Coffee Break: The 2500 Word Rant

I really hate it when I sit down here to write, and nothing comes out. As a blogger or content developer yourself, you know this feeling all too well I'm sure.

I have so much that I want to share with you, but the blank screen just mocks me. It has become a staring contest, which I am determined to win...

What I want to say is so blunt, and the reason I'm having a hard time saying it... is because I would like to find more appropriate words, or a nicer way of saying it.

But that may not happen.

I don't like the Internet Marketing space anymore.

There, I said it.

I've been working online for more than a dozen years. I'm not some "overnight internet marketing consultant" that got online one day and immediately decided to teach everyone else something I couldn't even do myself.

I held weekly training classes at my shop, I offered on-site training to local merchants that wanted to integrate the internet into their business plan, I helped people start and succeed at home-based businesses.

I have made my living online. With NO other source of income, and raising two children as a single mother. I put in long hours, learned by trial & error, did not give up until I achieved my goals - and then set new goals. I single-handedly created a dream life that most people would absolutely love to have.

I did not do any of that overnight. I did not accomplish it by following a blueprint, or paying someone $97 or even $1997. In fact, I didn't buy my first "ebook" until more than five years into my business. Up to that point the only things I had paid for were hosting and other necessary services.

I have never spun content, bookmarked or "dugg" or "stumbled" my own articles, created millions of pages of crap that make no sense at all with some crap software that was sold by the latest traveling e-salesman.

I worked. I created cool websites and valuable online businesses.

Margaritas on the Beach

I was having lunch with a really nice group of people at the last event I attended. They were kind enough to invite me to join them, and I ended up really enjoying both the company and the conversation.

One of the ladies mentioned a product or a software program that I wasn't personally familiar with, and then said (I'm paraphrasing) "The sales copy made it sound so easy - you know, like I'd be sipping margaritas on the beach by now."

I smiled and said... "You do realize that the person who wrote that sales copy was not sitting on the beach sipping margaritas, right? They were sitting in a room alone somewhere, probably unbathed and unshaven and in their pajamas, slaving over creating that product for months on end - and then on writing the copy itself. Of course, they may have been drinking a margarita while doing it, who knows..."

My point is (and was) - that all is not as it seems.

(but then, I don't suppose anyone wants to buy reality...)

I'm not knocking great software. Or great sales copy - which is an awesome skill to have, by the way. I'm just deeply bothered by the lack of reality, and the overall state of Internet Marketing as we know it.

The Awesome Opportunity of WORK

Working from home and running an online business is an awesome opportunity. Just ask my two kids, who are now teenagers - and have had a full-time mother all of their lives. They'll tell you I worked hard. They'll tell you I spent many long hours for many years at my computer, even. But they'll also tell you they have it made. Our lifestyle would not have been possible without the internet - my gateway to an awesome and rewarding career, from a home where I was needed.

I have never made light of the amount of work that goes into starting a business. Ever. I do think that anyone can do it, but I know that not everyone will succeed. It takes a serious dose of personal motivation, and if you have that... you can achieve anything. Not overnight, mind you. It might take you 10 weeks, 10 months or even 10 years. Accept that, and work hard anyway, and you are well on your way to creating the successful online business that you want.

It's not in scamming people, spinning content, spamming the internet with useless crap, owning every ebook or premium wordpress theme or software program created. It's in creating a business that adds value to people - to a specific group of people. Period.

Take a look at that last hyperlink on adding value.

I wrote that 4 1/2 years ago.

My message has never changed - starting a business takes work. There is no easy overnight route or "magic button". Believe me, if there was I would have used it and saved myself many long days - and years - of work.

What makes people believe it's going to be easy, anyway?

I challenge you to go out today and start an offline business. Go start a flower shop or a bakery. Go for it! Do you think it's going to be easy? Do you think you'll earn $10,000 in 10 days? Hell no! You'll likely spend that just getting started and work your ass off trying to get out of debt and into profit.

Starting an online business IS easier, of course. It is. And the profit potential is much greater even. But you are still starting a business.

I'm rambling. You already know all these things. I've been blogging my heart out for years on this very topic... but hey, no more blank screen so I win! πŸ˜‰

My real point is that the Internet Marketing space itself has become disgusting and dirty and ridiculous. There are days it makes me sick. There are moments I feel like walking away from it all and breaking any association with it.

I miss the days when the web was clean, and when people saw the opportunity there for what it really was. Oh who am I kidding really... there have been scam artists and creeps from day one. But still... now they no longer seem like the minority and they're actually harder to spot. The lines between have become so blurred.

Here's one for you...

A guy has an infomercial for a $19.95 product that promises to help you become wildly successful working from home. People buy and they are immediately offered more help for more money and even more help for even more money.

The next thing you know this guy is at an Internet Marketing seminar proudly touting his numbers and dollar figures and conversion rates from the stage. And he wows everyone in the audience (or 33.7% of them at least, which he will boast about later in an online webinar) enough to cause a rush to the back of the room to spend $2k buying his system that promises to show them how to do the same.

*puke*

Never, in all the numbers he shared, did he share the success rate of his buyers.

And never, in everything he did personally, did he sell a real product to a real person. And he in fact has absolutely no experience (or success) doing so - the very thing his "awesome product" teaches them that they should do.

