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9 Unsexy Truths about Making Money Online

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of May 2010 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

Fast Luxury Cars, Parties with Sexy People, Dream Homes, Lavish Meals, World Travel, Book Deals and Pictures of massive Checks…. making money online is sexy!

Isn’t it?

As I sit here in my PJs alone in the front room of my house this morning – I wonder if perhaps the ‘sexy’ bit of what I do somehow bypassed me.


I was at a conference last year listening to one ‘make money online’ guru talking about the possibilities of making money on the internet. The picture he painted was certainly sexy.

He showed some of the things he’d bought with the money he’d made online, shared some of the opportunities that his business had opened up for him and told some of the story of how he achieved it. The first line of this post pretty much summed up a lot of his presentation – it was sexy.

As he shared two things happened inside of me:

  1. I got inspired (and a little jealous) – ‘wow, I gotta have some of what this guy’s got’. I think that was a pretty common reaction in the room (based upon the type of comments I heard after the presentation). I guess that was partly the purpose of the presentation – showing the possibilities of what could be achieved can certainly be inspirational on some levels (and can motivate people to buy all kinds of products and systems – as they did that day).
  2. I realised I was only hearing part of the story – as I sat listening to the story the reaction that grew bigger and bigger (and ended up being the main feeling that I had) was that the guy was only sharing part of the story. At least he was sharing a quite different story to the one I’d had and the one I’d heard in the quiet conversations I’d had with many successful online entrepreneurs.

While I have no doubt that the riches and success that this man shared about were true and I know for a fact that the life that some internet entrepreneurs lead can at times be very ‘sexy’ – the reality is that for the vast majority of those who set out to make money online that the story is anything but sexy.

In fact even for me – as someone who has had a moderate level of success in this game – this guy’s story had only fleeting moments where it seemed even vaguely familiar to me.

Perhaps that’s partly to do with my own personality, style, values and taste (I’d rather put my kids through a good education than buy a Ferrari and would prefer to help set up a feeding program for starving kids than rent a yacht and cruse the Caribbean for 3 months a year) – but I also think that quite often in our game the ‘unsexy’ part of what we do is not talked about enough.

Perhaps common sense to many – here are some of the ‘unsexy’ truths about making money online (with a few tweet reflections form my Twitter followers):

1. It Takes ALOT of WORK

When I mentioned the topic of unsexy truths on Twitter earlier in the week and asked for people’s feedback the overwhelming response was about the amount of work that it takes to build a successful online business. Here’s just a few of the response on this front:

“I would say the #1 “unsexy” truth is that it takes W-O-R-K despite what almost every sales page will lead you to believe!” – @ElysiaBrooker

“Well there’s the whole “work” thing that no one bothers to mention.” – @CindyBidar

“some days I’m too busy to even think about showering. MMO is more work than people realize, esp when starting out.” – @Allison_Boyer

“It still takes a lot of really hard work…and pajamas don’t go over well on skype calls you want people to pay for.” – @JonathanFields

The reality is that there is no escaping having to put in a solid amount of work if you want to make a living online (or offline for that matter).

The amount of times that I’ve seen people start blogs with the expectation of striking it rich and generating a passive income amazes me. I guess people want to believe that there’s a short cut and want to jump straight to the end (and sexy) results before working for it.

2. It Takes Time and Starts Slow

I love what @SamMartino (smart guy) responded to me on Twitter with:

“I’ve discovered it takes longer to get momentum… much longer lead times… but higher margins.”

This type of comment was echoed by quite a few including:

“only the get rich slowly by putting in a lot of effort schemes work” – @KarenMarree

“it takes almost 6-8 months before you see any respectable money” – @SkoolofLife

6-8 months might seem like a long time – but in my experience even that could be an under estimation. There are certainly examples of people who do it quicker – however the reality is that it usually takes longer – and even after a long lead time there are no guarantees.

While there are certainly some upsides (like Sam says there is often some nice margins to be made if you’re selling something online) my own experience was that I was putting in a lot of hours for a couple of years before I made a full time income. That meant working other part time jobs during the day and blogging at night for well over a year – while wondering all along that time whether it was going to amount to anything.

