If you thought making money online is easy, well, you could not be further from the truth.
It’s too damn hard.
The lucky few who succeed do it after toiling for many years on their blogs.
Wait. Let me rephrase what I said.
It’s extremely difficult to start earning money from a blog.
So, you need to stop reading those articles that say it’s easy to monetise a blog.
You should stop looking for that perfect platform to learn the nitty gritty of Internet Marketing and one that claims to provide you with a blueprint for instant online success.
Because the truth is – it takes a lot of hard work, patience and spending an insane amount of time in front of your computer to be able to start making some money.
There’s no such thing as a perfect Internet marketing course that teaches you everything and ensures your success.
Other than giving you a walk-through to all the basic concepts of website building, monetising methods, social media marketing, email marketing, video marketing, etc., these courses cannot guarantee you the home run.
The main hard work has to come from you.
You have to create your own success story.
Yes, there are many ways to make money online – surveys, random tasks, freelancing jobs, ghost-writing, copywriting, editing, etc.
They are relatively easy too.
But earning a full-time income? Quitting your 9-5 job?
Nah! That’s not possible with these methods.
I say it’s impossible because the money that you earn by way of these online tasks will not be substantial and considering the huge amount of time you will be investing to get your work done, they are best as part-time jobs. A side hustle, that is.
The income we are looking for here is the “passive” kind where, you know, we earn even while we are sleeping.
This is possible mainly through affiliate marketing where you earn through the commission on the sale of products of a merchant from your site.
Where you earn money by driving customers from your blog to a merchant’s site.
You earn money when you provide sales leads to businesses via your blog.
You earn when people sign up for your training for an enrollment fee.
Then, of course, there’s earning through ads like Google AdSense, which is basically a pay-per-click method.
But doing all these are made possible ONLY when you start having good traffic on your site.
So, don’t you think learning “how to drive traffic to your blog” should have precedence over the clichéd “how to make money online”?
It will save you from all the frustration and disillusionment that happens to most beginners some 7-8 months down the line when they have their sights on earning money only rather than understanding how to do so.
It will save you from an early burnout.
READ MORE: “Top 10 Internet Marketing Myths Debunked”
You Need to Enjoy Blogging
You need to learn to enjoy what you’re doing. Duh?!
When you enjoy doing something, you enjoy. That’s it, right?
You don’t enter into a training course to learn to enjoy doing something, do you?
This enjoyment has to come from within you.
Nobody can teach you to enjoy something.
Do not dream of making money even before starting your journey.
It’s a long and arduous journey.
Remember, ONLY A FEW SUCCEED in online business.
Let’s see if you will enjoy an activity as challenging as blogging is.
Blogging, as such, is not difficult. It is the money-making part that’s never easy.
Before you take the plunge into the highly competitive world of Internet marketing, there are a few basic questions you need to ask yourself.
Do you enjoy writing?
Whatever they say, this is one criterion you cannot ignore.
Affiliate marketing is basically blogging for money.
You must have heard many people saying it’s not necessary to be a good writer to succeed in an online business.
Well, partly true.
Otherwise, all good writers would have been successful bloggers and all of them would have been making millions from their blogs.
But still, you need to be a better writer than the average person when you put down your words on paper (or computer screens).
Content is King in Internet marketing.
It certainly puts you in a better position if you can write well.
But more than the ability to write well, you need to enjoy writing.
Do you think you can engage people when you write something?
Be it a status update on your Facebook or a comment in one of the threads in a friend’s comment there, do your words evoke opinions and responses from other people?
Do your words have the ability to touch the raw nerve in many people and kindle strong emotions from the people in your social media circles?
If you love putting your thoughts in written words and have your own unique way of connecting with the readers, you are pre-qualified to be a blogger.
Because blogging is basically that only.
You write quality posts that sway your readers and making them do things that you tell.
You connect with your audience with the help you provide in your writings so much so that they become your raving fans.
You will need to update your blog with new posts regularly.
So, let me ask you again.
Do you enjoy writing?
Do You Love the Internet?
Maybe I should have asked this earlier.
Do you love the Internet and the idea of how the world’s connected through the World Wide Web?
This is not a strict criterion but I feel people who are in love with the way the Internet works do way better than most people who hate it or are indifferent to it.
I, for one, simply love the Internet and long before I became a blogger. I’m in complete awe of it.
I love the way how the world has shrunk into a global village with the advent of the Internet.
I marvel at how we can reach every person in any corner of the globe via the Internet.
I love how information travels and how the Internet is the world library for all of us.
The Internet, for many, provides avenues for the creative outlet for artistic expression.
The governments, the financial institutions, education, commerce, healthcare depend on the Internet.
The Internet connects families, friends, colleagues, and random strangers.
I love the way how the Internet helps us take control of our lives – health, education, and business.
The Internet is changing the way people conduct their businesses.
It is also changing their buying behaviour.
We all love doing online shopping, don’t we?
So, do you love the Internet and how it is such a wonderful opportunity for anybody to make money doing the very things they love?
See, blogging is about being active on the Internet and conducting business there online.
Obviously, you need to be loving the Internet more than the average person to be successful in an online business.
Do You Have an Inquisitive Mind and an Eye for Detail?
You need not be the arty type but it certainly pays to have an inquisitive mind to be successful.
But then, this is true even for an offline business.
You need to be observant of the different variables in an online business and how each function independently.
