Is making money online a profession?

dollarWhen I started out with my research about online opportunities , I very quickly stumbled on the acronym MMO. Which stands for “make money online”. I still think that this is a strange acronym and I don’t really know what it means and what it covers. Let’s try to analyze this a bit further.

When you encounter someone in the real world, and you ask him what he’s doing for a living , normally you will get something like :”I’m a salesman, or waitress, or lawyer or dentist”. Or whatever. I have NEVER encountered someone that answered “I’m making money offline”.

To resume : when you ask someone what he’s doing for a living (assuming that he’s not out of a job), they will tell you their profession. And then it is obvious, that by exercising that profession they get some financial compensation for that. Sounds logic, no?

Now, let’s get to the online businesses. And there we also have to differentiate a couple of categories. When you would ask Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) what he is doing for a living, do you think he would answer “I’m making money online”? No, surely not.

He probably would answer something like “I created an online business where people all around the world can order goods and services. And I’m spending most of my time managing that company”. Or something along those lines.

The same would hold if you would ask the CEO of Apple, Ebay or whatever large retail site. None of these people will have on their business card “MMO-er”.  They have a real business sometimes only through one or more internet sites. But their profession is not making money. Their profession is sales of services and goods that people want, and they get a financial compensation for that.

So, let’s take another category. Affiliate marketing. I will write extensively in future posts about this and how this all works, but for the moment, let’s try to summarize it in a couple of sentences.

An affiliate marketer is someone who acts as a salesman. Very similar to a salesman for an insurance company for example. He gets in his car in the morning, visits his leads and tries to sell them an insurance. If he makes the sale, his boss, the insurance company, pays him a commission. The same applies for business on the internet.

Someone has something to sell. A book, a piece of software, a car or whatever. And he uses “online salesmen” to find customers for his product. The online sales man (which is called in this online world an affiliate marketer) , gets up in the morning and starts hunting for customers.

Using other strategies and tools, but with the same objective. Finding customers that might be interested in the products that he is selling for someone else. This is one of the activities how I make a living.

So, part of my profession is : online salesman. If I make a sale, I get a financial compensation for that. Sounds pretty straightforward no? Nothing to do with “make money online”. At least I don’t present myself as someone who has that as a profession.

What else do we have. Well, there is a whole army of people who make a living on the internet by providing services : programmers, writers, graphic designers, SEO specialists, etc.etc. You could easily find hundreds of these professions, who are delivering their services through the internet. And when they deliver that service they get paid for that.

That still leaves our question “what is MMO” unanswered.

While writing this article, I was wondering if I should talk about the scam artists , spammers and other strange folks that you come across on the internet. Who sell all kinds of funny stuff. Products or services that solve your problem instantly.

They’ll sell you systems that can make you 10.000$ a day. Instantly! Yes, these products do exist. At least, people are trying to sell them. Or, more dubious, people who sell you some treatment for an incurable disease or something.

But, to compare it to the real world : In the real world there are also scammers, bank robbers, crooks, drugs dealers and all kinds of other categories to be avoided. But these aren’t professions. At least, I don’t qualify them as such. So why should I bother about the online equivalent.

So what is MMO? And what are these people doing? The only thing that comes a bit close is people that are selling a system “how to make money online”. That’s about it. But is that a profession??

As far as I’m concerned, I’m an online salesman, book writer and blogger. And if I succeed in selling some of these products I get paid for that.

To resume, I have no short definition of what MMO is and who is doing it by doing what. If you have a short , nice clean definition of what MMO is, in let’s say a sentence of 10 words, please leave a comment. We all might learn something about what this “MMO-thing” is…

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