Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Is Making Money On The Internet Still Possible?

As a blogger, I would have to answer that question by looking into my personal earnings from blogging. Between Google Adsense,Pay-Per-Post, and other various affiliate links, I manage to bring in an additional $1000 - $2000 a year from just being a part time blogger. I am nowhere near being in the neighborhood of the greats such as John Chow or Darren Rowse however I still do better than many bloggers out there without really applying myself.

Last night I read an article that stated that by the time a money making opportunity hits the internet, it is obsolete as tens of thousands of people rush to copy and exploit the technique, quite simply it stated that we are all fighting for the same tiny piece of pie and in that aspect I have to agree so I want to focus this post on the real question I just asked. Is Making Money On The Internet Still Possible? Nowhere in that question do I mention blogging so lets step back from that scenario for a moment and examine a few other methods that the internet can bring you money.

Lets start with online surveys, although they do pay, I have found them to be quite boring and time consuming however they still have more potential than Google Adsense for the majority of people wishing to earn money online. A personal favorite of mine would be Treasure Trooper. My son still uses that and brings in some decent cash doing so and yes that is his referral link above, click it, don't click it, I don't care.

Next we can take a moment to check out domain name flipping. The concept is nice however when you get umpteen thousand people going after the same domain name and more than half using some kind of program that buys them up as fast as they become available, well it's just a little too nerve racking for me. Best of luck to those that attempt this method.

Lastly comes the area where I find myself most interested in and that is due to several things, first it has the greatest chance for failure. I know your thinking that I must be crazy right about now so let me explain. The greater the chance of failure quite often is also the greater payoff if you succeed. When I started my business I knew that most new businesses fail in the first year. Now into my second year, I wouldn't change a thing. Knowing I had a really big chance of failure it is just something I had to do which brings me back to the greatest chance of failure but also the highest payout for success on the internet. Web Site Development. I'm talking about designing a website for the masses that if successful, will provide the site owners and developers with more money than any blogger is making.

I know that not everyone is creative enough to think of a good idea much less design it and what I am talking about,in many cases takes a team working together and yet I still see it as the greatest chance for making money on the internet. Lets examine Craigslist for a second, Fortune magazine estimates that Craigslist had an annual revenue of 20 million last year. Now exactly how complex is that design? All it takes is the right idea, some hard work, and a little luck thrown in for good measure.

What if I have no ideas? Anyone that asks that should first look at their blog, where did that idea come from? If it is a "make money online" blog or a "how to increase your PR blog", the answer should be relatively simple. Steal It. Just as your was not the first blog to think of those niches, Facenbook was not the first social networking website yet it was valued as high as 700 m last year and who doesn't know that it is nothing more than a MySpace ripoff. I'm not telling anyone to go reinvent the wheel, I am just saying find a way to make the wheel better, promote it like crazy and start selling wheels. How many pizza delivery places are there in your town? Do they all make money? So, who invented the pizza delivery idea?

For anyone that still believes there is no money left to be made online I want to include a list of some websites and their annual revenue as of last year. It also lists the web site owners name as well as their age.

  1. Mark Zuckerberg [ Facebook ] 23 years old | $700M
  2. Andrew Gower [ Runescape ] 28 years old | $650M
  3. Blake Ross and David Hyatt [ Mozilla ] 22 years old | $120M
  4. Chad Hurley [ Youtube ] 30 years old | $85M
  5. Angelo Sotira [ Deviant ART ] 26 years old | $75M
  6. John Vechey [ PopCap Games ] 28 years old | $60M
  7. Alexander Levin [ WordPress ] 23 years old | $57M
  8. Jake Nickell [ Threadless ] 28 years old | $50M
  9. Sean Belnick [ Biz Chair ] 20 years old | $42M
  10. Kevin Rose [ Digg ] 30 years old | $31M
  11. Ryan Block [ Engadget ] 25 years old | $20M
  12. Aodhan Cullen [ Stat Counter ] 24 years old | $18M
  13. Tom Fulp [ Newgrounds ] 29 years old | $15M
  14. Rishi Kacker and Matt Pauker [ Voltage ] 24 years old | $12M
  15. Markus Frind [ Plenty of Fish ] 29 years old | $10M
  16. Catherine and David Cook [ My Year Book ] 17 & 19 years old | $10M
  17. Fredrik Neij [ The Pirate Bay ] 28 years old | $10M
  18. David Hauser & Siamak Taghaddos [ GotvMail ] 24 years old | $8M
  19. Jermaine Griggs [ Hear and Play ] 23 years old | $5M
  20. Jay Westerdal [ Domain Tools ] 29 years old | $5M

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NeoBux Anyone?

Since my last post was more inclined to help out the traditional businessman, I chose to use this post to discuss something for the blogging community. It is NeoBux and it is amazingly simple to use as another way to generate income from your blog.

All You have to do is sign up for your free account and view a series of 30 second ads, nothing hard about it.The payout isn't huge however you also get paid whenever one of your referrals view an ad so over time it could turn into a decent money maker for you. I'm not saying you can get rich off it or even quit your day job but who knows what a truly motivated promoter of NeoBux could make.

