5 Things I Wish Someone Taught Me about Making Money Online

I confess.

I am a sucker, just like you and every other person whose ever seen those infomercials.

  • Make $64,272 flipping houses in week making few phone calls!
  • Get 430% ROI buying selling stocks in the comfort of your OWN pajamas!

Right….

If you’re reading this blog, i’m sure you’re not the naive fool that you once were. Making money online is VERY doable, like how John teaches. If John Chow and I can do it, so can you. But here’s the catch. It’s NOT get rich overnight scheme. It takes TIME and effort. And yes, you might even lose time or money doing this. Take a look at JohnChow.com on wayback machine (i.e. archive version)

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If you notice, John didn’t get much traction in the early days. Yes ladies and gentlemen.. this guy WORKED his ass off.

But look at John now. Take a look at his driving with John video series – driving that sweet car in fancy places. Yeah, I say he’s doing alright.

Fact and matter is, if making money online and having passive income greater than your expense is the ultimate goal, it’s gonna take A LOT of work. I mean a lot.

I’ve all kinds of make money online things… like blackhat CPC arbitrage, CPA/CPS affiliate marketing, lead generation… i mean all kinds.

Here’s the truth.

1 – Affiliate marketing is NOT a viable business if you’re NOT building a list

Fact and matter is.. if you don’t have a list and people don’t type in your domain name, you’re pretty much hoping and praying to god that other people give you traffic.

Now call me crazy but hoping & praying is not really a good marketing plan. (Trust me, i know… because I’ve done that in the past too.)

Wouldn’t you want to get paid more than ONCE from a customer? That might sound unnerving to some newbie marketers out there, but that’s called repeat / loyal customer. But in order for you to do that, you must

  • be able to contact them or have them contact you somehow
  • show that you’re worthy of the sale (i.e. have their trust – point #4 and #5)

Control your destiny. Build a list.

2 – Blackhat marketing is NOT a viable business

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Unfortunately, when I got started on PPC, I hung out the “wrong” marketing crowd that did blackhat PPC and I did some blackhat marketing stuff that I’m not too proud of.

If you’re doing shady stuff (PPC, SEO, social marketing, spam.. whatever), just know that NO ONE is for you and EVERYONE is against you. You might be a technical wiz. You might have a fat advertising budget. It doesn’t matter because it’s a karma thing. If you have an ill will, you are bound get resistance.

Not only that, you gotta CONSTANT hustle. Change IPs, delete your browser cookies & digital footprints, change servers, have multiple bank accounts, etc. Then you have to worry if ad networks banned you, or if the credit card processors are gonna release their cash.. etc.

On top of that, you’re building ZERO business equity. Who wants to buy a blackhat business that has nothing but pending legal litigations and unpaid account receivables? Yeap. NOBODY.

On top of that, if you feel guilty about blackhat marketing, you have to confess like me. I don’t feel good about it. I felt shitty and down, wondering if I’ve violated my own principals. Even went to Thailand to do some soul searching after that.

Trust me. You’ll sleep better. Go clean.

3 – Cross promote & build relationships

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There are three ways to grow your list or your audience.

  • organic: free but very slow
  • paid: you gotta pay but very fast
  • cross promote: free and can be fast, but you gotta know how to build relationships

Look at John. On top of doing his own blog posts, video casts ,or what not, he’s seen in other people’s blogs (I found him originally on ShoeMoney where I guest post).

He’s not just a schmuck with a CMS.. he’s OUT there promoting himself and building relationship with readers AND other influential people.

Get yourself OUT there in public & stop hiding behind a monitor. Yes, this is internet business… and businesses really haven’t changed since beginning of mankind. It’s about NETWORKS and relationships. It’s not who you know.. but who knows you.

4 – Invest in content. BLOG like crazy.

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If you don’t believe in this, why are you on JohnChow.com? He teaches you to make money online by blogging. Let me give you another example.

When I launched my solar lead generation company, I had NO idea what I was going to do to promote it.

Then it dawned on me, i’ll use the same strategy I use to generate leads for customers… to generate my OWN customers.

I spent a solid month writing up my blog posts that I queued up, set up my auto responder, and went out and did exactly what I told you.. I built relationships and cross promoted.

And voila!

Solar installation is a NICHE business (less than 10k businesses relating to solar entire US) and I pretty rank #1-3 on organic SERP for bunch of “solar leads” type keywords. I consistently get 3-6 leads per week (leads to buyers of solar leads). If I were to bid on “solar leads” or “solar lead generation”, I’d be paying $15-20 CPC.

Yes, invest in content.

5 – Stop promoting products. Start promoting yourself.

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This is by far.. the slowest lesson I’ve learned. As a marketer, I spent the last 5 years promoting ideas.. or products. And having lived in silicon valley i bought into that stupid dream “build it and they will come.” Yeah, they came ALRIGHT… the bill collectors and eviction notices.

Now, there is nothing with promoting ideas.. John is teaching you the idea that you can blog to make money online.

But fact and matter is, John is OUT there in PUBLIC LIGHT. He could be teaching you how to make money milking goat or selling tampons, but he chose the topic of making money online (Hell, I bet John could sell tampons to grandmas). It really doesn’t matter because that’s not what he’s selling. He’s really selling himself. It’s never about the product. It’s about YOU. Products and ideas will ALWAYS come and go, but YOU will always be around.

Who are you? What do you know? What can you do for the customer? That’s what your readers / audience / customers want to really know. The point is… promote YOURSELF first, then think about the product or idea. But fact and the matter is, most people won’t. Why? Fear of rejection & criticism.

Look at me and John. We’re Asians. We’re definitely NOT the profile that most of the country (or the entire world) think of when they think of businessmen in America.

But do we care? F*ck no. We could care less about what they think. Remember critics can eventually become your fans or even your customers. And besides, do you think your critics care if your business goes down? Umm, no. So stop caring about what those mother f*ckers think.

Not to get all preachy or anything, but if you’re perfectly healthy with 2 arms, 2 legs, full set of teeth, have education, and are middle class in a politically & economically stable country… and you have a desire to really make it in business, what’s STOPPING you?

The world WANTS what you have, but you gotta get yourself out there. Get up on top of a tree and scream to the world. Who cares if you fall here and there, and not everyone might be interested?

Get in front of the crowd, not with the crowd. Take action. Be an expert. Teach others. Tell what you have to offer.

image01TaeWoo Kim is an entrepreneur, a digital marketer, a speaker, and a blogger. He has over 7 years of experience in software startups, inbound / direct response marketing, PPC/search engine marketing, lead generation, and email marketing. You can follow him on Twitter (@TaeWooKim), Google+, and on his blog FreshSuperCool.com.