Too Cheap to Succeed ?

This is going to sound like a whinge of a post but I assure you it is not, it is, rather, a warning to anybody starting or attempting to start a blog as a way of making money spurred on by the many articles on the internet (usually other blogs like this one) claiming that it is a good way to turn spare time into a passive income, as I move further forward in this journey to what I am still convinced is achievable, the realities of this are becoming more and more obvious, and it isn’t rosy I can tell you.

I started this blog and all my activities at the start of this year, I have had many distractions and issues along the way but essentially the outcome is completely my own doing, I was too cheap with both time and money and spent too much time trying to find a way to post more and more content cheaply believing that quantity would alone see me through to a success, when in fact the opposite is true, we have all seen the constant posters re-cycling the same blog posts a few days or at most a week apart hoping that nobody would notice or that at least the views would attract more readers and hits and ad revenue, I wonder sometimes how successful they really are, now I can almost hear the cries of “but I do not do this for the money simply for the art” or the expression or to educate, in fact any lofty ethical reason they can hide behind shielding themselves from the fact that it really hasn’t made any money or even shows a glimmer of hope of doing so, preferring instead to keep hoping for that one article that goes viral or that captures enough people that they will do the advertising for them by sharing the post and exponentially increasing the reader numbers.

Anybody that wants to make money will add advertising to their site in one form or another, either through the annoying ads in the sidebar that you seed displayed all over this site (lol) or through their own affiliate links or simply through the promise of exclusive content for the exchange of a mailing with a Paypal donation link, it is all advertising as it is designed to illicit money from the reader, when people actually want to convey a message or provide a service (in whatever form that takes) to the general public completely free of charge and simply to educate and help they do not advertise as there is no need to add a distraction, they do not include garish advertisements for the reader to click on as this would detract from the message they are trying to impart.

But putting the advertising on the site is far from enough, in fact it is not even enough to be counted as the beginning, the beginning is the idea it is the focus of the blog, people will spend money this is not a surprising fact and with the reach of the internet there are a lot of people that can spend a lot of money with you and make you very rich but they aren’t going to give it away, you and your corner of the internet are not a charity (unless you are of course) and you cannot expect money for nothing.

Real Money

I am so fond of the phrase “Real Money” that sometimes it even gets under my skin, I say it nearly everyday in nearly every conversation that I have about money and for the sake of repetition I will say it again here, there is money and there is MONEY and to be honest very rarely shall the twain ever meet, what I mean is that when we say somebody has money we are invariably saying this in response to the visible assets that a person has, their car, house, clothes and to a greater or lesser extent their leisure activities, we evaluate based on a surface reflection of a snapshot of their life, and when they have a nice car and a big house and we wave them off on the next international adventure or follow their Instagram posts with green eyed envy we see what we want to see, success and money, but it is at night when these people are alone that the real story is told, you see money has a way of taking control of thoughts and feelings, it squeezes out loved ones and relationships and ultimately it chokes the life out of us and we find ourselves drowning in a sea of debt that there is no escape from, at night when the car is parked outside the house or the holiday activities are over and the rest of the family are asleep is where the dread of the next credit card bill comes in, the feeling of that slow march toward retirement with no savings starts to suggest that it is time you stopped spending all this money on interest payments to credit providers and started trying to master money, after all people do it and you are no different right? having money actual money under control and working for you as opposed to the other way round is all of the above without the feeling of dread and fear creeping in at night, it is the handing over of the debit card instead of the credit card for holidays and luxury goods, it is the sitting down and studying your money at the end of the month with a smile and a coffee just to see how things are going and how much you can invest this month rather than sitting down with a Gin and a Valium and hoping there is enough to stop you having to borrow more just to prop up the nice car and house, it is the enjoyed kiss from a partner at night and whatever may follow as opposed to the awkward good night and rolling over with both of you wondering what you have done to upset the other, it is the tolerance with children as they learn and grow breaking things and making mistakes along the way, as opposed to freaking out and going way over the top at every pen mark we find on the couch that costs us £150 a month is finance payments, money has the ability to help us grow and provide a life for future generations long after we have gone or it has the power to pull a family apart and destroy the future for generations, remember ultimately we become the product of our parents, If you think about a lot of your habits and personality traits now you will realise that most if not all stem from learned behaviour in our childhoods.

