Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How To Waste Your Time And Money In Internet Business

The internet is a great way to make money while sitting on your bottom. You lounge around in your pajamas, and the cheques drop in your letter box. Sure, that happens. For some.

There are many ways to waste your time, money and energy online. Many people give up on their internet business because they get caught up in these snares:

1. Content Is King.

You can write hundreds of eloquent, informative pages, only to have them ripped off by a ’scraper’. You can be _the_ definitive site on a topic, only to have sites which have better SEO and SEM outrank you. You need something that is unique, or near it; something a lazy spammer can’t duplicate easily.

Also: Anyone who uses the word ’content’ to describe what they’re offering is halfway to being a spammer. Think about an ’elevator speech’ for your site. How would you describe it in five words to someone? (That someone is also a non-techie, by the way).

You’ve got to be able to tell Joe Public what the main benefit is in a short and simple sentence. If you can’t, you’re probably wasting your time. People don’t want ’leveraged media aggregation services’. They want sex, money, power, beauty, laughter; something that helps _them_.

2. The Latest $197 Software.

You need a script. You try to ’Google’ it. You find one for $197 which seems OK. What you didn’t realise is that you could search through popular freeware directories first; likely there’s a free version of what you seek, that thousands of other webmasters are using. Or a cheaper one you could adapt.

Beware: There’s a class of cookie-cutter one-page internet marketing sites out there. Anyone researching how to make money on the internet will soon find them. They sell over-hyped, latest-trick software which will deplete your bank balance, or worse, get your site banned.

By the time a newbie gets to hear about a wheeze, it’s already been sucked dry by the inventors. In the middle are hucksters who claim to have made $1000s with it, and now they’re letting you in on the ’secret’.

Fact: When you’ve got a sure-fire way of making a lot of money, you keep it close to your chest. You only let it go when it’s tapped out.

3. Reciprocal Linking.

Someone told you this works. Someone else told you it’s useless.

The truth: I’d say it works if you trade links with related, high-quality sites for a while, then stop. You get some search engine attention, then you work on getting links from different sources. This makes your backlink profile more ’natural’.

If all your links are reciprocal you risk being flagged by a search engine algorithm. Engineers are constantly on the lookout for signs of quality, and signs of spam. Too much of one form of promotion too quick, and BAM!, you’re penalised, or banned.

4. Drudgery Which Should Be Automated.

You’ve heard you need backlinks. So you start submitting by hand to directories. This is boring and time-consuming. What you didn’t know was that there are submission services which will do 1000 in a day, for $50.

You need a software. You learn PHP to write it yourself. This takes ages, and bug-fixing is a chore. What you didn’t realise is that a freelance would code it for $200, and support it for six months.

In summary: You have limited time. Spend it thinking up ways to make money. Anything related to computers can be automated; that’s what they’re for.


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