First, I assured her that I was still a student and that I planned to be one for the rest of my life. I don't think any of us can afford to stop learning and begin to feel that we know all we need to know to be successful from here on out. Technologies change, niches change, market sentiment changes, trends and consumer buying preferences change and you will need to stay abreast of at least your own niches if you plan to have long term success in online business.
Next, I mentioned to this aspiring "IMer" that there was no set "apprenticeship" time requirement - that she didn't need to wait for X number of months or years before she would be qualified to teach her own audience of subscribers in her niche. I think she was concerned about "paying her dues" before she took the plunge into the ranks of Internet instructors. I told her that many people wanting to do business online had already served their internship in IM during the course of their lives and they had already acquired valuable and marketable knowledge and skills that could be sold online.
Personally, I think too many new people coming online to make money believe that the best way to do so is to become just like the marketers that are selling "make money" products to them. I think that's a big mistake.
The Internet is huge and there is good money to be made in most niches. I'll even go out on a limb and suggest that the "make money" marketplace for a newbie is one of the toughest nuts to crack there is. A much better direction for a brand new marketer is to go where you already have a head start, where you know the language (jargon), where you have some life experience, where you can share with others what you have personally experienced and know to be true. Passion for the niche is a great bonus but not a "set in cement" requirement.
When you find your online business niche, don't ever rest on your laurels. Make up your mind that you will always keep it open (your mind) and willing to learn all the new and wonderful ideas, methods, strategies, and trends that the marketplace comes up with.
You are not the center of the universe . . . or even the center of your marketplace - that would be so unfortunate and limiting. Learn from others of authority and contribute what you can to your niche -- it's truly an example of the rising tide lifting all boats in the harbor.
The better you are at gathering an audience and presenting them with valuable help in the areas of importance to them, the more money you should attract.
The very best to all of you,