Do you ever feel insecure or unsafe about your online income?

45 replies
Like it could all come tumbling down at some point? I mainly do SEO'ed sites and have moved away from smaller sites and unto bigger things, but I still get the feeling sometimes that my income is based on sand and could be taken away every day. I've started taking on clients for this reason, not $5 dollar pesky clients though - minimum $400 engagements.

I sleep better knowing that I at least have that. I also try to educate myself in areas lacking, for me PPC, Analytics and conversion optimizing. That is, building skills which translate from affiliate marketing into consulting. On another forum, someone told me to aim for a split where 1/3 of your income is affiliate marketing, 1/3 is client services and 1/3 is your own products. Seems like a good idea and also a better choice for most new people in this biz.

What are your thoughts on long term planning?
#feel #income #insecure #online #unsafe
  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Been making money online since 1999. My first business doesn't do much business now, but that's mostly because I lost interest (you should sell any business after 7 years).

    If you're a small business you can also change direction in a day. It's only big players that hit icebergs and sink.
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    • Profile picture of the author funkynassau
      I'm wondering why you'd say to sell any business after 7 years. Please explain.
      Thanks
      ****


      Originally Posted by brettb View Post

      Been making money online since 1999. My first business doesn't do much business now, but that's mostly because I lost interest (you should sell any business after 7 years).

      If you're a small business you can also change direction in a day. It's only big players that hit icebergs and sink.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jit Lim
    Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

    Like it could all come tumbling down at some point? I mainly do SEO'ed sites and have moved away from smaller sites and unto bigger things, but I still get the feeling sometimes that my income is based on sand and could be taken away every day. I've started taking on clients for this reason, not $5 dollar pesky clients though - minimum $400 engagements.

    I sleep better knowing that I at least have that. I also try to educate myself in areas lacking, for me PPC, Analytics and conversion optimizing. That is, building skills which translate from affiliate marketing into consulting. On another forum, someone told me to aim for a split where 1/3 of your income is affiliate marketing, 1/3 is client services and 1/3 is your own products. Seems like a good idea and also a better choice for most new people in this biz.

    What are your thoughts on long term planning?
    Diversify into multiple income streams! For me its real estate, online, personal and technical skills acquired over the years. Goal is to be "financially free" and create multiple passive income streams.

    All the best!
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  • Profile picture of the author Eduard Stinga
    I'd say it's as "unsafe" as offline businesses - you are work at a company, but it can go bankrupt any day without you expecting it. But yes, the fact that you expect the payment monthly and have something to look forward to might seem a bit more "secure", even though to me, it's the same thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    Most small businesses are only one bad decision/health crisis away from the poor house (it doesn't even have to be your bad decision) and nothing is guaranteed. So IMHO the wise entrepreneur should have a few irons in the fire on and offline.

    I'm a strong believer in reinvesting and encourage all IMmers not to head to the mall with those fat affiliate checks but invest in something that will help you grow financially.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

    What are your thoughts on long term planning?
    It seems to me that the essential thing is just to stay away from depending on SEO traffic. Not only because it's not very good traffic anyway (though that's typically true), but because it's completely precarious.

    As countless Warriors discovered (some to their very great cost) during 2011, a business that depends on Google for its primary traffic is only ever going to be one algorithm-change away from a potential major accident.

    It doesn't matter whether you're a vendor, an affiliate, or what - if your business depends on Google, you're not secure.

    Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

    On another forum, someone told me to aim for a split where 1/3 of your income is affiliate marketing, 1/3 is client services and 1/3 is your own products.
    Instinctively, I don't agree with this at all. It seems fraught with difficulties, complications, lack of focus, and so on.

    For my own business, the thing that concerns me is being ClickBank dependent for a high proportion of my monthly income. True, if ClickBank did disappear overnight, I'd still have my business's assets (my sites, my lists and my relationships with all my subscribers) but it would still be a major inconvenience, and some interruption in my income as well, before I found adequate replacements/arrangements for everything I'm promoting. But the vendors of most (all?) of the products I promote would doubtless get other arrangements set up as quickly as possible, if ClickBank disappeared on them, I imagine.

