ANSWERING THE QUESTION, “WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?”
When you make a living online, a lot of people won’t understand what it is you do.
Some of them will think you’re nothing more than a spammer – just because you work on the Internet.
You might even run into people who automatically assume you’re into promoting porn, because they think that’s all the Internet is used for!
You need to be prepared to deal with people like this.
Some of them may even be close friends and family members who are simply ignorant about the various marketing uses for the World Wide Web.
The first thing you need to explain to people is that very few people who work on the Internet are spammers.
Spammers actually make up a very, very small minority of those who make money online.
If you do any sort of email marketing, you should explain that every single person you send email to has signed up specifically to your newsletter, and clicked a link to confirm that they really want to be on your list.
Explain to them that subscribing to your newsletter is a lot like signing up for delivery of the newspaper, or a magazine subscription.
People sign up to your newsletter, and then you send them valuable information, not just advertising.
If you sell eBooks online, you can explain to people that you’re a bit like a book publisher, but all of the books you publish are in digital format.
You can tell them that instead of paying a lot of extra money for the printing, binding, marketing, and shipping of a physical book, you eliminate those costs by selling all of your books as downloadable products.
If people still don’t understand, you could even show them what an eBook is by letting them view one on your computer.
If your main business is advertising affiliate products, you can tell people you’re in advertising.
Explain to them that you run a website (or websites) and you place advertising on that website.
Every time someone clicks an ad and purchases something, you receive a commission.
If you make most of your money through AdSense or selling advertising on your sites, you can simply tell people that you place advertisements on your websites, and you charge advertisers for that ad space.
If you want to, you could show them some of your sites or blogs to illustrate the point. Some people feel more comfortable just telling people they design websites.
If you’re a decent website builder, this will probably really impress people, but be prepared to get requests from people asking if you’ll make them a site, too.
If you don’t want to deal with all of the questions about spamming and porn, just telling someone you design websites will usually be enough to throw them off your trail.
If people are particularly persistent with their questions, you can start to point out some examples of people who have been very successful making money online.
Don’t just use examples of famous Internet marketers like John Reese or Yanik Silver! Use some examples with verifiable “proof” in mainstream media.
For example, the famous “make money” blogger John Chow has a number of stories out there about him.
There’s also teenaged entrepreneur Ashley Squalls who has made mainstream news in a big way by making over $70,000 per month with advertising on her site that gives away MySpace layouts.
And of course, the infamous Perez Hilton – a celebrity blogger who cashes in on the ad space his blog has.
You should try to realize that some people will just never understand what you do. Try to explain it the best way you can, and if it doesn’t work, accept it.
Some people just won’t get it. If the in-laws or your spouse are nagging you because your money isn’t yet streaming in, and you feel pressured, put together a simple presentation that answers all of their questions and puts their minds at ease.
AVOIDING INFORMATION OVERLOAD
If you haven’t yet heard this phrase, information overload, you will soon – because it happens to the majority of new Internet marketers at some time or another.
Information overload is when you simply have too much to learn – so much that you feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and more confused than before you had help.
It happens easily with this industry because there are so many options you have – an endless array of opportunity.
You can be a product owner and an affiliate at the same time.
You can use article marketing, social marketing, or pay per click campaigns.
You’re new, you may not know much about any of the above, and suddenly you’re thrust into an environment where everyone’s opinions differ and you don’t know where to start!
The first thing to do is calm down and take some of the pressure off of yourself. All of this information you need to digest isn’t going anywhere.
It’s going to be here tonight, next week, and a year from now.
Don’t invest in a guide about Google AdWords, another about Squidoo, and one about Private Label Rights all at the same time.
There’s an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: One bite at a time.
Internet marketing is your elephant and you have to choose whether you want to eat the ear, the foot, or the tail section first.
It doesn’t matter if you start out learning about social marketing before you know the ropes of article marketing.
The point is that you’re educating yourself and putting that knowledge to work for you.
As long as you read the social marketing guide and apply that insight to a method of making money, you’re on the road to success!
Some things won’t make sense to learn before others.
If you know you have no money to start with, then don’t buy (or even download for free) a guide about pay per click marketing. Start with something you can do.
You don’t want a guide to everything all at once. You want to invest in small, bite-sized chunks of information that you can digest and utilize before moving on.
Want to start with a free blog? Get a blog guide. Launch a blog.
Then move on to whatever interests you next, such as product creation or selling on eBay – whatever floats your boat.
The key is to not get stymied by having too much information and too many choices at once.
DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE MONEY TO MAKE MONEY?
The short answer is, “No.” You can effectively launch an Internet marketing career without a single dime.
All you need is a computer and an Internet connection, which does cost money, but we’re assuming you have those two components already.
Many a marketer has gotten his or her start as an affiliate marketer.
Aside from shuffling around in your attic to find something you can sell for a profit on eBay, affiliate marketing is your best bet for a zero-dollar start-up business in the Internet marketing industry.
All you need is a free ID that you can get on PayDotCom, Amazon, Commission Junction, LinkShare, or ClickBank (to name a few), and the ability to learn about free traffic sites and you can begin generating an affiliate income without investing a penny of your own money.
