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How Stable Is Your Online Income

By Yaro Starak
61 Comments

I’ve made some form of income from the Internet for the past ten years. That’s incredible for me to consider, as I look back over the years how for such a long time I felt very insecure about where my next paycheck was going to come from and whether there would be another one the following month.

For the first five years, roughly from 2000 to 2005, my income from the Internet varied, reflecting the choices I had made and my own variable focus. It went something like this…

This is a list of the projects that I made money on during those five years. It doesn’t include the websites I built that shortly after I abandoned, my brief experiments at AdWords arbitrage and other various false-starts because I was so easily distracted by new methods to “make millions” online.

During this time I finished my university degree, held a couple of casual jobs and traveled too. I also watched, often resulting in plenty of self-doubt on my part, as my friends entered graduate jobs, which looked a whole lot more secure than what I was doing at the time and often paid them better as well.

Looking back over those five years the money I made proved surprisingly reliable, even though at the time my confidence in the income stream wasn’t there (good old hindsight). I had enough time to work on new projects because I focused on ideas that didn’t need too much personal time from me once set up, for example getting volunteer writers for my card site and using contract editors for the proofreading site, so I could easily manage them both at the same time.

The end result was a diversified online income stream that continued to grow as long as I did a few key activities (like put up posters to promote the proofreading business), plus I was creating assets that I would later sell.

The Era Of Rapid Income Growth

From 2005 until the present my business structure changed rapidly, and my income also grew considerably. I quit my casual job, the last time I would work for anyone having never entered the full time workforce, moved out of home into my own house and traveled around the world.

Here’s a brief recap of some of the highlights of how my online business changed in 2005 to 2010 -

This is only a highlight reel of course, with lots more going on to make all this happen. There are a few key aspects of what I did during recent years, compared to earlier periods, which I consider noteworthy changes that resulted in two very important outcomes -

  1. My income streams became very stable thanks to diversification, but despite the different projects, I focused on systems I was good at and understood, so gained more leverage from what was already working
  2. The amount of money generated increased from “salary replacement” (a nice place to be of course), to six figures and beyond (a life-changing amount of money).

If you drill down and look at the most critical changes, the big improvements occurred because I learned a few important things about Internet marketing and actioned them, which are -

I can’t stress these three points enough, they really have changed my life for the better in so many ways, allowing me to live without any financial restrictions.

Needless to say my income went from random and unpredictable to stable and very near passive. Most importantly though, I now believe in the reality of this sort of income stream and lifestyle because I’ve lived it for so long. There’s nothing like seeing proof month and after month in your bank account to make you feel very secure.

There’s no sure thing of course, and I would never be so naive to believe that everything will remain as it is (change is constant), but the sense of relaxed calm around my business is considerably different to the often jittery nervousness I used to have about my financial future.

Do You Want To Feel Content With Your Financial Future Too?

It’s nice for me to tell you how great my life is, and I hope you learn from my words and leave motivated, but that’s not enough.

I enjoy my lifestyle because I’ve been willing to share so much regarding how I’ve put things together.

In your case you need to start building the fundamentals. You need an industry to focus on, you need an email list and you need a product of your own.

Saying these things takes moments, creating them can take years or at least months, but I won’t leave you on your own.

Membership Site MasterplanOne of the best guides I’ve ever produced, and I give it away for free, is the Membership Site Masterplan report.

It’s a very practical guide, explaining all the bits and pieces I put together to create my online course Blog Mastermind, the first product of my own creation that I sold online, taking me from making about $5,000 a month to $15,000 a month online (that was the first time I broke the six figures a year milestone, changing my life for the better in so many ways).

If you want to know how I built my list, how I created the content for the product, what technology I use to deliver it and how I launched it using powerful psychological marketing triggers that compel people to want to work with you and buy your products, you need to read this report.

If you’ve never studied the Masterplan before, download the text or audio version from here right now, it will only cost you your name and email address and then I’ll start emailing you lots of valuable spam messages designed to further inspire and help you launch your own product -

www.membershipsitemastermind.com

As you study the report you will come across a link to my coaching program on how to create online membership sites and information products, called Membership Site Mastermind.

