Money: The Five Mistakes I’ve Made Making Money Online

Let’s look at some risks in closing you might not want to take. These are all things I’ve done. These are five mistakes I’ve made making money online. These are all risks I don’t recommend you take. To start: trying to sell ad space for other people’s products. Don’t bother trying to sell other people’s ad space for other people’s products. If you look at what we looked at in the beginning of the What to Do if You’re Desperate thread, it didn’t say in those firsts posts to try to sell ad space.

Now in the affiliate marketing thread, there was one recommendation to do that. A lot of people who I’ve come across who have asked me to help are trying to make Teespring campaigns, get traffic for Adsense, or sell Clickbank products. I’ve tried a lot of this, and it fails almost every time. It looks like easy money, and that’s why it’s not. It’s not easy – it’s really hard to sell other people’s products! Why would someone want to buy someone else’s product from you instead of from them? Why would I want to go to your website and click on your Adsense ad when I could Google that myself? Why would I want to buy a Clickbank product from you that I could get from the owner? Why would I want to buy a t-shirt from you when there are millions of t-shirts I could buy somewhere else? It’s competitive and it’s really hard to try and sell other people’s products. I know, I’ve done it. I’ve tried to get Adsense traffic. I did it and I made a dollar. When I started off, I was so excited. It was easy to make a dollar. It was hard to make more than that. I spent money and failed trying to do that.

Services are a great way to make money online. Services are what worked for me. Nothing I did made more than a couple hundred dollars, and nothing I effectively did made more than $2 an hour until I did services. Selling t-shirts and affiliate marketing mostly lost me money, but it occasionally made me money at a very small rate. Services started making me hundreds of dollars an hour. I could offer something people would pay $300 for that would take me less than an hour. But I was able to do it by offering very clear and specific value services.

I’ll show you my website that was first successful at doing this. This was the first website I had that sold services successfully. The cool part is, I sold these services before I ever had this website. I had another website with a custom domain name already, but I made BanWork.com to sell Facebook likes originally, and then to sell online ad campaign setups – $400 for an online ad campaign setup. I often could do it within 30 minutes to an hour or two. That’s hugely profitable, but you can also see that it’s very specific. I make ads on Facebook, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Bing, mobile devices or certain websites (I don’t actually do this anymore. I sold this to a company that does it.) They use the same website I had and the same business model to bring in new clients. What I used to do is go straight to the people who I could see needed this. For example, I’d see a crappy ad on Facebook. I’d message the page owner and say, “Hey, I saw your ad on Facebook. You need help with your Facebook ads.” About 1% of the time, they’d say, “My God, yes, we do need help. Can you please help us?” And they’d be willing to pay almost immediately.

It’s not that easy sometimes to figure out what you can do, but offering to do everything is a sure way to do nothing. I love seeing the people just like me that set out and said, “I can do everything,” and offered to do things I’d never done before. Things like setting up all kinds of social media profiles and building a website. I built websites, I wrote medical SEO articles. I did some work that was quite awful when I started out my business. I didn’t like it at all; it really sucked. I calculated on the medical service SEO articles I wrote that I made about $3 an hour doing that. That sucked. Offering to do everything is a sure way to put yourself in a bad situation, but it can help you get started. It can help you get started if you figure out what you should do and what you should focus on.

Here’s another thing: building a list before giving value. When I hosted a few live training sessions, people told me that they were trying to build a list and wanted some help on building that list. I asked, “Why are you building a list?” “Well, I want to make money and it seems like a good way to do it.” What value are you having that you can share with that list? Building a list and not having a good plan to make money with it is a sure way to invest a lot of time and energy and usually get nothing out of it. It’s not easy to build a list and make money off of it unless you know how to do it and usually you’ve done it before. Even for the guys that are doing really well at it, it’s still challenging. It’s still challenging because you lose subscribers all the time. You get a lot of bad email addresses. You get a lot of people that click on things and don’t do anything with it. You can see a lot of people doing what’s called solo ads. They’re doing solo ads and they’re trying to sell email advertising. And what they do is pay-per-click often, or pay-per-open or pay-per-conversion, but it’s hard to build a list that people would want to pay to market to, and especially what they’d want to repeatedly pay to market to.

