Why Honest Internet Marketing Is Damn Hard

It’s Hard To Be an Expert On Something You Don’t Care About
Many whitehat strategies require that you create unique, quality content. This doesn’t come naturally to most people when they know next to nothing about the niche they’re moving in, or just aren’t interested in it.

On the other hand, mixing RSS feeds and using content spinners is much easier. One can also employ free article directories, scrape Wikipedia and so on. Blackhat marketers can create algorithmically unique content with little real value fast.

A possible solution is to find a profitable niche that you personally like. This is damn hard because, if you’re looking for a niche that’s at least remotely popular, it’s probably going to be quite saturated. If you disagree, I have two words for you – self-selection bias (or is that three words?)

Things You Believe In May Seem Unprofitable
Why would someone care about my “computer processors made into magical artifacts” hobby? Niches that are really personal and unique often are just that – nobody else cares about them.

Even if you find a niche topic that has both supply (something to sell) and demand (someone who would buy a product), and you have the skills to grab a piece of the traffic pie, it may still feel wrong. Maybe the product sucks, or you simply don’t know enough about it to wholeheartedly recommend it. An affiliate marketer can’t be expected to buy and test each product before promoting it, right? A partial solution would be not to sell anything and rely on ads for income instead.

Another example – I would typically feel uneasy promoting commercial software, because I know 99% of the time you can find a free alternative that is just as good.

If being “good” doesn’t bother you, this is a non-issue. Instead of picking niches you like choose yhose that are profitable. You won’t need to create quality content for it anyway.

Exploits: Hard To Discover, Easy To Use
Finding a way to “game the system” requires creativity and luck, but using an exploit is easier, faster and more profitable (short-term) than many whitehat strategies. Here’s an example –

  1. Sign up as an affiliate for adultfriendfinder.com.
  2. Get your affiliate URL, targeted to the signup page. PPC mode.
  3. Set up a throwaway e-mail account, set up a vacation autoresponder (see below).
  4. Post “girl looking for a guy” ads on free ad sites, use the email address.
  5. When someone replies to your ad they get an automated response with your aff. link and some compelling reasons to sing up (to see your pictures, etc).
  6. Profit!

This is a simplified description of a scamming strategy I read in one of those PDF reports. With a few hours of work every day you could easily make $50-$100/day from this strategy. I speak from personal experience – this was the technique I was testing before I broke my arm. That kind of made me reconsider using blackhat stuff.

“The Dark Side” offers instant gratification, and that’s a tempting offer for sure. Obviously blackhat tricks become ineffective eventually, but there are always new techniques being discovered. Also, you can get most of the new IM products for free if you know where to look.

Learning IM Makes One Focus On The IM Niche
When somebody wants o learn “how to make money online”, they will automatically focus on the “make money” niche. A beginner internet marketer will often try to sell internet marketing products because that’s the topic he’s focused on at that time. I, too, am guilty of doing this. This is just how our brains work.

What most of the “gurus” don’t tell you is that IM is the worst niche for a beginner to start in. The market is saturated and most of the products are crap. For the beginner, this may create the (incorrect) impression that the “make money online” thing (no matter what the niche) is an inherently shady business. Even more – looking at the strategies some successful marketers (*cough*Ewen Chia*cough*) use it may seem that unethical methods work best and you must cast aside your morals to get rich fast.

Conclusions Lacking
I wonder what’s the proportion of whitehats vs. blackhats that are really successful making money online? “Successful” being at least $1000 profit per month.

Ah well, this took me bloody ages to write with one hand (left), but I feel it was worth it. I even managed to avoid ranting about my shady past. Err, well, at least partially avoid 😉

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7 Responses to “Why Honest Internet Marketing Is Damn Hard”

  1. PlugIM.com says:

    Why Honest Internet Marketing Is Damn Hard…

    For one, many whitehat strategies require that you create unique, quality content. This doesn’t come naturally to most people……

  2. Clik says:

    I’ve been researching things for a while now, had to stop playing music because of a shoulder replacement surgery. (don’t ask) This is the first post I have read in all the blogs and marketing-esque sites that really speaks to me without all the BS. I appreciate this blog. Keep it up! And keep the suggestions coming as well, they are refreshing and offer real ideas. Kudos

  3. White Shadow says:

    Clik: Wow, well… I just don’t know what to say. I didn’t really expect to get any reaction with this post; I was just tired of it all at the time and wanted to “let it out”.

    As for the suggestions – you’re welcome & use them at your own risk. My ideas haven’t helped me become rich yet, so they’re just that – ideas, not “proven strategies”.

    Thanks for commenting 😉

  4. Vivek says:

    Hello Mr. White Shadow , great to see your post because this is exactly what i am thinking for past few months, I signed up for clickbank , made 1-2 niche websites but tell you, the real satisfaction comes in coding stuff rather than selling some BS that even you wont wanna buy . I yearn to earn hefty bucks on the WWW but without killing the geek in me so i tried this web scraping stuff recently i did some youtube fetching and stuff cyberjadoo.com and hope to do things like this more but anyways you gave me that confidence boost that i was lookig for becoz i want to earn from my brain and not my BS superfluous promises to my product buyers blah blah ..
    Keep up the good work .. BTW i’ll be trying your Blogsearch scraping script soon .

  5. White Shadow says:

    Hmm, thanks for the comment.
    By now I make about $900 per month with mostly whitehat SEO and AdSense. But it’s still pretty bleak – the earnings have flatlined at that level and finding worthwhile niches is hard. So I’m looking into other strategies again… but it’s gotten only marginally easier compared to the time I wrote this post.

  6. Doug says:

    You’re an interesting person, your rawhtml plugin has helped me change one of my company’s ancient html websites into a wordpress site tremendously. I’m also using your rawhtml plugin as the basis for another plugin I’m developing. I’ve been programming for many years, but not in php/wordpress. Man I hate learning ‘another cms’ thing… jeez what a task trying to learn the hooks/api here.

    Lol… I fully understand the IM gig with aff though! I’ve done the exact same thing! rotflmao.

    Anyway, IM these days in what I would call ‘main stream’ areas is all about following the idiot dollar… the guru crowd per se. It’s hard not to open those guru emails just to see what idiot do everything guaranteed to make you big bux etc. They’re just making money off the masses that are desperate to find the magic bullet answer to their financial problems.

    You’re entirely spot on – still today, as you were in 2007 when you first wrote this post.

    Thanks for your inspirational work and common sense!

  7. I like the great updates you have to give here.

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