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Online Income: One Simple Secret to Success

OK this is a bit of a follow up on my recent post on clueless bloggers.  It probably reflects that I’ve been spending too much time on the HubPages forums recently too and I have decided that online there is a single reason why most people don’t make money online, and why online income remains just a dream.

People who fail to make money online don’t fail because they can’t write, or don’t understand keywords. They don’t fail because they don’t have enough technical knowledge, they don’t have a degree, have too many kids, don’t have the support of their partner, or live outside of the developed world.

They fail for a totally different reason. And I have finally figured it out. In fact its stunningly obvious now that I have though of it – and I should probably pad it out to an e-book and sell it for $97! Instead I’ll just make this post a bit long.

Do you want to know what the secret of making online income is? Drum roll…


You have to treat it like a business!

No kidding right! Seriously though I wonder what some people think they are doing, whatever it is, its not being in business. Think about it. What does a business owner do:

  • they develop a business plan – they have an idea about how they are going to make a profit;
  • they work the plan -they put lots and lots of hours into their business with the hope of pay off down the line;
  • they invest in their income in terms of tools which save them money or by outsourcing tasks which can be done more efficiently elsewhere;
  • they develop relationships with others in similar businesses so that they can help each other in the future, the play it forward.
  • they monitor and adapt as the environment around them changes. They don’t complain about stuff they can’t change – they move on.

Now I think the best way to illustrate how I personally came to this not so original conclusion, is to give some examples – both people who are working a business-like way and those who aren’t so much. Now I am not calling anyone out here but I really think there are some useful lessons here ..

So here are my first every Online Income Case Studies!

Focusing on a Business Can Make You a Social Outcast

This post as in part inspired by Chloe from Ben 10 Toys, who left a comment on my Effing Clueless Bloggers post. She said she was excluded from  some of the other parenting/mommy bloggers crowd because they:

“seem to sneer at the fact that some of us are trying to make a few pounds from our sites.”

Now not being a mother I hadn’t really come across too many of the “yummy, mommy blogger crowd” until I joined today dot com in order to build my own backlinks and get paid while I did it. While there I met the crowd who like to make some “pin money” but then whinges that they are underpaid!  Now we have the mob who are above even earning an income – nice for you love but hope your husband doesn’t get fired/gets burntoff/run off with a younger model. Then maybe you will think earning some income is important!

Look  some people write beautiful sites and don’t make money from them.  That’s fine – but why does someone like Chloe who provides a useful site which gives me personally way too much information about a boys toy thats popular should feel like she’s not part of a community? They are losers Chloe move on – get yourself ranked for your main keyword and get popular with real buyers and make some real cash!

Travel Bloggers Need to Focus Their Energies

This one is a close to home – I am a travel blogger at heart. I would love to say I have a wonderful travel site which is a labour of love and which truely provides useful information.  Travel for the Over 30s is really a topic I know a lot about. I’ve just never cracked the market – yet.

Matt over at Nomadic Matt’s has. I’ve been aware of Matt for a while, because of our mutual travel interest, and because he published his e-book on How to Make Money From Your Travel Blog. (Well worth it BTW if this is your niche.) He’s just got back home to the US but has spent at least the last six  months travelling. And during that time he has got his income up into respectable four figures.  For me its a lot harder to build a business with all the distractions of a new interesting destination around you and having to deal with finding a reliable Internet connection, so hats off to Matt.

Now in contrast is Kirsty over at Nerdy Nomad I have been following her for at least three years. She was a member of the first forum I ever joined at Working Nomad and at that stage she seemed to be living the dream, my dream, of travelling and making enough money to pay for it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kirsty’s work dearly and her blog is excellent – but her recent post on her June earnings gave me pause, because  I earned more than she did in June (including freelance income).  Why was that – well I think its really simple – I have put a whole lot more work into my business especially in the last six months.  Now what Kirsty is doing might well be right for her so this isn’t necessarily a criticism, after all she has been investigating free and cheap volunteering opportunities in Nicaragua where the Internet access is not so good.  But building business seems to involve an awful lot of hard work in the beginning, with payoff time further down the track.  Until you get the business to the level that the passive income is nicely diversified and recurring – you are vulnerable.