What I’ve learned is having one giant client is better than having a hundred smaller clients, and you usually have to get that giant client by starting out on a smaller order. I did – my biggest clients always started out on a smaller order. Except I have one that started out with a few thousand dollar order, and I offered to do a bunch of things and most of the things I did didn’t work. Fortunately, I still continue to set up and make ads, so that worked.

But the thing is, you can see if you’re desperate, if you want to do anything, there are a few things you might want to know not to do beforehand. But you should trust your inspiration. If you think building a list is a great idea, give it a try, but be okay with failing at it. Here’s the single biggest mistake I’ve seen: myself, I’ve made personally and seeing other people make. It’s buying into an affiliate MLM business owner or Make Money Online system. I bought into one of these (two of these, actually) in 2004 when I first wanted to make money online.

I did a Make Money Online survey program, and long story short – it was worthless and I got my money refunded. I wasted a bunch of hours worrying about it and trying to do it, and being frustrated with it. I also found my local multilevel marketing scheme. I spent hours going to meetings, spent a couple hundred getting my independent business owner package complete with products, and I kept ignoring messages from my brain that maybe this wasn’t a good idea and messages from my dad that maybe this wasn’t a good idea.

After going to their out of town meeting, I learned that what they called “bulletproof” in terms of belief in the system and products seemed like it would take a hell of a lot of money and a hell of a lot of time and a hell of a lot of creativity to do it right. My calculation was, maybe making money online isn’t for me. I gave up. I quit. It took me seven years before I tried again. And I bet, based on getting to know other people online, other people have taken even longer. They’ve tried in the 90s and now they’re just getting back into it nearly twenty years later. Some of the things you can do when you’re desperate can put you in a horrible situation so it’s important to have some idea of what you might want to do and be open to trying things and failing at them. Being open to trying things and failing at them.

A lady emailed me, and she had spent over $8,000 on an affiliate marketing system that was little more than a WordPress tutorial and a couple of links. She literally could’ve gotten 10+ times the value of that totally for free on my website. What did she ask me for help for? She wanted help with making Facebook ads to make that program work. It was hard for her to even admit that she’d been wrong to buy that affiliate program in the first place. I told her, “Hey, you put this on a credit card. Just get a charge back. Get your money back off the credit card.” But the problem is, most people, when you do something, when I do something, I have to be consciously aware of this tendency all the time. Most of us care more about being right than about being successful. The lady came to me trying to get help with making herself right that that affiliate program could work. Even after what I said, she still believed that program could work even after she told me it sucked.

Now, if you think of human beings as rational, this might be confusing but if you know how irrational most of us are, if you know most of will do anything to not be wrong, you can see that when you’re desperate, you can get into situations that the only way to get out of them is to be wrong. Do you know how many times I’ve been wrong? Since I’ve started my business online, I can’t even tell you. I’ve been wrong hundreds, if not thousands of times.

The most recent time I’ve been wrong, I thought the big coin price was just going to go through the roof. I was wrong on that – at least in the shirt term. It’s gone down a hundred dollars since I was so excited about it. That’s about a 20+ percent loss. Oops. The thing is, when you’re desperate, you have a huge opportunity to do something new. You also have an opportunity to get yourself in a mental place where it’s either being wrong, or banging your head against the wall. If you’ve bought into an MLM and affiliate or independent business owner or Make Money Online system, it’s almost always wrong. 99% of the time, it’s wrong. And just cash out: “Okay, I was wrong.”

I went to go get my PhD in grad school. I cashed out with my Masters and dropped out of the PhD program and said, “Okay, I was wrong. I don’t need a PhD. I want to start my company online.” It’s okay to be wrong. And part of being wrong happens by ignoring negative feedback about what you’re doing. I take feedback very seriously on what I create. If what I’m creating is not being received as much more positive than negative, I don’t keep doing it.

If I make a YouTube video, and it gets one like for every one dislike, that sucks. That’s not a video people like. If I make a video and it gets ten likes and no dislikes, that’s good. That’s what I want. I will make another video just like that. If you’re getting negative feedback about what you’re doing, usually that means you’re doing something wrong. It’s not them; it’s you. I’m on a ten-game losing streak in League of Legends. It’s not them, it’s me – I’ve been doing something wrong. I’ve been playing all kinds of characters, I’ve been doing all kinds of teams – I’ve been doing something wrong, it’s not the other people. There are things I could be doing right. When I’m getting negative feedback, it means I’m doing something wrong. Now that I know that, I can figure out how to do something right. For example, when my wife is getting mad and frustrated at me, it’s usually because I’ve done something wrong. Even if it’s minor or however you want to define it, if I’m in a loving, caring place, it doesn’t happen as much.