3. The Sexy Moments Happen – but are Often Few and Far Between

I’m a very very fortunate person. I feel incredibly lucky to have had some success in this field and to have some amazing opportunities open up. While some of those things I mentioned in the first sentence of this post have not been my reality – I’ve certainly had a few ‘sexy’ moments.

A book deal, being flown around the world to speak at conferences, some fun parties at these conferences, the opportunity to meet and interact with some amazing people, the chance to buy a nice house and give my family a comfortable life, appearing in mainstream media…. all of these things are beyond what my wildest dreams of blogging ever were.

However the day to day of my life isn’t sexy. The above things are special (and I’m grateful for them) but they’re not what my life is all about. Rather they punctuate the sometimes mundane daily routine of sitting alone in an office, writing content, answering emails, making videos, responding to customer queries….. etc

I enjoy what I do – but I think it’s important to keep some perspective – most of the successful web entrepreneurs spend most of their lives doing normal and ordinary things – just like everyone else.

4. There are No Guarantees

If there’s one thing that disturbs me most about many sales pages for ‘make money online’ systems it is the guarantee element of them. ‘You WILL make money’ – ‘Make $10,000 in 30 days’…. the list of claims that are made at times goes on and on.

  • A + B doesn’t always = C
  • Processes and systems don’t always work.
  • What works for one doesn’t always work for others.

No two blogs that I’ve been involved with are the same in terms of building traffic or monetization. They have all been so unique and so to claim that you can apply a ‘system’ or ‘process’ that is guaranteed to work in every instance is just not realistic.

There is a lot that can be learned from some of the make money online systems and teachers on the web but don’t allow yourself to be sucked into any product that claims that it works for everybody – there are too many other elements at play (including your own dedication, natural ability, niche, levels of competition etc).

“What works for one blog, won’t work for another.” – @JewelrySecrets

5. You’ll Fail More than You Succeed

The other factor that comes into the ‘no guarantees’ point above is that in every successful entrepreneur’s journey there is a string of failures left in their wake.

I’ve started 30+ blogs over the last 8 years – 3 of them remain. I’ve started a long list of ventures, products, companies etc – only a few of them were profitable.

In time I’ve been able to increase the rate of success that I’ve been having and have learned to tell if an idea is failing and whether I should kill it early on – but in order to succeed you may very well need to fail a few times first.

6. Some People Just Won’t Make It

I hate to include this one as part of me does think it’s possible for almost anyone to have at least some amount of success in making money online…. however I have to take note of the stats that I’ve seen every time I survey my readers about this – some people just won’t make money online.

“Some people just aren’t going to make it. They’ll put in a lot of time and spend more than they earn.” – @SHerdegen

For some the reasons for not ‘making it’ are to do with elements I’ve mentioned above (not willing to take a long term approach, work hard etc) – however I guess there are other reasons. Some people just have a certain ‘mojo’, talent, skill level, set of experiences or circumstances that propel them forward faster than others. Conversely – some don’t.

Much of this can be overcome in time however I guess the reality is that for some people they find themselves in circumstances where it’s just too hard.

7. It can be Lonely

It’s funny how lonely ‘social’ media can be sometimes.

I was chatting with one blogger recently who quit what was a growing online business to get a ‘real job’ partly because she needed more face to face interaction. She put it down to her personality type and living in a reasonably remote location where she couldn’t meet those she worked with face to face – but in the end it just got too lonely for her.

For introverts like myself this might not be a massive problem (although I try to do some face to face stuff with a few others most weeks) but I know for quite a few people working alone in the front room of their house all day is enough to make them start to lose it.

8. Increased Success Can Bring Increased Critique

In Australia we’re known for suffering from Tall Poppy Syndrome. Something wikipedia defines as:

“a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticised because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.”

By no means is this just an Aussie thing, other cultures around the world share it. One of those ‘cultures’ I suspect is the web. I’ve seen it numerous times – as blogger begins to grow in their influence and reach only to find that closely trailing the rise in their own success comes a rise in ‘critique’.

