Online Business Passive Income

Making Money with An Online Gold Rush

I had to explain my business to my accountant recently having finally made some online income to declare! Its been a while since I tried to explain my business to someone who, although they had their own website and is very computer literate, really had no idea what I was talking about.  The thing is that people think because the Internet has only be around for 40 years and Google for less than 10 years, maybe making money online is all different and there has never been a moment like this in history before – well I beg to differ  – there is nothing new under the sun and understanding history is certainly useful in avoiding the mistakes others have made.

Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, Victoria
Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, Victoria

The Internet Marketing is like a gold rush people – Klondike, Otago, Victoria, doesn’t matter which country: gold is found, some people make money, many don’t, some companies are made others die, and society changes forever.

For those of you are not familiar with history: gold rushes brought incredible wealth it a few and incredible hard work and death to many more – and I am a firm believer that understanding history can sometimes stop you repeating it.  Your average or typical gold rush goes something like this:

  1. Gold is found – the early prospectors try to keep it quiet but news comes out and the rush is on. Men abandon their families and start walking to the gold fields. Well at least you only have to walk to your nearest broadband connection these days! But try explaining to your spouse that your “playing online” is a serious business – they will think you mad or worse. My partner asked me the other day how many people make a living full-time online – I really have no answer but I suspect very, very few do, doing what I do.
  2. Many start digging the fields – backbreaking work, they go broke, the get sick, they die. Many of those diggers on the fields had been professionals they had never panned for gold in their lives – its hard and dangerous work. There is more skill than is apparent at first glance but basically its hard work, the tough survive. 95% of Internet Marketers give up before they make a $100 – I just made that statistic up, but its probably accurate. There is more skill required than is apparent at first glance but basically its hard work, sluicing a few pans of gold won’t make you a fortune, nor will your first website. Fortunately you don’t generally die working online though many  people do seem to have issues with weight gain and loneliness.
  3. Some of the people who nearly made a strike or made a small strike but didn’t make enough to retire they move sideways and  start to make a comfortable living by selling booze, picks and pans to the miners. A lot of booze was watered-down and some of the picks were of poor quality… The entire “A-list” blogger phenomenon are the the publicans and the suppliers of the gold fields – they sound like they have useful stuff to sell but there’s is not the business model you want to follow if you want to be the one to strike it rich.  How many pubs can one town support (well quite a few from the Australian gold rush towns I may be pushing the analogy a bit here!)
  4. A very, very few of the miners found wealth beyond belief, they built a fine house (a long way from the gold fields), had a family and lived happily ever after.  Most of them did not publish a book on how to make money on the goldfields.  The people who make serious money online you never heard of  -they don’t run blogs for sure!

Well most of them don’t write blogs – but one or two do… So if you really want to know how to make money blogging follow this link on how not to be a better blogger.

The gold rushes were a huge social disruption – they turned society upside down, they substantially changed the way society was forever. They created new towns, the Victorian gold rush stopped deportation to Australia forever. The wealth of Melbourne gave it some of the first municipal  public transport and electric light in the world.

They were a huge chance for people to make money – people who had never had a chance before.  Most people didn’t take the chance – they sat on the side-lines and worried about whether the gold fields were really a way to make money. Once the gold field became established they figured that they had missed the opportunity and stayed home. There are gold mines in Bendigo to this day – 140 years after the initial rush.

A lot of companies disappeared – they failed to realize the opportunity that the gold rush offered – some banks went broke because they didn’t open a branch in the new towns springing up to support the gold fields.  I think that many of today’s newspapers are the equivalent of those short-sighted banks – will newspapers survive? How will they compete with new citizen journalism websites?

Some people dug for a day or two but they didn’t strike it rich and so they packed up and left – or got a job at the pub – selling the watered-down beer. They told everyone who would listen that you couldn’t really make money with this new fangled gold thingy!

Some people got burned – they bought the poor-quality shovels, they noticed they couldn’t move as much dirt as their competitors down the road – the smart ones reinvested in their business and bought better shovels.

Some people dug for gold in the wrong place – they dug and dug and found nothing – until one day! Some people made money on day one, some took 6 months or 6 years, the ones that stuck at it generally did make at least a living at it.

I’m a geologist – I’ve worked in exploration – I can tell you there is nothing quite like the thrill of finding gold or whatever mineral you are looking for. Even today where its all automated, GPSed and computerised there is still a thrill of the chase.

I used to find looking for keywords boring and frustrating – but then I started making money from those same keywords – now I find them absolutely fascinating – mostly the topics I write about are really boring – but I never get bored with watching  the money come in…Gold panning is still back-breaking work I prefer the online alternative…

40 replies on “Making Money with An Online Gold Rush”

I have to say this is one of the better articles, Lis. A number of people aren’t going to “get” the perseverance message, a lot of us have been hanging about in the substandard shovel segment, and more than I can fathom are on the ‘if only I started sooner’ train out of town, defeated.