    But I'm careful to stay fully in control of all my affiliate-links and so on, by being in control of all the redirection mechanisms myself, and not being dependent on any unnecessary third-party url forwarding/redirecting/shortening services for that.

    Still, I'm trying to diversify a little, now, and add non-ClickBank income-sources, while still retaining all the product-flexibility advantages of being an affiliate.
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    • Profile picture of the author zaco
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      It seems to me that the essential thing is just to stay away from depending on SEO traffic. Not only because it's not very good traffic anyway, but because it's completely precarious.
      .
      How is SEO traffic not good? SEO traffic is one of the best! especially if its targeted.. the problem with SEO traffic is it could vanish any time by 1 Google change but I won't agree its not very good traffic.. if it wasn't then people wouldn't even bother and Google wouldn't exist..
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      • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
        Originally Posted by zaco View Post

        How is SEO traffic not good? SEO traffic is one of the best! especially if its targeted.. the problem with SEO traffic is it could vanish any time by 1 Google change but I won't agree its not very good traffic.. if it wasn't then people wouldn't even bother and Google wouldn't exist..
        Yes I agree, but even when depending on SEO traffic you need to diversify by having sites with different backlinks, different structures, big sites, small sites, forums, membership sites and so on. But depending on only one type of sites with one type of SEO is foolish imo.
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        • Profile picture of the author zaco
          Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

          Yes I agree, but even when depending on SEO traffic you need to diversify by having sites with different backlinks, different structures, big sites, small sites, forums, membership sites and so on. But depending on only one type of sites with one type of SEO is foolish imo.
          I totally Agree, I do have the same feeling, especially with each Google change.. I don't want to create something that depends on Google/ppc/ads...etc...the sites that I am building are to get me cash for the huge project.. I want to build something where people know my site name without the need to go to Google or without me paying for ads..

          This is not easy and you need alot of resources to reach that point.. so I am just collecting money to build that huge project, if they stay then thats good.. if not then hopefully my project works out.. lol
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          • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
            Originally Posted by zaco View Post

            I totally Agree, I do have the same feeling, especially with each Google change.. I don't want to create something that depends on Google/ppc/ads...etc...the sites that I am building are to get me cash for the huge project.. I want to build something where people know my site name without the need to go to Google or without me paying for ads..

            This is not easy and you need alot of resources to reach that point.. so I am just collecting money to build that huge project, if they stay then thats good.. if not then hopefully my project works out.. lol
            Great! We think alike then. I am launching a major project soon which will be tech-functionality based rather than content based. I think that has a greater chance of surviving Google onslaughts and would be profitable from multiple traffic sources, paid and unpaid.
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            • Profile picture of the author zaco
              Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

              Great! We think alike then. I am launching a major project soon which will be tech-functionality based rather than content based. I think that has a greater chance of surviving Google onslaughts and would be profitable from multiple traffic sources, paid and unpaid.

              Wow that's great! once your site becomes famous I guess you don't need anyone to get you traffic.. they will send you traffic without doing the backlinking or writing articles and try to get people to your site.. also you will have writers that want to write on u r site! they will create free content.. users comments also create free contents.. its same as the warriorforum.. we come here and post.. we create content , I wouldn't say for free since I am learning too..
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              • Profile picture of the author ShaneGorry
                The problem for most people is not just, how they produce income, but that they are totally income dependant. As soon as ones income increases the extra income is expended on things they couldn't afford previously. And despite having more money and indeed sometimes much more money available to them, little to none of this is put into building a buffer to prevent going broke if things go south.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by zaco View Post

        I won't agree its not very good traffic.
        That's fine - always room for different opinions and experiences.

        Like many article marketers, I seem to do much better with traffic attracted by an article in an ezine, or even on someone else's site, than I do with traffic from Google, across the entire range of my niches.

