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How to earn a Sustainable Income from the Internet

Updated on December 26, 2013
Creating Original, Thoroughly Researched, and High Quality Content is the Key to Sustainable Income from the Internet
Creating Original, Thoroughly Researched, and High Quality Content is the Key to 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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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A very informative article and it is very useful for me or other peoples.This types of article can also help those peoples who earn money.

      thank you

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Just Across The State Line

      I found your article to be very insightful! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • taw2012 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      Nice hub and i will have to implement your suggestions in my work. thank you.

    • Mala Srivastava profile image

      Mala Srivastava 

      7 years ago from India

      Very informative and useful hub.

    • slaffery profile image


      8 years ago from Kansas, USA

      Great hub and very useful. Sometimes it gets frustrating when your not seeing the number of pageviews that you would like to see but it's better to stick it out then to quit. The best things in life don't come easy. Voted up

    • Bud Gallant profile image

      Bud Gallant 

      8 years ago from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

      Great points in this. I agree with WebAnswers not being that sustainable. Part of the problem with it is the huge amount of duplicate questions. That undermines your views dramatically, I think. Still it can be fun. I agree that the best place to focus is on articles with a passive income potential. It definitely takes persistence and time, but it's long-term benefits outweigh the quick one-time payment method that other platforms offer.

    • CWanamaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Wanamaker 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      No problem, thank you.

    • Field-Of-Flowers profile image


      8 years ago from Midwest, USA

      A very informative article. Thanks for sharing your insight with us! Have a great day! :-)

    • CWanamaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Wanamaker 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Thank you.

    • tmheffernan profile image


      8 years ago from Middle East

      Brilliant article and adxice

    • CWanamaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Wanamaker 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Larry, you're exactly right. How many people out there are really interested in the properties of a grain of sand or subatomic particles like leptons? Probably a very small percentage.

      It good to become specialized, but it does come with a price. I think it is possible to write high quality and original content on any subject. It just may take more effort on your part if the subject is new or unfamiliar.

      As you may have noticed, I do write on a variety of subjects that differ from my main area of interest. I do this for the very reason you pointed out.

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 

      8 years ago from Northern California

      Your hub puts the various Internet income-generating approaches into perspective. High quality and original--I can remember that.

      However I see a trade-off. It's easier to do original hubs on niche topics that haven't already been beaten to death. On the other hand, if you get too specialized, you won't attract much traffic.

      I'm mildly surprised that my one (so far) mathematics hub has been rated higher than some of my other hubs. However I'll admit to beating the bushes on some other boards to generate interest.

    • CWanamaker profile imageAUTHOR

      Christopher Wanamaker 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      When I first started out years ago, the allure of easy PTC sites and surveys sucked me in. It took me a while to realize the bigger picture. I wanted my time on the Internet to pay me over and over again. I think I'm worth more than 1 dollar per hour. Thanks for the feedback!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like your article, made sense. That is the reason I do not do surveys!

    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 

      8 years ago from Only In Texas!

      What a great, readable, interesting, common sense article. Many thanks! I will refer to it often! ;D


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