Other Peoples Blogs

Firstly a word about mine, I have been doing it for around a year now and am coming up to nearly my 100th post, the maths itself does not add up to a whole load of commitment does it ? so far it is earned me the princely sum of $0.38c, I am not going to retire on this and I do not expect it to grow much more without some kind of catalysing event, but I do have faith, I have faith in numbers and the numbers on the internet are huge, it is true that with the internet age ANYBODY can make a million, but it is also true that very few ever will.

So I did a simple Google search for successful WordPress blogs, and found a fantastic site here that has an almost unique field within their table of success EXPENSES seriously take a look, the information on here is worthy of just being posted out as a link rather than just as a part of this longer article which I am not sure anybody will have made it down to this point anyhow, and this is literally the reason why my blog sucks ass and (although I cannot speak for anybody else) the reason why a lot of people struggle month after month make no money and give up, the sites listed here make enough money for the people to do it as a job, sit at home or wherever they choose, write and then let the Internet take the strain, and the magic ingredient is EXPENSES, they are all spending money to make money, an example is Pat Flynn, 8 years he has been at it and his reported income for December 2017 ? $167,553.31, his expenses for this month $39.647.21 and his profit (before the dreaded Taxman obviously) an amazing $127.906.10 and when you see the website it is obvious why, the attention to presentation, the fact that his courses are available in both video and written on the blog, this probably means that he has a reasonable income from YouTube as well, They are all on there, Cookery Blogs, Entrepreneur blogs and of course Affiliate Marketing Blogs, and here I am with my 38c, I do not even have a business plan subscription and due to lack of activity my Amazon Affiliates account is suspended, this is because I failed to invest in my own project and my own future.

How to Invest ?

Investing comes on many forms, and most of these we are unwilling to do, we have to spend time researching content, or trying new things out so we can report our findings in a manner that provides value to others, as something of no value has no value and how can you expect to get paid for something that has no value?

You need to invest money, the plan I have does not allow plugins, so I cannot carry out any SEO for my site, none, I write articles like this and hope that people will stumble across them through reader or something like that, and they do, I have an amazing (for my investment level) 162 followers , but with the correct SEO and the ability to get hits from Google organically there would a thousand times that if not more just based on the sheer numbers of people searching for the subject matter I write about.

And you need to invest commitment, if work obligations dictate that you can only do one or two posts or articles a week then commit to that and make those two articles the best researched that you can, go into the ins and outs and the ups and downs and provide a real body if information or guidance to your audience that they can connect with and more importantly that they will want to bookmark and come back to, or even better subscribe.

And finally invest YOU, don’t write about something just because you think it is going to be popular or because it seems lucrative for the moment, writing is about more, it is more personal, and if the words come from a genuine passion or a genuine desire to help others and impart information people will listen.

Conclusion

I have ranted on at length about a lot of failings within blogging and trying to make a passive income on the internet through blogging, the fact is there is no such thing as a passive income through blogging unless you get somebody else to do it for you, but the is a massive difference between having to start writing at 5am before you go to work and being able to sit down at home after dropping the kids off at school and writing what you want in an unhurried manner, or if you don’t have kids fitting your writing in around going to the gym or whatever it is that you can now afford to do, Blogs are still way of making a very good income, you just have to rpovide something worth buying, and never fall into the trap of thinking that “If you build it they will come” cos they may turn up but if they leave without buying into your message you will be just as skint as you were yesterday and a lot more tired.

Procrastination is the single biggest hurdle most of us face, in this quick post I found an interesting article on how to avoid it, essentially my plan is for the foreseeable future to make sure that where practical I put action into thoughts, instead of trying to find ways to put thoughts into action.

