My first effort to earn money through the Internet was simple. At the time I presented CrashProof seminars around South Africa. Instead of faxing 30,000 business owners each month, I emailed them. Back then people were happy to get email.
That effort sold a lot of seats and saved many folk from being eaten by their bankers when things changed for the worse.
I read a lot and experimented a lot more. I struggled to find direction, to find confidence in this new web thing. Small ideas. Low risk. Frustrating as heck.
For instance, I read about affiliate schemes, which seemed a fine way to bank some extra dosh. I even signed up with Amazon.com, the crowd who first ran such a system.
After 8 months they sent me a cheque for 20 pounds. It was worth so little back then that I framed the cheque on the wall of my study in Knysna. Bank costs haven’t dropped since then. Amazon commissions haven’t increased since then either.
But, no matter what you try online you win. You’re either learning or you are earning. I am not quite sure which is better.
Fast forward March 2003. I’d been reading a superb course from a firm in Seattle. They had an affiliate program as well. Breakfast at the East Head Cafe in Knysna. (Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, wholewheat toast, and what a view.)
I sat at the window and read my email. A grumpy Petesweekly reader complained that I was so lucky to know all this Internet stuff. “Lucky” is not a good word to describe hard work.
I told him to stop being a wimp. It wasn’t luck, it was applying the stuff I was learning, especially from one course, I told him. And to prove my point I dared him to buy the blerry course himself show himself how lucky he could get. I gave him the affiliate link.
I was so grumpy that I sent that same email (without his name) to 10,000 readers of PetesWeekly.
And then I had another coffee before heading off to teach a bunch of local Matrics how to earn money. I had the shift just before lunch break. In one class I tore a R200 note in half just to keep them awake.
One of the students asked me how I earned money. Rather than try and explain the intricacies of crashproof seminars I told him that I had just sent out an email to 10,000 people and asked him if he wanted to see the results of an affiliate scheme in action. He wanted to.
I projected my PC screen onto the wall and logged into my affiliate account. I didn’t look at the screen because I was speaking. There was a stunned silence.
“You earned 2000 Rand in the last hour online?” Somebody asked. I turned round and looked at the screen. Actually, I had earned 2000 Dollars since leaving my breakfast table. By the end of the week it was $12,000, from 30 minutes of writing while nibbling smoked salmon and scrambled egg.
That same program earned me more than 1 million Rand over the next few years.
The Amazon.com program earned me nothing. But I learned enough to be able to use a better program very quickly. Just another tool in the toolbox.
There is no single quick fix. There are many skills that are easy to learn. How easy depends on your patience as well as how much you’ve chosen not to learn these past two decades.
Once you have these you can combine them in many ways. Not just for purely online income the way I do it. But also to build income for an off-line business, the way many of my clients do it. The tools are the same.
That’s one thing about the Internet. It keeps changing. Opportunities wind down as new ones emerge.
On Thursday 21 April at 8pm South African time I will share a bunch of other ways I have earned enough income online to leave me stuck in Norway.
Hint: Do not marry a Norwegian. Once they have children they do not want to leave this frozen North.
The event is free. I will record it. If you have registered, even if you do not attend, you will get the video replay.
Go here to reserve your free seat.
I still meet folk who tell me that 2003 course is still in their bookshelves and how it helped them.