Work Hard and Measure Your Success – But Do it Right

Which brings me rather neatly to the one of the hardest working guys on the Internet Ben over at Make Money Online with SEO. Now I am not going to repeat how Ben makes over $100/day with HubPages (which he started with in May BTW) – because all of that information is on his blog. And he still gets people asking him why they are failing – to which the answer is always the same – they are failing because they aren’t working hard enough! So check Ben out Ben if you want to be making money online the right way.

Now what has got Ben such a high profile so quickly is that he has been reporting his income figures and they have been spectacular.  What he mentions to is the number of hubpages/infobarrels/niche sites he has published each day/week. There is one thing he doesn’t talk a lot about though – he doesn’t mention the number of hours he worked.

Which brings me to my final case study Joel over at The Keyword Academy Scam Experiment. Now Joel is new to this game as he says so himself – but I was concerned when I saw his blog’s byline

“If their system can’t make me money within 6 months, they get the boot!”.

Maybe that is the downside of mentoring sites such as the Keyword Academy – people externalise it -“their system”, “make me money”. The only person who will ever make you money in business is yourself – if you don’t believe that you will make money – you won’t – it sounds insane I know, but its true. Something in your brain has to believe in your business – if that doesn’t happen you will always be looking for the next best thing.

The other thing that I think Joel is doing wrong with this sits is quite simple: he’s tracking his time and adding it as a cost against his income.  Two things wrong here: he’s inexperienced in his own admission – Joel I learnt to buy domains and my hosting without any step-by-step video – the fact that you have one probably saves you hours – but I think its totally unfair to then say that the cost you X hours x $8.50 (being the minimum wage in his part of the world). You’re learning – its going to take you longer  that’s your problem not the “systems”.  So stop expecting any approach to being in business to pay you to learn.

But ultimately you can’t rely on any one system to make you money. You will learn sound principals at the KWA and if you keep on working – you will make money – but it will only really become your own when you believe in your business and your ability to succeed with it.

Being in business on the Internet has a big a learning curve, if not bigger, than setting up a florist’s shop or starting a computer repair service. Imagine if I decided that I was going to open a florist’s shop tomorrow? I don’t know anything about flowers, I don’t know how to arrange them, I don’t know where to buy them, and I don’t know how open and promote a shop. Do you think its fair to think that I will be in profit in 6 months? I’m more likely to be bankrupt because of the significant costs that venture would have entailed.

Making an online income is different – you don’t have to risk bankruptcy to do it – but there is a huge learning curve. And if you are struggling and missing something I’d like to suggest that its not a deep misunderstanding of how to find buying keywords or how to optimise a WordPress blog – its how to think like a business owner!

You need to focus on your business if you don’t know enough yet to have a business plan – focus on learning enough. Then develop a plan they work, a lot, and keep on moving forward. The rules change all the time, you need to keep up.

Sorry for the marathon post – its partly an SEO experiment because longer does seem to be better with Google at the moment- but also because I suddenly had an insight – and that doesn happen very often 🙂 So are you in business or are you just playing?

51 replies on “Online Income: One Simple Secret to Success”

I would love to try my hand at hubpages but I have too many sites right now!

Thanks for the shout out and I agree with everything you said. You really need to focus in order to be successful. If you want to make money online, it needs to be a business for you. One day, you’ll get to the point where you can just sit there and not do anything and money will come in but in the beginning, it is a lot of long hours in front of the cpu.

I followed kirsty for awhile and while I love her, I am amazed that after 3 years she still hasnt really cracked 1k. I mean, I would have evaluated myself after 6 months if that hasn’t happened. Personally, I think she is comfortable with her lifestyle and doesn’t want to change, which is fine if that is what she wants. We all want different things.

