Money for nothing?

Dec 13 22:00 2001 Chuck McCullough Print This Article

Not ... is so easy to turn a newbie into an Internet junkie by telling the tales of "gurus" making money with their website 24 hours a day, 7 days a ... go on vacation for a week or two an

Not hardly!

It is so easy to turn a newbie into an Internet junkie by telling the tales of "gurus" making money with their website 24 hours a day,Guest Posting 7 days a week.

They go on vacation for a week or two and the site just keeps on paying the bills.

Doesn't get any easier than this....

I still have my first website that I created when I first became addicted to the Net. I haven't touched it in over a year now, other than to change an updated URL here and there.

Everything that you can do wrong with your Internet business, has been done to mine.

Mostly because I lost interest. My wife says that I'm bad about that. Many of my hobbies have fallen to the wayside for this same reason.

The site made me a little over $6,000 last year, and about the same the year before. This year is off to an even better start for some reason.

Whenever I talk to people about this, their eyes glaze over as they imagine throwing up their own site and watching the checks roll in.

Money for nothing?

Well, if you look only at this past year it pretty much looks like it was free money. I didn't really do anything and still pulled in a decent chunk of change.

Many of the "gurus" on the Internet have a similar story of how they have a website or two that are on auto-pilot like this one.

This is part of the problem with our industry today. Too many stories of easy money float around just like the ones above, and the unsuspecting quickly fall prey.

Now let me shed some light on my story...

For the past year I haven't done very much, that's the truth. But what I failed to tell you is how much time, and for how long it took me to get that particular site to the point it was one year ago.

From the moment that I first discovered the Internet, I was hooked.

Me and my AOL account were inseparable. For that first year my website must have gone through a complete redesign every two months.

I would spend hours and hours asking other webmasters to link to my site, monitoring my search engine positioning, and trying to find ways to make money from it.

When I was away from my computer all I could think about was getting back to it to check and see how many visitors came through, and how much money I made.

There were many letdowns and many frustrations in getting it off the ground.

If you take what I made with the site last year and divide it by the number of hours I spent, its one heck of an hourly rate!

But if you take what I've made from day one and divide it by the number of hours I put into it, you'll find that I probably could have done better with a part-time job flipping burgers.

And who knows, maybe I could have even spent more time with my family because when I clocked out from my part-time job, I would be off for the evening.

When you are bit by the Internet bug, you'll find yourself watching the sun come up on some days...after an all-nighter!

The sad truth is that the vast majority of the "gurus" out there leave out this part of the story. It doesn't sound quite as awesome to hear someone say they are making money with their website, but they might do better offering "fries with that."

At this point you are probably thinking: "Man! Chuck, what's up with all the gloom and doom?"

I'm trying to set your expectations appropriately. In my last job, one of the most important lessons that I learned was to "set the customer's expectations."

When I went into a job that I knew would probably take 4 hours, it was better to tell the customer that it would take 8.

If I was done in 4 I was a hero. If I ran into major problems and it took 8, then I was right on time.

But if I had told the customer that I should be done in 4 hours and it took me 8....

VERY upset customer!

It is all about perception.

You need to set your own expectations. Don't think that you can "build it and they will come."

Don't think that you can put up a site and instantly put it on auto-pilot.

If you don't use the right approach to your business, you can easily find yourself on the list of "Internet failures."

The bright side to this story? Today, through the "school of hard knocks" I have learned how to get a website up and running in a much shorter time frame, and with far fewer mistakes.

Looking back on it, what would I have done differently?

I would have invested in some training materials so I could learn what others have found to work, and not work.

I would have gotten my own domain name a lot earlier.

I would have invested in a decent log analysis tool instead of spending hours "counting clicks."

And, I would probably have doubled my "expected time to completion" :-)

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Chuck McCullough
Chuck McCullough

Chuck McCullough is the owner of offering FREE articles, tips, hints, and real-world advice on how to make money with your website. Visit his site or join his FREE newsletter, The AffiliateMatch Informer by sending a blank email to

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