13.2 Ways Not to Get Rich Online

couch.jpg“Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor.
But it’s no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?”

– Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof

Inspiration was slow to come during the past few weeks. In fact, it was so slow it may as well have been sliding backwards. I needed something that would allow my mind to drift.

I thought physical activity would help. I finally cleaned out the closet and junk room. On an organizational roll, I even built a new bookshelf. All I got was a feeling of being too jumpy to sit down and write.

Okay, inspirational method #2: a movie. Since I have such a large collection of files, I rolled the dice (2d10 for those who would appreciate this). The result pointed to Fiddler on the Roof.

All right. I like musicals. I have several in my collection. Sue me.

One of my favorite scenes is when the lead character, Tevye, dances in his barn, singing at the top of his lungs about being a rich man while his lame horse watches with mild interest. Tevye is a poor man, and he understands that it isn’t his lot in life to be wealthy.

I began to think about all the ways people try to get rich quick online. Plenty of how tos and information exists. Rather than write about new methods of earning money, I’ll write about what won’t make you wealthy.

Blogging

Blogging won’t make you rich. What people fail to realize is that blogging is a way to be noticed. It brings opportunities that will make you rich – or at least able to earn a comfortable living.

James and I don’t make much money from our blog, despite our monetization strategies. Our advertising, Amazon and ebook revenues barely bring in enough to buy a dinner for four once a month.

But through our blog, we achieve clients. People often contact us because they become familiar with us through our content. They see that we have integrity, that we’re trustworthy and that we offer quality – even in free posts.

A blog should never be a sole source of income. It’s simply a resource and a tool that helps achieve other revenues.

E-Books

Everyone wants to be an author. So, they grab an idea, write an ebook, put it up for sale and wait to get rich. It should be easy, right?

No. The truth is that e-books involve a big investment with a low return. A good e-book that is researched, well formatted and includes appealing graphics costs a great deal in time. If you’re going to do it, do it right and make it look good. There is more involved than writing a few pages in Word and transferring them to PDF.

When we produced our e-book, we spent over $1,000 and probably closer to $1,500 to make sure that we did it right. Expenses, labor costs… add on marketing and all the time involved to build a buzz, and you’re looking at a big investment.

Writing a Novel

My roommate believes that just because I’m talented, the novel James and I are co-authoring will be an instant hit. By this time next year, we should be enjoying Bacardi and Cokes on my private yacht somewhere out on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

Um… No. Any author will tell you that writing a novel won’t make you rich. For every JK Rowling, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett, there are thousands of other authors who are probably just as good but whose books never see the light of day.

Sometimes, becoming a bestseller author is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes it’s who you know. Sometimes the author hits on an idea in their genre that is fresh enough to capture some publicity.

Almost all of the time, the authors busted their asses and received enough rejection slips to wallpaper their future mansion.

Web Gurus

How many times have you seen sales letters and ads from people who claim to have made it big? Maybe you’ve even bought into the scheme (these people are always selling something) and tried it for yourself. Tell me: Are you rich?

Probably not. You and every other average Joe want to replicate the success of web gurus using their magical methods. You could follow the guru’s advice step by step and still not achieve the same results.

No matter what, there’s always one very important ingredient missing from the formula. Just mimicking someone else isn’t enough. You have to find your own magical ingredient and have the drive and ambition to make it work.

Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own online business definitely won’t make you rich. You’ll probably put more time and money into your new business than you ever did working for someone else’s business.

You’re responsible whether you want to be or not. You have to stay on top of everything. There’s no one to tell you to move your ass except yourself (or your partner). You can outsource, but prepare to fork out money before you get to keep some. You can’t tell your staff, “My clients didn’t pay me yet, so I can’t pay you.”

You have to hustle to keep the money coming in. Even then, it’s a challenge to break even.

You also have to consider start-up costs and all the expenses. Web hosting, subscriptions, equipment and software… Don’t forget utility bills, registration fees, income tax… You did save up to pay income tax, didn’t you?

Your new venture could actually put you in the poorhouse if you don’t plan ahead.

How to Get Rich

By now, you’re wondering how you’ll ever get rich. I’ll tell you in two words: Hard work.

That’s it, plain and simple. Any of the above methods for making money have the potential to bring you cash, but you have to recognize that most won’t. You also have to recognize opportunities and jump on them with all the gusto and enthusiasm you can muster.

