As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m trying to help my brother Gene start an online business. To be honest, I don’t have too much time to do this while traveling. But this is going to be a major priority when I get back in November. Right now, Gene is working really hard to get his Internet marketing career off the ground. That’s why I asked him to write a guest post describing some of the challenges he’s currently facing. The article he came up with is a really good one…plus it references one of my favorite movies!
Trying to earn a living through Internet Marketing with no prior experience or skill is not an easy thing. There is a lot of potential but it takes time and a lot of energy to push through all of the difficulties.
Almost four months ago today I started trying to earn a living with nothing but money earned through online. How much knowledge did I have going in? Well, I knew how to logon to the computer. I just sort of walked to the edge of the cliff and jumped.
I can’t say that I did not do it having some advantages. I retired from the Navy, so though my pension is small (too small to get by on) I had something coming in. Having a knowledgeable brother who has been successful helped a lot. No doubt about it. He was able to steer me to some good decisions and away from some bad.
Utter lack of knowledge
Of course these positives are offset by an immense knowledge gap. I knew nothing about SEO, Internet Marketing or writing online. In fact writing itself is an issue. The only writing I have done since High School was the occasional safety report or evaluation. Not exactly thrilling stuff.
Why should you care?
I am not trying to blather on about how awesome I am. My point is that though I certainly had some advantages, I had a lot of disadvantages also. In September I got my first decent return of money from working online. Almost $200 for writing on Helium and almost $400 more from Affiliate Marketing. Not amazing riches or money for the down payment on a new yacht, but since some of that is residual it is a nice start.
What are the lessons to be learned?
The first thing to overcome is the information gap. When you are experienced, terms like SEO, SERP, EPC, and anchor text seem familiar and cut through the BS. But when you are starting out it is hard not to have questions every few seconds.
The good thing is that just doing it is the best way to learn. All of the tricks, at least the ones I have learned, are able to be applied after the fact. Just do it. Create content. If you make mistakes, that is what an edit is for. If I waited until I had perfect knowledge, I would still be waiting to write my first word.
Failure is an Option
It sucks, but failure happens. Even in this relatively short amount of time I have been doing this I have tried some things that flat out did not work. Maybe with time these things will “come around”, but for now, they are chalked up to failures. My approach has been to throw all of “it” against the wall and see what sticks. Some of it sticks and some doesn’t but no better way to learn that than to try.
It does take some Work
Writing and doing stuff online work for 12-14 hours days is not hard work. I have done hard work and this ain’t it. But it does begin to wear on you after a while. It can get old after a while. The great thing about writing is that when you do get an interesting idea it is suddenly fun again, even if you have been going at it for a long time.
The idea of writing a few articles and retiring to your Malibu Beachfront Condo is a myth that people need to lose. That really will not happen. I still believe that a real and significant living is possible, but only after you have busted your ass to make it happen. The good thing is that you are busting your ass for yourself not a paycheck in a J-O-B.
It takes time to see results. Four months may not even be enough time to properly see all the results for the efforts put in. Even writing sites like Helium have better results monetarily after you have played their game for a bit.
Half a Mile to Freedom
Perhaps the title of this piece seemed a little odd. It seems to me that all it takes to be able to make a living online is to make it the 500 yards. But they can be a tough 500 yards. A 500 yards that easily discourages people.
I think of it as a quote from one of my all time favorite movies, Shawshank Redemption when the main character finally makes his way to freedom, but has to do it going through a sewage pipe, “… crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to. Five hundred yards… that’s the length of five football fields, just shy of half a mile”
Just 500 yards. That’s nothing. Just make it through and everything is Golden.Take Action. Get Results.