and start to believe your own hype.
How to become a player online… A story.
Find a niche that is conducive to social traffic, generates passion and controversy and most importantly offers readers a life changing experience. Like “Turtle Migration in the Galapagos”…
“How to get rich working online while wearing PJ’s”…
It was a tough decision but I went with the second option. Mostly because everyone else was already in the “turtle” debate and clearly didn’t need another voice. Nobody was talking about how to get rich.
Let’s start a blog.
Write a few posts selling the dream of getting rich and throw in a few links to a product that “made me rich and changed my life and only costs $97 – cheap – and did all that without me actually having to buy it or read it.” Brilliant.
Crap. Nobody showed up to read my post. Nobody bought the “Book”.
Damn. Back to square 1. What’s missing in this niche?
Dissent! Yes. A White Knight. Yes. A Good Guy to warn the masses about all the evil predators lurking out there preying on peoples desires – you know those desires… wealth, power, getting the opposite sex to…
Watch out scammers – your days are numbered.
Enter a popular forum that has all the experts in the niche. Zero in on the resident top dog expert – easy to find as they always have something to say on every topic. They have 15,000 posts in the forum – they know everything – because they have 15,000 posts in the forum. You know they never leave the forum and hence – don’t make a dime online – who has the time? You don’t get 15k posts on the forum if you are away working…
So. Swaddle right on up to the expert and calmly say… “you’re full of shit”. The expert goes ballistic… huffs, puffs, rants… and waits for the sycophants to come to the rescue. Those would be the experts in training – the people with only 10k posts on the forum. You laugh and leave while dropping a link back to your blog. And wait…
Lo and behold… people start showing up. Turns out a good number of non-experts used the forum. They too thought the experts were full of shit. They didn’t say anything… timid, unsure, they know they are beginners. “Boy are we glad someone finally told that windbag to shut the…”
Presto… a following.
Step 2 – find a few like minded individuals. Form a coalition – knights of the round table. Venture forth and slay the overlords of make money online bullshittery.
Bask in the glow of self righteous dogoodiness and welcome the growing masses with open arms. Be humble. Tell people the truth – well your truth – they love it.
Time goes on – you have a few critics – they make a few comments that are actually valid… “hey aren’t you selling shit online too?” Fortunately you have a small army of friends who quickly beat the critics into submission. Critics go away. All is right with the world. You’re a good guy – sure you make a few bucks but your way is legit – the bad guys are scum. You let the criticism drift to the back of your list of things that need fixin’ – you have a world to change first. You start thinking this because your friends are telling you how great you are… wow, you have power, influence… holy shit – YOU are a somebody!
But you aren’t. You know it. You have an inbox full of emails from real people – asking for real help and you know that your methods work for you and those like you but not for all – they don’t have your resources. They don’t live where you live. They don’t speak your language. They don’t play golf with the Captains of their local Industry. The world is a big place and success favours those who were clever enough to be born in the right place, have access to all the necessary accessories, first hand knowledge of the market where the money is… N. America. Life isn’t fair. You can’t make it so. You feel like an ass because you sell people a dream that they really can’t achieve as easily as you did, if at all – you didn’t take their money but this doesn’t mitigate your responsibility or collusion in the dream.
You’re no better than the people you warn others about.
Fraud. Hypocrite. This isn’t coming from the critics anymore. It’s coming from yourself.
You go back to what you used to do. A little wiser. Hopefully. You leave the shit behind. Spend your time building a business – not a gimmick. It works. No secret, no magic formula – nothing you can sell a book about. Just plain old fashioned work.
It’s boring as hell. You spend all day with a computer. No discourse with the outside world. You make money. Money is nice. It’s not fulfilling but its nice. You miss your friends – not the boot licking sycophants – just the discussions you had with friends who shared your interests.
You re-emerge, throw out a post or two. And wait. Whew – the sycophants have moved on to a new white knight who is going to save the world. Thankfully your friends are still around – wiser too – still working but they too have dropped the gimmicks and got down to business. And the critics are there as well – good – no need to mount a defense. Criticism is the only thing that keeps you grounded, lets you know where you stand, points out your mistakes, allows you to improve and mostly keeps your head out of your ass. “Is he appeasing Google?”… “What’s this shit he’s talking about?”… “An about face?”… If I said I have moved on I’d only be attempting to manipulate the masses – it would start all over again. Those who want to try something different are welcome to follow along, those who like what they are doing are welcome to keep doing it. There is no one way, right way or wrong way – just whatever works for you.
If you want to make a name for yourself online I just told you one way of doing it and the Salty Droid (the white knight link above and by all means spend some time reading his posts) is the current manifestation of a talented writer borrowing a tried and not so true persona (Vic, The Rich Jerk) to wage a war of limited importance (none) against an evil empire of Internet marketers who will always exist and will always make money off of the weak and gullible who, in turn, will always exist and, like lottery tickets, will continue to buy shit even though they know its crap because they don’t want to work for stuff because its easier to dream about getting lucky.
Just be warned – there is a problem with this kind of fame. In response to those of you who have sent me emails extolling the virtues of the Droid and insisting I jump back on the bandwagon let me say this – it is a doomed enterprise and the internet has a long memory. Once you are known you can’t erase your tracks. If you pursue a crusade – no matter how noble – using inflammatory tactics, sailor language, appealing to base emotions, stifling reasoned debate, banishing your critics and allow your sycophants to massage your ego you will eventually find yourself preaching to the choir and only the choir. The New York Times won’t be asking for your opinion and the silent majority of sensible people who you really need to appeal to will have turned their back. You become a foul mouthed fanatic, entertaining in a freak show way, but unworthy of serious reference or admiration. Your own reputation becomes worse than the people you rail against. Sure you are a good guy – your intentions are noble. It’s just that you’re an asshole about it and the majority of people don’t like assholes.
There is a new direction in Internet marketing – actually it’s not new – just more stable, less prone to sudden destruction. Become an expert. Build an authority site. Become famous in your niche. Let your content (still queen) be your voice and the links (still king) will find you. The thing is – you won’t be dependent on any one source for your traffic so if the links don’t find you, big deal, you will still survive. Build a reputation based on knowledge of the subject matter and keep your personal opinions to yourself – nothing drives off readers and customers like finding out you don’t share their political, religious, ethical or moral views. Unless you are in those niches you might want to keep quiet – I like marketing to everyone – not just those of my ilk.
To some this post is nothing more than a cynical attempt to manipulate my readers or Google. To some it will be the last they see of me. To some it will be my way of apologizing for the past and starting over. For me I just needed to clear the air – my air. I’ve endured the stench of this niche for a long time and need to admit the hypocrisy and bullshitery I engaged in before I can move on. No I didn’t take your money but I let people believe the dream and encouraged it while knowing that it benefited me while not really benefiting others. I talked about tricks and short cuts and manipulation that worked for short term gain and, yes, still works today but I should have said enough – I should have said stop the bullshit and start building a long term business based on marketing fundamentals that will provide a lasting presence and a sustainable income. Fundamentals that don’t rely on tricks or the whims of algorithms or whatever the current social trend is. I talked about A while doing B. It was wrong and I apologize. I don’t have an answer for everyone. I only know what works for me. What I know may help you or it may not. Are you wasting your time in this business? Only you can answer that.