I’ve built no less than 30 websites over the last 20 years, and I can say with certainty right now is the best time to start your own. It’s never been easier and, when you dive into the power of compounding content, the difference in potential income will blow your mind.
I’m talking millions of dollars.
I’ve already written a step-by-step guide on how to do it… but should you do it? And why?
There are lots of reasons why people don’t do it: fear of failure, lack of knowledge, not enough time, and so on. I’ve covered how to conquer those excuses, so now let’s talk about why right now is the perfect time in Internet history to start.
Table of Contents
- The Barrier To Entry Is Gone
- Algorithms Are Maturing
- Content Compounds, Too
- You’re Still Early
- The Life-Changing Potential
- It’s Good For Your Health
The Barrier To Entry Is Gone
When I first started building sites, if you didn’t know how to code, there was almost no hope. You could pay someone to do it for you, but it was expensive and time-consuming. Not to mention you needed at least a basic understanding of what’s possible in order to know what you can pay someone to do.
That’s all changed now.
No Tech Experience Necessary
With the rise of WordPress and the abundance of plugins that can do virtually anything, there is literally no technology barrier. Well, I suppose you should understand the very basics of using WordPress, but that is one day of education that anybody can handle.
In addition to coding, you used to need to understand hosting, advertising, and design. Thanks to technology, this is basically paint by numbers, and it’s completely outlined in my guide on building a website.
When I was ready to officially start ScottDeLong.com, I was fully up and running in less than 3 hours because I did everything outlined above. It truly is not difficult.
Money Is No Longer An Excuse
Adding to there no longer being a need to be a techie nerd, you don’t really need (much) money anymore. Everything you need is either free or a few bucks. If you can’t afford a couple hundred dollars and around $50 per month, I recommend finding a one-time side job to raise this money.
Seriously, if you aren’t willing to spend half a day doing some manual work to raise enough money to launch a real business, then this isn’t for you anyway. If you’re physically unable, then sell something.
Free Or Inexpensive Help Is Everywhere
As technology has advanced, so have people. It used to be a pain to find skilled help when you need it, but with the rise of Upwork and other platforms, you can always tap inexpensive workers if you run into a problem.
Developing countries are flush with highly skilled technical workers. You’re not exploiting that country by using someone living there – you’re contributing to their continued development.
Additionally, YouTube, tutorial sites, product support teams and forums are loaded with people ready and willing to help you with nearly any possible problem.
Bottom line: don’t be afraid to start a business because you’ll feel alone.
Algorithms Are Maturing
In the past – and, of course, still today to a lesser extent – your website was always on shakey ground because large sources of traffic weren’t as mature. You could wake up one day and your business would be essentially gone because some dweeb at Google pushed a button. Or Zuck woke up in a bad mood one day.
This is fortunately changing, which means we are continuously understanding what we should be doing. And that is creating high quality, helpful content.
This week, Google announced an update to their algorithm called the Helpful Content Update. In a nutshell, the purpose is to weed out the sites that are creating content just for search engines instead of for actual real people, like me and you.
It’s a great update… as long as you’re already creating sincerely great content. On this site and especially in my full guide, I emphasize this constantly. Pick a passion of yours you know the most about, and then teach others better than everyone else is doing it. That’s all, and that’s what this Google update is designed to surface.
As algorithms get closer to always surfacing the best result for users, we’re in an increasingly more stable position to reap the benefits.
It wasn’t long ago that Facebook pretty much announced they’re copying TikTok. Zuckerberg has a habit of trying to chase the latest thing (unless it’s a weird world nobody understands), so we’ll see where this goes, but it’s clear that the king isn’t just content. It’s original content.
Admittedly, I’ve made a lot of money repurposing other people’s content. There is a lot of money in curation – heck, Facebook itself is a content aggregation platform.
But we are clearly moving toward an Internet where the tech giants want expert content straight from a reputable source. And that’s, of course, because that content is simply more trustworthy and accurate. It’s never been a better time to unleash the knowledge in your mind and turn it into a business.
It’s the right thing to do, for you and for the world.
Other Platform Updates
It should come as no surprise that Pinterest recently launched a creator fund to encourage original creators. I didn’t personally get into this method, but several years ago, some early birds were making massive money pinning quality content that drove users to their affiliate offer.
