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Why You Are Not Earning Money Online

By Edited Mar 22, 2016 11 21

Are You Making Mistakes That Could Be Setting You Back?

Is it the internet or is it you?

Many people dream of working from home while earning a living sitting in their sweatpants or pajamas. In today’s world, earning passive income is like a modern day gold rush. 

Americans learned about the Great California Gold Rush in history class while in middle school or high school. The discovery of gold at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 caused quite a commotion.  James Wilson Marshall discovered flakes of gold in the American River, and over time word got out that there was a fortune to be made.

The ‘49ers came to California with hopes and dreams of striking it rich.  For most, those dreams never did come true. As more and more miners arrived, there was less and less gold to discover. By 1852, the Gold Rush was over, and many never did achieve their goal of achieving enormous wealth.

Why You Are Not Earning Money Online-Mistakes to Avoid

Photo from freedigitalphotos/iosphere

The internet is much like the California Gold Rush. Those who saw the potential and got in early made money before search engines became more sophisticated. Anyone who could master basic SEO gibberish could climb to the top of the search engines and make money.

With all of the Google updates and changes in the algorithm, many have found that what used to work does not work any longer.  In addition, niches are saturated and people are competing against companies who hire professional SEO marketers to help them achieve a page one Google ranking.

But still, there are people who are making money online.  Some are earning a full-time salary while others make a great part-time salary.

No matter how much money you want to earn, you will earn little, if any, money online if you are doing any of the following.

Writing in a Saturated Niche

How can you stand out in the crowd?

There is money to be made in niches like weight loss, dieting, fashion, and health and beauty. We are obsessed with looking younger, getting thinner and feeling better.

If you decide to write about these topics, you are in for a lot of competition.

For example, if you want to write about health and fitness, you will be competing against people like Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, Dr. Mehmet  Oz, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Tony Horton, Anthony Robbins, and Martha Beck, to name just a few.  You will also be competing with online magazine such as Prevention.

What kind of information will you, a relative unknown, be able to give to the internet masses that these authorities have not already shared?  Will readers trust you or Dr. Oz when it comes to a medical issue?  If you need motivation, who will readers choose-you or Jack Canfield?  If there is a new way to work your abdominal muscles, will people be searching for you or Shaun T?

This is not meant to burst your bubble, but to be honest and truthful. 

If you want to find success in a niche such as this, then you need to find a micro-niche or even a micro-micro niche and work from there.  Go for the low hanging fruit.

Google Trending Topics 2015

You Are Not an Authority in the Topic


Are You an Authority in Your Topic?
This is ties in directly to writing in a saturated niche. If you are not an authority on a subject, who is going to be able to find you?

The key to becoming an authority is to find a niche and stick with it.  If it is something you are passionate about, it will shine through in your writing. When I started writing online, I wrote a lot about my experiences as a Girl Scout leader on InfoBarrel and eventually started my own Girl Scout leader blog.  This is still going strong over 4.5 years later.  I have even started a second blog,and two websites, each targeting a very specific branch of the Girl Scouts.

In all honesty, writing about Girl Scouts is not a big money maker by any stretch of the imagination.  But I have hundreds of blog posts, as well as about one hundred stand alone articles in this niche.  I even have a book on Kindle on the subject.  All of these add up.

Two years ago, I received an email invitation to speak at a Girl Scout Service Unit meeting to kick off the year.  Unfortunately, it was a plane ride away so I could not attend, but it was an honor to be asked.  It was then that I felt like an authority on the subject.

As for my competition in this niche, very few blogs make it past the first year. The women writing them get bored, stop leading or just no longer have the time to keep up with it. As my daughter rises through the ranks of Girl Scouting, I have fresh material to write about and new ideas to research and keep my interest.

You become an authority when you give your audience what they are looking for.  If you go in expecting to get something while offering very little, you will get exactly that in return.

You Think You Will Become an Overnight Success

You Will Not be an Overnight Success
Please raise your hand if you graduated from school and became the boss of a Fortune 500 company after the first year?


No one is an overnight success.  Sure, it is great when an article goes viral, but that is just one article and it may not make you much money at all.

When I see forum threads brought back to life from years ago or when I edit an older article, I see the names and avatars of people who joined InfoBarrel and have since vanished.  A few I remember because all they wanted was to earn money fast and they did not grasp that this is not that kind of way to earn income.

And no matter what advice other long-term writers gave, it just wasn’t what these people wanted to hear.

If you abandon the ship too early, you will never know what could have been.  There is a reason why there are still many IB old-timers around.

You Think You Know it All

Mr.Know It All (or Mrs!)

