When you make a living online, a lot of people won’t understand
what it is you do. Some of them will think you’re nothing more
than a spammer – just because you work on the Internet. You might
even run into people who automatically assume you’re into promoting
something unscrupulous or undesirable, because they think that’s
all the Internet is used for!
You need to be prepared to deal with people like this. Some of
them may even be close friends and family members who are simply
ignorant about the various marketing uses for the World Wide Web.
The first thing you need to explain to people is that very few
people who work on the Internet are spammers. Spammers actually
make up a very, very small minority of those who make money online.
If you do any sort of email marketing, you should explain that
every single person you send email to has signed up specifically to
your newsletter, and clicked a link to confirm that they really
want to be on your list.
Explain to them that subscribing to your newsletter is a lot like
signing up for delivery of the newspaper, or a magazine
subscription. People sign up to your newsletter, and then you send
them valuable information, not just advertising.
If you sell eBooks online, you can explain to people that you’re a
bit like a book publisher, but all of the books you publish are in
digital format. You can tell them that instead of paying a lot of
extra money for the printing, binding, marketing, and shipping of a
physical book, you eliminate those costs by selling all of your
books as downloadable products.
If people still don’t understand, you could even show them what an
eBook is by letting them view one on your computer. If your main
business is advertising affiliate products, you can tell people
you’re in advertising.
Explain to them that you run a website (or websites) and you place
advertising on that website. Every time someone clicks an ad and
purchases something, you receive a commission. If you make most of
your money through AdSense or selling advertising on your sites,
you can simply tell people that you place advertisements on your
websites, and you charge advertisers for that ad space.
Some people feel more comfortable just telling people they design
websites. If you’re a decent website builder, this will probably
really impress people, but be prepared to get requests from people
asking if you’ll make them a site, too.
If you don’t want to deal with all of the technical questions, just
telling someone you design websites will usually be enough to
satisfy them. If people are particularly doubtful, you can start
to point out some examples of people who have been very successful
making money online.
You should realize that some people will just never understand what
you do. Try to explain it the best way you can, and if it doesn’t
work, accept it. Some people just won’t get it. If the in-laws or
your spouse are nagging you because your money isn’t yet streaming
in, and you feel pressured, put together a simple presentation that
answers all of their questions and puts their minds at ease, or
find some statistics or proof of earnings of someone who is doing
what you are trying to do.