“Nine out of ten businesses fail; so I came up with a foolproof plan – create ten businesses.”
– Robert Kiyosaki
20 things I learned from working with internet moguls
Generally I don’t like to piggyback off of other people’s blog posts.
Today’s article was, very, roughly drafted at the beginning of the month.
Since then Victor Pride has dropped an excellent, it’s far better than what I was writing, blog post on the exact same topic.
Rehashing his points would be stupid, especially since he did an awesome job covering everything you’d need to know, so instead I’m going to give you a few personal insights into my experiences as a content writer for some of the big Internet moguls.
I’m also going to debunk a few common myths and expose the truth behind some of the more outlandish industry claims.
Read at your own risk.
1. More products doesn’t mean more profits
500 turds are still 500 turds.
Having a lot of products does not mean that you’ll be making a lot, or even any, money.
Writing 1,000 bad eBooks is just a waste of time.
Same with building junk websites.
I’ve cranked out eBooks in the past, they never sold.
One winning product is better than a million pieces of trash.
2. Most niche sites make less than a dollar per month
I listened to a podcast recently where some guy was talking about how he makes $10,000 a month.
What is his secret?
7,000 different micro niche sites.
By the way, that was the actual number he listed I’m not exaggerating.
$10,000 from 7,000 sites means that he’s earning $1.42 from each one.
Since that’s a very specific number, we can assume that a few of those sites are making several bucks while the rest are just dead-weight.
3. You always have to work
If you constantly need to make more websites, eBooks, and products you aren’t an entrepreneur.
No, you’re a stay at home office drone.
Spending all day charting keywords and spying on domain authorities so that you make a dollar per month is way too much work.
You’re earning peanuts for the hours put in.
4. The big guns are the cheapest
Most of the massive niche, and eBook, empires pay so little that I won’t work for them.
Anyone with an oDesk account will know that there are all kinds of job opportunities paying insanely low amounts.
That’s because these guys try to stretch every penny that they can.
They want quantity not quality.
5. Expenses are high
Making a website isn’t free.
While it doesn’t cost a whole lot, the fees can add up.
Having to manage and maintain 7,000 websites, and pay people to write content or post comments, is expensive.
You might “make” $10,000 a month, but that isn’t all profit.
When these guys B.S. about how much they earn no one ever mentions the costs to maintain these types of businesses.
6. Profits are low
Starting out I worked for an individual who spent a small fortune making his junk eBook look good.
He paid me at least $75 to write fake reviews.
While that alone doesn’t sound like much, he hired a lot of other people too.
The book did well for a few weeks. Then people realized it was terrible and the title sunk into the depths of Amazon.
Investing hundreds of dollars into a project with zero longevity, like an eBook that sucks, isn’t a good business plan.
When the client moved on to his next project, another bad eBook, he had to hire a bunch of people all over again.
That’s a lot of money to spend for a one time payout.
7. Content sucks
We’ve all bought a dud product or visited a terrible website.
None of us ever returned or did business with that person ever again.
When the content sucks people aren’t going to give you a second chance.
That doesn’t mean that you have to hit one out of the park every single time, but you need to try your best.
Ripping off some generic information, or doing the bare minimum won’t win anyone over.
8. There is no community
Write one bad eBook, change your pen name, start all over.
Doing this deprives you of any sort of following.
Every project requires you to hire people to hype your product up and trick the next wave of suckers into making a purchase.
Instead of doing this you could, just as easily, make one good product and then follow it up with another one.
Doing so wouldn’t require any fake reviews or pretend blog comments.
You’d already have a following willing to endorse whatever you were selling.
9. The best products still look bad
Good products don’t sell themselves when the customer thinks they are being scammed.
There are all kinds of awesome items that are being poorly presented on bad affiliate sites.
You’d be better off learning a skill like copywriting than you would be making a bunch of different websites.
Paying someone to rewrite the Amazon product description is a poor strategy.
10. Moguls don’t make their money off ventures
Most of the big web guys never seem to showcase all their different sites or eBooks.
If they were so good, and making so much money, I’d think that they’d want the world to see.
However, they always have some overpriced book about making money online that they constantly try to sell.
It’s almost like all their money comes from telling people how to turn a profit, not from their surefire get rich quick schemes.
11. Many employees are idiots
Most of the people who work on junk products are idiots.
The majority of them are barely literate sweatshop workers from Asia.
I was able to, temporarily, become the king of fake review writing simply because of the fact that I could string together complete sentences.
