Is making money a luxury for only westerners? Short Answer : NO
Long…. really long answer:
I try to keep this blog about business, entrepreneurship, and content marketing.
However as a result of my 500 Ways To Make Money Online, I’ve attracted a sizable following of people who want to learn how to make money (MMO).
These people look to me for advice, and as a result I occasionally write posts like how I made $108 with After Offers.
I’m not trying to be the make money guy, but you can’t always control your audience and what they want.
One of the outcomes of this is that I weekly receive emails like the following:
How to start earning money through internet? How to earn good income through Internet? Earn as part-time
Sometimes they are more in depth:
I want to learn online earning. Help me please. Last 8 to 9 years I have lost more than 80 thousands pounds online and offline. I have lost my house too my husband lost money in his business etc. Very stress etc. All the Gurus took my money no one helped me in the past. I will be Greatful to you if you show me how to earn easy way. I am not that Tech person too. Many thanks. On Thursday my UK time evening 6 PM is ok with you. Please let me know many thanks God bless you, Shashi.
And at times, it gets really bad:
I write to ask for help. I have to make some money. I have kids, a lot of animals and I’m homeless. No one helps, no one cares about. The governement even helps gypsies or boatsmen only. I do not need much, only to guarantee medical care ( now they do nothing, only after payment) for my kids and me, i’ve cancer, enough food for the animals, that’s it. It’s not the ferrari behind the cave I wish, only a painless life with much less worries. No one of you, the ones that work already online, answer me, to give me kind of tip how to begin. I looked to download your pdf file => it does not work. I’m in a country where’s no real work, and if you’re homeless it’s even worster. So I’ll ask if maybe you will help me a bit to build something that makes a bit of money………
Google adsense wan’t accept my blog ( donnow why), so what else could I do, the fast way, cause I’m working on book and course ( ah, about course, maybe you’ve some tips how to create one, too????? ). I thought book, course and blog maybe will work……. What’s your opinion?
These emails are from different people but they usually have the following in common:
- There is some air of desperation – the person is in very bad circumstances
- They are from developing countries, and English is not their first language
- They want to make money quick and easy and don’t have much money to put into it
What I needed is a response to these types of inquiries, so here is my cold, hard advice because it doesn’t help anyone to be encouraging and waste their time.
Get Your Life In Order And Get A Job
Step One – Get you life together, particularly personal finances, and the offshoot of that is to get a job.
If you really, truly need money fast – then you need to get a job and if you have one and it isn’t covering your bills then you need to cut your expenses, or get another job on top of it, and seek out help from friends and family.
I know that isn’t the answer that you want to hear, but I would say it’s the most effective solution I can think of to this problem. I’m very sorry if you truly do have cancer but sugar coating the make money thing is just doing you a disservice.
I couldn’t tell you a reliable way to earn a decent amount of money within a week, which was dependable long term, and didn’t require a huge upfront investment – if I knew how to do that I would be doing it.
I won’t say earning money via internet has to be risky, but it can be very volatile, slow to start, and often requires a completely different skill set from what you currently have.
It really is not the solution to your problem.
Find a job and then if you can, take some time each night to learn a bit more about effective ways to earn money , if that really is your dream.
If there are no employment opportunities in your area then you need to move.
If you can’t move, then I honestly am not sure what to tell you, but the truth is that earning money does not become the defacto solution when nothing else is working – sometimes it also is just another non solution.
Avoid Gurus, MLMs, Courses, etc
Yes we’ve all seen the blog posts where some guy is holding a big fat check for $35,453.68 saying you can do it too.
Is it a scam?
Not always, but even if it isn’t, it probably isn’t going to be you.
Often in order to even attempt these sort of things you need to spend hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars for the “materials” which is money a lot of people just don’t have.
But really, you don’t need that.
The fact of the matter is online, just about everything is being given away for free somewhere.
Honestly, I’m a strong believer that in order to be successful you need to invest in yourself and your endeavors. In fact for Self Made Businessman, which I believe one day in the next few years will be “a success” (in that it earns thousands a month), I have invested a few thousand dollars in development, design, content promotion, and assistance.
The reason I do that and can do that is because I have money in savings and money coming in, and I have the experience to know when I can make something work.
But I’m going to completely contradict myself and say if you are just starting out you should not be spending a lot of money to learn the ropes.
This will inevitably result in you losing your investment, because chances are you do not have the skills and expertize to know what is a good investment and what is not (this is something you learn over time).
This is exactly why I lost $15k in the stock market – I invested in a course that I was not ready for and was playing with way too large of a bankroll relative to my experience.
Let me put it this way – if you can’t earn money using only the information that is available for free, you won’t be able to do it with anything that is paid.
So yes, while I am a proponent of investing in the right courses and material, I see those options as accelerators or amplifiers (it will increase the speed or amount of money you can earn) but it won’t take you from zero to something if you couldn’t do that yourself already, and there is a high probability that you will not get your money back.
So please – avoid the MOBEs, the Empower Networks, the DS Dominations – that stuff is all crap.