Take your time – but use each minute to it’s limit

There are a lot of mixed messages out on the internet and indeed in the traditional media, we are encouraged by some financial Guru’s to take our time, try not to get rich quick because it is a fallacy, while others bellow from neon lit stages that speed and persistence is the key, move fast and make mistakes and ultimately you can come up with an idea that tomorrow will make you a millionaire.

I have spent a lot of time considering both and I can honestly say that neither extreme is true, the idea of waiting for the moment when you no longer have to worry about money for what could possibly be years is not a pleasant one, and constantly finding the holes in the “get rich quick” schemes also leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Personally I have suffered at my own hand in the regard because I got caught up in the race to find the one thing that would make me rich tomorrow, the one thing that I am constantly being told is out there and if I just work hard enough I can get it, I started down a path and then abandoned it after the first hurdle, without really giving it the time to become anything, and only now can I say that I learned a lesson from an abandoned project that no Guru or marketing expert could ever have taught me.

I started this blog for two reasons, one, I wanted to help others like me who were looking to improve theirs and their families lives in every respect, people who had more than one thing to fix, and didn’t have the funds to chase down every dream offered for a price in a YouTube advert, and two, to build something that would bring in revenue, not through hard selling or fabrication but simply by using something or finding a resource that was valuable and then offering it for sale (usually through Amazon) for an affiliates commission, so a simple exchange of knowledge for the revenue that popularity can bring.

But it didn’t take off how I would like, I had seen (and indeed read) several articles and books on blogging and how if you get it right you can make it a good second income and if done professionally you can make it your primary income, and a good one at that, and I made 22 cents, not even enough to have WordPress send me a cheque, so I got disheartened, went back to dreading getting up on a morning and driving into work without the promise of a better life to come.

But I was still watching the videos as they were coming through on notification, and I was still looking for ways to make extra money.

Without any kind of interaction ( This is my first post in nearly a month ) this blog started to get more followers, people were still looking at it and they were liking my posts, until I could no longer ignore the obvious, I had started something, I had made the beginnings of a business that was capable of returning cash without any intervention at all, and the amount that it returned was directly proportional to the amount of effort I put in.

The point of this is that yes, you should be prepared to wait for the big payday, the popularity or the sales that you crave because things take time, they always have and despite the loud protestations of certain “influencers” they always will, but with the right content or products, and enough thought you can create a business that will eventually reward you with as much or as little effort as you choose to put in, and that business will stay on the internet forever more if you so choose, the pivotal moment is to realise that getting rich slow does not mean sitting back and taking it easy, it is more a state of mind that protects you from the disappointment of not becoming an overnight millionaire, it means making every minute that you are pursuing your side hustle and trying to build that financial freedom count, it means instead of a Netflix marathon when the kids go to bed, sit down and work, change things, run with every idea just in case, and don’t make the mistake I made, once you start something see it through, if it is just failing then cut it loose and go on with something else but you owe it to yourself and whoever else you had in mind when you started pursuing money to see it through until that decision becomes obvious.

I know it seems like stating the obvious but I got caught out by it and I didn’t want anybody else to because the time that I could have been posting or trying products, or looking for other ways to sell products and make the money that I set out to is gone now and I can’t get it back.

Photo by samer daboul from Pexels

Overcome the curse of the Blank Page

You probably wouldn’t have noticed but I have not posted for a while now, this is due, in part, to me not feeling particularly well and having very little energy for concentration, and partly because I just didn’t have anything to say, nothing to fill the page with that I felt would be of any use to anybody that followed me and no interest to anybody who might breeze past looking for something to read.

The problem was that I never tried to write anything, I didn’t open the laptop and just start typing, until now, I read a post by a successful blogger sometime ago that proffered the opinion that nobody really cares what we have to say, it was a bleak picture that ultimately attacked the whole reason why people start to blog in the first place and questioned the motivation of their would-be audience, I personally did not hold that belief then and still do not to this day, but I can see where they were coming from, I didn’t write anything because I didn’t think I had anything to say, But yet here I am now typing furiously (mostly the delete button) and making a mountain of mistakes as the story is drawn out of me.

