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Internet Marketing, MLM and Making Money Online

25 August 2010 23 Comments

The more I read about the internet marketing community, the more it looks like Multi-Level Marketing (MLM).  Now most internet marketers will take great offense to this, but the point remains.  How many internet marketers are selling something to show others or teach others how to make money at internet marketing?  It is a sort of multi-level marketing where there is no real product being offered but instead is simply extending the concept of selling a product via the internet – where that product is usually something helping you to learn how to sell a product.

Before I go further, please let me clarify when I mention internet marketing, I’m talking about individuals trying to make money online – not internet marketing in the general sense where viable companies market their products via the web.  Again, this is about individuals trying to sell an affiliate product or their own product via the web.  Means of doing this might be article marketing, affiliate marketing, blogging, etc.

Now, veteran internet marketers will tell you that that is nonsense and the concept applies to any product, and I would agree that it does.  The problem is that most products being “marketed” by the internet marketers I”m referring to are nothing more than products that are showing you how to be an internet marketer – the “how to make money online” ebooks are the most common.  In a way, internet marketers are just trying to create more internet marketers and make money doing so.

This is my main hesitation for making money online and pursuing it further.  If you read my blog, you understand that I”m working to create online income streams.  I document my earnings to show others what is possible, but one of the long-term goals is to build up enough credibility in the space to do what else, but make money by showing you how to make money online!  The space is incredibly saturated, but the one thing that makes me think that it is possible is that most people trying to show you how to make money online are not making money themselves!  Now, of course there are the big guys like John Chow that make a killing, but they really don’t teach you much because you can never succeed in the way they do.  They succeed because they were early positioned and were able to get ahead of the crowd and become established as a leader in the field.  How does someone start right now and create a legitimate online income stream?

If you browse the internet marketing message boards like WarriorForum.com, someone would tell you to create a product (or find a product to sell) then create a landing page, then write a zillion articles creating traffic for your landing page.  You will then convert a percentage of that traffic and then it’s a matter of scaling up and boom, you’re making big bucks.  But, nobody and I mean nobody ever provides real data or discusses specifics.  It’s a strategy being attempted by hundreds of thousands of people trying to quit their day job and make a living online – therefore, I don’t think it’s a good strategy.  Again, over saturated.

The question is what can you offer that someone else can’t?  Are you an expert on something?  What work can you do that others would find interesting?  I like to think that on my site, I’m documenting real traffic and real income and thus, showing others hard data on creating an income stream from a blog.  I’m not rich, but I have been able to ramp up a blog from nothing to approximately $2,000 in revenue per month (based on August 2010).  While not the best example, it is an example of doing work (I maintain a blog) and documenting my results, thus showing readers real data.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, view my online income reports.

Or, how about another example… take Monty Perlin (fake name) who runs economicnoise.com.  Monty happens to have a bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees in corporate finance plus a full career of experience in corporate finance.  He is now retired and writes a blog about the economy.  I’d say he has the experience to write fascinating, impactful articles on his blog regarding the economy.  For some reason, Monty has allowed me to write a series of guest posts on his blog, and I feel completely inadequate doing so.

Or, take Tim Sykes.  Tim runs timothysykes.com and absolutely dominates the field of penny stock trading.  He has positioned himself as the leader in that field by documenting his trades over a period of several years and making a killing.  The result?  He has thousands of individuals paying him for his trading advice.  Tim makes anywhere form $50k-$100k a month.  How did he do it?  He has the knowledge, he did the work (trading), and he demonstrated his expertise on the web.  He then created a means for others to tap into this knowledge and he charged them money for it.

So what am I saying?  I’m saying if you want to make money online, don’t plan on making it by showing others how to make money online when you in fact, haven’t made any!

You have to bring something unique and relevant to the table.  You need legitimate experience or a wealth of knowledge to create a blog that someone wants to read.  You need to put in the sweat and effort in order to teach somebody how to do something.

With all of the above said, there is real opportunity, but the fact of the matter is, 90% of you will not make any money online.  You’ll create a website that isn’t well thought out then give up after a month or two of meager traffic.  It’s tough and it requires work, but it is possible.  You can create an online income stream to supplement your main income.  You might even be able to turn it into a passive income stream or a viable business that you can live off of.  There’s the end goal, but there’s a long journey to reach that goal. If you’re on that journey, I’d like to hear your thoughts and learn about your experiences!  To discuss further, check out the online income discussion board here.

23 Comments »

  • Moneyedup said:

    One thing you really have to be careful of when thinking about online incomes is avoiding scams. I know of scams out there where you have to pay money to access a list of sites that can help you make an online income, which is really just a list of more scam sites that will just serve to bring you junk mail each and every day. It is a tangled web you weave if you want to really get into earning an income online.

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  • David Moore said:

    It’s true many of the guru Internet marketers are selling “how-to how-to.”. However as someone selling an offline product, Ive appreciated their marketing training products that I’ve purchased as many of them have great marketing strategies an advice that apply to any industry. I’d recommend Jeff Walker, Frank Kern and Eben Pagan.

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  • Oboe said:

    Multi-level marketing is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they personally generate, but also for the sales. There are more ways to market your MLM, or multilevel marketing business, than ever before, especially with all the different electronic devices available. Thanks for sharing.

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    ZThere is a big difference in MLN and affiliate marketing. When I hear MLN, I think about companies you have to pay to play so to speak. Most MLN require you to pay a fee in order to sale there products. Affilaite marketing requires no up front fee to sale there products.

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