All of his success is in selling the idea of success, while he sends his customers off to try to duplicate that success with a totally different system - like promoting banner ads via pay-per-click advertising or some such thing. Seriously.

This might be comical if it wasn't so sickening.

It blows my mind that there is even a market to keep some of these "entrepreneurs" in business. But there is - which is another problem altogether.

Guy above ^ is just a fictional character, by the way. An example to make a point. So don't ask me who I was referring to. I don't actually know all of their names. πŸ˜›

But enough about complete strangers. What about the over-the-top claims made by someone you know and like? What if someone you've come to trust for their honesty and integrity sends you one of those dirty emails promising to show you how they made $78,000 in 42 minutes...

Yeah right. Only because that person had *years* invested in getting to that moment, and having everything in place already to achieve those results.

You cannot duplicate those results without investing the same. And maybe not even if you do invest the exact same time, money, effort and duplicate every single little task in exactly the same way. For any number of reasons.

Look - I'm all for sharing experiences with each other. For learning from those who have figured out systems or strategies that work. The online business & new media space has evolved because of it, no doubt.

But there's a difference between sharing (and even selling) proven methods & strategies that others can apply to their own business model... and spewing useless crap that is no benefit to anyone except the person making a profit from said crap.

Want to know what else makes me sick?

"Bar Talk" from so-called professionals. Paying thousands of dollars to attend a seminar only to have the f-bomb dropped from the stage while "experts" drink beer and spew useless information that ultimately turns into a bragging war and an ego trip. I got up and walked out of the room the last time I heard the word "butt head" from the stage. I find it personally offensive. And to think that I was considering bringing my son to that event now that he is also working online... Ugh.

There you have it. That's what has been on MY mind lately.

I've put a lot of thought into this over the last year. Specifically how this applies to me, and to my business model. In other words, how I intend to respond. And by respond I don't mean I'm going to hop up on a crate somewhere and shout at the crap and expect it to listen and react.

I've simply been deciding where my place is in this crowded, dirty market.

There are some great people in the Internet Marketing space. Don't get me wrong. I know them, or know of them, and have the greatest respect for the market leaders in the industry that have maintained their integrity. That are doing truly great things. It's not an easy space to work in, or an easy market to serve.

I considered stepping out altogether, and going to back to a place in time where I was happiest: working away on my fun niche affiliate sites. There's nothing like creating a new site on a topic you enjoy, and watching it grow into something fulfilling and profitable.

While I still have niche sites, somehow the scale tipped dramatically - my 80 became my 20, and my 20 became my 80. More in terms of time than revenue.

I take personal responsibility for that. I do.

But as much as I love niche affiliate marketing (niche meaning outside of IM), I have been helping others achieve life-changing success from the very start of my online career - and I know deep inside myself that I will always want to do that.

Not because it's a profitable business for me (do you see me selling anything right here??) - though it is - but because I CAN. Because I have the experience and the expertise as much as others (and more so than most), and I know that I can make a difference for you as you work on your online business.

And so, for my own sanity, here is what I've decided...

I am going back to a heavy focus on the one thing I absolutely love - my niche affiliate sites. And I am also going to invest myself in a greater reach, with a stronger voice, in the Online Business market.

Not necessarily in the inbred space of regurgitated crap that is "Internet Marketing" as we know it today. But in the space where real people are looking for real solutions to start a home business or work online.

And yes, there is a big difference.

I'm going to put my blinders on. Ignore the thieves and scammers. And I am going to make it my life's work to be exactly where people are looking for the help & inspiration they need to get started online.

I am not here for those who want to "play" the Internet Marketing game. I am not available to waste time with people who are using the internet as a means to ignore other priorities in their life with no intention of ever running a business with pride.

My goal is to publish content in a variety of text, audio & video formats. To have a presence in Google, in iTunes, on Twitter & Facebook, and at YouTube. I'll share resources, tutorials, candid reviews, helpful tips - everything I discover and use in my own business and at my own sites.

Personal interaction and one-on-one help will be reserved for my Private Brainstorming Group, a small group of dedicated action-takers.

We're starting our 5th year together as of this month. This is the only place I will do site reviews, brainstorm domain names & creative ideas, help with marketing strategies and technical issues. It is not an open "membership site" and not something I have actively promoted in the 4 years since I started this group.

In fact, the doors are closed to new members more often than not. It is the most expensive (currently costing me ~$15,000/year to manage) and most time-consuming thing that I do, and definitely not one of my primary sources of revenue. It's a "labor of love", and it's my space to actually do good work with people that appreciate it.

All that to make the point that I have never offered coaching or consulting, and don't intend to go that route. In my opinion, if all you do is coaching then all you are qualified to teach is... coaching.

You may be scratching your head, wondering how in the world anything I just said is any different than what I already do. But it is. And you'll see changes unfold over the next few weeks, and over the next 12-18 months.

An evolution is in progress here. And I'll share everything with you every step of the way - without ever putting you through a hell'ish funnel that ends at a $2,000 doorway where you are made to feel ignorant and that you deserve to be poor and miserable if you don't pay up - now or never. I promise.

Goodbye blank screen - 2500 words later! lol

Thank you for the coffee and the conversation. I look forward to continuing this discussion with you in the comments section below...

