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Want to Make Money Online? Then Stop Reading and Get Moving!

This guest post is by Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post here at problogger.net about how Firepole Marketing makes money.

I explained that even though we’re less than a year old, we’ve already made over $20,000, and that over half of that came from offline sources.

We wanted to know how other bloggers make their money. Is it all online, or do they make their money offline as well?

In other words, we wanted to know if they were Semi-Local.

In October 2011, we surveyed 153 people; 107 who were already Semi-Local, and 46 who aspired to be. We asked a number of questions to find out what was really involved in becoming and being Semi-Local. Here are the highlights of what we learned.

How many hours per week do you work?

The first major finding was about how many hours per week people who were already Semi-Local (current SLs) spent working, versus how many hours per week people who aspired to be Semi-Local (aspiring SLs) spent working:

Notice the discrepancies on either end of the spectrum: 31% of aspiring SLs work less than 20 hours per week, versus only 12% of current SLs. On the other hand, only 15% of aspiring SLs work 50+ hours per week, versus 28% of current SLs.

Do you think people are idealizing the Semi-Local life, and expecting it to be a lot easier than it really is?

What is your take-home income?

Another interesting finding was about take-home income:

There’s definitely more money in being Semi-Local: 39% of current SLs make over $60K/year, versus only 22% of aspiring SLs. The majority (60%) of aspiring SLs make between $20K and $60K/year, whereas the majority (60%) of current SLs make between $40K and $200K/year—a big difference!

There’s some interesting data at the edges of the spectrum, though. 25% of current SLs make under $20K/year, versus only 18% of aspiring SLs, and only 2% of current SLs make over $200K/year, versus 4% of aspiring SLs.

How does one become Semi-Local?

One of the most interesting findings (to me, at least) was about how people actually go about becoming Semi-Local:

The majority (71%) of aspiring SLs expect to achieve Semi-Local status by creating an offer that is substantially different from their current offer. In contrast, the majority (60%) of current SLs did it by selling exactly the same offer to a new market.

The lesson here is pretty clear—put away all of the shiny objects, and look for new customers to buy what you’ve already got!

How long does it take to launch?

This is one of the top questions for anyone who’s thinking about becoming Semi-Local: how long does it take to launch?

There are really two “categories” of results here: the first category is “under 100 hours,” and the second category is “100+ hours.” Seeing the results in these two categories, we can draw a couple of interesting conclusions:

  • Current SLs have a stronger preference for smaller projects as a means of getting going (76% of current SLs, versus 70% of aspiring SLs).
  • Current SLs took a lot less time to launch than aspiring SLs expect it will take (46% launched in under 40 hours, versus 34% who believe they can do it in such a short time).

Do you need professional help?

That’s the question that we should all be asking before opening up our wallets for the latest training program on blogging and online business:

This is the most striking finding: 63% of current SLs said “no,” versus only 43% of aspiring SLs. The message here is very clear: you don’t need training, you just need to get off your butt and start working!

Do you want to see more of the numbers? Review more of the answers that the respondents gave us? Then download the full report—it’s free!

Danny Iny (@DannyIny) is an author, strategist, serial entrepreneur, expert marketer, and the Freddy Krueger of Blogging. Together with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark, Mitch Joel, he wrote the book on how to build an engaged audience from scratch.

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Comments

  1. Big findings Danny, was this the survey that you had been talking about in the guest posts I was seeing from you on other blogs?

    Great collection of data either way, and in the end the cliche “take action” seems to still hold true, and it probably the one thing that holds people back the most.

    • Hey Gregory, yes, this is the same survey – we collected the results, analyzed them, and these were our findings. And yes, it’s really interesting that taking action is the most consistent finding – I guess common sense must be based on something, after all! :)

  2. tushar says:

    this is an interesting study Danny. This will certainly help the budding bloggers like me in building a better blog

  3. Zia says:

    Very informative and inspiring indeed. Encouraging for starting bloggers to see info-graphics like this. But please correct the graph at “How long does it take to launch?”, looks like an error.

  4. Zia says:

    Very informative and inspiring indeed. Encouraging for starting bloggers to see info-graphics like this. But please correct the 4th graph of How long does it take to launch?, looks like an error.

  5. Steve Scott says:

    Great Study Danny,

    People often think the grass is greener on the other side. They look for something “new” to be their salvation. When what they really need is to just do new ideas and find new markets not build a better widget.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to do the research here and display your findings. It really does help to get a better grasp of what kind of financial results our fellow bloggers are getting.

