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.

Nootropics – Bigger, Leaner, Faster You !

Just a quick note to point out the new article I have written on Alpha-GPC, we are all trying to get that advantage over the competition and nootropics may just be the answer, I have been using Alpha-gpc for 3 weeks now (at time of writing) and have had some very positive results from it (and a few negative), I would like to share them with you and hopefully help you find that edge we all need to succeed.

The article is here and I hope you enjoy reading it, please leave any comments or suggestions.

Quitting is not always a bad thing.

Motivators and influencers will constantly shout at you that you should never quit, we are told that if we just work hard at something then success will come, sadly this is not the case and we need to try and identify when this point has been reached and how to bow out gracefully taking the lessons you have learned and using them to move forward in another direction.

Are you one of those people that just won’t quit? constantly banging away day after day not getting anywhere and making yourself depressed at the lack of progress and tired of failure, if you are then you are not alone, the huge runaway success of the internet and social medias early adopters has spurred on a global group of gold diggers all trying to make their name and carve out their own slice of paradise, the hours that go into the videos and the editing and the uploading, days trying to write blogs and researching different subjects only to get no actual views just likes so people get their avatar on your page should somebody else happen past it and think to click on their link.

And I can’t blame anybody for doing this, we all want to become rich and we all want the good life, believe it or not I do still think it is achievable, you just have to know when to quit something that is not working and replace it with a new direction and a new potential.

So I had a thought and have come up with what I think to be indicators that it is time to find another path, not everybody will agree with these and some of them are a bit hard to hear but ultimately as Paul Newman says in the color of money “find something you are good at and be the best and you will make money”.

Are you happy ?

Well are you? honestly? does what you are doing make you happy, if not then it may well be time to move on, emotions are transmitted very easily through the way somebody writes or holds themselves on screen, or even talks in a podcast, if you are not happy how can you expect anybody else to buy into you ?

Is it your passion ?

A passion is an easy thing to quantify, is this something that you would do even if there were no potential money in it ? I know this sounds like are you happy ? but it is not, eating large quantities of chocolate makes me happy but I am not passionate about it, I am passionate about health and education and the things that money provides, I am also very passionate about American Cars, huge V8’s that breathe and shake the ground as they pass, the subjects you are passionate about you will talk about for hours to anybody at anytime whether they like it or not!

Is it honest ?

By this I don’t mean are you trying to con anybody, what I mean is best explained by example, if there was a guru out there that claimed by simply standing on a carrot for 10 minutes a day you could flush all the toxins from your body extending your life and happiness, would you be able to extol the virtues of the system without trying it for yourself ? conversely if it turned out to be true could you push the subject even in the face of the opposition that it would surely get ?

Can you accept that you are not good enough ?

This is possibly the hardest thing to accept because we are told that we can do anything if we just try, and I suppose I do buy into the idea that with enough practice you can become proficient at just about anything, but we have to be practical as well, this whole blog and site is about trying to rise above normality, to become the best we can be and to make a future filled with life rather than slavery and toil at the hands of our masters, here is a secret, I suck at playing guitar, I still do it but I am slow and clunky and just haven’t got that spark of ability it takes to become a guitarist, I can however play along to quite a few songs and if you heard me you would think I was OK, but I could never make a living out of it because I am simply nowhere near good enough, you don’t have to look far to see how good life can be if you are the best at playing guitar, I am sure Steve Vai often thanks whatever force made him pick up a six string and start playing.

That is really it, there is no section on how long you have been trying because in truth that is irrelevant things will take as long as they take, and as long as you haven’t got a bizarre idea like literally building a staircase to heaven you will get to where you want to be, but without the above I really don’t see that it is possible.

An important point to remember is that quitting does not mean failure it simply means a new beginning and a wiser traveller.

Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pexels

Building a better 2020

So we are entering the final months of 2019, and I can bet that for the vast majority of us we are no further forward than we were this time last year and for some of us we may actually be worse off, and that will be further exacerbated by the up coming festive season and the pressure from both the media and advertisers as well as the personal pressure you put on yourself to spend money on presents and entertainment for your children or yourselves, often on credit cards or over-draughts or worse still loans, this time of year is really a hunting ground for capitalists and vultures looking to tie you into agreements that mean next year you will have to come back for more.

It is not our fault, advertisers and social media put us in positions that we simply cannot escape, and we borrow in order to “keep up” with the neighbours or our work colleagues be it through our children’s activities or through the car on the driveway, holidays, clothes even sports and hobbies all say something about us and our ability to pay out money, this is all well and good but what happens when you can no longer work? I don’t mean if something were to happen to you right now, more the inevitable end, Retirement we are all heading there and most of us with nothing planned to see us through.