        Originally Posted by zaco View Post

        if it wasn't then people wouldn't even bother and Google wouldn't exist..
        We can afford to disagree about that, too, I'm sure. I don't even begin to follow the logic of why Google "wouldn't exist" simply because there are some better traffic-sources for marketers. I must have been looking the other way when "being a supplier of the world's best traffic" suddenly became a criterion of existence for a search engine!?

        When I'm promoting an e-book of the world's best soup recipes, I find traffic from ezine subscribers reading an article of mine included in the recipes ezine they so eagerly await and inspect every two weeks to be far better targeted, for my purpose, than people looking up "soup recipes" in Google, many of whom are just looking for free information - so I can opt them in with no problem, but it's not so easy for me to sell to them. Sorry that that appears to give you a problem, but that's just how it is, in all my niches, funnily enough - with your agreement or without it.
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        • Profile picture of the author zaco
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          That's fine - always room for different opinions and experiences.

          Like many article marketers, I seem to do much better with traffic attracted by an article in an ezine, or even on someone else's site, than I do with traffic from Google, across the entire range of my niches.



          We can afford to disagree about that, too, I'm sure. I don't even begin to follow the logic of why Google "wouldn't exist" simply because there are some better traffic-sources for marketers. I must have been looking the other way when "being a supplier of the world's best traffic" suddenly became a criterion of existence for a search engine!?

          When I'm promoting an e-book of the world's best soup recipes, I find traffic from ezine subscribers reading an article of mine included in the recipes ezine they so eagerly await and inspect every two weeks to be far better targeted, for my purpose, than people looking up "soup recipes" in Google, many of whom are just looking for free information - so I can opt them in with no problem, but it's not so easy for me to sell to them. Sorry that that appears to give you a problem, but that's just how it is - with your agreement or without it.
          lol yea its always good to have different opinions , I am not into article marketing that much but I know it is a good source of traffic if you do it the right way, both Google and Article Marketing or whatever methods to drive traffic are still risky , even if both send good traffic.. you do not have control on anything, articles are posted somewhere else and people read them then get to your site..

          I want to do my own thing as I mentioned before without depending on other sites or Google, Google will love my site after it becomes an authority site so the site became an authority site without their help ..I am just using them for the time being to make money and save it for my plan...I believe the best traffic is direct traffic..and I guess that's how it is.. with your agreement or without
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  • Profile picture of the author Exel
    There is nothing certain in life but you can increase your chances.

    Make multiple sources of income, independent of one another, reinvest in your
    business in order to make it grow and be more stable.

    Everybody feels fear and insecurity, but the successful people just don't allow it to
    prevent them from doing what they think should be done.
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  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    The issue I have with your reasoning Alexa is that you need traffic to build those lists and it's going to cost you one way or another if it's time writing guest posts, twittering, buying ads or SEO'ing, but I agree that some seo affiliate marketers such as myself are lightyears behind when it comes to building lists and retaining visitors. An area to improve on for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jimmy Mailhot
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    • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
      Originally Posted by JimmyAffiliateMarketing View Post

      As an affiliate marketer, i HAVE to tell you that you absolutely need a list if you want a consistent, no-stress and long term income stream. I personnally call my email list as my ''ATM Machine''.
      I quit my wellpaying SEO job one week ago bro Seriously can't deal with the repetiveness and office politics anymore unless it's for my own profit.

      I have to disagree with email being the only way to make money. That's probably true in the MMO niche which I'm not in and don't plan to be at the moment. I know several millionaire affiliates who have never sent an email, but the point about having a direct line of communication to your customers is well noted.
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  • Profile picture of the author RustyF
    I'm feeling very insecure right now. I've got one site making money, trying to expand as fast as I can.

