Making Money Online During a Recession

The make money online hype

Despite the fact that we are in a deep recession, we still hear this kind of Pollyanna message from some  bloggers:

I am a firm believer that if you have  a computer, an internet connection, a paypal account and a brain, there is no reason why you can not make money at home.

The most common ways touted for accomplishing this are  Google Adwords,  Affiliate Marketing, Google Adsense, Forex Trading Robots,  Surveys and Product Reviews, Article Marketing and selling on ebay.

Well, the truth is no quick and easy way to make money online.  Making money online or offline involves hard work.  And very few bloggers have the degree of expertise required to produce content that brings in the massive number of hits on advertisements that are required to make a living from blogging. Moreover, the economic realities we now face mean that making an income from blogging is bound to become increasingly more difficult.

Reality

The world over  countries, corporations and individuals, directly and indirectly, assign their own fiscal strength based on the US dollar’s standard.  The US public debt exceeded over $9 trillion dollars in 2007 and practically all of the US national debt owned by foreigners is held by private investors except for central banks, which hold 64%. In June 2007 the Federal Reserve reported its amount at US $755 billion. That means the size of the foreign owned portion of the amount owing was almost three times the total amount of currency in circulation.

debt tree

debt tree

More that 40 % of American families spend more than they earn. In fact, the average US family’s credit card balance is now almost 5 % of its annual income (with a median U.S. household income presently at $43,200),  and   personal bankruptcies in US have doubled in the last decade and the overall consumer debt has reached $2.46 Trillion as of June 2007 (excluding the $440 billion of revolving home equity loans, $600 Billion owed for second mortgages and an overall $9 Trillion in mortgage debt).  As such, the total US consumer revolving debt grew to $904 Billion in 2008.

Whether or not jobs will go to US workers or instead be outsourced depends on whether the US can provide sufficient value in a global marketplace.  Outsourcing  has gone overseas because (1) it could – via the internet, and (2) it made economic sense for the corporation. Unless the US government imposes restrictions on the current model, you can expect that to prevail.

Making Money by Blogging

In the economic times in which we live easy credit is no longer available,  so I think it’s reasonable to assume that some companies may trim or even severely cut back on their advertising budgets, and we can expect the number of people clicking on ads will decrease.

You will never make a significant income from blogging if you lack expertise in a specific niche  and you do NOT know how to:

  • be a skillful blogger, who can actually write well;
  • create an archive full of high quality original content;
  • structure a search engine optimized blog and posts;
  • promote your blog effectively via social networks and other means;
  • establish and maintain a faithful and growing readership (organic traffic).

Monetization Combination

I don’t think there is a single best way to make money by blogging. I think the nature of the blog, the niche it’s in, and the quality of the contents are all factors that go into selecting the combination of advertising and affiliate plans that may be workable for any given blog.

If you intend to meet the criteria I listed above then these posts may be helpful:

Twenty five steps for bloggers to increase blog traffic

Twenty income streams for bloggers

Ad Networks

Twitter for Beginners

Making Money Online

However, if you  do have not expertise to offer in a specific niche, and cannot meet the criteria,  then the best course of action is to stop wasting your time and energy trying to make an income from blogging, and look for other means of making an income either online or offline. In that case this post may be helpful: How to make money online (25 ways to make money online, without blogging)

Reference: How Small Businesses Can Survive Recession

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45 thoughts on “Making Money Online During a Recession

  1. Think it just takes some research, determination, and belief in oneself if they want to make money online.

    Just like any goals you set in life. If you educate yourself, formulate a plan, then take action you can become successful at whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.

    You don’t have to work hard, but you have to work SMART!

  2. You’re absolutely right about making money online. Most people fall for the ‘get rich quick’ systems and never learn the proven methods to make money online. I don’t know of any system that has ever worked, or held up to any of the promises authors stated in their sales letters. It unfortunate that many people are taken advantage of when it comes to the ‘get rich quick’ schemes.

