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Residual Or Full Time Income?

Posted by on Jan 26, 2010

I was checking out a post by our Buddy Mike CJ talking about blogging and job security, and it sparked a memory in my mind. In his post, he’s talking about a friend of his who’s now sick and worried about his business. Mike talks about how, by making a living blogging and being online, he’s actually in a very good position because his business will not only make residual income, but he could still do blog posting from a hospital bed if he were ever in the position to have to do so.

It reminded me that the reason I actually bought my second domain many years ago was because I wanted to try to set up another source where I might be generating some online income as a just in case measure. As a consultant, there are times when I’m making mad dollars, and other times when my income is drastically deficient. There is more down time than alive time, but it’s certainly not vacation time by any stretch.

Enter internet marketing. The basic idea is to find a way to either create your own or market someone else’s products, create and market the webpage to hopefully get visitors to stop by and buy the product, then repeat the process over and over until you’re making serious bank. I mean, it sounds so easy when you hear about other people who’ve done it, right?

I’m here to tell you something you already know; it’s not so easy at that. It seems there are ideas that either work or don’t work, and products that either sell or don’t sell. There are tactics that may work such as mailing lists, or might not work such as popup ads; I’m not sure either one of these works or doesn’t work, but my friend Kelvin is wont to say (that is a legitimate phrase, Sire lol) that if people keep doing it then it’s working for someone.

Here’s the two biggest questions most of us ask about some of these things. One, if we copy what someone else has done step by step, will it necessarily make us the kind of money they’ve made? Two, if they’re making so much money doing that, why are they telling me how to make money? I’m not at that money making level, but I can answer both of those questions.

Chocolate Assortment

Let’s look at the first one. Do you know the origin of modern day chocolate? Though there’s an interesting history about the stuff, modern day chocolate was pretty much started by Cadbury, whom many of you have heard of. Is there anyone who would say that Cadbury is the number one chocolate maker in the world today? Nope. I could probably pop off 5 other chocolate makers who are more popular and sell better. And most of them at least initially copied the same formula as Cadbury. But there are probably at least 10’s of thousands who have come afterwards that haven’t quite made it to Cadbury’s level, who might have started, floundered, and gone away already. But many of them are making some kind of money, and are surviving by doing it their own way. They’re not the norm, but at least they’re hanging in there. Those other people are us. We could follow the model exactly as the big time marketers do, and we will either win or fail; there are no guarantees. There are lots of dolls out there, but only one Barbie; that’s just how it goes.

Let’s look at the second one. Not on the money front, but on a different front, at one time, when I was still an employee, I was one of the top ranked managers where I worked. I was tied with another guy as the top dogs based on a survey of employees; not bad, eh? This was for a corporation that had around 1,600 employees overall. When I decided it was time to go, I wanted to get into leadership and management because I felt I was pretty good at it, and I wanted to see if I could help others get there as well. That’s what led me to write the book you see there to the left side, Embrace The Lead. Sometimes it’s not enough that others have named you as something good, and it’s not enough that you’ve shown that you can do something well, even mastered it, if you will. You want to see if you can then show others how to do it for themselves, to help spread your legacy, to prove that your theories and practices are correct.

And if you can make a little bit of jack off it. so much the better. However, the second one only works if you’ve actually accomplished something, while the first one is open for everyone. On the first one, though, we all learn that there might be aspects of how someone did something that we don’t like. For instance, Sire and I don’t like mailing lists; if that keeps us from ever truly being successful, so be it. But I remember a presentation I got to see a few years ago from a Rich Jerk representative that troubled me. I don’t want to give out all the details, but in essence the entire sales pitch was based on a lie to consumers. The person who created the video even gloated and laughed, saying his only interest was making money, and at least the people would be getting something out of it, even if it was based on his lie, since he knew absolutely nothing about the product. Man, I just couldn’t live with myself if I did that.