    Got an email from G the other day about un natural link building. Posted a long question for help. Maybe I posted it in the wrong place. It is now sitting in Adsense/PPC/SEO I don't think I put it there. I think it was moved, why to Adsense? haha

    I think it was a warning shot. They sent it to Webmaster tools and had been sittting there for a couple of weeks before I found it. I fthey were going to hit me I think they would have. They did bust me on one keyword and it was a good one. I got to number 7 on page one. Now I'm not in the top 50. Hopefully that's all the do to me.
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    • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
      Originally Posted by RustyF View Post

      I'm feeling very insecure right now. I've got one site making money, trying to expand as fast as I can.

      Got an email from G the other day about un natural link building. Posted a long question for help. Maybe I posted it in the wrong place. It is now sitting in Adsense/PPC/SEO I don't think I put it there. I think it was moved, why to Adsense? haha

      I think it was a warning shot. They sent it to Webmaster tools and had been sittting there for a couple of weeks before I found it. I fthey were going to hit me I think they would have. They did bust me on one keyword and it was a good one. I got to number 7 on page one. Now I'm not in the top 50. Hopefully that's all the do to me.
      Diversify, diversify, diversify. One site is not at all enough if you're just starting out. That kind of thing is common in the SEO-affiliate game and it will eat you up and spit you out before you start making money. You got that message for linkbuilding the wrong way. Your base linking must never be spam, but you can spam your legit, but low value links like unique articles and splogs.
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  • Profile picture of the author RichardDean
    In all my years I can say it is a roller coaster ride... UP Down UP Down with digital products.

    You create a new product and sell a bunch then it dies out or the Internet changes or everyone clones your product and under cuts you.

    You start all over again (I'm talking IM products) take a look at Warrior Plus Mike had the market and now there are more and more choices to use and even more are on the way. Warrior Plus has took a big hit and it will only get worst.

    My tangible items because they are consumables are non going to dye any time soon. Repeat customers they know they can count on my items to be good and delivered on time.

    My service graphic design is non stop also. I took down my order links years ago and still have plenty of customers.

    So my tangible items and my service items hold the fort down when my downloads get out dated or wear off.

    Hope that helps

    Richard

    Don't live above your means back when I created eCover actions doing 2200.00 days were common that did not give me the right to go out and buy a new car or buy a bunch of stuff... instead I paid off my house paid off my cars then when everyone started copying the eCover actions and started selling them and some giving them away it dropped off I did not freak out because I had paid off just about every loan I had. In 2007 I build a new house with cash I still own my first house and one in FL.

    I can't stress enough when the money comes in pay stuff off... if you need a good dept free course check out Dave Ramsey follow the baby steps to the tee.
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    • In online retail, there are cycles. From approximately March 15 to April 15, spending slows. I have observed this every year for the last 10 years, so I prepare for it.

      I'm always surprised so many IMers turn up their noses at selling physical goods. People always want stuff. People need stuff. On a venue like Amazon, it doesn't even cost you anything to list your stuff. Stuff can be your friend in times of need.

      fLufF
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      • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        In online retail, there are cycles. From approximately March 15 to April 15, spending slows. I have observed this every year for the last 10 years, so I prepare for it.

        I'm always surprised so many IMers turn up their noses at selling physical goods. People always want stuff. People need stuff. On a venue like Amazon, it doesn't even cost you anything to list your stuff. Stuff can be your friend in times of need.

        fLufF
        --
        I'm starting a webshop as we speak selling high end stuff for a small, but lucrative niche. I just don't want to sit around packing the boxes so I recruited a friend for that. Contrary to what most people think here, I don't believe in selling how to make money online as a full time income. I will probably launch some kind of product eventually, not on WF though. The big money is in making real money for other businesses whether it's from a valuable service like seo, ppc, programming, desing, copywriting or from selling expensive REAL products or services. Corporations have a lot of money and pay big commissions because their lifetime customer value is high. I sold 3 cable packages today and earned about $350 in commission on that alone. Just trying to let people know that the affiliate marketing world is HUGE outside MMO.
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      • Profile picture of the author funkynassau
        Fluffythewondercat, we sell stuff! It's working well, this is year 3 and it's a seasonal product and the spring rush has come along faster than the previous years. We are more than happy with things right now. Selling stuff works for us!
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        • Originally Posted by funkynassau View Post

          Fluffythewondercat, we sell stuff! It's working well, this is year 3 and it's a seasonal product and the spring rush has come along faster than the previous years. We are more than happy with things right now. Selling stuff works for us!
          That's great. I have a Canadian friend who also sells automotive stuff online. He does very well.

