Making Money Online: It All Starts With YOU. (Not Methods. Not Google. YOU.) I have been on this forum for a while now and there is one thing that never fails.. at least a couple times every day someone posts a thread asking how to make money. Some want to make $5 per day, some have higher goals at $10 per day (that was sarcasm for those wondering) and then some want to know how to make $5,000 within 30 days to pay for some important medical procedure.. I'm not knocking small goals like $5 or $10 per day. Everyone has to start somewhere but I wanted to start a thread that talks about what it takes to actually reach your goals. It doesn't matter if you want to make $5 per day to fuel your video game obsession or if you want to make $10,000 per month to support your family.. it all starts with YOU. So many threads ask for methods, for secrets, for the easy way out. Unless you have the activation key for the PayPal monkey generator you will find that there aren't any magic secrets to fill your bank account with money. I want this post to become a place where every noob can get a serious dose of reality. This same info will work for a kid in high school that wants extra money for video games and going out with friends on the weekends or for a man in his 30's that wants to start earning money online and has a family to support. DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT EASY. Seriously. You have to know from the start that making money online is hard in the beginning. You need a steady source of income to stay above water and to invest in your online ventures. So, for anyone that has $0 in their bank and has bills coming up due I want to give you this real advise: GO GET A REAL JOB. Seriously, you will have so much trouble if you don't have a little nest egg to work with and have your bills covered. The majority of people fail because they jump in at the wrong time. Making money online isn't something you try to make it in when times are bad. You are setting up yourself for failure. Trust me.. get a job with a steady paycheck and devote your time away from work to making money online. So many people associate online money with easy money. That is so far from the truth. It's hard. Very fucking hard! If you are serious about making money online follow these guide lines. It's just my opinion and nothing is set in stone here.. but I feel like I have been around long enough and have had enough success online to be able to give my 2 cents at least. My goal is for some noobs to see this and see what it really takes. So many "make money online" blogs make it seem easy. Why? Because they want the noobs to sign up for their hosting affiliate offers and WP theme affiliate offers.. and buy all of their MMO affiliate products. It's such a cock fest.. all these self proclaimed gurus telling noobs they can make millions online with just a hosting account (that pays them a nice commission).. Fuck those gurus (that are really broke muppits) and their false claims. This is the reality of making money online.. You Need Money to Make Money The gurus will tell you that you can start making money virtually over night if you just get some traffic to your website and start ringing in affiliate sales. It's that easy, right? WRONG. Again.. they are just trying to sell you their product or get you to sign up for hosting through them. (Sadly even the most "elite" <more sarcasm> gurus come to BHW to spit their BS just to get hosting affiliate signups). The CPA and affiliate marketing space is crowded. There are so many people trying to make money. 80% of them don't stand a chance. Who makes all the money? Those that have money to spend and invest. They are the ones that have the coin to invest in proper SEO and control the top of the PPC results. They are also spending crazy money on Facebook ads and every other traffic source that produces results. They have money to test the shit out of ads, banners, and traffic sources. So many people will post a thread stating they have $50 to invest in PPC. Stop.. save your money. That $50 will buy you dinner for a few nights. Understanding that you need money to make money is the first step. You Can't Spread Yourself Too Thin We see it all the time on the forum.. people are trying to build an authority site and monetize it with AdSense one minute then the next day they are asking about building a clickbank review website and then a few days later they want to build Instagram accounts. Enthusiasm is great and wanting to venture into many different areas is a nice goal.. but it isn't practical. And if you spread yourself too thin you are going to fail. In the beginning you need to pick one thing to focus on and spend all your time learning everything you can about it.. whether it's building a blog and monetizing it with CPA offers and AdSense, or running CPA offers using paid traffic sources. Find one thing that you are interested in and stick to it. Don't bounce around between several different things. You have to dedicate all of your time and focus on one project at a time, especially in the beginning. Look at the best IMers in the game.. they are experts in one area usually. That is how they become so successful. They aren't all over the place trying to do it all. They master one thing and continue to evolve with it. You Can't Expect Instant Results This one kills me and it's amazing how many people expect to make money overnight or even in their first month. I blame a lot of the guru crap that is online. They want their sheep followers to think that they can make $100K a year and drive an exotic car if they just buy their $47 eBook. If you spend some time to get to know some of the experienced members on BHW you will know that they failed more times than they succeeded. Some didn't start to make money for several months.. but they knew if they kept learning and kept moving forward they would eventually find success. This also goes back to the first point I made about needing money to make money. In the beginning your regular job is in place to pay your bills and support your family while you learn IM. If you don't have that safety net the stress will cause you to panic and make bad choices. When you have that job and you know your bills are covered you can learn and suck in info at your own