Friday, August 14, 2009

How I Make Money Online... over and over again

How I Make Money Online... over and over again

I've been in Winnipeg for the past couple of weeks and in between taking care of some Lodge business I spent the best part of a day tutoring an old friend in the art of making money online. I've known Jim for about 15 years - he's a mechanic and travels north every few months to work on various pieces of heavy equipment. He is an avid car buff and rebuilds old cars in his spare time. This led him to join several internet communities who shared his passion which then led him to start his own website which led him to learning that some people could make money with a website which led him to start searching for methods in which to do so which led to him finding a blog that explained the process. In Jim's words "I spent 3 days reading the blog before bothering to see who the writer was - I clicked the about page and fell off my chair - it was YOU!"

This has happened frequently over the past year. I have tried to separate my Lodge business from my online business but more and more friends from the "real" world have been coming across this blog and while they don't know me by my online nick name (I got it years ago when I bar tended my way through University) they quickly put it together when they see the about page. Unfortunately this is something I was hoping to avoid. Let me explain.

I spent most of yesterday sitting in the airport waiting on plane delays (weather related) and finally took a peak at my mountain of emails that have accumulated over the last two weeks. As usual there were a few that I wish I had read in a timely fashion. (Court, Monika, Chanya, Frank - sorry, will be getting back to you today) The rest can be categorized as follows; people asking me to review their blog, people asking me to JV with them, people asking to advertise on this blog, people writing really nice comments about how my blog has helped them and not asking for anything (thank you all), people wanting to trade links, people asking to pay me to mentor them and of course the usual spam. There are also a fair number asking me why their blog isn't ranking well on Google without supplying me with all the pertinent info.

Having spent a day with Jim I learned a great deal. He reminded me of just how confusing this whole MMO biz is and gave me an appreciation of just what beginners are facing these days. I confess that I have lost touch with a beginners point of view as it has become a fairly easy game for me. Bruce who runs a work from home blog asked me on the Affiliate Academy forum a few weeks ago about this very issue;

Bruce's comment

You always make it sound simple but I am questioning what I am missing and probably others are missing as well or everyone would be succeeding like you are.

I worked hard and was seeing some real nice results up until about a month and a half ago. I was a happy camper as I was solidly on page one of Google for a handful of terms and getting more and more search traffic.

I've mentioned this before but now the bottom has come off and I am way down to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th pages if at all for most of my terms. It started and has continued where I would take two steps back (in the rankings) and then one step back up. Over and over until I am where I am now. (talking about my main blog only here)

I have done nothing differently to my knowledge to start this downfall and so I am wondering how someone like you (or anyone) can have such spectacular success. I have now gotten out of AMA and deleted all my articles so that no more will be published but this all started way before that.

This is my big question: Is it the quality of your links? I have to think that your ability to get better links than most is a very important factor in your success. You write with the best of them but it seems that your SEO can only take you so far.

Bruce's comment has stuck with me and after working with Jim I've mulled this issue over a great deal.

Why does this seem so simple to me and not to others?

Put the coffee pot on and I will tell you all a story.

When I started online web 2.0 didn't exist. Social Media didn't exist. I started out knowing from day 1 that if you are going to make any money online you needed a steady stream of traffic and the only way to get that traffic is with Google.

I have never changed my position on this. Google is still and always has been the best source of traffic online. Social media showed up and everyone jumped on it because it is easy to get traffic using social means. The problem is that social traffic is sporadic, requires hours and hours of work to maintain and in the end it doesn't convert well into money. You have all heard this from me before but in spite of this almost everyone of you still chases it and this is your downfall.

I had several emails informing me of yet another list of "Top 100 Make Money Online Blogs" that doesn't have me included on the list. My readers like to rib me about such things and I must have a hundred emails asking why I am not on the former 45n5 list. The fact is that these lists are part of the problem - many of you are trying to get on these lists and that's because at the heart of the matter you are a blogger looking for recognition from other bloggers. You want to be the next Problogger and spend all your time trying to get attention from other bloggers thinking this is the road to making money. Well yes it is a road but you have no idea about just how much traffic you need from the social arena before any serious advertising offers show up.

Do you realize that most large advertisers won't even look at you if you aren't pulling in at least 250,000 unique visitors a month? Do you have any idea of how much traffic that is? That's 8300 visitors a day - every day. That's 350 visitors every hour or almost 6 visitors a minute - every minute of every hour of every day.

etc. etc....

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