Why Do I Still Have A Job?

by on December 1, 2011

I get a lot of comments here at the Electron Plumber, and every once in a while I get one that is worth writing a full article follow up on.  Today someone named Entrepreneur 1224 asked:

Why would u still have a job if u are making numbers like this? I’m sorry but that’s very hard to believe, if you’re actually that good at making so much money you would be smart enough to invest all your time and effort to make even more, please explain.

Luckily for me, your belief is not required for Amazon and Google and a bunch of other direct affiliate programs to deposit money directly into my bank accounts each month.  My big guns deposits in November:

The top two are Paypal, the bottom two are direct into my checking account.  There are more smaller deposits as well, but so far it’s been around $2600 for November.  Expenses are around $250 for link building services, hosting and domain costs.

So why aren’t I living the good life and sleeping in every day on that $2400 you might ask?  Or quit my job and put in 100 hours a week towards doubling or tripling that?  It’s fairly often that I wake up and ask myself the same thing you just asked.  But I already know the answers.

Let me explain my situation to you and maybe my readers can offer some advice for me here.

Reason #1: Quality vs Quantity

First off, I adamantly refuse to make money by ever screwing anyone over ever.  Ever ever ever ever.  Many affiliate marketers make their money by promoting whatever pays the most commissions.  Scammy get rich schemes, fake weight loss free trials, ringtone offers with monthly hidden rebills, penny auction scams, you name it.  They are making money by screwing over Joe Consumer, and I will not ever do that.  Never ever.

I also will only promote products I believe have some decent value.  That’s why I mostly stick with Amazon.

I also hate list building and using psychological techniques to convince people to buy something.  The product has to be worth owning and worth buying without me needing to trick you and beat you about the head and neck with spam to buy it.   This is where I probably lose the most money.

I don’t want clients or to train people right now, the time demand is too great.

So what do I do?  I create web properties and write my own unique copy for everything that a person might see and click on to get to an offer or product I think they should buy.  Some people make money by throwing up 500 thin affiliate sites and making $.25 a day off each one, but spam like that never works long term.  I want to only spend my time on project that can build and grow long term value.

Take my Great Link Building experiment from this past year as a perfect example.  That helped monetize ElectronPlumber.com in a way that I never had before.   Real content with real results showing real value.  No BS fake reviews, no hard sell, just the facts.  These services are worth paying for based on this exact measured performance.

So that’s reason #1:  It takes time and effort to do Quality work.  But it’s also why my profits are consistently growing year over year and I’m less susceptible to offers disappearing and Google changing their algorithm.

Reason #2: It’s All Relative

While I am not the 1%, I am the 10% and things are pretty darn good.  Nice big house near the coast (with a sizable mortgage), beautiful wife, kids in private school, etc.

I have an Engineering degree and 15+ years experience in high tech.  I earn a very nice six figure salary running a department at a rapidly growing high tech company, big pile of stock options that aren’t done vesting yet, company health/dental/vision plans, 401k, the whole kit.  The work is fulfilling, promotion opportunities abound, occasional travel to exciting yet safe destinations, and for the most part my work is self directed.

So I think of Internet marketing as a hobby that happens to also make money  like some people make money playing online poker or selling gold they earned in an online game.  However, my employer might not see it like that, which is one of the reasons I don’t reveal my name or plaster my face all over this site like you see other successful internet marketers doing.

So from where you sit in your apartment, a few thousand dollars a month might seem like just the thing to get you out of a crappy job and kick start an internet marketing career.  But for me, that’s barely half my mortgage.  Or half a month of the kids private school for that matter.  And I actually have a damn good job.

That’s reason #2.  To replace my job and percs and keep my comfortable lifestyle for me and my family I need to be consistently earning 6-8 times what I am today in IM.

And because of my issues with quality and not scamming people and my desire to put my effort into projects that build long term value, that takes time to build.

If I quit my job today and worked my ass off building many more sites and quality content, I wouldn’t start seeing results for around 6 months at least.  And one more big algorithm change with Google could push that out to 12 months or more.

Reason #3: Consistency & Safety

As an internet marketer, you are always at the whim of the search engines or affiliate networks.  Just when you think you have a offer dialed in and a product converting well, the offer is canceled.

Just when you get an original article to the top of Google for your chosen keyword and start making good money off it, Google changes their algorithm and it drops to page 2.

Products on Amazon that are converting run out of stock or go up in price or come out with a new model or name and your SEO becomes useless.

Google rejects your PPC ad because the page you’ve been working hard on looks too much like a bridge page (by the way Dan if you’re reading, I’m still working on it…)

But you need to be diverse enough to not feel the pinch when any one of those things happen, and you need to keep inventing ways to stay ahead.