I would like to push for another type of new years resolution, it will be something we are going to achieve in our house, that is instead of the standard “no chocolate” or “go back to the gym” both of which normally only last a couple of months before we find ourselves sitting on the couch eating chocolate while we should be at the gym, we are going to be working toward reducing debt and becoming more financially intelligent, after all how can you expect to master something without knowing how it works ?

Some startling statistics are that the average UK debt is £31k per adult! that is shocking and although I don’t know anybody quite there I am aware of people near that threshold, when you put that against the average UK household income of £28k the gap is clear to see, and of course as this comprised of borrowed money the interest is also staggering, an average of £967 in interest alone paid last year for every Brit.

All economies run on the least paid individuals, this is the case universally, as these economies are propped up on debt, the circle is vicious and relentless and designed to make it difficult to break, but not impossible.

Firstly bear this in mind, there are debt charities and advisories that offer free and payed advice to people struggling with debt, but this advice in my opinion is flawed beyond belief, the basic advice is centred around either declaring bankruptcy or entering into a sponsored agreement where you declare to the world that you are nearly bankrupt and asking for them to freeze all your accounts and let you pay off the balances, but let’s think that through for a moment,

  • Bankruptcy – Stays on your credit file for 6 years, and will affect your credit rating for much much longer, so let’s say that you have reached the point where you believe that is an option, you would normally be around 30 years old and may possibly have a mortgage, so you would need to sell the house and use the equity to repay debtors, everybody is made aware of the Bankruptcy as it is public information, and it will have to be declared when you apply for housing with private landlords, any credit over the value of £500 and could remain for longer based on how long it takes to become discharged, at the very best based on a 30 year old this means you are 36 when discharged and paying through the nose for credit while you try and rebuild a credit rating, then at around 40 you are able to start re-building your life and possibly look to buy a home again, all the while having to declare that you have been a bankrupt and paying higher interest for the rest of your life, this doesn’t sound like a good option to me.
  • IVA – Individual voluntary arrangement, this is a fixed term of between 60 and 72 months (so 5 years at best) possibly 6 and the conditions are no more relaxed, you will still have to sell any assets you have to pay into the IVA and then you are still the same age when you start to re-build your life.

And of course you could just bury your head in the sand and do nothing, but that leads to all manner of issues and most of these will ironically cost you more money because you are always viewed as not wanting to pay as opposed to not being able to pay and this is despite the fact that you haven’t got enough money for the initial debt.

The first steps in my opinion are to understand the nature of the debt, how much actually is it ? how much is the interest and how much am I paying off the capital ? often these questions are not asked and people simply start at the least amount and try to pay that off while struggling to keep up the payments on a debt that is costing them a fortune in interest every month.

Work out how much your utilities actually cost, it is surprising how many times we just simply pay the regular estimated payment without question and then are excited when the company gets in touch to tell us that as we have overpaid we can either claim the money back or allow it to be credited to our next bill (most companies assume this by default) under these circumstances we view this as good will on the part of the company but actually that money could have been better spent on a debt reduction rather than sitting in an energy companies account gaining interest.

Not everybody of course will be affected by the previous examples but I guarantee that if you are reading this you are either trying to make money to be more comfortable or you are stuck in a financial rut and are desperately trying to get out, what I am trying to illustrate is that lack of knowledge is often the most costly mistake we make, when we look at people that are financially savvy what we are actually seeing is people that have worked out how to not give all their money away, they look for value in expenditure and they look for return on debt, if you have a house that provides more rental income than the mortgage outgoing then this is good debt, if you consume any service or utility make sure that you are only paying for what you take, and never take anybodies word as gospel always check yourself where possible so you can say with certainty that you know how much you are getting charged and why.

Conclusion

As human beings we are forces of nature, we have the proven ability to change the world and explore other worlds, we can create our own futures, and deal with our pasts, capable of great acts of kindness and huge atrocity the human drive and spirit is the most voracious and uncompromising force known to man.

Make a list of every thing that is keeping you awake at night and worrying you in the morning, everything that makes you snap at family and friends because you are pre-occupied when they speak to you and realise that you do have the power to change it, end the cycle of debt by not taking anymore out, pay off credit cards quickly and realise that if you can’t do that then you can’t afford the lifestyle you are leading, but if you put that lifestyle to one side for a single year you may very well be able to afford a much better one, and not pay somebody else for the privilege.

Obviously I am not a financial adviser and any situation should be looked at on an individual basis to determine the correct course of action, but you cannot lose if you find a way to pay less interest to lenders, and borrow money or goods on inflated interest because we haven’t got a “perfect credit score”.

Amazon Seller – free guide to get started.