No one can do it for you. There is no magic pill or easy way out.

Besides, if getting rich were easy, we’d all be rich – and what’s the fun in that?

Post by Agent X

Agent X is the name many mysterious and intriguing people take on when they guest post at our site. Their mission is to slip in like a thief in the night, leave you with entertaining, valuable and useful content, and slip away again - without getting caught.

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  1. Well said! I’m sick of get rich quick schemes and 5000 word sales pages on the web that deliver false promises from web authors who lack the experience to back up their claims.

    It is certainly possible to make a lot of money online, but there’s no hard-and-fast step-by-step formula to (ethically) achieve superstar riches. I couldn’t agree more — it’s about hard work and perseverance.

    Nick Cernis’s last blog post..Productivity is Dead! Long Live Living!

  2. @ Harry: You touched on the core issue that many “online preneurs” face while trying to make money – hard work! Nothing goes beyond and regardless on whether somebody can enjoy 4 hour work weeks like Tim, he would have had to work very hard up to this point.

    This is in some ways hugely misleading. People see a Yaro and that he makes decent money with his blog, so they decide to start a blog themselves online to wonder what happened to their success 2 month down the track (if they ever last that long).

    It’s a tough world out there and without fight, there is no prize. Basta!

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Freelance Writing Blog Crawl – Round Two

  3. @ Harry,

    I really liked this, as I continued to read it I actually felt *more* motivated and when I got to the punchline I already knew you were going to say “hard work”. The only people who get rich without this are lottery winners, and we both know how often that happens… (the house always wins, otherwise *they’d* be out of business)

    I have a side note to add to this as well, I guess it also depends on how you measure wealth. It can be a monetary thing, and it can be friends and relationships.

    If you measure it by friends and relationships, then you can become very wealthy online. I’ve learned this over the past little while, by meeting and getting to know all of you.

    (Note, again, that it comes back to “hard work”, as you have to nurture relationships of all sorts.)

    Now you have me thinking again… thanks for the inspiring words :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  4. “Blogging won’t make you rich. What people fail to realize is that blogging is a way to be noticed. It brings opportunities that will make you rich – or at least able to earn a comfortable living.”

    Great reminder. Amidst all this “make money blogging” and professional blogger hype, we need a dose of serious reality from a serious blogger.

    Good job, Harry.

    Jesse Hines’s last blog post..Choose Your Words Carefully: Your Reputation Depends On It

  5. @ Brett: Well said, wealth can in fact be measured in many ways and like you I have been blessed with friendship wealth online.

    Plus, have you noticed how many lottery winners actually still have money after 1 year? ——– Yep, you guessed it right, not many at all. Since owning a successful business requires the right mindset, these guys don’t stand a chance when they hit the jackpot.

    So they go and burn it on silly things like fast cars (sorry guys), expensive holidays, boats and what not not giving a moments thought on actually investing the money to live of the interest instead for the rest of their lives.
    Beats me.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Freelance Writing Blog Crawl – Round Two

  6. @Jay — I think you’ve misread Harry’s post entirely. He’s not saying that unpublished authors shouldn’t bother writing a novel. He’s simply pointing out to anyone who might think otherwise that the people we all love and respect got where they are through hard work and a dashing of good luck.

    The underlying message really is a positive one: want to be rewarded? Simply work hard and reap the benefits.

    Nick Cernis’s last blog post..Productivity is Dead! Long Live Living!

  7. {gasp!} Not hard work – and all this time I thought the answer was to be an ebook writing blogger and web guru with my own business. ;) Seriously, there’s no substitute for putting in the effort to make a venture successful. I call it the get rich slow method. Great post, Harry.

    Sharon Hurley Hall’s last blog post..What’s Your Long Term Career Plan?

  8. Fiddler on the Roof – Love that musical!!

    Perchik: Money is the world’s curse.
    Tevye: May the Lord smite me with it. And may I never recover.

    Back to the topic at hand….hard work is always key. But even if you try something that doesn’t pan out (say, an ebook), you can cut/paste content from that years later when you build another project (say, a bulletin board that requires stickies).

    I’ve been doing software-reuse now for nigh onto 2 decades….completed projects are hardly ever useless (you merely might have to cause them to become reborn again).

