Make Money Online Dreams – Don’t be a FOOL!

Over the past few months, I have been having some interesting conversations with young make money online aspirants which, by the way, resulted in my post titled Should students blog? some time ago. Well, this post is meant for a broader audience who are into blogging and Internet marketing and want to make it big in life via the ‘easy root’ – probably at the cost of various sustainable options such as a permanent job based on a good educational foundation.

Let us start by analyzing the current state of blogosphere and what kind of money is involved in related businesses so that we can understand the real potential as against the hype.

Some interesting numbers & their interpretation

  • According to Technorati, as of December 2009, there are 130 million blogs out there in this world. (BlogPulse showed a figure of 126 million)
  • Around 175,000 new blogs are created every single day and many of them with the ambition of monetizing their content
  • Most bloggers are in the age group of 18-44 and they are highly educated individuals
  • Google’s 2009 payout to their AdSense publishers was around USD 5 billion
  • ClickBank, has paid out just around USD 1.5 billion to all their affiliates together over the last 10 years
  • The shared hosting provider, HostGator says they pay out $400,000 per month to thousands of their affiliates
  • The US Internet marketing spend will touch USD 4 billion by 2014

Now, if you read into these numbers you will understand that in relation to the number of blogs created per day, the earning potential is not really increasing but it’s rather getting diluted. Why? Because, Google’s AdSense revenue or total affiliate market share doesn’t quite increase in that proportion. There are 100s of 1000s of AdSense publishers out there and there are quite some big corporate publishers as well (These are other websites not necessarily blogs). In short, I am forced to believe that most of the AdSense accounts do not get paid every month or they do not make even $100 a month. Of course, there are those big bloggers and other priority accounts that make big money via AdSense but they are few in number.

Similarly, ClickBank paid out only a few millions per year to their 1000s of publishers which mean that not many make it really big. 1000s of HostGator affiliates together make $400000 a month and hence how much are you really going to getting per month? These are just a few examples.

Going by the Internet marketing spend projection by Forrester Research, it doesn’t seem to grow at the pace at which most of us would have expected it to boom. In essence, blogging doesn’t necessarily fetch you overnight money and only a very few really make it big. If you are not a natural blogger or somebody who writes because you have a lot of ideas and you enjoy writing, then that is what blogging should stand for.

However, since there are a lot of people blindly trying to join the bandwagon, there’re some opportunities (non-sustainable) in the Website design, Web development, SEO, theme development related consulting. This may not sustain because the number of online aspirants cannot grow forever.

What should online money be?

In my opinion Online money making is:

  • A residual add on and not your main income stream (for most people, that is)
  • Not sustainable, and even if you want to make it work for mid term, you have to keep doing research every single day
  • About more failures than success
  • Time consuming and less returning for most people
  • Something that prevents you from achieving long term ambitions and goals in life (such as good education, corporate job experience etc)
  • Perishable based on decisions by biggies like Google (Read: Online money making – Are we too dependent on Google?

Better alternatives

As I have always mentioned, a permanent job would always help and supplement or complement it with the online residual income. Because the opportunities in various offline businesses are several 100 times more than the online business – at least for the next few years. Again, I am talking about the majority – there are smarties who would definitely make it big but they are a small percentage of the people who try.

Anyhow, happy blogging and money making!


  1. ” According to Technorati, as of December 2009, there are 130 million blogs ”

    So they also started an Ad Network Technorati Media.

    Cool findings Ajith. a bright future for bloggers 🙂

  2. These insights tempt me to blog more. 😀

    ClickBank is something which I should involve after my exams. Cheers & nice post. 🙂

  3. @Anish, @Pradeep, I was not talking about a bright future 😆 In fact, only the cream (top few 1000s) really make it big and millions others make peanuts. Hence unless you make it really really big, it’s not worth your time. And even, that may not be sustainable…

    • Agreed!! 😀

      Peanuts > Cream. Won’t this conversion work?! 🙁

      And is ‘money’ the only thing which makes probloggers!?

      • Peanut butter is what we need 😀 By the way, this term pro-blogger is confusing. People blindly use it for marketing their content… Probably what you meant is a blogging pro who is somebody like an expert blogger or exceptional writer, according to me. Pro-blogger (I think it’s more professional blogger) is somebody who has made blogging his profession or who makes a life out of it. Such pro-bloggers probably need to make consistently to survive, and if that doesn’t work, why even blog? That was the whole point behind this post.

  4. You are right. Permanent job is permanent. It should not be disturbed. Blogging can be a side income.

  5. Wow making cash with no job has always really been really hard; usually I get some programs and work from those. although they are really expensive! Trying to make money without any sort of job experience is even harder. Some stuff is so unprofitable, but this post surprisingly Taught me so much. Thank you! 🙂

  6. Good stuff Ajith, and very true. If I had to sustain myself with my online income I’d have been broke years ago.

  7. Nice article Ajith. Recently I had observed that many students are spending a lot of time on creating Blogs and earning a decent income from them. As you have mentioned somewhere in your old posts they can only see the successful people here. There are hell lots and lots of people who failed! So, as you said it should be kind of a source for your pocket money to get some gadgets or go for a trip and not the main source.

    • @Sam, that’s exactly what I was thinking as well. For most people it stops at the pocket money level. However, there’s a big one out there who is like one in thousand.

  8. Definitely. Blogging and a website in most instances is online going to be a supplementary income, that if you are lucky might get you a nice holiday once a year.

    Thus, you just need to make sure it is something you love and have a passion for… which will have the added bonus of probably being more interesting reading than something you do just to try and get a bit of cash.

  9. Are you scared these aspirants bloggers will give you a run for your money?


  1. […] by many people for being so pessimistic about the online risks and sometimes it even resulted in comments like this one. However, I still maintain that it’s a too risky area to be in and not even 1% of the people […]

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