If people are telling you they don’t like what you’re doing – stop spamming me – usually, you’re doing something wrong. I’ve gotten that a lot, and it hurts my feelings. I’m trying to send helpful information or I’m trying to make money for myself, at whatever stage of my business you’ve looked at. It hurts to say you’re getting spammed, or “You’re spamming me. Stop spamming me.” It hurts. Especially when I’m sharing information that I think is good. I’m sharing information that’s better for free than what a lot of people charge for. The problem is, I often have not gone about it in the right way. I’ve gone about it in the wrong way, so I try new things. I’ve had people rude enough to say, “Fuck you” when I sent them a Facebook message. It wasn’t like I had sent them an offensive Facebook message. I sent them a message that encouraged them when they were having a bad day to take that out on me.

If I had written a message, theoretically they could’ve said it under any circumstances, but people usually respond to what they get. If you send something positive and good, and you share it with the right person at the right time, most of the time you’ll get a good response. Some negative responses are unavoidable, and I swear Failure is my middle name.

Here’s my favorite negative feedback recently. Fifteen reviews – almost a perfect score. Let’s take a look at this one. One star – “This course is just a bad past story. Okay, he made the same stupid mistake over and over again – so what. He’s very subjective to his own life. He’s not even an entrepreneur, just a self-employee. How can he teach other people to be a successful entrepreneur? He keeps soft-selling his Internet marketing services time to times. What a waste of time.”

How’s that for my course that I’ve put a lot of time into – 3+ hours that thousands of people have enrolled in that 14 other people thought was really good? Fourteen other people said it was just awesome. There are some amazing reviews on it. But, that’s a 14:1 ratio. That means I’m mostly doing it right. But that’s still valid feedback even though it hurts my feelings. He has a few valid points about it. I didn’t carefully define and show what I’ve done as an entrepreneur. I mostly just told my own story – that’s why 14 people liked it, because it’s honest. I just told my own story. It’s easy to ignore negative feedback about what you’re doing.

If you have a bad habit like I did with drinking, it’s easy to ignore people saying, “You drink too much. You need to quit. You need to stop. You’re way out of line.” It’s easy to ignore that. It takes a lot to honestly look at negative feedback and say, “Why?” and not blame it on them but blame it on you. What did I do that created this? What opportunity did I give someone to give me this negative feedback? When you’re desperate, it’s a big responsibility. But there’s a huge, huge opportunity when you’re desperate to solve your financial problems indefinitely. There’s a huge opportunity to do it right when you’re desperate, so that’s what I hope I’ve communicated. There’s a huge opportunity to do it right, and you can do it right by trying new things either by cutting what you’re already doing or by trying new things to make money or save money.

But desperation is a huge opportunity; it’s a huge opportunity. If you’re desperate, try cutting your expenses and try some new things to make money. Avoid some of the things I did or test them out with the idea that you’re willing to fail at them and move on.

Thank you very much for sharing my thoughts on what to do if you’re desperate. I hope this has been helpful. Everything I do is created to help serve you. It’s created to give you the best chance to be successful online.

I was blessed with an amazing opportunity to be successful online. I met my wife – she was a personal injury attorney. I could afford to totally fail. I could afford to not be afraid of failing. I could say I’m in a place where I make time for what I want and where I spend money to make money. My wife gave me that opportunity to start this business where I’m here helping you, and I want to give you the chance to do the same thing.

You might not have a nice setup where someone pays your bills already, or you may be like me, and living at home with your parents and not be in a place where anyone else is inspiring you to go forward and try and do it. That’s why I’m here, and that’s why I do this. So that’s what I hope you’ve gotten out of it. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with me.

I hope you’ll visit my website and continue to get all of the free information I have for you. If you want to get much more value and get connected with people like you and like me who are trying to do this, apply to my group: JerryBanfield.com/group. Do a quick application to my group, and if you’re ready to join us, you can join us. Thank you very much. I appreciate the time you invested to get through an hour of this (or to skip to the end). Thank you, and I hope to see you on my website, on my YouTube Channel, and on my podcast again soon.