But for most of us who want to make it, we have to set goals. I always try new things and explore different ventures to get to where I want to be. I’m not comfortable with my four figures yet and I won’t be until I make it all totally passive.

but focus is the key
.-= Nomadic Matt´s last blog ..The Weekly Photo: Dinner in Cambodia =-.

Oh you can never have enough sites Matt! Yeah to each their own as far as income is concerned – I know many people feel they are failures unless they make $10,000/month – for for me its always been around $1000/week – that would replace my previous income – but even at my current levels my partner finally realised I was doing something serious and not just “playing on the Internet”. Once I have this online game sorted I will be retiring to a beautiful tropical island – it doesn’t really matter which one so long as it doesn’t have a bloody Internet connection!

but you’ll need the net to update ur income!!! lol

My ultimate goal is about 15,000 a month. But it took the griz hundreds of sites to get to his 40k a month and I suspect it will take me a lot to get to mine.
.-= Nomadic Matt´s last blog ..Budget New York City =-.

Hi Lis,
I have a friend who wants to get rich on the internet. He doesn’t just want a passive income he wants to get rich. So I was talking to him and he said he didn’t want to have a thousand websites he just wanted one site to worry about. I said that’s nice.
I look at internet sites kind of like advertisement. You have a lot of sites to interlink together and to get to know other people. It also helps that each site will probably only make a few bucks a day at best so you need a lot to make any money.
The one website mentality is like saying I will advertise one time in the newspaper and that’s it. I don’t want to be bothered with any more advertising.
Like you said, this is a business and you have to do the work just like any other business. I think people got off track because there were so many “get rich quick” guys who saw the power of the internet early and started promising the moon.
We now have to realize they really weren’t talking about the realities of the web but instead were only trying to sell a dream.
Get rich while watching TV in your underwear drinking beer.
.-= Agrande with online business opportunities´s last blog ..7 Excellent Open Courseware Collections for Christian Scholars =-.

LOL agrande – exactly I think the snake oil merchants have a lot to answer for – they almost made me give up in the early days. I thought you could only make money by ripping off other people! One single website – hell if it even was making me a fortune I’d be very, very nervous – imagine if you woke up one day and Google didn’t love you any more – but that never happens – right…

Hi Lis,
This is Joel from The Keyword Academy Scam Experiment.

First of all, thanks are in order. I just realized that it was your site that lead me to try out The Keyword Academy. When I was researching ways to earn money online I started researching SBI. I’m glad I came across your article:
Thank you for the save!

I read you’re post above and I appreciate not only the link, but also the advice. I believe that constructive criticism can be very helpful, and I am thankful to have an honest response from someone with a lot more experience than myself. I assure you, I will take it to heart. In fact, if you have any more advice I would be most obliged to hear it!

I got an email from Courtney Tuttle the other day saying that he had seen my site and thought it was interesting. When I asked him what he thought about my experiment methods, he made a very similar point to the one you made in your post. Basically, that “learning the ropes” of internet marketing should be treated like school. You don’t get paid to learn (it’s usually the other way around), but it pays for itself down the road.

That email got me thinking about revising my experiment, and your post is pushing me in that direction as well. Based on what you and Court have said, maybe I am doing a disservice to my readers by putting them in the wrong mindset, and making them think that they’ve failed if they aren’t fully reimbursed in the first six months of online money making. When I get the time, I think I might make some revisions to my experiment’s methodology.

Thank you again for your advice!

PS – @Agrande, what’s wrong with building websites while you’re sitting around drinking a beer in your underwear? 😀
.-= Joel@thekeywordacademyscam´s last blog ..First Month Summary – The Keyword Academy Scam Experiment =-.