    Data pointsk,

    Barbara

    Barbara Ling’s last blog post..Seize Your Perfect Domain Name via The Owlbert Way! Day 3 of 5

  9. Well, not necessarily “hard” work. You can substitute words like “constant”, “unremitting”, “unyielding” and get the same effect.

    But let’s back up a minute. Wasn’t the point of Teyve that he was, in fact rich?

    I don’t have millions of dollars, but for the past twenty years or more I’ve felt very “rich” because I don’t have stress and I do what I want when I want to do it. I don’t work “hard”, though I do work a lot – but I thoroughly enjoy what I do. For me, that’s better than having piles of money, poor health, constant stress and worry.. which is exactly how I’d describe quite a few of my friends.

    Better to be happy than rich.

    Tony Lawrence’s last blog post..Reading Skills by Anthony Lawrence

  10. @ Monika – that is so true of a lot of lottery winners, isn’t it. And then, on the other side of the coin, when you see a self-made millionaire lose it all, they usually get it back again given enough time. They know the value of hard work, and know how to apply it.

    To make this work, like any business, you have to be able to look very far ahead on the road you choose. That isn’t easy.

    @ Tony – I like what you said right at the very end – “better to be happy than rich”. In my day job (nice to be off this week on vacation, by the way!), I see all kinds of people who make a lot more money than I do.

    Then again, they are in at 6 am and don’t leave until 6 or 7 pm. Maybe they love it. But the expressions on their faces tell a different story to me.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  11. Jay W. A. Ruckart says:

    In general, I am forced to agree with your down-looking dog attitude. What you say is probably true. But you should give people more credit. Credit for knowing that that novel he is writing is a long shot and yet, he is still willing to put in the work, the HARD work to get it done. The last thing they need the first thing is the morning is to read your truly negative expounce on a project of their’s that is no concern of your’s.
    Up to this point, I have been a fan of your’s. You had seemed to be a positive force trying to encourage less talented writer’s that are just trying to make a small mark on this world. Now you just appear to be a bitter old guy wanting to piss on everyone else’s parade for lack of anything better to do.
    The next two seconds of my life will be spent removing you from my homepage. Thanks for nothing. And, like all the the other people that would fall into the same sphire as you would say; get a real job.

  12. @ Jay – Quick to judge, my friend. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if one post that you don’t agree with is all it takes, may you find happiness at other blogs that will be sure to piss you off as well.

    What Harry is frowning down on (had you read the message of the post properly) is that people grasp on to foolish, unrealistic dreams pushed on them by others. These people imagine they’ll be instantly wealthy and suffer huge disappointment when, a week later, they’re still at step one.

    What he’s saying is that most of the common “do this and you’ll be rich” ideas pushed forth by others are schemes that should be taken with a grain of salt and looked at with a critical eye. I believe he mentioned in a few places that yes, these methods might work, but riches won’t happen overnight.

    As for real jobs, we both have one, and we’re doing very well. Blogging is not a job, my friend. At any rate, I appreciate your concern.

    @ Tony – I left a high-paying, big vacation corporate job almost 10 years ago to shovel horse shit at minimum wage. I was never happier. Quality over quantity.

    @ Brett – I agree with you as well. There are many measures to wealth, and not all of them include dollar signs.

    @ Barbara – Yup. Those ideas that didn’t work out can always be recycled into something better.

    @ Monika – I don’t buy lottery tickets… though it would be nice to win. Just once. I’d have to spend a dollar, though…hm. Nope. And Tim Fenris spent a lot of effort to achieve his get rich quick plan.

    @ Jesse – You’ve got the right of it – realism is key. There are good ideas, but logical thinking needs to apply.

    @ Nick – Sales letters… AUUUUGHHH!

  13. @ Jay,

    I agree with James and Nick, sorry to see you go too. If you believe in what you are doing, if you believe in what you love, then continue to do it, re-read this and take it as a challenge.

    If you work hard at it, you will succeed. Which is really what Harry said, I think.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  14. @ Jay: I’m sure Harry isn’t the guy to look down on anybody. As a matter of fact he is a very nice chap and easy to get along with.

    Could it be perhaps that you took his message personal when in fact it was aimed at helping people not to fall for the wrong dreams?

    I got this impression anyway and if I’m wrong, my apologies to you.

    As much or little that you might care, you won’t find much better content and information than on this blog.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Freelance Writing Blog Crawl – Round Two

  15. Jenny Burr says:

    Anything worthwhile and important takes time and a lot of hardwork. Relationships are a good example of this. You work through the tough times and enjoy the good times.

