Feb 5, 2008

Make Money Online: There is no easy path

Greedy faceThe internet is full of people claiming to make you rich with six figure incomes from working 2 hours a day. It is something that is certainly possible. It is true that you do not need great technical abilities. It is true a number of people do only work 2 hours a day and make six figure income. Once it reaches that stage, it is easy. What they rarely mention, is that it takes a great deal of work to get to that stage. No one ever mentions the months and years of unrewarded work that went in to get to that stage. An internet business is like any other business, it needs constant attention and vast amounts of promotion. This doesn’t necessarily mean paid advertising for your website, but you need to drive traffic somehow.

A popular way of making money online is through affiliate sales. This involves performing internet marketing in order to achieve sales for someone else’s products in return for a commission. It can be very lucrative, but requires some knowledge and often a high spend on paid advertising. Scott Weaver has written an interesting article about Why People Fail At Affiliate Marketing. His article outlines some of the realities of this kind of business.

Most of the big online money makers have very established brand names. Although you may not have heard of many of them, within their niche they are well known and their peers will constantly refer to them. Building a brand is a long process. It requires you to have a name and image that is recognisable and easy to associate to your niche. Promotion and constant reinforcement is required to cement the association of your name to your industry. True success occurs when your name is synonymous with your product for example people saying “hoover” for a vacuum cleaner (Can you think of any more?). This level of success is rare. However I can list a number of global brands and everyone will know what they are or do; Google, Coca Cola, Amazon, Nike, Microsoft, etc. Companies spend millions on their brand and its strength is very closely linked to its abilities to generate revenue.

You should not be disheartened though. The internet has barely been around for ten years. There is a lot of innovation and opportunity yet to be taken advantage of. UK blogger Shawn Collins reported affiliate sales in the UK this last year grew 45% in 2007 accounting to over £3bn worth of sales. Read the rest of Shawn’s post for more information. With its low barriers to entry there is opportunity, you just have to spot it! There is plenty of information to be found on the internet if you take the time to search for it.

What are your views on Making Money Online? Are you living off your online income? Is this something your looking into?

8 Comments

  • Mate you are spot on the money (or lack thereof) in the biosphere. The big brands and names are already established, so it is hard to make a go of it unless you do something extremely interesting or different.

  • Hi Tom. Yes, I hear you. There is a lot of competition out there. I used to make thousands per month off an affiliate site years ago, but now I only make hundreds from it.

    Fortunately there are many other ways to making money online. From providing freelance services, selling things, building subscription-based web apps (like the 37 Signals crew), and monetizing content sites like blogs or niche news sites.

    All of these options require a lot of work. I completely agree with your opening paragraph that it’s difficult to make it big working only a couple hours a week. But, it is possible if you put in the initial hard work first then scale back to a few hours a week.

  • Some people will get lucky and hit the nail on the head first time when it comes to making money online, however many people will find that their ideas and strategies will often have to evolve from there original state in order to be successful. Some routes will undoubtedly be easier than others.

  • Just like in every other business, blogging for living is a hard task to acomplish and it really can be done but, just like you said, it takes a months and years to build a relationship with your readers and once you do that you are on the horse! But a lots of bloggers who are blogging for money, expect to make a fortune over the night and that`s the main reason why they fail. There is no quick money in online business!

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  • Hi Tom , I agree with your post, that is why Im not quitting my full time job and jump right in ;-) My online goal for 2008 is to use the internet to create a 2nd source of income to help me purchase my first property. I hope this goal of mine will be the fuel to drive my actions on line.

  • This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!

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