I have three (3) business models that I dream of in perfectionistic bliss.
The unusual thing about them is that they always work for everybody who uses them correctly and persistently, heck, even sporadically and lazily like me:
(1) Get rich by doing next to nothing.
(a) 100% User Generated Content: like Post Secret, Digg, and YouTube.
You just provide the platform and a steady flow of agented benefits for the community (you find fresh content or present new functionalities your audience wants or will want once they see it).
(b) Change Nothing: do what you do anyway, for pleasure, with no one having to remind or motivate you, like a hobby or craft or music or art or programming, and figure out a way to solve a problem with it that seems impossible to solve, then market that solution to those who desperately need it.
(2) Help others help you as you help others.
What? Okay listen: you want something? Become an expert on it or help others get it. Assist, with info or advice or systems or structures, others in obtaining what you don't even have yourself, but also want. Like fame, power, money, success, happiness, salvation, nirvana, prestige.
You want other bloggers to blog about you, answer your burning question emails, and invite you to be a keynote speaker at conferences?
Then blog about those other bloggers, talk about them, quote and analyze them, in your blog. Post helpful, thoughtful, funny, informative, sincere, relevant comments in their blogs and in the blogs they discuss, negatively or positively.
See if you can say something so spot on, so profound, so provocative, so challenging, you start a whole new conversation thread. What you say is so smart or so unique, it sparks its own discussion, and you become a center of attention for a day or two.
With your blog URL embedded in your comment signature, others can click on your name and navigate to your site. Eventually someone who needs what you do may visit your blog, be blown away, and want to contact you to hire you for some project or position. Hang in there. These things happen every single day.
So you help others achieve something, something desired and difficult or time-consuming, like research or marketing strategy, then you make it easy for others to know your expertise and to contact you.
Post comments all over the place. Do new things on your blog: email interviews with other bloggers, podcasts, video, art, music mp3s. Keep making your blog more interesting, provocative, entertaining, and of unique value to your audience.
(3) Give away tons of FREE things.
The faster you put out FREE material, free music, free consulting, free art, free videos, free samples of whatever you do or make, the faster you'll be famous.
You never pine or weep for success, envying others, feeling sorry for your own sorry ass. Get up and distribute free samples, even to those who may not care about it, because perhaps they'll give your weird music CD to a cousin or nephew and they'll rave about it a year from now. Who knows?
Life Is Backwards. Yes it is. You want something, you have to give it away before you get it. It's a paradox, but it always works, with perfect (not necessarily your) timing.
Music is a great example. There is too much of it. So how do you stand out from the crowd? NOT BY TALKING ABOUT IT and pleading with mailing lists to come to your next five gigs. The only way to promote anything, especially music, is FREE SAMPLES.
Don't worry about "protecting" your shit. Just get it the F out there, dude. Quit whining and complaining. Stop demanding that others tell you how to make money. Forget money if you want to make money. Focus on value, altruism, sharing, and cooperation.
Initially, don't worry so much about "making money". Knock it off. Simmer down. Keep mowing lawns and repairing roofs. It's going to take you from 2 to 6 years to make any money with a blog, web site, API, web service, ecommerce operation, what have you.
Get famous. It's all free. It doesn't cost anything to promote stuff, including yourself, online. With Net Neutrality and Universal Content Utopia, everything (almost) is free and abundantly shared, discussed, rated, and ranked.
Put your stuff out there. Everywhere. If you're not discovering 5 new places to put your stuff online everyday, you need to do more web surfing and trust linking. Go to reputable sites, and link or navigate from there. Don't go too deep into the link bin. It eventually starts deteriorating, no matter how pure the originating site. But check out the blogrolls and the sites that are linked to in posts.
Promote others more than you promote yourself, and you'll be ushered into the promised land.