  16. Actually, I only partially agree with your conclusion.

    I believe that working hard can be part of the equation to getting rich (or earning a comfortable living). But, it is also possible to work very, very hard and go totally and utterly broke.

    Working smart is actually a much better road to success. (By working smart I mean making intelligent choices and adopting wise business strategies.)

  17. @ Laura,

    Working smarter is a good thing too. Working harder at working smarter may be a great combination.

    You are right, of course, it is possible to work hard and go broke.

    Not trying at all is a surefire way to ensure failure, of course. :)

    So having a clear plan (working smarter) and sticking to it (working harder) would seem to give the best chance of success.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  18. @ Laura: good point. I guess the thing is to identify the areas that it makes sense to work on and then put in the effort that’s required to make them successful.

    Sharon Hurley Hall’s last blog post..What’s Your Long Term Career Plan?

  19. Awesome post Harry!

    “Blogging won’t make you rich. What people fail to realize is that blogging is a way to be noticed. It brings opportunities that will make you rich – or at least able to earn a comfortable living. ” This is very true. Most of the new bloggers fail to realize that blogging can be one of the best and simplest tools to get noticed. I think their view towards blogging is short sighted by popular bloggers who have made money blogging, what they fail to realize is the time and effort they had tp put in it. The connections and networks they had to build.

    I personally think blogging is the best tool to get noticed on the web. It gives you a platform to share your skill and offer advice. An outlet to showcase your talent and connect with the like minded. With blogging opportunities are endless, it all depends on how you pursue.

    I had Skellie this question quite a while ago which I would like to share,

    My question: I haven’t seen any advertisemnts on your blog or affiliate links nor an advertise page? So this blog isn’t set up as a source of income, is it? ( This queston is related to her blog Skelliewag before Anywired came along )

    This is what she had to say : ” I make money because of my blog, not through it. I do a lot of freelance blogging, and it’s work I never would have received without Skelliewag to back me up and open new opportunities. A lot of my clients are also readers. I think there’s heaps of potential in making money indirectly through blogging, something that hasn’t yet been adequately explored. ”

    Just thought I would share. Great post!

    Ritu’s last blog post..The Most Effective Tools To Measure Blogging Success – Part I

  20. @ Laura – Your points are very true, but that isn’t quite the conclusion Harry is making. He’s saying that only you can make success happen and that it isn’t going to come in some magical formula. Working smarter is part of how to achieve success, and working smarter is a form of hard work :)

    @ Jenny – Very true. We take many relationships for granted, but make no mistake that only working at them and keeping them healthy keeps them alive.

  21. By the way, guys, thanks for the defense zone! That was pretty cool :)

  22. @ James,

    No problem, bro – someone else has to ride the other two horses ;)

    (If no one has any objections, I’ll take the black one…)

    Besides, I still have this nice fire fighter’s uniform!

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  23. My, my…where to start…so many interesting (and loyal) responses.

    I have to say, this is the first time I’ve ever been called a “bitter old man”. Thanks for the chuckle, Jay, and we’ll be sorry to see you go.

    Not everything can be sweetness and light. It’s all fine and good to say you’re wealthy in friends and family (sorry guys, no offense), but the reality is, that these things alone won’t pay the bills. My goal with this, as many have pointed out, was not to break people down, but to open the eyes of those who think there’s a quick fix out there. When all you see or hear about are success stories, the process of doing anything seems easy. What you didn’t see was all the blood, sweat, and tears that went into that success as well.

    Athletes don’t just wake up one morning, grab a rifle and a pair of skis and decide they’re going to drop in on the next Olympic triathlon. I’m a crack-shot with a bow, but a gold medal archer does not one bull’s-eye make.

    There are plenty of people (my friend for one) who is under this illusion that writing a best seller is easy. I’ve since given up explaining it’s not. I’m not discouraging less talented writers, in fact, I’m doing the exact opposite. Haven’t you ever been grateful that a close friend told you the cold, hard truth about a situation rather than stand by and watch you struggled senselessly?

    Of course, you could always take the advice or leave it, you always have choices. If you have the attitude of “why bother”, you won’t get anywhere with anything – may as well just slit your wrists and call it a day.

