Stop Trying to Make Money Online

image of stop sign

Isn’t it time we quit talking about “making money online”?

When you look at what Amazon, iTunes, and Google are doing … as well as countless e-learning and other technology companies (with more showing up every day), it’s pretty obvious that it’s not “making money online” any more.

It’s just running a business in the world we live in.

If you’re looking for another one of those “business in a box” solutions, you should stop reading this post now.

(You should also never read anything else I write, because it will only get on your nerves.)

Copyblogger will never teach you a “money-getting system,” like some of the so-called gurus do. We don’t teach you how to make money with your website. We teach flexible frameworks for creating and improving real-world businesses.

We’ve do have a few pretty darned good maps, but you’re still the one who needs to take the steps.

Websites don’t make money. Businesses make money.

Look again at that list of companies up there.

Amazon. iTunes. Google.

They’re businesses. They serve customers and take in revenue. They don’t measure success in “engagement” or Facebook Likes or page views. They measure success by how much profit they make.

If they don’t make enough profit, they improve their products or their marketing — or both.

It doesn’t matter if you want to make $100 a month or $100,000 a month. It doesn’t matter how many or how few hours you’re ready to commit.

Until you think of what you’re doing as a business, you’re going to spin your wheels.

Everything else can be learned.

(There are a few people out there who will tell you that entrepreneurship is some kind of special “inherited trait” held by the chosen few. These people have what I like to call a reality problem. I give you permission to ignore them.)

This is an interesting time

If you have a lot of ideas and a good work ethic to back them up, this is a very interesting time for you.

Change itself is our new stability. Everything is in motion.

Look at the revolution in online learning companies. Even as there’s been an explosion of high-quality university courses moving online for free, there’s been an equal or greater explosion of non-traditional education.

Education that’s more about results and less about pieces of paper. Education serving new types of learners, with different formats and different learning models.

More and more people are making something that hasn’t ever been seen before … and they’re doing beautifully.

This post is an excerpt (tweaked slightly) from a free special report Brian Clark and I just wrote on The Online Education Revolution: Will You Lead or Fall Behind?

We wrote it as part of our Teaching Sells launch, which is happening right now. (If you have no idea what Teaching Sells is, here’s the scoop.)

We’d love to send you the rest of the report, as well as a 20-Step Road Map and an audio seminar on how to solve “the traffic problem.” (Those are all free.)

The report, Road Map, and seminar work together to give you a basic orientation to building an online education business. For some, that’s all they need to move forward and start creating something epic. Others will want more support and direction, which is where the complete Teaching Sells course comes in.

To get instant access to the report — with the Road Map, seminar, case studies, and additional articles coming your way over the next week or so — swing by and leave your email address at Teaching Sells.

You’ll get a link to the report (and more good things) as soon as you confirm that you want to hear from us. But don’t procrastinate — once we close enrollment to new members for 2012, all of the free stuff goes away as well.

Look forward to seeing there …

About the author

Sonia Simone


Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

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Comments

  1. I have spent most of my time online looking and testing ways to make money. All that time I moved in circles, burning my fingers. I am glad, I found out that I am most happy when a client I write for, likes my work so much that she/he gives me a tip. That’s now my system that I keep oiling. Today, I did not get anything new from this copyblogger article, i got a reminder.

  2. Amen.

  3. Making money on the internet is all about relationships with your audience.

    Also figuring out what the needs are and suggesting new ways is going to help you make a profit.

    Cheers on the article!

  4. i just read the best line today – business makes money not website. good tips sonia simone.

  5. Well, if that title didn’t suck me right in ;)

    “Websites don’t make money. Businesses make money.”

    Seriously. The founder of one of my favorite Design & Social media companies, Freshtight Designs, and I were just talking about this very thing the other day. You can’t just whip out a website and then say, “Okay, here it is” and expect a Calvary to arrive. You have to put in the time, you need to engage, you have to actually care, and show that you want to invest in others, if you have any hope of them wanting to invest in you.

  6. I like this phrase I heard years ago, which is even more true today – “Get in front of a parade that is already happening.” Good one, isn’t it?

  7. It takes time patience and common sense. People are always looking for something social media is the way to go. You never know where it takes you do you?

  8. Excellent article. Exactly my philosophy in the business I am starting up.

    There is an old adage that “Knowledge is Power.” People are always seeking knowledge and information.

    The rewards will go to those who can collect, collate and correlate all this information as it pertains to a given market, then teach it to someone.

  9. This is soooooo true.

    Although, I’ll just add, if you don’t initially set up with the intent of being a business, sometimes it can take a lot longer to turn it around from an ‘interest’ into a viable business. Especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

  10. What you touched on in this post is something I agree with 100% — and it’s a topic I have written about in the past. Most people venture into the online world have the mindset of an opportunity seeker who is trying to “make money.” They need to stop thinking like opportunity seekers and start thinking like a business builder (i.e an entrepreneur).

    How do you do this? Simple. Stop focusing on trying to make money and start focusing on adding value to a market you are serving. Stop thinking about “how can I make money this week” and start asking yourself questions like the following: “What business do I want to start building this month?”