There are hundreds of courses out there to help you become an Amazon seller and on the whole they cost thousands to access, I know that you only get out of life what you put in but that does not mean we need to over extend ourselves or use money unnecessarily to learn something that can be picked up for free, sure if you were to be paying a couple of hundred pounds for a course then it would probably save you that much in errors further down the line, but when we start talking four and five thousand dollars then I really do think you would have to really screw up on a monumental scale to even up the balance.

I am not saying that these courses are all worthless, I am just pointing out that they are expensive and the majority of us have been driven to look for a side hustle or a change in income streams through lack of available funds, not through and abundance of money and boredom.

So I started looking around to see if there were any free reliable alternatives to some of the expensive courses, and I found this site https://tinuiti.com/blog/amazon/sell-on-amazon-uk/ the guide seems really thorough and one of the first things that I noticed was that I actually had no idea of the prerequisites of opening a seller account on Amazon, I also found another site as an alternative to Junglescout this is https://sellics.com they not only have a 14 day trial offer but they have some free resources including keyword search for your chosen products.

Another challenge I have is the US centric nature of this business, so I will be spending some time researching how much of an impact this will actually have on me as a UK resident and if there are any workarounds to those issues.

Turns out there are, in future posts I will going through setting up my seller account from a UK perspective and hopefully making a profit.

That’s all for now…….

Photo by David Riaño Cortés from Pexels

Work Until you Die? or make a stand now ?

This article confirms what I have thought for some time now, we need to make a stand because for most of us the future is set in stone and it is cold, hard and very unpleasant.

https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2017/mar/29/a-world-without-retirement

Photo by THE COLLAB. from Pexels

Following on – “Now I’m Not Saying………”

I wanted to follow on from the rant that I had yesterday regarding certain individuals on YouTube and Instagram taking the time out of my hands as they pitch their way through all the free B******t to get to the upsell, I am not saying that you can not make money any other way, I am simply saying that Shopify Stores, Amazon Affiliates, FBA, and Drop Shipping are not the way to go (in my opinion) they are tired and oversubscribed and yes the people on the screen probably did make a lot of money from them, but this was because they got in at the bottom, look at them all, most of the Bio’s contain the phrase I struggled for ages until I discovered this one system, the system is not rocket science, they did not discover the wheel or fire, they simply made use of the tools that were created at that time, and from what I have heard these people owe most of their wealth to Jeff Bezos rather than to their brilliant acumen, there is of course nothing wrong with that but, if we stop for a moment, they can make thousands every day from a beach in Mexico, (another popular tagline) but instead they want to share this secret with you so you can mimic their success, problem is there is no “secret” anymore, my 9 year old daughter has alibaba app on her iPhone, and the same people watching your adverts and your facebook posts are also watching the Guru’s, this means that their desperate attempts to draw people in is also one of the huge contributors to why your drop shipping or your Shopify will fail, and to be fair the human race just isn’t that giving when it comes to money, I know that is difficult to swallow but it isn’t, the reason these courses (I use the term lightly) are being pushed is because they know that the space is becoming crowded and less profitable.

When I think of the time that I spent watching these videos, listening to the same advice over and over and setting up accounts it makes me seethe, instead I could have been researching how to finance a property business, learn how to build websites, coding or 100 other things that end with a product, You want to make money? then make something, build a product and use the Internet to it’s best advantage to market that product, or to make people aware that you have property to rent, or you have a service that will make their life easier.

Think about this, the world thanks to the Internet is a smaller place, barriers are broken down now in most places, if you built a property business you could live anywhere and provide homes or buy and sell anywhere in the world, I will explain how.

  • Website – Websites are available 24/7 365, and can be translated into any language automatically so you can be seen anywhere at anytime, with Twillio you can even get a local phone number that routes straight to your mobile anywhere in the world you have signal.
  • Property – Same the other way round, you can use local estate agents to find property and Google maps to even have a look around the surrounding area, there are also crime reports for most areas available online too.
  • Viewings – The Gig economy means that now you can for not much cash arrange for somebody to act as an agent in another part of your country or another country altogether if need be, no permanent employees just a one off cost, to be fair the estate agent will do the most work for you.
  • Management – Management companies exist everywhere that rental properties do, due diligence will give you an idea of the quality of the agency and if you just buy / sell then even better.

Now that was literally written in five minutes off the top of my head, so it would need some more consideration (probably quite a lot more) but you get my point, that is not rocket science, put it in a course and label it “Start a Million Dollar Global Property Business from Your Front Room” charge $999 dollars for it and BAM!

Of course it won’t work for most and you would have to skirt over the downsides to it as you wouldn’t want anybody to not pay.

My point really was that if you want money I mean Real Money create something of value and use the Internet as a vehicle to push that value, most of these courses will line pockets and bank accounts but seldom the course attendees.

Till next time……..