    Anything worth doing, is worth doing well. This also means not busting your head or breaking your back to get something done, either. James will tell you all, I’m very big on work smarter, not harder. However, working smarter takes just as much effort. No one is going to hand you the magic formula on a silver platter. You have to put in the hours, you have to do your homework and keep learning to stay competitive in your chosen field, you have to constantly challenge yourself to do better.

    In short, my main point is: Just because one method worked for one person, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you too.

  24. @ Laura: For me both of these apply. Working hard but smart.

    @ James: Call me a knight in shining amour (if I was only a guy) (ok, I’ll settle for Uma in Kill Bill then)

    @ Brett: I pass, horses aren’t really my thing, and I think they know it too.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  25. Harry, I think you took my approach towards blogging the wrong way. I am not against any form of direct advertisement at all. I just wanted to point out the fact that money from blogging doesn’t always have to come from it directly. There are other possibilities and opportunities that blogging can open up which new bloggers fail to realize, I think.

    Ritu’s last blog post..Blog Sustainability Depends on One Thing and Nothing Else

  26. Hard work, AND a bit of common “cents” about finances. :-)

    Nez’s last blog post..The Need to Belong

  27. Men with Pens
    Fastest pens in the West

    Nez’s last blog post..The Need to Belong

  28. @Ritu: . We do offer a small amount of ad space and have some affiliates, but it’s not our main focus and it won’t ever be blatantly in your face. The advertisers and affiliates we do have are products and services we’ve tried ourselves and believe they’re of high enough quality to recommend to our readers.

    Our blog was started as a way to enhance our business and allow for potential clients to get to know us and see the type of quality work we’re capable of doing. Like Skellie, we do get some work *because* of our blog, but we don’t stop there. The blog is just another tool in the arsenal.

  29. @ Ritu – I see perfectly what you were trying to convey. People believe that ads only will make them rich. Ads are just a small portion of potential and on their own don’t really support any sort of real revenue. Exploring opportunities to use a blog to its fullest potential by discovering all the other ways beyond blogging itself is a must.

    Like you mention, new bloggers don’t realize just how far reaching a blog can be – because they focus too much on only the blog.

    You and Harry are on the same page, btw – you just worded it differently :)

  30. @ Harry – you are definitely right, friends and family won’t pay the bills (unless you ask *really* nicely!) – hard and smart work do that – the friends and family are handy for those times when life & work get you down.

    I’ll say it once again, this is a great reality check, and also a call to action. Just because the road ahead is rocky, you shouldn’t fear traveling on it – all the better if you *know* the road is rocky before you set out, so you can bring the right sort of equipment. So, thanks again for a great post… ;)

    @ Monika – it’s okay, I hear you – the only time I ever rode a horse, she bit my foot. Well, I can’t really blame her – if someone as heavy as I am sat on me, I’d probably bite them as well, unless they asked nicely first :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  31. @ James – as I’ve been reading what everyone here has to say, and at other places as well (nodes to Michael Martine), that is how I’ve come to think of what my blog will be.

    A portal to greater things, a great way to interact with people and take things to the next step. If the ad revenue pays for a pizza every once in a while, that’s just a bonus… :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  32. @Brett: even asking nicely won’t work sometimes ;)

  33. @ Harry – very true…

    Nor does begging, pleading, offering your soul in trade… :) I know, I’ve tried all in the past, and then just had to get on with it.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  34. @Brett: Have you tried offering your firstborn?

  35. @ Harry – you’re a bloody genius!

    “Son, how do you feel about living at grandpa’s house from now on?”

    (Actually, he just might go for that, grandpa has a convertible Vette and a couple of ATV’s… wait, can *I* live there?)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  36. @Brett: ahhh…firstborn male, even better. Hell, even *I* want to live there! I’ve always wanted a ‘Vette. I think it’s the classic ’79 that has the flat rear window and the nice lines to the fenders. Or a ’65 would do nicely too.

  37. @ Harry,

    Well my dad used to be a biker (and likes his Bacardi and Coke), so you two would get along fine!

    Yeah, those two are nice years, aren’t they? His is a ’94, which I think was the last year they did the C4 platform.

    Regardless, it blows the doors off my GTI… ;)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  38. @Brett: I bet Lucifer would give his ‘Vette a run for the money though. What size engine does it have?

