50 Ways How NOT To Make Money Online



“A fool and his money are soon parted.” — Dr. John Bridge

Some times the best way to really know something, is to truly know it’s opposite.

I know a lot of people that make money online, either as a living on the Web or as a second income.

I also see a lot of people fail to make money online.   Time and again.  They either chase the wrong things, follow bad advice, or don’t know who to learn from.

Strategy, skills, and persistence pay off (in more ways than one.)

Maybe this post can help shed some light on the differences that make the difference?

How many ways can you not make money online? Let me count the ways …

Actually, let’s cut right to the chase and start by asking some simple questions that help us better understand what making money online is all about:

Do you have a product or service that anybody wants? Can you create a customer? Can you be profitable? Can you compete in the market you’re in? Can you sustain your pace?  Are you spending your time on profitable activities?  Are you investing in ways that create future growth?

Do you see the pattern?  Success is about creating amazing value for customers and clients by addressing their pains, needs, and desired outcomes in an economically viable way.

The Business Basics Still Apply

Just because it’s the Web, doesn’t mean that the basics of business don’t apply.  In fact, if anything, the rule of business apply even more so.  And, what you don’t now, can hurt you.

On the upside, the Web can help you take advantage of a digital economy.  You can sell your information products to a tribe of raving fans around the world, while you streamline and scale your operations, and enhance your customer experience.  You can even move the free line to bootstrap your success.

Ultra-Competition is the Name of the Game

It sound promising doesn’t it?  But it’s not so easy.

It takes real skills and abilities.  It’s a tough game.  With a low-barrier to entry, the Web is a breeding ground of ultra-competition.

Of course, the ideal scenario would be to flourish in a market where there is no competition.  Therein lies the challenge, and part of your quest.

Find your Blue Ocean.

The Golden Rule – Create Extreme Value

If you want to make real money online, you first need to generate real value.

Zig Ziglar said it best when he said, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

If you can give way more than you take, AND, capture the value, you have found sweet spot.  If you want to create more value, then solve more valuable problems, or help people achieve their greatest desired outcomes.

50 Ways to NOT Make Money Online

First learn how NOT to make money online.

If you want to make money online, or if you want to make a living on the Internet, first learn how Not to make money online.  Sometimes the best way to do something well, is to understand what NOT to do.

Here are the top ways how to NOT make money online …

1. Lack the Skills and Psychology.

Tony Robbins point out that two things will hold you back:

  1. Skills
  2. Psychology

According to Robbins, what holds people back is they lack the strategy or skills or the business acumen to play the game and win.   Or, if they have the strategy and skills, then they lack the psychology it takes to succeed, whether it’s limiting beliefs, or a lack of mental toughness, or failure to pay attention and make better data-driven decisions, and get emotionally wrapped up in things, or let their passion blind them.

2. Fail to Create a Customer.

A great way not to make money on the Web is to fail to create a customer.

Peter Drucker taught us that “the purpose of business is to create a customer.”

If you don’t have a customer, you don’t have a business.  If you don’t have a business, it’s unlikely you’ll make a living off the Web.

Related to this, if you don’t really know who you want to serve, then you might create customers you don’t actually want.

3.  Don’t Start a Business.

As far as not making money, this works pretty good.

A blog is not a business.

A simple check is, what do you sell?

If the answer is “nothing”, then there’s a really good chance that you don’t have a business.

Websites don’t make money.  Businesses do.

4. Dive Into a Niche without a Market.

Every market has niches, but not every niche has a market.

This is a great way not to make money online.   In fact, it might even be the best because you can spend years in a niche that has no market, and not make a dime.   On the flip side, if you end up in a niche that has a market, you might stumble into money by accident.

Did you research your niche before deciding it’s how you’ll make money online?   What products and services are people already spending money on in that niche?  Do you have a way to differentiate?   Does it play to your unique strengths and abilities?  Are there gaps that you can fill that people would pay you for?

If you’re like most people, you started your blog or site with a domain name that you thought was catchy or inspired you.   What you didn’t think about was whether it’s in a niche with a market.

The traffic you get, reveals your niche.  In this niche, are people “searching to browse” or “searching to buy?”

