So, the other day I got this email…
It was from a person who had just subscribed to my list. And one of the things I do with all new subscribers is ask them the 7 word question. And she answered me with a pretty long response.
In short, she was an older lady with some physical handicaps keeping her at home. They were living off social security payments. She was in a place where literally just an extra $300/month or so would make a pretty big difference for her and her husband. It was just to cover the basic living expenses.
But, what really got me was what she was thinking of doing about it…
I want to start a blog site to do affiliate marketing through pins on Pinterest. Blogging was a secondary need that had to happen to join affiliate programs and be able to pin. I can’t blog about what I know nothing about. So my idea was to start a blog about money. Budgeting saving being frugal etc. I know about that.
But, she clearly realized how much work would be involved and how overwhelming it felt.
I got computer and hosting company but can’t decide on business name. I’m considering buying a PLR turn-key niche site or some articles prewritten that I can modify so I can have some content to use on my blog. Then I can add to it and go from there. There seems to be so much info just to get up and running. Computer. Hosting. Domain name. About me profile page. Logo. Product to promote. 5-10 posts. Email signup area. Emails to send out. Contact us page. It is just overwhelming already and I want to do some affiliate marketing for the holiday season. At this rate I won’t even have a site by then. Let alone product articles except one or two.
I wrote back to her – as I try to do for every single email I get.
What I told her was what I’m about to say here in this blog post.
Because the last thing I want ANYBODY in this situation doing is trying to go down this route of blog monetization and affiliate marketing.
What was happening here was that we had another case of a person looking for ways out of their current money situation. Those kinds of searches inevitably will lead to sites which are talking all about various “opportunities”.
There is no shortage of “gurus” trying to cater to the “make money fast” crowd. They will talk all about the things you need to do to make money online. They’ll even talk about shortcuts like PLR content (which is a horrendously stupid idea, BTW).
But, let’s get down to some plain truths here.
How Is Money Actually Made?
Money is made by providing something of value to another person who wants it in exchange for money.
They have a problem that needs to be solved, a desire to be fulfilled. You provide them the solution they want. They pay you.
It is the fundamental reason why I shout from the rooftops that blogging is not a business model. It simply isn’t. People who come to this site expecting your standard blog monetization advice will be disappointed because I’ll be the first to tell you that you’re wasting your time.
Only a business makes money. A business, in essence, is a provider of solutions to people who want them. Your blog is only a marketing vehicle for it – and that’s it! That is it’s function.
[clickToTweet tweet=”A blog is only a marketing vehicle. That is it’s only function. It isn’t a business.” quote=”A blog is only a marketing vehicle. That is it’s only function. It isn’t a business.”]
You don’t start a blog in order to make money. You don’t start pinning product images to Pinterest. You don’t buy PLR content to stock up some blog with content thinking you’re getting ahead of the game. Because a blog is useless when it comes to making money – unless there’s a business behind it.
Those kinds of things are only setting yourself up to be a middleman in a world already rife with them. Nowhere in that equation is PRODUCTION OF VALUE. You’re doing nothing to provide any value to anybody if you’re trying to throw up PLR content and litter the world with affiliate links.
Want Money Fast? Get Direct To The Point.
Identify a SERVICE you can provide. A service that others could use that you can do.
It doesn’t matter if you are passionate about it. It could be boring as snot, actually. The only thing that matters is whether others would value from your service.
Then promote it!
As I told this lady who emailed me, don’t start a blog! There’s no point – at least not yet. A blog is a long-range marketing plan. She was in a situation where a few hundred bucks would be a big change for them. So, screw blogging! Get to the point with things like Craigslist, local social media groups and some in-person marketing. If your service isn’t location dependent, then get onto sites like Upwork and Fiverr and get some clients that way.
But, don’t blog! Don’t start pinning to Pinterest or tweeting.
You can create a landing page for your service if you like. That might make sense, actually. But, writing blog posts is the last thing you should be thinking about if you’re just trying to solve an immediate income issue.
What About Passive Income?
When I talk about freelancing, a lot of people would likely react with a shudder.
… Because the whole “internet marketing” field seems to be wrapped up in this idea of quick money, passive income, and sitting on the beach while money rolls in.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The reality of passive income is that it takes a shitload of work.” quote=”The reality of passive income is that it takes a shitload of work.”]
The reality of passive income is that it takes a shitload of work. 🙂 There isn’t anything passive about it. The only thing “passive” about it is that it is income which isn’t tied to your time. But, it takes a LOT of work to build up truly passive income.
Trying to go immediately into passive income when you’re just trying to solve an immediate income issue would be like trying to teach a baby to swim by throwing them in the deep end of the pool.
You also need to get your feet wet with making money independent of a J-O-B. Because, otherwise, you never actually are able to break that bond to your job and it actually can keep you from ever transitioning to this internet lifestyle that you want.
What Comes Later
During this process, you will be building a real business. You’ll be learning your craft incredibly well by helping others. You’ll come to know exactly what kinds of problems your clients deal with on a routine basis. You’ll also build credibility and authority.
All of this then allows you to more easily enter the information marketing world. Because, at this point, you truly will be an expert in whatever you’re doing. You’ll know what problems people are dealing with. So, product creation should be a HECK of a lot easier now.
And so you engineer a transition. Because freelancing is tied to your time and we all know you can’t get wealthy if your income is tied to your time. So, you begin to transition your services into “done for you”, automatic products.
You can scale up by selling your product instead of your time. You can branch out nationally or internationally with your reach because, again, this isn’t tied to you and your own schedule anymore.
Another good thing about this approach is that you’re establishing your value. You know what your time is worth and you will price your products accordingly. And not only that, you’ll have the BACKUP to actually price the product the way that you do. This is SO much better than coming out with some dinky ebook and trying to sell it for $9.95.
The Fast Path To “Make Money Online”
When you get right down to it, the fastest way to make money online is as a freelancer. You provide a service and you use the Internet to find/attract business.
A lot of people already do this. For them, the challenge is transitioning into the productization of their solution and selling it online. A lot of that will come down to systematizing their service delivery. Then, the systems you create in order to deliver to your clients are what then form the bedrock of your products.
But, for those just starting… give it some thought. What can you offer?
Don’t become so distracted by the shiny light of the “passive income” that you forget the business basics first. Namely, (1) Find a need or want, (2) Put yourself into service to deliver a solution to that need or want.
One doesn’t start an internet business by bypassing the obvious.
One certainly doesn’t do it by starting a blog or a social media account.
The Online Business Roadmap, from The Lab, can help you put all this together in the right order. And yes, it will work beautifully for services! It is worth noting that actual blogging doesn’t take place until Phase 3 of the Roadmap. And that’s because none of that matters until you have a business concept in place and proven.
The Lab is about building an internet-based business. It isn’t about monetizing a blog. That’s all secondary.