As our regular readers know, we have been at this business for a lot of years now and for most of that time we weren’t making much money. Which is why in November 2009, when we made an astounding $14k in one month we were so excited that we felt like sharing it with everyone. Which was amazing really because both of us were brought up to never tell anyone how much you earned so it’s actually not something we really feel comfortable doing.
So even though we wanted to share the news, in some ways we were reluctant to do so. But in the end we bit the bullet and did it and up went the post. The results were amazing really and to this day that post is still the most popular one on this blog.
It’s quite amazing how a success story grabs people’s attention. I know the feeling completely because when we were struggling during those first few years we would try to grab any tiny nugget of information to help us on the way. We were desperately trying to fathom why we weren’t making it and why others were. What was the elusive thing we were missing that these successful people had? We know now that for us it was a lack of focus and value that kept us where we were. In other words, working on too much at once and providing little value to our readers.
So as many of you know now, we adapted our methods and that resulted in a big change for us. We realized the struggle was no longer an issue when we received that $14k check in the mail. It made the hard work and frustration all worth while in the end.
So a year rolls around and it is the anniversary of when we first posted our earnings and we are ready to make the decision again about whether we are going to reveal our November income for 2010. After much deliberation we again decide to do it and up it goes. Again it gets a lot of attention and everyone gets excited about building their own businesses to achieve the same result.
I can see why, money is a great motivational tool – people love seeing that other people have made it in this business. But it’s not only the money…it’s the freedom that money can give you. I think that most people are looking for that – the money is simply a means to an end and for us that means total freedom….the freedom to be able to start work when we want, to make our own decisions without someone telling us what to do, to take vacations whenever we like without getting permission first and having enough money to do it, and to be able to plan our days as we please. It’s a wonderful life that this business can give you and it can happen for anyone.
The problem with the money however, is that it can get in the way of a good thing. It starts to stir things up in people. First of all there are those that just can’t believe it’s possible. If they haven’t achieved it then as far as they are concerned nobody else can, so if that’s the case then we must be making it up. We know there are people out there that believe this of us.
There is even a whole website dedicated to stating that we are obviously scammers because someone from Amazon told them that no affiliates earn that much and we must have photoshopped our earnings.
All I know is that I couldn’t even consider in my wildest dreams making up a story like this. Why would I, the only person I would be fooling would be myself. Plus it doesn’t sit well with me at all…I just couldn’t do it. I was brought up to be honest and do what’s right and that is how I live my life. I also believe that there is some sort of karmic action going on here so I am all for doing the right thing. I also know that ultimately being false just doesn’t work in this business because you get found out in the end and what would be the point?
It would have been a lot easier if this person simply contacted us – we could have provided proof in an instant. We even left a long comment on their blog some time back but it is yet to be published. I can see that he thinks he is doing the right thing by warning people but unfortunately he didn’t think to contact us first to verify any of the details.
But that’s the price you pay for revealing your income when you are promoting a product at the same time. Because we have said that we average $10k a month AND are selling an ebook on how we did it, some people think we can’t be trusted. After all why would we reveal how we make money, wouldn’t we want to keep it a closely guarded secret. In some peoples minds, the two just can’t go together – if someone is claiming they are making a big income and are also promoting a product about it then they are obviously scammers.
Another reason why money seems to generate the wrong signals in this business is that there are a lot of people who think that making money online is a simple process. It’s like the old gold rush days where people poured in to find that elusive gold and then realized that it was a lot harder than they thought it was going to be. The same applies to this business. It is a lot harder than it looks on the surface and one person’s success may not necessarily mirror another person’s success.
There are thousands of people making money with the Amazon affiliate program and each is making a different amount. In other words, income levels are not typical. If you were looking at becoming a doctor or a lawyer or a secretary or a marine biologist or even just working at McDonalds you would pretty much know what your typical income will be. With internet marketing you really have no idea.
So if someone comes along and says that they are making $10k a month from Amazon or $100k from Adsense or $50k a month from Clickbank it means nothing to you really because none of that is typical and it never will be. There is no ‘typical’ in this business – by doing the same thing you could end up making nothing or you could end up making ten times as much…nobody can positively say what you will make. It depends on so many variables (too many to mention) and the time and effort that you are prepared to put into your business which will determine what you will end up making.
What I am getting at is that the money can get in the way for some people – it gets in the way because those trying to succeed tend to focus on it before anything else. They either can’t believe that certain income levels are possible and therefore never really try or they focus on the money so much that it affects how they develop their business. This was our thinking and it doesn’t really work – it results in creating short poorly written articles just to get people to click through to the merchant or promoting products that you wouldn’t purchase yourself.
Sure, we all have to make a buck in order to survive…none of us are here simply to give it all away for nothing but there has to be a balance and believe me the benefits of providing value definitely outweigh the benefits of providing little value to your readers.
It’s time to let the income go…
So ultimately what this post is all about is we think it’s time to let go of the income. I don’t think we need to prove anything and it seems to be getting in the way for some. So this will be our last post where we reveal actual amounts. If we mention our income in the future then it will be a generalization more than anything else and we won’t get into specific numbers anymore.
So for our final post about how much we make and for those that need proof we have provided a video of us opening our latest Amazon check (or cheque as we spell it here). This was for our December earnings. We receive the checks two months after the end of a month of sales so December sales checks arrive in March.
And as for January and February of this year – we made just over $14,500 in January and for February we made just under $10k…it’s a short month.
All figures were better than last year for those months so we are improving and we hope to get even better. There is no limit to what can be made when you work online.
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