Today on Web-Earner, we have a Guest Article from my friend and fellow Internet Businessman, Tom Nixon. I have known Tom for several years now through our various Internet Ventures. Our paths crossed online, and we have been friends ever since. We haven’t met in person, but I feel a close kinship with Tom. Tom offered to write this article, and I happily accepted. Thank you for your contribution, Tom!
Bob Martin expends a great deal of energy touting Internet business for the masses. He believes that, with the right idea and the right effort, most folks could successfully run an online venture. And he’s right. The problem seems to be that most folks are looking for a job, a 9-5 sort of thing, where you show up in the morning, do what needs to be done, and go home in the evening. In many countries, including my own, those jobs seem to be going away. Increasingly, people need to re-invent what they do.
In 2007, I started a website devoted to online high schools. Since 2001, I have authored or co-authored four books on distance learning and I had begun to realize that the next big thing in that niche would be online high schools. A cursory look at the Internet will show that I got lucky with that thought and my website is now the largest in that niche.
If you happened to look at my site or at one of Bob’s sites, the first thing you will notice is that what we sell is information. No, we are not actually selling that information, but what gets folks to come to that site is exactly that. If you went to my main site, you would find two references to the book that I sell there and that is mostly it. The rest is all helpful information. That site sells many books. It also has Google Adsense ads (which, without being too specific, net me returns in low 5-figures each year). Did I mention that Google Search likes informational sites?
Take a look at this new Web-Earner website as another example. Yes, a product is being sold, but the first thing Bob did before announcing it elsewhere was to put up content on a blog. Content gets people to come to your door.
In late 2008, I decided it was time to build on the success of the site and offer banner ads. I had little experience offering my own although I had used some of the banner ad companies. I turned to Bob Martin for some advice on the matter. As anyone who has emailed him knows, Bob is always happy to help. The response has been better than I would have hoped. So, a website that originally was rather small is now bringing in income through book sales, Google AdSense, banner ads, and featured school listings. How many other topics are there out there where you could do something similar?
Clearly, I came into this website with a great deal of knowledge on the topic, but that does not mean that you could not do the same with a different topic. Yes, perhaps there is some research to be done, but consider what you already know. What have you done for your day job? What are your hobbies? Where do you live? What are your interests?
You can create a web-based business.
Tom Nixon is the author of Complete Guide to Online High Schools: Distance learning options for teens & adults. He manages the Best Online High Schools and the Virtual School News websites as well as others. He writes about K-12 online learning at his website.
Well said, Tom. You know how very often when there is a story about scarcity in the world, especially money, the phrase “have’s and have not’s” comes into play?
Well I am ever more convinced that we are reaching a critical mass situation here regarding traditional ‘jobs’. And the time for people, say. in their 30s and 40s, is now to make the decision if they want to be a have or a have not when the time comes for what we traditionally call retirement.
Many people today kind of have a traditional mantra that comes from their lips 12 or 14 hours a day … kind of a buzz that ‘the government needs to do something about jobs’…
Well maybe that’s true. I’m not here to argue politics. But my open question to those without a job today, or those who are very worried their traditional job is not going to last until their ‘golden years’ is … how is that working out for you?
Yep. Not very well. The way I see it, there are two choices. Wait and be left behind, or get on the wave now while the barriers of entry are low and the fields of opportunity are wide open. The ‘government’ … which many Americans now seem to mistake as our ‘nanny’, is not on board and likely won’t be for years … so the choice is yours.
I think you are so very right, Dave. While I am not advocating that someone quit working their “day job” today, I think having something on the side is a very good idea. While it is not as easy as some say, it is also not that difficult either. And who knows? You may decide that the side job can become the full-time job.
I am likely where you are at with regard to waiting for that retirement pay to come. If that is the only thing you are doing, I would be very careful. When I retire, I will have multiple revenue streams coming in. I am of the opinion that is a good idea.
As for the politics of it all, if anyone thinks that this is a Republican or a Democratic problem, they really have not been paying attention. It would be so much easier if that were the case. My take is that this is a global change and has little to do with who is in the White House or at Number 10 Downing Street or wherever.
So, yes, I think planning for the future is a very good idea.