*cheers*

And now you know why I decline most speaking (ie stage pitching) requests and do not create high-ticket info products. πŸ˜‰

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreΒ»

Discussion

  1. Kristy Stone says:

    Hey there Lynn,
    I am new to your list and I found your blog because I was seeking some help in basic html. I have been following IM market for 5 years and only dappled. I am now moving into niche marketing with open eyes and a desire to only work along with business people with integrity. Thank you for this post; it is inspiring. You have a follower and a friend in me πŸ™‚

  2. Shelley Grieser says:

    Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for your honesty and sharing your rant with us. As a single mom, myself, trying to build a business where I can have flexibility and be here for my kids which is so important to me, I have always admired you.

    Thank you for "who" you are, a person of integrity, respectable, tell it like it is, generous, authentic, caring,knowledgeable, wise, helpful, giving (and providing)value through your content, products and services to your many followers. We so appreciate people like you.

    There are so many people/gurus and wanna be gurus out there in the IM world competing for $$$ that it can be difficult for people to know who they can trust...very sad.

    Thank God, for good honest respectable people like you! We appreciate you and all that you do! Keep up the GREAT work!

  3. MaAnna Stephenson says:

    Lynn, I couldn't agree with you more, all of it. I especially liked the statement that no one wants to buy reality. I've made a living helping folks recoup and start over from having taken the "easy" route with their website the first time around. I've seen so many folks lose their entire investment, including their domains and whole site because the didn't own their copyright that it made me sick (and mad) enough to do something about it. Online marketing, done the right way, is work, and there is always something new to learn and improve. I respect that you have run your business with integrity and speaking out about the current climate of promotion. Thank you for being real and telling it like it is!

  4. Clay Franklin says:

    Interesting Article Lynn!
    I tend to agree that Internet Marketing even over the last few years is about making a lot of money, lower integrity and less honesty than I would like to see.
    Newbies or people new to Internet Marketing are especially vulnerable to the next shinny object syndrome. I am disappointed in many of the people I have interacted with over the last 4 years as I entered and learned about Internet Marketing as a business model.
    I have bought products that are interesting yet I am not sitting on a beach sipping a margarita.
    I am especially disappointed in the lack of integrity of some famous people that ask others to promote their products for a affiliate commission and then do not pay out the earnings for all the work done to promote their product or service. I am owed money by more than one person and it is very frustrating to keep submitting support tickets that do not get answered or the answer is a lame excuse.
    I have spend a lot of time building up links to affiliate products and services and even have dedicated domain names for many of them and then my affiliate revenue does not get sent to me as promised.
    I loose faith in those people and chalk it up to experience and my own gullibility that I expect people to honor their commitments to their affiliates.
    I am done buying and promoting Internet Marketing products and services offered by others and focusing on helping businesses get more customers with mobile media SMS text marketing. The commissions are great, they pay weekly and I get to help others be successful. I am keeping my clients that I build web sites and do SEO for and only taking on new clients by referral so I can focus my energies on helping businesses learn about mobile media.

  5. Your not alone!
    I have been working for years at selling, all kinds of things. Now I am turning that skill, and knowledge into an online business. I have been suckered into stuff that stinks, hypnotic this or that, just to see whatI am missing. Nothing from these underwhelming phonies.
    Good luck with you mission.
    I have mine, and you may or may not see me around the electric dancefloor.
    If you do, it won't be to pretend I know how to dance, but to offer the choice to dance.
    Billy Delaney

  6. Bravo!

    I am going to make this post a must-read for my clients (of course ClickNewz already is).

    Bob

  7. Thank you very much for your candor, Lynn.

    I have been deluged recently with a very questionable offer from people that I had some respect for until that point. As a result I unsubscribed from about 75% of the lists I was on.

    Maybe it's the economy, because there seems to be an undercurrent of desperation in the number and decreasing quality of these IM offers. It seems like many of these guys are trying to make one last big killing before the bottom falls out.

    It's good to hear a honest appraisal for a change.

  8. Thanks Lynn!

    Another refreshing article with very strong messages. It seems that by its very nature, the Internet is wide open to the scammers, spammers, and many other forms of bad actors.

    Good old fashioned, down home integrity seems to be more and more elusive on the Net these days. When I'm very famous I'll develop an "A List" of people of integrity who can be trusted to work with on the Internet. You'll be right at the top of the list!

    All the best,

    Jon

  9. Hi Lynn,

    You're absolutely right on this. I couldn't agree more. The IM space has become disgusting with so many launches in which a 'version 2.0' or even version 3.0 is being offered for thousands of dollars, when this v2.0 is almost identical to v1.0. Mostly a repackaged version of the first product.

    It has become this place where people see their subscribers as just a herd of cattle, ready to throw money at their command. I can't stand the bragging either.

    A lot of these guru's are not selling usable information, but only hope. Often people are willing to pay anything to get hope. My opinion is that we have to give more than just hope. Selling only hope is not enough. As long as people are letting themselves get sucked into the hype (or hope if you will), the IM space will keep attracting more of these self-proclaimed experts and guru's...

    Peace and good luck on your journey,
    Tony

  10. Thanks, Lynn, for a very honest and courageous post. I am fairly new to online niche marketing and have had enough success to leave my cubicle job - but I can attribute that to one word: work. My husband and I work it together, but it is nonetheless lots of very hard work. I love what we do, but like you, I really don't like how some online marketers give people the idea that it happens without a ton of honest sweat equity. Thanks, Lynn. I respect your opinion and am so glad you're willing to share it.

