Is there really such a thing as “passive income” on the internet?
There may be for some, but for many I’d caution against the idea of “setting and forgetting” as a business plan. Why? Because, to say it simply – things change. And on the Internet, things change even more quickly.
I studied web design at Ontario’s Centennial College 12 years ago for 12 months where I obtained my post-secondary diploma in New Media Design. I think I’d cry if I had to tally up all the different software progams and their programming languages I learned, and subsequently had to abandon. This could’ve been due to buy outs, larger software companies buying out the competition and snuffing the competition, changes in best practices, or just changes in the web’s technology. Remember Macromedia Director? I don’t, though I used it on a number of projects. Same thing with Flash Actionscript 1, 2 – and cripes, I’ve stopped counting – and using Flash for the most part. Don’t you know, Flash is dead?
Then there’s just the nature of the Internet, and the ever-increasing speed of change with the technology, protocols, and best practices. It’s constantly evolving – browsers change, websites change, user expectations have changed too. They don’t want Flash when it comes to websites (sorry for picking on you Flash) – they want to find the answer to their problems quickly.
When it comes to Internet Marketing – just like marketing any product – you can’t sit back on your laurels. You must innovate – to stay ahead, and relevant. Look at RIM – once the darling of the business world with it’s ever-connected Blackberry – the software developer is now taking a beating in the stock market. They have lost their margin – there are just too many competitors. Even Google’s growth is slowing, and it’s stock price is in decline.
And if that weren’t bad enough, then there are cheaters – the spammers and black-hat marketers who “game” Google by trying to find out how the search engine ranks web sites, and then use nefarious practices, like automation tools, fake backlinks, paid backlinks etc. to boost their rankings. These are all against Google’s “rules” but you’d be surprised at how often this is done, and by whom.
The lesson? In order to stay ahead of the competition, the cheaters and the scammers, you must roll up your sleeves – and work. And there’s nothing passive about work.
So, as the old saying goes, it’s best to love what you do 🙂 And be wary of those offering instant riches that last forever – even the black hatters are getting out of the game.
Here’s Matt Cutts of Google talking about how “exact match” domains in the URL may not be as important in the future, vs brandable names.