I earn my living online doing something other than selling you how-to-get-rich online courses. I’m too busy writing and making money online to even sell people such a course or to offer business consulting. (My current hourly rate is $1,000 to exclude everyone except those who want the needle moved in a big way.) There’s a lot of money online, and you don’t need to buy an expensive course to learn how to earn.
But the truth is sobering. Making a living online is difficult and requires hard work. Most people would be better off working a cubicle job.
If you’re a mental defect like me who couldn’t imagine ever having a boss again, read on.
The real truth.
You want to make money online as a “celebrity.”
Wouldn’t it be great if you could write a few words online and have money come in simply because you are you? When people ask me about how to make money online, that’s what they really want to know. “How can I release a book and have it sell like crazy overnight?” Short answer: You can’t.
In Frank Kern’s parlance, you have authorities, trusted authorities, and celebrity authorities.
An “authority” knows a subject well but does not have reader trust. Most legit men who start off online never make it past the authority stage, as it’s frustrating to prove yourself to other people.
It doesn’t matter what you know. You must show you know.
Reader trust above all else.
When you go online, no one cares who you are. You must prove what you know. You must prove your honesty. This is done every day over the course of several years.
A “trusted authority” has knowledge, expertise, and reader trust.
How can you become a trusted authority?
- Do not rely on your credentials. Prove yourself. Master the How-To Article.
- Write long articles for free. 1,000 word articles at a minimum.
- Answer every comment posted on your website.
- Do not sell any product or service for a year.
- Do not use scammy Internet marketing techniques like multiple pop-ups, scarcity offers, etc.
- Disclose your personal friendships with people you write about, and disclose affiliate relationships as well.
- Read more: Marketing tactics you should not use.
Victor Pride is a friend of mine.
A celebrity authority has a big name and sets trends.
A celebrity authority must have star power + credibility. Seth Rogen is a celebrity but not an authority. People might laugh at him, but no one would buy books because he recommended them.
Oprah is a celebrity authority. When she endorses a book it makes the best seller list. She’s a king maker. Oprah is a king maker because celebrities have massive audience and also because of the halo effect.
Donald Trump is a celebrity authority. We know him from television, and when he writes books we read them as he’s an expert.
Joe Rogan is a real celebrity and also an Internet celebrity. Even without his TV show stuff and comedy, he’d be famous worldwide from his podcasts. Rogan is an intelligent, open-minded guy who is always asking questions.
When Joe Rogan recommends something or has a guest like Wim Hof on his show, he changes the game for his guests. People know and care about what Joe Rogan recommends.
Far from Joe Rogan status, I’ve made it to “e-celebrity authority” status. I have been recognized in several countries while at a cafe or at the gym, and my endorsement matters to people.
How can you measure this celebrity authority status?
There is data for everything. Seth Rogen, for example, is an actor with several massive movies under his stretched out belt. His name gets around 11,000 Google searches a day. That’s a real celebrity, and few people on the Internet will ever reach that level.
Jeff Walker is a world-famous Internet marketer and people searched his name on Google 1,720 times in the last 28 days. Product Launch Formula, Walker’s signature product, got 2,512 searches.
In Google, the following searches occurred in the past 28 days:
- Mike Cernovich – 6,569,
- Cernovich – 2,299,
- Danger and Play – 6,380,
- Gorilla Mindset – 2,217 searches.
Several thousand complete strangers (or people who know me and wanted to see what I’ve been up to) go onto Google every month to check me out.
This is all sort of silly to type, but the data is what it is.
I give you a transparent look at the data to allow you to reach your own conclusions.
Today I’m on easy street, and that’s where people want to be.
Unless I completely betrayed your trust, you’re going to buy my books. I can even set trends by making something cool.
Most people who want to earn a living online don’t want to work hard.
They seem someone like me and think, “How does that guy do it?”
As if I just showed up one day to the Internet and had readers and sold books.
I’ve been working my ass off online for over 10 years.
I still work my ass of every day, and haven’t been away from the internet for longer than 18 hours in over a year.
There are only two ways to making money online.
1. Sell something.
2. Sell something for someone else.
1. Sell something.
What can you sell and where can you sell it?
Sell a skill, a product, or a service. You sell your services on websites like eLance and 99 Designs. It’s straight forward work.
I’ve hired several freelancers online:
- A cover designer for Gorilla Mindset.
- A Lead Pages email opt-in.
- Danger & Play book designer.