You could say something similar about having a regular job, that they aren’t consistent, companies go out of business, you could get laid off at any minute, etc.  But you don’t know just how good I am.  I’ve been in the hardware and software industry for 15+ years and have worked for four successful companies during that time.  I’ve never been unemployed, never been laid off, I only switch jobs when I know for sure that a new company is up to my standards and offers more growth than the last one.

So that is reason #3.  Until any internet marketing business matches the stability of my current job and start to provide the same amount of satisfaction, I’m not jumping ship.

So what?

For me, slow and steady wins the race.  I’ve only been at this for a little over 3 years putting in 5-20 hours a week part time, and I’m doing way better than most people who attempt to do this full time.

The only way to overcome #2 and #3 is by continuing with Rule #1:  quality content is the way to go.  Even if search algorithms change or one social media network rises above another, good quality unique content will always be valuable.  You might have to work at getting people to click “Like” or “Share” or “+1″ or whatever, but quality will always survive and have value.

Stay tuned!  I just signed up for an SEO hosting account with 60 unique Class C IP addresses to start my own private link network to start helping my sites even more.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Smith December 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Finally, someone who is doing what I am! After getting years worth of spam from every “guru” and list assembler pushing the latest, greatest thing, I was beginning to feel like a fool being left at the starting gate because I would not jump on the most recent fad. After reading your post, I know I’m on the right track!

Like you, I have a great job, although I’m self-employed, providing creative services for a small number of clients. They pay well, about four times what I’d make in a similar “real” job, and I still have time to produce and publish high-quality content Our first product, 11 years ago, is still selling, and is currently at the top of SERP through organic SEO done over a ten year period.. Our newest product has been in development for nearly three years and will also be an “evergreen” seller. The extra cash pays for goodies, dinners out and the occasional vacation. Since I like my work, I’m not in a rush to embrace the “four-hour workweek”.

When I do try my hand at something new, such as some traffic technique, etc., it’s to apply to my own products, and not go for the latest “offline” craze, Kindle swindle (although I do have several quality, original books selling on Kindle), or some dubious affiliate thing subject to being crashed by the vagaries of the Google god.

My product sales, plus the creative work, provides a lot of satisfaction. And eventually, our product sales will enable us to close our the client practice. In the meantime, well, I still have my daughter’s college expenses to pay for!

So for me, like you, slow and steady is working, and I don’t feel as if I have to constantly be promoting something to my loyal customers. I know they read my occasional emails, because I’m not also constantly shilling for something they need to buy NOW!

I don’t care if others do their thing. But I’ll stick to mine, thank you. I’m just gratified to find at least one other person with the same attitude I try to have.

Thanks for the great post!


Dave Tong December 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm

Great post and I’m totally in agreement with you… Probably 90% of what I get from emails are pushy, opportunistic offers from folks I used to be impressed and look up to, which is quite sad when I’ve bought their recommendations just to realized that they’re worthless crap. I end up unsubscribing from them and stopped following them altogether when I realize that they got where they are by manipulating and scamming folks who trusted them.

As for the job thing. Many don’t realize that as wonderful it is to have good-income muses on the side, quite a few (like myself) love our day jobs as well and not because of work-for-work sake.

While I’m not making anywhere near your level of online income, I don’t think I’ll quit my day job even if my online income exceeded my day job income because my day job doesn’t stress me out nor waste too much of my time either.

My day job pays very well, with benefits and stocks, requiring me to commute to the office 2x a week only and I don’t have ANY stress doing it (I don’t deal with idiots help a lot).

I see my day job as another business channel. It’s a high yield income stream with low effort output… Why in the world will I leave that on the table?

Entrepreneur 1224 December 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Hi El Plumber,

It was me who asked you that question and it is a lot more clear now. I believe I asked it a few weeks ago and I was just thinking if you answered it yet, I couldn’t find it till I noticed you wrote an article. I understand what you’re saying and your main point basically is that IM is unreliable, which is true, depending on the way you set up your business and your different streams of income.

One thing you said sparked my attention though, you said you’ve been doing this for over 3 years. Where have you started and how important do you think ”imitating” super affiliates is, it’s interesting to see you’re part of that 10% with experience little over 3 years. Did u have any teachers, mentors you learned from specifically?

Thanks for the article,

Entrepreneur 1224

gd123 December 22, 2011 at 6:27 am

Great post. The points you make are very interesting and are factors that keep me up at nights. I have multiple sites, and unfortunately, just received a Google Penalty on some of them, which has affected my income the last few days, and will do so for the foreseeable future. On the positive, I do have some diversity in my sites, but its never fun when you get used to making a certain amount of money and then are cut short for awhile. Maybe I should stop turning down job offers.
On another note, you mentioned an SEO hosting account – who did you end up using?
Anyways, thanks again for your input.

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