Phew – contrary to what a whole mob of Site Build It! true believers think – I actually don’ t go around trying to make enemies on the Internet so I am pleased you took me comments in the spirit they were intended! Funny that it was the SBI debacle that got you onto KWA in the first place – I will count you as one of my success stories!

Now to get serious this blog has never, ever advised sitting around in your underwear while drinking beer and building websites. This highly dangerous behavour – you can spill the beer! And ruin the laptop! If on the other hand you do video blogging its perfectly fine – but you have to as good as Allyn over at – niche homebrew products I should think do quite well in a recession – and you shouldn’t promote something you haven’t sampled …

Hey Joel,
I am all for you writing in your underwear (you can do it nude if you want but I would rather not know 🙂 ). Just make sure you are spending your time on your business instead of watching TV. I heard a quote the other day that went something like “not many millionaires know who was voted of the latest ‘Reality TV’ show last night.”
I never understood how it could be reality when you are watching someone else live their lives. To me using our time to build up a business and learn IM is more real.
Here’s to your online success.
.-= Agrande from Internet Business Opportunities´s last blog ..7 Excellent Open Courseware Collections for Christian Scholars =-.

You have totally hit it on the head, but I think it has a lot to do with how much money you really want to make. I think a lot of Mommy bloggers fell into the money they are making and are almost ashamed of it. Why, I don’t know.

This is the same type of thing that Jen from OWM is being chastised for right now. There are people on the forums blaming her for a lot of the crappy lenses that were put up on Squidoo over the last couple of years. She didn’t put the crap up and she’s not teaching people to build crap, but because she’s teaching people how to make money with Squidoo and other free sites, she’s all of a sudden a bad guy.

She produces a system where a noobie can make some money and all of a sudden she’s thrown under the bus because of it. I think it’s a total shame.

.-= Bcarter@4 Day Money Making Blueprint Review´s last blog ..Being Successful In An Online Business Means Adapting =-.

Yeah I’m little surprised that that is happening to Pot Pie Girl with One Week Marketing (for those who didn’t get the the TLAs!) as Squidoo I’ve always thought was very commercial. There is the same happening with HubPages because of the HubChallenge – which has now been made a on-going challenge by the smart marketing people at HP. There is a crowd who are like – but this ruins the community, the hubs are sub-standard, no one spends time reading my politics/religion/navel-gazing poetry anymore! The number of non-sequitors in that summary simply beggers belief – but its like Chloe says God forbid anyone dares make money LOL


I think you hit a lot right on the head there. Last week I told my mother I made 30 bucks last month online. She laughed. A lot. Then I said to her.. well mom, you laugh but the month before that I made $1.25, Which is a pretty big jump isn’t it? And when i told her I have made nearly $50 this month so far, she completely stopped laughing. What other business gives a jump in profit , yes profit, at that rate?

I could have made a lot more, but I write all the content myself. I also do all the linking, myself. I do everything on my own. I plan to do like Ben, and outsource when I’m making around 1k a month. Half of my income to outsourcing and linkbuilding on my own.

If you haven’t made a profit, Joel, you’re doing it wrong. You’re not following the steps properly. Period. I’m alone, with no start up costs. With no outsourcing. And I’m making a profit. I invested nothing. If you had investments into the program, then you’re way ahead of me, and I’m making more of a % profit.

Bottom line is , without grizz and tka, and lis too, I would be dead in the water, because I couldn’t find a job here in Sweden, where I don’t speak the language.

Sorry for the book I wrote here haha.

Anyway , insightful stuff Lis

Alex – never apologise for providing me with free content LOL! Yeah tell me about the money – last June I was really excited because I hit $100 by early in the month – by the end it was $370 – my partner – was vaguely interested – but impressed that it was ore than 3x time the previous month, this month it may hit $500 – I haven’t told him yet 🙂

This is the beauty of IM Alex – I want to spend winters in Thailand or maybe Malaysia – actually it doesn’t really matter so long as the water is warm and there is good WIFI! Its truely independence to live anywhere in the world you want to be.