  3. We have a lot of budding entrepreneurs online and we all hear a number of opportunities that can help us earn online. But let’s face it, it’s hard too with lots of competition and it takes really hard work.

    • Competition would be a good thing if we were talking about a blogosphere that wasn’t flooded with splogs and spam blogs but that’s what we face. As I’ve said elsewhere I expect that this recession will result in many of the bloggers who lack expertise and skill to leave blogging and make an income doing something else. In the end this may prove to be a good thing for conscientious bloggers who are producing high quality content. I hope that’s the case.

  4. Hey , you have a very good blog, its excellent information in its field. You have done a great job, keep doing it for to help, people like Myself.

  5. Do you know that you have one of the more useful blogs on the internet? Really, Timethief, you are NOT a waste of bandwith ;-)

    • @MsAlleSanDr
      I couldn’t disagree with you more. I’m well aware of the number of splogs and spam blogs operating on the free hosted Blogger platform. I’m also well aware of the huge numbers or stables no quality and low quality Blogger blogs filled with plagiarized content that exist only for the purpose of being pimped out for Adsense pennies.

      Every day I answer questions on a blogging forum and most of the questions on making money from blogging and on how to increase blog traffic are coming from blogspot bloggers. The majority of them have no expertise in the subject matter they publish on and cannot write well. In addition, many are into click fraud.

      IMO Matt Mullenweg is a very astute businessman who is insuring that the free hosted wordpress.com blogging platform does not become another Blogger.

    • @Caleb
      You’re welcome. Frankly, I do think that many no quality and low quality blogs will be abandoned and that’s a good thing. Skilled bloggers will survive and those who are not skilled and whose blogs are flooding the blogosphere will seek other ways to make an income.

  6. As usual, this is very helpful. Believe it or not, my blog is only 8 months old. I look forward to not having random traffic, but devoted readers. I am looking to make a little money, however, my content is most important.

    • @myundiary
      You’re correct in thinking that focusing on content is important. However, you can have remarkable content and if no one knows about it then you will have no readers. Producing quality content and effectively promoting it is a balancing act.

  7. Thank you for this realistic, practical article about the realities of making money online. There are plenty of people who start blogging because they’ve heard of some of the success stories out there, and they falsely believe they can easily become one of them. However, they don’t realize that the percentage of people who can live off their blogging is relatively small.

    • @E
      We are on the same page. It’s amazing how many would be bloggers are sucked in by the outrageous claims that a minority make. In order to make any significant income by blogging one must write well enough on an interesting enough subject to consistently attract a huge flood of traffic, because only a few people in that traffic flood will respond to the advertising.

  8. @timethief. Hi. Just want to ask you something (I see that you are really good into blogging). Maybe you know, in blogger, at the end of each post, there is the “label” section. The keywords introduced there are important? (e.g. keywords at the end of your post). Sometimes I search my site on google using these keywords but it seems that the content of the posts is more important,,,i mean google can find my blog in a faster way according to the post content than the “label” keywords.

    • @infowebexplore
      In wordpress blogs the categories and tags we assign to our posts, as well as, keywords are indexed. However, the labels at the end of posts in Blogger blogs are NOT recognized by search spiders as search terms. You must place your keywords in the title, subtitles and text in a blogpsot blog in order fore them to be indexed as search terms.

    • @Vikas
      It’s an interesting word that’s a reference to the heroine in a classic of children’s literature. Pollyanna’s philosophy of life centers on what she calls “The Glad Game”, consisting of finding something to be glad about in every situation.

      • Thanks timethief for elaborating it. :)

        P.S.: You may write the name of the person you reply to while typing. Here it looks organized (because it is a nested reply) but if someone follows the replies in the mailbox, the name is missing and one has to read the complete comment to know if it is addressed to him/her.

