By this point we all know the list of ways to make money online. You can run a website that posts ads, does affiliate marketing, or sell something. You already know this. But most of us never make a dime online.
This is going to sound harsh, but it’s your fault.
You have to develop yourself into the kind of person who refuses to fail, and you haven’t done that yet.
Of course, it’s not easy, and I want to break down all the reasons I’ve failed in the past.
Competition By The Numbers
“Make money online” is a seriously popular google search. Here are some search terms searched less frequently than “make money online.” Data from 2020 according to Google Trends.
- personal finance
- make a budget
- retirement planning
- get a promotion
- make more money
- real estate investing
- stock investing
- business investing
So clearly a lot of people want to make money online. Let’s look at some more numbers.
According to techjury there are over 75 million websites running on WordPress, and those account for about 30% of the web.
That means there is something like 250 million websites online today. That a website for almost every person living in the United States!
1 website for every 30 humans on Earth!!!
Also, there are about 500 new websites created each day on WordPress.
A new site is lost at sea
Your new site is one of 250 million, and it has the same birthday as 500 other sites. I mean, take a minute and let that sink in.
Most websites are found through search engines, but some could be found through social media or word of mouth.
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, Ask.com and other search engines have the enormous task of sifting through millions of websites and BILLIONS of web pages.
And social media can have just as much noise.
The sheer size of the internet should give you a moment of pause. Does it really make sense that someone can pop in, create a website, write a dozen articles and have any sort of success online? No, not really.
But there continue to be success stories all the time. So why are you failing?
Story Time – My First Site
Unbound Investor isn’t the first website I’ve started. It’s actually the third. The first two were failures. I never made a cent. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever had any real visitors either.
I’ve been pretty fascinated with the idea of making money through operating a website for quite some time. I remember I built my first website using a program called Site Build It!
A quick search shows me that the program is still around, but now it’s called Solo Build It!
It was this service that basically walked you through all the steps of building a niche website. You used their hosting, and they had keyword research tools for you to use. They had checklists and timelines and all that.
I decided to build a site about ping pong. I enjoyed playing and I thought I could learn more about the sport while building the site. It was supposed to be fun. And it was for a while.
I went through the steps in the program. I even wrote a handful of articles. In the end I just lost interest and never looked back. My domain and hosting expired and I ended my Site Build It! subscription.
I lost money.
I spent something like $200 to get up and running and the site just faded away into dust.
My Hypothesis – Why You Aren’t Making Money
The second time I built a site was slightly different, but ultimately the same result. I worked harder on this one. Even made videos and put them up on YouTube (you can still watch them).
But in the end I couldn’t stick with it and the website died again.
So what was the problem?
I’m going to allow myself to get a bit philosophical today. I believe expectations shape our lives more than we imagine.
If you expect your roommate to do the dishes after they cook, then you’re usually upset when you find a sink full of dirty dishes. If you expect your friends to arrive at 8pm for the poker party, then you start feeling disappointed or even worthless when 8:30 arrives and no one has arrived.
The same principle holds true in online money making.
You have an expectation about what is going to happen. Maybe you expect a few people to be reading your site after you post your first few articles. Or you expect to always love the time you spend writing. Do you think your results will be the same as the success stories you’ve read online?
Those expectations are unrealistic.
And when your expectations aren’t met, your emotions start to affect your behavior and motivation.
So step 1 is resetting your expectations.
- The first month is easy, the second month is hard, the third month is harder
- You will struggle to bring in traffic
- It will take a long time (Income School says 9 months until your first articles get traffic and Fat Stacks Blog says it can be 2 years before the real success starts)
- 30 articles is enough (You probably want to start with 200 articles in mind)
You have to be bad at something first
Go ahead. Watch read every article on Moz about SEO, and every article from Backlinko about starting an email list, watch every video from Ahrefs on YouTube about getting backlinks, and listen to every Authority Hacker podcast.
