How to earn a Sustainable Income from the Internet
Isn’t the internet a great place? Isn’t amazing that you can make money simply by doing small or easy things like: Posting blogs and articles, participating in social networking/bookmarking, answering questions, taking surveys, taking pictures, and editing manuscripts? It’s nice to bring in a paycheck every month simply for doing the things on the Internet that you might normally do. But is this sort of activity really sustainable? In other words, will this continually bring in more money for the rest of your life without much additional work? Does your activity on the Internet equate to a sustainable income generating business model? Let’s hope that all your efforts on the Internet aren’t wasted when you decide to go on vacation or retire.
I have spent many years on the web and know what sustainability means. The kinds of activities that lead to a lifetime of royalties, or residual income, are the kinds that require a large initial effort on your part. The most sustainable activity that you can do is to post the highest quality, most thoroughly researched and original content that you can. This will keep the traffic heading in your direction for years to come. You also need to be a leader in the area of new content generation (pick a niche). Quality and originality is the key here. You could post 1000 articles in a few months, but if they have a low value, it will stop bringing in income after a short amount of time. No amount of backlinking, marketing, or promotion will help because know one will want to read it. Great quality articles with original content will promote themselves with little effort on your part.
Creating original and high quality articles is indeed the best method to improve your income with the internet. Whether it’s with your own website, blog, or a great article repository like HubPages, there really is no other option for long term financial sustainability from the Internet. Other methods of earning income on the internet have been proven to earn money, but they just aren’t as sustainable as posting original and high quality articles. Some methods aren’t even sustainable at all.
For example, filling out surveys only earns you money while you are doing it. The money stops coming in when you stop completing surveys. The same kind of thing can happen with the social bookmarking and question answering sites. Anyone here use WebAnswers and notice that their income drops soon after they stop answering questions? You have to stay active on WebAnswers for your revenue to continue to increase. These kinds of things are just not that sustainable in the long term. That's not to say that I won't use these types of revenue generating sites. Don’t get me wrong, WebAnswers is a great site and the earning potential is phenomenal. Its just not the place that I want to focus all of my time on. Again, the key here is originality and quality (that people want to read). If you provide a very high quality answers to very good questions, you just may have a sustainable webpage on your hands (if you can promote it and get people to read it).
Uploading images is a decent way to make a mildly sustainable income from the Internet. Images are great, especially if you build a huge database of them. However, over time your photos may get copied, plagiarized, and uploaded elsewhere. Internet users may copy or save the image to share with others instead of posting a link to the page. This will happen regardless of the license you give your photos and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. Besides, the Internet is saturated with imagery and you’re fighting a losing battle unless you are passionate about taking original and high quality photographs.
Okay, so now that we know that article creation is the only truly sustainable method of bringing home the Internet Bacon, how do we ensure sustainability? Your article writing efforts should be directed to writing articles that will be relevant regardless of time. In other words, writing about current events is not necessarily sustainable. Certain current events can provide residual income particularly if the event is historic in nature, unprecedented, or something that you know will create a dramatic change in society. But remember, you will be competing with hundreds, if not thousands, or other articles on the same topic. In addition to this, articles about events that only affect you or your area should be avoiding. Writing about sports and celebrities are generally not sustainable as well. Good topics to write about include How-to articles, technology tips (be careful about your technology item of choice), automotive repair guides, and health and wellness information.
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