5.  Don’t Have a Business Model.

A great way to not make money online is to fail to have a business model, or even know what one is.  Without a business model, or a plan, you can hope that you luck into the basics like identifying who your customer is, what products or services you sell, what the price point is, what your costs are, what your revenue streams are, what channels and partners you use to sell your stuff with, etc.

Or, you could read and apply the Business Model Canvas to address many of the business components including:  Key Partners, Key Activities, Key Resources, Value Propositions, Customer Relationships, Channels, Customer Segments, Cost Structure, Revenue Streams.

6.  Don’t Know Your Customer’s Pains, Needs, and Desired Outcomes.

Zig Ziglar taught us “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”


But …

Do you know what your customer’s want? … what they really, really want?

Have you used any information markets or customer research to find out?

Be careful.  As Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

And, we know how Steve Jobs felt about customer research.

Do you have real empathy for your customer?  If not, then you probably are off to a great start in never making money online in any significant way.

If you do truly understand, in an emotionally-connected way, your customer’s pains, needs, and desired outcomes, then congratulations … you have highly valuable insight.

7.  Compete Where You Don’t Stand a Chance.

A great way to avoid making any money is to compete in a niche where you stagnate on the bottom.

Some people spend years in a niche, hoping they’ll some day catch fire and rise to the top.

On the Web, being #1 is more than important.  It’s crucial.

People don’t need a bunch of options for everything.

In fact, they usually want somebody that can provide one or more of the following:

The best service

The best quality

The best price

The most relevant

The most unique

The closest (if it’s a physical service, and location is a factor)

8.  Don’t Test Your Business Idea.

Execute your bright ideas that nobody wants.  This is another great way not to make money online.  Fail to test your business idea.

You have a concept.

In fact, you love your concept.

The problem is, nobody else does.

But, you don’t know that, because you didn’t even test your idea.   You just ran with it.   You didn’t do any simple testing on the Web to see if there’s anybody wanting to buy, what you want to sell.

Feel the sting of nobody wanting to buy your stuff?   Does it hurt to let go of ideas that don’t work.   Is your emotional attachment stronger than super glue?  This takes you right back to Tony Robbins point:  Psychology matters.  A lot.

If you want a quick way to test your business idea, simply ask a few questions about it:

Who’s the customer?  What’s the competition?  What does success look like?

9.  Build It, and They Will Come.

How will they find it?  Come to think of it, are they even looking for it?  Will they even recognize it if they bump into it?

Maybe they’ll find it if it’s because it’s in a place they frequently travel, or if they happen to Stumble Upon it.

Otherwise, it might just be like a tree that falls in the woods, that nobody is there to hear.

If you’re not a marketer, and don’t plan to learn how to be one, or partner with one, then you have a perfectly good strategy to avoid making any money.

The good news is, you’ll be in plenty of good company where many others share the same fate, because they don’t value marketing, or they don’t have the ability, or they don’t find a way to address it.

10.  Chase One Get Rich Quick Scheme After Another.

There’s a saying that goes, “If something looks to good to be true, it probably is.”

This is a timeless way and a proven practice to continuously avoid making any real money.

If you want money for nothing, and your checks for free, then a better bet might be to look for a genie in a bottle.

What’s that?   Genie’s don’t exist?   Well, neither does the “get rich quick” part of the get rich quick schemes.

If you’re going to fall for anything, then at least fall for “get rich slowly” programs.

Better yet, always go back to the basics, and ask yourself a few checkpoint questions:

Who’s the customer?

What problem is being solved and how?

What is the actual product or service that people would are paying for?

What unique value are you providing?

How does the money actually flow?

How is the person selling the get rich quick program getting rich?

Trade up from serial-sucker to serial-Entrepreneur and invest in learning business skills and strategy and learn to create amazing value if you want to make real money.

11.  Look Like a Fly-by-Night Shop.

If you don’t want to make money online, then don’t build trust.

A great way to avoid building trust, or to actually destroy trust, is to look like a Fly-by-Night shop.

And, a great way to look like a Fly-by-Night shop is to chase one get rich quick scheme after another.

12.  Avoid Building Brand.

Your brand can make or break you on the Web.  It’s how you stand out among a sea of choices.

If you want to avoid making money online, then avoid building your brand.

If you do want to make money, then be sure to build a brand that reflects customer value, integrity, and aligns with your values.

Authenticity is a powerful brand builder, and a lack of it, is a brand breaker.