This program has been closed, but I’m about to reopen it again for the first time in 2010, so you will have the chance to take the course if you want more help launching your own product.

As long as you are on the email list for the Masterplan or read this blog, you will know when it opens again.

Yaro Starak
Stabilizing Income

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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61 Comments

  • Hey thanks for that short story of your journey Yaro.

    I am in the process, of selling some of my sites and focus on
    my products on only one niche.

    Thanks fo this post.
    Jorge Diaz

  • You know what makes this post so good Yaro, the fact that it is of a personal nature throughout most of the post. That my friend is what compelled me to provide you with my name and email address.

    In the 16 years I’ve owned and operated a successful web design, internet marketing and multimedia development firm, the one thing that has set the success of individuals and business alike apart from those that are struggling to create a strong presence on this internet, is that they fail to be more personal and intimate in nature. You need to connect with your target audience in a way that touches or motivates them to produce the results you want. Failing to do so means your success will be all but a distant memory.

    I enjoy reading your content and am genuinely happy that you have and still are experiencing the success you do, and are so willing to share that process with others at a cost or your own free will.

    Way to connect my friend!

    To Your Success!
    Sean Smith

  • Thanks for reassuring my conviction. I have aggressively started building email list. My niche is health related products to serve the booming boomer generation. Lots of financially challenged boomers will buy health related magic formula (like the money making magic formula) for top dollars with a continuity program. Of course, few will drop out as soon as they realize that most of the related and scientifically unproven supplements of the same quality they can buy from Walmart for $4, but I don’t care. If only I can get a fraction of this large pool, I am set for life.

  • Yaro,

    It’s no surprize that you have tried so many different things – most entrepreneurs do!

    I don’t know how to say the following without it coming across as ‘sucking up’ so I am just going to come out and say it:

    My income has become vastly more stable since completing your Membership program and starting my own membership site – so thank YOU!

    Andrew

  • Depending on your niche, there are several industries with rapidly growing blogs–sometimes it may make you wonder why yours isn’t excelling as quickly. But I think the answer is to truly consider what you’re doing to get your blog going..
    Atleast that’s something that I’ve greatly learned having a blog for almost a year, then starting a second one. Success comes with time, and it is nice when “gurus” take the time out to reiterate that..

  • Ami

    Hi Yaro,

    Regarding the email list, I’ve read the Membership Site Masterplan, when do you think is a good time to start? my blog is really fresh, about two month, I feel I it is too early to start an email list for many reasons (not enough content, not enough traffic…).

    Thank you for the post, I understand my goals better.

    Ami

    • A good time to start is yesterday :-)

      As long as you have a compelling offer and are prepared to nurture the people who sign up, then you should start the email list immediately.

      If you don’t have an offer yet and you don’t think you have the time to write emails as well as blog posts, then you should focus on time management so you can start getting both done.

      • Ami

        Thanks,

        I plan to start working on that offer, very good point.

        Ami

  • Hi Yaro,

    After reading your article, I’m inspired at the same time amazed of the things that you have already achieved in life. You have already done a lot of things, made a lot of sites and blogs and I know you are earning a lot now. I hope my income grows big so it can support my family. As of now, I’m still learning a lot from different web logs….

  • This is very helpful for me. I’ve been blogging for 2 years off and on and recently, in October 2009, I started a new focused niche at my blog site. One thing that you said that struck a chord with me was when you were talking about the different things you were doing between 2000-2005. One thing that you said was that you would start one thing and then you found another way to make a million dollars online, then another and another.

    Basically the same thing happened to me, when I started blogging in 2008, I was being very consistent until I started to discover other slightly different ways to make money online. It was at this point that I became overwhelmed because I wasn’t sure where to put my focus.

    I made a pact with myself when I started my recent blog that I would let nothing deter me from blogging no matter how good it sounds, unless it’s something that I can do in conjunction with my blog that would better my success in my blogging business.

    This helps me because it will take me to the next level in my blogging business.

    Thanks, Yaro!

  • Always timely and well thought through information, thank you Yaro.

