I heaved a big sigh and wrote back.
Why have you spent so much money? I think the most I ever spent was $600 back in 1999 and 2000. For this go-around I've spent less than $200 so far.
Of course you can make money on line, just like off line. The only difference is that it doesn't cost as much.
Ah look, if you were going to open a trophy shop, you'd learn about every association and athletic organization in your area (forums, fb groups, etc.); you'd attend contests and award ceremonies (engage with potential buyers); you'd hand out your business card to anyone and everyone who stands still long enough (emails, AdWords, blog posts, social media); you'd paint the side of your car with your business info and put signs in your storefront (blog/web site); you'd run contests of your own to gain even more attention (interactive site).
You'd hook up with trophy makers and invest in an engraving machine (affiliate programs).
Why make it so complicated? You decide on a business or niche market and go for it with everything you've got. End of story.
And that's how you make money anywhere. Doesn't matter if you're in Tibet, Timbuktu, Philadelphia, New York, or the Internet.
As for spending a gazillion bucks - do your homework before you buy. There is so much information available for free on the 'net, freebies are frequently loaded with pieces of the puzzle, inexpensive IM products are loaded, too. Study, learn, then when you decide to spend the big bucks you'll know where to spend it.
F'rinstance, I am saving up for 2 coaching programs, 1st one then the other. I know the teachers and have used their products. I've read their material and spoken with others about them. They are just right for me to grow in the business plan I've developed and am working through. The same goes for the tools I purchase.
What? Am I missing something?