The evolution of my work online has taken many twists and turns. I’ve worked in corporate IT, small business, and even an ISP and web host. I’ve worked online for 15 years now, and I’ve been blogging off and on for 8 or 9. This blog is now just about 2 1/2 years old – and I started it kind of as an online journal of sorts to document my journey of making money online. When I started this site the title originally was “JTPratt’s Blogging Mistakes”, because I was documenting my anticipated multiple failures blogging and trying to make money blogging – anticipating that I would eventually succeed.

This path has been great for learning about all the different ways to make money online. I can’t count the number of “research binges” I went on trying to learn different techniques for monetization. I read about Adsense for days (weeks even). I was obsessed with niche stores for over a year. It was the same with affiliate stores and affiliate marketing. If you look back through my archive of posts you’ll see all the things that I wrote about are an outline documenting this journey.

Because of the path I’ve taken, I’ve read a lot of blogs and reviewed tons of products. I’ve also answered thousands of comments and emails from clients, bloggers, and other online marketers. I’m realizing more and more that my blog is a hybrid. It brings me business (clients), income (products I recommend and review), AND it also brings me a lot of garbage. People looking for an online “get rich quick” scheme, people looking for shortcuts, people that actually believe that for $39 they can buy software to get to #1 in google and hit it big – or people that think that they can hire me for $200 to build them an auto-pilot web site that will make them thousands+.

Look, if it sounds too good to be true – it is. If I had software that made thousands – why would I sell it to anyone? If I could make you a web site that makes thousands+ for $200 – why wouldn’t I just make myself 100 of them and move to the Bahamas? P.T. Barnum said – “There’s a sucker born every minute…”, and it’s so true. But on the other hand, I have to ponder – WHY DO I attract people that ask these kinds of questions? I know a lot of online “GURUS” that would welcome this kind of traffic because they know they could profit from it. Then again, just because you have enough sales skill to be able to take two $20 bills out of the purse of a soccer mom who believe she can “blog her way to financial freedom” doesn’t make you a “GURU”. It makes you shady. No better than a snake oil salesman, slimy – and on the same level as a televangelist. The ability you have is the sales skill to extract money from someone based on emotion and an outcome they want to hear, rather than honest ethical talk about how hard it is to succeed online. You could have a mansion and 3 Ferrari’s from this kind of marketing – I’m sorry, you’re still scummy. Nothing better than an online con-man.

My goal is to do as much “sticky marketing” as I can in 2010. I am going to surround myself with successful people, and build a network of contacts that are the best in the business. I will learn from honest marketers that are banking on the success of their knowledge, and not profiting by selling products that are more “get rick quick” schemes than actual successful systems. If your 2010 is to be successful – you have to ask yourself the same questions, who are you surrounded by? Who’s in your network? What kind of marketing tactics are you using?

I have to say 2009 was GREAT for my consulting business, and I have attracted many great new networking relationships, partners, and clients because of the kind of blogger I’ve been. I think with some trial and error (and more sticky marketing), I can attract more quality content in the future. I’ll be blogging a lot more about this concept, and hopefully you’ve already subscribed to my RSS feed, so you don’t miss a thing.