It seems like now days everyone wants to jump on the Internet and start making millions overnight. Many people hear the success of young Entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and they mistake youth for easy. I mean even looking at Ruck and myself many may think just because we’re young it’s “super easy” to start making money online. This is not true…
The Internet offers many opportunities to create lucrative businesses because of the low barriers of entry. Millionaires are made because of scalability. Given the rapid and steady growth, once you get something that’s working it’s possible to reach hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of people daily. This however doesn’t mean it’s super easy. Let me reflect back on how I got started making money online.
In the late 90s I taught myself how to create websites. I learned everything from HTML, Perl, Adobe Photoshop, and even how to setup web servers. I enjoyed the simple fact that I could create something in my bedroom that could be read by people all over the world. I was no longer limited to the people in my small town in West Virginia. It was fun for me.
Once my identical twin brother started working with me, we got the idea to start a professional wrestling website. Hour-after-hour, week-after-week, we worked our asses off creating the best site online for pro wrestling news and rumors. At the time we had no clue about how much money we could make we just wanted traffic; a lot of it. Over time we began to reach several thousand unique visitors a day. Eventually we were approached by a company that offered to buy ad space for a set CPM (cost per one thousand impressions). This was how we began making money online.
Over a decade later my brother still owns one of the largest and most respected pro wrestling websites online (I left to pursue other ventures including IMGrind). He monetizes it by selling advertising as well as subscription memberships. It wasn’t built overnight but overtime he created a lucrative business that has “legs.”
Here in recent years Ruck and I both have seen a lot of guys come online wanting to make a lot of money. We’ve seen some make it really big and lose it while others continue to sustain record profits daily. It seems like some people want to take the “easy route” and not create an actual business that has “legs.” People may find one or two affiliate offers that work with a certain traffic source and focus all their time on that completely forgetting some of the most basic business principles. As soon as the money starts to come in they start spending it. First the cars get upgraded, then come the first class plane tickets, and five star hotels. Let’s not get into the Gucci, Prada, and other materialistic goods.
The point I’m trying to make here is if you’re basing your entire online business off one or two campaigns on one or two traffic sources you may find yourself with a whirlwind of problems. What if that traffic source or offer goes down? How about some of the affiliate networks that put all their eggs in the good ole “continuity basket”? Do you know anyone that’s been burned by an affiliate network? I know Ruck and I sure as hell have.
IMGrind.com’s mission is to help you realize you need to begin creating a business with “legs.” While promoting affiliate offers is one way to “break into” the online space creating your own offers is what is going to send your business into the future. 2012 is going to be an interesting year especially for the CPA marketing scene. Those that continue to deceptively market people and run shady offers are going to find themselves in grave legal trouble while the smart guys who have diversified their companies into “real businesses” accelerate.
If you’re in the mindset of “fast money” I would advise you to start thinking more “long term money” and begin creating websites and campaigns that are going to be around for years to come rather than weeks. I didn’t build my empire overnight but I built it with a long term business strategy in mind. I plan on being around long after many have came, gone, and spent all their money.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.