Hi Lis
Wow I’m amazed and grateful that you cared enough about my comment to mention me here. Sometimes sitting on your own at the PC is isolating and it can get to you when you feel like you’re upsetting the apple cart. I’m just trying to make a living by offering what I hope is useful information to people. They don’t have to read it or act on it but some people are so I hope I’m doing something right! There should be a place for everybody – those that want to make money and those that don’t and I would hope that we should all be able to integrate and help each other despite our different goals. Anyway I will move on like you said and concentrate on my business goals whilst endeavouring not to upset too many people on the way!
Thanks, Chloe
.-= Chloe @ Ben 10 Toys´s last blog ..The Busy Parents Guide To Green Toys For Boys =-.

Believe it or not in real life I find it quite hard to have a big argument with someone – I get emotional and cry and the wrong time. I find on the Internet I can really be me and I can call it like I see it – if someone doesn’t like it they bugger off and probably never read my blog again – no great loss!

Its incredibly isolating doing this alone – I think you’d like the forums at Keyword Academy – everyone there is trying to make money and many are – check out my unabashed affiliate link in the blue box at the end of any post 🙂

I was brought up proud to be working class and as a feminist I really wince and seeing women being financially dependent on their partners – so yup I truely do not understand the “mommy blogger” crowd!

I know what you mean. Sitting ‘behind’ the internet does give you more guts to say what you think than you might do face to face. I should give it a go! TKA is definitely on my list – I’d not thought about the use of the forums as also giving me value for money but it sounds like it will. I just need to create a few more hours in the day and I’ll be laughing. Who created 13 week school holidays anyway!
Cheers, Chloe
.-= Chloe @ Ben 10 Toys´s last blog ..Bumblebee Helmet Review – A Transformers 2 Toy =-.

Lissie you really are making people to understand how this business is supposed to run. It’s very rewarding to see that SBI post has really made an effort on those that seek how to make money online.

I advice to listen Lis even she’s not making a lot from net yet. Every word said here is pure gold for everydoby to learn.

It has taken me years to learn this IM thing the right way. Only if I had the right place to start from in the beginning – like this blog instead of that John Chow 😉
.-= Sam @ tilaa lehti tarjous´s last blog ..Vauva lehti tarjous – Tilaa vauvalehti =-.

Sam behave – I must admit I managed to avoid J.Chow – but did run into Yaro for a while – which was the first time I quit IM!
Nah not all of its pure gold – just my ramblings – but I guess having learnt some of this stuff the hard way I can explain it better than the naturally gifted. Is that a Finish p**n site you have linked me to 🙂

That is a great idea Lis. Do a nice site and throw cute baby pictures in it and make comments on foreign blogs that don’t know the words you are keywording and later on change it to a great profit p**n site after all the links are showing 🙂

And to make clear. Chow is a very clever man who just rambles things on the net and makes great money from it. He never said that he told people how they can make money. He just tells people how much money he is making and makes his money from that. I admire him but first I tought that he was actually teaching us to make money like the rest of the a-listers. I have been following Chow from year 2000 when he released his thetechzone computer blog so he has been online like forever.

Well if you are appealing to the local audience maybe Vodka bottles… Remember when you are rich on the proceeds!

Love this post, 🙂 . What a good reminder to always be thinking in a business-like way!!

One thing that’s useful for any business or living person is a Mastermind group. It keeps one focused on making growth commitments and executing them.

Unfortunately, IM Mastermind groups can be *very* short-lived. The learning curve you mentioned takes IMers out left and right– not just the *technical learning curve*, but the *awareness learning curve*, ie, awareness… when it dawns on folks that a) this is not easy, b) it requires work, and c) money isn’t instantaneous. When FedEx fails to deliver their laptop on the beach lifestyle in the two months that they thought it should take, they’re outta here. LOL!