13.  Don’t Learn SEO.

When you search for something, how many times do you click past the first page of the search results?

Most people don’t.

They’ll change their search and try to find something more relevant.

If you’re buried in the search results, nobody will find you, or your business, or whatever you’re selling.

There are three main patterns of messing up here:

  1. Competing where you’ll never win, or it will be a perpetual uphill battle
  2. Optimizing for traffic that’s browsing, not buying (so you never find “the search phrase that pays.”)
  3. Gaming it in ways that penalize you big time and lay waste to your efforts

14.  Don’t Learn Social Media.

It’s hard to have raving fans without a Fan page.  It’s tough to connect with customer demand when you are Twitter-less.   You can’t effectively beat the streets if you don’t know the social ropes.

Social media is a force multiplier, and yet another way to rise from the bottom, if SEO has let you down.

But just like the Lottery, you have to be in it, to win it.

If you don’t have a social strategy, you potentially cripple or limit your money making efforts.  After all, business is a relationship thing, and social media is a tool for just that.

15.  Don’t Learn the Ways to Monetize

A great way not to make money online is to fail to learn the main monetization patterns.

The monetization models are all around you, and you can learn from people that are actually making a living on the Internet.

If you take a step back, you first realize that all making money online comes down to selling your products or services, or selling other people’s products or services.

You then realize that even when you make money from Ads or sponsors, you’re making money by selling other people’s products or services.

If you think about it, even working a job in a corporation is selling your “service.”

If you want to make money online, you need to have a working knowledge of how to monetize, whether that means Ad space, sponsors, selling your information products, selling other people’s information products, etc.

16.  Use the Wrong Mentors, Models, and Maps to Learn From

There are plenty of people with models and roadmaps that want to show you how to make money online.    And, there are plenty of gimmicks, and snake-oil, too.

Another potential pitfall is that what works for somebody else, might not be relevant to you or your situation.

Many times, making money is a personal thing, meaning that you have to find the approach that matches your lifestyle, your values, and your current situation.  For example, if you’re not an author with a big tribe of raving fans, then selling your books, might not pay for food, shelter, and your medical bills.

Or, you might get convinced to sell your time as a premium consultant.   Only later do you remind yourself that you didn’t want to sell your time in the first place.   After all, wasn’t the promise of making money online to just set it for auto-pilot and enjoy your passive income?

17.  Follow Your Passion.

Just “follow your passion” and the money will follow, right?

Sure, if there’s money in the niche and if you’re great at what you do, and if you do something that people would actually pay you for.

Cal Newport debunks the idea that “follow your passion” is good advice in his book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. The surprise? … “Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.”

In sum, a perfectly great way not to make money is to be so bad they *can* ignore you.

18.  Follow the Money.

This sounds just like the perfect antidote to following your passion.

It can be just as effective as follow your passion to help you avoid making money.

But there’s a difference.  In this case, at least you are paying attention to where the money is, how does it flow, and who captures the value.

Follow the money can actually help you make money.  In fact, it’s a critical part of the formula when you want to make money.

But, you have to avoid the major pitfall here.

It’s the passion killer that foils people time and time again.

Follow the money works, unless you follow the money to do it for the money.

Making money is a numbers game and if you want to be in it for the long haul, you need to make it a passion play.

19.  Do It for the Money.

The more you chase it, the more elusive it becomes.

It’s like chasing happiness.

You end up focusing on the wrong things.

Instead of focusing on customers and creating great value, you end up trying to find the minimum you can do to make a buck.   Customers sniff this out.   When you don’t have their best interest, they try to find somebody else who does.

20.  Dabble In It.

A great way not to make money online is to dabble in it.   Dip your toe in the pool and try a few things like slapping some Ad Sense here and there, or recommending products on Amazon.

Or, maybe you get ambitious and create a quick eBook and hope it takes off.

21.  Don’t Love What You Do

A lack of drive will always shine through, just as much as an abundance of passion will.  If you don’t love what you do, you’ll consistently underwhelm, yourself and others.

A great way to not make money online is to do things you don’t enjoy that are “supposed” to make money.  You’ll lose your motivation to keep trying, and you won’t put in the time or energy to make any efforts actually pay off.   And, if they do pay off, it will be more like a one-hit wonder because you spend time doing what you don’t enjoy, instead of finding ways to monetize what you do enjoy.