  39. Amen, says the fellow Fiddler fan. (It’s against the code for lesbians to like musicals too.) You’ve almost inspired me to look up a little Yiddish, but I’m in a hurry to leave for a class.

    I was just ranting yesterday that I’m sick of seeing all the ebooks and instant online success junk. Your rant is nicer and better formatted than mine, so I’m a little jealous, but I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Long live Tevye.

    Amy Derby’s last blog post..How To Write What You Know and Sell It

  40. @ Harry – “just” a 350… (pats his little 1.8L turbo car, “don’t worry buddy”)

    Yep, if you want excitement get a bike. I have a friend who has a drag bike at work, he does about 174 mph at the 1/4 mile… this guy is nuts, he’s 58 years old and nooooo sign of slowing down. I want to be like him when I grow up ;)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  41. @Brett: Cripes…174? The most I’ve had the X up to is 100 on a nice piece of empty highway…okay, maybe it wasn’t so empty, there was that pack of Harley riders I passed and left in the dust…

    @Amy: L’chai-im! (growing up in New York, how could I not know a little Yiddish?)

  42. Okay, I’m a little late in the conversation today, but I just couldn’t resist! ;)

    Harry as “a bitter old guy wanting to piss on everyone else’s parade for lack of anything better to do” just tickled me. Jay, I have had the privilege of working with Harry for over a year now and believe me man, you couldn’t be farther from the truth there! Hehe

    Harry truly cares about people, as does James. They are passionate about their industry and strive to run a business of integrity and superior quality. To put it frankly, they know their stuff and they get things done. Plus, they do it without dragging down anyone else just to make themselves feel better, which is rare these days. Throw in a little super-human strength and a slightly askew sense of humor and the product is a damn fine web content business.

    I agree with Harry’s point of making money the old fashioned way- by earning it. Anything else is like a drug induced trip or winning the race turning around and crossing the finish line second after starting- it just isn’t substantial or worthwhile.

  43. @Jamie: You’re too much. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who had a chuckle today. Thank you for the compliments. Has it been over a year already? Time sure flies when you’re having a blast.

  44. @ Harry – well, 100 on a bike, as you know, is much different from 100 in a car… I know that my GTI is electronically limited to about 130 mph (don’t ask how I know that heh heh) but I would hesitate to do that on a bike…

    @ Jamie – yeah, you’d better watch out for the grumpy old guy, and if you think he’s bad, his partner is even worse ;) especially when he starts muttering French curses… :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  45. An entrepreneur friend of mine has his method of getting “rich.”

    It’s really funny because he works hard to not work hard at all. He’s always searching for multiple streams of income and is willing to invest a little money here and there to get a little money here and there.

    Ads on your site, commissions due, networking your services, networking other’s services, etc. . . . all little bits of income which combined = great revenue.

    Like Harry said, you can’t just mimic what others do. You’re not them. You’re you. Find what works for you and work hard at it.

    My friend works hard at being smart and works smarter, not harder.

    Make sense? :)

    Hey, wasn’t that like one of Newton’s Laws or something?

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Art of Persuasion (Part 3 of 3): 7 Tips To Sharpening Your Persuasive Skills

  46. Michael Martine, Blog Consultant says:

    Great points, Harry. Treating a method as though it were THE answer or a magic formula is just another form of following, instead of being a leader. A leader could work with tried-and-true methods or invent new ones and she or he would make money.

    I’m all for making a distinction between working harder vs. working smarter. Determination + Imagination = Problem-solving mojo.

    Michael Martine, Blog Consultant’s last blog post..Ecommerce Sites are Boring! Add Personality and Passion with a Blog!

  47. Michael Martine, Blog Consultant says:

    @ Harry – I tell ya, the BIGGEST thing that has made a difference for me is that I stopped being like that guy you described as jumping around, and I stuck with one thing for the long haul: Remarkablogger and blog consulting.

    Michael Martine, Blog Consultant’s last blog post..Ecommerce Sites are Boring! Add Personality and Passion with a Blog!

  48. Michael Martine, Blog Consultant says:

    @ Harry – I realized it on my own after realizing what could have been had I net left the blogging advice angle that I started with–then abandoned–on my blog.

    Michael Martine, Blog Consultant’s last blog post..Ecommerce Sites are Boring! Add Personality and Passion with a Blog!

  49. @John: It does make sense.

