This is a guest post by Ryan Stewart
No matter what anyone says, online business is not about the keywords, tags, web 2.0, products, or user generated content. It’s not about traffic or Search Engine Optimization, SEO Guides, SEO Marketing”>Search Engine Optimization or even monetization.
Online business, like any business, is about managing risk.
A recent post on Shoemoney.com forced me to think about how I was managing risk in my efforts to make money online.
Though my parents might disagree, I’ve never been an extreme risk taker. Like every other boy my age, I used to do crazy things on my bicycle like jump ramps, frame surf, ride down steps, and other things I’d seen on the movie RAD (I still want to be Cru Jones when I grow up). But those risks were all very calculated ones.
I controlled the speed. I controlled the height. I controlled the bike.
Even those calculated risks weren’t without failure. I still wreck my bicycle about once a year, but I know what a wreck feels like, and I know that I will most likely be able to recover.
For the past year or so I’ve wracked my brain to figure out how I could make my online earnings grow. I was on a plateau – until I read the final sentences of this post. Jeremy drew a line in the sand and forced me to think about how I was managing risk in my online endeavors.
Later in the week an opportunity for me to cross this line in the sand appeared when John Chow decided to sell a 300×250 advertising spot on his blog for $1000.
Here’s how it went down.
RiskAverseRyan: Dude, you don’t have $1000 to lose. Walk away now.
CalculatedRiskRyan: This ad is undervalued. You know you could sell it for more.
RiskAverseRyan: Your wife will kill you if you lose $1000.
CalculatedRiskRyan: John will love this idea. You’ll get days of traffic from this.
RiskAverseRyan: You don’t even have a product. What are you going to sell on your landing page?
CalculatedRiskRyan: Shut your hole. I can do this.
So I bought the ad space for $1000, re-listed it for $1500 and sold it two days later for $1250. And here’s what I earned…
- 1000 points on my American Express card
- Several inbound links from bloggers who enjoyed the saga
- 3 posts on JohnChow.com highlighting the series of events
- Over 1200 page views directly from JohnChow.com readers
- $250 cash money (that I’m using to take more calculated risks)
- A great story to tell (you’re reading about it on Shoemoney.com, right?)
- Credit for successfully negotiating the world’s first ad flip
- Spill over traffic to the other sites in my network
- Loads and loads of miscellaneous buzz in the blogosphere
In addition, the risk forced me to sell a site that I’ve done very little with for over a year. I needed to hedge my bet, so I listed the site for sale at $2500. And it sold for $5000. Mo money. Mo money. Mo money.
So if you’re complaining about not making enough money online, stop complaining and start thinking about how you can take more risk. Write down the pros and cons of the situation and weight the results of success against the consequences of failure. In most cases, failure will teach you enough to make the risk worthwhile anyway. If my ad had gone 2 weeks without a bite, don’t you think I would’ve done everything in my power to convert the traffic? Definitely.
Don’t be stupid with risk, but don’t be a sissy either. If doing it doesn’t make you a little sick to your stomach, then it wasn’t risky enough.
Are you taking enough risk in your efforts to make money online?
Ryan Stewart blogs from time to time at Eleven21.com and is on a quest to pay for medical school through passive income he earns online. He’s responsible for what’s been called “The World’s First Ad Flip.”