    I signed up for your BlogMastermind course last October, slowly working my way through it, ticks all the boxes and very thorough.

    I will officially launch my blog (at present I am posting to it for Google Rank) in the next 4-8 weeks. Keep an eye on it. It could be a good case study for you.

  • Ed

    Yaro,
    I have enjoyed reading your blog as it is the only one I lean on for now. I have learned to not get pushed and pulled by great sounding ideas. My buddy and I have started a golfing blog and have used Gedion’s video to get it going.

    We will then turn our atention to your Mastermind program. Of course, getting more and more pages going as we hope to build a mailing list through subscribers and what ever you suggest – we have not signed on yet and will learn the strategies to follow soon.

    Following this, we will take a foray into Laura Roeder’s social media course. I enjoy readin both of your blogs a lot – insightful and down to earth…this being said – I have a question?

    Did you use any mentors and pay for their guidances as we will with you? Or did you learn through trial and error?

    Alright – thanks for the inspiration and I look forward to reading the blog as always.

    Ed

  • Ron

    Yaro, your success story is pretty inspiring. You are one of my blogging idol and hero. All I want to do is follow your footsteps and make my self and my blog a blogging authority too. I am glad that I downloaded your free course and now, I am putting it into action.

  • How I wish that outsourcing will have a great future here in the Philippines. What makes me a bother are some guy are using infamous tricks involving marketing hence maybe Google change the whole face of SEM.

  • Spot On Yaro!

    Diversification WITHIN one broad expertise is an excellent way to spread your eggs without risking anything.

    Starting with the end in mind (selling your asset) is a worthwhile goal especially when web properties are poised to gain massively in value as more people switch on to the potential.

    James

  • Hey Yaro,

    Did you really mean to say, “…I’ll start emailing you lots of valuable spam messages designed to further inspire and help you launch your own product…”

    I have never thought of your email messages as spam, maybe it’s a typo?

    • Heh, if that was a typo, then it was a pretty obvious one!

      No, that’s a joke, though one person’s spam is another’s valuable content, so maybe it’s not a joke.

      • Haha, very well said. I think I’ll use that as my forum signature for awhile. ;)

        And a very interesting read. Just getting into affiliate marketing, reading stuff like this encourages me even more.

        Till then,

        Jean

  • If you got a do-over and could be your leanest and most effective … and you tried to productize yourself right off the bat … what products would you optimize around and what would you shy away from?

    (for example, I bet you could crank a bunch of high-value e-books from your experience, or you could invest more in membership sites … etc.)

    • If you are talking just about products, right now I’d probably produce a webinar series as the product. They seem to be getting the best traction at this point in time and are quick to produce and can be sold over and over again.

  • “I played a card game called Magic: The Gathering and began selling the cards I won at tournaments in online trading forums and newsgroups ”

    Wow…never know you’re this geeky, Yaro. ^-^ Sorry, can’t help it.

    Anyway, just want to thank you for all the great contents and information you have released through your blog and eBooks. I think that’s why you’re able to quadrupling (or whatever…) your income in these 5 years. Keep up the good work, man.

    • Oh yeah, I was a serious geek in high school, though not a computer geek.

      To be honest though as much as I enjoyed the game, I enjoyed trading cards more, so I was really in it for the business ;-)

      • Yaro the name Yaro reminds me of the yaris (toyota) does it belong to you? .. You’re stories are really inspiring and as a young man from Nigeria, I am happy to say that your blog has put me to the edge. I am looking forward to making my blogs a worth while effort and with your help am sure I will get to the top currently am having about a hundred fellows reading my blog according to the stats, trying to improve on this and gain momentum, see you there

  • Hey Yaro,

    I look forward to reading this ebook and thank you for sharing it.

    Cheers,
    Mukul

  • Hey Yaro,

    I’ll admit I thought it was a typo as well but you make a good point about one man’s spam is another man’s treasure… Though kinda funny actually.

    Good post though as you’ve obviously done a lot of things to generate a good flow of income over the last ten years. You know what you’re talking about I think.

  • How high is the demand for online marketing reps? Where can I be trained? Any free on-line sources available?

  • Good motivating post really! Want to follow on your steps in future.