You should be aware of how the variables act upon one another to give a specific outcome.
You know, there are different metrics that matter for a blog post to rank well or get the necessary exposure for generating traffic.
You cannot remain oblivious to them and expect them to work on their own without your targeted intervention.
A change in a particular metric can have a far-reaching impact on your overall online visibility that could entail drastic changes in strategies from your end.
When I say you need to have an eye for detail, I do not mean only the external elements on your website.
I also mean being observant of the smallest of the changes in the different metrics of your website.
The Internet is a constantly-shifting landscape and when you have an inquisitive mind, you might be able to comprehend how the algorithms in the different search engines change.
The whole idea of the search engine optimisation (SEO) rests on how people understand the behaviour of the various ranking factors used in the search engines.
There’s so much to learn and understand in this largely hazy area.
Do You Have a Good Aesthetic Sense?
A website is also about looking beautiful.
Before anybody starts reading a content, the first thing that strikes a person is the look of the site.
It takes a few nanoseconds for a person to decide whether to stay on the page or click away.
The visual elements on a website can either halt a visitor or shoo him away.
So, as an aspiring blogger, it is certainly helpful to understand that a beautiful website stands out from among the hordes of competing websites.
The idea of “beauty” is subjective and differs from person to person.
Hence, you might want to have a simple, minimalist design.
Or one that is dazzling and colourful.
Does your website reflect the niche you are in?
Is it in consonance with your writing voice?
Having a good aesthetic sense does not simply imply the external visual elements. It extends to cover the overall functionality too – the placement of the menus, the readability of the font and the ease of navigation.
As it is, an awkwardly-designed website affects the user-friendliness and even, the speed too.
There’s no specific blueprint for a well-designed website.
But it should not look too busy and overwhelm a user when he lands on it.
Can You Adapt to Situations Easily?
As with most things in life, change is constant in the Internet world too.
The search algorithms in search engines change. Ranking factors change.
Business trends change.
The buying behaviour of people change.
Technologies change and so do the preferred devices for making searches on the Internet.
Reading habits change.
The currency exchange values change.
The number of Internet users keeps increasing.
Change is there in how people connect over the Internet.
So, you see, survival in an Internet business is all about adapting to changing situations.
Strategies also change.
Of course, in the online business world, there are certain core strategies that remain evergreen but to keep up with all the changes mentioned above, some of your strategies will change.
This will change your competitors’ strategies which will again result in changes in your own strategies.
So, are you someone who hates change?
Or do you hate things being static and hence, prefer change?
Do You Enjoy Reading in General?
As a blogger, you will surely be following the blogs of other highly successful Internet marketers or bloggers.
You will be reading tons of blogs and other info from the Internet.
Every time you write a blog post, you will be doing a thorough research of the topic on the Internet. You will be reading stuff that other people write on the topic you intend to write.
No matter how novel you think an idea is, chances are that there’ll be hundreds of posts on the very topic you are writing.
Reading people’s posts give you an idea of how your ideas should be presented so that they stand out from the crowd.
And specially when you are a beginner, you want all grounds covered in a specific topic. That is why you will need to read a lot.
If you have the love for reading, then doing your own research becomes easy.
Further, people who read a lot tend to have better expression and vocabulary.
Although not a necessary condition, it is generally seen that people who love reading usually write better than people who do not.
Are You a Perfectionist?
Nothing’s perfect in this world and so you need not be a perfectionist in order to be successful in Internet marketing.
Most perfectionists are hyper-critical too and generally tend to look at the negative things in life.
There’s nothing wrong in being critical. In fact, when you’re critical, it allows you to explore better ways of doing things.
But in striving for perfection, if you procrastinate, then it becomes a bad thing.
If you become your own harshest critic, then it stifles your creativity too.
Because you need to lay your wares first before thinking of making a sale.
You need to cast your net first.
Nobody can create the perfect post every time.
You need to bring out your less-than-perfect posts too.
You need to allow yourself to be mediocre at times.
But if you keep on waiting to be inspired for writing masterpiece content, then who knows the wait could be forever.
Perfectionism isn’t a necessary and desirable condition for online success.
So, throw that perfectionism out of the window, will you?
The Take-Home Message
You must have noticed that I do not ask you whether you are a techie.
I do not ask if you already have a passion for a particular activity.
I do not ask whether you have an abundance of patience.
I also do not ask if you are aware that it takes a long time to achieve success in an online business.
I expect you to know all of these if you are an aspiring Internet marketer.
I’m assuming that you have already read articles or watched YouTube videos on how to create a WordPress blog.
I’m almost sure that the experts in all these articles and videos make an online business look like a cakewalk.
Perhaps, they even give a cursory caution about how it takes time to achieve success.
Most people are not experts in a particular activity or have a deep passion for an activity in a niche.
It’s not necessary that you have to create your blog on a particular activity you’re passionate.
If you have the zeal to learn a new activity, THAT can be the topic of your blog. That can be your niche.
You need not be a techie to build a beautiful website.
Be mindful of the few questions I asked before.
You need to look within yourselves to come up with honest answers to them.
Blogging is also a test of your patience, character, and adaptability.
It’s about maintaining focus, consistency and being practical.
So, what do you think?
Do you think you have it in you to be successful in a highly competitive and crowded field as Internet marketing?
Leave your comments below and let’s see what you think of the questions asked.
You can even supplement this post with your own questions.