  11. Hey Lynn,

    Is it something in the air? I've been having feelings like this for a few weeks now. Thanks for sharing this as hopefully, coming from someone of your status in the IM world, it may have some impact on people. Perhaps someone who was considering doing something not too ethical will rethink their decision. We all know how tempting it can be and for newbies, the lure of the almighty buck can be hard to resist. They aren't thinking in terms of a business but just fast dollars. In the offline world, crime is up almost everywhere. People sometimes make decisions in desperate times that they might not have made otherwise. It's the same online. We all could use the little voice of Lynn Terry in our heads telling us there is a right way to do this and a wrong way from time to time.

    Perhaps the problem is that so many of the IM's with integrity ARE working on their own niche sites and aren't visible to the masses. Perhaps, the ones who are most visible are the greedy, no conscience type of people who have no problem making false promises. These people do seem to exist everywhere online. (and offline to be fair). You know, the slick sales types that only have their own interests in mind and who don't care if someone who really needs to be earning money is spending their family's last dollar on the next new piece of junk that they definitely don't need and won't learn enough from to do anything with and are now $97.00 dollars poorer. It is scaring me away from even offering anyone else's products on my own website, affiliate link or not! I don't ever want someone to think that of me! It makes me furious even thinking about these thieves.

    I for one am always inspired by you and what you have accomplished. My goal is to have the same kind of respect that you have from your readers and students. You do a great job Lynn. I know it is exhausting dealing with what's going on out there but you are in a special position not many will EVER find themselves in. YOU have a very good and loyal following that looks to you as an example of what it can be. We see how so many other IM's behave and it brings us running back to you. Up until now, you've always put your arms around us and let us know that it's going to be ok. We count on you and your wisdom to show us how it can be and you can make a living doing it the right way. We count on you and we are extremely grateful to you.

    Don't give up on our industry Lynn. Try to remember that the best ones may not be the most visible on the internet but that doesn't mean they aren't there.

    You my friend, are a bright light in the vast darkness of the IM world! Keep your chin up and keep doing what you do best. We love you Lynn. We really do!

  12. thomas Cook says:

    Lynn,,,,,wow that was a handful,well i am new and planning at joining your group,,,,but i must say i find it hard to make the transition....to join and how that helps me fix my website and get to marketing my site and services in a meaningful way,,,you speak of fakes,,,,how are people to know,they all claim the same then want money,,,,,so people have to weigh things...most are only available with emails,,,,even yourself,,,,well i am ready soon and well see if what you say is all true,,,,i am a new person and well rate things as i see them,,,,hopefully i will be pleasantly surprised......time well tell lynn..........

    • Thomas, you can tell by the response of those who know her. Lynn is not available only by email --she's on Twitter, Facebook, and in her private forum and live on the private forum brainstorming calls. I haven't ever been in touch with an internet marketer who is as accessible as she is. Trust those of us who follow her - she's the real thing.

      • I don't have much to add as it has already been said by everyone here, but I did want to say that this sweet lady, also takes the time to answer emails, rather than sending the "no reply" types.

    • You may want to wait until you feel more sure that it is the right group for you. That's perfectly acceptable. Join the main forum first and get a feel for it: http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/members/ Also search the archives here for specific things you need help with right now, then when you're ready to join the Private Brainstorming Group you'll *know* it's the right time. πŸ˜‰

  13. Kimberly Rhodes says:

    Lynn,
    Wow! You said what I have been thinking for so long. Where are the people using the internet to sell REAL products and services? You are such a breath of fresh air. Thanks so much for keeping it real.

  14. Dorothy Ray says:

    Wow! I feel wrung out after that, but I'm not surprised to hear you say any of it. I've been reading all the online marketers stuff long enough to get their message and I haven't bought anything except what I needed to start the blog. And Darren Rouse's book about Problogging.
    Here's to success in what you do. Thank gosh I found you early and stuck with you. It's good to know I can trust you to speak your mind. honestly.

  15. Tony Funderburk says:

    I've been selling music online for almost 10 years. Real songs that I really wrote, recorded, produced and created CD's for. I focused on the kids music niche, and I've expanded a little bit from there.
    The reason I say this is because when it comes down to talking about online business, the emphasis still has to be on the "business" part of it. Online is a more convenient way of making money than offline, but you still have to put in the hours. And if your focus is on a "system" rather than serving real people, your success will either be short-lived or non-existent.

    That's why I read your "rant" and loved it. It goes back to what's real and what will always be real...working out relationships with real people giving them real stuff they really want.

    Rant on!
    Tony

  16. Hi! A dozen years is a long time and there's been lots of changes in that time - the internet itself was just a babe 12 years ago! I think there's too many people out there who want to earn a fast buck with the minimum amount of effort, and believe that it's possible to achieve. They don't see the years of hard work that's behind the true success story. Good luck with your future plans!

  17. Lynn,
    You were the first internet marketer I met in person about 3 years ago in the Gallaria Mall in Atlanta. You were gracious with your time and I was in serious need of some honesty in this quagmire of space called Internet Marketing. I have followed you since then, been a private forum member and attended a NAMS event all because of your honesty and integrity. You are doing the deal and positively impacting lives. Unfortunately it is easy to feel you are not making an impact when there is so much Riff Raff out there.

