Money for nothing – it sounds like a typical get-rich-quick come-on doesn’t it. After all, who doesn’t want oodles of loot in return for diddly squat? But it actually is possible and in many ways beats the crap out of working for money in any traditional sense.
But enough of the teasing, show us the fucking money! That’s what you’re thinking isn’t it? Well let’s take a few blindingly obvious examples where people regularly receive often eye-wateringly huge sums of spondulicks for “doing” precisely nothing.
Interest on investments is pretty common, as is owning a business where other folk do the hard graft while the owner is entitled to the profits, dividends, bonuses and whatever else they feel like skimming off on account of, well, owning the goddam joint.
Fame, beauty and having once achieved something noteworthy at some point in the past are also good for opening your own private sluice gates to a veritable lake of liquidity.
Owning the rights to something that other people value and wish they owned – there’s another one – and it doesn’t even have to be something especially tangible.
A piece of paper declaring that you own an area of land, for example, bestows the rights to charge others to cross it, dig in it, build on it, take pictures of it even.
Right is Might
It’s complete bollocks of course; the birds shit on your “rights” and indeed your land, but other humans are obliged to abide by the bullshit, which means that so far as money (which is an entirely human abstraction) is concerned, ownership is a valuable commodity unto itself. Why?
Because observing conventions such as property ownership is how society is glued together and if we don’t all play the game then chaos ensues.
You can own all manner of interesting rights – the text in a book, a photograph you took, the subject of a photograph that someone else took, a sound recording, some gadget or process you (or one of your hapless employees) invented, a website even…
Yep, this piece of cyber real estate you’re perusing right now belongs to me and I get to choose what to put on it. In many cases (I own a number of web sites – I like ownership and if you’re even half way sentient you’ve already cottoned on to why) I choose to place useful, interesting information on a range of subjects that are likely to attract a reasonable number of visitors.
This is a bit like stocking and decorating a shop in the hope of enticing people in. Many, if not most, will be window shopping, passing by, sheltering from the rain, in the wrong shop, and so on, but some at least will be tempted by what is on offer. Hence, in addition to providing valuable information I also show advertisements and charge the advertisers for (depending on the business model): renting space on my “property”; the value of lead generation; or a share of any actual sales they make from the folk that visit my sites.
These websites for the most part sit out there, passively informing people and raking in money. I don’t “do” anything and yet the money relentlessly flows in, day after day, month after month, year upon year. So how much money are we talking about here? You’re dying to know so I’ll tell ya.
In the Name of All that Shits in the Woods, Just Show Us the Fucking Money Will Ya!
In some cases, fuck all – I bust my ass to produce original high quality information and either no one reads it or they don’t give a rat’s poopshoot for the associated products and services and hence never generate any advertising revenue. But in other cases, it’s not uncommon for a single article to somehow strike a chord and generate thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars annually.
It’s a numbers game of course; I can’t predict the winners or losers and have long since forsaken all efforts at trying to figure it out. All I know for sure is that a certain percentage of my output will tank, most will perform very modestly, and some percentage will pay for everything else many times over. So the only sensible thing to do is keep on churning it out and hope to increase the stable of star articles.
Anyhow, unless you’re a total fuckwit (in which case I heartily recommend this surefire money making method) the thought has doubtless already occurred to you: “hold on a fucking moment, this isn’t what I paid to see” and you’re right on both counts.
One, you didn’t pay, this is free; and two, it’s all very well raking in loads-a-dough while sat on your butt engaged in near total zilch, but every example so far assumes you already own something valuable enough to generate wealth. What if you don’t already own a business, a well stocked investment portfolio, a gold mine, a hit record, breasts beyond belief, a string of goofy websites, or whatever else might work?
Well the answer is very simple. Do something about that! It’s not as difficult as you might imagine and you only have to do it once. Unless of course, like me, you’re greedy and want even more free money – in which case, just rinse and repeat and repeat and rep…
Let’s take this very article, which will never in fact make money, for the supremely ironic reason that the only market segment it might conceivably address (making money) is the online equivalent of Tokyo subway at rush hour – indescribably crowded, and then some. It took a couple of hours give or take to concoct about a thousand words of diatribe, so yes, there is some effort involved, but… now it’s written, it will stay written effectively for ever.
In the case of more lucrative pieces, I own many that have been faithfully trawling for money with my name on it for many, many years. And they will continue to do so for many more years and decades with absolutely zero further effort on my part. They contain information that represents value to many people and because I own them I can sell, or in other ways trade, that value for money.
I don’t need permission from the old style publishing gatekeepers, or stump up for premises or stock. All I need to do is get on with it.
As a great hero of mine, Felix Dennis, put it: “Ownership isn’t the most important thing, it’s the only thing.”
Felix also famously said: “If you don’t start now you never will.”
So quit wasting your life browsing the internet – there’s no money in being a consumer. Get out there and dig your own gold mine, virtual or otherwise. Then you too can sit back, watching money effortlessly pile up while occasionally putting digit to keyboard as the mood takes you. Sweet innit! And very real.