If you want to make a site you’d be better off working alone, or with a close friend, than you would from hiring someone.
12. Getting rich quick takes more time than being honest
People want to work with someone they can trust.
Even if you aren’t the expert on all things, you can get a free pass just by admitting this.
Saying “I don’t know, but there’s a guy over here who does,” is much more effective than simply pretending like it doesn’t matter or that the customer is an idiot.
Risking your ego is better than jeopardizing your reputation.
13. 30 Days To X is worth more than most niche empires
I could sell this blog and use the cash to buy a Mercedes.
This site was appraised out at around $30,000.
Although the mean was low, there are all kinds of digital sweatshops out of Asia that purposely bid in the $15 to $20 range hoping they’ll get a good deal, most of the actual people were willing to pay several thousand dollars.
That’s because 30 Days To X is a real entity.
Unlike bestcolognefordogs.com my site has a legitimate purpose and actual readership.
It wasn’t invented to try to make some crackpot hustler rich.
14. Everyone rides the bandwagon
If you’ve ever heard pop music you’ll know that every artist tries to sound like whoever is making the most money.
A few years back every song had to have dubstep in it.
Creativity is second to riding the fad train straight into irrelevancy.
Blogging is no different.
If “anal warts” became a popular search topic you can bet that all the moguls would be scrambling to cash-in.
15. Fit Juice murdered my clients
Last winter I was hired to make at least four different juicing blogs.
I was given specific keywords to use and special writing patterns to follow.
As far as I know none of those blogs ever made a dime.
They were all clones of better sites and they had zero originality.
Fit Juice, which is a real site made by a guy who has an actual passion for juicing, can run circles around these blogs which were built with entire teams of writers and SEO experts.
There was no fan base, no value, and no soul.
A similar thing happens whenever Spencer Haws, he’s a big marketing guy, reveals his latest blog project.
I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me and asked if I could make something like A Penny Shaved.
No one ever visits because they can get the same thing elsewhere.
People aren’t stupid, they need something to connect with, otherwise they’ll leave.
16. Honesty is the best sales technique
Imagine if every post on this site was about some miracle product that I discovered and wanted to sell you.
You’d be out of here right away and would never come back.
Most of the affiliate sites that I have worked on are nothing more than thinly veiled commercials.
Even posts that could be used to provide information have a sales paragraph tacked on at the end.
17. No one buys garbage
There’s an old myth that people are mindless consumers who will throw money at everything.
This is true almost everywhere but blogging.
Unlike television or a video site, you have to actually read a blog to gather information from it.
This weeds out the morons almost instantly.
Plenty of people, and many of them are college educated, never read.
They’ll buy something they see on TV or click a Facebook ad, but they won’t read 500 words to solve their problem.
Selling garbage through print is very difficult due to the fact that you’re dealing with a smarter group of people.
18. A big blog can go anywhere
Last week I wrote a post titled Best soap for travelers.
That might sound like a strange topic for this site, but it really isn’t.
People reading this site probably share those same interests.
When you already have readers you can take them to crazy places and show them things they might never have known about before.
With a little niche site that’s really hard to do.
19. Personality trumps “authority”
If you know what you’re talking about you’ll do well.
When all you’re information comes from ripping off another blogger, you have nothing to work with.
Most quick cash grab sites would be better off if they tried to ditch their pretend expertise and attempted to create a personal connection with the audience.
You could probably create a better, and more relatable, blog if you admitted that you weren’t an expert but promised to take readers on a journey.
Going back to the juicing copycats, they would have done a million times better had they found a unique voice, maybe a post series like “I tried _____ juice for the first time,” than by just copying from elsewhere.
The same thing goes for a topic like fitness.
More people would read “What I learned from following routine X,” than they would from your phony “15 ways to build better abs” garbage.
A friendly face is worth more than a fake expert.
20. People won’t even read a lame site
Without sounding like a jerk, there are very few websites that I’ll actually read.
Most people never treat their sites seriously.
You’ll see a lot of folks who dedicate every single post to explaining why they are the greatest person to ever live.
Or they write incredibly bland material.
Either way, no one wants to read what they are putting out.
Being too self-centered, or too generic, will turn readers off.
Ironically, a lot of niche marketers still never realize that they have to dial the content in for a particular crowd.
Men want to read about manly activities and women want to read about stuff that appeals to them.
A 35 year-old stockbroker and an 18 year-old kid aren’t going to have the same tastes.
You need to focus on your audience and decide who you want on your site.