I love Ben’s blog, and I hope he’s careful. When you talk about making that kind of money online, you’re suddenly in the crosshairs of the entire money-grubbing online world, including some greedy, unscrupulous people. Remember when the noobs from DP descended on Griz’s blog in hordes after he made $9,268.05 in 8 days?

Me, I’m money-grubbing and definitely greedy. Unscrupulous? Good question. Building sites with the intention of making money is perfectly scrupulous, no matter what the mommys say. And as far as user experience goes, I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder. But there’s a rat race aspect to this IM thing even if you’re doing it right. If you look at the hubs posted since the Challenge, the majority of them are centered around the same topics–the ones that convert well with AdSense. That’s really a fairly small subset of the topics available to write about–like Griz has already pointed out, “oil filters” type niches don’t convert–the traffic is there, the CPC is acceptable, and there are advertisers, but people aren’t desperate enough to click.

That leaves us with rehash after rehash of articles on plastic surgery, yeast infections (ew), and getting your ex back. I started out trying to do something different, but my CTR was like 1%, so now I follow the crowd and things have improved. But I feel faintly dirty doing it–not because it will make me money, but because I know it’s garbage.

But that’s all part of business, and I don’t mean online business. The successful offline business owners I’ve known have all been very personable (they have to be; if you can’t sell then you either need to hire someone to do it for you or go work for somebody else), but they’re as protective of their business as a mother bear is with her cubs. Maybe it’s not “nice” for mama bear to eat somebody who wants to hurt her babies, but mama bear doesn’t operate from that mindset. I think you have to have that kind of fierceness if you’re going to work for yourself. Your vendors and customers might like you and benefit from you, but if they’re smart, they won’t try to eat your lunch for you.

Which is why I’m spending the morning writing more hubs on yeast infections.
.-= Lorecee´s last blog ..Article Marketing: UAW vs. AMA Follow Up =-.

@JL – you just behave yourself – Grizz is the master – I just make the this shite up -but reading all his loooong posts have made me not too concerned if my posts go over the “appropriate” 400 word blog length LMAO!
I never rely on Fedex to deliver anything on time! I am retiring to the beach – I have absolutely no intention of taking the laptop 🙂
Yup the first time 95% of IMers fail I was pretty worried not having ever been in the top 5% of anything- but there is always a first time and this is mine!

The little grasshoppahs wanna know where Master Griz is these days.

Every good Sunday morning includes a Griz post.

I was attracted to hubpages because I wanted to make money. I loved reading about how well other people had done and wanted to give it a go myself.
I found it very amusing that so many people on hubpages complained. They don’t seem to realise that the site owners set it up to make money. That is why they take a percentage of everyone’s adsense earnings.
What is so wrong with making money? Why do people look down on it? Very strange.
At the moment I have completed my 100 hubs challenge and have moved on to info barrels. Slowly but surely I am making some headway. Thanks for the tip of creating a proper business plan. At the moment everything i want to achieve is in my head so I will now look to put it all in order so that I can benchmark my achievements.
.-= Tiptopcat´s last blog ..I Completed My 100 Hubs in 30 Days Challenge =-.

Speaking of proper business plan, it seems like –for us as *Professionals*– we should have the lowest, cheapest domain costs and renewal costs as a constant topic of discussion.

If we could reduce the cost of infrastructure by 10%, that
would be enormous, and would make for a nicer number there on the bottom line.

Interesting comment JL – I find my domain/hosting costs the least of my concerns – I am starting to spend money but its on outsourcing content -which will amount to a lot more than my hosting/domain costs

I need to read posts like this every so often to set myself straight. I always seem to think I don’t have enough time to commit to IM–because of college work–when in actuality I just don’t plan and set aside time to do so. I have a lot of half-assed sites laying around (like the pseudo-MMO one in my link, lmao) that I should be developing. I actually make pretty good money for the time invested but know that I could be making several times more.

