In my online life, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with lots of different bloggers.  Since we all have similar interests and face similar problems it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking the whole world is like us.  But the truth is that most of the world has no idea how the internet works or how bloggers make money.  To them the internet is just a way to poke their friends on Facebook or check the latest fantasy football stats.  I know this because none of my offline friends can grasp how I’m earning money online.   They either think I’m pulling rabbits out of a hat or that I’ve got some team of technical experts doing all the work for me.

The truth is that just about anybody can make money online.  Are you going to start the next eBay or Google?  Probably not.  But there’s no reason you can’t make at least a few hundred bucks a month online.  And that could be enough to fund your Roth IRA contributions, cover your monthly car payment, or pay for a family vacation.

So what’s stopping you from taking the plunge?  After talking to a bunch of my offline friends and family for their feedback, I’ve realized that there are 3 main roadblocks that stand in the way and prevent people from trying to earn a living online.

Lack of Time.  The one excuse that just about every one of my friends had for not earning money online was a lack of free time.  Between their jobs, families, and other responsibilities they just can’t find the time to start a side business.

I call BS on this one.  Trust me, my schedule is packed.  I have a day job too and a wife and 3 kids between the ages of 7 and 2.  We have soccer practices and homework and a million other things to do.  Plus I have a home that is constantly in need of maintenance or repair as we prepare to put it on the market.  Did I mention that I’d like to actually sleep once in awhile?  Yet despite all of these responsibilities I still manage to carve out enough time to build a successful online business.  I still have a long way to go, and if I had more free time I’d probably be further along by now, but I’ll get there eventually without sacrificing time with my family.

Are you telling me you can’t come up with a half hour a day if it means developing a new revenue stream to help you achieve your goals faster?  How about turning off the television and logging out of Facebook for a little while?

Lack of Knowledge.  Most of my friends have no understanding of how the internet works.  They don’t know how articles get published or how anyone can actually be earning money online.  They don’t know the difference between Google AdSense and Google search results.  They’ve never heard of affiliate marketing.  And they assume that you need a doctorate in geekology to build a decent looking website.

Well the truth is that it’s really not that hard.  All it takes is a little effort to read a few articles to learn the basics and there is free software that will teach anyone how to make a website with just a few clicks of their mouse.  In fact, most bloggers I know started out completely clueless and learned along the way.  There’s no reason you can’t do the same.

Fear of Failure.  I get it.  The last thing you want is to fall on your face and look stupid.  We all suffer from a fear of failure to some degree, but you can’t let it stop you from achieving your goals.

Besides, the risks involved in starting an online business are considerably less than what you’d face if you started a traditional business.  You don’t need to cash in your life savings or take out a $50,000 loan to start a blog.  In fact, you can get a professional looking blog launched for less than a hundred bucks.  Stick to free or inexpensive methods when you’re just starting out.  You can always start outsourcing your writing or paying for advertising after you’ve been around the block a couple times.

And if you’re afraid your friends or family will think you’re crazy, you don’t need to tell them right away.  I kept my online ventures secret for awhile because I knew no one would understand.  It was only after I started making decent money online that my wife and I felt comfortable discussing it.   The reason we chose not to discuss it wasn’t because I was unsure of what I was doing or feared failure.  It was because I didn’t want to deal with doubters and naysayers who would suggest I was wasting my time.  Of course, no one says that now.  They just look at my online income and wish they had the guts to start a business themselves.