The Good Karma Path to Online Income

Faster and faster

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. You can build your business part-time
  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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.

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  1. yaniv says:

    mary i can tell you that i love your attitude there arent alot of pepole like you in the net and you right we are living in a changing world that we all conected with no border
    if its now like that i wonder what will be in the next 20 years

  2. Peter Cowen says:

    Forgive me for being cynical but isn’t this the standard “we’ll give you advice on how to make money off the internet if you just pay us and help us make money off the internet” kind of idea? Because advertising revenues on blogs and whatnot have slumped recently and increasingly the only way to make money is to monetize your readers by doing things like this.

    I can understand if you don’t want to publish this comment but I do hope my cynicism is misplaced.

    • Mary Jaksch says:

      Hey Peter, I think this is a very relevant question. Thanks for bringing it up.
      Advertising on blogs is really a crappy way to create an income. Ok, some people are successful doing it. But I don’t like it. I have requests every day to place ads. No thanks!

      Leaving ads aside – I can’t see any slump in revenue from blogs -even in a recession. What that means is creating products that people really need. Or promoting affiliate products that you’ve personally tried and that are super useful. And there are some other ways to do it too

      I’ve become a successful online entrepreneur (to my great surprise!), and so has my business partner Barrie Davenport. What we want to do is to show others what we’ve done so that others can replicate it. It’s definitely not a ‘get rich quick’ thing. It’s about being real, being generous, and making the world a better place – and creating a good income in the process.

      As to cynicism: caution is a good thing.

  3. Sean says:

    Congrats on your new blog! I will be following close and keeping updated as usual! There are many pieces of the puzzle in the IM world and marketing is a huge one, great work!

  4. Great to hear (in fact now I am watching the site) that new site is launched. As usual, it looks awesome.

    Yes, as you mentioned, marketing the blog takes hard work, patience and yet a fun filled heart. And it’s worth it. After all , earning online income offers great feeling of setting own work hours 🙂

  5. Peter Cowen says:

    Well I’ve followed your link and I’m subscribed. I’ll try and leave the skepticism behind 🙂

  6. winsomebella says:

    Good information and a great resource. Thanks.

  7. Congratulations on the new enterprise Mary. You never cease to amaze me. I’ve already subscribed to and looking forward to all the goodies I know you and Barrie will be sharing. Bravo!

  8. Jenny Hones says:

    Hi Mary,
    I like the “gender, age & ethnicity are irrelevant” and had a good laugh about the 13 year old! I feel like such a slow learner when I see my children move around the internet and programs at the speed of light ! Very excited to hear about the marketing blog with Barry – Just what I needed! As always you are spot on.

  9. Thanks Mary for sharing your success story. Inspirational and interesting too.

  10. Vic says:

    Hi Mary,

    I concur with your post. There’s a process to almost anthing you do in life. Once that procces is dicovered. You can build your platform.

  11. Fran Sorin says:


    I’m not surprised at all that you and Barrie have come up with this concept. I’ve observed both of you in action on A List Blogging….Barrie’s and your passion, generosity, and knowledge are top notch. I’m a firm believer that integrity and kindness are the foundations for leading a meaningful life. Congratulations. Fran

  12. Sibyl says:

    I love the concept behind the new blog and am definitely intrigued. I will be stopping by and checking it out. I am sure it is great if both you and Barrie are involved;) Thanks for all of the other information you shared here about building a business on-line. It is really helpful and inspiring to see other people doing it so well.

  13. Sandy says:

    You use many peaceful green colors in this GoodLifeZen and adapted same styled marketing here too.

    So I believe you will blog about same green marketing there too 😉

    I am just happy it is you who blogs about makerteting 😀

  14. Hi Mary,
    It would be great to see more people marketing their services and products in an ethical way. People need to be able to trust online due to the fact that it is not physical.

    It certainly takes time and persistence to start a business online and I have seen too many bloggers slow way down almost to the point of quitting.

  15. I was clearing my inbox this morning and found this post, it had passed me by somehow. Interestingly I also woke this morning thinking about my blog, I’d like to do more with it but at the same time I am currently uncomfortable monetizing it. My philosophy is very much about the simple things in life and I am moving further away from consumerism. How can I therefore encourage others to spend on things they may not really need? It’s a tough one. Perhaps once I feel I really add value then I can look at generating some income from my writing, it just seems a way off yet. I love the idea of Good Karma Marketing. I’m a trained marketer (have a masters degree in marketing), and the older (aka wiser) I get the more cynical I get about the profession! Will be checking out your new site…
    Jo@simplybeingmum´s last blog post ..No Waste Tastes Great 23 September 2011

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