  • this is a very important post yaro because even though i make a good income online am still worried about the stability of this income.

  • red

    HI will this fit for me if I’m just a student? I mean I don’t have experience on somethings so I can’t chose a topic very well and another problem is content creation.

  • That is some great insite, I love reading what others have done to become sucessful. wait that is why I read your blog regularly sillly me. Seriously though diversification is important don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

  • Fail forward fast.
    Although I wouldn’t call it failing, but learning.
    I think it’s crazy to focus on one thing and one thing only, especially in the age of the holy internet. The more you try out different stuff the sooner you will figure out which suits your personal style. Just do it, do it do it do it do it…

  • Thanks for sharing your journey. It’s depend on you on which category your are focusing. Up & always happen but the industry like blogging continuously growing.

    When I started my blogging journey just after couple of month, I was able to earn money; still from that period my online income is growing.

  • The hardest part is knowing when to work and when not to..alot of familys dont work out when one or more persons is online pushing sites…

  • A very good one to read.

  • Diversification is key. Online income can dry up so fast – it is important to have many revenue streams to keep the income stable. Try many things, figure out which ones work best for you, and try more things.

  • 3 lessons indeed…

    1. email list..
    2. your products…
    3.asset sales…

    will always remember that…doing one at the moment…will surely work on the 3…thanks for the info

  • Really informative, encouraging. Thanks for sharing your journey in catchy words. Really want to follow up your thoughts shared here. Reading this makes me TRY TRY TRY

  • Great post, diversify to stay ahead.

    Every niche has numerous income streams possible, your should have atleast 2-3. if not then you are leaving money on the table at some point.

    Financial stability alos comes with being open to change and knowing when change is needed.

    What works today may not work as well in 2 mnths.. keep your learning and testing.

  • John Paul Aquiar- I totally agree with the changing if need be. I would say that there comes a time to change when your competitors start changing their game up as well.

    A lot of what a business is requires trial and error and we can see that you’ve been through your fair of trial and error, Yaro, to get to where you are today. In regards to determining how stable one’s income may be, I’d say it’s pretty fair to estimate the projects that you partake in and evaluate the money that comes from each individual project, like what you said above.

  • Hi Yaro, it seems I have the same problems as yours in your early age. Easily to be distracted by new making money methods… I don’t why but may be guys got easily bored by what they do and lost a focus or two.

    :P

  • Thanks for a great article. As a new blogger I have found my income has been pretty unstable. Some months are great and some months are terrible. I’m hoping that as my blog grows the traffic/revenue will stabilize. I’m used to the unstableness though, because my blog is all about the ridiculous ways I have made money over the years without getting a job. Feel free to check it out: thepennyhoarder.blogspot.com

  • Very interesting to see what someone else has done. Also interesting to see the interests of other people. I used to make a decent income from my blog, but then was forced to shut it down. I’m now trying to get that back and slowly but surely I’m getting there!

  • When you write it all on paper it seems so easy however I bet in reality it is harder. However the internet has still got a lot of potential. Don’t know. Think I must just be having a negative period. Giving it all up to go back to a normal job!

  • I don’t have any online income :( and the guys from PayPal stole my last money.

    But anyway I’m already rich ;).

    • You don’t need to worry if you don’t have an online income. As you’ve said, your already rich. :-P Better have your own online business so that you will at least experience how to earn money through online. :-)

  • Your story is very similar to my own, and others I’m sure.

    I have to agree, it is nice to get a random check, paypal payment or bank wire that I wasn’t expecting. Diversification is definitely very good.

    But I think I could have made my progression from part-time to full-time along the way much more quickly if I had focussed on fewer projects and followed them through to a tee. I see newbie marketers go full-time in just a handful of months by doing this.

    I think diversification is best considered by full-timers only, who at any given time are in a minority (out of ALL marketers globally).

    Chris

  • Great post Yaro. I really like that you’re inspiring and motivating but also down to earth. It makes the whole idea of making money online feel achievable. Thanks!

  • This story is veryy inspiring. I am on the my first 5 years and income is a little bit.
    Thanks for the info.

