The Truth About Making Money Online In 2023

In my 5+ years of research and experimentation, I’ve come to understand a lot about making money online. Most people who attempt it, fail miserably. Why is it so much more difficult than it seems? Keep reading to learn the truth about making money online in 2023.

I noticed many things when I set out down the road of making money online.

Things like the following…

A lot of people go through certain stages like feeling discontent in their job, to looking for ways to make money online, to being told it’s easy and you don’t need to work, to being scammed and starting a vicious cycle in the wrong direction until, if they don’t give up like the 98% who do, they finally discover how to do it properly. And even then, most do not take sufficient action to achieve the goal of their dreams.

Let’s look at this in more detail.

Common Stages People Go Through When Trying to Make Money Online

To break the above down into bullet points, it will look something like this:

  • I don’t like my job
  • I’ve heard it’s possible to work online
  • I go to YouTube and Google to learn how to do it
  • I get told it’s as easy as 1,2,3
  • I get told it can be done fast and I need no experience
  • I get told it requires only a few minutes to an hour of work per day
  • I start losing my money on DFY systems and chasing an impossible dream
  • I realise my whole approach is wrong and that it’s harder than I thought to make money online
  • I either join the 98% of those who fail/give up or I keep pursuing my goal
  • If I continue pursuing my goal, I eventually discover what’s really required of me
  • I’ve learned how it works but I either join the majority who don’t take enough action or I keep working on my business
  • If I keep working on my business, I finally succeed at making money online

Not only do I know this from my own personal experience, but I have seen it time and again from other people and successful online entrepreneurs have nearly all gone through a similar process to get to where they are today.

Making money online is a very interesting topic because there are so many different approaches and attitudes towards it.

You get those who are looking for escapism from work and unfortunately that number grows significantly due to fake coaches who tell them what what they want to hear.

So, one of the first challenges to get over when searching for the truth about how to make money online is the initial scammers that are out there in great numbers to prey on newbies in the online industry and squeeze money out of them.

From “I Want to Make Money Online” to “Hello Mr. Scammer”

This is often what the first part of someone’s journey looks like when they set out to crack the code of making money online.

Their goal is make money using a laptop and internet connection. Good news is that this is possible! Bad news is they don’t know what they’re doing and they get bad advice.

Before they know it they are swept into the world of MMO and all the pitfalls that are waiting for them.

Many people blow thousands, even tens of thousands trying to make things work but they are simply on the wrong track.

Usually, they start by coming across all these webinars where there is a persuasive salesperson selling a piece of software with a low entry fee and promising them the world.

The seller appeals to their need for cash, fast cash and plenty of it with little or no work. They say it’s possible and that they had better get in quick since there is limited availability or limited time for them to take action.

There is probably a counter as well where they can see the ‘time remaining’ and all that nonsense.

Then, many beginners at this point will cave in and whip out their credit card to get access to the program that promises to show them how to make money online fast. It promises to provide what they need via information and tools to literally get rich quick.

Then the beginner who buys into the program is usually offered a load of upsells in order to get better results. Many fall for these too.

And very often, the traffic generation method they are taught to use is solo ads, meaning more money going to people with large email lists who are there to promote your offer to an agreed amount of their subscribers… usually for a high price.

Typically, traffic from solo ads turns out to be rubbish; traffic that hardly ever converts into sales but you can read more about that here.

It is also very common for people not only to fail and lose money at first but to look for something similar after they have already tried one get-rich-quick scheme which ended up doing no more for them than draining their bank account.

They are so caught up with the idea of getting rich quick that they can’t help themselves continuing down the rabbit hole of endless scams and failure.

Until one day it can happen that they snap, throw the laptop against the wall and even experience panic attacks.

Yep, most successful online entrepreneurs go through all this and that’s just the start of the journey to making money online. This phase can go on from anywhere between months and years.

Part of the problem as well is that although I’m calling get-rich-quick schemes scams, there are many of these programs that probably don’t technically count as scams but which nevertheless usually lead to disappointment and loss of money, much the same as the end result of being scammed.

Or, people do make some money with these systems but hardly ever get into profit.

It ends up more or less the same thing as gambling with probably the majority of these programs. And lets face it, if you’re gambling, you’re more often the loser than the winner and besides, gambling is no way to run say a successful business in affiliate marketing.

Confronting the Fact that you’ve Got it all Wrong

Eventually, many beginners who have been failing for a long time discover that their whole method and approach to an online business is simply WRONG.

Why? Because you simply can’t push-button your way to wealth.

You might be one of the lucky ones and see some success here and there with certain get-rich-quick schemes or DFY systems, but as a general rule, these business models never work long term.

Usually, there are two problems if you are one of these people:

  • The method you are using to make money doesn’t work
  • Your mindset around making money online is wrong

Let’s talk about these individually because they are crucial when learning about WHY beginners so often FAIL.

And really, it’s often not their fault – they are simply misled from the beginning.

Using the Wrong Methods

Typically, people are drawn to what apparently ‘works fast,’ ‘works easy,’ ‘works without you needing experience’ and ‘works without you needing to invest much time or effort.’

That is why so many get hooked on DFY systems and they are very numerous because frankly, people are ignorant enough to fall for them.

A DFY system is usually something that contains these features:

  • It has a hyped up sales page/video
  • It makes wild claims
  • It waffles on and on about you getting large paydays without doing much work at all
  • It creates false scarcity (urging you to buy while you still can)
  • It sells cheap on the front end
  • It has numerous upsells on the backend (hidden costs)
  • It tells you to invest in paid traffic from dodgy/unreliable sources
  • It is a shiny object but very misleading
  • Usually designed to profit the owner – not you!

Right, so if you land on some sales page that has some or all of these features, then you’re in the danger zone, almost certainly. Forget it. These points are all RED FLAGS. You’re not really going to make the money that they try to make you believe you will.