You see, sometimes your inner voices and personality bursts through, you have something to say and your hands become the instrument of that voice, however it is important to realise that it can be the other way too, by just starting to write you can draw thoughts out of your mind and onto the page a lot like a siphon, and sometimes you can even surprise yourself, so do people care ? well yes and no, but no more or less than people care in your day to day life, if they (and you) were honest you would happily admit that sometimes people seem completely engaged in what we are saying, they look at you intently and laugh in all the right places and they just get it you know? and others they are looking around the room missing the punchlines and searching for a way out, and we are no different, but this does not stop us talking, we make small talk and we converse with people simply by making our way through the day, never stopping to wonder if what we are saying is of interest.

So when the blank page stares at you and you stare back at it wondering what to do and questioning if what you have to say is good enough just start typing, anything just words, the moment you do guess what ? it’s not a blank page anymore you have won!

What happened to the Affiliate Marketing?

You probably didn’t even think to ask, but it was one of my most popular posts to date and I do hope that it was of use to people and helped to demystify the beginnings, my stumbling block if you can call it that is to create good adverts, ones that look polished and not amateur like the one in the previous post, this has proved harder than I initially anticipated and even using GIMP and other open source tools, the learning curve is quite steep, as a side note this is something that is probably unique to me and you should give it a try to see if you can get to the top of the curve before I do! so I have made a decision to hire somebody from Fiverr to complete the advert for me, I m currently just going through the possibles to pick the one that seems to have the best portfolio, and looking at the prices for this work compared to the cost of the average marketing course I am still expending only a fraction of the investment required and I am not sure if any of these courses could actually teach you how to create a good professional advert without being a professional digital marketer.

So once I have done this I will continue my dive into affiliate marketing and hopefully after navigating Facebook advertising see some money rolling in!

So, In summary

Well that is it really, I have stalled on my affiliate marketing journey and I am just getting better from whatever the hell it was that I came down with, and hopefully I have inspired anybody out there who is struggling with the blank page to not give up but to simply start typing and then the page doesn’t seem so scary anymore.

Till next time………….

Wednesday – Half way there or half way back?

So we are half way through the week and how have you done? have you sat on everything that you said you were going to do and it is still there waiting to be picked up?

Humans suffer with what I call drift, in my industry we have an issue with logging, devices log events and issues and the logs have a timestamp on them, this then allows us to go to the log collector and search for events around a certain time to see if we can work out what device may or may not have failed, problem is that you can have 10 switches or 6 routers all made by the same manufacturer and all identical with the same chips as their stablemates, and unless you synchronise the clocks with a central source, in this example an NTP server, the times will drift, and when this happens it makes it much harder to work out when an event actually happened and if there is anything significant in the logs.

In human terms this is best summed up by saying that, when we have an idea or we formulate a plan, we need to see the end result to get truly excited about it, in fact when you attend seminars and watch motivational videos this is literally what we are told to do, I am sure I have said this before and I will bang on about it in the future, think back to the last lottery ticket you bought, I would be prepared to bet that you had the money spent before you even got home, but then you have to wait and waiting is boring right? damn straight it is, and what happens when we get bored, we become disinterested we start to look for things to entertain us, and we move on, in 2012 “The Telegraph” a newspaper in the UK reported that more than £1.4 Billion of lottery prize money had gone unclaimed in the 18 years since the competition began, because in the short time between buying the ticket and the draw, the owners of the tickets had misplaced them of forgot to check and the ticket had been thrown out or put through the washer, the world has taught us to demand instant gratification and anything less it would seem is to boring to contemplate.

