By Mary Jaksch
The world is changing faster and faster.
Jobs that were secure yesterday are shaky or gone today.
The strange thing is that in all the economic gloom, there is unexpected light. The Internet has become a new opportunity to make a decent living.
Little more than three years ago I was a complete Internet novice. Now my work as a blogger is my main source of income. Ok, it didn’t happen by sitting on my backside – I had to work hard to learn new skills and acquire knowledge.
Here are some advantages of creating online income
- You don’t need a degree or business experience
Just before I started Goodlife ZEN, I completed an MA in Religious Studies. It took me three years to get my degree and I was about $15,000 poorer by the time I finished.
Getting to a place of relative mastery as a blogger and Internet entrepreneur has taken me about as long. But it has cost me – zero dollars. I actually paid for some expensive courses along the way, but I earned everything back – and much more.
- Gender, age, or ethnicity are irrelevant
This is a weird thing. As a blogger, nobody is interested in your education, your CV highpoints, whether you are a man, woman, or both, what your ethnic roots are, or how old or young you are.
When I first started blogging, I struggled with a lot of technical problems. I asked around in a forum and at last got some good advice from a guy. I later learned that he was thirteen years old. On the other end of the spectrum, one of our successful bloggers in the A-List Blogger Club is Christopher Foster who writes the blog The Happy Seeker. He’s nearly eighty years old.
- Startup costs are negligible
Here is a minmalist setup of an online blogging business in year 1:
year 1: domain free, hosting $5:95 per month, i.e. $71:40 per year with Bluehost(affiliate link)
WordPress theme: free
Email responder service: free (Mailchimp)
Some technical support: $50
So, a budget online startup would only cost you $121:40 for the whole year.
- Training is free or low-cost
Training is always a good idea. You can get a lot of free stuff from the Net, especially if you find a good blog that produces high-quality information. If you’re serious, then taking paid courses can accelerate your growth. The blogger training that Leo Babauta and I offer in the A-List Blogger Club, costs only $20 a month.
- You make new friends because the Blogosphere is cooperative – not competitive
When I first started out, the Internet seemed huge and impersonal. I couldn’t imagine finding and making friends with other bloggers. But in time, I’ve made some lovely friends. We’ve met up face-to-face too and have developed strong bonds.
- You can build your business part-time
- Your income is recession-proof
If you look at the last two years, we’ve all been squeezed by a world-wide recession. I haven’t felt any of that in my online ventures, nor have I heard from other blog entrepreneurs that they’ve been struggling. So, if you build and online business, it really is recession-proof.
- You gain the freedom to support yourself and others. At first I struggled with the fact that I was suddenly financially successful. But then I realized that it meant that i could pay off debts, and also help others.
This is important. If you can build a business part time, there is so much less of a risk. You can get the necessary skills and experience in your own time – and still have time to earn some money through other work.
Yes, there are lots of advantages.
But there is one thing I struggled with when I first started building an online business … and that’s marketing.
Because, in order to create an online business, you need to learn how to market your blog, and your products.
You know, as a Zen Master, everything I do needs to be ethical. And some marketing strategies I found were questionable. There’s something about creating desire for something people don’t really need that doesn’t seem right to me. And I hate it when people try to sell stuff with a ‘gun to head’ style.
So, when Barrie Davenport – one of the best bloggers to emerge from the A-List Blogger Club that Leo Babauta and I run – approached me with the idea of joining up to create a blog about marketing, my first thought was: “Yeah, right – we’ll start a marketing blog when water starts to run uphill.”
But then I thought about it. Barrie’s a lovely person. She runs the beautiful blog, Live Bold and Bloom . It seemed to me that there must be a way of marketing that is different. That treats potential customers like valued friends. That places passion and respect before profit. And still works to create a great income.
Barrie and I then developed a style of marketing that we call ‘Good Karma’ marketing because it is based upon giving and respect. It’s based upon the principle that what we give out in life is what we get back. In fact, we’ve decided to give 10% of any profit to Kiva.
And today we’ve finally launched our new blog A-List Blog Marketing.
Do come and visit us! We’ve created a complimentary video course for you about Good Karma marketing. Click here to watch it.
If you want to create a back-up career on the Internet, we’re the go-to people. You’ll learn a way of creating a online income that you can feel good about – and that really works.