Can You Make Money Online? (Debunking The Myths)

Don't make money online! (Bet that's the first time you've seen that pop up.)

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Make Money Online

Millions have tried, millions are trying right now, and millions will continue to try in the years ahead. There is so much misinformation out there regarding making money online, that you can easily be forgiven for thinking that all these millions are enjoying unbridled success.

The truth is that the vast majority are failing. Their hopes of earning a healthy living from home are usually shattered before they have even begun. There is no single reason for this.

Some of the things I list below will doubtless be contested by many people, but the harsh facts are that making money online, whilst entirely possible, is not the cakewalk that a lot of people will try to convince you it is.

So, let’s get down to debunking some of the nonsense – hopefully this will save a lot of people a lot of time and frustration.

Affiliate Marketing

So much rubbish is spouted by so many people who have never made an affiliate sale in their lives. The affiliate marketing model is indeed a powerful one and has made a number of people very wealthy. However, you are very unlikely to succeed with affiliate marketing without going through an arduous and sometimes lengthy learning process.

A huge swathe of articles you read about affiliate marketing are no more than rehashed PLR articles being used by lame hopefuls who are incapable of writing anything original on a subject that they are hoping to convince you they know all about. You can spot these peddlers of fifth-hand information easily enough – look at the sites they link to, check their traffic rankings. 99 times out of 100, you’ll find a cookie cutter website just like thousands of others or a direct link to an affiliate program that they foolishly believe you will sign up for having read their blindingly convincing pitch.

Freebie Seekers and Freeloaders

This encompasses so many people it’s laughable. They talk about their “business” and seriously expect others to follow their blind lead. The term “business” indicates some sort of investment on behalf of the owner of that business – both in terms of time and money. Those most guilty of this faux pas are usually those who sign up to a free program, usually in the network marketing or MLM arena, and use every useless and pointless form of promotion as long as it’s free.

Much is said regarding failure rates in MLM schemes being so high, but one of the biggest is the freebie mentality. Don’t get sucked into believing you will ever make money online this way. The freeloaders are kidding themselves, but don’t let them kid you. The programs they sign up to for free often offer a paid upgrade and they live in hope (if they ever manage to recruit a single person of course) that they will grow fat on the subscriptions of others. Naturally this rarely happens, simply because they advertise to other freeloaders who have no intention of spending any money on their “business” either, and so the vicious circle continues.

Adsense and PPC Ads

Throwing up a blog on a free platform and filling it up with Adsense or other PPC ads is unlikely to deliver much success. This applies whether we are talking one blog or fifty blogs. Adsense is great, but it’s also a numbers game – you need big numbers in terms of pages and visitors to make big returns. By big, I mean big – tens of thousands of pages receiving tens of thousands of visitors and you will probably start making a nice income. Throwing up fifty, a hundred or more useless blogs or splogs won’t work even if some people tell you that all you need are a couple of Adsense clicks a day on each one and you’ll be raking in the money. Great theory, but you won’t get the traffic to even generate those occasional clicks in the first place. Throwing up such poor quality free pages will achieve nothing – in fact, you’re more likely to get banned from Blogger and Adsense to boot if you’re not careful. Oh, and don’t think you’ll be smart and use auto surf sites to rack up huge numbers of impressions – using any kind of traffic exchange in conjunction with Adsense will get you banned very quickly.

Our freebie seekers of course will tell you otherwise, expecting you to believe that their PR0 blog with no comments is really generating a thousand dollars for them every month, and that all you need to do is visit this or that site, where you can learn to do exactly the same. You will naturally be directed to a page through an affiliate link – Clickbank or similar – to purchase an ebook that the freebie seeker has naturally never laid eyes on, let alone read.

Blogging

Start a blog and you will soon be collecting checks on a regular basis. Don’t believe this one either. There is a lot to be said for blogs as a marketing tool, don’t get me wrong. Blogs can and do increase your exposure tremendously, but apart from an elite few, blogs are usually not their direct revenue generators. A blog is a tool, and used wisely it will help an online business to grow, but it’s unlikely to pay the bills all by itself.

Article Marketing

This is another area where a lot of ill informed and overly hyped prose is written. As a long term strategy, carried out correctly, article marketing can be hugely beneficial to a business of any kind, but it takes time to see results and there is a learning curve to go through.

I actually saw someone advocating the tactic of blanket bombing article directories with PLR articles and slapping affiliate links into the resource box. This was in an article submitted to one of my directories. They even went as far as to claim that this would guarantee a huge number of hits and sales. This is just one piece of foolish nonsense from a clueless fool, who, no doubt is wondering why article marketing is so useless, whilst trying to tell others how rich it will make them. It is a fact that most article directories do not permit linking directly to affiliate programs in the resource box! It follows that this is hardly the way to proceed.

Survey Sites

Making money with sites that pay you to read ads, emails, visit sites, sign up for free offers etc etc etc I’m not saying that none of them work but in terms of time expended set against financial reward, they are usually a dismal prospect. Would you go and do a job for $20 a month?

What Does Work:

If you are serious about making money online, you are going to need a plan. You are going to have to spend some money to get yourself set up to do business. You will need a website of your own for starters (unless you intend to buy a hundred ebooks and courses telling you how to succeed without even this most basic of needs). This means hosting fees. If you are starting from a position of very little technical knowledge, you will have to dedicate a lot of time to learning the ropes or you will have to pay for the services of others. With most things online, the sooner you bow to the inevitability of having to lay out a little cash as you go along, the sooner you will start to open up some real possibilities.

A closing thought – money may well make the world go round. If nobody spends any, nobody receives any. If you can find me something that disproves that 100%, tell me where to sign up.


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Ryan Graham is a personal fitness coach and stay-at-home Dad to his three crazy-intelligent daughters. They all live in a castle in Sydney, with 2 huskies and a cat that just showed up one day and won't leave. Specializing in sustainable lifestyle changes for clients serious about getting their health together, Ryan believes that a focused body is a focused mind.