Make Money Online – Why Systems Fail

Make Money Online – The Constantly Changing Game


make money online in 2016I’ve been working in the make money online niche for more than ten years now, and in that time, I have built more than two thousand Websites.  I’ve written ebooks.  I’ve sold training programs.  I’ve worked as an affiliate marketer for dozens of companies.  I’ve sold products via direct retail (and still do.)  There have been times when I was very successful, times when I wasn’t, and times when things were steady, but unspectacular.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my decade as an Internet marketer, it’s that change is a constant companion.  Something will work really well one day, bring in lots of cash, and then…nothing.  Sometimes, it’s worse than nothing, when you suddenly find yourself losing money doing something that was profitable just a short time ago.  Why does this happen?   Why do plans to make money online work one day and not the next?

Your Make Money Online System Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum

There are a number of reasons why something will work to help you make money online one day and then fail the next.  To understand why, you first have to realize that you’re not working in a vacuum.  In an ideal world, you’d have a plan to make money, you’d execute it, and your customers would see that you have something useful for them and they’d give you money.


In the short run, this sometimes works, but in the make money online niche, you’re not alone.  There are other people out there trying to do the same thing you are.  If you purchased a “system” to help you make money online, you’ll find that you’re not the only one using it.  After all, if you bought it, someone else likely did, too.  That means that whatever you’re doing is being multiplied times the number of other people who bought the system.

About five years ago, I purchased a very expensive automated system that could quickly build affiliate Websites for Amazon or eBay.  How quickly?  This software could build a 3000 page, keyword-optimized WordPress site in about two minutes.  At that time, I could buy domain names for a year for 50¢ per year.  With this software, I was building as many as 50 Websites per day, and yes, I was making money.  The search engines loved my sites and they were all ranking highly for profitable keywords.

After about six months, the system quit working, as Google removed everyone of my sites from their search results.  This resulted in negative income, as I had five dedicated Web servers that were costing me $1000 per month for hosting and I suddenly had $0 income.  What happened?

make money onlineI wasn’t the only one using this system.  I bought this very expensive software from the developer, who was using it himself.  You know who else was using the system?  About 500 other people who bought it.  When you have 500 people building 250-500 Websites each, every month, and they’re all built around the same sort of topics (popular eBay and Amazon categories), the search results quickly got clogged up.   Google realized that there were now tens of thousands of relatively content-free sites sitting at the top of their search listings, and that these were affiliate sites.  Google hates affiliate sites.  So just like that, they were all gone, and so was the income.

This was an extreme example of how great methods in the make money online niche can blow up and quit working, but this sort of thing happens every day:

  • Someone finds a new way to make money that’s quick and easy
  • They either tell someone else about it or they decide to sell the idea
  • Lots of other people try it
  • It becomes saturated and quits working

What do you do then?  Most people attempt to try to “fix” it, or keep at it in hopes that the system will start working again, but in most cases, once something stops working, it’s over.   It might be because the search engines don’t like it anymore, or it might be because the customers just aren’t happy with what they’re getting for their money (think Fiverr on that one.)

The search engines are probably the biggest part of this problem.  Google and Bing are constantly changing what they want to see in their search results, and these days, they want to see sites that are content-heavy.  Content is great, and I spend a lot of time working on creating quality content on this site and a few others I own.  But it wasn’t long ago that it was possible to make money by building affiliate Websites that just had four pages – a home page that reviewed a product, a legal page, a contact page, and a privacy policy page.  Not only was it easy to build a site like that to review a Clickbank or JVZoo product, but because the sites were so tightly focused, the search engines loved them.

These days, of course, such sites are largely disregarded by the search engines, as they’re really light on content.  If you do a search for just about any keyword in the make money online niche, the top search results today are likely to be blogs that have hundreds or thousands of pages of quality content.  The days of small niche sites are over.

she can make money online in 2016With other ways to make money online, the problem falls on the people doing the work.  Sometimes, people come across an idea, get the idea that it’s “easy” and jump in quickly, without realizing that it’s actually hard work to succeed in that system.  A great example of that is Kindle publishing.  There are people who have legitimately become millionaires by writing books for the Amazon Kindle.  They wrote some books, those books became popular, and just like that, they were awash in cash.

What came next?  Dozens, or even hundreds of courses about how to make money online writing books for the Kindle.  Now the Amazon marketplace is full of poorly-written, quickly published junk books that have no value to anyone, including the people who might want to buy them.  Is the problem the system?  No, if you have a good story to tell or a good idea for a nonfiction book, you can still sell a lot of books on the Amazon site.  The problem is that most people don’t have such stories to tell, and if you don’t have the ability to write well and keep readers captivated, they’re not going to buy your book.

Some authors probably had some success early on, when some of the niches in the marketplace were small, but once they got full of hundreds or thousands of books, the revenues likely dropped off quite a bit.  What happens next?  Those authors will likely move on to the next thing to make money online.

The Shifting and Every Changing Make Money Online Conclusion

These are just a few examples of how and why the nature of the make money online niche changes on a regular basis.  Times change. People change.  Tastes change. Search engines change.  The Internet changes.  What works today, at least in terms of a specific system, may not work tomorrow.

What does work?  Find something people want that’s “evergreen”.  Build a Website to provide it.  Get people to link to it.   Work slowly to build your site and to increase your traffic.  Be patient.

Make money online systems, on the other hand, are likely to fade quickly.  They always do.


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