Skip to main content

How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Internet Marketers

internet marketing fool

Are you smarter than the average Internet marketer?

The Web is overrun by dumb “gurus” who will try to sell you the latest quick fix for your online business.

Why are they stupid?

These Internet marketers are either:

(a) dumb as a box of rocks; or
(b) dishonest.

I’d prefer to think that most aren’t smart enough to know that they’re selling unicorns rather than intentionally fleecing entrepreneurs like you out of money with scams.

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” – Robert J. Hanlon

Here are four signs you’re dealing with someone who isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

1. Promises to Get and Keep Your Website on Page 1* of Google Search Results

There’s one company that can guarantee your site Google first page search results for the keywords and key phrases that you want, now and in the future. That company’s NASDAQ stock symbol is GOOG.

Anyone else who promises you that their product or services will perpetually keep you on the first page doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

If you haven’t been slapped by Penguin or Panda, just wait for Google Platypus, Piranha, Panther, Polar Bear, or Poodle to whack your site into search oblivion as the algorithms change.

Reputable SEO/SEM providers don’t promise a one-time permanent solution to your Google rankings. Instead, they offer to improve where you’re at now and adjust to Google’s future changes if you’re willing to pay for their services.

* Given the way the Web is evolving, having Page #1 search results may not even be a high priority for your website.

2. Claims You Will Make $XXXXX per Month

If there was a proven product, service, or system that could guarantee you would make a certain amount of income on the Internet, the person who created it would not be selling it to the masses. Income claims aren’t worth the cyber ink used to publish them.

You will have successes and failures regardless of what you buy.

In fact, it’s likely that out of every 10 things you try in your online business, only 1 or 2 will work, the results will be mixed for another couple, and the rest will flop. It’s more a matter of racking up as many wins through action and adjustments based on results than it is buying or creating a single game-changing product or service.

3. Offers You Something for Nothing

Anyone who claims there’s a free lunch is a fool. There’s always a price and someone has to pay it.

When the government gives out a free lunch, it’s easy to see that taxpayers pay for that lunch.

In contrast, when someone online promises you something for nothing, it’s usually less obvious who is paying for it and how. In many cases, you are the real product when taking advantage of that “free” product or service. Specifically, you’re providing valuable data about yourself and your business operations in exchange for using the product or service.

This information may be used to target you for additional marketing of products and services. In some cases, the data will be collected from you in order to create a competitor to your company.

Everything has a cost, including freebies you’re offered online. Identify those costs and make an informed choice before using the “complimentary” product or service.

4. Claims You Can Build a Successful Business Online By Yourself

Don’t listen to dummies who sell the dream of being a successful solopreneur online.

As an Internet lawyer, I represented my first online business client nearly 20 years ago. I’ve yet to meet a successful Internet entrepreneur who succeeded as a solo operation. There’s simply too much to do building a business to serve as your own legal counsel, accountant, SEO guru, content provider, social media expert, coder, web designer, graphics guru, affiliate manager, etc.

Can you earn an income via the Internet doing everything by yourself? Yes.

However, that’s working as a skilled technician on a few things you’re good at while investing the majority of your time as a mediocre jack-of-all-trades on many tasks that can be done better by others for you.

If you want to work this way, that’s fine. Many do. Just don’t be misled into thinking this is building a business. If you took a 30-day vacation, chances are your income would plummet and the “business” would fall apart.

Be smarter than the average Internet marketer. Take the hype with a grain of salt. You’ll save time, money, and energy by doing so.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

More posts by Mike Young, Esq.