is literally limitless when persistence partners with patience and a plan for monetization.

    That passive online income is allowing me to have the “FREEDOM” of time to learn how to invest in the stock market.

    You have inspired me today… thanks!

    • Thanks Jordy! I love the limitless earnings potential of the Internet as well!

  • Mark – you are right. Often times it is the case that those with valuable outside/offline experience are the ones who hit it off well online. why? because they already have something valuable to offer (the core USP). the internet thus becomes just yet another means of distributing that content (in a highly scalable way of course)

    • Well said Sunil! I think it is a competitive advantage.

    • Sunil, that’s nice. It is true that offline experience will hit online experience.

  • […] How I Used My Offline Knowledge To Make Money Online … […]

  • Nice post. I am posting now once a week, and that already is my biggest challenge in this process.
    I realize it is a long way, and that I need commitment and perseverance.

    • Keep it up. Your consistent efforts will pay off.

  • Nice article..clear idea-clear terget and doing thing like nothing to lose…If you can do like it..i believe what ever that your target is or your dream on….some will be yours…thank

  • I believe your background as an investment advisor really played a big role in your success in the internet world. After all, everything is a risk, just like investment. Thanks for your inspiring article Mark!

  • Hey Mark, thanks for sharing so much of what you have learned with us. You’re definitely one of my inspirations when it comes to making money online.

  • Inspirational indeed, Yaro has become my full time mentor, with your idea of featuring other pro bloggers ideas about blogging issues and tips, i find that fantastic.Mark offers an excellent read and experience. Cheerio bru!

    • I agree. Yaro has a lot of great insights and ideas that can benefit any online entrepreneur.

  • Very inspiring mark to sat the least. Whilst I have no current interest in investing (need steady money first), I have subscribed to MRDC…I need to see what else you got goin’ on. 😉

  • Very inspiring Mark! Im approaching the 3 month mark myself, and posting does tend to be time consuming, so it’s nice to see that it paid off in the end! I dont think my blog will ever be at your level, but Id like achieve some of that success,and I have seen my readership consistently grow.

    • Justin,

      I think that your blog is on the right path to success! It is really informative.

  • Hi Mark,

    Inspiring story. Like your message on being persistent. Just like everything else, there are good days and bad days. Glad to see your hard work paying off. Need to visit your two sites more often!

  • This is an inspiring story indeed. Using the offline knowledge into online is pretty good idea.

  • […] My Entrepreneurs Journey post on How I Used My Offline Knowledge To Make Money Online. […]

  • Great articile and thanks for sharing. I love it will peole share their of line experience and how to use it online.

  • Perseverance pays off. Too many people think that by blogging once a week they’ll make loads of money. The key is commitment and perseverance! I am especially impressed by Mark’s ability to review and revise his strategies and adapting to what works rather than stagnating.

  • Hi mark, great post. Blogging is not easy, it is hard to do and it takes a lot of time to get money from it. I like the way you never give up with blogging especially when you feel burned out and exhausted for there are no results with what you do. Sure, there is but it takes time and total commitment. I also like how you try each and every campaign in the business that makes you compare which campaign works.

    • George, that is it exactly. It seems like the return on investment will never come but eventually it does.

  • Are you still running your own investment advisory firm? I know from personal experience, as well as my good friend’s career that running an investment firm takes a lot of effort and time. You have to review people’s portfolios, answer questions, manage the money, cut checks for clients, find new clients etc. How do/did you find time to write so many articles and put so much effort into online endeavors when you were running an offline company?

    – Andrew

    • Hi Andrew,

      I am still running my own investment advisory business. I focus the bulk of my energy for my offline business on investment management. I really did not spend a lot of time going after clients. I started off only spending about an hour a day or my blog. i started using more of my evening time to build it up. Now I use more of my daytime for blogging as well. I have gotten really efficient at creating content. I can write a 500 word post in 15 to 30 minutes. I can take 3 to 4 hours and put together 8 to 10 articles that can last me a week or more.

  • Too many people don’t understand how applicable their knowledge is when it comes to working online. They don’t realize how applicable it is or how to even start to get into it, but they could make more money if they broadened their way of thinking.

  • Hi Mark it’s very interesting story and very good achievement!! Looking forward another post and your step by step guide.

  • […] More money lessons from Mark @ Buy Like Buffett, published at Entrepreneurs Journey! […]

  • Hey Mark – Pretty inspiring story. But I never seem to achieve the sort of perseverance that bloggers like you show. The major problem is not giving the sort of attention that a ‘business’ deserves. I always tend to put my blog behind my job. I have to take this cue and start putting in more effort!


    • Hi Ramya,

      I always feel like you get out of blogging what you put into it. Thanks!

  • Mark,

    This post is exactly what I needed to read right now. It confirms that I am heading in the right direction with my decision to increase my presence online.

    I am a real estate broker working since 2005. With the amount of people thinking of it as a way to “get rich quick” here in NYC, I am competing with almost a quarter of a million licensed agents for a piece of ten thousand transactions each year. While it is possible to do things without a broker, the smart consumer realizes that a professional saves time and adds value. I have seen thousands of spaces and contracts.

    I began blogging in 2007 but really didn’t take the time to study the craft properly.
    After a rough period of my life and not blogging, I recommitted as well. Currently, I write content for four personal blogs as well as participate in active rain. It is a massive undertaking, but I am learning much more this way. Each one has a very specific target audience.

    I am glad to have found your presence and will undoubtedly be tuning in often.

    Best regards,
    R$ Blessed

    • Thanks Ronnie. Writing for four different blogs is really impressive. It sounds like you are on the right track.

  • […] How I Used My Offline Knowledge To Make Money Online — Because the online world of business can seem so different, it can be easy to think you know nothing about online marketing. This story from Entrepreneur’s Journey is a great reminder of how we already have a lot of the information we need to succeed online. There are some great tips here, too! (It’s the first post in a series about getting started, so if you’re new online, be sure to subscribe to their feed so you don’t miss anything.) […]

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