    The more you lead us the more we can lead others and this was a great step in leadership. Kind of a John Kennedy speech in fact. Ask not what you can do for yourself but what can you do for the Internet Marketing world. To make it a better place, to give people a solid, honest place to come for answers and direction. I commend you and look forward to continued growth, action and successful business online with you.

  18. Great rant Lynn, even as you rant it shows what a good person you are, otherwise you wouldn't even care what was going on out there. My husband is a contractor and in the offline world all the crap and scam artists make a bad name for the decent people there as well. Your integrity helps people more than you will ever know.

  19. I like what I read here. Down to earth reality. I don't have more that that to say really except, damn what people can be naive bout internet. As everywhere some are lucky to success on internet as well, but that we see in "real hardware life" business as well.

  20. TheShamanMarketer says:

    *sigh* - you are SO right. I grew up before there was the "www" in the internet, and I worked in the IT industry for the past 20+ yrs.
    Working online is a gift - but it is a good idea to stay clear of the "IM Niche", the "gurus" and all the other nuisances out there...

    Playing with all the nonsensical stuff from autoblogs to xrumer - ok, fine. But using it to make a living? How do these guys FEEl, if at all?

    Nope, I have proven to myself that it is possible to make a (so far very modest, but I am not breaking my back either...) living online, outside the "make money" niche, and without 98% of the "must have" ebooks and "products" the marketing syndicate guys want to force-feed you...

    feels good, and feels good that there are other webworkers out there who seem to think in a similiar way...

  21. Jesus Perez says:

    I found this blog several months ago on IMNewsWatch via my morning iPad/breakfast ritual. This post drew me out of the woodwork. Thank you for shedding light on some of the terrible practices out there. Your comments on the current state of internet marketing are refreshing and quite welcome.

  22. Dan Reinhold says:

    I think I'm most confused by world-famous IMers who "quit" the IM niche and yet are still pitching their lists.

    Ya gotta wonder...

    Dan

  23. Karen McGreevey says:

    Wow, Lynn. Why don't you tell us how you really feel! πŸ™‚

    That little bit of latte there might just be the tongue/finger loosener! Having said that, I know exactly what you're talking about because I've seen a lot of it, too.

    And, I've "indulged" in some of the offers, too, before I figured out that in many cases things weren't really what they seemed.

    My good fortune, though, has been discovering you and SSWT. I've learned a lot from you, and I especially know where integrity lies.

    I do appreciate your post, not because it's a reminder of what "lurks out there" but because the many scenarios are in an easy-to-find place.

    Keep on with your "bad self!" I'll pay attention to you any day because I know I'm getting the straight story.

    Karen

  24. Allen Walker says:

    You rock Lynn! You totally rock! πŸ˜€

    I couldn't have said it better myself... Looking forward to the wave of change that's comin. πŸ˜‰

  25. Joseph L. Huntoon says:

    I'm so new to this my site is not together yet. I have however been sickened by the garbage out there and almost gave up on the idea. Your rant has given me hope. Maybe my business model will work. Real, original and useable information and very carefully chosen affiliations. Once I get it figured out I hope to be helping local people and businesses. They will know me to be real as I will be there.
    I will either join the IM community with my integrety or I won't join it at all. That is a promise to the world.

  26. What a great post. Feeling burnout is all too common. Even when doing what it is you enjoy to do, that human feeling comes around every once in a while. You are doing a fantastic job. Your honesty and willingness to share with others is more than evident. Keep up the excellent work.

  27. Wow its a rant Lynn!

    But Im sooooo glad you let it out, do you feel better?

    I suppose much of the content you talk about, the spurious re-hashed rubbish, is generated by people who are starting out! Its not there fault and it doesn't make them 'butt heads'!

    If they stick at it long enough they will learn, they will meet great people just like you did and find the truth that hard work is the secret.

    In the meantime they will continue to suck up the crap, learn from their mistakes and become better over time. The great news is that those who are not prepared to work hard, those who are looking for a short cut, will get weeded out. Almost natural selection...lol

    Work IS the new opportunity.

    I listened to a podcast ( i think it was David Oliver ) and he said he could never be the first out of the gate, but he loved work. Work was and continues to be the one action everyone can take to become a success, both personally and financially.

    Like the late Jim Rohn said "rarely does one's income exceed one's personal development". Were not talking mindset mumbo jumbo, but the true power of applying 'the right' knowledge learned consistently and diligently.

    i found you at IMTW, and added you along with Ed, Paul and Michelle to my 'people i follow' in google reader.

    Over time the list has grown and now I have a place to go that is chock full of the right information. Clearing the clutter in the Internet Marketing space has become a de-facto for me and im using reader to do it.

    In fact its my next project to share the tools necessary for everyone to cut out the rubbish from their inbox, to identify the 3% of content that is worthy of consuming and have one place to consume it!

    Liberating!

    Awesome Share Lynn

    Regards Mark

    • Henrik Flensborg says:

      Hey Mark,

      I've sadly found that much of the "spurious re-hashed rubbish" is generated by people who have been in the IM game for a long time.

      And it seems like some of these individuals produce products of lower and lower quality.

      Sometimes it feels like they are trying to see how little value they can get away with.

