One of the things we see a lot of these days, when it seems like everyone wants to make money online, is people “becoming” Internet Marketers.
They start out by doing what every other Internet Marketer they can see does.
They sign up for an affiliate program, and then make a blog post that is basically just the product’s sales copy. Or they send to a list about a great new product their “friend” is offering. The email they send out to the list is the email suggested by the affiliate program, right down to the claims of friendship. They use traffic exchanges to send people to a program’s affiliate page.
There are a couple of problems with this.
First, the techniques that 90% of Internet Marketers use do not work. Oh, if you were the only person using those techniques, you’d do quite well. But taken as a whole, across all the marketing we’re exposed to on a daily basis, it all adds up to spam.
Second, online marketing is not about “becoming” an Internet Marketer, it’s about learning skills. You don’t learn those skills by observing what the majority of people are doing.
As an analogy, let’s say you go to a beginning juggling class to learn juggling. You get there late, and you see a bunch of people around the room throwing balls into the air and dropping them. You don’t want to make a fuss, so you just grab some balls and start to do what everyone else is doing.
You aren’t learning to juggle, you’re learning how not to juggle. The people who really have the skills to make the kind of money you want to make online are not the ones who catch your attention. They know their business and they get about it and make money.
The ones to emulate are not the gurus, who make their money by taking advantage of the gullibility of newcomers, but the ones who successfully market to the 80% of the Internet population who are not trying to be Internet Marketers.
I think it’s critically important for newcomers to the field to be authentic. Don’t do what everyone else does just because everyone else is doing it. Understand the principles behind what you’re trying to accomplish, and at all times adhere to your own ethical standards.
You will not make millions overnight being authentic. But then you won’t make millions overnight copying everyone else, either (at least, you won’t make those millions for yourself).
By being authentic, though, you’ll build an understanding of what it takes to market online and won’t be discouraged when the techniques you see everyone else using just don’t work.