22.  Hope Your Hobby Pays Off.

If your hobby happens to have a market, and if you happen to sell things that people are paying for, you’re in business.

On the other hand, if you’re just trying to monetize your hobby because it’s convenient, then, not only will you not make money, but you might even kill your passion for your hobby.

Sometimes we stop liking what we do when we get paid for it.

23.  Fail to Build a Tribe of Raving Fans.

Maybe your Mom, Dad, or best friend bought something from you.

Great, but that’s not very sustainable.

Maybe you even managed to turn a total stranger into a customer, and they bought something from you.  If you did, hopefully you turned them into a raving fan.

In a world of word-of-mouth marketing and social connection, a tribe of raving fans will make or break your business.   And hopefully, you found a way to grow a tribe of customers you love to serve, and you continue to grow your tribe of raving fans.

Otherwise, you’ve found another great way how not to make money on the Web.

24.  Don’t Create a Customer List.

A fantastic way not to make money is to not create a customer list.

Your customers are your business.

If you don’t have a customer list, then you don’t have an easy way to sell to your customers, or to learn what your customers want more of (or less of.)

If there’s one regret that many business owners or internet marketers say, it’s that they wish they had started a customer email list earlier.  Many say that it’s their single-most, important asset for their business.

25.  Execute without a Strategy.

A great way not to make money is to skip strategy.

Just go for it.  Whatever that is.

Strategy is that sometimes overlooked piece of the puzzle until you realize that none of your approaches are working.   And then it dawns on you.   Strategy was not a piece of the puzzle.

It’s how you put the puzzle together in the first place.

26.  Execute without a Plan.

It’s been said that, “Even the best laid schemes of mice and men, often go astray.”
But it’s also been said that “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Winging it is a great way not to make money.

After all, when things go wrong, you don’t know whether it’s “according to plan,” since there is none.

27.  Fail to Execute.

What a way to go.   This one is especially sad.

You might have a stellar strategy and a perfect plan, but without execution, it doesn’t matter.

A lack of execution is how many of the best and the brightest ideas fail to ever see the light of day.

As a result, you guessed it, it’s yet another great way not to make money.

It’s super easy, too.

Just don’t actually do anything.

28.  Don’t Get Educated.

If you really want to avoid making money online, then don’t spend the time and energy to learn all you can.

One of the best ways people don’t make money online is they keep trying the same old things over and over that don’t work.   Or they try to get really smart and think up ways that should work.

Most of the answers you’ll ever need to find are available, but you have to seek them, and you have to ask the right questions.

29.  Ask All the Wrong Questions.

A fundamental flaw that can help you avoid making money online is to ask the wrong questions.

Surprising, a question that usually prevents people from making money online is they ask the question, “How can I make money online?”

If they really want to make money online, then some better questions to ask might be:

“Who do I want to serve?”

“What are the relevant niches for the customers and clients that I want to serve?”

“What’ are the greatest pains, needs, and desired outcomes for those I want to serve?”

“What’s the greatest gap in the market today, that I could uniquely fill?”

“What do I like to do, that I would do all day for free, that people would pay me for?”

… etc.

30.  Fail to Create Extreme Value.

A great way to not make money is to overpromise and under deliver.

It may not catch up with your right away, but it will.

In a world of ultra-competition, if you want to make money, then you have to under-promise and over-deliver.

Set great expectations, but wildly exceed them.

Karma does pay backs, so if you want to be on the receiving end in a monetary way, then be sure to pay it forward, and flow as much value as you possible can.

31.  Don’t Capture the Value.

One of the absolute best ways to avoid making money online is never to capture the value.   You can keep doing free workshops and free guides.   People will happily capture the value.

If you don’t want to make money, then never make it possible to receive.

After all, it’s better to give than to receive, isn’t it?

But what if you do want to receive?

You need to be able to catch the metaphorical boomerang of value.

This could mean anything from accepting donations, to charging for some of the your stuff.

Play with the freeline, but if you make everything free, then there is no line.

Tip – people often value more what they pay for (and sometimes it’s like the chicken and egg.)

32.  Take More Than You Give.

This is a bold move and it still happens.  It’s surprisingly effective at not making money.  It’s one of the all time best “money limiting” moves.