That said, it’s best if you save a few dollars here and there to invest in some tools that are going to make your Internet marketing efforts a whole lot easier.
For instance, you could sit around and brainstorm for five days to get a list of keywords – or, pay for a one-day subscription to WordTracker and harvest thousands of keywords in less than an hour.
You could also use nothing but web 2.0 social sites that are free, such as Facebook or Squidoo, to host your content and affiliate links.
Or, you could pony up the $9.95 one-time fee for a domain name and $6.95 a month for hosting and have your own business presence on the ‘net.
You can also spend days and weeks searching for information about how to do a task that will help you make money as an Internet marketer – such as how to master pay per click advertising.
Or, you can invest in a step-by-step guide t shorten your learning curve.
What most marketers suggest is to take a look at your budget and see what you have to invest.
If you have to start out with nothing, go for it – but set aside a few of your profits to pour back into your online efforts.
Everything you’ll invest in is built to ease your workload and hasten the procedures, so your income will increase faster and with less input from you as you learn to wield these tools in your favor.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO TRUST?
In the world of Internet marketing, there are a lot of unethical money-hungry scam artists preying on those who are ignorant about the industry.
They know you’re new, and they know you won’t realize you’ve been suckered until it’s too late.
So how does a newcomer to Internet marketing safeguard his or her pockets from the greedy, self-indulgent scams of an unscrupulous marketer?
First, you want to do a bit of background research.
If you land on a page where someone has recommended a course or tool that you feel will help accelerate your Internet marketing earnings, don’t buy on impulse.
You might regret it later and have to ask for a refund, or suck up the cost if no guarantee is offered.
Google can be your friend here. Type that marketer’s name into the search engines and see if there are any scam details. But beware!
One of the most common affiliate pre-pitches is to promote a product by using the scam approach initially and then building the product up with the detailed review.
You may see about 5 page’s worth of links if you type in [marketer’s name] and scam, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re real scam accounts.
Always read the pages with care.
You also need to know that practically every marketer has a disgruntled customer.
Some people get angry if their download link doesn’t work and they don’t get a response within 30 minutes.
Others intentionally try to sabotage the competition by posting poor reviews online.
You should be able to find as much positive information (in the form of praise) as you do bad reviews.
If not, it might be best to steer clear of that marketer since no one credible can endorse him (or her).
Never rely on their own claims (even screenshots of earnings can be manipulated).
And if you find them in a forum, don’t think that just because they have the highest post count, it means they’re the best marketer.
Get personal recommendations from other marketers. If you want to find out who has the best affiliate marketing guide, ask in a forum and find out.
Or, take the recommendation of a marketer you already trust, because if they provide you with a poor product recommendation, it tarnishes their own reputation, too.
SHOULD YOU STICK OR QUIT?
Seth Godin is a well-known marketer who wrote a little book called The Dip: When to Quit and When to Stick.
The book talks about when you should keep working at something, and when you should just give up and call it a day.
Seth says the common saying about winners never quitting and quitters never winning is just wrong! Sometimes winner do quit, and sometimes quitters really do win.
It’s about knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em and in the Internet marketing industry, this is a lesson we all must master.
Whenever you start a new project, it’s usually very exciting. It’s fun, it’s new, and it’s a lot easier to stick to. After awhile, the project starts to lose your interest.
It starts to get boring, and then it gets a lot harder to stick to.
A Dip is only temporary. If you keep working at it, you’ll break through it. But sometimes it’s what Godin calls a Cul-de-Sac, which won’t get better.
You could try and try and you’d never make it out of your rut.
You shouldn’t always keep working at something because if it’s going nowhere, it could be preventing you from realizing success.
So many people will tell you to keep pushing no matter what – that it’s the only way to be successful. That’s not always true.
Smart people know when to escape those dead ends and walk away.
Yes, winners do quit. They quit while the quitting’s good. They quit when it makes sense to quit.
People who fail a lot generally fail to keep going when times get a little rough.
Sometimes they’ll even keep going when they know deep down they’re fighting a losing battle.
If you train yourself, you can eventually learn to tell when you should quit and when you should keep pushing. It becomes second nature.
Until then, there are a few tips you can use to decide whether or not you should maintain momentum with a specific project.
First, ask how long you’ve been going. If you’ve been going quite awhile, giving up might be a waste of the work you’ve already put in.
Then again, if you’ve stuck to something for a very, very long time and you’re not seeing any results, it would be ridiculous to keep going.
Next, ask yourself if the potential rewards are worth it. If you’re busting your butt to carve out a big chunk of a very tiny niche, maybe it really isn’t worth it.
Will that tiny niche ever be worth the mammoth amount of work you’re putting in?
On the other hand, if you’re already making some headway into a very large market, giving up might be a bit premature.
Why give up on a major cash cow when you’re already halfway to the barn?
Finally, ask yourself if it’s REALLY worth it. Don’t think in terms of money – think in terms of your LIFE.
You’re the one putting the time, effort, and money into a project. If the potential reward doesn’t seem worth the hassle anymore, maybe it really is time to give up.
After all, most of us wouldn’t be willing to sell our soul to the Devil for fame and fortune. So why sell your soul to this project?
If your heart just isn’t in it, consider getting out while you can.