Just as there are still active mines there in Australia, there are still active, good paying mines in Colorado and other US states that had their own ‘rushes’. “Quitting becuase you are too late” is one of the easiest excuses to just quit and be lazy there is. I’ve seen a lot of online ventures come and go already, but I really can’t think of one online income technique that is completely outdated and left behind.

To stretch the analogy just a bit more … in Cripple Creek Colorado there is an old, deep mine that was set to be abandonded along with hundreds of others … but the owner made it in to a tourist attraction for people interested in gold mining but unwilling to get their hands dirty.

I think there are a number of blogers and reader’s out there following that same model … paying to ride the lift up and down, wear a hardhat an ‘make believe, but never turning a shovel ‘for real’, while the mine owner (blogger), urges then to ‘come on over here and see how this machine works, see how you would drill your blasting holes, should you ever decidde to start drilling them’ …..
.-= Dave Starr´s last blog ..What You Need to Know About Planning for Your Retirement =-.

LOL Dave – I like the tourist mine analogy – we have similar in Australia – having worked underground for real I really don’t get it – if I work underground trust me they pay me, a lot, not the other way around!

Yeah its quite funny that Mike – I agree its only the beginning – not even the end of the beginning- its an exciting time to be in business online!

Great article! But don’t forget, the biggest fortunes were made by the inventors that patented brand-new tools that specifically addressed the problems involved in mining gold. Originality still wins the prize.

I think you are probably right Katherine – but the rest of us can still make a reasonable income too!

Thanks Lis. That’s just the incentive I needed this morning to pick up my gold pan and find some new keywords. I’m starting to see some results with ND (sorry, I clicked through Griz’s link first), but it’s not easy finding those keywords.

Great post Lis,
Of course I always read you to learn about how to create a passive income and now how to build an online income but it is the other stuff you write that really intrigues me.
I am absolutely in agreement about needing to understand history so we don’t repeat the same mistakes. My favorite quote is, “those who don’t learn history are bound to repeat it.”
This analogy to gold fever is really interested except I think it will take a while for this strike to play out. In the Klondike Rush most of the gold was already found before 95% of the potential miners even got a boat to Alaska. I think the online world is going to last longer than that but we do need to be staking our claims now. The competition is just going to get fiercer as time goes on.
.-= Agrande with online business opportunities´s last blog ..Several Online Business Opportunity Ideas To Diversify =-.

I hadn’t realised Klondike played out so fast! What does happen in general though – even in the Australian fields – was that the first gold was easy – literally lying on the ground and then time went on it got harder and harder.

Somone says it’s just the beginning or the beginning. The internet is huge. 3 years ago there were a hand of people searching online. Now there are millions and millions. The market places are evolving. People search on their iphones, cell phones, computers, tablets (in the future), they search everywhere, anytime, because they have a problem that needs to be resolved. They search for an answer. And it’s just the beginning of the beginning. Search anytime, everywhere.
There are so many free tools available down there. There are so many informations from very smart people. We just have to organize and understand and we can make millions online. It is that simple!
But yes, some preffer to remain ordinary, lazy, not to think and so on. Some push the barriers and make a lot of money.

Totally right Alex – I haven’t used the Yellow Pages for years but most of the people I know in the real still use it to find local businesses … Meanwhile the small-businesses are discovering there are cheaper ways to find buyers than spend thousands on a yellow page listing!

Great post Lis…almost as long as Grizz’s 🙂

I love to look for minerals in the mountains around my home, so I can relate to the thrill you are talking about. My problem is that I LOVE digging into the keywords…the thrill of the chase. Now…back to panning for gold 🙂
.-= LarryG´s last blog ..Tucson SEO – Google Search Engine Optimization =-.

Nope not even a 1000 words – Grizz doesn’t do an introduction in less than 1000 – and he’s on a roll at 2000! Good luck with the prospecting.

Love the analogy! You’ve hit it right on the head and Dave’s comments are on the money as well. I agree with Mike that we’re just at the beginning of this here ‘gold’ rush and people who are able to carve out and defend their little corners of the web will be well ahead of the game when internet advertising really hits the big time.
.-= Kirsty´s last blog ..Interview with the Jet Set Citizen =-.

Its not even the end of the beginning yet i think Kirsty – but I think we look back in 10 years time and be glad that we were involved now!

As a beginner, I really liked point 3. I sometimes wonder if the only people really making money are the shameless hucksters selling $30 eBooks about how to make money on the internet — as well as even higher priced videos and “mentoring” services. Yuck!
.-= Carl@fly new york´s last blog ..Save on NYC Vacation packages =-.

