No irony here, folks… in today’s post there will be nothing but love for Million Mile Secrets! And the same goes for all the other bloggers my esteemed colleague George refers to as “Titans”. But George doesn’t need to feel bad, because I’ve got praise for him too, not too mention my fellow bloggers at Saverocity and pretty much everybody else who blogs. And please bear with me: I have a reason for doing all this, this post is more than just a clickbait title.
“But wait,” you ask. “Didn’t you just obliquely compare Million Mile Secrets to the atomic bomb a little while ago?”
Look: there is no such thing as a perfect blogger. If there were, I never would have started this blog since Mr. Perfect Blogger would already be blogging about whatever needed to be blogged about and doing it with an inimitable style and panache. Fortunately for the few dozen people who read this blog regularly, I stepped into the void left by the Perfect Blogger’s absence over three years ago and I’m still here today.
The same thing goes for Daraius of Million Mile Secrets and innumerable other bloggers. They saw an opening, an opportunity, a need… and instead of thinking “somebody ought to do ____” they got up off their asses and did it themselves.
Have you ever heard the adage that in a gold rush, the people who get rich are the people selling tools to the gold miners? Well, that’s Million Mile Secrets. The gold rush was credit card-derived points and miles, and for years he’s been selling pickaxes and gold pans, or whatever the heck it is prospectors need to find gold.
Three questions for you:
- Have you ever googled some arcane question about this hobby about saw MMS come up in the results?
- Did you click on the MMS link?
- You did, didn’t you?
If you answered “yes” to the second of third question, then guess what: you’re a MMS customer, or at least you were at some point in your life.
I understand the criticisms directed at him and other bloggers, and in fact I would join in on some of them. But understand this: at some point in the past, Million Mile Secrets was nothing more than an idea. It exists today because at some point Daraius decided to get off his ass and turn the idea into a reality.
And that’s why I respect him: I have lots of ideas. But I have very few ideas into which I pour my metaphorical blood, sweat, and tears. This blog is one of them. I could have put the time into other things, like sleep or watching TV–no shame in that, mind you, as I’m a big fan of both of those activities–but I did this, and I’m better off for having done so.
You probably have lots of ideas too. How many of them have you turned into something?
George at TravelBloggerBuzz has occasionally in the past received a bit of pushback for asking people to click on his Amazon link. Now, asking people to click on a link is not my cup of tea, which is why I’ve given up on that… but I totally understand where George is coming from. My blog makes a bit of beer money now, which is nice, but blogging is nowhere close to being my primary source of income.
But even the little bit I get is way better than getting zero. It’s a form of recognition (plus, as it was so eloquently put in Idiocracy, “I like money!”). And given that there are upwards of 28 million points & miles bloggers in this country, a little recognition is nice. When you first start a blog on your own, you have no readers. You have to build everything up from scratch. It’s not easy, and as with any other endeavor with an uncertain future, it’s easy to question why you’re doing it and quit. So even having experienced the very minor success that is my blog, I have a lot of other respect for people who have plowed through on their own to create their blog or business or whatever the heck it is where they’ve turned nothing into something.
As most of you are now realizing, the golden age of points and miles is over. What next? Reselling has received a lot of buzz lately, and in fact Travel Codex recently called it the best way to manufacture spend now and in the future. I would disagree with the use of the term “best”; it’s like saying that Card X is the “best” credit card. Whether something is the best in this case is highly subjective and depends on the specific situation.
Reselling may indeed be the best for some of you, maybe even a great number of you. I don’t know. It’s certainly not the best for me. It requires space, time, and other considerations that make it not a good fit for me at this point in my life. Plus, looking ahead, I don’t see why reselling (the low-hanging fruit, anyway) won’t be subject to the same tragedy of the commons we have in points and miles.
Maybe I’m wrong and I’m passing up easy money here. But my point of view is closer to that of my esteemed colleague Matt, who wrote:
Reselling appeals to too many people, the barrier to entry is low, and they aren’t your buddies. It might be a good idea to make hay while the sun shines, but if you really want to build something sustainable, and create a life where you get to do the things you want to, it’s time to evolve.
And that’s why I spent all that time praising MMS and everybody else. They saw an opportunity, saw the timing was right, and they jumped on it. I’m not saying don’t give reselling a try and I’m not saying quit signing up for credit cards but… are there any other opportunities in your life right now? Are you even looking?