If the way to make great money is to give way more than you get, then this is the perfect polar opposite to block your ability to make money for the foreseeable future.

A related strategy to not make money is to get greedy.   If you want to avoid making money, then press your luck, and get greedy.

It’s a surefire way not to make money.

Intentions come across in the words you use and the actions you take.

How does it come across when somebody doesn’t have your best interest in mind, and sees you as a walking wallet?

33.  Be Boring.

Boring used to work.  “Old reliable” was a way to stand out.  Not anymore.

Now it’s about energized differentiation.  Here’s why:

“But energy is where the action is. It reflects the consumer’s perception of motion and direction. It sustains the brand’s advantages. High-energy brands create a constant sense of interest and excitement. Consumers sense that these brands move faster, see farther, and are more experiential and more responsive to their needs.”

Play it safe, if you don’t want to make money.

Business involves risk.   Calculated risk.

Go for the bold, if you want to rise stand out in a noisy world.

34.  Be a Commodity.

If you want to race to the bottom, then forget about brand, and just compete on price.

Time is faster on the Web and shelf-lives are shorter.

The race to the bottom is a fast one.

If you want to avoid making money online, then be a commodity.

Don’t worry about differentiating, skip building your brand, and commoditize what you do.

Or, do the opposite, if you want to make a living on the Internet.

35.  Don’t Pay Attention to Awareness, Usage, and Satisfaction.

If you don’t want to make money online, then don’t pay attention to awareness, usage, or satisfaction.

Briefly, awareness is a measure of whether, and to what extent, people are aware of your goods and services.  Usage is a measure of whether people are actually using what you sell them.  Satisfaction is a measure of whether people are happy with what you’re selling them.

There are lots of ways to make things complicated when it comes to checking your success, but awareness, usage, and satisfaction are good indicators.

But they are table stakes.  They just get you in the game.

If you really want to make money, and you want to deliver amazing value, while growing your tribe of raving fans, then you should actually add another measure to the mix, for good measure Winking smile

It’s Net Promoter Score.   Simply put, it’s a measure of whether somebody would recommend you to a friend.

It’s pretty cut and dry and there’s never really been a more telling measure of how raving your fans really are than the Net Promoter Score since it puts their credibility on the line.

36.  Don’t Build Trust.

Trust comes from DWYSYWD (Do What You Say You Will Do.)

When people find that you consistently say what you mean, and mean what you say, you earn their trust.

When people find that time and again, you demonstrate competence, you earn their trust as a trusted advisor.

When people find that you consistently have their best interest at heart, you earn their trust.

When people can predict what you’ll do, they start to trust you(I trust that when I give them my money, they’ll fulfill my order.)

If you don’t want to make money online, then don’t build trust.

37.  Don’t Innovate in Your Process and Product.

If you want to avoid making money, then it’s pretty easy.   Fail to evolve.  Don’t keep up.

Dr. Edwards Deming taught us that business is a game of continuous improvement.

In order to continuous improvement, you need to continuously innovate.

While innovation in your product or service is good, since that’s the part the customer sees, you also need to innovate in your product creation process.   Otherwise, eventually,  you’ll get priced out of market, or you’ll be, too expensive, or there will be better, faster, cheaper options that will attract your customers.

Innovating in your process is what allows you to keep innovating in your product.

If you want to make real money online, and if you want to be able to fund your business, then find ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper by innovating in both your process and your products or services.

Your North Star is improving value up, bringing costs down, and reducing risk along the way, while accelerating time to market.

38.  Spend More Time on Tangents and Distractions.

If you really want to avoid making money online, then fill your time with tangents and distractions and follow things down the rabbit hole.

Constantly checking your stats is a great way to both avoid making money, and to help you feel depressed.

If you want real results, then spend more time on vital behaviors that directly contribute to your bottom line.

39.  Don’t Spend Enough Time on Income Generating Activities.

If you don’t want to make money, then don’t do two things:

  1. Don’t know what your income generating activities are
  2. Don’t spend time in your income generating activities

If, instead, you want to make money, then by all means, do the total opposite.

40.  Get Disrupted.

If you don’t want to make money, then continuously find yourself on the receiving end of disruptive thinking.

It’s tough to get ahead, let alone catch up, if you are constantly playing catch up.