So we start with our idea, our plan and we run at it, we start watching YouTube videos about what we are going to do or if it is sorting out our lives we start making phone calls and talking to the people we need to solve our problems, then guess what ? Nothing happens, maybe a few quick wins, a debt cleared here or an account opened at Amazon associates, but other than that it all stops as the next part of any dream starts, the hard work for absolutely no return, and it stings, and it hurts and you get all upset and start whining to the Mrs or Mr, ultimately you stop, because it’s been a week and you are still not a millionaire, or you are still drowning in debt.

Sounds like I have an idea what I am on about? that’s because I do, even this blog I am writing now had this particular logic applied to it, I was really excited about starting and got it setup, tried a few different things and earned 18 cents so far ! where is my Corvette, my Mustang and that really cool house in the hills ? still very much in the showroom and the estate agents window that’s where.

I left it behind for a bit and got out of the habit of writing, then got out of the habit of thinking about writing and ultimately instead of sitting down and building the blog, I just had a Chicken breast or can of Tuna and sat in front of the TV doing absolutely sod all about my future, and I have only been doing this for around 4 months! then I watched a video and it triggered me (mostly by anger and jealously) and I wrote again, this time with a little more vigour and with a little bit more of my personality coming through.

If I had started my Blog and WordPress had sent me a Corvette and the keys to the house as part of the welcome package instead of a blank page and a credit card bill I would have been all over it because my dreams and my goals were realised, at that point I am not trying to change my life, my life has changed, and the time to build has been bypassed, I am no longer bored I am fulfilled.

You have to halt the drift, regardless of what you do to make this happen for you it is going to take time, and you are going to have many many frustrations along the way, but if you are completely honest with yourself about what your goals are when you get there it will be like heaven and it will be better than you ever imagined, and I don’t mean you have to shoot for billionaire status, or owning skyscrapers, if your dream is financial independence and freedom, you will know when you get there and you finally hand your notice in at work, if your dream is simply to get in shape and be able to run around with your kids at the park, the effort and the sweating and nearly passing out in the gym will not even be a memory when you see the smile and hear the laughter from your children as you play in the park.

Own your Dream, fix it in your mind and if need be tell me your dream and I will send you reminders every week or month or day if you need it just to keep it fixed there, because if you are focused and if you truly believe you will make it and you do not forget why you are doing what you are doing you will make it, if you forget to chase your dreams they will fade and you will stay exactly as you are now, keep enthusiasm and enjoy the journey.

End of an era

Ok so possibly a little over dramatic but I think that as time has gone on the purpose for the blog has changed somewhat and the updates on what I am doing no longer really fit, I want instead, to concentrate on helping people as much as possible to access information and motivation to live the best life they possibly can, in the short while that I have been doing this I have spent time researching many different things that I had never taken notice of before, I have practised Yoga, I have tried intermittent fasting and have learnt a lot about the sheer amount of predators in the online money making game.

However I have only just scratched the surface and I feel that the Practice the Preaching is probably more in line with my Instagram than anything else, as a result I am going to expanding the website side of this and adding things like my passion for photography as well, I am currently to be found on 500px.

But importantly I am looking to start trying out money making schemes, and recording my progress, this may well be slow at first as there is a certain amount of financial outlay involved but I can start with the “free courses initially” to see if these are actually worth spending the time to watch or is it an hour you will never get back!

So it is onward and upward, and hopefully I can really make something worthwhile.

Practice the Preaching ep16

I haven’t done one of these for a while, I’m not sure why but as one is long overdue I thought I would sit down and justify why I say what I say and do what I do.

Physical Goals

I have made significant progress with my physical goals and am marching on to where I need to start from, that may sound a little odd but hear me out, I have alluded in the past to having trained fairly seriously as a bodybuilder for some considerable amount of time, 4 years to be precise and then for whatever reason I let it all go and ended up the way I was just under a year ago, my goal back then was to be a competitive bodybuilder and it is something that I never even came close too as I gave up just around the time I should have been considering cutting up and entering my first show, so skin willing I have set a goal of completing a competition in a years time (by skin willing I mean that I am concerned I will be left with a lot of excess skin from the weight loss) so as my diet is working for my current goal it will be interesting to see how it has to change in order to achieve a different outcome, I am also going to tighten up my regime a little more as it has started to wander a bit of late.

