Getting Famous Online: Easier When You Have Money

Over the last little while, I have come to realize that certain bloggers that have made it big online, have done so due to the money they had in their pocket from their full time job, selling a big name site, or through smart advertising and sponsorship partnerships.

Money makes becoming “famous” online easier.

Need server resources to launch a big application that will hopefully be as successful as Twitter? Make sure you have money. Want to run a really nice video production? Make sure you have some money.

Things aren’t cheap, and for the most part, unless you are super talented, having some money to back you up can make things a million times easier.

When I was a full time blogger working for various networks, I didn’t have to worry about how much money the site was bringing in. I didn’t have to worry about how much server resources I was taking up. I didn’t have to concern myself with very much other than the content, and now that I am running various blogs and paying a small group of writers a reasonable fee, I am finding that worrying about all the minutia can be very stressful.

It becomes a question of paying writers or giving up on the dream, and that isn’t a fun decision to have to make. So far, I have continued to move forward but with uncertainty with my wife’s career, I might have to reassess my goals when it comes to my personal projects.

People are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t have a cell phone, I rarely go out anywhere, and most of the gadgets I own were given to me as perks from my various jobs or inexpensive equipment that I desperately needed.

For someone that loves technology, I live a life surrounded by very little of it, as I continually focus on building my personal brand online and constantly re-invest in myself online.

By now, I am sure you have a list in your mind of a million people that have “made it big” online without having much money to their name, and if you re-read the article, you will notice I never made mention of how much money makes things easier.

The fact is that the amount of money you need to make things easier online differs from person to person and project to project.

I doubt you can list many successful people online that didn’t at least spend some money on their projects to make them successful. Hosting, staff, domains, custom WordPress theme, statistics packages, premium plugins or custom coding all cost money, and spending this money on other things will hopefully free up time and give you a better competitive edge over the millions of others on the same journey as you.

A good example of this to me is Geek Brief, a video podcast about technology that I really enjoy. Without investing in equipment for the show, would it have ever risen to be as popular as it is today? What about all of the shows on Revision3? Sure they started out with reasonably low budget kind of look, but now they have a huge studio for their shows, and are investing in bringing more shows on board.

Finding ways to make the money you need to re-invest in yourself, your personal brand and your projects can definitely be difficult, frustrating, and tiring, but those that do seem to be able to get further faster than those that don’t.

6 thoughts on “Getting Famous Online: Easier When You Have Money

  1. Jonathan Snook

    I disagree. I think that it’s dirt cheap to get anything going. Dreamhost is under $100 a year. Sure you need “some” money but everybody does and I don’t think it becomes the deciding factor when it comes to success. But certainly the more money you have, the more you can use it to power other ventures to create a multiplier effect.

  2. David Peralty Post author

    Snook – glad you stopped by, and also very happy to see you disagree with me. I wrote the article with bloggers, podcasters and video podcasters specifically in mind. I agree that starting pretty much any project is inexpensive, but making it something bigger is difficult, especially with all of the noise out there online.

    When I wrote this article, I wanted people to understand that success is difficult, and can be much easier when you can invest in yourself.

    You are fortunate as your claim to fame isn’t blogging, it is a very specific and needed set of skills. You are even more fortunate, as you have the combination of strong programming AND design skills, which is rare.

    Writers/Bloggers are seen in the light of being a dime a dozen. The same, unfortunately, goes with podcasters and a growing number of video podcasters.

    I guess my questions for you would be – do you think you could make a full time living off your blog? Do you think your brand would be as big as it is today if you hadn’t found ways to invest in yourself?

    As a blogger, I feel like no matter how many posts I write, nor how hard I promote them, the best way for me to grow my brand online is to invest in myself by purchasing advertising on other blogs, paying writers to help me build a larger stable of content faster, pay graphic designers to keep the design quality up, and many other things to keep things running smoothly and growing my brand.

    If I stopped spending that money, I have a feeling my continued growth as a brand online would also stop.

    Also, this post never meant you had to be daddy warbucks to afford popularity online, but that having the right amount of money to help back a project can give it a better chance of becoming a success.

  3. jonson roth

    David, I pretty much agree with you, though some creative individuals can do without. And what you described is bootstrapping – a time-honored way to build a business. Works offline and online.

  4. Sunny

    Jonathan “some money” is relative to who and where you are. I bet kids in Tanzania or Sri Lanka would look at $100 hosting on Dreamhost not as an obvious bargain, but as a hurdle. I completely agree with David on this.

  5. Julia

    David, yes, money does facilitate success online; however, it does not guarantee it. If one does not know how to invest wisely, then he may end up losing his shirt. For example, it takes both money and skill to create an adwords ad that will ultimately attract targeted visitors who may become paying customers. If one does not have the proper skills (eg. knowing how to do keyword research), then he may lose a lot of money with pay-per-click advertising. This is just one simple example of how one can fail online even if he has a lot of money to invest. My point is that money is not enough; a person must also have skills. Money makes things easier for those who Know How to invest that money.

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