Notice I don’t say they guarantee you’ll make money. Usually there is some fine print if you look for it that says they cannot guarantee results. That’s them covering their asses to prevent legal trouble.

A good scam is a barely legalised scam, meaning you do all you can to convince someone to buy what is in fact a rubbish product from you and use all the tricks in the book like playing on their emotions and needs but at the end of the day, you don’t actually guarantee what you cannot give.

But there are plenty that are illegal you could say or at least highly unethical. For example, you’ve got 1 Page Profits and 3 Step Method, both of which use hired spokespersons from Fiverr to give fake testimonials on behalf of their products. And there are more out there that do this as well.

So, those are the kind of programs you’ll want to avoid completely. Unsubscribe from all their relentless marketing emails as well if you’ve ended up on some email list.

Related Article: 7 Problems with DFY Systems and ‘Get-Rich-Quick’ Schemes

Having the Wrong Mindset

This is the other absolute deal-breaker – a bad mindset. The same mindset that is constantly encouraged and reinforced by the DFY system and get-rich-quick scheme creators.

And here’s the thing: nobody likes a lazy person. No one likes someone who is out to cheat the system, to find a hack that brings in money while they sit back and do nothing.

If you’re a good and honest person and you start down that road, you are highly likely to start feeling terrible about yourself.

I’m afraid I personally can testify to that. I had terrible problems with self-esteem and being around people and looking them in the eye and it wasn’t until years later (yes years) that I finally discovered that this was rooted in my loathing of work.

I thought I didn’t need to work. All I had to do was find something that made me money. But a) there’s no such thing and b) even if there was it would be disastrous for my mental health.

Okay, you’re probably thinking hey, a huge incentive to working online is that you have more quality time.

And that’s certainly true.

But there’s a massive difference between complete unwillingness to work and being willing to work on something you like, that helps other people, that brings in good money and leaves you with extra time, or more than you would get with a 9-5 job.

Here’s a big myth that’s completely false – affiliate marketing/making money online is NOT about escapism from work.

It’s about running your own business, making good money and achieving the status of being an entrepreneur.

Related article: Let’s Look at the Myths and Facts of Affiliate Marketing

Developing the Correct Mindset and Method for Success

If you can do a mental 180 and completely change your mindset from the lazy mentality to the action taker mentality and you find a program that teaches you properly how to do things, you’re finally getting close to achieving your goal.

In my case, I discovered Wealthy Affiliate where I learned both the correct method for success and mindset adjustment.

Then I was finally on track.

I did get tempted to go back to quicker ways of making money and I also made the mistake of founding my business on a niche I wasn’t really interested in but which I thought would be profitable. The result was that I didn’t persevere.

That was the first time around.

Later, I tried again and this time chose a niche I had real interest in as well as some acquired knowledge.

The method I learned consisted in this:

  • Pick a niche (something that interests you)
  • Build a site (and possibly a YouTube channel) around this niche
  • Create quality, SEO friendly content
  • Attract visitors (organic traffic to your site)
  • Make money (mostly by using affiliate marketing)

To succeed with this method requires that you love your niche and that you put a lot of work into your business.

The fantastic news is that if you like what you are doing, you don’t feel the burden of the work much at all. It becomes a fun and easy thing to do. Of course it’s still work but it’s a million miles away from slaving away at something you hate.

And really, that’s it; there you have it. That’s the truth about making money online.

It’s 2023 and people are getting wiser to spam and the internet and the search engines are always getting cleverer. But if you stick to a blueprint like the one given in WA, you can’t go wrong.

8 thoughts on “The Truth About Making Money Online In 2023”

  1. Thank you for the content. You have organized this post very well and it is easy to read. I like that you not only did you talk about Wealthy Affiliate and how great that it but you also talked about the mindset of people trying to make money online. I agree, if you do not have the right mindset, then trying to create a business online simply will not work.

    • Thanks for the feedback.  Yes, it took me a long time to get out of those 2 problems. Namely, using the wrong methods to make money and also just having the completely wrong attitude.  

      The only realistic way to make money is to work hard and provide solid value to others. 

  2. I must admit that when I started looking at online marketing as a means to make money remotely, I had the wrong mindset. This is because of the bad advice I got from the people online who were trying to sell their products. I was told that it’s pretty easy to make money online and I do not even have to work for long hours. Of course, I immediately took the bait without doing my due diligence to read customer reviews. I just wanted so badly to get out of the rat race that I was willing to pay hundreds of dollars.

    And yes, I got it all wrong because I was misled. I’m glad I found Wealthy Affiliate and things started to change from there. I learned from the successful online marketers in the WA community that hard work, determination, and consistency will eventually bring the money in. 

    • That was interesting. Thanks for sharing your story. Happy to hear you found WA after going through the common stages that most of us go through on our journey.  

  3. This a very well-written article on the truth about making money online in 2023. I absolutely agree with all of your points. The DFY, get-rich-quick systems are always complete garbage. I would also add that a good mindset to have when trying to make money online is to understand that you’re building a business. Businesses earn money from the value they provide to their customers, so the key to making money is really about how you’re providing value. Great article, once again!

    • Thanks Kevin, that is a great point as well and should have been highlighted more but it’s very true that the money earned is a result of the value that is provided.  We must deliver great value on a consistent basis to make good money.  

  4. Hi Dominic! I love your approach to this mindset piece. It is definitely true that you have to work at what you love to get results. And again… you are right about it not feeling like work when you love it. This is great advice and I appreciate your work here. Thank you this was very informative. I will be paying more attention to my mindset going forward. 

    • This is great to hear. Thank you. And it’s true that the content we produce tends to be better and more engaging if it comes from a kind of passion for our niche.  


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