It follows the same cycle that every discovery platform follows.
- The service (Google, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) launches and explodes.
- Those early to the game can essentially exploit the new algorithm.
- The service improves their algorithm over time based on these exploits.
- The early strategies stop working.
- The quality content surfaces as the platform gets better at finding it.
And that’s precisely why this is the best time to start your website. You know what to do, and you know what drives traffic. It’s less of a guessing game.
Increasingly, there will be even less reason to try to optimize every post for Google. If you’ve read a lot of my articles, I honestly don’t even worry about keywords or SEO. I do some very basic things, but I trust that, eventually, quality content that teaches will rise to the top.
If you get on it now, you’ll be poised for the future.
Content Compounds, Too
Most people are familiar with compounding when it comes to interest on an investment. But it’s not just financial investments that compound.
In case you aren’t familiar, here’s an example.
- Mark starts investing at age 21. He puts in $2,400 every year, then completely stops at age 30 for a total of $21,600 invested.
- Jonathan starts investing at age 30. He puts in $2,400 every year for 37 years and finally stops at age 67. He has invested $91,200.
At age 67, who has more money? Mark does, and it’s not even close. Mark is big chillin’ with $2,547,150 and Jonathan has $1,483,033 (assuming 11.6% return for both).
Here’s a visualization from J.P. Morgan.
Needless to stay, starting early is massively important for how much you have later.
Starting Now Versus Later
Content, even great content, needs time to find its audience. There are examples of YouTube videos that have been on the platform for years and, suddenly, they balloon to literally millions of views and tens of thousands of dollars for the creator.
Much like those examples, I think the same thing is going to happen as Google and other platforms mature. Will your content be ready?
Think of your content as an investment similar to the financial example. For the sake of making this fake case study make sense, let’s apply some numbers.
Let’s say for every 50 articles you write, your site gets 1,000 daily visitors. It’s a reasonable assumption that high quality articles will get just 20 visits per day – probably far more.
You start writing 3 articles per week right now. In 2 years, you will have 312 high quality pieces of content out there. Here’s a spreadsheet I just threw together to show the 2 year trajectory.
With an incredibly conservative formula, you’re making just about $3,000 a month if you’re strictly monetizing with display ads. Not bad all around as your lifetime earnings from your site continue to grow.
As you can see, the growth is slow and then begins to compound much faster. Let’s push this out 4 years and compare it to someone who starts two years later.
The person starting two years later just now reaches $35,100 in lifetime earnings while the person who started today ballooned to $137,592. That’s the power of compounding. In a 4 year span, one person worked for 4 years and the other for 2 years. But the actual lifetime earnings are nearly 4 times more, not 2 times.
But I’m using extremely conservative numbers here. Let’s have a little fun with it. Instead of just 20 daily visits per article, let’s say you get 50. Still very reasonable.
And we will stretch it out 10 years . A person starting today versus waiting 5 years to start will have made this much more money in that decade:
By now hopefully you’re seeing the power of starting now + time + consistency. And here’s the thing. I’m not even quantifying how much platforms will prefer your content as it gets older or how much you personally will learn and improve over time.
This is why so many people point out that we hear about a great success story, but nobody hears about the 10 year grind that led to it. Usually, within a decade of disciplined effort, you’ll find a homerun that blows the numbers above away.
And there’s really good news…
You’re Still Early
Even though it might seem like everyone and their pizza delivery boy is “working online,” we’re still really early in the grand scheme.
The Internet Is An Infant
The Internet was technically invented a long time ago, but the exponential improvement we’re seeing has transformed it into a different beast. All of the advances previously mentioned in this article are new! We are only just now getting to a point where every day people can launch a business.
The rise of the iPhone, gigabit connections, and solutions to virtually every former barrier to entry is still fresh. It’s time to get in now.
People Are Still Clueless
If you read nothing but digital marketing websites, you’re going to think you’re too dumb. The truth is, digital marketers like myself are too busy teaching digital marketing to bother building sites like we used to.