The landscape of the internet is changing daily.  You have to keep up with the times or find your pages slowly sinking into page 12 oblivion on Google.

Sites change their rules and you can accept that or leave the sandbox. You can start your own sites or write content elsewhere that may be a better fit for your niche.

I am not a fan of personal social media (I do not care that you had a breakfast burrito and now it is attacking you), yet I have learned to Tweet within my niche and have about two dozen pinboards on Pinterest devoted to Girl Scouts.  Yes, this is extra work, but it also beneficial to my bottom line to stay current.

I am always open to learning what is new and mixing it into what I already know works for me. No one knows it all-and if they tell you they do for only $39.95-run!

This Book May Be of Help

How to Find Profitable Niches: 5 Five-Minute Free & Easy Methods for Any Niche Endeavor
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Mar 22, 2016)
Lots of great information is written in this priced to sell ebook. Learn how to find a niche that has potential to make you money.

How Can I Earn Money Online?

There are many ways for you to earn money online.  You have to take a hard, honest look at what you are doing and see if you are making any of these mistakes. Learn from them, correct what you are doing, and hopefully your pennies will turn into more!



Jul 18, 2014 6:19pm
As always, a great article.
Jul 24, 2014 3:44am
Thank you!
Jul 19, 2014 1:48am
You couldn't be more clear. This article is very direct and to the point. I Love it and will apply it to my work in progress. :)
Thank you
Jul 21, 2014 1:07pm
You are welcome. Good luck!
Jul 19, 2014 12:10pm
Spot on article. Nothing comes easy!
Jul 21, 2014 1:07pm
You are correct!
Jul 24, 2014 12:18pm
Thanks for posting, this was really useful!
Jul 25, 2014 2:33pm
Glad I could help!
Jul 27, 2014 1:46pm
Great article. I am just starting my journey on passive income and know that it can take a couple years to see any kind of income. I won't give up though!
Jul 27, 2014 3:44pm
Thank you. So many people give up. I just roll with the punches and keep on learning. I never want a 9-5 job ever again, so as long as I can pay some of our bills, I am fine. Good luck to you!
Jul 30, 2014 6:29pm
I enjoyed this article. Its very informative.
Aug 5, 2014 1:47pm
I appreciate you reading it!
Aug 7, 2014 3:41am
Another helpful article - thanks! It's exciting but I must admit I have more ideas and half-begun projects than I have time in the day. I need to sit down, take stock and focus on the ones that have the most potential to earn and see what is worth me delegating out. So little time in the day!
Aug 7, 2014 11:33am
Lisa, you are welcome. I completely understand what you are saying...I hve only a few days left of uninterrupted time before my kids are home from camp for three weeks. What should I be writing about first? I do not outsource, so I had to take a look at what was coming up seasonally, and it is Back to Troop time for Girl Scouts. Now to update my articles and write a few fresh blog posts!
Oct 27, 2014 6:44pm
Everything takes time and quality.

Well written article!
Oct 28, 2014 12:07pm
I agree, People re not so patient these days. Thank you for reading!
Apr 5, 2015 3:00pm
Every time I read this, something new jumps out at me. I'm in the middle of switching brands, and it's been hard getting past the inner critic that says the gluten-free market is saturated and low carb is currently working -- but I have no passion for low carb. I don't eat that way anymore, so I have no enthusiasm for the topic. Even within the gluten-free niche, "I" am evolving. I don't eat dairy free or corn free anymore either. You are so right about bloggers only sticking around for a year or two and then fading away. I see that in the gluten-free niche all the time. Maybe it's not as saturated as it first appeared. I'll have to take a closer look. Thanks.
Apr 7, 2015 6:59am
Thank you for reading this again! One thing I am doing in my Girl Scout niche is doing more micro-niche websites and blogs. While I still have my general blog for leaders, I am almost done with my third micro-niche site in this subject area. A fourth will be launched sometime later in the year.

You might have a smaller part of gluten free that is not addressed as much...go for the low hanging fruit and become an authority on the topic.
Apr 23, 2015 5:26pm
Wonderful post! I saw you had tweeted out a link to it, and I decided to re-Tweet it, too. It has some practical advice for new writers. Most of my online earnings come from my two niches ... retirement and Las Vegas weddings.
Apr 24, 2015 3:15am
Thank you, Deb! I remember when you started your retirement blog and look at you now! I have always been a firm believer of sticking with a niche and you are proof that it works! I appreciate the retweet.
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  1. "The Gold Rush of 1849." www.history.com. 18/07/2014 <Web >

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