Critique can be a helpful thing at times – however it can also move into a my sinister and destructive place where those that it is directed at often feel quite damaged.

In time I’ve had my share of negative attention. While I have learned to deal with it a little better than I once did – I do look back on periods in the last 8 years and see times where I think it led me to become quite depressed, stressed and once even to the brink of giving up on blogging.

I guess in time one gets thicker skin – however it’s a constant issue many bloggers have to work with.

9. Scaling it Sucks

If you do stick with things for the long haul, work hard and push through the tough times there is certainly potential for success in the online space. In fact some times get easier the bigger and more successful you become. Momentum grows and you can get to a point where the opportunities that keep coming your way are quite amazing.

However along with the opportunity and success comes the challenge of scaling up what you’re doing.

This can be particularly tricky when you’re basing your business around social media where there is a certain expectation that you be personal and interactive.

Tough choices need to be made around whether to stay smaller and keep being personal, whether to outsource some of what you do and how to manage the growing demands that you face.

These are the issues I’m seeing quite a few people dealing with right now – if you know the answer to it, please let me know. In the mean time, I’ll tell you it can be very unsexy :-)

Your Unsexy Truths

Earlier in the week when I tweeted on this topic quite a few other unsexy truths were suggested. You can read them here and here. Before inviting you to share yours… I’ll finish with this one from @BeyondBeeton:

” the “internet” doesn’t just spew out money. you need a good idea, a plan and an ability to deliver what people want to pay for.”

What would you add to this list of UnSexy Truths of making money online?

I think most people who’ve been at the business of making money online for even a few months know that the ‘sexy’ image of making money online is not a reality for most who attempt it.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren, I wish I could say that there was some unsexy moments of blogging for a living, because that would mean that maybe I’m doing really well. However, I just started, so it all still sounds sexy to me.

    Bring on the PJ’s, morning tea, working from home, and long hours. I would rather be working for myself than anybody else even if it meant being unsexy. :)

    I do understand your point though and you’re right; it is hard work and you put in more hours than you would for any employer. I find it rewarding though.

    Thanks for all your unsexy days so we can learn to be better bloggers!


  2. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. This doesn’t get said nearly often enough.

  3. my one of the unsexy truths on making money online is time. if you don’t have time, you cannot make ideas about making money. if you already have time then ideas will come out. after ideas, then you need to do a lot of work.

  4. Darren,

    Thank you for this post. I am a recently turned pro blogger, having been an amateur, casual blogger for a long while. I’ve started businesses before, but everything you have said in this post has hit on things I have started to feel recently with the efforts I’ve been putting in to make this transition a success. Thankfully, I have several people working with me on a team this time around. Just wanted you to know that I’ve made your blog required reading.

    Talk to you soon.


  5. Point 6 is a tough one to swallow….no one wants to think they won’t make it. I mean you put in the hours, work, effort. It’s as if your assured of a win.

  6. Quite agree with you specially this phase I must say –

    The Sexy Moments Happen – but are Often Few and Far Between

    And when you realised that this one is sexy moment that disappear isn’t ?

  7. Hi Darren, I love your 4th point. Everybody must say, “There are No Guarantees” for anything … I have many experience with this case :)

  8. Being a blogger is far from sexy I agree, there is so much to deal with in the birth of your blog, promotion, networking, getting links, design and branding all need to be put in practice very early on. And that is how any business starts off.

    As I approach my first year as a blogger, I have had to overcome many obstacles, not least the technical but most importantly the emotions and phsycological impact it has had onmmy life, I have had to overcome –

    1 Fear of failing
    2 Stress
    3 Worrying how it effects my personal life
    4 thinking my content is not good enough
    5 The strain of working into the dead of night and having to work the following day
    6 Tiredness

    I agree that not everyone can make it online, because you have to first have the mental capacity to deal with all these feelings, and take failure in your stride and learn from it, plus all the technical difficulties you will need to cope with.

    If you can deal with these emotional hurdles, then you have a chance.

