February 9, 2013

Why Do Internet Marketers Fail To Achieve Their Dreams?

It's been ages since I really blogged. I make no excuses. I started out in this game as a blogger and quickly learned that internet marketing was far more interesting to me.

In March of 2011 I had a bad accident. I broker my knee really bad and I didn't even walk for a month or so. I didn't walk without crutches for almost 10 weeks and at that exact time my first son was born.

What happened next?


I was making decent money online. Not enough to support my family completely but quite a bit. With the challenges of injury recovery and a new baby, not to mention gearing up for an out of state move I just kind of dropped off the map socially.

Sure, I continued working a bit on my websites, this one not as much despite my occasional effort, and I continued working on InfoBarrel under different names predominantly, and I even dabbled in setting up a mini network of blogs.

I worked on a project for a couple of my "dark months" on a series of 1-page websites revolving around newly released products and aged domains.

I worked on learning the art of building a legitimate twitter following. I kind of did so too before I felt like I had learned what I wanted to learn.

Why Do So Many Marketers Fail?

They fail due to a lack of focus.

They fail because they think that focusing on internet marketing is something worth focusing on. They fail because they don't realize that knowing and dabbling in a bit of everything is akin to watching TV all day every day and not actually living life.

I still do pretty well online - financially speaking - but I still can't pay all the bills with IM income. My wife's a doctor for goodness sake. It's going to take a huge income for me to even rival her earning power in life.

What I can say is this - over my time in IM (which is fast approaching it's 4-year mark this May) the times I've been most successful is when I chose one "thing" and just did it without thinking.

I didn't learn. I didn't explore other ideas. I didn't do anything but that one thing.

In the beginning of my online mmo lifestyle I started a blog over at http://www.howtolivealongerlife.com which is actually still live. I didn't know IM when I started that. I wanted to develop a successful blog so I posted about 100 posts in 3 months and in my first 6 months I had a couple hundred RSS subscribers and a number of contacts that I regularly emailed back and forth with.

I focused on one thing and it worked... until I started looking for other outlets.

The next big thing I worked on was InfoBarrel. It was my primary source for backlinks until I started really learning a bit more. Quickly it became my primary source of income when I stopped using it for backlinks but instead used it for income generating articles.

I started writing like a mad man there doing basically nothing else but that and small backlinking campaigns to the Infobarrel articles and my earnings started soaring. I was featured as a success story at IB and my earnings climbed to over a grand a month... until I moved on and then they flatlined.

Niche sites became the next big thing followed by super niche sites and ad optimization strategies, and social strategies and this and that and this and that.

Today I'm looking into ebooks and just published my first but I can't help but think the times I've been most successful I've only done one thing.

Considering what many IMers have gone through in 2012 I have been relatively lucky. My earnings dipped about 50% from their peak after penguin but that's nothing compared to some people out there. I still feel exceptionally good about the cash I have coming in every month but as I figure out where exactly I want to go in 2013 I have to keep in mind focus.

Had I stuck with my original blog where would I be today?

Had I stuck with pumping out 60 InfoBarrel articles every month where would I be today - over 2000 articles actually and raking it in probably.

Had I stuck with my social experiments where would I be? Would I have an audience that I could actually influence by now? Maybe I was heading in that direction.

I'm tempted to start an ecommerce site these days and try to drive traffic through PPC. I think that would be good if I could figure out how to optimize everything well. I am analytical after all but that's just changing games again.

Right now I, and likely you too, need to stop, relax, and focus on one single thing that's working for you right now. It's called focus and it's what so many IMers lack - myself included.

What am I focusing on right now?


Funny I first mentioned Squidoo in the fall of 2009 on this blog when I opened an account there to send a backlink or two to my human longevity blog. Had I only stuck with Squidoo where would I be now?

I am setting a public goal right now.

For 2013 I will focus 95% of my energy on Squidoo. I've read all the crazy numbers put up by Skeffling on her blog and over on the IB forums and I've started my process. It's been nearly my main focus over the past 5 months and I've done well - gone from $10 or so in Sept all the way to $600 in Jan this year. I will build this out to the max day in and day out without fear of anything.

Across all my Squid accounts I plan on buckling down and milking this cow for everything it's got. I will focus and I will succeed.

What's the end goal? I swear to you the end goal is 5 figures in December of 2013. Who knows if I'll get there but I believe I will and I will do everything in my power to make it happen.  Do I need that much money to get by in life? No. That's excessive to say the least but so long as I am at home with a toddler and he takes naps I refuse to sit idle doing nothing with my life. I do what I can to the best of my ability.

If can post a handful of lenses every day all year long just think where I'll be by Jan next year. I aim to exceed expectations. My goal is to get my focus back on one thing and keep it there for another 12 months.

Eventually the little guy will start heading off to preschool and I'll turn over a new leaf in life. I'll tackle that when it comes but for now I embrace the present and I face the future with my head held high.

The other 5% of my efforts?

I'll blog on occasion here, I'll spend some time in the IB and Pond forums for community and learning, and I'll be marketing some ebooks for a close friend. Anything else I do will be incidentals - tag on projects that tie into things that are more important to me or random stuff to occupy my mind when I need a break.

I suggest to all you folk out there to do the same thing. You don't ever see traditional business owners selling candy, shoes, baby clothes, laptop bags, while trying to become popular in the auto racing circles and quilters groups at the same time. Why should IMers be any different.

What do you think? Am I off my rocker? Why do you think so many IMers fail?

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  1. Hey Brian, another reformed blogger! I agree with you about the focus to an extent - but as someone who now sees about 10% of what my earnings used to be on HubPages - I will never, ever, focus on a third party property I don't own, ever again.

    Particularly with Google's direction of wanting authorship on everything I think it's never been more important to control the domains you spend time on.

  2. Lissie, yeah, we'll see how reformed I end up being. :) I've started and stopped this thing a number of times already. :)

    I hear you and fully understand what you are saying. I know lots of folk lost gobs at Hubpages but you know what? If you look at Alexa numbers (for what they're worth) the site is still a strong site that gets tons of traffic. Squidoo recovered from their hit a few years back and I would imagine many of the big sites have more resources to recover than the small sites do.

    I've never really done much there on HubPages but I imagine it's still just as good or better than IB is and My IB traffic is still going fairly strong - at least on those pages where I did less backlinking.

    Squidoo is top tier (for now) and I see little reason to focus this type of affiliate marketing to any other domain - my own included.

    Sure, if I want to network with folk in a niche I'll work on my own site. Sure, if I want to drum up clients for certain types of services or products I'll do that on my own domain, but for now I will do what is working and milk it.

    Everyone's situation is unique. I have little free time in life until my son heads off to pre-school, probably another two years away. I am perfectly fine working my tail off when he naps and after-hours on short-term endeavors and looking forward to the day when I have an uninteruppted work day. At that time I can do whatever it is I want.

    You on the other hand seem to be focusing in on the self-publishing space with an emphasis on local. I know you'll succeed at it as you truly were a first mover here and know what you are doing and talking about.

    I see myself in a few years (when I have time in the daylight hours) working with local businesses (I've got a few I'm setting my sites on to approach), for now I just need to occupy myself and stay current in the industry and learn just enough to be able to offer a valuable service to those people when the time is right.

    But first I have to not fear what may come and that's what I'm embracing - no fear, just action.


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