I was reading an excellent and very sad article today on recommendation of @SarahArrow about a social media consultant/expert etcetera who killed his son and then killed himself. It’s sad but it was presented in the wrong way. He wasn’t online entrepreneur. He was un-(Or under)-employed. He had recently got a job as a forklift truck driver. And yet if you looked at his social media stream you would think that he was involved heavily in making money from blogging and social media. A potential guru of course.
He wasn’t making money and he wasn’t a Guru.
and just like him thousands more!
I then read about a different case, the founder of Diaspora, the Facebook killer, who had also taken his own life at just 22, possibly due to the pressure of being the next big thing and failing badly. He had early success but wasn’t able to keep it up and the pressure of expectation wore him down.
I have been thinking about this recently on looking at so many online stories of successful bloggers (and other professions of possibly ill repute). If there was so much money in this many of them would be doing a lot better than they currently are. I actually believe that it is difficult to make money online, requiring a skill well above most people’s initial abilities, although it can be taught of course. And that belief is probably what holds most back from directly making too much money online too.
However I do believe that it is easy to make money online when supporting a business.
That’s what I do!
and that’s what I suggest others do too.
Now when I see “easy” I don’t actually mean “easy”. It is a lot of hard work. However if you have a business that you support by blogging and social media use, then it is a lot easier than trying to actually make money out of talking about blogging and social media use. That’s just a snake finding a juicy worm then eventually finding out that it is eating its own tail
I went to a conference at the weekend. It was an SEO conference, no hugging, no massaging the people next to you, no rah rah. The people in there, in general, were making money online. But none of them were being community managers. None of them were talking about blogging. And none of them were social media experts. All of them were giving conferences, working on other peoples businesses, working on their own businesses or using social media and SEO as a support for a current business. They did social media but it was just one part of a marketing mix.
None of them were under any illusions that it was easy. However they had paid €795 in order to go to the conference. In the conference they heard me speak about Market Samurai and they heard other people speaking about a whole slew of other themes from the Panda update to the ultimate evil black hat SEO tips. In fact there were a total of 18 speakers. And everyone was different, with a different angle and tips and tricks for doing this stuff.
No fluff. No rubbish. No “Become a blogger and make yourself a millionaire”.
This was all about how to apply SEO techniques to your business and therein lies the main problem.
Most bloggers don’t have a business.
They just think their ideas and the thoughts are so interesting that everybody is going to turn up get their free report and then buy whatever they are pitching. And the other thing is what they are pitching is not usually theirs. It doesn’t happen people!
You must produce good quality content which people want to read and products which people want to buy. You mustn’t just pick the product with the most garish sales page off Clickbank and think it will make you rich. Start making sure that your content is valuable because scraped automatic content with no inherent value will not make you any money despite the promises of the get rich quick brigade. Panda has killed that once and for all.
If you don’t do that I’m not saying your finish up killing yourself of course. Maybe just maybe you will finish up on the street and bankrupt. Maybe you will start earning a decent amount. There is a tiny chance that you will hit it big, your idea resonating with people and making you a lot of money. It’s a long shot but isn’t it so in any line of business?
Start producing products now, shipping them, and then once you have built up an audience in your niche you may be able to sell them.
If you know about selling.
And guess what?
Most people don’t.
So get learning.
It’s a lifelong process.
Are you a Guru wannabe? Are you faking it in the online world? Or are you authentic?
Because for me that is the only real option.
You have got to lead your market not fake and follow it.
Lilach Bulloch’s Post About Faking it and Making it. (Very good one)
Sarah Arrow’s Blog. (Well worth a look)