Carl the first time I quit the game was because I was convinced that the only way to make money online was to sell crap who knew a little less than I did – thats why I really hate the “fake it to you make it” school so much

Nice anthology, but I really don’t understand why it is suddenly so in fashion to have a go at the A-list bloggers. Grizz wrote a really foul, nasty article yesterday, just quit my subscription to his blogs because of this. There is a a difference between different models of blogging, doesn’t mean that one is better and one is worse, they are just different. When it comes to selling crap to make a buck, then I find the internet marketer group amongst the worse of offenders, and not A-list bloggers like Darren. SY
.-= hospitalera´s last blog ..404 custom error page for WordPress =-.

Hospitalera – the “a-listers” have lost a lot of people a lot of money but also their time and their dreams and Yaros “teaching sells” model was the cause of my giving up on making money online the first time. No big deal really I just went and got a real job. I had the option, many don’t. The A-listers make money for themselves – they make good income generally from private link sales because of the numbers in their RSS feeds. Its highly unlikely that someone without a first-mover advantage could come anywhere close – how many “how to blog” blogs can people read? Exactly the market is saturated.

Oh and that last piece of “crap” software I bought off an internet marketer – its made me $30 this month with a few hours work …

“$30 this month with a few hours work …” wow, sorry that is really impressive, is that an hourly wage of 5 or 6$ ???

Lis, we are online friends since a long time, and it really concerns me how you started lately to follow Gurus. I haven’t lost any money to any online guru, a-list or internet marketer, because I use common sense before I buy. I don’t buy into promises, I buy products that I can use for free for a certain amount of time to evaluate them. Why is nobody, expect me and the guys of the 30DC, singing the praises of Market Samurai? Because it doesn’t have an open referral program! Doesn’t bother me, I recommend the product because I think that is of value for my readers, not less, not more. But I am very aware of the fact that an increasing amount of bloggers sells only products that bring benefits for themselves and NOT promote products that are good. If you would have one only blog post left over, would you write it to promote a product that brings you money or to promote one that is useful to your readers without making you any money? SY
.-= hospitalera´s last blog ..SheToldMe – Another way to write your own backlinks =-.

well its $30/in 17 days – so lets say $2/day on average OK so at this point: after 17 days your figures are correct – the point is that in another 17 days I’ll make another $30 and that will $10/hour – in two months $20/hour – and I won’t have done anything more on those sites …. Its passive income – you are right the initial figures aren’t impressive unless you understand the maths of passive income. Its the same as evaluating the difference in a percentage point in fees or interest on a financial investment or mortgage – the difference which looks insignificant in today’s dollar terms – is astronomical over years. Now I know, I know a niche devil site may not last 25 years – but even if it lasts a year – that $700 for 2 hours work – that’s a nice figure.

I think Market Samurai – is absolutely brilliant – I reviewed and recommended Market Samurai in Feb and always recommend it to anyone who asks. By “everyone” do you mean the a-listers don’t recommend Market Samurai? (that’s a question, I don’t read them anymore) – probably something to do with the lack of affiliate program I should think 🙂

I haven’t recently started following Vic/Grizz/Court – I have been following them for over a year now. I don’t follow just one – I mix them up and do a mixture of my own thing – I think that’s essential in business, for me anyways – I can’t take someone else’s business model and apply it step-by-step – that would be boring (note to self: never buy a franchise!)

The stuff I recommend on this blog are, without exception, products /services which I own and personally use. I have always said that and its true. I am also clear when I am offering an affiliate link and that I will get paid via it. This blog makes me money and I am not all ashamed of it – every product I recommend also has either a free trial period or a money back guarantee via a third party – in effect the buyer risks nothing – because even though you and I love Market Samurai – I know several people who find it difficult to use and gave up on it in favour of free tools – that’s not the product’s fault that ‘s a mixture of the person’s skill and their business model – no one product/service will fit everyone.

I don’t recommend everything I use – I am playing with Chitika at the moment but haven’t yet written about it – I don’t know it well enough to recommend it or not yet.

I get quite a lot of email from people asking me how to make money online – for me this blog is the answer to that question – I use tools and services to leverage my time – I have never said anyone has to buy anything from me – but to be honest I also get emails from people asking for my affiliate link so I don’t think most people resent the affiliate system.

There are an awful lot of bloggers out there who flog only affiliate products – or only post paid posts. I forget just how much it costs to do a post on chow or shoemoney – but its a lot!