    That reminds me of this guy I knew back in NY. Instead of actually making money, he’d constantly try a bunch of little things that never got off the ground. The next “Big Thing” was always right around the corner – and needless to say, he never did manage to ever turn that corner.

    It’s Michael’s formula of Determination + Imagination that make those small projects work.

    @Michael: Problem-solving Mojo, Baby! YEAH!

  50. @Michael: That’s exactly what I kept trying to tell him. But with a person like that, all too often you’re wasting your breath. It’s something he’s got to wake up and figure out for himself.

    How did you come to realize your “ah-ha” moment? Did someone wake you up? Or did you figure it out on your own?

  51. @ Everyone here:

    You know, I have learned more about small business startups just hanging out here and chatting in the last couple of months, than I could ever have learned in 10 years of business courses at work.

    Seriously, where do I send the cheque?

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  52. All cheques can be made out to James Chartrand…

  53. @ James – And remember I charge per comment. So your cheque can be made out to John Hoff . . . ;)

    @ Michael – Everyone has what’s best for them. It sounds like that guy Harry mentioned might have jumped around too much and never finished or followed through on anything . . . but there is something to be said for not putting all your hard work, time, and effort into one thing. By all means there can be a primary focus (I love real estate), but having your hand in a diversified tip jar is logical and something most, no, pretty much all wealthy people do.

    It’s funny because this is a topic I’m about to write about. You never know what the future holds. What are interests rates going to be? Will there be war? Disease? A power crisis? etc.

    Zeroing in on one particular thing or trade is fine as long as you don’t get tunnel vision and miss out on other opportunities. I’d say if you’re highly successful in blog consulting and making a nice living, where else can you put a little money?

    You never know, perhaps in 5 years blogging will be a thing of the past and if you didn’t prepare, you’ll be scrambling.

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Art of Persuasion (Part 3 of 3): 7 Tips To Sharpening Your Persuasive Skills

  54. @ James: tell you what, I’ll tack it on to what I already owe you when @#&*!$ PayPal authorizes my bank account… ;)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  55. Michael Martine, Blog Consultant says:

    @ John – I agree wholeheartedly. I still play around with different things, but I am determined to not ruin things with my flagship site by succumbing to career ADD. When I cut the cord from the 9-5 world, I’ll use some of that extra time to research and trial-balloon new ideas.

    Michael Martine, Blog Consultant’s last blog post..Ecommerce Sites are Boring! Add Personality and Passion with a Blog!

  56. @ Michael – I like the ADD thing. My wife keeps my “Entrepreneurial ADD” under control – most of the time. Heck, maybe I should talk to you. I’m still new in this blog world thing.

    @ James – You know . . . I’m having an (ok, time for spell checking) “epiphany.” We get a band of 25 people together and form a business called, “Commentators United, Inc.”

    We offer different packages for varying prices.

    Package one, we comment on your blog everyday under different names to make the appearance that your blog is hip.

    Package two, if you don’t like another blogger or are in competition with them, for a fee, as a group we will dive bomb their blog with bad comments and run your competition down to the ground.

    . . . Lord, I apologize. That was wrong of me to think. ;)

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Art of Persuasion (Part 3 of 3): 7 Tips To Sharpening Your Persuasive Skills

  57. *glances sideways at James* Oh man, we’d be making bank if you charged per comment…

  58. @ John – if these guys paid per comment I could buy Dubai… :)

    Having diverse skills is a good thing. I’m just in the process of learning this stuff, I’m pretty well versed on the hardware side of things and if anyone wants to know about virtualization let me know…

    (A few other good “long term / big crunch” survival skills might be: subsistence farming, hunting/fishing, and how to field strip an AK-47!)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  59. Nice Brett!

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Art of Persuasion (Part 3 of 3): 7 Tips To Sharpening Your Persuasive Skills

  60. @ Michael – Career ADD. *nods* I hear you on that. Add to that my natural tenancies and I’m screwed. But I thrive on that kind of thing and a million ideas on the go is the only way to go for me. Too little to think on, and I end up just causing trouble to get some action going.

    Just ask Harry.

    **The boys at Men with Pens released a new service on March 12 – they’re taking their commenting talents to the masses, offering a fantastic, high-value 10-comment package to buyers. For the low cost of only $500 – that’s 50% off the individual purchase price! – you too can have comments straight from the King himself to launch your blog into the fame you need it to be. Get traffic from interested readers, earn click-throughs to your site, and have James rock your blog the way it was meant to be.

