We need to talk about flexibility, this article was originally going to be called The importance of failing quickly in online business. However the only failure in online business is not getting started, any obstacles along the way are learning experiences not failures. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes but realize if you have a business that was built on a poor foundation sometimes it is best to give up and start a new business.
Passive income gurus and people selling dreams have gave making money online a bad name. But they have done this because of the demands of their customers, the people who keep consuming their content. Most people are lazy and absolutely love being sold the idea of making money without working. I understand the people selling to them, it’s a great hustle selling motivation and passive income dreams. But if you are serious about making money online you cannot listen to anyone that even breathes the words “passive income”. If someone talks about passive income they are a fraud, point blank.
Seeking passive income is a the mentality of a loser. Someone who is too lazy to do the work they know it takes to succeed in a real business venture. Trust me when I say, everyone who buys into the passive income dream understands they need to do the work to get the results. Instead they focus on the short-term dopamine rush from a motivational video. Hopefully you are smart enough to understand,
You need to view your online business as a real business and view yourself as both an online marketer and the CEO of an internet company. No one has ever built a successful business without taking it seriously.
I came across a post on the Reddit community r/juststart titled “Debating website part two”. The subreddit of r/juststart is an affiliate marketing community, yet in this post the original poster was not discouraged from starting a website in the “debating niche”. Imagine going into an online marketing venture and trying to make money online writing exclusively about debating. Unfortunately, most of the people on this subreddit are idiots, so no one discouraged creating a website about debating.
The author wrote over 90,000 words and gets 250+ views per day and made $9.50 total. He monetized the website through Patreon, Crypto donations, Ebook sales, Amazon Affiliates, and Google Adsense. That website owner thought about their $9,50 in income and wrote in their Reddit post, “So given the advice on this sub, I think the first monetized month is doing very well.” That is the mentality of a blogger, not someone running a business.
The website in the example above suffers from functional obsolescence, which is a real estate term meaning a loss in value of a property due to lack of improvements, outdated amenities, and/or poor architectural design, failing to meet today’s living standards desired by consumers. Think about a 4 bedroom house with only 1 bathroom. It was built with an extremely poor design, the same idea applies for a website in the “debating niche”. For making money it is practically useless.
An online business needs to make money, without profits it is just a hobby. This is the reason doing research before starting an online business is so important. An online business needs to be in a profitable vertical (industry with billions of dollars in it). The education industry is a great vertical with a lot of money in it, but when someone tries to build a “niche debating site” in the education vertical mistakes happen. It is like an architect designing a 30 story office building with only one elevator in it. They deserve the grade of F for effort.
Fragile Online Business Models
An online marketer can build an online business that makes great profits for a consistent period but still not have a robust business venture. If they build a business that can be destroyed by a black swan event they have a fragile business. A black swan event is an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. The good thing about black swan events is if you think about the worst case scenario in your business you can properly prepare for them. You will need to think about how this applies to your own business, but I will provide a couple of example
- Relying on all your affiliate earnings from one company. It doesn’t matter how successful the company is, relying on one source of affiliate income is naive. If this company gets rid of its affiliate programs, cuts affiliate commissions, or goes bankrupt your income can go to 0 overnight. It’s a worst case scenario but it happens more frequently than people want to admit.
- Dropshipping or sourcing ecommerce products from an authoritarian country. The best example is China, and people dropship items from China with no thoughts about any possible issues. Continuing the Chinese example, many of these companies have incredibly high debt, and the worst customer service in the world. Political issues or changes in customs could destroy dropshipper’s livelihoods.
Developing A Robust Online Business
A robust recession proof online business is the dream for many people. It’s also easier to achieve than most people think, simply have a realistic idea of the issues that your business could face. If your online business like a real business and work smarter and harder than you thought possible you will succeed. You are building a business, it is not a side hustle. Other things to consider when building a robust online business.
- Focusing on evergreen content rather than trending content.
- Have the flexibility to pivot between monetization methods and traffic sources.