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Folks Writing About Making Money Online – The Reality

Posted by on Nov 2, 2010

You know, I’ve written often about my travails in trying to make money online. Do you know what the number one niche for blogging is in the world? Making money online! Do you know how many people are actually making money online, and by that I mean money enough to live off? Less than .3%.

by Florian

Finally last week a big time blogger, John Chow, wrote a post telling people to stop stop blogging about making money online if you’ve never made any money online. I thought it was about time one of them wrote it, and I liked it so much that I actually commented on the post, which I rarely do with the big names, as I’ve talked about in the past.

Whenever I’ve talked about it on this blog, I’ve either given a monthly report or talked about something I’ve tried and how it performed. I certainly have made little money off this blog, and I get all sorts of things from people such as “if you talked about only one thing”, if you “niched”, if you collected email addresses, on and on and on. Please folks; it works for some and doesn’t work for others.

Why is that? I think it really comes down to a few things. You need a true support system. You need some loyal visitors and you need a lot of them. You need a few folks who have high ranking blogs that get a lot of visitors to help give you a push. And you need to write that one post that really gets you a lot of attention in your niche, or for a product. In other words, you need a break, and a major one.

How many of us really get that? I actually can’t totally gripe about mine all that much except it’s not really on a topic that’s helped me any. When I wrote that one post on cleavage it was kind of a lark. Yet it overwhelms every other post I’ve ever written by an almost 10 – 1 margin. It averages 1 minute and 26 seconds as far as how long people stay on the post. and it has a bounce rate of 70%. That means a couple of things. One, it probably takes folks that long to look at the pictures, since it doesn’t get a lot of real comments. And two, people were looking for specifically that topic, came to the blog, noticed nothing else was like it and left. It’s helped some with traffic but none with sales or money making. Instead, it got this blog banned from Adsense; of all things!

The overall thing is that people should write about a few types of things. One, what you know. Two, what you like. Three, what you maybe don’t like (or what makes you mad; politics, religion, racism, ice cream, etc) that you can write a lot about. That’s about it; everything else doesn’t really matter. With these three things, you can show passion in your writing, communicate with people well, and possibly have the opportunity to make money. At the very least, you’ll sound original; everyone likes that.

Just be yourself and write that way; who doesn’t love that?

Out Of Money Refrigerator Magnet

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I once bought a home-based business program (it was a short book and audiocassettes) that claimed to be a foolproof method for getting rich. The whole idea, it turned out, was that you placed inexpensive classified ads in newspapers. And what you were advertising was the program itself. In other words, the entire business was selling the business. Looking back, I think it was similar to many network marketing schemes, only without the meetings and brainwashing. In theory, I guess they could work for a few people. If you can scam enough people, the scam becomes legitimate (for you). I may be speaking from a place of ignorance, but some of these online programs and money-making blogs seem to have the same feel to them. They sound great, but they’re like biting into cotton candy: it’s hard to find much substance.

As far as getting a big break, I think you’re exactly right. My wife and I watched “Julie and Julia” (again) last night. I don’t know how much of that film adhered to reality, but here’s someone who popped up out of nowhere and became rich and famous. If a thousand people had done the exact same thing (or the same kind of thing), how many would have achieved a similar level of success? If it really came down to a formula, we’d all be wealthy.

Keep up the great work, Mitch.

November 2nd, 2010 | 12:06 PM

Thanks Charles. My dad, in his last year, wrote to one of those companies about a home business that could make one a lot of money, and that’s exactly what he got, something telling him to put posters up on poles and have people pay him to receive that letter. That’s when I started wondering about my dad’s mental state; wanted to kill those people then.

I think many people could make money to work from home, but not enough to have extra cash and would probably have to cut some other things for at least a little while. But get a big break and maybe the sky is the limit. Heck, Andy, the guy who created CommentLuv, I had expected would have made out like a bandit because of how popular the plugin is, but it made him almost no money; sometimes that’s just how it goes.

November 2nd, 2010 | 8:48 PM

I was surprised to hear that only .3% of people make enough money off of their blog to support themselves. I guess it’s not really that surprising when you think about the vast amount of blogs out there in relation to the huge, money making blogs.

Maybe the main reason why people write so much about making money is because it brings in a lot of search traffic. However, like you wrote, you need much more than a little search traffic to build a sustainable blog and make money.

I think that the people who start writing blogs just to make money will quickly find that that strategy will not work well for them.

Side note: Ice cream was just an example, right?? You HAVE to like ice cream…

November 2nd, 2010 | 12:59 PM

Of course I like ice cream; it’s me! lol And that figure I quoted could be slightly higher or lower; one never really knows with something like that. Thing is, so many people are writing about that topic that you know a lot of people have to be overlooked. And we both know most of them aren’t telling the truth; that’s a shame as well.

November 2nd, 2010 | 9:28 PM

Big breaks are the best! I was lucky with my first product back in 1998 – I had the right info at the right time with the right mentor who opened the right doors for me.

