May 17, 2011
Merriam-Webster defines a myth as “a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon.”
It’s been said all myths are based in fact. Whether or not that’s true is debatable. What isn’t debatable, however, is like society, Internet Marketing also has its myths. This article exposes what I consider to be the 10 biggest Internet Marketing myths.
1. You Don’t Need Any Money to Do Business on the Internet
You wouldn’t expect to advertise on TV, radio, in newspapers, magazines, or any other media for free would you? Yet, for some strange reason, people think they can just come online and not spend any money, and advertise their business for free. To me, that shows an utter lack of respect for the single most important communication medium since television.
And while it’s true, there are plenty of free advertising opportunities available on the Internet, the fact remains, you still need money to effectively do business online.
2. Anyone Can Succeed at Internet Marketing
One of my favorite TV shows is Forensic Files. I am absolutely fascinated at how scientists are able to solve crimes with DNA evidence, animal hairs and insect larvae. It’s nothing short of amazing. But I could never be a forensic scientist. I simply don’t have the mental aptitude for it. Forensic scientists have to excel at math and chemistry and science, and quite frankly, those are the subjects I’m weakest at.
The same can be said about Internet Marketing. Despite how easy the slick sales letters and e-books make IM sound, not everyone has the mental aptitude for marketing. And while that may be a hard pill to swallow for many of you reading this, it’s also a fact. Not everyone has what it takes mentally to succeed at Internet Marketing. That’s why people hire marketing consultants like me. (Sorry, I’m not accepting any new clients).
3. You Can Get Rich Quick on the Internet
We’ve all heard the sensationalistic stories about individuals who came online and made a lot money very quickly. Well, sensationalism notwithstanding, those individuals are the exceptions rather than the rule. The fact of the matter is, far more people fail at Internet Marketing than succeed.
Contrary to popular belief, the Internet is not some kind of magic bullet. Besides, it’s not the medium that makes people successful, it’s the individuals themselves. And the people who succeed at the highest level online or offline are generally talented, hard working, organized, focused and determined.
4. People Don’t Read Long Copy on the Internet
If people don’t read long copy on the Internet, who in the heck is reading all those e-books out there in the marketplace? While this myth was disproven years ago, like birtherism, it still persists in the face of overwhelming and irrefutable evidence to the contrary. So, I’m going to attempt to lay it to rest, once and for all.
Research has shown that long copy generally outperforms short copy – provided the copy is compelling, well-written and interesting. And in addition to reading e-books, people regularly read long newspaper and magazine articles online. Bottom line: People WILL read long copy IF the subject matter is interesting to them.
5. All Traffic is Good Traffic
This myth is about as nonsensical as the tooth fairy. Here are the facts: If your traffic is originating from traffic exchanges or guaranteed traffic programs, it’s garbage traffic, plain and simple. And as the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out!”
If you are advertising on websites, or in publications that have zero relevance to your site, you are pretty much spinning your wheels. And if you’re exchanging links with websites that have absolutely nothing in common with your site, your efforts are going to be futile because that traffic is not going to convert. All traffic is not created equal. Quality and relevance matters!
6. E-mail Marketing is Dead
With the advent of mega-popular social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, alarmists have all but declared e-mail marketing dead and buried. Well, I don’t believe in erroneous declarations. I believe in facts. And here are the facts according to Nielsen…
U.S. consumers are spending more and more of their Internet time on their mobile devices. In fact, e-mail activity on mobile devices increased from 37.4% to 41.6% of U.S. mobile Internet time. And when you consider the fact smartphones now comprise 25% of a gigantic U.S. mobile phone market, there can only be one conclusion… E-mail marketing isn’t dead, its gone mobile!
7. Article Marketing Isn’t as Effective as It Used to Be
That is absolute nonsense! I’m personally experiencing more success with article marketing than I ever have. So too are many of my colleagues. And while it’s true, there are many more people involved in article marketing these days, it’s also true, there are many more bad or poorly written articles permeating the Internet. This has the unintended and beneficial consequence of making well-written, quality articles stand out in the crowd. And trust me, quality publishers do notice.
8. You Need to Be on the First Page of Google to Be Successful
Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, Google is far and away the most popular search engine on the planet. No sane person would dispute that. But Google only has ten spots available on the first page. So, not only is it unrealistic, it’s impossible for everyone to achieve first page status.
But even if it were possible for everyone to achieve first page status, you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in Google’s basket anyway. You’ve seen what can happen when Google has one of its many algorithm changes. First page today, not even indexed tomorrow. That’s why you should strive to have a multi-pronged marketing approach. Utilize a variety of methods to generate traffic.
For example, blogging, newsletters, social networking, article marketing, forum marketing, online and offline advertising, guest blogging, question and answer sites, etc. Diversify.
9. Saturated Niches are No Longer Profitable
This is only true if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let me ask you a question: Have you ever wondered why a particular niche is saturated? It’s because that’s where all the customers are. You see, contrary to popular belief, it really doesn’t matter how saturated or over-crowded a niche is if you’re a professional.
If you know what you’re doing, and execute your marketing strategy properly, there are plenty of customers to go around. You see, it’s how well you position yourself within a particular niche that will determine your success or failure. It’s all about differentiating yourself from your competitors. That’s Marketing 101.
You have to clearly explain to people what makes you different and/or better than your competitors. Then, you have to exploit those differences consistently. So, don’t run away from a crowded niche, embrace it. The Internet Marketing pie is plenty big enough for everybody.
10. If You Build It, They Will Come
Do you know what happens if you build a website and don’t tell anyone about it? Nothing. Absolutely nothing will happen.
Unfortunately, far too many marketers think all they have to do is build a website and customers will somehow magically appear at their doorstep. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way. Building a website is only the first step. You also have to advertise your website to the world – and not just with free advertising methods either. That will only take you so far. You also have to be willing to spend money on paid advertising.
So yes, if you build it, they will come. But only if they know about you!
David Jackson is a marketing consultant, and the owner of Free-Marketing-Tips-Blog.com – Powerful, free marketing tips to help grow your business! http://free-marketing-tips-blog.com