The real secret to making money in new media

The real secret to making money in new media

I often see tweets and status updates linking to blog posts from famed marketing and social media gurus touting the top 10 ways to make money from your blog or podcast or Twitter feed as if these were arcane secrets teased out of the Internet and shared begrudgingly with anyone willing to make the hit counter on the guru’s site spin.

The reality is that there are two requirements if your goal is to make money from your new media project: Work hard and be talented.

That’s it. Okay, I’ll expand a little.

It’s like the rest of life. There aren’t shortcuts. You can’t become a millionaire in four hours a week. Yes, I know about that one guy with the book and all that, but he’s a fluke. That’s not the real world.

If you want a lot of readers for your blog or listeners/viewers for your podcast, you have to work hard. Not work hard at artificial number inflation or stupid search-engine gimmicks or social media trawling. I mean work hard by writing a lot, by creating a lot.

You need to have something interesting to say. You need to be consistent in your publishing. Don’t be annoying. Don’t get anxious about numbers. If your stuff is worthy, people will find you.

But it’s not enough to spew words onto the page or sounds into a recorder. It has to be good. This is the tricky part. Quality is king; mere quantity isn’t enough.

Talent is innate. It’s God-given, although raw talent can’t do it on its own. Skill is learned and practiced. It must be honed. Combine skill and talent and you have a winning formula. Add in hard work and passion and you have success. This isn’t just true of success in new media. This is success in anything.

It seems so simple. So why all the other folderol of “the secret to success” being peddled everywhere? First, because nobody likes to work hard so if there’s a shortcut to be found, they want it. Second, because not everyone has talent. I’m sorry to break the news to everyone in the self-esteem generation, but it’s true. For many people, no matter how hard you work, how much time you spend working on skills, you just don’t have what it takes to be a success in this area.

So move on. Find your talent and succeed there. Your road to fulfillment leads elsewhere.

I’m no self-help guru and this isn’t just about new media. It also seems like commonsense to me, but judging by what I see a lot of people posting, it’s not.

Good luck.


  • It’s like my dad used to say – “the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary”.  Good post.

    And Happy New Year!

  • I agree totally.  Making money online is not a quick, lotto-type thing where you push some red button and millions come out.  You need to find your passion and create a business around it.  Find your God-given talents, and use them.

  • It’s incredibly hard to make it big in the social media world. I tried it myself and gave up about a month later knowing that it wouldn’t be a success, even in the long run. When I looked back at that month of me struggling and trying things without success I knew it was a bit waste of time and I could of done much better, much more productive activities.

    I think the guys who do succeed greatly in making money with social media don’t know how good they have it.

  • In my opinion someone who practices their skill can eventually surpass someone with talent. However, someone with talent AND skill will ALWAYS beat someone with just skill.

  • Right on… not only produce quality content but be yourself and let your personality shine… that’s what is going to attract your target audience.  Do something everyday to grow your business and expect to hit obstacles along the way, that’s all part of the game!

  • Hi Domenico,

    Talent, skill and passion. Exactly!

    Making any real money online is for a select few. The ones who never stop learning and continue to hustle.

    Thanks for sharing!