I want to direct your attention once more to Mark at 45n5 because I think this video post is important: You Will NOT Make Money Online. In the video, Mark points out the difficulties of making money online and the fact that 99% of those who read about the topic don’t end up making much money at all. This is great timing since I just put up the survey asking if you’re blogging for money.
Now, we have to differentiate, as Mark does in his video, between making a small amount and making a living off of the internet. Mark is specifically talking about the latter. As he notes, it’s not terribly difficult to make enough to pay for your hosting, for instance. Things get much harder when you try to push it further than that.
Mark is contending that it takes a special type of person to push it far enough to make that much money, to be a real internet entrepreneur. Most people just don’t have what it takes. It’s clear that some of the qualities of entrepreneurs in the offline world are also needed to succeed in online business.
Internet marketers and other internet business types need to have persistence above all to stick with it through the early trials. In the video, Mark mentions making it past the first year as a good first goal. I have to agree, although, FreshBlogger hasn’t been around for quite a year yet (give it another week!), that the first year is hardest for many reasons.
Will sticking it out for a year guarantee success? Hardly. It definitely takes a lot of hard work and determination to make enough money online to quit your day job. Even though, theoretically, anyone can do it, not everyone can do it. If you don’t understand the distinction, then consider this: Anyone can buy a carpenter’s tools, but not everyone can build a beautiful desk or cabinet using those tools.
The same can be said for internet businesses. The tools are abundantly common these days. Just about everyone has a computer or has access to one. You don’t have to be a programmer any more, either. You can set up a blog or website very quickly using freely available software and templates. In a few more minutes, you can put some advertising on your blog or website and you’re in business? Right?
Yes, you’re in business, but then you have to have that crucial element before your business can be successful. Obviously, that element is people. Customers. Anyone who reads your blog is your customer, even if they aren’t buying anything. You’re delivering a product to them, your written thoughts or ideas.
I hope this message doesn’t turn people away from trying to make money online. I don’t think that was Mark’s intention at all. Clearly, it was intended to inject a little sobering reality into all the starry-eyed talk of making money online.
There are so many stories out there about people making tens of thousands of dollars a month. Yes, some of these stories are true. There definitely are people who are making a ton of cash on the web. Most people who are trying to aren’t, though. Many of them are making a few bucks. And maybe that’s enough because even a little bit extra helps.