      Coupled with stories of lack of support after purchase and failing to pay affiliates I find it's getting more and more difficult to be thrilled about new IM products

  28. Preach on, my friend. πŸ™‚ I think you hit upon the 3 magic words in the internet marketing world "Work", "Value", and "Results".

    I said "slick as snot" from the stage at NAMS in regards to Dropbox. I hope that is ok. lol!

    I had to laugh when you mentioned your niche sites. My niche sites have been calling my name recently, too. "Nicole... we MISS YOU! Come back and play..."

    Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.

    Talk soon.
    N

    • LOL You are always a fun speaker! I will never (NEVER) forget "sexy backend" hahaha. I am excited about reviving my niche sites with some fresh new angles this year - now THAT is fun!

  29. Lynne, your post is not only inspiring but also beautifully honest in an online world of smoke and mirrors. It also reassures me for next time I am racking my brain for something interesting to write, I am going to simply write what is on my mind

  30. Lee Little says:

    I'm in - for the margaritas on the beach anyways...
    You may not want to name names of the scammers (they probably have lawyer already on staff)but pointing out those who are legit is a great service to your followers too.
    BTW, any thoughts on Link Liberation?

  31. Mark W. Schaefer says:

    I am not an Internet marketer, I am a marketer who uses the Internet (a big difference) but am similarly disgusted by the hacks and their mininons. It is a corrupt and ugly world and I try to stay above it by sticking to the marketing fundamentals, business ethics and customer delight. Your fellow purist, Mark W Schaefer

  32. Y'know what Lynne... I agree with absolutely everything you just said.

    I was sat there just then reading away, nodding my head and exclaiming "oh yeh!", "absolutely", and I was especially vocal about the "everyone running to the back of the room" part!

    I honestly thought it was only ME who sits there at the end of a seminar shaking my head in disbelief at the poor misguided souls who've been brainwashed...

    I'm ashamed to say that this is the first time I've read your blog Lynne - but I'll be back! πŸ™‚

  33. I really enjoyed that "from the heart" post (which you are so good at). I am happy that you are following your gut and doing the right thing. I would argue that is a big reason behind your long term internet success (you make one good decision after another).

  34. Dr. Adam Sheck says:

    Lynne,
    Thanks for a great post/rant! I totally agree with you about the Internet Marketing Community and how most of it really feels to me like an incestuous pyramid that isn't really value driven. It seems the big secret is to make friends with the "big boys", do what they do and hope that they will promote you on their lists on their next big launch and you can be part of the pyramid, too.

    There are a few that do seem to want to provide value and service. As a couples therapist and relationship coach who is trying to get out of the traditional fee for service model which has time and geographical limitations, I've been challenged in how best to promote my services/products. I'm doing my best, learning little by little and agree with you, creating a business is hard work and takes time.

    Thanks so much for sharing,
    Adam

  35. Lynne,
    Thank you so much for sharing all that you shared from your heart.I am just starting out in the coaching business and I am so glad that there is someone like you that desires to help and serve others with integrity and honesty and even encouraging others to do the same.

    I must admit that I felt as though I was lagging behind when it comes to getting my business off the ground. For me, it seems that I have been working so many long hours and not making any progress. Because of your post, you have made me feel so much better. Thank you for telling the truth and sharing that you do need to work hard to start up and run a successful business and that it may take some time.

    The many coaches that are out there charging large sums of money for their programs and services and claiming that it is easy if you follow their program, I feel, are actually bragging about how they are making huge amounts of money off of those that are out there just trying to start a business. The way the economy is, you would think they would want to make this economy better by charging a fair price for their products and services as they help others to start their business and not gouging others for their own profit and luxurious lifestyle.

    Thanks again for standing for what is right!

    • I know what you mean, Carol. This is actually one of my major pet peeves. To gouge a market, and then turn around to that same market and brag about how they "raked in $x" doing it. *puke* It shocks me people continue to sign up for whatever they're pimping.

      • I got disgusted when I listened to a podcast by Jeremy Shoemaker and he said he explained his business to his wife by saying, "It's like I have a money tree in the backyard... If we need money, I just go shake the tree."

        Tell me how you really feel about your audience! I don't want to be "shaken down," thank you very much.

  36. Love this. All of this. And you! For reals. You are the realest of the reals. I have always had the most respect for you, what you do, and what you stand for.

    Nell

  37. There should be some sort of organisation or body that one can sign up to in order to verify the quality of a product or service. Some sort of quality stamp would be good.

    It seems that there are no controls in place and advertisers can say just about anything or make any claim in order to sell a product.

    • Actually the FTC is really cracking down on this, and there are policies and guidelines in place. For example, you have to disclose relationships, you cannot publish results that are not current and "typical", etc. Most of this is new now that online marketing has gone mainstream, but we'll be seeing more and more "clean up" taking place across the web in that regard.

  38. Lynn, thank you for the transparent rant. I've noticed with other online marketers posts, and this article included, that most bloggers/marketers mention niche sites, but fail to address what type? A niche site could promote a health product, software, or even the type of affiliate products you mentioned in this article.

    Is there any particular reason specific niche types aren't mentioned? just curious. Thanks again for displaying integrity in the online world.

    • Henrik Flensborg says:

      In my opinion there are many reasons why internet marketers don't mention specific niches:

      1) They want to "protect" the niche they have found from being overrun by hordes of people so they leave out the specifics in their IM courses.