As for me, I'm not really expecting much from it but in todays world of ever increasing gas prices, I guess every penny counts.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Social Networking, Business, and You

As most of my readers are bloggers themselves, I will not take time to talk of the various social network sites available that can help drive traffic to your site. Instead I want to focus this post on my non-bloggers that either own a small business or have a dream of owning their own business.

Social Networking in the business world was around even before the internet. It is commonly known as marketing and can be as simple a process as putting your business card in the right persons hand. Sound difficult? It can be.

One of the easiest things I have learned to do is to become a friend with the secretary, you would be surprised the power these "Gatekeepers" actually have and most of all, I have found more work through their referrals than anyplace. It seems as if there must be some hidden secretarial society where they sit around and refer other companies. Being on the bad list for offending her could kill your business fast.I always take candy to the secretaries whenever I have to meet with a client at their office. At Christmas time it is the secretary that gets the present.

Another thing any business person should do is buy a quality set of business cards and always keep some handy. I have been stopped by potential customers, as I was leaving a job, that asked me for my card.

Always give out at least 3 business cards, one for your customer and two for a potential referral. Being a contractor I often find myself working in homes that are being renovated, a cheap magnet attaching a business card to the fridge works nicely as well.

Word of mouth is a great thing when growing a business but it can also be your downfall. Always do everything in your power to insure a satisfied customer, they will probably use your services again and they may refer their friends to you as well. Remember you can do 1000 jobs correctly but the one time you provide substandard services is the one time everyone will remember and talk about so bring your A game each and every day.

New Businesses - Create and maintain a professional website, I can't count the times I have been asked by a potential customer for our companies website url. For many people a business without a website is not legit.

I hope some of this knowledge helps out whatever business venture you as a business person embarks on and if any of my readers have any specific questions about marketing or social networking your own business, feel free to ask.

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11 Things I Have Learned After 2 Years As A Business Owner

I wanted to pass on some knowledge I have learned from these last 2 years operating my own business for anyone else that may be interested in Starting their own business.

1. Keep your business plan flexible and know when something is not working that it is ok to change strategies.

2.Be prepared to work harder than you ever have before, hours will be longer.

3. Nobody gets rich overnight and many never do,the majority of new small businesses fail.

4. Never promise any customer what you can not deliver and always include time for problems that may arise when giving a customer an ETA for job completion.

5. You will never please everyone and sometimes it is better to let a problem customer go so you can focus attention on your less demanding customers.

6. There will always be someone that thinks they can run your business better than you, let them think what they want and pay the naysayers no mind. Negative energy only begets more negative energy.

7. You do not know everything, listen to your workers as well as your customers and whenever possible, try to compromise.

8.Uncle Sam will get his money, either set it aside or hire an accountant.

9. Problems will arise that you can not control, do not allow the stress to affect your being as it will slowly consume you and your business.

10. Take breaks for the simple things in life, after all what good is working so hard if you lose yourself in the process.

11. Be yourself, your family, your workers, and especially your customers. While everyone may not always like what the situation honestly is, you can guarantee nobody likes to be lied to.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

An Extortion Attempt

It is now 10:55 pm and I just got off the phone with one of my workers husbands. This man calls me, he is drunk as can be and attempts to extort money from me by threatening that if I don't comply, his wife won't be working tomorrow. She is scheduled to work and it's just about too late for me to schedule anyone else in her place and he knows this.

Guess I'm working tomorrow until I can find her replacement. I will not be extorted!

Scratch Back Links and Blog Reviews

Ok, while I would like to get back to doing something more productive, I have an issue that must be addressed. In my last post I brought light to my new Scratch Back widget only to have not one but two different bloggers post that the links were no-follow links. This is incorrect and anyone with any computer knowledge can simply mouse over one of the links that has already been implemented and check for themselves. It's not rocket science.

For those of you that have already gotten your link in my Top Spots, Thank You for your donation. I am entertaining the thought of giving away a blog review to one of the links in my top spots each day as added incentive to donate. If I do implement this, the blog review will be posted on my other blog, ProBlogReviews. This in no way means that you have to donate for a review, I will also still be doing reviews for other blogs that catch my attention as well. This is just something extra I would like to do to show my appreciation for my donators.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Scratch My Back

Many of you may notice the new widget I added to the left sidebar. It is essentially a donation type widget where a donation earns the donator a link in one of my top spots. This widget allowed me to set the donation rate for a link and I tried to keep it affordable so more people would be able to utilize this.Go ahead and check it out and I hope to see your link on my site soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How Much Money Is Too Much Money?

This next post is sure to surprise many of you as it did me. It starts a few months ago with my brother being involved in a car accident. This past week he settled with the Insurance company for $16,000. Instead of waiting until the end of the month for the insurance company to cut and mail his check, he chose today to drive to their corporate headquarters a few hours away and pick up his check.

