Reader Question: Can I Really Make Money Online?

I get emails everyday with questions on different topics, and it finally dawned on me that instead of taking 20 minutes writing an email back to just one person, there are probably numerous readers wondering the same thing, so why not post my answer on the blog? That’s exactly what I’m going to start doing- not only does it help me come up with content, but it will most likely be highly relevant to what most of you are wanting more info on.

I won’t do this for every single email I get, but I will for the questions that seem like they could apply to anyone. Also, I won’t publish your name or email address obviously if I use your question, so don’t let this deter you from asking away…

Okay, here is today’s question:I have seen so much stuff on making money online and with Clickbank that it is now hard for me to believe anything.

I do have a Clickbank account but have not made any money.  Your info has piqued my interest I want to believe in someone, can you really help me?

My Answer:

Yes, I can help you- and to do that I want to clarify a few things…

First of all, it is definitely possible to make money online- a lot of people are doing it. But, like anything else, there are a lot of scams and false claims out there. The old adage of “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is”, is extremely accurate and fitting for the idea of making quick money on the internet.

The biggest mistake that people make when attempting to make money online is that they think of it in those terms, trying to just “make money” using the internet. You will never make any real income from the internet or anything else for that matter until you view it and run it as a business.That means that you have to come up with a plan of action that you’re going to stick to, but most of all, you need to identify how your information is going to benefit or provide value to the user.

Now, don’t make that more complicated then it is… for example: if you are going to build Adsense sites, your benefit to the user is to provide valuable information in the articles on your website- that’s it. The mistake would be to think of it in terms of “making money”, which would sound something like,”Ok I just need to get 1o or 20 articles on there, get it ranked in Google, and then watch the earnings start to come in.”

It is so important, crucial actually, to really view your business model through the eyes of  the visitor, and scrutinize whether or not what you’re doing is providing real value.The underlying principle to all of this is that this isn’t a short-term endeavor. Building a solid income online will take a lot of hard work and time.

Most people that try buy some course or blueprint, and follow it for a few weeks or maybe even a few months, and nothing really happens, and they give up.What’s really going on is that you are essentially beginning a new career, or learning a whole new skill set. Knowing how to make money online is a culmination of several skills that have to be learned and practiced- that’s why there aren’t any courses or blueprints that can literally show people how to make money overnight.

Okay, I’m done with my “harsh reality” spiel, now I’ll give you some of the reasons why putting in the time and effort to build an online business is so worth it…The main idea that I love about an online business, is that every unit of work that you put into it is an investment, versus earning a one-time wage for that time.

So let’s say you put in 100 hours building putting a site together- now that site will earn for you 24/7, while you go on and build another site.Broken down even further, every page, post, video, or other unit of content can be viewed as an employee of yours that works for free, all the time.That is an awesome concept- and that’s how it works.

Continuing with that example, you need to learn how to make each one of these “employees” effective, or good at their job, if you will. Some of these employees need to drive traffic, and some of them need to convert that traffic.

The most effective online business model stripped-down to the basics would be this:

  • Produce great content
  • Get traffic
  • Monetize, or convert that traffic

Squeeze pages, SEO, link building, sales funnels, PPC, product launches, blogs, videos, podcasts, or any other IM buzzwords are just different ways of doing those three things.

Now I realize that in my answer, I didn’t give any specific how-to steps on how to make money online… that’s what the rest of this blog and my other posts are for. I thought this question was a good time to just layout the real issues behind the concept of “making money online”.

I hope that gives some of you a more clear picture of how to approach your own online business- let me know what you think by leaving a comment below…


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About The Author


Nate is a blogger, fitness enthusiast, and designer.


  • Jay

    Reply Reply August 5, 2011


    Great post.

    I’ve learned more from you in the amount of time I’ve spent studying internet marketing than anywhere else. Really look forward to every post,


    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 5, 2011

      Thanks Jay I appreciate it- if I posted all the emails I’ve written back to readers this site would be huge- I wish I would have thought of this sooner.

  • Karen

    Reply Reply August 5, 2011

    That was my kick-in-the-butt, get-back-to-reality post. ROFL

    I’m working on three sites, one of which is purely for AdSense and a sprinkling of affiliate links. One site is a service/AdSense site and one is my own product/AdSense site.

    Needless to say, I have to write A LOT of content. LOL

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 5, 2011


      It really is hard to publish content day in and day out- but results start to snowball at some point and then you see all your work paying off.

  • Francois

    Reply Reply August 6, 2011

    Thanks to you Nate again for this. I can understand when you speak very easily and the information is clear.

    I use clickbank too and I find that this month is a very slow month for making sales. I wish to be the end of the vacation.

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 8, 2011

      Francois you’re welcome. It has been a slow month now that you mention it- the second half of the month always has more sales for me so hopefully things will pick up.

  • Grant

    Reply Reply August 7, 2011

    Love your laid back style Nate, appreciated that audio post and keep up the good work…Grant

    • Nate

      Reply Reply August 8, 2011

      Thanks Grant.

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