      2) The IM material they are selling are put together by bits and pieces they have read about niche marketing + their own slant on things (what they *think* will work) and they have no knowledge or work experience in actually *doing* niche marketing. So in reality they have no actual successful niches to tell about. Many of these products will mention "dog training", "learning to play the guitar" or "training your parrot to talk" as these has become the "ACME" of niche examples.

      3) (this is my favorite explanation) They are actually successfully building one niche site after the other and their *business* is the *process* by which they research, implement, promote and maintain niche sites. They are business people making a living online from building niche sites (and are thus internet marketers) - and the thought never crossed their minds that they *need* to produce a "how to succeed with niche sites"-product to still be able to refer to themselves as internet marketers.

    • Great answer Henrik πŸ™‚

      Doug, see my recent post about sharing specifics at:
      http://www.clicknewz.com/2528/idea-etiquette/

      I did give some example sites (not my own) in this post as well if that's what you're looking for: http://www.clicknewz.com/2168/affiliate-site-options-continued/

      • Lynn, thank you for the information...I've been in the sales, tech, and marketing fields going on 20 years now, and what is apparent is that some online marketers are no different than the sales cowboys that would come along in some of the companies I worked for.

        Always looking for the quick buck, without any integrity what-so-ever. The online world is no different, the tools used have changed, but the games played are still the same.

        By the way, you mentioned on Facebook about neighborhood Halloween hooligans. Did they cause any trouble this year?

        • We had a quiet night here, thank goodness πŸ˜€ This was the first year since I've been here that they didn't all out vandalize my home! I was happy they left us alone this year -lol.

  39. I think you missed one valuable point Henrik ...

    Some niche players are in niches where the typical marketer in that niche is not familiar with the techniques used in IM and don't want to disclose too much about what they are doing in that niche in case a competitor is doing research on the topic and stumbles onto a reference to their topic and IM in the same breath. Slows down the competition by putting a small barrier in the way of competitiors learning the tactics that person is using. Not much, but every little bit helps.

    • Henrik Flensborg says:

      Yeah, that makes sense Kirk

      So in essence they are actually protecting their IM activities rather than their niche per se.

  40. Lynn..

    I have often thought (as a BRICK & MORTAR business owner) that if more took on an internet business with the same set of principles (risk, hard work, ethics, finance, management, etc) that I am forced to use daily, we'd probably have LESS internet sites out there, but MORE quality, commitment and income from the ones that stand.

    LOVE THE POST, more to come.

  41. Hey I'm totally with your sentiments, however as an update to my previous comment....and adding to the great comments on the thread

    Let's not introduce another layer of bureaucracy to the mix. Having the FTC is one thing, the suggestion that there should be another governing body to regulate what constitutes a legitimate offer @john is and would be unworkable.

    Lets face it, at present there are very few authorized centre's where you can go and get a rubber stamped seal on your product or service. I believe clickbank has its terms of service and im sure the other marketplace's have similar 'conditions' before accepting a product into its system.

    For all the newbie's and the teeth clashing comments that litter the internet, pouring scorn over products, services and product owners. The comment about shaking trees, and slick as snot, im sure, taken out of context sound awful and suggest the perpetrator to be callous cold and calculating.

    I would wager the opposite though, that in fact the individual has paid a certain price in time and effort crafting his skills serving his market, finally bringing a product or service to the market that serve's those who actually use it!

    I would go on to suggest that naivety is no reason to blame somebody else for making a poor choice. Yes there is a lot to learn, and yes there are and will always be the wide-boy used car salesman looking to make a quick buck and sod the customer, but they are no different to the 'real' world.

    You wouldn't buy a car off a 'slick as snot' salesman. You wouldn't do business with someone who wasn't ethical and honest. Yet we do, millions of us do business everyday with these people, we just learn through experience not to do it again!

    As the old saying goes "fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me."

    Mark

    P.S I feel in truth that anybody who is serious about creating a successful brand on the internet would not purposefully damage their reputation. It's so hard to build and so, so easy to destroy!

  42. Well said, Lynn. I totally hear you and have felt the same way for years.

    I think you've chosen the best approach (the blinkers) to staying sane in this crazy marketplace. Keep doing it your way and try to worry less about the gullible crowd. They're NOT your audience. Like you, I LOVE working with people who have their heads on straight about the reality of an opportunity... it takes work and persistence. THOSE are the people who will succeed and you can feel good about having helped them get there.

    Keep up the good work, sister!

    Hugs,
    Ros

  43. Love the rant, Lynn! You've echoed what I've been complaining about for quite some time. I've been in this, under the IM radar, for almost as long as you and thought I had seen it all until recently when some really big "launches" turned my stomach a bit. Couple that with the pitches that *always* include a luxury car, a guru driving it while pitching, a tour of a fancy house and a locale with palm trees and well....I'm over it. πŸ˜‰ All show and very little "go".

    You've always been the voice of reason in our community and this post cements that standing! Great rant! πŸ˜‰

  44. The same scams existed before the internet - "work from home and earn money".

    At the end of the day, if their plan worked that well, then they would want to keep their secrets to themselves.

    You are absolutely right - setting up a business takes time and effort, there is no easy way to do it.