  • Great story that exemplifies “Never, Never, Never, Ever, Give up!”

  • I’m a newbie SEO freelancer in internet, I’m earning $90-100 per week, and in our country, with that salary you can live comfortably. Your story surely inspired me. I may visit your site more often. :-)

    Thanks,
    Regie

  • The story of your journey is a great inspiration to me, Yaro. I have been toying with a launch I would like to do, with a great and unique product. I am in the process of relocating to a small coastal town, and will them have the opportunity to apply myself to making this a reality. The beauty of the internet is that you can work from pretty much anywhere there is coverage, even in a quiet (out of season) coastal town.

  • Right now my income is $0. This is only because I just started. After a year I should be ranking in the search engines and making a decent amount of money. Most people don’t get that it takes time to make money with a blog. It takes quality SEO, and Quality and Quantity Content to be successful. Do all that for a year straight and Google will give you credit where due.

  • I really think that not focusing was my down fall. I have had many blogs and I could consider them all a failure. I was interested in them at the time then moved onto another money making idea.
    I think focusing on one blog and not getting distracted by the newest money making idea will help in a big way.

  • The main reason that I visit your blog and keep coming back is the personal touch that you give to your posts. These make reading interesting and motivating as opposed to the theoretical bombast one gets from many other “experts”! Keep them coming.

  • Hi Yaro…2 years ago i didn’t believe i could make money on internet. It’s seem to me that make money on internet is fraud. Last Year i try to sell mosquito net just for fun. but month by month the demand increase. Since That i believe i could make money. But the question is not stable. Sometimes i loss faith and confidence to keep continue my dream. I want to work at home. Internet marketer is a job that i really want.

    Thank for the article that burn my confidence. Internet marketer is wonderful job but still we have to work and thinking that we could be millionaire in just a second is lie.

  • Who said blogging was easy?! haha. It can be a mess and time consuming especially if you feel nothing is happening.

    Finding something that works well and expand it instead of trying to beat that dead horse.

    That is what this article reminded me of again, which I needed…

  • Very good post Yaro. I have heard about you over the past few years I have been working online, but I must admit that this is the first time I have actually read your blog (now I wish I had come across it sooner!). When reading about your first few years, it sounds pretty much like the exact same path as I was following (minus the card games – never heard of that…)

    I have had a difficult time staying focused, and while I have started many blogs with good intentions, it is easy to get distracted when you aren’t seeing results right away, and you want to keep trying the “next best thing” that they are promising will make you money.

    I am now pretty much at the point where I know I need to focus, and I need to recognize my strengths and my interests to build my blogs into something that I can make money from. I have abandoned many along the way, and now I am focusing on the ones I believe will be able to make into something valuable.

    Thanks for the post!

    Marie

  • Online income is very unstable unless people comes directly on your site, that why i will always flip my sites as soon i get the good price.

  • i work as accountant, and i’m searching for more income, who can help me to find online jobs, where i can work from home , and get paid for that, please i need a really program….

  • It’s remarkable to sense that it appeared that you struggled in your first 5 years 2000-2005 but then ecstatic to see this relation of income immediately scaled upward when you started to blog 2005-2010! Great stuff I’m feeling quite inspired. I think why your income differed so much is obviously because you pretty much needed to make direct sales online the whole time, while with blogging one can easily get “residual income” potential status.

    You don’t have an idea how amazing feeling is going through me right now. I have just stumbled upon your blog for the past hour now but already learned that one can make a considerable profit from selling your own e-books (while it’s actually not that complicated) then you just confirmed that with just a bit more persistence and constant blogging (you have been online for 5 full years) you might end up at becoming a millionaire – if not you can still travel the world like you are.

    Currently my blog isn’t delivering much money for me, but I hope it would in the distant future.

  • It’s important – I think that one really need to work on your branding and stuff like that. I obvioulsy speak as a newbie who is not currently earning anything. Although it’s quite hard not earning something and you are working at your blog to do just so – people don’t focus.

    Focusing your brand (rather than focusing on the money part) will make you a better internet marketer. (I’ve read it somewhere on this blog.) And it’s true.

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