Having grown up in a small town in Australia I can tell you that a town of about 300 can support 3 pubs quite nicely and I was a regular at every one of ’em! lol. Awesome analogy. A lot of miners (read Internet Marketers) also gave up within an inch of striking it rich. Doesn’t worry me when people say it can’t be done. More for us in my opinion.
.-= Leigh@Easy stay at home jobs´s last blog ..Make Money With an Affiliate Program =-.

When I lived in Broken Hill it was the standard induction to take a new employee on a pub crawl – just one small beer in each pub /club in a town of 20,000 people – how hard can that be… Of course none of them ever made it as there were over 50 at the time! Sadly when I returned in 2007 the number of pubs had about halved, though the population has dropped it wasn’t by that much.

Hi Lis, lovely post and it says plenty about how this whole business works. I’m sooooo glad that none of my blogs are particularly social. Even the forum pretty much looks after itself these days. Bollocks to having to waste time arguing with a bunch of people with opposing points of view. What a waste of energy!

People spend so much of their time going round reading everyone else’s blogs and leaving comments, how can they possibly have time to work – and I mean really work – on their own online businesses?

So WTF am I doing here, commenting?

LMAO the forum was dead quiet so I didn’t spend any time with it this morning, which freed up some time! Now to get back to building 5 new sites, my daily target, plus write a bunch of articles for my blogs and the ezines to get those backlinks flowing…
.-= Terry Didcott´s last blog ..Success and How it Comes =-.

Well given you have wasted your time providing free content to my site Terry – I better waste some time responding to you- *5 sites*! I need to go and build another three!

Lis- dead on article my friend. Your analogy is perfect for what we do!
You should send this over to Darren Rowse and request he publish it!
.-= Allyn´s last blog ..Video Blogging And The Cult Of Personality =-.

Oh I don’t have nearly as been subscribers as Darren – he wouldn’t publish me – though oddly enough I have more comments – go figure LOL

Hey Lis – just repaid a favor – let me know if you would like a keyword change. 🙂

Oh and Terry and Allyn – something for you fellas too. (Same thing applies – re: Keywords) And thanks for leaving me in suspense Al… bugger.

Ta ta…
.-= Griz´s last blog ..Stats you can Take to the Bank =-.

Lis, with still half the world off the Internet and new technologies always evolving the opportunities are endless. Only limited by what we think, but hasn’t this been the way capitalism has worked? As long as capitalism is alive we will always be looking for the gold, that’s the way it is.

.-= Ric – Starting Internet Business´s last blog ..How To Decide Which Internet Business Is Right For You =-.

I also very much agree that this is only the very beginning. I live in a country that is part of the European Union and is, let’s say, pretty developed but it still has a long way to go. Even so all the big brands are here yet their internet advertising budget is tiny, below 1% of all expenditure I think. But, that is a lot more than even 2 years ago. I believe we will see a big shift in advertising to the net (even in very developed countries like the US, UK or others the percentage of budgets allocated for online ads is very very small).
The advertisers are starting to see that internet advertising is a lot more quantifiable. TV used to be the big thing and it still costs an arm and a leg for 30 seconds, in some cases there are so many zeros on the end of the price tag that you feel like fainting, but people now use commercial breaks as loo breaks and the advertisers are beginning to pick up on it. Someone will wake up and figure out that internet advertising is a lot more cost effective since production costs are much lower than tv and print, the “rent” is also a lot less (how many ads can you get for a 10,000 USD 30 second clip?) and it is targeted and quantifiable.
They know that if I go online to search for purple ferret sweaters (it is fixated in my mind from TKA lol) then I will click on their ads if they sell sweaters.
One of the biggest expenditures for these guys is advertising. If they can reduce costs and still get more exposure then i believe that is when the gold rush will truly start.
My 0.02 anyhow…

Great article as always Lis.

great article, “Most of them did not publish a book on how to make money on the goldfields.” made me laugh out loud. I’m sure some goldminers dug in the same spot forever never getting anything while others moved around until they struck gold. Anyway i really enjoyed your analogies.

Yup, I learned so much from this article and know an in-depth meaning of the word entrepreneur. Finding great business opportunities and money-making ventures online is really hard especially when you are a first-timer. But what I learned in this blog is really helpful. Thanks really for the information that I got because they are really helpful. I love the blog and hope to read more of these from the author! Nice job!

Definitely we need to had a lot of patiente to make our first income on the first months, because a lot of people give up because they think that his work is not properly or they think that they do it in a bad way.

So it’s important to be patiente, also we need to know how to be in front page of Google with certain keywords, and well all of this knowledge take time and we need to take in consideration that we’re not going to be rich in weeks or months.

This is a learning, like a new language

I takes as long as learning in new skill -your language comparison is a fair one!

And like with learning a new language, you can not teach it, you can only learn it 😉 SY

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