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So You Think You Can Be An Online Marketer?

New and sometimes experienced internet marketers almost seem to go out of their way to sabotage their own success by taking the easy way out, even if they should know better.

A case in point – just because a forum allows you to post any question you like, and just because social media allows you to beep, chirp, tweet and post you like doesn’t mean you can avoid the routine of going to one of the search engines and attempting to find the answer yourself.

Remember the days predating the internet (meaning those of us born in the 1970s, 1960s and earlier…), when finding the answer to a question meant trudging down to your local library (or maybe local bookstore) and looking up the answer in a book? Whatever happened to that?

A lot of the growth of “content” on the internet is fuelled by the redundant questions asked over and over again. I bet Internet content would slim down faster than a power acai shake if the majority of excessive duplicate content were pared away, and redirects were added to the top 10 results for any query.

But laziness is not just limited to finding information to run your business, it’s sad that researching niches and marketing offers is given the lazy treatment, even when it has a direct impact on your income and ultimately your lifestyle. It’s choices like these that make it seem like too many marketers are driving at the first gear towards their destination (or goal). The problem is you might not reach there in this lifetime.

Here are some of the best forms of lazy marketing I encounter (and lead to this post being written…)

Clueless marketing: You’re new and don’t know anything. You’re too lazy to see what others are doing, or to consult another affiliate, merchant or affiliate manager. So you come up with some pretty abysmal copy (in red font because you heard that red converts well) and paste it on a page with a canary yellow background because you don’t want a boring white background… And you’re left wondering why you haven’t got a single sale all month.

Copycat marketing: You look at other pages, use the “Save File” option and save entire pages. You might possibly copy websites belonging to the “Clueless Marketer” (see above) and swap out the affiliate link and change a couple of words. Pity you forgot to change the copyright information at the bottom of the page…

Cookie cutter marketing: You learned one technique to promote submit offers from a forum or in IRC and have some success with that technique. You decide to branch out into a different niche, maybe something with a higher payout like colon cleansing or acai and use that same technique. You bang into a wall and lose everything you’ve made in the last 2 months and wonder why that technique didn’t work.


While some marketers may not be able to be saved. There’s hope for others.

You’ll find that 5 minutes worth of navigating through the listings (organic and paid) in the search engines and in the ad spaces on high traffic sites like news sites and question and answer sites will give you more insight into how the industry works than reading all the books and videos you can get your hands on.

On the other hand, having clueless marketers out in the market helps the rest of us who put in the effort because the gap is pretty wide when the consumer is faced with buying through 2 or more choices. And without clueless marketers out there, I might be missing some of those laughing/crying moments when I’m doing my research.

4 comments on So You Think You Can Be An Online Marketer?

  1. PPC++
    November 25, 2009 at 7:27 am (4165 days ago)

    Andrew, you hit the nail on the head. I am working on my startup blog focusing on newbie affiliate marketers and really feel that there is no substitute to actually putting some time in, figuring out what needs to be done, and in the end actually doing it.

    Anyway I am preaching to the quire I am sure. I just wanted to let you know your post was appreciated and I linked to it through my blog.

    Keep on writing newbie friendly material :)

    - Niko

  2. Jorge Delgado
    November 29, 2009 at 3:58 am (4161 days ago)

    Yep… we have to be aware of changes and news…and searching the net is a great way to catch what is going on…

    Talk soon,

  3. Evans
    March 14, 2010 at 5:15 am (4056 days ago)

    I guess one should always consult the gurus before taking on a marketing strategy. Or make friends who are into the same sort of business and milk them for information.

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