So yeah, I’ll be setting a set amount of time to get stuff done. I’ve been working on some hubpages to diversify a little bit to adsense. How’s infobarrel shaping up? I’ll probably be writing some stuff over there too.

Thanks for the small kick in the pants!

Brian I know you may be horrified at the thought – but if you can make a full-time living with IM why bother doing college? Particularly if its putting you into debt? Particularly you are not sure of getting a job at the end of it? Particularly if you are not happy about the thought of working for someone else for the rest of your life – just a thought!

Infobarrel is looking good too but I need to start doing some more of them


I just wrote a couple new articles and I think I’ll be posting them at Infobarrel instead of Hubpages, just to try it out.

As far as college goes, I actually like what I’m studying and think its a valuable experience but that’s just me. I know a lot people just glide through and don’t get that much out of it but I think it’s crazy not to try and get higher education.

The debt part does suck but not enough to deter me from going. Right now IM allows me flexibility, as I don’t have to work a ‘real job’ while I finish school. I don’t make a ton of money but enough to pay my rent and bills and live a modest lifestyle. My plan really is to work on getting some more passive income going so that when I do graduate, I’ll have a little cushion to decide what I want to do next.

I like having options, they’re a luxury!
.-= Brian´s last blog ..Keyword Elite: Don’t Buy It, It’s Broken =-.

Good point re outsourcing as an expense. It wasn’t on my radar since my last eternally prolonged failed experience with cyb–hubon—- (promise work for 4 months, and then refund the money instead of delivering the content). Sigh.

Oh yeah me bitten on that one too! Now textbroker is slowing right down on me too – I thought everyone was desparate for a job these days – clearly they have all gone on vacation rather than writing my boring little articles!

Thanks for the comments guys, I really couldn’t agree more. I haven’t been treating this as a business, mostly because I was content with my earnings and also due to being busy with volunteering, being on the move or having bad connections. Lots of reasons but mostly because I had been happy with the status quo and haven’t really put a big push on up until a couple of months ago when I built a few new sites (but haven’t done much beyond just building them). Now that I’m back in North America and have lots of time on my hands I am going to put in a good effort… at least for another couple of months until I take off again. 🙂

I’m so impressed with people like you, Matt and Neale from Working Nomad’s forums who started not long ago (relatively) and have since proceeded to kick my arse in earnings. It’s great to see and everyone,including me, should use you guys as examples and for inspiration.

Anyways just want to post to say I wrote apost over on my blog after reading, so go take a look and feel free to leave a comment. I would be really interested to know (Matt and Lis) how your earnings are broken down if you’re willing to share.
.-= Kirsty´s last blog ..It’s Time to Start Treating This Like a Business =-.

Kirsty you asked what the breakdown of my income is:
$400 freelance work
$350 Adsense (predominantly on Hubpages)
$450 affiliate sales mainly MMO products from my blog and commission on KeyWord Academy.

Did I plan it that way – no – but I’ll take the cash anyways. I never really set out to have a MMO blog – it kinda happened. This month is looking better because my Adsense will probably hit $500.

This isn’t about the money per se – though its a convenient short-hand to talk to people about it – its about freedom to do what I want when I want.

Completely agree with this post, that you have to treat it like a business, I sometimes treat my own life like a business, its a great way to organize and get things done

I am very new to the whole, blogging to make money, scene, since April 09 actually.. Its actually quite a bit of fun, which is another aspect in addition to running it like a business, have fun doing it.
I’ve been following Kristy @ Nerdy Nomadic, which is how i found yourself 🙂

Welcome drafternoon . Don’t get me wrong I am generally having fun – but in order to have fun I have to stick with some boring stuff – but at least I can do it my PJ’s at home with an idiot boss in my face! I’ve hit some lows too because this whole being in business for myself thing is very new to me – I really had to learn how to believe in my own ability to do this!

Great post I agree totally and would win first prize for not treating my efforts as a business, each time that I have the results have followed, great reminder thanks!