    Want an even better deal? Add on our value-rated blog post package offering high-caliber customized content for your blog and personalized attention with in-house comment maintenance for the low price of…

    Wait a freakin’ minute… Why don’t I just start a new blog and sell it to people?

  61. @ John – you know I’m in for that one…

    “Commentators United – CU Now, or CU Later…”

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  62. Hey, what can I say, I’m surrounded by creative people here, it’s bound to rub off on me somehow! :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  63. @Brett, that’s genius! Brilliant tagline, and if MwP don’t run with it, you should. There’s probably an untapped market for it. CU now or CU later. Love it :)

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..Jeff Buckley: Grace

  64. @ Everyone: LOL, all the creative fun one has to miss out while trying to beat a silly virus. While you boys had fun with your toys, some of us have actually been working. I might just have to take you up on that offer of CU now CU later, ya are all welcome to step over to my place and pretend you love what you read. :-)

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  65. *chuckle chuckle*

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Use The Pareto Principle To Sack Annoying Clients

  66. Ahhh yes, people, the lure of money… But what of the call of ethics?

    What would happen if you started reading blogs and their comment section, wondering if the people were genuine or just paid to comment? Wouldn’t it actually be a form of sophisticated spam?

    However… *muses thoughtfully*

  67. Ethics can seem in short supply sometimes, can’t it (glances at the upwardly mobile ladder of the corporate world)… luckily you can still find it if you know where to look :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  68. Michael Martine, Blog Consultant says:

    Wait a minute! I just noticed the “13.2!”

    :D

    Michael Martine, Blog Consultant’s last blog post..An Inside Look at Business Blogging – Interview with Wild Apricot Paid Blogger Rebecca Leaman

  69. Now we’ll have to kill you. I’m sorry, Michael. It’s like Fight Club. You must never talk about the Code.

  70. Fight Club was the beginning, now it’s moved out of the basement, it’s called Project Mayhem.

    :)

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..subterranean self worth.

  71. This is the first time I’ve been over here and I have to say, this was a refreshing read and an honest look at the reality of making money from blogs.

  72. @DeafMom: Thanks for stopping by :) I’m glad you liked the post. After a while it just gets to the point where I can’t sit back and be quiet anymore. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot more of that lately. Must be something in the water (or the coffee).

  73. I’m afraid hard working doesn’t exactly works well here on Brazil. At least, I know a plenty of people who work day and night (without any breaks) and just can’t have enough money to eat. Opportunities are just too unfair around here. Anyway, I’ll follow your advice. First because I REALLY enjoy hard working. Second because, hm, it’s not like I have a choice. But hey! This was really a great post, Harry! Thanks for sharing!

  74. @ Lais – There are many, many countries in the world where what flies in one doesn’t fly in another. While I’d love to write to a fully international audience and be accurate with my advice, I can’t. I don’t know what it’s like to live in Japan or Africa or Siberia or Brazil, and I’m sure that most of our posts are inapplicable to most of those places.

    But I understand your frustration. As a Canadian, I am continually and constantly barraged by U.S. information, views, opinions and advice on the Internet that just doesn’t apply to my culture or country. Makes me grit my teeth.

  75. Well, most of the things that you told are true. However, there are people who would want to differ. However, basically it all depends on the effort we put in. So, whether its blogging or the web guru status, if we put in hard work, I feel, we can make money. No easy though.

  76. I think this is true to a point, but there are other things that truly result from luck. I mean, look at stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com. The author’s motive wasn’t even to make money at all, just to put up some amusing blog posts to share with friends. Now he’s looking at a book deal and was able to put some advertising on his site even though wordpress hosted blogs don’t usually have that, because it’s been such a wild success.

    While I will agree that traditionally hard work is essential in a payoff, sometimes there are the people out there who just happen to have that one idea that catches on and spreads like wildfire, and they laugh all the way to the bank.

    Satisfyte’s last blog post..Peeling a Potato, Apple, or other peelable food

  77. However, we’re wondering if it’s possible without hard work ;OD

    Anybody can help us with that.

    Thank you guys – we appreciate it!

  78. @ Rich – If you figure out the way to do it without work, you come tell me, alright? ;)
    .-= James Chartrand – Men with Pens´s last blog ..Are You Afraid of Success? We Bet Yes. =-.

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