Lowell resident enjoys genealogy research for work
“My job is to figure out how to fulfill my destiny. Everybody has that obligation.”
Alan Teelander of Lowell rightfully calls his work play. That is because he loves what he does for a living. Deep down inside, Teelander has always had a desire to write. Now, as an Internet publisher, he gets to research family genealogy and history, and he writes about it on his websites “Faded Footsteps” and “Michigan Genealogy.”
“It ties in well with my passion, which is genealogy,” he said.
As we sat down for an interview, Teelander first spoke of his ancestors Freegift Cole and Ebenezer Rathbone of 13th Michigan Infantry with great fervor. Rathbone died in 1862 of typhoid, and he is buried at the Nashville National Cemetery.
Moreover, Teelander gets to help other people with their research for a $45 membership fee, walk cemeteries for research, golf on Mondays, and take a day off anytime he wants to.
“I meet beautiful people,” he said. “Everything I do is toward a website. It’s not work, it’s play.”
For 21 years, Teelander worked as a supervisor for Amway. After he was done, Teelander knew from his past experience that he didn’t want to deal with employees. So, he looked to the Internet for a solution.
“There are many ways of making a living on the Internet,” he said.
One of them is to become an affiliate of an e-commerce company for example like amazon.com and sell products of your choice or links to products on your site. There is an earning potential of up to 10 percent.
“The objective is to get people to click on the link to get the cookie active, and then get credit for the next sale,” he said.
It’s not a get rich quick scheme, according to Teelander. It took him six years to become an “overnight success.”
And the projections are that by 2020, 60 percent of population will be self-employed via the Internet.
“My message is come into the modern age,” he said, “but keep your day job and start part time.”
Teelander manages 30 websites on two different hosting packages, Bluehost & Hostmonster. Among them is a site bestcutlery.net where Teelander reviews cutlery, and the key to success on the Internet is diversification.
Teelander recommends Go Daddy to buy a domain name, but not for hosting. He suggests to get in the business for as little as possible to make money sooner, and to use google adwords to find out what people are searching for and build an article around the keywords.
Teelander is currently building content for the site imagesofamerica.org. Web sites used to be link driven, but are content driven now, according to Teelander.
He also has a site imagesofmichigan.com. His Internet business is registered with the state as IBI (Internet Business Income) West Michigan, LLC. Internet business is taxed on what’s left after spending.
“I am building an online income,” he said. “My goal is to make money to travel to various sites.”
And the main thing is that Teelander is having fun while doing all this. Through ancestry search, Teelander found out that he is Irish. One of his ancestors came on the Mayflower, and another one was in the same theatre when Lincoln was shot. He does sometimes hit walls, whether on the Internet or other obstacles.
“If I don’t quit, I don’t lose,” he said. “The darkest part of the night is just before light. I could bump into a magic little step that sends me over the top. My job is to figure out how to fulfill my destiny. Everybody has that obligation.”
Copyright © 2013 story and photos by Emma Palova