Good Post and very true. Those that end up succeeding in IM would have succeeded in offline business as well. It takes hard work, a plan, a vision of where you want to be, a willingness to invest in your future etc etc
Its like anything else, some make it, the rest give up because its too hard.
.-= bk´s last blog ..I’m gonna Hate Hubpages =-.

I would say a good way to make money online is to try and stay away from internet marketers! Learn the basics of SEO, keywords etc, but in the end you need to figure this stuff out for yourself.

Pick a niche that you enjoy working on in an area that has potential to make money: finance, travel, health and I really don’t think you can fail.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Welcome to Bali Expat =-.

Agree completely, there is an old saying that goes “You get out what you put in.” If you only work at 10% then you get only a 10% money out. If you work at 150%, you get more, much more! I think you forgot one more group that will never have success in making money online, the ones that never start with it! The ones that never even try…
.-= hospitalera@Blogging Resources´s last blog ..John Chow ebook review =-.

Lis – I agree with your points about treating online income as a business. I often struggle with staying focused as I want to dip my hand in way too many buckets. Having a plan is critical to success and will help you stay on track.
.-= passive family income´s last blog ..The Truth About Earning Money on eHow =-.

LOL Lissie, do you remember when you first joined the HubPages forums, you talked about not wanting to get up early, and being able to have the afternoon off any time you liked? I ventured to suggest that you might get there eventually, but if you wanted to make a living on the internet, you’d need to treat it as a full-time business to start with. At the time you were quite determined you weren’t prepared to put in that much effort – times have changed! But then I had already realized that!

That’s why I’m back in an ordinary job – I worked out I could make a whole lot more money for a whole lot LESS effort in the real world (I’m lucky that I do a job I quite like). My websites are just a hobby for now – but I’m also gaining the knowledge and laying the foundations for another crack at it later, if I change my mind.
.-= marisa wright´s last blog ..Emma Basc =-.

Oh gawd did I really say that – its sounds quite probable! Yup I’ve changed – and even though I work long hours I’ve barely had to put shoes on even in winter – I must admit I don’t miss working in an office at all!

Hi Lis,

I discovered this blog and your post through Nerdy Nomad, and I wanted to thank you. I’m new to doing all this, and have a lot to learn. When I started, it thought it would be easy to set up a few sites, and that the work would be in the writing. It’s the exact opposite, I discovered. I can write about almost anything off the top of my head in no time — but I spend hours fiddling with everything I need to set up and maintain. So I’ve often thought about what you wrote and it’s helped me maintain focus. Thanks!
.-= Carl@international t-shirts´s last blog ..Why so Syria? =-.

Thanks for commenting Carl – have just spend most of 2-days playing with techncial stuff I am now looking forward to doing some writing LOL

Hi Lis,
It’s not just IM and blogging either, I frequent some craft forums (well I did) so many hobbyists obviously dream of turning it into a hobby but spend way too much time on forums and don’t charge enough for their work when they try to sell it, so they’ll be in for a real shock when they try to cover costs etc.
.-= Kev´s last blog ..Stained Glass Mask =-.

It’s all about focus. If you concentrate on one niche you’ll get successful rather than having a multitude of so many topics.

Was searching about HubPages and ended up here, but very nice read and thanks for sharing. And getting back to topic, I’m not much of a writer so I’ve always thought that would be my main obstactle (I still think it is) from making online income but now I got some ways around it now. And like what Dea said, it’s all about focus.

It seems like a “no duh” statement to make, but you are completely honest. People expect to just sit back and the cash from their website will start rolling in. It takes a lot of management.

Excellent. Now that I am retired, I finally have time to devote to getting organized and to marketing all the web sites I have built over the past 5 years. with a “regular” job, there was never enough time to properly treat it as a business and properly market my sites to the Internet world. Now, I can. I also want to thank you for pointing me to the eBook about making money with your travel blog. One of my blogs is about retirement in Yhailand and inlcudes some travel.

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