        You may write ‘Vikas, It’s an interesting….’ just as I mentioned timethief… in my comment. But even this is okay. I recently suggested this to Nita too.

  9. I also belive, people can take the advantage of Internet to make extra money online. There are many ways to make money on the Internet. Blogging is probably most easiest way. Although creating blog is very easy, it is also very easy to stop posting in your blog. So, the key for succesful blogging is patience and consistancy.

    Also, people need to be aware of get rich quick scams. Makiing money over the Internet is possible, but time consuming process. I don’t know any way to make money quickly over the internet unless you have and idea that is really unique.

    • @InternetHow
      You’re right all bloggers need to beware of get rich quick scams. The key to being successful at blogging is having something worthwhile to share and being able to write well on a consistent basis. That amounts to hard work so I don’t believe it’s accurate to say that blogging may be the easiest way to make money online. I think some of the 25 ways to make money online in this post may be less challenging.

  10. When you have enough traffic, you have audience that will be your potential customers when you start making money . It is the first key.

    Dawid Ryba

    • @Dawid
      I do not believe that building a faithful blog readership necessarily equates to building a stable of people who will click on ads, and I do believe that people who think that way will be sorely disappointed that it doesn’t. For example, I’m among the blog readers who never ever click on ads.

      If you check the browser stats you will find that now 46.4% of those surfing the net are using Firefox browsers with AdBlock Plus just like I am. We do not even see any advertising on the sites we visit and we don’t experience the annoying pop-ups either. http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

  11. Excellent analysis and advice. If making money was hard before, new bloggers will find it daunting in the current scenario. They need to look at the big picture you’ve outlined and face reality. As with any business venture you need market research and income projections based on something other than another blogger’s ‘ad’ to follow his advice and become another affiliate down link in his network. We’re honored you included the Ad Networks series on your list.

    • @sba
      I was being surprised each day to find that there are those who think it’s business as usual when it’s not and that’s what motivated me to write this post. Previous to doing so I did check out what other were writing and the Pollyanna theme was in evidence everywhere. I suppose it will take some time before people focus on the big picture and understand what dire straits we are in. The Ad Networks series were a natural fit so I was happy to refer my readers to them.

  12. I’m happy to hear a realistic approach to making money online. If you don’t have any expertise in the niche you choose, then you’re wasting your time indeed. I read blogs where it’s clear that the writer has some experience in what is being blogged about. Most blogs are transparent enough to see right through a lie.

    I also believe that everybody is passionate about something! So don’t go out trying to do something that you’re not going to be able to succeed in because you think that’s where the money is. Get into a niche that means something to you, even if you don’t think there is a lot of potential.

    I can’t think of a single thing in this world that can’t make you money if you’re an expert in it. Honestly! If there are products or services somewhat related to your niche, you can find advertising and make it work. I am so confident of that.

    I watched a video today by Gary Vaynerchuk that explain all of this really well.

    Take a look: http://garyvaynerchuk.com/ (I think it’s featured today, so it may not be there later).

    Anyway… great post. You bring this up, TT, at the exact moment I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

    Great post.

    • @financialnut
      I’m happy to hear your approval. It seems everyday I am faced with yet another Pollyanna blogger who wants to know why they aren’t making a bundle of money. They claim they have chose the top of the keywords from Google Adwords – so what?

      The truth is that when I visit their blogs I can immediately ascertain that they have no expertise; they cannot write well; they lack basic language and grammar skills; and they only have a blog for the purpose of pimping it out for an income.

      Better bloggers will rise to the surface because they are willing to invest the time and energy required into obtaining mastery of the skill sets required. They will set realistic goals and meet them.
      Release the Awesome Power of Setting Goals
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      There are currently many no quality and low quality blogs that I’m hoping will be shut down as they dilute the niches they are in. The departure of those who cannot write their own content, who plagiarize, and who simply rehash what all the A and B list bloggers in their niche have already written will benefit the skilled bloggers.

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