Every day I receive emails and or see promotions for posts that promise to teach you how to make money online. More than a few of them praise the benefits of passive income and the benefits of working in your pajamas.
And every day I shake my head and wonder how many of the authors are really making money online. I am not talking about nickels and dimes because it is not real hard to make a couple of bucks online but the real money, the big money, that doesn’t just happen.
There may be some of you who are shaking your heads because you disagree and I am ok with that because there will always be a few exceptions to the rule but most of you won’t be that. You won’t be the person who earns enough to retire or who doesn’t have to work real hard to make a buck and that is ok too.
The Internet Gold Rush Is Real
If you aren’t hanging out in cyberspace you may not be aware that the Internet Gold Rush is a real thing and that there are millions of people trying to to take advantage of it. You might not see all the posts about how Content Marketing is the tool your company needs to make millions and the posts from people who offer to teach you how to do it for a nominal rate.
And if you do see those posts you probably w0n’t see many that break down the costs. They won’t talk to you about how much it costs to buy a domain name, purchase a theme, get web hosting and they rarely talk about time.
Because your time is worth something and if you are spending hours writing, commenting and working on your blog you need to account for that. I have read some posts where people refer to this as the cost of doing business and I refer to them as the unemployed.
That is because if you are running a successful business you have to do better than say ‘it is the cost of doing business.” You have to know what those costs are because if you don’t know how much it costs to run your operation your chances of staying in business go down dramatically.
It is hard to figure out if you are turning a profit if you don’t know what it costs to run things and if you don’t know what it costs than you don’t know if you are doing well or poorly.
This is not particularly profound nor insightful but it is something you should be thinking about.
One of the reasons I run a self hosted blog is because it provides me with more control than one that isn’t. I control and own the data and have more latitude to do what I will with it.
If you aren’t self hosted you risk losing everything. What happens if the company that owns your blog decides to shut you down? You might lose everything.
Self hosting helps protect you but it is not free and you often get what you pay for. Sometimes when you try to keep your costs down with hosting it bites you in other ways.
For example, yesterday I had a hosting issue and the blog went down for about 8 hours. It is hard to put a dollar figure on what you lose in potential business when people try to visit your site but can’t.
It took hours to get the situation sorted out and during that time not only was the blog down but much of my time was devoted to working with support to restore it.
The Gold Rush proponents tend not to talk about that. They often skimp on the tales of how much work it takes and what kinds of hurdles you encounter.
I have seen a few address it by suggesting that it is unlikely that you’ll experience any real downtime or say that if you do it will be ok because it will be minimal.
That is sort of like saying you shouldn’t get automobile insurance because you probably won’t have an accident but if you do you have a bumper and who cares if the bumper gets scraped.
It is all well and good until you get hit by a truck that is big enough to miss your bumper and heavy enough to turn a small bump into a trip to the hospital.
What Is The Point?
The point isn’t to throw cold water on your face and say that you are chasing a fantasy. It is possible to do all those things but it is smarter and safer to pay attention to your costs and to be aware what it takes to successful.
What do you think?