And therein lies the issue. There really are things that hold some of us back from being successful, even though we say we’re trying as hard as we can. I commented on a post earlier this evening where the writer (another buddy of mine) said in one of his financial recommendations that people should work harder to make more money; he wasn’t talking about internet marketing, just to get that out of the way. I wrote back that I didn’t believe it had anything to do with working harder as much as all of us trying to learn how to work smarter. I truly do believe we can all be as successful as we want to be, but our thinking patterns might not be quite in line with where we want to be.

Where does this leave us? Well, it leaves me still scratching and making my little small residual income, and it leaves Mike making his living online. It leaves me with most of y’all, trying to decide when or if I’m going to lay caution to the wind and actually go for it full blast, or keep working on growing incrementally until maybe, one day, I get where I want to be. What about you? How do you see yourself online, if you’re hoping to make money? If you’re not hoping to make money, I guess this question isn’t for you, so just move on to the product. lol

Chocolat (Blu-ray)

Chocolat (Blu-ray)

Price – $30.99

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Thanks for the mention, and you make a good point.

I think you can learn from some of the bloggers and internet marketers out there. But as with any business, you can’t just slavishly copy what they do – you have to put your own spin and personality into it, and find something a little different.

I’ve learned a lot in terms of technique from many other people since I’ve been online. I’ve ignored some, taken some as they are, and have adapted some to my “style” and I hope that people who read my stuff do the same and benefit in the same way.

And we all make mistakes. I thought I could manage without an email list, despite all the advice I was reading. I was wrong. And that mistake cost me a couple of months.
.-= Mike CJ´s last blog ..Even after 14 years, I can’t read this without crying. Can you? =-.

January 26th, 2010 | 12:26 PM

Thanks for commenting, Mike. As I said, if I had products to market then I might decide on trying to get an email list. I tend to think most of us eschew what we don’t like ourselves, and one thing I hate is being sent daily or weekly emails that are mainly for sales purposes. I usually get myself off those lists within a couple of days.

I do believe that it helps someone who decides to try making full time money online to at least have 3 to 6 months of income to back them up in case it doesn’t work out. After all, there is the reality of still having to pay bills, even if it’s only to eat.

I don’t mind making mistakes, and one day I might even say that not having a mailing list was a mistake. But not today. 🙂

January 26th, 2010 | 4:05 PM

I’m still not a fan of lists, and unless I has a newsletter that I published regularly I still won’t use one. I’ve just joined another list, knowing full well what I was getting into, just to see what sort of crap I was going to get.

Nothing useful so far, just a whole lot of self promotion. I may put the whole lot together for an interesting post one day, depending on how the mood strikes me.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..More Photos Of Reflections Of Sydney =-.

January 26th, 2010 | 9:01 PM

Now that might make an interesting post, Sire. I’m sure it’ll be another barn burner, that’s for sure. lol

January 26th, 2010 | 11:35 PM

It probably would if I was to drop a name but I won’t be doing that.

January 27th, 2010 | 12:02 AM

I’ll still find it fascinating I’m sure. 🙂

January 27th, 2010 | 1:01 AM

To a large degree being successful is a relative term.
I would define success as achieving a level of comfort with yourself and your goals in life.

Having said that as someone who has also managed for years in various positions and at various levels I didn’t want to do what it takes to reach the top levels in my field.

As you point out it’s not so much about working harder it’s about making choices..
.-= Glen´s last blog ..Do Something =-.

January 27th, 2010 | 8:23 AM

And there you go, Glen. I actually did do what it took to reach top levels, and I went as high as I could without the proper degree. These days, I’m trying to do it in a much different fashion, but I’m not going to lie and say that it wouldn’t be much easier if my online cash was enough such that I could afford to take some chances I can’t do now.

January 27th, 2010 | 10:20 AM

Interesting about the email list stuff. I think the problem here is that everyone assumes that an email list is either:

1/ A means to pump out sales pitches. Or
2/ A means to pump out a list of your posts.

I see it as neither. I see it as a way to add some real additional value to those readers who subscribe.

They get a weekly newsletter from me, which talks about what I’m doing and thinking, much more personally than I do on the blog. They’re invited to reply, and boy, do they!

I also send them stuff I come across that I find on the web. For example I managed to get a couple of good business books that were PLR, so I sent them out to my subscribers as a freebie.

