Money Making Mind

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Know your subject

The title may not be strong enough, since knowing is not enough for making money: you have to master your subject! Having a full time internet access with all the search capabilities provided by Google - it's only an excuse. And you don't need excuses. You need power, and only knowledge and expertise will give you that.

The subject, of course, doesn't necessarily have to be a topic you write about. It is, when your online business is publishing: publishing an AdSense site, publishing a blog, or simply publishing articles for marketing your business. In this case, the subject of your business is naturally the subject you write about.

Following other scenarios, you can have products online you can have services online, or you can even have different kinds of business models on the internet. In this case your subject changes to the thing you want to make money from - your product, your service, etc. The matter won't change: you have to be a professional, you have to know the stuff you want to make money from.

This might be surprising, but the thought above is far from being evident. Or even widely known.

Most internet enterpreneurs are not mastering their subject - they are not even professional. They are some guys searching for a subject in Google, and re-writing a few articles they find. They don't know any more of their subject than the reader they provide the information with. You don't want to be one of them. Why? Because they will never be successful.

In an offline world you would never open a wine shop unless you could tell red wine from white, even blindfolded. You wouldn't think of opening a garage unless you could tell an Opel from a Volkswagen from the backside. You wouldn't start an advertising agency unless you knew what a copywriter does.

On the internet however, there is a major difference. and it's the cost.

Entering any online business is so cheap - compared to the "real" offline enterprises -, that anyone can start any kind of business in a matter of hours.  Maybe even faster. Opening an online department store could cost you a few thousand dollars - and what is that compared to a very small shop in a shopping mall, it's peanuts!  - but there are businesses with the same capabilities and possibilities for much lower prices.

  • You can start a business blog in a few minutes for free.
  • You can have an own domain name for well under $20 and you can build an AdSense site on it with a free software.
  • You can have a pretty good content management system for a few hundred dollars - that will allow you to run a portal on any topic.

But be warned! This low entering cost has nothing to do with the success or the failure of these enterprises. Making money on the internet is a world with a very simple rules: if you are competent - you will win. In any other case - you'll lose. Definitely.

If people would realize the strength of this rule, I'm sure that about 80% of the online businesses would immediately stop operating. Why bother? And I'm pretty concerned about that.

Just think about how many "make money" kind of blogs do you know. A dozen? Fifty? Even more? How many of these bloggers /enterpreneurs, internet marketers etc./ do you think actually makes any money? My guess is no more than 10.

How do I know that? Well, it's only a guess. But there are quite a few signs that support this theory.

  • There are dozens of blogs and websites that are actually dead. Why would anyone stop a blog that makes him/her money? (Yes, because he wasn't competent, and the blog or site actually didn't make him a dime).
  • There are loads of blogs and sites with crap, outdated or duplicate texts on them. (Will you return to these websites? Will they have traffic? Will they make money? Not unless their owner becomes a master of the subject providing his readers with genuine information - or becomes a master of marketing his site, which is a completely different story - in this case I find that marketing is the subject of his business).
  • There are quite a few sites that are using monetizing tools - such as AdSense ads or affiliate links - in a very shitty, amateurish way. Will these pages make money? Not likely.

Yes, I know: your question is evident: how can you trust me? do I make money? do I master my subject? Who is in the position of decision?

Well, my good looking reader, you are. If you like my blog, my ideas, my attitude, my style, than yes, I do master my subject. And yes, I will make money (actually I'm making money from different blogs right now, but since this is Money Making Mind's fourth post, you cannot expect too much from this particular blog can you?).

Although I won't give it as easily as that. These are a few facts that I have on my side, supporting my self-confidence (and I give it to you as a check list, that you should ask yourself before entering any online business of this kind - a blog, specifically)

  • I have spent 2 weeks exploring the subject. I have found a new approach for a widely discussed subject, which can be described as follows: "the offline, mental parameters of running a successful business on the internet" within the subject of online business or internet marketing. Having a niche like this is crucial to enter the market without huge launching and marketing costs.
  • I have got a written business plan with exact details on marketing and expectations on traffic, income and revenue. If you don't have a business plan, go back to post #1., Have a business plan! and start it over again.
  • I have written down over 100 topics for blog posts, which means that - according to my business plan, that says I will post once every weekday - I already know what I will write for the next, at least 5 months. I might be flexible, and change this here and there, but I can tell you I won't improvise too much. Why should I?
  • I have built two offline and and one online business up from zero. I have experience about the difference of the two. That precisely is what I'm giving away for you here. Free.

Well, that might not be enough. I may still fail. But I think it is more than nothing. If you have a backup of at least this amount, I think you are ready to start. You can be self-confident and launch your business.

If not - work on your competency before working on your business. If you don't you'll learn the above in the hard way. Success is not for free.

See you tomorrow!

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