Why You Should Stay Away from the Make Money Online & Internet Marketing Niches
October 20, 2008 - Written by Gyutae Park
Are you looking to start an ‘internet marketing’ or ‘make money online’ blog? Stop and read this post before you proceed. Internet marketing is an extremely popular topic for many blogs, but mostly for the wrong reasons. As the owner of Winning the Web, a blog about Internet marketing strategies, I’d like to lay out the pros and cons of the industry and what you can do to build out a successful blog – whether it’s in the make ‘money online niche’ or not.
I recently described the 4 steps to find the perfect topic for your blog which are passion, style, angle, and money. You should always use this process when determining the niches you want to focus on for your sites. If you’re still serious about a blog in Internet marketing, make money online, SEO or link building, then this article series will help you to make a good decision based on your needs and desires.
I enjoy blogging here on Winning the Web and I don’t regret choosing Internet marketing as a blog topic at all. The site makes a fair bit of income from advertising deals and affiliate marketing, and above all I love the networking opportunities. I’ll describe the advantages of the Internet marketing niche in tomorrow’s post.
Today, I want to touch upon the negative implications of blogging about making money online and Internet marketing. If you’re in the space, you can’t afford to ignore this post.
Don’t be a follower
Many newbies follow big money bloggers like Shoemoney, Darren Rowse, and John Chow and learn about the insane amounts of money they are making through their sites (not realizing that many bloggers in more mainstream niches earn even more). Attempting to follow in their footsteps, they set up very similar blogs in the ‘make money online’ niche with no previous experience and little to offer the community. Unable to gain any sort of traction, they quickly give up on blogging and accuse the big money bloggers of taking advantage of them.
If this is you, you basically set yourself up for failure. Unless Internet marketing is something you are truly passionate about (and not just because you want to make some money), your blog will go nowhere. You need to have a strategy and a unique angle that sets you apart.
If you start up a blog related to making money online, you’re already at a disadvantage because you’ll be labeled as “just another copycat” until you prove otherwise. This niche isn’t for the faint of heart… just the most passionate.
Tough audience – Converts poorly
The audience for Internet marketing blogs is extremely tech-savvy and very advertisement-adverse, meaning that they simply do not click on ads. I tried Adsense here on Winning the Web and the clickthrough rate was over 10 times lower than on some of my other “normal” information sites. If you’re trying to make quick money on your site by selling advertising, you’ll have a very hard time with an Internet marketing blog. People in this niche already know many of the tactics and strategies you use, so they’re much less likely to buy from you or click on your ads.
A tainted reputation = less marketing opportunities
Similar to a tough audience, the Internet marketing industry has a bad reputation in many circles that limits the amount of marketing potential. For example, if you try to promote a story related to SEO on Digg, you’ll quickly get shot down and buried before your article sees the light of day.
Building links for improved search engine rankings and traffic is even more difficult because webmasters who have related sites know exactly what you’re trying to do – and are therefore reluctant to freely give out links unless you have something exceptional to offer.
As an Internet marketing blogger, you’re essentially giving away your valuable strategies and methods both by writing about them in articles and using them to promote your site. Because of this, you’re at a serious competitive disadvantage compared to bloggers who write about other general topics and use stealthy marketing strategies under the radar.
Furthermore, being involved with a marketing blog automatically puts you in the limelight for how you promote your sites and how much money you make. Why do you think John Chow was penalized in Google for manipulating links to improve rankings? Clearly, he was used as an example for Google to send a stern message to webmasters abusing links.
Need credentials, it’s harder to fake it
In many niches online, your credibility and authority come from the quality of your content. By writing useful articles that connect well with the audience, people will flock to you for more and help spread the word. Unfortunately, things don’t always work that way in the ‘make money online’ niche. You can write great useful content, but people won’t trust you or take you seriously unless you prove your status with a $100,000 Adsense check or screenshot.
Authority status is very difficult to fake in the marketing niche, mainly because you need stats and credentials to back yourself up. Someone who writes mediocre posts but makes $40,000 per month on their blog will have a much bigger following than someone who writes amazing content but only makes $40 a month. Money talks and it’s actually a big barrier to entry for newbie bloggers who want to break through without their own personal success story.
Requires a lot more branding and trust
The truth is that a make money online blog requires a lot more trust and branding in order to gain exposure than most other blogs. Would you trust just anyone to provide you tips on how to run your business? Of course not. In the same way, most people wanting to learn Internet marketing flock to the best – which is why branding is so important to gain exposure. People don’t necessarily want articles on how to make money, they want relationships with knowledgeable mentors who will guide them to success.
If you’re not willing to put in the effort to build a brand and develop relationships with your readers, don’t even think about blogging about Internet marketing.
Small market dominated by a few big players
A ‘make money online’ blog can be extremely profitable – there’s no question about it. However, what you may not know is that the market is actually pretty small with a few big players making most of the money. If you’re thinking about starting a new blog, you have to consider the competition levels. An Internet marketing blog faces fierce competition from the best marketers with the most cutting-edge strategies.
By now, I’m sure you’re deathly afraid of the ‘make money online’ niche and wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot stick. But before you completely decide against it, wait until my next post when I describe to you the benefits and advantages of running a blog in Internet marketing. Subscribe to the Winning the Web RSS feed so you don’t miss out.
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