    • You bet, Justin – it was actually a lot of fun, and very interesting. There just isn’t enough real data out there about what our peers are experiencing and accomplishing, so we wanted to do something about it. :)

  7. Sanjeev says:

    Great survey and good findings. It helps the people taking decision about going semi local. Going into unfamiliar zone is main reason people take too much time to try it out, this should help…

  8. Danny, I think you’re spot on. There’s absolutely no subsititute for getting off your behind and putting the work in. I know, because I’ve done my fair share of sitting there wishing and hoping instead of doing.

  9. Rita says:

    This is helpful information.

    Rita blogging at The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide

  10. Definitely some good tips! I find that is important to actually get stuff like this from time to time so that the rest of us can learn some more!

  11. Muhammad says:

    These kind of surveys really help us in developing our vision and good decision making. Dear Danny I request to update the graph at number 4 it is misplaced there. Thanks for such a nice post.

  12. Dream and do! Have a vision, work out a plan, but move into action immediately. The lab of life is where your fortune is made, and you will need to work and experiment to prosper.

    Thanks for sharing Danny!

    RB

  13. James Greg says:

    That’s a lot of research put together to analyze the data. This is great information that is too helpful for newbies in the field. I can now analyze what is my position among all the competition that I face as a blogger.

  14. Mark Aylward says:

    Thanks Danny
    Interesting stuff. The most surprising to me was the mentor/coach stat. I guess all the selling noise about needing a mentor is coming from people selling mentoring :)
    Cheers
    Mark

    • Hey Mark, to a certain extent, you’re right, it definitely is. I guess it comes down to why someone might be considering a mentor/coach. If it’s because they need real information and advice to get things done, then that’s one thing – but if they need a cheerleader to motivate them to do the work, then they should just suck it up and get started. ;)

  15. Thats what i do say all time “Act Before Hitting the Refresh Button”. we should act before and work before hitting the refresh button to see the improvement in the traffic or the income or popularity.

    • Haha, nice, my friend! Yes, I agree – it’s nice to sit and hit the refresh button once in a while, and just watch the results that you’ve worked so hard to achieve, but most of the time we should be working!

  16. naijadotcom says:

    Great post,very inspiring and informative.

  17. I started offline locally, but then built my online “empire”. I like to split it, so that all my eggs aren’t in the same basket.

  18. Sadek says:

    Definitely some good tips! I find that is important to actually get stuff like this from time to time so that the rest of us can learn some more……..

  19. Sudeesh says:

    Being a starter in blogging, this information is really useful for me. Thanks Danny

  20. I totally agree with all the other posts, very informative and its good to get a look at the collection of data in all projects.

  21. Caleb says:

    I also believe that companies particularly internet marketing companies should get out and do more local marketing rather than stick straight to internet marketing. Its easier to get started doing local marketing and then stick to all internet marketing once you are established.

    • I absolutely agree, Caleb. After all, they’re all working with real live local clients, aren’t they? :)

      • Caleb says:

        I think internet marketers are so often behind a computer screen that they are to afraid to get out and do local marketing which is a sad thing.

  22. yes, stop dreaming and start action!
    i always spend too much time just for reading ebook or information in internet about make money online. i’m interested ini. but, sometimes i also think that i don’t have enough time to do that. why? because time is my big problem. i’m a blogger and always blogging as my hobby. so, i get little time to practice tips and trick about make money online untill now. :(

  23. TV Rockstars says:

    I work 4 hours on my blog every night. Usually posting a lot of content.

  24. Kay Wilson says:

    I have found blogging time consuming but like it because I feel blogging and Facebook fan page will educate my clients now and any future clients both online and offline will gain by my blogging. I have a 90 day plan that includes talking to 10 people a day face to face. We would all like “easy”, sit behind my computer work but I find I am much more successful by including getting out everyday for a “walk n talk”.

    The data you published here will wake up a lot of people. Thank you.

  25. Jim Calaman says:

    Hi,
    As Nike says, Just Do It! It’s a proven fact that action takers make the money. Even if you screw up and fail the first few times don’t give up and keep trying. It took several years and a lot of frustration before I started making any money. The problem now is information overload. Get good at one thing first and then expand your knowledge instead of doing the flavor of the day.
    Thanks,
    Jim

  26. Gil Santos says:

    Internet is like a drug. It keeps feeding us with so much information that some, if not many of us just spend too much time trying to keep up with the info overload. Someone said the other day “If you want to make money online, leave Facebook” Easier said than done, but he may be right.

  27. Very Good! Danny…

    One Shot of Answer in Few Shots of Info-Graphics. Of course we have to tumble the butter with few fingers Not just with one rule of thumb.

  28. kingsley says:

    With Good SEO, you’ll get good traffic and make really cool money online by displaying ads and lots more.