As an independent handyman at the mercy of weather patterns near Hartford, Conn., he’d always made a decent income that rarely grew.
Then he found Google (GOOG), and his life changed. Alonzy, 57, now makes $120,000 a year from the ads Google places on his Natural Handyman website, and he couldn’t be more thrilled.
“I put in two, maybe three hours a day on the site, and the checks pour in,” he says. “What’s not to like?”
In return for placing its ads on websites and blogs, Google pays Web publishers every time one of its ads are clicked. Those clicks help keep Alonzy and his wife living comfortably and talking about moving to Hawaii. “All I need is a laptop and a high-speed Internet connection, and I can live anywhere.”
The Internet may be a young person’s medium, but the retired and those nearing retirement such as Alonzy have found that they can work the Web just as well. Sometimes, such “Gray Googlers” can live a richer, more financially rewarding life than when they were supposedly working.
“Google isn’t just for kids anymore,” says Google executive Kim Scott, who runs the company’s AdSense program, the ad platform that provides the income for Web publishers such as Alonzy and others.
Take Jerrold Foutz. The former Boeing engineer, 75, started a website a few years ago devoted to one of his passions — switching mode power supplies, which help drive, for instance, the inside of video cameras.
He put Google ads on his smpstech.com site four years ago. After just one month, the first Google check was for $800. The second check totaled $2,000.
“I thought, ‘Wow,’ ” he said. “This was the most amazing thing that ever happened to me. Something I thought would make $50 a year now equals my Boeing retirement check.”
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