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Monday Question: What Are The Ingredients To Making Substantial Income Online?

In contrast to the numerous “I am new to the Internet, I have no money and I don’t have a computer (I’m typing this to you at work), I want to make a full time living online as a Super Affiliate. Please advise me” emails I received [Do send me the answer to that because I don't have a ready answer...], I’ve got a more realistic question this week:

I am willing to learn, I have bought a number of ebooks, and have made a few affiliate sales (about $50-100 worth of commissions each month), but at this rate, I doubt I’ll be able to quit my day job and live on my online income anytime soon. What do you suggest I buy next and how much do I have to spend before I make a full time online income? Thanks!

Here’s a list of what I bought:

[A list of about 5 ebooks follow. I'm guess she's spent about $300 on them]


My Answer:

It’s encouraging to see new Internet marketers take responsibility for their actions and I think the fact that you’re generating sales from your website each month shows that you’re taking consistent effort.

To make the gap between generating “hobby money” (I define this as less than $2,000 a month in online income) and a living based on your online businesses means that you need a couple of ingredients:

  • A Game Plan

Have you defined what income level you’re aiming for? ($1,000? $10,000? $100,000 per month?). More importantly, have you listed the amount of time and resources you’re willing to put into this?

Most new marketers write down a $20,000 a month goal when they start out, and they put in barely 2 hours a week into their business. There’s a serious effort-reward gap in the equation…


An online business still follows the effort -> result equation. You don’t just need to dream big, you need to put in the sweat equity at least in the early stages.

  • Focus and Consistency

Do your research before you begin. What niche are you going to focus on? Is it a niche market? Is the demand sufficient to sustain your revenue (and profit?)?

Is it a competitive market? Can you compete effectively?

What’re your monetization strategies? A goal of 100 Adsense clicks a day might be a good start, but are they only paying $0.10 a click? Are there affiliate programs available? Would you create your own product?

Once your research has concluded and you’ve decided on your business model, you need to be focused and consistent in your efforts. There was an Internet marketer who built their blog up to about 500 visitors a day, she left for a 6 week vacation and the visitors dropped to about 5 a day when she returned. It took another couple of months to build it up to her pre-vacation traffic level.

  • Go Beyond Costs, Focus On Results

Here’s one takeaway from my buddy, Amit Mehta’s post “What’s Your Investment Plan?“, you need to figure out what your expect return or result is from any investment you make…

It’s not just a cost issue, you need to take stock of the whole picture.

Here’s the analogy: Cost -> Investment+Effort -> Return/Profit

So if you incur a cost, you need to couple that with an investment (in the form of taking action).

You also need a clear idea of the profit you’re planning to generate.

It’s not enough just to set goals, you need to work towards them to get the results you desire.

I spend about $10,000 – $12,000 in new products and services each year, as part of my “education”.

Some of it is Internet Marketing related, some of it is marketing or business strategy related, and some of it is far outside of the business arena, focused on expanding my circle of contacts and network.

My expectation is that I’m able to generate at least 10 times what I’ve invested not just in financial terms, but in time too.

Developing your mind will bring you the biggest leverage in your business and investing in real world experience (in the form of testing new marketing campaigns) has given the biggest return for the time+money I’ve spent on them.


If you’re a newer marketer, the Rabid Niche Cash Machine system I developed could help you on your way.

If you’re an experienced marketer, the Super Affiliate Accelerator which Amit and I have developed could bring your campaigns to a new level.


The Monday Question is a weekly series where I answer reader questions. You can submit your questions via the contact form. Due to the volume of emails we receive, we will not be able to individually answer each question.

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