          JackPowers, I hate packing boxes too, so I send almost all my stuff to Amazon in big boxes and they ship it for me.

          This is such a consumerist society that everybody knows something about some kind of stuff. Selling it can be a nice sideline. You can always write articles or work on your blog when sales are slow.

          fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author Linkology
    Not as long as I have my lists...
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  • Yes, there is a sense of uncertainty. But, if you have a steady base of clients, you are somewhat blessed to get some relief by the end of the day.

    Regards.
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    • Profile picture of the author Roger08
      Originally Posted by virtualconsultant View Post

      Yes, there is a sense of uncertainty. But, if you have a steady base of clients, you are somewhat blessed to get some relief by the end of the day.

      Regards.
      To add up you must be wise enough on how to use it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Farish
    Unless you are sitting on a stockpile of cash with paid off assets, regardless where your income comes from, you should always feel insecure about it.

    Here is a list of major corporations that no longer exist due to the economic downturn over the last 5 years.

    Circuit City
    Comp Usa
    Hollywood Video
    Borders
    Polaroid
    Gottschalks

    and the list goes on. Diversify your income sources. The rules can change at any moment.

    Here is the whole point of my rant though, if you make a better product/website/service, then you can reduce your fears.
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  • Profile picture of the author Solid State
    Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

    Like it could all come tumbling down at some point? I mainly do SEO'ed sites and have moved away from smaller sites and unto bigger things, but I still get the feeling sometimes that my income is based on sand and could be taken away every day. I've started taking on clients for this reason, not $5 dollar pesky clients though - minimum $400 engagements.

    I sleep better knowing that I at least have that. I also try to educate myself in areas lacking, for me PPC, Analytics and conversion optimizing. That is, building skills which translate from affiliate marketing into consulting. On another forum, someone told me to aim for a split where 1/3 of your income is affiliate marketing, 1/3 is client services and 1/3 is your own products. Seems like a good idea and also a better choice for most new people in this biz.

    What are your thoughts on long term planning?
    I hate to be a party-pooper, but your fears are quite justified. The only problem is that the scenario you just described applies to our entire ultra-fragile global economy.

    The entire global economy is a gigantic house of cards waiting for a gust of wind.

    There is no safe haven...anywhere.

    That being said, diversification and value are the keys to being the "most stable"...short term...relatively speaking..FWIW.

    So, yes, definitely split things up.
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    • Profile picture of the author jan roos
      Originally Posted by Solid State View Post

      I hate to be a party-pooper, but your fears are quite justified. The only problem is that the scenario you just described applies to our entire ultra-fragile global economy.

      The entire global economy is a gigantic house of cards waiting for a gust of wind.

      There is no safe haven...anywhere.

      That being said, diversification and value are the keys to being the "most stable"...short term...relatively speaking..FWIW.

      So, yes, definitely split things up.
      Yes you are correct. The vast majority of people have no idea whats coming down the line. The one safe haven I can think of is holding precious metals outside of the U.S.

      Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    Being a marketer it is natural to feel uneasiness and insecurities about your business but what matter there is you can able to fight these feelings and convert negative thoughts to positive.

    Feel free to do several test for you to determine your strengths and weaknesses.
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  • Profile picture of the author WebPen
    Save for a rainy day.

    Be like Henry Ford, who had the confidence to say that if he ever lost his millions- he'd have it all back within 5 years!

    There are business and individual come-back stories all of the time. Even if you do lose your IM business, you can always build another.
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  • Profile picture of the author dotgirish
    I would like to see this online business just as any other offline business , It is just insecure as any other business, I had noticed a restaurant which was doing great for years suddenly started seeing a dip as another good one picked up their business. Now they are investing money in modification works.

