I’ve always kept the fact that I run websites and make money on the internet kind of secret from friends and family. Not hidden it so much, just not made a song and dance about it. And whenever anyone brings it up I always feel really awkward talking about it. For some reason I’ve always been a bit embarrassed by it. I mean, most people know I’m a bit of a geek but I guess I thought of this as taking it to the next level.
Another reason I felt embarrassed was because of the way I envisage how other people perceive the idea of making money on the internet. Most people see internet marketing and blogging as a pipe dream way to try to make an easy fortune online. A mug’s game if you like. And I can see exactly why they’d think this.
The internet is full of people promising the next big thing that will make you millions from doing absolutely nothing. How many adverts or emails have you seen that say something along the lines of:
“Rick Snider made $4,398 dollars in his first 10 minutes using this white hat method of getting 8 million visitors to his site without even touching his keyboard!”
Every other link you click on leads to a squeeze page with big, red, flashing arrows pointing to the next amazing product that enabled some stay at home mum in between playgroup and ironing to buy a Ferrari F430 a week after buying.
The worrying thing is that the big, red, flashing arrows work. That’s why people use them. Research shows that if you give people too much choice it causes them stress and they can’t make a decision. Or they regret the decision they finally do make wondering what if they’d chosen something else. Either way they leave unhappy.
If you give them one button to press with a couple of big arrows pointing at it more often than not not only will they click it, they’ll be happy that they did.
Unfortunately there is no get rich quick scheme on the internet. (Apart from maybe selling get rich quick schemes to gullible mugs.)
Like anything else though if you put the effort in you’ll reap the rewards. I’ve put the effort into building sites, producing regular, high quality content, SEO, optimising responsive designs, split testing marketing and learned a lot in the process.
I’ve put the time into building and growing sites that if I stopped working on today would bring me passive income for years to come.
So why am I embarrassed by it? I don’t know. Maybe subconsciously I’m guessing at people’s reactions from my own perspective where the risk of looking daft outweighs the return of acceptance. Maybe I should stop assuming I know what people are going to think.
The internet’s an amazing gift that our generation has been given. It’s a global marketplace in our front room. It’s getting more and more competitive but there’s still a whole lot of opportunity out there. And even if the things you try don’t pay off, it’s still a lot of fun for a geek like me.