If, on the other hand, you do want to get ahead and you do want to make money, and create a competitive advantage …then be the disruptive change.

41.  Don’t Partner.

Don’t partner if you don’t want to make money.

In fact, a great way to make this strategy even more effective at not making money is to combine it with doing something you’re no good at.

If you do want to make money, then there are many ways to partner that improve your odds:

If you’re a Starter, but not a Finisher, then partner with a Finisher.

If you’re no good at doing the administrative stuff, partner with a good administrative assistant.

If you’re no good with the numbers, partner with an accountant.

If you’re a great talker, but not good at putting things down on paper, partner with a writer.

If you’re a brilliant, misunderstood genius, but have no marketing savvy, partner with a marketing maven.

If you’ve got great stuff that the world needs to know, but you have no channel to read the audience of your dreams, then partner with someone who does.

42.  Don’t Grow Your Traffic.

If you don’t want to make money, then don’t grow your traffic.

More precisely, don’t grow relevant traffic.

You might grow your traffic by putting up some funny pictures, or hit a spike with a post gone viral, or a video that’s a hoot, but that won’t sustain your living, and if the traffic isn’t relevant, it won’t help you in your monetization efforts.

It might seem like such a little difference, but it’s a world of difference online between somebody searching to browse and searching to buy.

43.  Monetize Your Traffic Before You Have Any.

This is a classic way not to make money.

Put up a site.  Sprinkle some Ads.  Try one here, there, and every where.

Where’s the money?

Oh, right … there is none, because there’s no traffic.

And, there’s no traffic because you didn’t create value for a tribe of raving fans, and you tried to take, before you give.

44.  Work Harder.

A common pattern that is pretty good for not making money is to work harder if what you’re doing isn’t working.

Hard work pays off when you’re strategy and tactics are working.  If your strategy is off, it’s better to change your strategy, than to throw more time and energy at a failed strategy.

If you want to make money online, then work smarter, not harder.

45.  Fail to Scale.

The Web is a way to scale.

A great way not to make money is to do everything manually, so that you spend more time processing and doing operations, than doing your best creative work.

If you spend more time caught up in day to day operations, you’ll gradually spend less and less time in creating customer value.

46.  Don’t Build a Platform.

If you don’t want to make money, then just build a blog or a site with some pages.

Don’t build a consistent stream of value.

Don’t build expectations around high-quality content.

Don’t build a mailing list for your tribe of raving fans.

Don’t build a YouTube channel.

Don’t do a Podcast series.

Don’t build high quality backlinks to your site.

On the other hand, if you do want to create a premium platform for marketing your work, building your brand, and selling your stuff to a tribe of raving fans, then build a platform to amplify your impact.

Michael Hyatt can show you how in his book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.

47.  Do the Same Thing Everybody Else Does.

Unless you’re a fast follower, this is a pretty good way to not make money.

If there is a market that everybody is competing in, then simple using a copy-cat strategy could get you lost among the herd.

48.  Don’t Diversify.

Put all your eggs in one basket.

If you want to have a lot of risk, have one stream of income.

A good example is to bet on Ad revenue with a single sponsor.

All it takes is for the market to change, or your source of income to change, and whammo … bye-bye birdie.

If you want to make money, don’t be “a has been who never was”, or who was once great.  Diversify to reduce your risk AND to experiment and find your next game changing opportunity.

49.  Do Something You’re No Good At.

How long do you like to do something you’re no good at?

Are you willing to do it day in and day out, and do your best work, at something that’s no good?

Do people want to sign up to pay you for something you’re not good at?

Remember, the Web is a big place of ultra-competition, so probably not.

If you don’t want to make money, then this is a good way to go.

50.  Lose Sight of the Customer.

Who’s watching the customer?  I thought it was your turn to look after them?

A surprisingly effective way to avoid making money online is to simply lose sight of the customer.  It can happen fast.  You can lose them right under your nose.  Just turns your focus inwards, and stop paying attention to their pains, needs, and desired outcomes.

The beauty of this approach for avoiding making money is how quiet, quick, and painless it is …until it’s too late.

I could go on, but that’s a I think that if you really internalize above, you’ll have a very good understanding of exactly how not to make money.

With that in mind, let’s switch gears, and turn our attention to how to learn how to make a living on the Internet, or a side income, in a more effective way.