Financial

When I started this blog it wasn’t just so much about just blogging my personal journey, although some of the response I have had to events in my life so far have been really nice and I am happy to keep updating day to day life, it was to start a resource that could be trusted and help people that really needed it with honest useful information as a sort of mitigant to the cynicism, bad advice and in a lot of cases bare faced con artists that continue to make a good life for themselves off the backs of others.

I have looked at many different ways of making money online and I have to tell you that nearly all have ended in the same tired global MLM schemes that will do nothing but push your money up to the top of the pyramid, and anybody at all that wants to challenge me with a get rich scheme and thinks I am talking rubbish please let me know as I will follow the plan to the letter in the hope that I am proved wrong, so I have settled on a few ideas one of which is trading online, this is a business model that has made people very very rich, but it needs to be treated with respect because it has made even more people very very poor,

I intend to learn from the best I can find how to do this and will document my findings along the way, hopefully we will all make some money.

But seriously my advice so far, find a way to benefit people and you will be rewarded, provide value to the lives of others and they will keep coming back, that is why I run adverts, so far I have made nothing but if this ever takes off I will do OK and still not have to charge anybody a cent for the privilege.

Other than that I just intend to keep on expanding the site and keep up with my new Instagram (rather predictably thetraineesuperhuman64 ) and hopefully build something useful.

Importance of Blogging

“Blogs are the cave paintings of the future and if nothing else they will convey an accurate representation of personal intent and community acceptance”

Me

Since starting this I have had the privilege to read many other peoples blogs, and as such I have had the opportunity to hear about other points of view, popular subjects that I never heard of and of course social comment on things that are important to me, not important to me and that I never knew were important.

There are a lot of blog posts offering advice on how to blog to become successful, often times these remain true to their intent, they are a considered and in most cases excellently executed instruction manual on the Process, they contain at length suggestions on when to post, what to post and how to keep an existing audience engaged as well as attract new followers, where this falls down however is when these same blogs start to question the moral ideals of the blogger, and the validity of the messages anybody chooses to put out, the two things cannot co-exist as a true-ism of the writers intent, in my opinion the offering of a formula to a process is to negate the ability to question the reason or validity of content, if you recognise a formula then you yourself have sat at a keyboard haunted by a blank page and the desire to satisfy the perceived desire of your followers, immediately you provide a mechanical process for producing content you negate the content and show it to be a fraud simply filling column inches for a pay day, be that likes or money.

It is of the utmost importance to blog and catalogue the changes of mankind, now more than ever the world is changing at a pace only the internet journalists can keep up with, the debate as to which drives which, the media driving life or life and society driven by the media they choose to consume is one for another day but no matter what is written it stands as a permanent and irrefutable documentation of the authors thoughts and feelings at the time, just as fake blogs to get likes are transparently obvious, the intent can be spotted a mile away when reading a shallow post or article.

Personally my intent is to provide an education to and provide a path for people to genuinely change their lives for the better, but have I put posts together just to provide some content? occasionally yes, and they stand out like a sore thumb along with the views and likes of the audience (lack thereof)

This is just my opinion mind you and I am sure that there will be people that agree and disagree, but my view is to let people write what they want, if at first it is a cynical ploy to simply make money by providing warmed over plagiarism people will notice and view the content accordingly, the worst case scenario is that the author will simply stop writing and move onto some other venture, the best case is that through luke warm reception they may just decide to write from the heart and put their message to the test.

I have only just started but for what it is worth, write what matters to you, what you have in your head and your heart, if that is dick and fart jokes so be it, if it is a commentary on society and a considered critique of that society then so be it, be you and there will be people to listen, be fake and you will gain acceptance at first but you will soon lose once the first painted layer of commonality between you and your readers is stripped away leaving lack of depth of knowledge for all to see.