  9. Loved this one. And the corollary to “it’s hard work” is that if you want to be successful you have to do it even when you really, really don’t feel like it.

  10. I think the most important point is that it takes time. most people think that they can get rich over night by starting a business online. It is just not that easy and it takes lots of time and dedication to succeed

  11. Your post is actually “sexy”.

    People need to know the truth and stay away from hype.

    Thanks for balancing things out.

  12. At some point you need to listen to yourself and follow your gut instinct instead of listening to those joboni “gurus”, after all the online world works just as similar to the outside world. Your doing everything right and seeing poor results, welcome to the real world of making money online…

    Hard work and determination always pays off in the end even if at times it seems the internet is playing God with certain websites and blogs launching them into super stardom when your doing the same exact thing (and have better content) and just not “gettin er done”.

  13. Dorothy Ray says: 05/16/2010 at 2:04 am

    Thanks so much, Darren. Your honest unveiling of the unsexy side of internet blogging and marketing were a breath of fresh air to this introvert and newbie to the game.

    Who can believe the sexy hoopla we’re constantly served about how anyone can make money overnight… If you just buy their course?

  14. You need focus. That has been said many times but few of us think of what it takes.
    Wanting to make money online may need to get away from other purposes in life.
    For example; it seems that a hidden rule fo MMOL is sharing limited information. Where is that limit? -Well, the line is drawn exactly where you want your readers to pay for more.
    That is OK, but then aproaching the perils of overpitching, half truths and pink-colored easy systems is always there… as the sudden “amazing success” is also more likely to happen.
    And it does happen, and two creatures emerge: the great online millionaire (one), and the frustrated, poorer wannabe (thousands).

  15. I thought only Filipinos have the most notable syndrome you called “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. We call it here “Crab Mentality” where your own country men will pull you down with their pincers. The reason why they are compared to a crab is because when you put a bunch of crabs in a container, none will get out because other crabs will pull them down.

  16. I worked on my blog every single day for 11 months, 5 plus hours a day before I made a dime.

  17. As someone with a love/hate relationship with the internet, I think an ugly truth is that sometimes, as you spend more and more time online and increase your focus and intensity – you get drawn into substituting the online world and online relationships for your face-to-face world and relationships. While I think that online relationships and friendships can be genuine and significant – I don’t think they should substitute for or infringe on your relationships with your flesh and blood spouse/partner or children or friends. I think it’s a difficult balance to strike b/c, when starting a business, you necessarily invest a lot of time and focus to make it successful. (as with a brick and mortar business) it’s important to remember to take breaks and re-engage with the physical world. :)

  18. You are so right! I haven’t made it to the top yet, but have had some small successes that inspire me to keep plugging along. Not sure I’ve even hit the “break even point”. And that doesn’t count the untold hours and hours. Thankfully, I have my site more for “love” than money so it works for now.

    Thanks for keeping it real.

  19. This is all so true. There I days I could just hit delete and walk away, but then I think about why I blog, my family loves it, I have made some really great friends, and it is a great creative outlet.

  20. This post reminds me why Darren’s writings are so essential for people starting out.

    I do believe most people go into the online business with faulty math. For example, what seems like realistic projections of traffic and conversation rates usually aren’t even close.

    AdSense is AdCents. Affiliate programs rarely deliver. Amazon affil links usually aren’t worth the bother. Conversion rates suck, at best.

    If you build it, they probably won’t come.

    The failure rate is super high, if financial stability is the goal.

    What I’ve learned is connected to what you said about starting 30 blogs and having 3 succeed.

    Failures are learning opportunities if you can remove the ego. (Hate that part.) Cull the losers, continue to fine-tune the products that have some success and most importantly understand why they’re getting results.

    Now if I can just take my own advice …

  21. Hey Darren,

    You are in two 1% groups, first group, are the bloggers that make an incredible living from the internet and the second group is the one reveal that there is no get rich quick on the internet.

    Everything and I mean everything takes hard work. You, Chris Brogan and Brian Clark are testaments.

    So anybody reading this blog does not unsubscribe from the “internet gurus” and all their hype get what they deserve.