Yes some people are making fantastic money with those, but it is a select few – the majority just lost their investment, and that will likely be you as well.
Don’t spend money you don’t have, and don’t spend money to compensate for a lack of skills and laziness of going out and learning yourself.
MMO is heavily skewed in favor of first-worlders
Back to my original question, is earning money a luxury that only westerners can experience?
Technically, the answer is no, and we’ve seen this many times.
Take Tung, a Vietnamese kid who blogs at CloudLiving, earns his full time living online, and made $50k in one month with TeeSpring. Clearly we have someone from a developing country earning very good money , more than many first worlders in fact.
But the reality is these are exceptions to the rule, and the rule is that westerners are going to have a far easier time earning money than others (this is really true for life in general and I would say it’s even more true for MMO).
- They’re fluent in English, and that is necessary if you are going to write sales copy, blog, or communicate with Westerners and have them trust you. Additionally most of the information that is available to teach you the necessary skills is written in English.
- They have more money, and earning money almost always involves some sort of capital investment, unless you are blogging on a free platform, which is not going to make you any money for a long time, if ever.
- They are closer to the markets that are buying (the US, Australia, England).
- They have connections with other first worlders who can provide skills, services, and advice.
All of this makes for an enormous, albeit not insurmountable, advantage.
And still, 99% of Westerners trying to make money probably aren’t either.
And back to the example of Tung, who was able to earn $50k on TeeSpring (this is about as pure of an example of a get rich quick scenario that you’ll find).
Is that really a clean example of someone from a developing country earning money mostly from online?
No, of course not.
- Tung has years of experience in internet marketing and earning money via internet.
- He has connections with Westerners that likely facilitated this opportunity. For example, he belongs to the Dynamite Circle which is a paid membership ($600 per year).
- He knows where to hire help necessary to design and develop things for him.
- He has income from other streams to fund his activities. I’m sure he had to spend hundreds on designs, paid advertising, and Facebook sniping software before he made a dime.
Basically, he may be Vietnamese, but he is far from your typical off the street guy from a developing country trying to earn a buck online.
Of course he had to get started somewhere as well, but I guarantee it was a long, slow process, that required some capital investment, and he was able to do it because his personal and financial life was in order (aka he was a kid and had few responsibilities and no mouths to feed).
OK, I Understand – Now What?
Assuming you’ve got everything in order and you’ve understood the above, I’d probably recommend the following as low to medium *options* for earning money , that will not cost you more than a few hundred dollars and your time.
Also there is PLENTY of information for free online on how to do all of these things.
Become a virtual assistant on oDesk or eLance (low difficulty, no capital required)
You can earn a living wage of $3-$4/hour as a virtual assistant on oDesk. Along the way you can learn more skills and learn from other people how they are earning money. You will make some connections, and can potentially increase your wages.
Learn a skill and freelance (low-med difficulty, no capital required)
People pay other people to do things for them. If you don’t have a skill and you want to earn money , then you have to learn a skill that is valuable to people. If you don’t have any skills why would anyone pay you?
Some of the typical options are:
- Learning to code or design
- Learning to write posts
Again freelance sites like eLance, oDesk, TextBroker, etc are your target here.
Brian from VideoFruit has a great article on earning money by leveraging How To articles and offering them as a service to the target market.
Personally I think it’s a bit of an exaggeration and his claims that 1 in 5 outreach attempts will result in a sale are to me a bit baffling, but I still think it’s a great example of how ingenuity and hustle can translate to real income in a relatively short amount of time.
Build Niche Sites (med difficulty, some capital required)
I am not a huge fan of niche sites but for some people it is a viable, respectable option. You’ll learn the basics of online marketing (SEO, content creation, wordpress, maybe even a few other things). You can do it for a reasonable investment (a few hundred dollars).
There is a lot of information and case studies that aren’t BS about how to do this successfully. I’ve done it myself – it works.
Create something and sell it (med difficulty, maybe some capital required)
If you have any sort of skill to build something, like jewelry, then you can try to sell it on an eCommerce site like Etsy.
Buy and sell things on a site like Craig’s List or eBay (med difficulty, some capital required)
I have seen people successfully buy and sell items on Craig’s List and eBay. For example, they will find an item that they see and buy it at one price, then sell that same item at a higher price. If you are willing to wait for the right buyer, eventually someone will come along and pay more for the item than you bought it for.
Worst case scenario is you can resell it for a small loss, assuming it is a low ticket item (a few hundred at most).
Note how NONE of these recommended options was to start a blog!
Earning money is a long and unforgiving road.
Yes, sometimes people get lucky – in fact, I was one of them. I made over $100k online in my first year or so of trying to work online, in a very “get rich quick” sort of way, in that I was making way more money than I deserved to be from something I wasn’t even intentionally pursuing.
But it was complete luck and would not have happened if I wasn’t from a first-world country, had capital, spoke English fluently, and had my personal and financial life in order.
And guess what happened to that loop hole? It closed.