Experiences from an active internet marketer who’s learning new ways of marketing online.
I’ve been on some 30-40 “Internet Marketing guru” mailing lists this past year, and I cannot imagine how an inexperienced but ready entrepreneur could decide which program to buy. Or, how they would know which ones to stick with (versus get a refund). Here are just a few reasons:
Each one says their program is the way to earn major income online.
Each one shows income from third parties that the seller says he/she’s earned. (I will assume those are genuine numbers, not made up fluff.)
Each one says it is easy, anyone who can point and click can do it. (Hmm, sounds a lot like some MLM recruiters, huh?)
But after you plunks down your $1200 or $1997 or $497, two things emerge from nearly everyone of these successful Internet Marketers. They tell us, now, that:
1. The program you have just bought is NOT A FAST TRIP to the kind of income the seller makes now. HE has done this eight to faint for 5 or 12 years. There is MUCH for you to learn. (Yes, NOW they tell you.)
This is not a get-rich-quick thing. Bottom line: plan some major time. 6 months to two years, at least. And that’s if you’re spending 30 hours/week or more. Plan for success way farther down the line if you are part time.
And that is the FIRST thing they say (after you’ve committed mentally and wallet-ly.)
2. Then they tell you that there are many steps in the dance. Most are fairly easy to do, but there are many many many of them. AND some where you cannot control the outcome. But which need to be completed in order to make that income that drew you in.
Two recent examples.
Just in the last 30 days, I bought two of the most promoted, successful and hyped “pay per click” type Internet marketing products. A primary business model of these programs is:
Advertise products or promotions using Google Adwords, (the ads you see on the top and right side of Google search results when you search for something) and earn more on the sales of the products or product trials than you pay for the Adwords.
Most people lose their shirts because of ONE reason: they pay WAY more for their Adwords clicks (to Google) than they earn on the sales made when the clickers buy something or provide info that their Adwords ad is offering.
Acknowledging this, the gents then tell you that the key is finding the right market niches. A “right” niche is a market segment (like video games nuts or psychic seekers) with active buyers, whose needs are NOT yet being met – not enough, anyway.
This is of course the great unknown. Because even though you can use many tools to find popular types of products (e.g. digital cameras), you’ll be paying $5+/per click for such popular keywords using Adwords. And after finding that out, you discover that people who type in general phrases like digital cameras are not really the ready buyers anyway, they’re “just looking.” And there goes your $5/click to lookers who are not ready to buy the product you happen to be selling on your carefully written and expensively designed Landing Page (the link you have in your Adwords ad.)
Then, they tell you that for some kinds of PPC (Pay Per Click) and CPA (Click Per Action) marketing you need to get into the affiliate networks. And they give you a nice list.
Then you go to apply. And discover they want a LOT of information you weren’t ready to give – like numbers of unique visitors to your site; your email list size, etc.
AFTER you submit the info, then they tell you that they’ve got an “unusually high number of applications now” and will get back to you if you qualify to get into their affiliate network. (I did get in because I’ve been online for 12+ years and someone can Google me and come up with 44,000 results, all about me or my stuff. But what if a person is just getting started?)
If you’re new and don’t have a well visited website or sizable and responsive email list, you will not be allowed into these networks.
So now what? And why didn’t anyone tell us this before?
To be continued…
P.S. Does this mean these programs are scams? No…but there’s a trick to buying the right one for you…coming up next. See “Should I buy the Niche Socializer?” here and “Should you buy guru Ryan Deiss’s Program?” here.
I have a big problem with this and it’s something that I have been thinking about for awhile now. First of all, far too many of us including myself have to unsubscribe from most of these “guru” lists. They all promote their products through eachother’s list (which is smart)but it continually fills my inbox with the same crap that the next guy promotes. As you mentioned, after you dish out some hefty coin you later find out about the “fine print” just like MLM opportunities and the way most people promote them. The guru’s use very good copywriting and implement every trick in the book just like infomercials on tv. Most programs that are available today are not for the newbie and will include buying many additional sources to actually get you started. You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars more and if you don’t have a responsive list already…. good luck! The honest truth these days is that even with some slick SEO tools that I have bought finding key words that you can use with enough traffic and low competition (so that you can actually compete)is getting very difficult.