After cashing his check he proceeded to head home. Entering Gates County,North Carolina he was pulled over for speeding. A search by an overzealous officer revealed the $16,000. My brother was then detained while the F.B.I. was called to the scene where he was accused of money laundering because as the agents told him, federal law does not allow any person to have more than $10,000 in their possession at any given time. The F.B.I. then seized the money until they could contact the insurance company and verify my brothers story as to why he was traveling with so much cash. Although he had broken no laws other than speeding, he was treated as a criminal all because of the amount of cash in his possession. This make me wonder, if it had been Bill Gates or Donald Trump, would the F.B.I. have had the same reaction?

Yes America, There is such a thing as too much money.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Phone Call From Dragon Lady's Assistant

Giving up the Dragon Ladies business was a move I made a few weeks ago even though I knew it would be costing me money. I can't say that I didn't know the affect it was going to have on my wallet however what happened today was a total surprise to me.

I missed a call and upon checking my voice messages, I heard Dragon Lady's assistants voice asking me to please give her a call. This should be interesting I thought as I dialed her cell number. What she wanted to discuss with me was some really great news. It seems as if she too has tired of Dragon Lady's incompetence and bad disposition and has jumped ship to form her own company. While the thought of Dragon Lady having to finally do at least a little work herself pleased me, what I heard next pleased me more.

Dragon Lady's former assistant had started her own business and before leaving had successfully stolen the majority of the clients from Dragon Lady and I am being brought in as the lead contractor. The only thing that would be nicer is if I could have been a fly on the wall when Dragon Lady found out.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Taking On A Business Partner

Now that I have finally gotten rid of the most demanding customer I had, I have more time to focus into more productive areas. While many of my readers choose to earn money online, and there is nothing at all wrong with that, I prefer to attach my business strategies to more tangent business designs. My current business, even with the loss of such a huge client, is still flourishing and I am in the research stage of my next venture, one that I will happily be partnering with my Brother In Law on.

Taking on a business partner can be an asset or it can be a mistake so before doing so you should prepare in writing all the details covering such things as what each partner must bring to the table at start up, how monies will be spent, responsibilities to the company, and how allocation of funds will ultimately be distributed if the company succeeds.

As things progress I will be venturing into even more businesses,I currently have no less that 20 ideas I would like to see come to light. There's something about building a business from the ground up that I just love. It is a huge rush to watch it grow and the only downside is that there are only 24 hours in a day. A business partner allows me to continue building my contracting business while mentoring my Brother In Law as to what he should be doing on a day to day basis to insure a complete success of our joint venture.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I Fired The Dragon Lady

If you spend enough time in business for yourself, you may come across the day when you have to fire a client. In the early days of business this is not an option as you will most likely need every client you can get however as you build you will see a day when you can pick and choose who you do business with. This is always a great feeling however there are times when you really have to stop and weigh the impact your business will take because of it.

I fired my biggest customer today. Dragon Lady will never again drive me crazy with her bs ramblings. The situation had reached the point that none of my workers wanted to work a job associated with her and was causing internal problems for me. At this point I weighed my options, I know this will hit the business financially but in the long run it will allow me to focus on my customers that are not a pita. I will still be moving forward with my goals and even though it may take a little longer to reach, Dragon Lady did not make my business nor can the loss of her account break it.I control my destiny and am looking forward to a brighter tomorrow.

R.I.P Dragon Lady

Using Music As A Business Tool

I'm sure by now many of you have noticed I will add music videos to many of my posts. This may seem strange to you so I will attempt to explain. I learned years ago about the way music can alter attitude. It was used in Panama when we invaded as a way of adding insult to injury for Noriega and when we crossed the line of departure and invaded Kuwaitte, we did so with music blaring. Our choice of music had the desired effect as we felt the adrenaline flow and it set the pace for our attack. Jim Morrison of "The Doors" once incited a riot at a concert using nothing but music to control the crowd.

It is my belief that music can also help you in the business world. It can inspire workers to work at a faster pace and can calm managements nerves when faced with problems that pop up.It can lead you to believe you can do anything you set your mind to and believing in yourself is often half the battle.Confidence is something that can not be faked and lack of confidence in the business world is a death sentence for any company.Music can however promote a feeling of confidence where none existed just moments before.

These videos I post are more for me than for my readers, they represent things happening inside my own business and even though it may be only one verse in a song that helps me deal with whatever situation I face that day. I fully believe that all I have to do is hear that one verse to regain focus. This is a tactic I have used since the day I first started my business and I have found that for me it works so if you enjoy the videos,great. If not, maybe some other music would be your personal inspiration.If you doubt the ability of music to alter moods, just listen to the Barney song one time and I bet it will either make you angry or weirdly happy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Business Politics

Many times in business you will find that the people closest to you will be the first to stab you in the back if given an opportunity. This generally is born out of jealousy developed from watching you build something out of nothing in hopes that your downfall will lead to their success. This is a common occurrence in the normal workplace as well as in most aspects of life. Why is it people think that those that have spent so long working towards a goal would just allow someone else to come along and take what isn't theirs? To the haters I send this message .... I made it all the way here, ain't no way you're taking it from me!