    Thanks for telling the truth! Did anybody else catch that you have doing this for 8 Years!


  22. Hey Darren… Yes, it takes a lot of work, HOWEVER that doesn’t mean you have to do the work. This is a major pitfall newbies fall-into getting started. They try to “learn” and “do” everything themselves. I know… that’s initially what I did. Looking back, that was not the smartest thing to do because I didn’t value my time like I should’ve.

    I made pretty good money but I just couldn’t keep up, as there was always something that needed to get done. Then, I began to leverage others resources / specialties and put a system in place that could work daily without me in the equation.

    It takes time and many start slow because they are unaware that the fastest way to be successful and make the kind of money you want online, is to find someone that’s doing it and clone what they do or hire them to teach you.

    You’re right… there are no guarantees. Most people just aren’t going to do what it takes because they’re not committed. Now, there are junk products out there as well and I’ve purchased my fair share. But, I find most just won’t do what it takes.

    You do have to have a thick skin once you hit a certain success point online. I welcome constructive criticism but you have some people that just say unqualified things and attack you because their subconsciously jealous. I learned to get over it fast.

    As long as you’re the “fail forward” type, have passion, and take massive consistent action, you’re going to move in the right direction and you will be successful online. Good post :)

  23. No matter how un-sexy making money blogging is. Making money in a real job is still worse. Having to fill out tons of each sites own personal info with no guarantee of even a call back.

  24. Here’s my unsexy truth…

    I was recently talking to my Uncle who is a Potter. While admiring a coffee cup he made, I asked him how long it took to make. He said, “40 years and 15 minutes.”

    What he meant was that it took 40 years to gain the needed experience and 15 minutes to actually make the cup I was holding. I think Blogging is very similar.

    When A Listers talk about making thousands of dollars per month while only working a few hours per day, what they aren’t telling you is how long it took them to get to that point.

  25. Thank you for including my tweet in your post. That was very unexpected, but very cool.

    There is not much that is sexy about what bloggers do. It takes unbelievable amounts of non-stop work and it pulls us into a monitor screen and away from our family and friends, the real world.

    This post hits home with me. I feel better knowing these issues are common with everyone. It’s good to know that we are on this voyage together. Thanks again Darren!

  26. Very interesting post but some very good points are made and covered. Sometimes people get lured into a false sense of hope when it comes to making money on-line. While somethings are sexy and appealing about making money on-line, you steal have to work at it.

  27. “Here’s my unsexy truth…

    I was recently talking to my Uncle who is a Potter. While admiring a coffee cup he made, I asked him how long it took to make. He said, “40 years and 15 minutes.”

    What he meant was that it took 40 years to gain the needed experience and 15 minutes to actually make the cup I was holding. I think Blogging is very similar.

    When A Listers talk about making thousands of dollars per month while only working a few hours per day, what they aren’t telling you is how long it took them to get to that point.” Originally quoted by Matt

    I think you’re right. I’ve been reflecting on this type of principle with regard to the music industry, as that is another part of the world I am involved in, and I’ve realized that this is especially true. Most of the bands that have a solid following worked probably for 10 years solid before they “got big”. Even still, they probably worked 10 years on learning their instruments through grade school and college before they even joined/formed the band they’re currently in that people recognize them for. Very few are as lucky to be the “superstars” most people know these days that get signed and have huge record deals after being discovered on Youtube.

    Here’s to the long-haul.

  28. Sometimes a little bit of sexiness would help you earn online. It is true that it may sound non-sense but if you would look deeper into what “Sexiness” can do you will realize that it is worth it being sexy at all. It is not only being sexy physically will help but you should be really sexy in everything you do. There are times that a simple thing such as forgetting to brush your teeth will affect your earning online. That could be true to some but it would be non-sense for others.

    Anyway, Great article! Nice way to wake up people and realize the truth!



  29. For me is one of the unsexy things on making money online well as you’ve already mentioned but in a different light, dare to fail…good observation I have to admit I enjoyed reading it.

