I read a blog post recently from a well-known marketer and one of the comments was from someone who shall remain nameless.
That person started a list of what new people need, and it included something that…
- automatically puts the correct keywords in a web page with the right density
- automatically submits all pages to the right search engines
- automatically creates lots of backlinks
- automatically submits videos so you can get traffic, etc., etc.
My first thought was, “Oh, and what will YOU do, just go cash the checks that come rolling in?”
My second thought isn’t fit for publication.
Hey, I’m a big believer in tools and automation; developing stuff like that is how I make my living. But reading that comment I got the impression that person had NEVER done any of that stuff before. They weren’t looking for a way to cut down the time spent on their business, they were looking for magic beans.
Should people use tools that help streamline a process? Oh, heck yeah! But not until you freaking know what the actual process is! Not until you can do the process by hand. Until then you’re basing everything on theory and not practice. You don’t have a core understanding of what’s really going on.
My kids are homeschooled and we don’t follow a specific curriculum — we’re very eclectic in our approach and don’t usually use actual school books. But I just went by the “school store” today and bought a couple workbooks for the kids to work through over the next couple months.
One of them is math. Word problems. Oh, most people hate those. But here’s how we’re working them.
After the first page or two I don’t care if they give me the answer to the problem — all I want is the correct problem broken down into an equation. For example…
“Patty’s new car can go 135 mph. If she drives two and a half hours at an average speed of 64 mph, how far will she drive?”
A correct answer as far as I’m concerned is: 2.5 X 64 =
If the kids want to give me the answer to that equation that’s fine, but after I know they have the ability to do that, all I want is the actual problem. Because that’s the point of a word problem — to be able to figure out what is needed to get the answer.
I’m okay with shortcuts — as long as the person knows how to get there using the long way.
But over and over again I see “internet marketers” who don’t have an understanding of the basics of the business and think they should be able to jump right to the head of the line.
Sidebar: If you’re getting into internet marketing by starting a company and throwing a bunch of money at the problem, I’m not talking about you. This is directed at those of us who are bootstrapping our way into the business, working on it evenings and weekends while we hold down a (for now) day job.
How Long Should It Take?
Another commenter on that same blog mentioned he’s frustrated because after 8 months he still doesn’t know how to make his web site.
Eight months? Okay, there are two options for that guy that make sense:
1. Stop banging your head against the wall and give up. Dancing with the Stars is starting in a minute, why don’t you go settle down in front of that and give it your focus.
2. Stop looking for a stinking shortcut and get to WORK.
There’s absolutely no way a typical person can’t get decent at making web sites in just a few weeks — if you stop hopping around and poking at every shiny thing out there. HTML isn’t even close to being rocket science. You can find free tutorials on the web or run down to any bookstore and buy a book on how to make a web page with HTML.
And then start working through it. As nice as it would be to gain the knowledge through osmosis, just buying the book won’t do anything for you. Now you *must* make the time to start going through the book — and actually doing the examples, etc.
Most people could go through a book like that in a month or less, even if they have a job, family, etc. And once that’s done you have a solid foundation for the rest of your online life.
If you still can’t put together an opt-in page, a down load page, etc., why don’t you do that? Maybe you’re too lazy? (Note: That fits for 99% of the cases. Maybe you’re the exception.)
If you’re not willing to put in some WORK then please stop telling people you’re an internet marketer and are building an online business. TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. If you want to reap, you’d better be prepared to sow.
“But There’s Just So Much To Do”
I’ll give you that one — kind of. There are a billion and a half things you CAN do, but not that many that you really must do.
- You need a product to promote (either one you’ve created or as an affiliate)
- You need a way to promote the product (typically a website)
- You need to get traffic to that website
That’s it, you don’t NEED anything else. Yes, you should be building a list. Yes, you should tweak and test your website to make it convert better. Yes you should be doing everything else.
Later. Not now.
If you don’t have those three things SOLID, then stop flailing around at everything else and just DO THOSE THREE THINGS until you have those things firmed up.
Each of those steps will be the subject of an upcoming article and we’ll go in depth on each.
Hey, there’s no way I’d suggest I have all the answers, but I have some of them and I don’t mind telling on myself when I’ve made bonehead moves — there’s no sense in you falling into the potholes if I can steer you around them.
Internet marketing, and business in general, isn’t a “one size fits all” endeavor, but there are certain foundational aspects that will serve you well into the future. At the same time, if you don’t have that foundation, anything you build is not going to be stable enough to keep growing and making more money.
Have you decided to stop darting off in every direction at once and work on building a real business? If you’re not willing to do that, do yourself and your family/friends a favor — stop poking at this internet marketing and free up your time for other things that everyone will enjoy more than watching your blood pressure spike.
What do you think, am I being too harsh? Do I not remember what it’s like to be a newbie? Or does this make sense?