  11. Can’t agree with you anymore.

  12. Want to start and build a profitable business?

    Start at page one of copyblogger.com and read through every article or post within their archives and apply what you learn as you go and in no time you will have built and be running a very profitable business.

    That my friends is an education worth hanging on your wall.

    Thanks Brian, Sonia and the entire copyblogger team for your service to us everyday folk.

  13. I see so many good sites go bad because they tried to change their site into a money making machine, thinking ads and traffic was all they needed.

  14. This is so true. I believe the biggest reason why so many people fail to make money online is because they fail to treat it like a real business. An internet business should have a business plan just like any other brick and mortar business complete with written long term and short term goals. Without a business plan it’s just a hobby and we all know that hobbies don’t make money, they cost money.

  15. To any new client who has a business website, from which they want to generate enquiries, I say the following:
    “I can help you get more traffic to your website. I can also help encourage more of those visitors to email you or pick up the phone. However, in order to actually make more money, the rest is down to you. And what I mean by this is that it is ultimately the way you handle your enquiries that will decide whether you capture more business or not.”

  16. It’s true you have to treat anything you want to make money from as a business, and you can make a business out of almost anything. Business is about filling peoples wants and needs. Take for instance the topic of making money online as this article discusses. If you can get people to believe there is a way, they will buy any information you offer as long as it sounds semi-believable.

  17. I have never visited CopyBlogger in order to find ways of making money online, I have always seen CopyBlooger solely as a way of trying to improve my writing, so imagine my initial surprise when I saw ‘Make Money Online’ in the title of this post :P

  18. This is absolutely true. With so many blogs running on the internet and everyone is aspiring to outcast each other in terms of traffic and sponsored links, we all have forgotten that its the business that makes much more money rather then fancy looking websites.

  19. I just wanted to let you know that this posting went to my spam folder, likely because of the wording of the subject line. I enjoy your posts and don’t want to miss any!

  20. Sonia, I think far too many people haven’t decided what they really want to do on-line.
    They’re seduced by the idea of making money (but often are reluctant to ask for it-even if they have a product that they presumably think will help people).

    “Pulpit or business?? is a question to be asked and answered first for people with a blog, for example.
    The next question may be “A job?” (which implies SOME money coming in but maybe not much) or “A business?” which is a different animal.

  21. For good solid nine months i chase around make money programs online,wasting my time and energy doing all sort of things like paid to read,survey,hyip and so on.but the day i read an article by ewen chia “How to make your first $1000 on line” there was this statement he made in that write up that reads “when he realize that to make money online he had to take the responsibility of his business and stop depending on a program to make him money.”then i realize that to make money on the internet you need to two things either you have a goods to sell or you have a services to render.That’s it.”STOP” looking for get rich quick programs.

  22. This is a great article, a lot of people forget to build a business online and set up shallow profitless traffic beacons.

    Nice insights!

  23. This is so true, Sonia. Many people spend tons of time and money to learn how to build website, how to do SEO, how to get traffic… but never actually learn how to build a business.

  24. lol, great advice :D
    it seems like the only ‘make money online’ type sites do these days is make money from advertising other ‘make money online’ sites :|

  25. The world is suffering from an “intent” problem. A very popular marketing message is, “Buy our money manufacturing system that runs all by itself!” Geez, haven’t we heard enough fables about Eldorado and its streets paved with gold? Apparently not, as this message keeps being presented and it is because people keep buying. Don’t be those people!

    Sure, business is work. But work can be rewarding, even vastly so. We all know the big, popular internet-focused businesses. Does anyone imagine they are “running themselves”? They have no intention problem, they intend to make money. And that they do.

  26. I totally agree with Sonia here. The internet has been hailed as a magic bullet for long enough. Sure, it has dramatically changed the way business is done. But I think we’re all sick of this faulty premise that sound business principles somehow don’t apply online.

  27. Great title for the article. Made me STOP – and read it! And of course, a very well made point, too! Keep up the great work guys.

  28. Great article and even better title!

    I think that the internet has changed how business is conducted now-a-days and moving into the future I believe that all commerce will be done online (that’s a bold statement I know :))

    All in all, making money online is not much different from starting a business in the offline world, it takes hard work and dedication. It’s important not to fall for all the scams out there that promise push-button riches. This is the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my time online so I hope that you all don’t fall for the same traps I did when I first got started!

    Cheers

  29. I’m glad I found this article, I’ve been focusing too much on making money and have let the quality of my writing slip. I need to get back to minding the shop (figuratively) and treat my blog more like a business and use quality content to increase it’s appeal.

    Lewis

  30. I agree that making money online is not as simple as some think. It takes time to build an online income, just like it would with any other business. I always find it helpful to have multiple streams of income. Variety is good for any business model.

  31. Great post Sonia, it was really meaningful and it changed my whole approach to this “make money online” thing.

  32. Great stuff, I enjoy blogging. The long term traffic that can come from it. Takes time and can be frusterating but learn it and you can tell pretty good if you are going to be able to rank a webpage.

  33. Thanks for bringing Premise to my attention, it’s what I’ve been looking for.

  34. This is just what people needed to hear. Getting a business mind and being creative is what will make you succeed whether online or offline. Love the post.