I have just searched for ‘make a living online in Thailand,’ and people are telling me how easy it is to give everything up in the West today and emigrate to South East Asia, buy a condo for buttons, and live out your dreams for a few hours a day on the internet. Yet the thing with the internet is there is a lot of ‘bumph’ out there, and all of these so called ‘make a living online websites’ are just not giving you the whole picture. Many of the sites still out there are just old information now, and have not been updated for a while, and should now go into a website museum that harks back to the early 2000’s when you could actually make decent money of banner ads, and Google AdSense.

People even own the domain, if you own ‘the domain’ that to me is like a real statement that you are saying that you are the foremost knowledge on the subject. I own socialmediamarketingthailand.com and yes I am the foremost guy in Thailand for online marketing training,  just look for the keywords, search ‘social media marketing Thailand’ on all search engines, you will see my annoying fizog there!

I am going to be in your face and tell you without a lot of experience and hard work and years of little revenue, you may be the 98% that fail at making a living online!

One of the online businesses I have been in for many years is the; business directory business,  as in build a business database and a products and a services internet shopping mall, and people will come, then you sell ads and upgraded listings. Sounds simple huh?

The smallest word in that last sentence is ‘sell’, yet without experience and good knowledge you will find it very hard going selling online. The thing with business directories is most of the search engines are full of them, and most of them are like empty shopping malls where you can see the stress has got to the owner because it has taken too long to make any money from it and they have given up on it.

For most online people in my game, who want to make a fast buck they pre-load a database and then the search engines go:

 “Wow look, a business directory with 20,000 entries”

So it gets good ranking quickly, then when you search for a product through it, and you find half the companies phone numbers are wrong, the company no longer exists, and if you are quite anal like me you will find how long ago they went bust: ‘3 years ago!!’ So then you know where this site is, so you can just avoid it completely, you don’t see their ads so you do not click on them, the owner of the site wonders why his site shrunk as quickly as it started.

For biz-find I had to beg to get it started, “Please add your business please!” Like a restaurant owner giving away his top dishes to get the place full on opening night. Slowly enough over 18 months I got over 500, and now I am approving 5-10 companies a day who add themselves. The Thailand free business directory is growing fast too

I resisted the temptation to ‘go orange’ a term I use for hard sell websites that plead with you and shout at you with big orange arrows with gratuitous language, not letting you leave the site with big ‘Don’t go pop ups’ which have now been proven not to work at all. So for the first 500 business listings and 18 months hard work, I earned very little from that site. Now however the traffic has grown and the people are staying on the site over 3 minutes on average, that to me is the ‘telling point’ of whether you have a sustainable business or not, and selling the ads and upgraded listings is a lot easier now.

Here’s the crux of the matter you have to get out there and sell face to face or over the phone, no matter what you do to really make it online.

My biggest competitors in the UK business directory business have a lot of staff and if you add your business to their directories within that day you will be getting a hard sales call from the Yellow guys or the Cat (In the UK). Myself I prefer to make the appointment and go see each one, pound for pound I think I am a much more profitable business, I think the cat and the yellow guys would kill for my overheads!

I have a friend who makes decent money through eBay, the preferred way of many people who live in exotic destinations to make a living. He is a power seller of ten years standing, and does well. Now the websites will tell you; for 2 hours a day you just take a snapshot of the product post it on eBay a couple of days later stroll to the Post Office on the beach post your parcels and then saunter to the bank to collect your money , nice dream, doesn’t work like that, nearly ten years my friend has been selling on eBay he tells me without going back to UK for 6-8 months each year (through the cold Christmas times as well) and selling on the markets, he would not be able to live purely off the earnings eBay gives him!

So the truth is; You either have to have lots of money saved so when you arrive you can hire a good team, and then you are going to have to learn all about how business is done here in Asia, especially South East Asia, (where the beaches are) it is most definitely nowhere near anything like it is in the West. Or; you have to be really good at all aspects of the business yourself, i.e. be the web designer, the sites admin, the telesales, the appointment maker, the traveling salesman, the closer, the admin (again) to make a decent living online, and live on the beach if you get there before sunset that is!