Look at your electrician, mother-in-law, funeral director, or even doctor. By and large, nobody knows what they’re doing when it comes to building a business online. And those are the people you’re competing against, depending on the niche you choose. I’m not your competition; none of the so-called experts are.
Use your digital marketing education to absolutely blow your real competition out of the water today. They’re clueless now, but they won’t be forever.
The Future Is Even Brighter
Contrary to what you might think after watching the mainstream media or doom-scrolling social media, the future is bright. The advances I’ve seen in the last decade make the following decades so exciting.
By starting now, your knowledge will also compound like the financial and content examples above. If you try to get into the game in 10 years, you’re competing against people who have exponentially increased their knowledge.
By getting in now, you’ll be poised to better understanding the online business landscape as it inevitably continues to evolve. And understanding it means you can capitalize on it when the time comes.
The Life-Changing Potential
I saved this section for later in the article because what I don’t want to be is someone screaming from the rooftops, “You can do it! You can get rich!” Of course you can, but I want to teach you how… not be a cheerleader without substance.
That being said, I’ve experienced some incredible things thanks to the power of the Internet.
Gain Financial Freedom
It goes without saying financial freedom is one of the most common goals across the board. Teaching people how to reach financial freedom is a multi-billion dollar business in itself. Ironically, those teaching it are often the ones achieving it. Fake gurus are irritating, but I’ll save those thoughts for another article.
Nonetheless, by starting today, you’re on your way to financial freedom as a possibility. By not starting, you will need to most likely wait a lot longer and be a lot more disciplined, taking the traditional route. I started my journey in 2005 at age 23. I was completely financially free at age 30.
I strongly believe in grinding for a decade or even less. It’s worth it.
Flexibility And Time
Above financial freedom, I would say flexibility is the number one benefit of building your online business. Even if you’re working 40 hours (or even 60) per week, you’re doing it on your own terms.
More time with the people you love and doing the things you love is truly invaluable. Setting your own schedule is legitimately life changing.
I started this site because I found myself constantly still reading and learning about online businesses. But I just don’t want to build another business in a field I don’t care about. I actually love entrepreneurship and, in particular, solo entrepreneurship. So, I decided to write about it here and help other people.
Over the years, I have either given or faciliated multiple jobs to people I care about. Of course, these are the people who I knew would crush it. But my point isn’t to brag. It’s that freedom from the traditional route inspires other people and ultimately helps them to find their own unique path.
It’s Good For Your Health
Here’s the best part about starting right now without delay. Even if you never make a penny, you didn’t fail at all. You just succeeded in non-financial ways.
Assuming you started a site targeting a passion of yours, creating the content is genuinely enjoyable. I’m about 1.5 hours into writing this article, and I forgot to eat. It’s a therapeutic escape from reality to put my head into my new business for a couple of hours.
And that’s the nice part – this kind of work can be done in far less hours than a traditional job, which means less trying to pass the time with boring or frustrating tasks.
Sharpening Your Skills
I’ve been working on scottdelong.com for less than a couple of months, and I’ve learned so much. By immersing myself in my own expertise, I’m reading and watching way more content than ever. For the first time in a couple of years, I’m actually becoming a student again in many ways. I feel my skills sharpening every single day.
Additionally, your technical skills (and I use technical lightly) will rapidly improve. The future is all technology, so you might as well start learning how the puzzle is put together.
In the past year, especially with the arrival of a newborn, I’ve been thinking about what I want to leave behind when I’m gone. While I doubt I’ll be in the history books, I want there to be tangible proof that I existed.
An educational website like this one. Perhaps some day a book. Anything that’s a real, longstanding creation.
I usually imagine a great great grandchild who I’ll never meet. He or she will one day discover something I wrote, built, or otherwise created. Will they think it’s impressive? Will they enjoy getting a glimpse into exactly who their great great grand grandpa was?
Imagine if you could essentially “meet” your own great great grandparent. We actually have the ability to pass our legacy down in much more detailed, incredible ways. Or we can go to the grave, having essentially never existed.
There’s no time like today to get started on your own business. It’s the easiest and clearest time to begin your journey, change your life, and ultimately leave a legacy that will impact the world, even a small part of it, forever.
So, dive into my guide and get started. Not tomorrow or next month, but today.