You can do all of it, and you’ll still be really bad at building websites for a while.
Not only is it unrealistic to expect people to find your first few articles, it’s also unrealistic to expect your first few articles to be any good.
We learn best through doing, so your first few months will be a lesson in learning how to be a decent article writer.
If you’ve never had success online, you have to assume that you need to be a better writer/content creator. Study the craft of content creation. Spend time creating content, but also be critical of your content from time to time.
I like to focus on one thing at a time. Right now I’m working on integrating my personal experiences into my writing. Next I may focus on my my intros or start using more of my own photos.
You need (mindset) armor
In order to last for 9 months or 2 years, you need help. You can’t just start and expect to last for a year or two with no reward. You’ll need something up your sleeve that can keep you pounding away at the keyboard when it seems like a complete waste of time.
I’ve used two tools personally. And though I’m sure everyone is different, I want to share with you what’s worked for me.
- A mantra
- A daily habit tracker
If I’ve learned anything since I started investing in real estate three years ago, it’s that everything takes longer than you expect. It took us 8 months to close on our first investment property. It took me three and half years to get a job working on the web.
You’ve got to be able to take the punches and keep moving forward. That’s literally the mantra that kept me going through some of the least rewarding and most challenging years of my life.
I would watch this video from Rocky Balboa,
When he would say “It’s not about how hard ya hit, it’s about how hard you can GET HIT and keep moving forward, how much you TAKE and keep moving foward!” I’d get just a little bit tougher.
So when I felt like giving up or losing interest, I would say to myself “It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
It’s feels kind of cheesy typing it out like this, but it worked for me. It helped validate the feeling that life was like a boxing match and I kept getting hit. And it made me feel like I could keep taking the hits.
My habit tracker
When I started this site almost six months ago, I knew that I had to keep writing. I couldn’t allow myself to quit.
So I decided to use the Jerry Seinfeld technique of “the chain”. Except instead of using a physical calendar I used a habit tracking app on my phone. It alerts me every day to remind me to do my writing.
I’m writing this article on day 162 of my writing chain (and I’ll probably finish it on day 163). I’m shooting for 1,000 consecutive days.
That means when I go on vacation, I write every day. When I’m sick, I write. If I have a friend in town staying with me, I step away for an hour so I can get my writing in.
No excuses and no days off.
You have too much knowledge (not enough action)
In the words of Elvis Presley “A little less conversation, a little more action, please.”
Another thing I’ve learned as an investor is that our power comes from action. You can succeed without knowledge, but you cannot succeed without action.
I’ve seen friends and family with plans to invest that end up getting stuck in the research phase. They read books, watch videos and listen to podcasts, but they never feel like they’re “ready” to take that next step.
I can tell you, you’ll never have enough knowledge to guarantee success in any endeavor. You have to live it.
How To ACTUALLY Make Money Online
You already know the techniques people are using to make money online. Write an E-book, build a website, create a course, use affiliate marketing, blah blah blah. I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know, but you’re not making money. Why?
You need to change into the kind of person who is destined to make money online.
It’s not your knowledge that is incomplete. It is, but it will never be complete. Nobody has any special secrets that you’re missing. The people who are making money are working harder than you and they’ve been doing it longer than you have.
You need to:
- Accept the fact that you’ll spend many months with no reward
- Turn your online endeavor into part of your daily routine
- Stick with the same plan for at least two years
- Continue to learn WHILE you work, not before you start.
It’s your fault you haven’t made money online. And it’s your responsibility to change into the kind of person who refuses to fail.
Sure, ability means something. But if there are any secrets to success they sound something like this:
Determination beats talent.
Action beats knowledge.
Boldness beats safety.
Persistence beats bad luck.
“It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
Great things can only be achieved by setting a goal and working towards that goal for long periods of time. Don’t get distracted, keep moving towards the same goals for years. And you’ll do better than 95% of your peers.