You Are Not Going To Make Money Online

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.

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15 Responses to You Are Not Going To Make Money Online

  1. Matt Keegan says:

    Ray, you raise some good points about making money from the internet.

    There are very few blogs that can pull in a significant amount of money. Most bloggers should be thrilled to bring in a small amount of cash, but anything beyond that is usually the domain of the A-Listers.

    On the other hand, there will be a small pool of new bloggers who exploit a niche, work very hard, and network like crazy to bring in fresh and sustaining traffic. It may take some time, but a few from this group will rise to the top.

    Nice article — I stumbled it too.

  2. ray says:

    Hi, Matt. You’re absolutely right. There will always be those few who do have the drive necessary to make it. In the blogging for money community, you rarely hear much about how unlikely it is to succeed, so I thought Mark’s post was a breath of fresh air. Thanks for stumbling and thanks for your comment!

  3. Mike says:

    We recently bought a new 25 cubic foot fridge. The old fridge was always super full and we have another baby on the way. The fridge cost about $1700. It’s a pretty nice fridge.

    Anyway, we got one of those 12 months same as cash deals and are going to try to use our online money to pay for it. We normally just spend the money on random things or just blend it into the budget and barely notice it. It is really the first time the money has had a specific destination. Once we get that paid off, I think I’ll start making it a habit to see what we can buy with the money we are making and tackle specific projects like that.

    It may not be a ton of money, but knowing that I can earn an extra $2000/year doing a hobby feels pretty nice to me.

    Hopefully the projects will be able to get bigger and bigger as time goes on but if not, maybe we’ll start putting away the internet revenue for a yearly vacation.

  4. sportsdork36 says:

    Love the site. I have found some really useful tips. I am new to the blogging world so any little thing will help out.

  5. ray says:

    Hey Mike, I totally agree. When you can translate that online income into something substantial that can make your day to day life easier, better, or more pleasant (like a big fridge), that makes it real. Good luck on all your projects!

  6. ray says:

    Hi, Sportsdork. I’m glad you’ve found the site to be useful. Feel free to check out the archives. There are actually more than 350 articles on this blog now. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. dong says:

    I think any money made from doing a hobby is great, and while my own blog is not even cash neutral, I look forward to day I can treat myself to something from earnings from my hobby…

  8. Mark raised some interesting points. he does have alot of good points. It’s not easy making money online or getting your self started. you should keep a goal of at least one year. but if you really want to make it work then you have to try hard. I think if you have a passion. this will take you a long way. some original ideas I think will take you alot farther.

  9. ray says:

    Hi, Dong. That’s the cool part; making money from doing something you actually like to do. You have a great blog, so you’ll be making some money with it soon, I’m sure. Thanks for commenting!

  10. ray says:

    Hey Todd, making it through the first 12 months seems to be an important milestone for a lot of bloggers. Come to think of it, tomorrow will make one year for this blog. I can hardly believe it. Thanks for your comment!

  11. 45n5 says:

    thanks for the mention ray and even more for expounding on it,

    I’m glad you didn’t find the video negative as it wasn’t meant to be, I was just seeing too much nonsense in my reader that day 😉

    it’s rough waters out there, most ships won’t make it to shore, fact of life.

    thanks again,


  12. ray says:

    Hi Mark. My pleasure. I see a lot of the same stuff you’re describing and it’s good to take a step back and get a regular reality check. It’s exciting to hear about the big successes on the web, but also frustrating when we’re not making that ourselves.

    Also, congratulations on getting married! Good luck to you!

  13. Palm Coast says:

    I don’t think it takes someone “special”, but talent always helps. The keys to making money online is just like making money anywhere else, hard work and knowledge. Most people philosophize about it WAY too much.

  14. Ah yes the harsh reality of trying to make money on the internet. I think it comes down to several things inccluding what was mentioned above: the “drive/hard work factor”, a good dose of creativity, perseverance, and the ability to be constantly learning and tweaking what you’re doing. The hard work factor and patience really play a big role in making any money online, it’s not going to be “easy” like e-books try to tell you.

    The beautiful thing is there will always be those ready to tell people they can’t do something, when in fact they can if they use those concepts mentioned above wisely. Thanks for this post as it definitely will give people that necessary kick in the butt to really put in the work online if they want to make money 🙂

  15. Army Kate says:

    If the whole point in this is to make money, it seems the issue of “how you’re doing it” is neglected … even prostitution is a way to make money, but many don’t do it …

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