  30. This post is really good and informative for the beginners as well as to those who are on this path of making money online. Most of all I liked the two points that some people just wont make it and the one that works may not work on other blog. I have seen most of the people near me that they want to make money online but are not willing to take a long term approach.

  31. I totally like the idea but i think writing the content and then promoting it is the biggest issue.

    I can write well and also know SEO but sometimes i can’t find readers.

    My personal blog will be playing in riches and i have no doubt about it. I am ready to pay the price.

  32. Working from home and making a living from blogging/websites can sometimes be as dull as dishwater, unless you are one of the elite who can travel the world to speak at conferences etc.

    That said, I prefer it to the daily commute.

    We recently had a son, and my routine currently involves getting up at 4am so I can get a bit of work done while he is still asleep.

    The one thing I do miss about not going out to work, and you made the point in number 7 (It can be lonley), is the interaction with work colleagues.

  33. I really enjoy reading your blogs and your advice as it’s just not that “easy” as the hype suggests and I particularly thought the comments about social media being a bit lonely for some personalities as really good point to ponder !

    As an expert in my field as well as being a well recognised parenting author, it has still taken me a couple of years to turn what I write about into money – times are changing as Seth Godin points out in his great books and information is free and easy to access so to monetise a blog really does take a committment beyond the passion to communicate.

    There are many fine writers blogging, some to inform and some to just purge their need to express themselves and it really is a wonderful way to connect with the global airways but to make a full time living at it really does take a strategy, committment and a written down goal.

    However as a way to raise your profile, meet extraordinary people and to get invited into extraordinary places it has been a wonderful adventure and a way to pass on my passion for my subject.

    It’s just not that easy – but then is anything easy that’s worthwhile in life?

  34. *wild applause* This may be my favorite post yet! I still have friends who see me in person and ask why I look so tired when I “only work on the internet when I want to” LOL

  35. I’m fairly new to blogging and found this post very helpful, as the glorious pictures many paint about making money blogging can be both inspiring and discouraging at the same time. I think many bloggers give up because they had their head in the clouds from all those “blogging is sexy” speeches and when the reality of all the hard work and persistance that it takes to get there comes into play, many blogs fade away. Thanks for preparing us for the realities ahead. My family of six won’t fit in a Ferrari anyway. :-)

  36. What a coincidence that I, too, happen to be in my PJs as I read this blog post :) (Fuzzy pink robe, to be exact). Thank you for publishing this Darren! As I’m starting out with my food & travel blog thetravelingspoon.tumblr.com, I’m also trying to figure out ways to make this a sustainable living while also meeting some challenges.

    One “unglamorous” coin to the ideal “Work for Yourself” dream is that it really is dependent on just YOURSELF. Your business and its performance is 100% reliant on you – no back-up staff or team to pitch in the effort. It’s a blessing because you get to make the decisions, but it’s also a huge sense of pressure! If I’m having an off day and don’t feel like posting for the week, my blog suffers. And vice versa when there is high activity on my blog, it goes up the other way.

    With glory comes the guts, right?

  37. Thanks for sharing your thought and experience, for a newbie in the blogging world like me, I do agree with you, your post remind me a lot of things to be prepared.. nice post ;)

  38. One factor often overlooked is that you have to constantly play catch up with all the latest innovations in internet marketing in order to stay up to date…I talked about this in more detail on my blog in direct reference to this post.

  39. First of all I was expecting to build an income stream, you know the pipe and the bucket carrier story where building a pipe can give you passive income where even sleeping, the bucks pour in.

    That’s what many are telling, like you said Darren even with a guarantee. But what they are selling to you actually is only a dream (selling dreams is a good business in my country, Indonesia)

    But after I tried them and went through blogging and results as your point mentioned. Like any other work, It really takes a lot of effort. To add this it’s like digging but you’re far from knowing the location of the gold. It also requires skills and a change of mindset. It’s a like a chosen way of life, that’s why I like the evangelist approach to get new followers. I call it ‘infecting passion of blogging’ to newbie-s.

    I also agree that some just don’t have it. Not that this field is exclusive to enter, but it is just because they have different mindset which comes to the basic question: why blog?.