Yes. The gurus know how to pull in the innocent seekers of money making opportunities online. The amount of e-mails some of the “gurus” sent with countless offers, each claiming to be better than the previous one and should by no means be passed up is staggering. The truth is that very few of these people are real gurus. They each have mailing lists that help the few real gurus extend their reach. I have witnessed too much of this and in some cases it is bordering on gross deception. I too am on too many mailing lists and will start to unsubscribe. Hopefully they will stop sending the overpriced offers and won’t spam.
GREAT post Kim! You are a lone voice among credible sources telling the truth about this stuff. PLEASE continue to do so. This is a very important service you are providing.
What is your take on companies that provide “qualified” leads? http://www.cuttingedgeleads.com/cuttingedgeleads/leads.aspx
Kim this is very interesting to me because I am learning more and more about online marketing. The PPC has always scared me because I didn’t want to lose my shirt. I have learned a lot about SEO and especially keywords. Maybe I can do some PPC after all.
Bleeding people of money is definitely a problem. They will end up dropping out because of cash flow problems before they make a nickel.
Even worse, I see a trend of people jumping from affiliate program to affiliate program, looking for the silver bullet that never comes.
And all this time and money distracts them from building their business.
Walter Reade (from Wisconsin)
Slight Edge Sponsoring (ebook)
Slight Edge Networking (blog)
. . . . .
Great post! Just my thoughts Kim. For the past year I too have been “studying” how and what people are marketing online and I too belong to a few “lists”. I have noticed the same thing, everybody promoting the same super program or the latest and greatest thing and I have been wary of it too. I have spent a few thousand dollars so far but I am getting very reluctant. I am begginning to feel that “internet marketing” is pretty soon going to get the same bad rep associated with it like the “network” marketing. Thank you for putting it out there and saving people their hard earned money. I am going to continue to look for that genuine person who is willing to GIVE before he/she WANTS, WANTS,WANTS.
I will soon be getting out of these lists because it is begginning to look like the same thing over and over.
I am staying on yours because I have found you to be honest and straightforward, although I was getting a bit jaded when you were promoting so many programs.
Kim, I agree with Satinder when he wrote he was “getting a bit jaded when you were promoting so many programs.” I had even put off writing to you to express my disappointment and ask what’s up?
I was jaded…not a bit jaded. I trusted you. I concluded your emails promoting these programs demonstrated a seismic shift. I was relieved to see this post. I am looking forward to your conclusion.
Let’s be clear here… there is nothing wrong with Kim promoting certain programs, some of the ones she is has promoted are pretty good but there comes a time when information overload from too many programs get the better of us. You can’t process all these programs because you need to master one before moving on. I am finding this a problem myself but I have started to rid myself of many guru lists and you should do the same. They’re getting richer because they have massive lists. You have to start small, provide valuable information and you will start to build a loyal following (just like Kim) and your list will grow at the same time.
PS- it must be nice to have a list so large that whenever you want to increase your income you draft an email and send it to your list promoting a new program and bingo cash in your bank!
….your last words are coming up next. I am trying not to hold my breath.
Did I miss something? I got a request to complete a survey and got your analysis of a publishing package. I was under the impression you were going to comment on the affiliate marketing program packages, products such as Frank Kern’s pkg, Google Cash, etc, like you did for the publishing–which was excellent!!!
I too am glad to see this post. I had quit stopping by because I felt that your posts were taking on a different path.
I think being honest with people about what is required of them and the expectations prior to accepting their committment of time and money is essential.
Every business has negatives and positives. To be fair, both should be highlighted.
Thanks for the information.
I took a look at one popular program that cost about $1600 or so and the promo video began to sound a lot like the concepts put forward by business guru Jay Abraham in a book that could be had for $25! Some of the high-priced content didn’t even accurately quote the Abraham material! Abraham actually endorsed the material in the Testimonial section.
It’s really sad that buyers of this type of material are willing to pay such outrageous prices on the hopes that they, too, can become resellers to some greater fool when most of this precious business optimization info is available at their public library for free.
I’m with Brenda, I’d stop reading your posts Kim because they seemed to be getting heavy on promoting the latest from the gurus. And when I signed up for each guru’s free info, I was suddenly getting emails from them AND you for the next guru!
It reminded me of the old Farmer in the Dell game from kindergarten.
I appreciate your latest posts that are analyzing these approaches and shining some light into them. There are good programs (and good gurus) out there. We can learn a lot, but really need to follow two or three at a time so we can focus and begin our own approaches.
Thanks for the shift!