If you're just getting started in Internet Marketing, you may be awed by the amount of "Internet Gurus" out there, each one making millions of dollars (or so they claim) and for some reason seem more than willing, for a fee, to teach you their biggest, most intimate secrets.
Well, I believe in one thing - "If it sounds too good to be true, it most probably is!"
While I have no doubt about the specialized skills and techniques used by these gurus, it can get a little too frustrating simply getting tangled and lost in all their hype, and find almost no value at the end of the day. Hype - that's one thing I agree these guru's are really good at. For some of them, unfortunately, hype is the only thing they're good at.
So the question, for those who are trying to master Internet Marketing, might be:
- Can I learn anything from these gurus without paying money?
- Who's real and who's not?
- Whose Internet marketing methods should I follow?
Question 1: Can I Learn Something for Free?
Most Internet guru's have opt-in newsletters on specialized subjects like website marketing, Pay-Per-Click advertising, search engine optimization or whatever specialized skill they have "mastered". Almost all of them try to convince you to subscribe to their newsletter in return for some kind of "breakthrough" report, and promise to deliver "valuable information" weekly or monthly to your email address. Sounds great...
Here's what happens 2 weeks later - You realize that the "breakthrough report" is the same old regurgitated information which you can find almost anywhere. You might also realize that the "valuable information" almost never comes without any hidden agenda. The "valuable information" usually turns out to be a soft-selling ad (sometimes even blatant advertisements) for the guru's latest products or paid seminars, or even worse, some other Internet marketer's products.
I'm not trying to shoot down any marketer here, but the irony is in their teaching. Almost all internet gurus would advice you to offer valuable, free information that benefits other people. Profits, as they say, is secondary to actually helping people and making a difference in their lives. Give before you take....what a load of BS!
How come they don't practice what they preach? Of is that how the "Internet Marketing Game" is really played? Surely, nobody minds receiving ads and promotions, as long as there is a fair deal of free information being offered.
Fortunately, not all Internet marketers are the same. There are still some jewels to be found, and they offer some great information in their newsletters, which they unselfishly offer for free, such as:
- Vishal Rao (http://www.home-based-business-opportunities.com) talks about starting and managing home based businesses.
- Mike Cheney (http://www.magnet4web.com) talks about building an effective and efficient business web site.
- Jill Whalen (http://www.highrankings.com) talks about Search Engine Optimization.
- Allan Gardyne (http://www.associateprograms.com) is the authority on affiliate programs and affiliate marketing, with an award-winning newsletter.
Of course there are many more good marketers out there, and you'll have to get through several bad ones first before you get to the good ones. It is not necessary to subscribe to every Internet Marketing newsletter just to hope for nuggets of gold that may never come. Instead, give the gurus a "trial" month, and if you don't find anything of value from them, just unsubscribe from their mailing lists.
It will only be a loss to them, not you.
Question 2 : Who's Real and Who's Not?
To answer this question, you really have to "get around" the Internet a lot. Take part in Internet Marketing forums where you will definitely find topics on info-products, seminars and software offered by these gurus, and see what others are saying about them.
Forget about all those blaring testimonials that the gurus compile on their site. After visiting several guru websites, you may start to find the same faces and names, helping each other out by giving testimonials which are seldom backed by proof. Forums are where the real testimonials are.
If you find yourself browsing the Internet a lot, trying to find good value for money, then you'll need the Alexa toolbar. What this toolbar does is that it gives you an idea of the popularity of the website you're visiting. Secondly, it allows you to see who the closest competitors are, giving you more alternatives to choose from. Besides that, it also displays reviews and ratings given by others who have visited the website or used any product being sold via the website. This is where you'll find the "not so beautifully polished" opinions and testimonials.
- Alexa Toolbar : http://www.home-business-association.com/rd/alexa/
(Alexa is owned by Amazon.com. If you're concerned about installing toolbars on your computer, make sure you adjust the privacy settings accordingly)
You may also want to consider this site:
- GuruDaq : http://www.gurudaq.com
Taking on a Nasdaq-like approach, this site lists all gurus according to ratings and 'stock price'. Although I would advice you to take it more for its entertainment value than actual recommendations, perhaps this site will allow you to get a glimpse of "who's who" in Internet Marketing.
Question 3 : Whose methods should I follow?
Honestly, nobody's. At least not word-for-word of what is thought in their newsletters or ebooks. The important thing to realize is that you need to develop your own technique to be really successful. The guru's don't teach you everything, anyway. They almost always feed you the crop but keep the cream for themselves. In other words, no one really tells you the "hot money-making secrets". They only teach you their not-so-secret money making facts.
There are many places you can get reviews on internet marketing ebooks, but be warned that most will be biased in one way or another. Here's a good downloadable PDF resource on ebook reviews, distributed with the permission of the author:
- "Web Promotion Products Exposed" by Mike Cheney:
Its really up to you to learn some tips and tricks of the trade from Internet gurus, but set out on your own course. In order to be successful in anything, you need to do your own thing. Be original in your approach, whether it's writing sales letters, doing email marketing, writing articles, pay-per-click or search engine optimization, and the world will take notice.
It is also important to realize that before you go around shopping for all kinds of "how-to" material and software, you need to get a good grip of what your business really needs. You'll need to develop a strong, specific and detailed business plan before you set out on a quest to improve your knowledge on that are critical to the success to your business. Here are some good resources for writing effective business plans:
When you know what your business truly needs, you're more likely to recognize the exact type of internet marketing method you'll need to study and master. Don't just look to someone who has sold their soul a long time ago to guide you to the path of success.
That's just wishful thinking.
Gobala Krishnan is an internet marketer and home business owner. Visit his site at http://www.sfidreamteam.com to start your own Internet based home business today, and get a free kick start package, one-on-one coaching and a clear, proven system to earn a six figure income. Article reprint info available at http://pub.gobalakrishnan.com