    So if we look around us we can see this risk is everywhere and relatively capital requirement is very less in online business, but many do a big mistake of starting online business with zero investment.

    Diversifying the income stream is always a great idea tho..
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  • Profile picture of the author Kange
    HI

    whats MMO niche?

    Alexa Smith what products or line of business do you sell to have so many branches in bringing in good traffic and working for yourself i take it?

    Very interesting across across the board on this topic and learning alot of things reading it from you all..thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    There's no security offline or online. Forget worrying and concentrate on making hay while the sun is shining. And save some money for the inevitable rain days.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chips Fletcher
    We believe that we always need a back-up to the website, so we have an ebay store and sell on Amazon as well. We are also looking at local events. The more back-up you have, the less likely you will fall (I believe)
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  • Profile picture of the author TryBPO
    Great thoughts, OP.

    We've had several offline businesses and have started our first online business just over a year ago and were talking about this very subject a few days ago with some friends that are also business owners.

    It seems that this is a concern for MOST business owners whether their business is primarily online or offline. Especially when things are going well...you start to wonder how long it's going to last, whether your suppliers are going to up their rates, how trustworthy is your staff, whether your Google rankings are going to hold, how long you're going to hold your readers/listeners interest, etc.

    I'm starting to realize that this is just one of the costs or downsides of running your own company and it's always a concern. For larger organizations, they're able to mitigate this risk a bit through diversification, but for the rest of us struggling to figure it all out, diversification means splitting your time, lack of focus, etc. Most start-ups really need to keep focused on a limited amount of goals, projects, etc. so that they can figure out their industry, their customers, work out the kinks, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author misstan
    i think we should have multiple source of income and also residual income and build a list
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    This is a great question, and already we've had some awesome responses. So thanks everyone.

    I probably share similiar concerns to most making money online, in that, I probably dont diversify as much as I should. A lot of this isnt intentional, its just that Im trying to do too much on my own.

    I sat down today and wrote a list of people that I already have on my "team" so to speak, but theres definitely a few skillsets where I need to find employees.

    Once I start building a network, I can really start ramping up my product creation and rolling out more sites.

    This over time will surely diversify my income.

    There just seems to be so much to do, and such little time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    I have some money saved for a rainy day so I don't worry too much, but like anyone else, I get concerned.

    Just gotta always be on the offensive and invest every dime you get!
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  • Yes! Everyday. Even when it goes well for months upon end I worry, and with good reason - you never know what could happen. Sites get hacked, hosting companies shut you down, all sorts of stuff. You never know what is going to happen next.
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  • Profile picture of the author garyl2k
    It's something all people in the IM world should get used to, nothing is secure or guaranteed in this world... Especially SEO! One flick of the switch on the other end (Say Google) and it all comes tumbling down.

    Though all we can do is try and build businesses that can work around any big changes, have contingency plans put in place ready for any major changes!

    Just keeping on top of things and never stop working hard should be enough to keep the income coming in.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan David
    Of course I get nervous about online income. No matter how foolproof your business is, there is exposure somewhere that could do some damage. The important thing is being able to recognize the risk and mitigate it somehow.

    For me, I relied incredibly on search traffic with my first site. I made great money, but it made me nervous. My next site, I did a few things:

    1) Picked a niche that had higher margins, which means I needed less traffic.
    2) Picked a niche that was somewhat viral. Meaning customers shared with other customers.
    3) Picked a niche that had, at least a %, or recurring sales. Not necessarily monthly sales, but at least high probability of 2nd or 3rd sales.
    4) Picked a niche where I could "hustle" and still make money. In other words, put up a sign in my front lawn and still make some money.

    All those things helped to reduce exposure to one traffic source. Pretty much each year, I roll out one new thing that helps me reduce my exposure to Google. Now I'm at the point where I could make a great income if I lost 100% of my google traffic.
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