Here is a good way to start …

7 People to Learn How To Make Money From

If you do want to make money online, then focus on building a business, and learn from people that do just that.    You can save a lot of time and pain, by learning from other’s mistakes, as well as their successes.  You can also find out what’s possible by exploring their strategies and poking around in their income reports, when they share them.

Here’s a short-list of some people you can model and learn from:

  1. Amy Hoy (UnicornFree.com) – Amy Hoy helps other designers & developers (people like me!) do what I did — create a growing, profitable stable of products, without outside funding, on the side, to create both improved lives for their customers, and more freedom & money for themselves, too.
  2. Darren Rose (ProBlogger.com) – Darren Rose helps people monetize their blog, by sharing what works and what doesn’t, and openly shares his own experiments in blogging for dollars.
  3. John Chow (JohnChow.com) – John Chow helps people monetize their blog with a special emphasis on automation, minimal effort, and maximum ROI.   He’s really about efficiency and effectiveness.  Like Darren, he openly shares his own experiments in blogging for dollars.
  4. Michael Hyatt (MichaelHyatt.com) – Michael Hyatt focuses on building your blog as your platform to market more effectively and to amplify your impact.
  5. Pat Flynn (SmartPassiveIncome.com) – Pat Flynn focuses on personal experiments in monetization and sharing success stories from others that have been successful in making a living or significant monetization online.
  6. Steve Pavlina (StevePavlina.com) – Steve Pavlina shares his approach to online success in various posts.   If you dig a bit, you can see how his story unfolded, and learn his mindset, strategies and tactics for monetizing his site over the years.
  7. Yaro Starak (Entrepreneurs-Journey.com) – Yaro Starak shares business skills and techniques for being an effective online Entrepreneur, and, like Pat Flynn, regularly shares real-world success stories that you can learn from.

Key Tip –Remember to learn Bruce Lee style: “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”

10 Books to Learn How To Make Money Online

Here are some great books to help you think about online business and build your platform:

  1. APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur-How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki
  2. Get Known Before The Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths To Grow An Author Platform, by Christina Katz
  3. How I Made My First Million on the Internet, by Ewen Chia
  4. How to Write & Sell Simple Information for Fun and Profit: Your Guide to Writing and Publishing Books, E-Books, Articles, Special Reports, Audio Programs, DVDs, and Other How-To Content, by Robert W. Bly
  5. Instant Income: Strategies That Bring in the Cash, by Janet Switzer
  6. Make Money Online: Roadmap of a Dot Com Mogul, by John Chow and Michael Kwan
  7. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, by Michael Hyatt
  8. ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, by Darren Rose and Chris Garrett
  9. Success Secrets of the Online Marketing Superstars, by Mitch Meyerson
  10. The Six Figure Second Income, by David Lindahl

Key Tip – You never know which book is going to do it for you.   What I’ve found is that while reading one book, I actually learn more about another, or that something suddenly clicks.   If you can only read one book above, I would start with The Six Figure Second Income.  It’s the one that would give you the big picture of how to think about making money in the digital economy with information products is.   It also helps you get over a lot of the resistance and hurdles you would face when you’re first starting out.

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Image by CarbonNYC.


    • Thank you!

      I’m hoping it really helps anyone who wants to troubleshoot their business or take their game to the next level.

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  4. Hi JD, from one JD to another, this is a fab article. I’ve been researching for just over a month in what and where to launch, have been bounced around many prophets of profit but am left somewhat furry to the whole idea but your 50 points all appear to be sage ones which I’ll take on board. Thanks for taking the time to write about them. Your alternative perspective is refreshing.

    • Thank you.

      Eventually I’ll share a cornucopia of strategies and tactics that are effective for making money by creating value.

      Meanwhile, I thought the best thing I could do is help people avoid falling prey to bad advice, as well as save a bunch of pain and time going down dead-end roads.

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  6. Great i have seen lots of people always talk about how to make money online but i am glad i found something different. I was aware of most of the points mentioned but still some of the points were new to me. Actually after a long time research what i found is if i am working on something to make money is not sure if you do that same will help you make money too. Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts..

  7. These are truly great ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some good things
    here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  8. I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every bit of it.

    I’ve got you book-marked to look at new stuff you

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