# To make money online, don’t write about weight loss; write about physics

It makes sense – right? – to make money online, you must write about popular, high-paying subjects. But actually, especially since 2013, it’s the opposite: blogs, websites that cater a savvy, high-IQ demographic have seen the most rapid organic (non-paid) growth and viralnnes.

To succeed at online publishing (which including blogging, copywriting, and Amazon self-publishing), you must be cognizant of how internet journalism, reader tastes change and evolve; otherwise, your efforts will be wasted on stuff that is ineffective.

The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is the assumption that to succeed you must sell something, and that is completely false. That’s the biggest way to waste time and piss away money on marketing…much better to get viralness (free traffic and links) and then monetize later, as the successes of Snapchat, Pinterest, and Facebook have shown. WaitButWhy does not sell anything, but they have huge traffic and a huge mailing list, and you can be sure that if the writers wanted to cash in they could, and maybe already are. Uber, Airbnb do not sell anything – they are middlemen – and are massively successful companies. Although Disney, Apple, McDonald’s, and Nike make billions selling physical products, the failure rate and initial start-up costs are much higher for tangible products than viral sites, and also the profit margins are lower. It costs maybe $5-10k to create a viral news site (to pay for writers, graphics, hosting, web design, etc.), vs.$100-300k for a store or to build a physical product. Also, affiliate marketing, ads, and mailing lists can turn the viral site profitable from day one, whereas tangible businesses often take much longer to become profitable – if they ever do.