- Gorilla Mindet editor.
- Danger & Play editor.
- Type setters for all of my books
- Fit Juice was put into ebook form by a freelancer friend.
People also earn a living online doing copy writing. Check out Copywriting Secrets by Ben Settle (Amzn).
Some of us know how to sell using the written word and are paid for it.
I know, I know. That’s not glorious work!
You want to share your insightful thoughts bout the world while earning a fabulous living. That takes a lot of time.
How can you find people to sell stuff to?
Even if you have skills, finding clients is hard. Read what I wrote above, however. Establish yourself as an authority.
Start a website, podcast, or YouTube channel.
Share your expertise with the world.
A note about SEO.
Most of the information online about SEO is outdated or outright fraudulent. I wrote about SEO in the money chapter of Gorilla Mindset.
SEO tips that the “experts” don’t know or won’t tell you.
Write about people!
A blog post is the new email. If you want to get someone’s attention, write about the person.
I watched the video clip about Trump’s morning routine around 6 AM, right after I looked at my blog comments, Google Alerts, new book reviews, and Twitter, to see what people said about me since the last time I checked. That’s my morning routine too. In the old days, I used a clipping service. All of this is normal for people in the media.
I wanted Scott Adams to read my website, so I wrote about his book.
If you write about someone, he’ll read your site, and if you review his book, he’ll link to you. That’s passive SEO traffic from the book review as well direct traffic from a link.
- Read more: Using Book Reviews to Promote Your Own Books.
You might even make some good friends.
Write articles and/or make YouTube videos using keywords people search for.
Use plain language that people actually use when searching for answers. Eliminate “dumbing down” from your vocabulary. You’re not that smart.
Write grammatically-decent, relatively-typo-free 1,000 to 2,000 word articles and include pictures you took. Longer articles perform better in Google than shorter articles.
If you “copy URL” to my images, you’ll see they have been saved using keywords. This picks up search traffic via Google images.
Review a product.
Do you use Google to find a product? Of course you do. Why can’t you be the person with the site others find? Example: Sex Pillows and Liberator Wedge.
People go online to find products thusly: 1) What is the “best” of something; 2.) They compare similar products from a similar category.
For example, you might go onto Google to search for the best headphones. You’ll find websites like CNET and Wired, find a few headphones, and then run a second search comparing category leaders.
- Example: Sennheiser HD280 v. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. That post is SEO brilliance and has made me a lot of money.
When comparing similar products, look at pros v. cons. Get inside the head of your reader. Why would someone buy Product A v. Product B?
Laugh all you want, but this Joe Rogan Kale Shake post has earned me over $25,000 in passive income.
Joe Rogan (a celebrity authority, see above) made a kale shake. People think Joe’s cool and he looks good. They went to Google to find out what Joe did.
They found Fit Juice, and I sold them books, juicers, and blenders.
Case study: Fit Juice.
Fit Juice is a passively-managed website. I spent less than 8 hours on it. It has received over 1,200,000 page views and earns five figures in passive income a year.
2. Sell something for someone else.
I’ve written about the difference between affiliate marketing and advertising here.
Selling something for someone else is as simple as finding a product you enjoy and seeing if the person has an affiliate program.
When I heard about Wim Hof on the Joe Rogan Podcast, I searched for Wim Hof’s breathing course. The course is great. I bought it.
Then I searched to see if there was an affiliate program. There was. I signed up for it.
See how simple it is?
Let’s get meta about marketing.
Analyze the post you’ve read. Deconstruct it.
Is this article trust worthy? Hell yes it is. Here’s why:
- 1,000 to 2,000 words,
- Free content,
- It shows you how to make money,
- There are pictures,
- Several people are mentioned by name.
You don’t need to buy anything to learn from this article.
But if I sold a book on making money online, you’d want to buy it, wouldn’t you? This article establishes me as an authority on making money on the Internet – not because I told you how great I was, but because you see the information for yourself.
Because I give away crazy-good content, people line up to buy my books. “If that’s what Mike gives away, they think, “Imagine what he charges for!”
Making money online is simple, not easy.
If you’re looking for a four-hour workweek, look elsewhere.
That said, I love working online and cannot imagine ever returning to the real world.
P.S. I make my living writing great books.
You can buy Danger and Play: Essays on Embracing Masculinity, which some have said is better than Gorilla Mindset.
You should also read my other money-making tips from Gorilla Mindset.