pace. Of course everyone wants to make money online ASAP but that's not how it works. You need to learn, read and figure it out at your own pace. With your bills covered you don't NEED instant results.. allowing you to figure it out at a pace that is comfortable and will allow you to actually figure it out. You Can't Give Up Easy I bet if you took 5 minutes you could find a thread within the last week where someone is complaining that a particular method doesn't work. How many times have you heard... "PPC sucks.. it doesn't work!" "SEO is dead.. it doesn't work!" "Affiliate marketing is dead.. it doesn't work!" "Email marketing is dead.. it doesn't work!" You get the picture.. Why do these people say that something doesn't work? Because they don't give it enough time. They expect instant results and quit before they figure it out. If IM was easy wouldn't everyone be working from home or working from some exotic location while models fan them down and feed them grapes? You should be thankful it isn't easy. Who would pour you a beer at your local pub or come mow your lawn and take care of your yard? Working online and making a living online is very hard. Did I mention this yet? Just like a professional athlete trains nonstop.. someone with goals of making money online needs to read, study, test.. nonstop. If you want it bad enough you have to put your head down and DO THE WORK. Go into this knowing that you aren't going to quit. You will eventually figure it out if you just promise yourself that you will NEVER give up. You Can't Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket Once you do pick something to pursue you need to make sure you diversify as much as possible because IM is always changing and shit happens. Let's pretend you decide to start a blog about personal finance and you have selected the following ways to monetize your website: AdSense - ad blocks throughout the site ClickBank offers - offers mixed in your blog posts and will send offers to your email list CPA offers - offers mixed in your blog posts and will send offers to your email list So, you want to push as much traffic to your blog as possible with the goal of them clicking on ads, clicking on your affiliate links in the content or joining your email list through some kind of offer. You need to find as many traffic sources as possible.. that way you aren't screwed when one dries up or just disappears.. So, a few traffic sources you would want to look into: SEO PPC Facebook Ads Guest Blogging Media Buys This way if a Google update kills your traffic overnight you can just increase your other traffic sources... just turn the dial and adjust. If you put all your eggs in one basket and spent all of your time and money on SEO you would be at $0 the minute that update killed your SEO. You Need to be Minimalistic Starting Out (and maybe give up some luxuries) Don't be like CEOSam and all the other fake IMers that are worried about materialistic crap. The people that get their first taste of money and go out and buy a watch or some other stupid material possession are doomed for failure. You have to stay grounded and remain focused. This industry can do a 180 instantly and if you lose your focus you will fall on your arse fast. I'll use myself as an example.. I could have any crazy car I wanted. Not bragging.. just making a point. Instead of spending a ton of money I bought something that I had wanted since I was very young.. an a4.. it's a nice car but it's no Maserati or Veyron.. but that doesn't matter to me. Don't set out to impress anyone. It isn't going to make you any more money. Know what you SHOULD spend your money on? A great computer, laptop, smartphone and online tools and software.. things that will help you improve your online marketing. You need to also look at what you spend money on and look for ways to cut spending.. this allows you to use that money to help your IM career. If you eat out a few times every week (I was seriously guilty of this) cut back and cook your meals at home. More ads.. a new blog design.. more links.. etc. You Need to Save Money This goes back to the previous point. When you start to make money and you see it roll in DO NOT spend it. Put some away for a rainy day. If your goal is to be self employed then you need to think about the big picture. There are no health benefits.. retirement funds.. etc. You are 100% responsible for your future. When you do start making money I suggest you hire a proper accountant and work with a financial adviser and planner. When you are 75 years old you will be glad you put some money away instead of buying that sports car or spending your money chasing girls. I'm not saying you shouldn't have fun.. you should have plenty of fun.. just don't live beyond your means.. and focus on saving money. I bet if we started a thread on BHW asking people to post about experiences they had making a shit load of money and then having nothing there would be plenty of people coming forward to tell their story. When you first taste the money it is like a drug.. have fun, but just be smart about it. Tuck some dough away and pretend you don't even have it. Invest it properly. You Need to Treat IM Like a Real Business This is where a lot of mistakes are made. People think they can work when they want and be successful. IM is a real business. What would happen if you just showed up to a regular job when you wanted? You would be fired. What would happen if you just left after a couple hours of working? You would get fired. Yes, part of IM is the ability to work from anywhere in the world and not work as many hours. It is up to you to determine how much you work and when you work. Some deals will require more work. Heck, I know people with successful online businesses that might work 2 hours a day.. but they worked plenty of 20 hour days when they first started! Just don't cut yourself short.. and be professional. Respond to emails quickly. Address any issues right away. Just like a real business.. because IM is a real business! That's the end of my rant.. I hope I don't scare any of you newbies.. I seriously hope this helps some people figure this out properly. Any questions, feedback or points to contribute/add fire away. As always I hope you enjoyed the read. Until next time.. Ciao for now!