  45. Joan Miller says:

    Hear Hear! I'm glad it isn't just me that is feeling this way. I've only been involved in internet marketing for a couple of years promoting my niche affiliates sites in areas I love and can provide value for my visitors. In my quest to create a successful business and market online I've come across so many get rich schemes that I finally said, "Enough"! I've unsubscribed and I don't buy. Like others it took me awhile to find the honest and truthful educators and leaders.
    Great post, thank you!

  46. Hi Lynn

    My Goodness What a truly great post.

    Being a victim myself of the above said Philanderers that sells the idea of success, makes me think that this should be required reading before going online and most certainly before you are even allowed hosting account or an email address.

    Even more importantly this should be code of ethics that you agree to before you can sale anything at all.

    I wish I had read this before doing anything.

    Loved It, a very good read and so encouraging too that there is some integrity out there.

    Thank you

    Ian

  47. Preach it sister! Preach it! You have hit the nail on the head. I love what you wrote. I love your honesty. I love your transparency.

    I too, am sick to death of the BS people feed others making them think they don't have to work their butts off to make it in the world of online marketing. You do.

    You and I, and thousands of others who make a great living online know this.

    And the rewards are plentiful. But you do have to work. And work hard.

    On the flip side of the scammers who promise you the moon, sun and all the stars by sitting on a mountain top and visualizing what you want (give me a break) are those on the other side of the issue who think they should get everything for free.

    I am an information product expert. I put a lot of effort into creating products that have systems, strategies and formulas for successfully building one's online business. Doesn't matter the industry, the strategies have worked for a number of hard working men and women.

    But then I get the folks who say, "Can you guarantee me if I buy your program I will make money and can I do it by putting a few minutes a day of effort into the process."

    How in the world can I guarantee your results based on you trying to do as little as possible and make a windfall of money? This is where I say, "Give me a break."

    As you so eloquently said it Lynn, "you have to work for this."

    This is real business with real entrepreneurs. This is not some pie in the sky BS of sitting on the beach doing nothing but getting a tan.

    For those who are always seeking the discounts, the freebies and the "I've never made any money but I'll give you a percentage of what I make if you'll mentor me for free mindset" think about it from an entrepreneurs perspective.

    Before you start asking for the world and are not willing to give anything in return, would you want people to do that to you?

    If you're not making any money, let's get really honest. Are you investing in yourself and your business? Or are you trying to get everything for free? If you are, is it any wonder you cannot generate money.

    Energetically, you are attracting what you are putting out.

    Okay, now it's time to get off my soapbox. Thanks so much for this post Lynn. This just affirms one of my reasons why I know, love and respect you.

    You ARE the real deal.

    • The feeling is mutual, Kathleen! You added some very good points to the discussion. Being an entrepreneur is ALL about mindset, and about investing in yourself - period.

      I always enjoy you on your soapbox! πŸ˜‰ *cheers*

  48. Traci Knoppe says:

    Hi Lynn
    Very well said! I agree! For those who know me, you'll have noticed I have all but disappeared online. Part of the reason is personal; and the other part is exactly what you talked about here. The IM space has changed.

    I do still earn passive income; but it was never the majority of my income. My service based business is and continues to be. I have changed my direction in the service based space as well, and will become a certified Online Business Manager within the month!

    I made the choice to remain in a service based business. I am making a good living at it, I like it and it's what I *want* to do. I'm good at tech stuff, and I'm great at organizing and managing - so I'm using that skill to my advantage to build my own dream life! Moving into the OBM realm, is my way of moving up the "corporate" ladder than I built for myself. πŸ˜‰

    I work hard - very hard, and honestly - I love it!

    So my advice to those reading this: build the life you want, and you choose what that path will look like. Blueprints of someone else's journey to success; will rarely (if ever) give you the exact same results.

    Following someone else's blueprint makes you no different than an employee.

    Entrepreneurs don't use blueprints - they create them; then rinse and repeat for their own use.

    • "Entrepreneurs don't use blueprints - they create them" < I loved that, Traci! Well said. πŸ˜‰ And congrats for moving up your own ladder! Great to hear from you. πŸ™‚

  49. As someone who decides about every month "this is too hard and I should retire", I've been plugging along for almost ten years now trying to learn this online income business. Some things have become easier, but it still takes work. Every day. And every day I get a little bit closer to being able to help other people because I've been able to do it myself first. As well as hard work, I needed advice and encouragement. That's where you came in, Lynn. So thank you, for being there all these years.

  50. I hear you loud and clear, Lynn.

    I know the situation all too well.

    Discussed this very issue on my blog in an article called "BizOp Market: NOT a Nice Niche" about 2 years ago.

    The line that hits me hardest is "YOUR book didn't work".

    My desired response?

    "Books aren't meant to 'work', they are for reading. Tens of thousands of folks have learned from the information I've shared in my book. Many have become millionaires. So, maybe YOU who should READ the material and do the WORK? How's that for a success strategy. Good luck!"

    Actually, that's the nice version of the letter I'd like to respond with. LOL

    Ignore the slackers Lynn and appreciate all the WONDERFUL folks who DO because of YOU. πŸ™‚

    Cheers,
    Ros

    • Wow. Just wow, lol - I like your response, Ros! πŸ˜€

      I absolutely love making a difference, and helping people get to the next step, and I'm sure you feel the same. It's unfortunate this cool space got SO cluttered (and got such a bad reputation). Unfortunately that scares off some people who would do incredibly well online!

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