Here’s a question that my business buddy Andy received from someone just the other day:
How do I drive thousands of people to my website for free to buy my new ebook?
His answer: If you find a way please let me know!
For those of us who have been doing business online for a while now it is easy to chuckle at the naiveté of this email (I admit that I did). But I think there is a larger ‘issue’ at hand here… and that is the expectation out there that you can just flip a switch and magically have *instant passive revenue* on the internet.
I like to call this the Passive Revenue Myth.
Seriously now folks, there is no such thing as passive revenue…
If we take a look at the word passive it literally means no effort. (In fact I looked it up in the dictionary – existing, conducted, or experienced without active or concerted effort.)
Like anything in life, nothing comes for free. This is especially true in business.
In order to build a successful and sustainable business online you *do* have to be quite active and willing to put in effort. Passive revenue is something that is earned, it is not something that appears with the flip of a switch.
In my over 5 years of working online I have yet to see a truly successful ‘field of dreams’ business online… like in the movie where they say ‘if you build it they will come’.
“All I have to do is write an ebook, put it on a website and people will come to my site and buy it earning me thousands of dollars per month immediately”
Arg! Talk about a recipe for frustration and failure, and yet many people have exactly this expectation based on various promises and misconceptions out there in the online world.
Doing business online is no different than doing business offline… the environment is different but the effort required is the same.
What does a person do if they plan on opening a local flower shop? They do their research, learn all about flowers, write a business plan, find the best location, etc… they *work* at it.
The exact same thing is required of any successful online business – you need to do research, become an expert, write a plan, know your market, etc.
To look at it quite simply, even if you write the best ebook in the world on a super hot topic you still need to:
- package it for online delivery
- setup a shopping cart system to handle orders
- create an effective sales page website
- drive traffic to your website
- test your results/conversion
- make changes to your sales page
- provide customer service
All of these things require management/effort on an ongoing basis, especially driving traffic and increasing conversions… which is the heart of any successful online business.
I would prefer to use the phrase Leveraged Revenue instead of Passive Revenue.
Because the thing that is so great about the internet is the leverage that it gives you in doing business.
- Opportunity to reach many people worldwide
- Ability to create an online product once and sell it many times over
- Lower start up costs than many traditional offline businesses
- Flexibility in hours and working location (home based business)
- Your store is open 24 hours/day
- to name just a few
But it does take work, and you effort will reflect in your results. So if you are game to put in a bit of elbow grease the internet is a wonderful place to do biz.