Steve Wagenheim’s Home Business Blog Everything You’ll Need To Run A Successful Home Business
  • Jul

    I never thought I’d ever be writing this article but the time has come and I figure, what the heck? Maybe it’s time that Internet marketers and home business owners really understand how volatile this business can be. Just because you’re making money one day doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to be making money the next day. If you read no other article today, you need to read this one.

    I’m going to try to make this as short as possible. This is the Readers Digest version of my last 10 years.

    In 2000, I lost my last job as a QA Tester. After 3 years of looking for work, I finally turned to the Internet. Don’t even ask me what compelled me to do that because I don’t remember. Maybe it was desperation.

    Anyway, in 2003, I started doing some freelancing and affiliate marketing. The freelancing was for very little money but it was something. I was getting monthly checks, some as much as $1,200 or more. My affiliate marketing was slow at first, making about $300 a month, but eventually rose to about $1,200 to $1,500 a month. I wasn’t making anywhere near what I was as a QA Tester, but it was something.

    Finally, in 2006, I got a brilliant idea. I was making money online, albeit not a lot, so why not teach others how to do it by showing them what I was doing? So I created my first e-book. I put it up for sale at the Clickbank marketplace and I was selling 200 copies a month thanks to one affiliate who was selling 100 a month by himself.

    That product put my name on the map. From there, it was all up hill. I made article writing in the Internet Marketing and Home Business niches my main means of driving traffic to my site. Sites like Ezine Articles were largely responsible for my success, which reached an all time high in 2008 when I earned over $16,000 in the month of December alone.

    But then, a couple of years later, Panda and Penguin hit and suddenly my articles stopped getting views. Sites like Ezine Articles were no longer providing me with any significant amount of traffic outside of a select few articles. The rest were effectively dead in the water. And any article I would write after the updates would get me 5 to 10 views max.

    It took time, because I was still selling products to a large list, but eventually, the list burned out, product sales slowed and by 2013 my income was almost nonexistent. In fact, the only reason I’m even writing this article is as a public service to other marketers. Why? Because there is a message that they need to hear … that YOU need to hear.

    Like it or not, believe it or not, what you’re doing today may not work tomorrow. This has been no clearer to me than it currently is because of my own situation. I never thought the day would come that writing articles, at least in the make money niches, would be a waste of time, especially if you’re relying on article directories to provide you with traffic. It’s not going to happen.

    You need to keep your pulse on what’s going on. If you notice traffic starting to dip, you need to immediately evaluate what you’re doing and change course if need be. You may find that free methods of traffic generation don’t work anymore. Maybe you’ll discover that everything has now become social networking based. Maybe you need to focus on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Maybe forum participation is more important than ever. Maybe small blogs don’t work anymore. Maybe you need to put up a full blown site with amazing content and work on SEO.

    I don’t have the answers because I allowed my business to crash and burn by thinking my articles would always bring me traffic. And with over 3,000 articles written, you would THINK that was a valid thought. Obviously it wasn’t.

    Fortunately for me, my wife has a good job as a school teacher and I really don’t need the money anymore. The credit cards are paid, the mortgage is paid and we’re essentially debt free. But boy, it would have been nice to have a few extra bucks for my hobbies, some of which I may now have to give up or cut back on.

    Learn from my mistakes. Track everything you do. If something dips, find out why it’s dipping. Don’t ride out a downward trend for too long. Things on the Internet change all the time. They’ll change for you more than once over the course of your Internet life.

    They certainly did for me.

    To YOUR Success,

    Steven Wagenheim

    Read more of my hard hitting articles at my blog at

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