We've all read the hundreds of information product sales pages that show pictures of Internet marketers lounging on beaches, resting in hammocks, riding in limousines (with a supermodel on each arm), and dining in fancy restaurants. Of course the message is clear, it's easy to make money online.
But if you're like me, your experience is a little different. You recognize that making money online is hard work. Or maybe, worse than that, you've been trying to make money online for a long time and haven't seen any real results.
It kind of makes you wonder, how many people actually make money online? And for those that do, how much do they make?
Because I was kind of wondering the same thing, I decided to do a simple anonymous survey of my readers to try and understand their internet marketing income, how long they been trying to make money online and whether or not they were having any success. I call it the
Internet marketing income survey.
By the way, if you are an Internet marketer and not had a chance to take the survey yet, it's still available online. I'd love to add your anonymous responses to the survey database.
Internet Marketing Income Survey Summary
As I mentioned, the purpose of the Internet marketing income survey was simply to get a sense of how many people are actually having success making money online, and how much money those people are making. I also wanted to know how people are trying to make money online, and what they wish they had to help them make money online.
I knew from experience that in order to get a significant number of responses, I would need to keep the survey short and to the point. Nobody hates taking a long complicated survey more than me, so I limited the survey to 4 simple questions.
To get things started, I created the survey using a free tool on my website here at MasonWorld.com called LimeSurvey. I like using LimeSurvey because it gives me control over the data and the survey without the hassle of a monthly charge. Admittedly, LimeSurvey is a little bit less sophisticated than tools like survey monkey, but that's not a problem for a simple survey like this.
Once the survey was created, I sent a simple email to a portion of my mailing list asking for survey participants. I got 135 responses very quickly, and I'll be sharing those with you today.
Those 135 responses represent the initial results from the Internet marketing income survey.
Meet the Initial Survey Respondents
For me, the first question was to understand how long people have been trying to make money online. After all, if you are not making money online but have only been trying for 3 months, that's one thing. If you have been at it for 4 years with no real progress, that's another
As you can see from the above graphic, the people responding to the survey have a big range in online experience. While 12% have fewer than six months under their belt online, well over half the respondents have been on line more than two years. According to the results, 11 respondents have been online since early 2000 or before (really?).
In any case, there is a wide range of responses, which is exactly what I was hoping for.
Internet Marketing Income Survey Business Models
The next question is, what are all of these people doing online? Not surprisingly, most of them are doing some sort of affiliate marketing or blogging (as you can see from the graphic below).
One mistake that I made in creating the survey was that I left off the comment field for “other” — so people did not have a chance to tell me what other business models they were using. I was surprised to see that while there were many people doing affiliate marketing and blogging, most of those are not also doing email marketing.
Another surprise is the tiny number of membership sites. With all the talk about membership sites over the last 3-4 years, I expected to see more of those.
So, Are People Making Money?
No, Not really (at least not on average).
As you can see from the graphic below, the vast majority of respondents are making less than $1000 per month. Interestingly, one responder is claiming $100,000 per month, which is totally awesome if true.
I hope you're not totally discouraged by these statistics. The great news is that one out of about every 12 people that were surveyed are making more than $2000 a month online. that's actually fantastic news given the fact that we know that many people fail because they quit too soon, or because they were never really serious about Internet marketing to begin with.
So please, don't take these results as an indictment of Internet marketing is a way to make a living. Rather, understand that in order to be successful online you're going to have to work hard and have a good plan. you've got to add value to your market place and you got to care about people.
My Thoughts About The Survey
I am an engineer, so I am trained to look at data and evaluate it. The 1st thing you might conclude from looking at the survey is that most people don't make very much money online. And while that might be a correct conclusion, there are several problems with the survey that need to be addressed before we sound the alarm and alert the media.
The 1st thing that concerns me is that 135 people is not a large enough sample for survey like this. That's exactly why I labeled these as initial results. It's my hope that readers of the survey and their friends will pass along these results and encourage others to take the survey. it's my hope that we can get at least 1000 participants, and I think 10,000 is probably a better number if we really want to do some meaningful analysis of the results.
My 2nd concern about the survey is related to the 1st. The limited number of people that filled out the survey are mostly readers of my blog. Most, but not all, readers of my blog are reading it because they're trying to figure out how to make money online. So, by putting the survey out to people who read my blog, we've automatically prejudiced the survey towards people who are not making money online. I'm not exactly sure how to deal with this one, because people who are very successful making money online are busy doing that, not filling out surveys.
I hope you've enjoyed these results. if I can get 1000 respondents to the survey I'll do a new post to show the new expanded data set. Please take a moment to post the link to this article to twitter, Facebook, and Google+ using the buttons on the left so we can get the word out.
If you are an Internet marketer and not had a chance to take the survey yet, it's still available online. I'd love to add your anonymous responses to the survey database.