I remember getting started in Internet Marketing (IM) years ago…
Pre-2000 was like the internet marketing stone age. I got my first internet connection via University and it wasn’t long before I clicked on one of those tiny links at the bottom of commercial websites (in my case, a magazine subscriptions site) and discovered something called an “affiliate page”.
There I learned I could earn commissions by promoting this sites’ magazines and all I had to make some cash was to send people to my special link. Joy! I thought that would be so easy and I was going to earn beer money, rent money and maybe even adult toy money.
After experimenting with a few ideas, I quickly realised this was tougher than I expected. Getting eyes on my offer wasn’t easy. Something called “traffic” was going to be essential to my plans for internet marketing domination.
After eventually admitting defeat I looked for help on the subject. I discovered getting continual traffic to my offer required specialised knowledge. Even with time and commitment, finding out what works wasn’t going to be easy – the final gate keeper to online traffic success was going to be money, and apparently quite a lot of it. Not something a budget-restricted uni student wanted to discover.
As an engineer I love data and machines. I’m pretty sure one of the reasons I progressed slowly in IM was that IM definitely did not operate like a machine. At least not in the way I was used to. IM was a whole new field I was totally unfamiliar with – I remember thinking how much I felt like Alice taking a look through the looking glass at a world completely hidden in plain sight.
While I liked the idea of making money in my sleep, the idea of “selling” in any way shape or form was so unpleasant to me that I just didn’t engage in it. But I did commit to reading a lot about IM and that in itself was useful and fun – just not very profitable.
Well a lot of years has passed since then.
I find that I am a lot more flexible now. For one thing, as an Engineer I quickly realised being a manager and a leader I have to engage in “selling” whether I liked it or not – my ideas, my skills, my personality, myself. I am more comfortable with selling now and fortunately, I actually enjoy it, too.
Now that I am getting back into IM I’m finding that the “little things” that the experts suggested all those years ago in many cases still hold true today. Human beings are still human beings and while internet technology changes, the art and science of selling and making money online still has some key ingredients that work just as well today as they did 20 years ago.
This time around I won’t fight the process, I won’t try and reinvent the marketplace or ignore the parts I don’t like. Not at least until I prove myself online. When I do, then perhaps I will be able to afford to create products I like that will be insanely profitable and probably quickly copied. I now appreciate that as a sign of success.
So today it’s back to the drawing board. Time to research some of the latest IM experts and see what they are up to. I still feel affiliate marketing will be a good fit for me, but I need a good product to promote, to get experience with and to make some money with. If that works, I will have the resources and experience I need to enact some of the bigger project I have in mind.
After exploring the affiliate landscape I realise that there is a lot of cheap stuff that comes and goes, that can make the right marketer good money – but I’m over “shiny objects”. The idea of promoting them seemed pretty exhausting, considering that so many of them have such a short life-span. Is that really the way I want to go?
I am still working out my preferred business model. I’m not really into physical products although I sell on ebay, I’m not really into creating my own products although I have a few that I make occasional sales on, and I’m not really into using service providers that trades ease of execution for my sales leads, although I still use Google and Facebook. I’m still looking for my niche.
Yesterday I had a small win. After having a look around at an IM forum for a bit of inspiration, I discovered that Michael Cheney was about to have a webinar for his latest product. Michael has been around almost as long as I have and I know he’s a very clever (and wealthy) marketer. Instantly I felt I should check this out – let’s see what this super successful marketer is doing, and let’s see what I can learn from his current work.
Watching an IM expert at work is always a great use of time.
The one thing I know about Michael Cheney is that he gave up giving away free information years ago. You get nothing from him until you pay up. Is that a bad thing? I guess it depends on your business model.
I remember years ago getting a huge amount of information from a marketer who was really keen on sharing his skills and experience to make a name for himself. I spent a few dollars on his offers and got a huge amount of information in return, but unfortunately, he disappeared only 12 months later. On the other hand, Michael is still out there, making it big on the ‘net. So when he recommends (as an affiliate marketer) to be sparing with your knowledge until your customers pay, I figure it’s advice worth listening to.
So I watched his webinar. It was very slick and I’m sure the product he was offering, a “perfect done for you IM business” is very real. On the most part marketers will tell you “there is no such thing as a business in a box”, but there is always an exception to a rule. Michael is probably one of the few people with the experience to make this ideal business model happen. For a price, of course. I hope so anyway, because in my experience I’ve found that for every one mega-marketer than makes dreams come true, there are many more that fail and hurt a lot of people along the way.
For me though, I wasn’t there to buy, I was there for “inspiration”. Michael was promoting his webinar as, “the secret to the last method the little guy can use to make big money online”. I paid careful attention to the structure of his webinar. The whole thing was basically a clever sales pitch that made a lot big promises. There was the offer of a very seductive business model that Michael promised he would deliver on. There were not only the websites that were needed to make money, but also the training needed to get them working, based on Michael’s many years of hard-earned IM experience.
Finally, as he released the link to join his coaching program, I heard how his listeners started cranking out $2000 a pop to get on board with his latest product, a money making juggernaut offering serious wealth to all without the need for years of blood, sweat, tears and failure. The whole experience was IM perfection.
I wasn’t ready to get on board with Michael right then, but the experience was very useful to me as an IM student. I just learned from the best, by watching an expert enact a funnel that made him a fortune in one day, and it didn’t cost me a cent.
Not only that, I discovered an affiliate program that is probably everything I want it to be – easy to sell, everygreen and profitable. How? By checking out what Michael sells. If someone like Michael sells it, it’s got to be good right? Without realising it, Michael helped me learn a great deal, for free and I’m sure he’s fine with that. When you’re copied, emulated, and down-right stolen from, you know you’ve made it.