Glorious, that was….

November 2nd, 2010 | 4:00 PM

You’re proof of this theory then, Barbara. And I don’t begrudge anyone who that happens to.

November 2nd, 2010 | 9:29 PM

Agreed. I have been blogging (and searching for ways to successfully monetize my blog for 1.5 years. While I have had some success, I always want to improve. So, I do what most others do – look for new tactics and tricks to use from different make money online blogs. The fact is though, and I recently just learned this, that when you try to do everything well, you end up doing everything poorly. If you choose a few tactics that you can do well and gain ground with, stick to those and work your ass off at them. We all already know everything we need to know to be successful – we don’t need to read about or buy another info product about internet marketing – especially from people who can’t do it themselves. 🙂

November 2nd, 2010 | 8:30 PM

Good stuff Susan. The one site of mine that makes money was one where I took in what I read in a book on SEO and stuck with it for that site. I’ve tried it on other sites, but that particular one is a great niche. I need to put more time into it, for sure. But for blogging, I have one site where I thought it was a niche that would work well, but it hasn’t, and I’m thinking it will probably never bring in any real money, and I’m okay with it.

November 2nd, 2010 | 9:32 PM

You are quite right, Mitch. If we focus on blogging to make money, we will just end up reaping sky-high frustrations and disappointments. If we blog because we want to provide information or because we just feel the need to vent and then we get a sale along the way, that will already be a huge success for us.

There are many other ways to get a sale. While blogging can be one of the ways to reach our business goals, it could not stand alone as a money-making venture.

Great post, Mitch. Keep them coming.

– Wes –

November 2nd, 2010 | 9:12 PM

Thanks Wes. Now, I will admit to two things. One, I am hoping that this blog does make money for me, but in a much different way. In my quest to be a professional speaker I hope to talk about things that someone will one day pay me to come speak to their organization on one of them. Two, I hope that with all this writing that someone will pass by and ask me to write for them in some fashion, either their blogs or articles for them (and get paid, of course). But making money off the blog directly… well, it could happen, but that’s not what this blog is about, so I’m not worrying about it all that much.

November 2nd, 2010 | 9:40 PM

Hi Mitch
I was so busy tweeting last night I didn’t come over for my daily visit. So here I am now. I am having to change some of my biz plans that I initially had formulated. For one I will now sell off-line too. Was going to be stricly on-line biz but realise that to get the products out there in the marketplace I need to be showing them to friends, family and neighbours. This Saturday have my first lavender party so that should be interesting. All the invitees are looking forward to it so that’s a start.
A lot of people who have made tons of money (if you can believe them) are marketers who have been around for years when there was less competition or have thought outside the box and produced some must have gizmo that has made them the $$$s.
Patricia Perth Australia

November 3rd, 2010 | 12:49 AM

I agree with that, Pat, and I don’t begrudge any of those folks who did it because they were visionaries. I just know it’s much harder now than it used to be.

Good luck on your party; if nothing else, it’ll probably be one of the best smelling parties anyone’s ever been to. 🙂

November 3rd, 2010 | 1:26 AM

This is constant and have never changed. I become internet marketer about 12 years ago. And writing about making money online is the biggest scam in the history. Most of the time the only people that benefit from that are the writers. The only way to make money online is through hard work and good ideas.

November 3rd, 2010 | 4:32 AM

I agree, it’s not easy.

I have had some successes with affiliate marketing ,but it comes and goes….

Doing pretty good coaching, although I’ve only been doing that for a couple of months.

To really make money on the internet you DO need multiple streams of income, and several niche sites/blogs.Maybe a home biz for the products…

I also market my online stuff OFFLINE, through flyers, meetings, word of mouth… which seems to help.

I believe it takes a good 2-4 years of solid, hard work to begin realizing anything that looks like a full time income.

November 3rd, 2010 | 6:41 AM

Carolee, I know you do a weekly show on marketing and blogging and I’m sure some people would love to know more about it. Overall though, you’re right, it does take time to really start bringing in the bucks.

November 3rd, 2010 | 8:44 AM

BTW- don’t know what’s up with commentluv, but “Your Goals for 2011” was not my last blog post……

Been doing this to me recently- anyone else having this issue, or should I reinstall the plug-in?

November 3rd, 2010 | 6:43 AM

Carolee, have you signed up with CommentLuv? I know he’s made changes, but signing up allows you to select which of your last 10 posts you’d actually like to see. That’s how I do it, so I couldn’t tell you if this type of thing is happening to me.

November 3rd, 2010 | 8:45 AM

I’ve always said that if you like what you do, and put passion into it, money will come. If you do something just because everyone is doing then stop, and reconsider your priorities.

November 3rd, 2010 | 6:56 AM

Great stuff, Mia. Passion does seem to win out, which is why I’ve often said that just selecting a niche isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

November 3rd, 2010 | 8:46 AM

I went to check out that post Mitch and surprise surprise, John Chow wasn’t interacting with his commentators! Man, he even left people use keywords instead of names. Makes you wonder if he’s even moderating the comments.

