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Monday Question: Why Is Internet Marketing So Difficult To Master?

Posing a Monday Question, Sandy asks:

Like you, I’m a writer by training and since become a SAHM (stay at home mum), I’ve mastered the basics of blogging and writing articles and am starting to get into simple product creation.

Some of this other stuff like SEO is beyond me. I bought a couple of dummies books and know some basic HTML and can do a simple page. But the PHP and MySQL programming stuff is way beyond me. Help! I am feeling overwhelmed and although I’m doing ok now, I can’t help feeling that I won’t be able to master it all.

Please advise what I can do about this.

My Answer:

It’s great that you’ve taken the step of taking the plunge into Internet Marketing.

Like you, I’ve pretty inept when it comes to programming stuff too. Aside from being able to generate content (blogging, articles, forums and information products) and network and generate traffic, I don’t wander into programming too much.

Here’s what I’ve learned from some of the experienced guys I talk to:

Internet Marketing is counter intuitive to what you learn in school:

In school, you need to master math and science and the liberal arts, on top of that you have foreign languages and maybe have to pick up a musical instrument or art too.

So what happens is that you become a jack-of-all-trades and just about average or maybe above-average or below-average in each area.

In the world of business, it’s completely different. You need to focus on your strengths. Most marketers will have just one strength. If you’re lucky, you might be strong in two areas. I haven’t met a marketer who’s great at:

  • SEO
  • Traffic Generation
  • Testing and tracking
  • PPC
  • Social traffic generation
  • Product Creation
  • Email marketing
  • Blogging
  • eBay auctions
  • Product launches
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Affiliate Management
  • Podcasting/Vlogging
  • Press Releases
  • Media Buys
  • Programming/application development
  • Web/graphics design
  • Forum management

Instead, what you should do is focus on your strengths.

If I need help in an area where I lack expertise, I’ll use the following criteria:

If it’s a minor project, I’d outsource the project to a freelancer or team through my network of contacts. If you don’t know enough people, you can ask a friend for a recommendation or look for someone on the forums. As a last resort, I’d go to sites like elance or rentacoder as you’d have to spend some time filtering the talent.

If it’s a major project, I’d be more inclined to get a personal referral to someone experienced. Alternatively I’d look for a partner, especially if it’s likely to turn into a longterm business.


Regardless of your area of expertise, I’m sure that you’d be able to generate a comfortable $3,000 to $5,000 a month from your efforts and if you budget it correctly, you should be able to pay for improvements to your products and services or blog/forum/website (which would pay for themselves within days or a few months).

The major motivation killer for Internet Marketers is the feeling that they’re overwhelmed by the feeling that they need to “know everything”.

Just focus on one thing and all the pieces will fall into place.

Got a question? The Monday Question is a weekly column. Send any questions you might have via the contact form.

3 comments on Monday Question: Why Is Internet Marketing So Difficult To Master?

  1. Nenad Ristic
    September 10, 2007 at 6:08 pm (4924 days ago)

    Some good advice there… I have been running myself ragged, trying to learn and understand everything. I think I will focus on my strengths, and deal with my weaknesses just enough that they do not get in the way.

    So if you ever need a skilled programmer for a JV, keep me in mind. ;)

  2. Roger Young
    September 11, 2007 at 9:28 pm (4923 days ago)

    Forget the HTML, SQL and so forth. just make a small investment in 4 tools and you can have the tools that will manage all the technology aspects for you. All you need is:
    1. A Mac;
    2. iWeb (part of iLife 08 that comes free with every Mac) for both your website and your blog
    3.. a .Mac account where iWeb automatically publishes everything for you; and
    4. File Maker Pro 9 that any intelligent person can use to make all the interactive content you need..

    I have steadfastly refused to get involved with HTML or CSS but I can do everything I need with these 4 tools


  3. Mel Guglielmi
    August 27, 2011 at 5:43 am (3478 days ago)

    Really Appreciate this update, how can I make is so that I get an email sent to me every time there is a new post?

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