I know who you are. You’re one of those ‘Make Money Online’ people. You read this blog, and others like it, every day, hoping to pick up some useful little tidbit of information so you can start your own ‘make money online’ blog. Even though you’ve never made more than a few pennies through Adsense, you’ll join the sweaty, teeming masses that comprise the ‘make money online’ niche. I know what you’ll write about too: The same damn thing as everybody else. Entrecard. Adsense. SEO. You’ll “get your inspiration” from the big boys, and while you won’t commit outright plagiarism, it’ll be close enough. I have a phrase I like to use for people like you: “Emulate, duplicate, regurgitate.”
Hi, I’m Geoff, and I’m the author of the one blog out there that exists to counter-balance the thousands of ‘make money online’ blogs: Can’t Get Rich. That’s right, I’ve accepted the fact and you should too. You can’t get rich online. You know why? All of the good ideas are taken. In other words, you can’t bring anything new to the table. You’re old news, taking up space. Not interesting. Get what I’m saying?
Of course, I’m sure that you’ll take that as a challenge. “I’ll show that mean old Geoff.” Well, first of all, I’m not old, I’m only 21. Maybe a little jaded, but that’s beside the point. Second of all, no, I’m not kidding. Don’t try to make a ‘make money online’ blog, you’re just wasting your time.
You’re still interested? Psh, people sure are stubborn. If you insist on going through with it, please, please follow a few basic rules so you’ll stand out from the herd:
- Pick a good theme – Don’t use the default WordPress theme, but don’t pick an incredibly flashy one either. Don’t even bother picking one with ad space, as you won’t be needing it for a long time (if ever).
- Speaking of ads – Don’t put any up! You heard me. Get off of adsense and just think for a moment: When people visit a website, what do they want to see? No, not ads, content. You should be focusing on writing quality content and attracting new readers, not making a quick and shameless buck. My readers occasionally ask me when I’m going to start monetizing my site. I always tell them the same thing: When I hit 1,000 readers per day. Until then, I’m going to focus on attracting and keeping readers.
- The Feedburner widget – For heaven’s sake, don’t put it up until you have a good number of RSS readers! Congratulations, you finally broke into the double digits and now have 11 RSS subscribers. Big deal. That’s laughable. Don’t even bother putting the widget up until you have at least 50.
- Adsense blocks – You know what? Don’t use them. Ever. They’re ugly, they’re tacky, and they’ll drive off your readers. If you’re going to advertise (and you’d better have a good number of readers), find some other ad network. I don’t really care who. Go ask Cow or Chow.
- Be original – Starting a blog in the most crowded niche probably wasn’t a good idea to begin with, but since you’re here, you might as well do something. Don’t just rehash things you’ve read on this site or Digital Point forums. Tell your readers (assuming you have any) about what you’re doing and what you’re learning. If I wanted to read about something the Cow said, I’d visit his site.
- Hold a contest – A good way to attract first-time readers is by holding a contest. Get your hands on a $100 Apple store gift certificate and start promoting. A word of advice though: Make it clear that you won’t accept entries from tiny contest blogs. You know the ones I’m talking about: Those blogspot blogs that have 2 RSS readers and nothing but entries to other blog contests. Seriously, they’re worthless. The whole point of a blog contest is to attract readers, and a 15 year-old’s blogspot blog isn’t going to do that for you.
So you’ve got a blog in one of the most saturated niches on the Internet. Congratulations, you stubborn fool. I bet you’re just aching to prove me wrong. Well, let me know about your site. I offer a little service I like to call ReviewU (see what I did there?). Basically, it’s just like ReviewMe, except it’s free and I don’t have to review your blog if I don’t want to. Typically, I like to ignore blogs that are perfectly fine and really dig into the ones that are awful. So, if you’d like to risk a potentially scathing review of your ugly little blog, go ahead and contact me.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.