This is a guest post by Drew Kime of Cook Like Your Grandmother. It’s probably time I had a post from Drew because not only does he constantly snipe dry wit at me, but I also keep mentioning him various places as an example of someone who isn’t simply selling into the self-perpetuating internet marketing arena. I’ll be like, “Well, what if you wanted to be an affiliate for… um… not internet marketing information but… um… I don’t know… cookware?” And then I’ll remember that I actually know a guy who that would work for, which reduces the amount that I look like a bullshiter. Slightly.
Anyway, enjoy this post. It’s a good one.
The third-grade teacher asks the class, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She gets the standard answers: cowboy, princess, firefighter, doctor. But Billy says, “I want to be rich.” Everyone laughs, then the teacher asks, “But what do you want to do?” Billy answers, “I want to make lots of money.”
Fast-forward about twenty years. Who from that class do you think has the highest net worth?
Right now, you’re either thinking, “Yeah, that sounds like me,” or “Sure he’s rich, but I’ll bet he’s a shallow, self-important prick.” But aren’t you reading online marketing blogs because you want to be rich now? Why is it wrong for a 9-year-old to want to be rich, but okay for an adult? When did money as a primary goal become acceptable?
Those aren’t abstract philosophical questions. You really need to answer them for yourself to understand what you’re willing to do. Because unless you really, deep down, believe in putting the money first, you must be putting something else first.
Do you know what that “something else” is?
Online marketing … of what?
Look at all the courses that teach you how to do AdWords campaigns. How to identify niche markets and exploit them. How to optimize your landing pages to convert the long-tail keywords. PPC arbitrage … Affiliate marketing … ClickBank … Yeah, I speak marketing. I also know what all that stuff means and how to do it. But I don’t want to. It’s soul-crushing boredom.
I might discover there’s an untapped market for wombat grooming. Do some research and write an ebook. Start an AdWords campaign and start selling like crazy. Woo-hoo! But I really don’t give a shit about wombats, no matter how many rich people there are looking for a book on cleaning them.
If I want to spend all day doing work that I don’t care about, I’ll just stick with a job. You know, let someone else figure out the business plan, do what I’m told for eight to nine hours a day, and do what I want nights and weekends.
Money makes anything interesting, right?
Lots of jobs pay well not because they’re hard, but because they’re distasteful. Ask Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs guy. Or check this list of 10 High Paying Dirty Jobs. Number 1 on the list? Crime scene cleaner: “With a little experience under your belt and flexibility with your work hours, you can easily make about $75,000 a year with this job.”
So there are jobs out there that you could apply for today and start making a decent living. But you won’t apply for them, because you aren’t interested in the work. So why do you think pay-per-click arbitrage is going to do it for you? The money? Look at that list of dirty jobs again. Still think it’s all about the money?
Self-employed, but still just a job
The mythical salesman who can sell ice cubes to Eskimos, do you think that’s because he likes ice cubes? Or is it because he likes closing the sale? It’s the rush and the money. And if you’re doing it online instead of face-to-face, you don’t even get the rush.
What you get is research, analysis, number crunching and, if you do it all really really well: money. Are you okay with that, or does that sound like a “job”?
Follow most online marketing advice and you know to follow the data. It’s easier to find the desire than to create the desire, so it’s more profitable to sell to an under-served market than to create a whole new market. It’s not about what you want to sell, it’s about what they want to buy. To make big money online, you can’t focus on what interests you.
That’s the forumula for success I keep seeing. Ignore my own interests. Sell what other people want. Build the sites other people want. Discuss the products other people want. Study hard, work harder, and after about a year you, too could make $111.
If you have interests other than money, there are plenty of free resources to show you how to effectively sell what you’ve got. And you’ll care about it because you’re learning how to more effectively talk about what interests you.
Unless … well … are you the exception? Are you the one who, back at the start of this article, thought, “Yeah, I was just like little Billy”? Then you probably could sell the wombat grooming book, and smile all the way to the bank. If that’s you, I’ve got a couple of cook books that could use some good affiliates.
Drew Kime teaches people how to cook like Grandma at How To Cook Like Your Grandmother. He has published the book of the same name, and Starting From Scratch: The Owner’s Manual for Your Kitchen.