  40. I’m still in the work and lot and make nothing mode. Still, I enjoy doing it. My “Day Job” seems to be running out and I have great hopes of online filling in the gap, but who knows if it will happen at the right time.

    I like this article! It doesn’t pull punches and it doesn’t offer stupid dreams, “Go put a down payment on a Mercedes today!”

  41. Blogging is an online business – like any kind of business it can be different and it can bring different results. I completely agree that it is hard and pretty often it is hard as hell!

    But you can make it sexy (though I guess it would not be that kind of sexy that the guy in the presentation was promising).

  42. It’s ironic how being indulgent in social media like this can bring about feelings of loneliness. I can certainly see how that happens. Especially when one has to devote themselves to their profiles and the community’s etiquette in order to get that solid traffic.

    I wouldn’t consider failure an unsexy truth though. Namely because people are so afraid of making mistakes, that they forget that it’s those very same mistakes that bring about huge change and success in life. I’ve made a TON of mistakes before I started the blog here, and I’m still jam packed full of mistakes on them today.

    But blogging is still an awesome gig to follow, because of that sheer lenience on making mistakes alone. ^_^

  43. Hey Darren,

    First off, thanks for posting this – it really shows your honesty. It does take work and it’s more of a slow going process.

    I laughed when I saw your “messy hair” comment, but what really caught my attention was when you said,

    “…but I know for quite a few people working alone in the front room of their house all day is enough to make them start to lose it.”

    And I totally agree. It’s human nature to want to connect with other human beings – and doing it over the internet is just not enough.

    My UnSexy Truth about making money online is that my computer has had more intimate time with me than my wife has ;)

  44. Hey, funny article, and refreshing to read such an honest account. I do get so tired of all the hype. Yes, we need to keep positive, but admitting that it’s a damn long slog is no bad thing.

    Nic Penrake

  45. Sexy is subjective when it comes to success. The reality is that even the “sexiest” of industries (Hollywood, fashion, cars, etc) aren’t all that sexy behind the scenes. For the most part, the people who rise to the top are the ones who play the game with enough intelligence to develop a winning strategy and overcome the odds (persistence). On top of that, success depends largely on mindset as much as it is a reflection of your work ethic and your bank account.

    The reality is that whether you are in your PJs or a suit- if you want to be successful, you need to work at it and you have to play the game to win. Just as you said, I always tell my clients that failure is part of success, so embrace it as part of the process!

    As much as I hate to admit it… looks, charisma, talent and luck will always win in any industry (online or off) because people want to be entertained and these are simply the characteristics that most people enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing an awesome post that is full of the truth about what it takes to be successful- really in any industry but specifically online. It is a refreshing perspective that demonstrates your strength of character and lack of ego that more successful people would benefit from engaging in!

  46. People always just think that you lucked into it. Most people don’t understand the hours of sitting in front of a computer working your butt off.

  47. 10. The Internet is Always Changing

    The internet is constantly changing and no matter how great your content is and how popular it may be you can always be faced with new challenges such as more competition emerging in a niche or be devalued by Search Engines.

    The only thing you can do is to create value and hope that over the long term your site/blog will be rewarded.

  48. Hi Darren,

    Good piece, I get daily emails saying how “so and so” makes six figure sums and buy this and be milllionaire by lunchtime. Sitting in my pj’s with my coffee, deciding whether to shave is the harsh reality. It doesn’t land on your plate and you end up putting in more hours than you ever did in a regular job. But hell it’s still more fun than proper work.

  49. Dear Darren,
    I 100% agree with your article above, online earning is sexy or maybe too sexy if you can find the right way there. i hope i can find it and thank you for sharing.

  50. I dunno Darren, I think alot of women would find putting your “kids through a good education” and helping “set up a feeding program for starving kids” to be pretty damn sexy. In fact, some of those very women are my friends!

    Anyway, a brilliant and humble post (and brilliant in it’s humility), but I took issue with one commenter chiding you about the word ‘alot’. Probably by mistake, I know, but I’m starting a movement and blogged about it!


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