Thought it was funny how he slips in how much money he makes, sort of building up his own credentials a bit. Noticed he’s using infolinks too. I would have thought he was making so much money he wouldn’t have bothered with them.

I have to admit he’s right though, it sure isn’t the right topic to blog about. Talk about flogging a dead horse. Reckon the make money online horse has already bolted.

November 3rd, 2010 | 9:09 AM

You know Sire, I didn’t even notice the Infolinks, but if he’s using it you know he’s getting a larger piece of the pie than the rest of us are. See, he’s got leverage, and I’d never begrudge him that, and thus him talking about making money, when he does, makes sense. But for the overwhelming majority, they’re just puffing.

November 3rd, 2010 | 9:25 AM

Reckon he is at that Mitch, but it’s not the leverage that’s getting him those clicks so much as the traffic.

Still don’t like Chow though, he’s always seems to be big nosing himself. I know some multi millionaires and they don’t go around shoving it in peoples faces.

November 3rd, 2010 | 9:34 AM

I think he does it because he’s online and on his blog, and after all, that is his topic. See, I don’t mind him because he’s actually making the money; if you back it up, it ain’t bragging.

November 3rd, 2010 | 10:10 AM

Sure it is Mitch, bragging is bragging. Sometimes humility goes a long way.

November 5th, 2010 | 8:46 AM

Sire, we see things differently on this side of the pond. Humility is false if you don’t believe it. But telling people what you can do and have done, then backing it up, is fine. We don’t believe in that mess anymore, or at least many of us don’t, that says you can’t be proud of what you’ve done and then tell people about it. In this day and age, no one recognizes workers for how good they are unless the worker points out how good they’ve been. It’s just the reality. The book Brag by Peggy Klaus got it right in my opinion.

November 5th, 2010 | 11:18 AM

Here if a worker starts telling everyone how good he is people think he’s blowing his own horn and it’s not considered a good thing. The quiet achiever is pretty well admired though. He knows what has to be done and does it the best way he knows how, and believe it or not people do notice.

Braggarts, well like I said most people look on them with disdain.

November 5th, 2010 | 6:06 PM

Sire, the truth is that if you want to move up in this world you have to let people know what your accomplishments are. My last job, I had always gotten top ranks for everything until my last year. That year, I got the lowest rank possible. I asked the guy I was reporting to if we could go to lunch, and he agreed. At lunch, I pointed out everything I had done that year and how well the department had run. He said that was expected of me and that I’d have to produce something that was unheard of for me to rate higher; can you believe that? See, these days people just aren’t recognized for doing superior work, let alone good work; you do something two weeks ago it’s totally forgotten, and no one cares. Things are very much fast paced; people are working 10 hours or more. As an independent consultant, every time I’m contacted I have to go through the ritual of telling everyone what I’ve done before; if I don’t, I know I don’t have a shot at a contract.

Anyway, that’s my reality; just asking, but don’t you have to do somewhat the same thing with the contracts your business has every once in awhile?

November 5th, 2010 | 8:40 PM

Yep, this is one of my pet peeves in blogging… I hate it when I read someone writing about how to make money online. And most of the tips are the same things regurgitated over and over like build connections, get some links, article marketing, blah blah.

November 4th, 2010 | 4:03 PM

Exactly Henley (are you Henley or Henway; your name is different from your email). I see the same things over and over myself, and if presented with a unique spin it wouldn’t irk me. But it’s not, and it shows those folks really aren’t making any money at all.

November 4th, 2010 | 7:19 PM

Hey Mitch,

I really love this post, i absolutely agree with you.

I am recently alot doing blog commenting, and i feel really bored with blogging tips or making money online tips.

Unless they are really unique.

I learn mostly from my experience and from blogs which really make sense.

Thanks for the brilliant post!

November 5th, 2010 | 3:08 AM

Thanks for your kind words, Kimi. Luckily, there are a few original thoughts still out there if you can find them.

November 5th, 2010 | 11:16 AM

OK Mitch, but I think it’s all about how you go about it. You can put your case forward or you can stand on a table and beat your chest proclaiming to everyone that you are the best. The second will get you noticed but it won’t score much brownie points. Chow to me is the second. Some people may like that but I don’t.

November 5th, 2010 | 8:48 PM

Well, you may not like it, and I may not care one way or the other about it, but the guy’s backing it up, making serious money, and one can never argue with success without looking kind of jealous.

November 5th, 2010 | 8:58 PM

.3% huh? I figured it would be a lot lower than the snake-oil salesmen were proposing, but that’s pretty dismal. Good thing I wasn’t counting on being a millionaire THIS week! Thanks!

November 23rd, 2010 | 5:00 PM

No problem, Allan. Just wanted to offer a different perspective on the whole thing.

November 23rd, 2010 | 5:31 PM