I like to think that people really enjoy what they get from me, and the feedback and the fact the they don’t un subscribe suggests that’s true.

So what’s the benefit for me? Well here it comes. When I launch a product (and bear in mind I’ve only ever had three, so it’s not a frequent thing) I offer it to that list first.

At my most recent launch, more than 10% of the people on that list bought the product. Now I don’t know how you do with the affiliate products on your posts Mitch, but I would suggest the conversion rate is somewhat less than 1%, which is typical as a conversion from web readers.

That’s why any blogger who wants to make money online needs a subscriber list, and why they should invest time and energy in giving value to that list.

Which makes more business sense to sell 100 books?

1/ Writing a 15 minute email to my subscribers saying “Here’s my new book, I think you’ll like it.”

2/ Or desperately scratching around for weeks to drive 10,000 cold, un-engaged people to a sales page for it?
.-= Mike CJ´s last blog ..Why I unsubscribed from your blog =-.

January 28th, 2010 | 7:41 AM

Granted, but if you have loyal readers and you offered that same book in one of your posts, would you not get the same conversion rate?

Personally I have never bought from an email, but I have bought from offers that I’ve read in a post.
.-= Sire´s last blog ..Viddler And Why Some People Prefer To Use Them =-.

January 28th, 2010 | 7:51 AM

Hi Mike,

What you do sounds admirable pretty much, but we both know it’s not the norm. And, as you said, you at least have a product every once in awhile; that doesn’t happen with a lot of these guys either. Plus, as you also said previously, this is kind of your full time job now, whereas it’s not mine. I’ve ruled it out for now, but if I ever get to the point where it makes sense because I have a legit product to market, then I may invest in it at that point. But right now, it’s just illogical for me, or at least it seems to be. And, as you can see from some of the comments, I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

January 28th, 2010 | 11:27 AM
Dennis Edell:

I can surely relate to the fears and anxieties of Mike’s friend. As you know Mitch I’ve been in the hospital twice in the past 2 yrs, each time for 6-8 weeks.

I gotta say, nothing pushes you harder to gain that “steadiness” we all look for as far as income is concerned.

January 28th, 2010 | 8:32 AM

I was thinking of you while I was writing this post, Dennis. If I had to be a full time blogger right now for my living, I know I wouldn’t make it. I don’t have that mindset right now, and I really believe people have to have that mindset, as well as a little bit of financial backing to give them a few months to really get going. I’m glad I have other ways to make some money, but at the same time, I’m certainly not going to look residual income in the mouth and call it bad names.

January 28th, 2010 | 11:29 AM

Hi Mitch, nice post. Im hoping to build a sustainable income online. It definitely goes beyond blogging everyday, its about creating a product or even creating a market; the latter is where I’ve had the most luck because competition follows me. With that said, its not easy and takes commitment just like running any business. Im not ready to quit my day job, but there’s definitely money in online; its just a matter of find what works for you; meaning something that motivates you to have the right mindset – its about knowing how to use these tools to make it work for you.
Nevertheless, extra money no matter how much or how little is better than none at all.
.-= King´s last blog ..Top 5 Things Advertisers Consider Before Advertising on Your Website =-.

January 29th, 2010 | 2:53 PM

Great hearing from you, King. Man, a King and a Sire; lots of royalty hanging around here. lol Actually, I’ve got ideas to create more written product myself, but it does take time, for sure. And that’s not always a luxury I have.

January 29th, 2010 | 3:10 PM

Hi Mitch, haha I’ve never heard of Sire before! that’s pretty cool indeed. I have yet to meet an Ace, so I think Sire and I are safe.
I’ve been itching to create my first product a how to about online marketing for small business, but it takes time. Plus time away from building out my other blogs. ‘Tis become a life of blogging no doubt. But I always tell myself, “short term pain, long term gain” and eventually all of this work will pay off. Here’s to big dreams!

January 31st, 2010 | 2:25 AM
Dennis Edell:

Never heard of sire?!?!? That’s new… 😉

January 31st, 2010 | 5:54 PM