If you're just getting started in Internet Marketing, you may be awed by the amount of "Internet Gurus" out there, all making millions of dollars (or so they claim) and for some reason seem more than willing, for a fee, to teach you their biggest, most intimate secrets.
I believe in one thing - If it sounds too good to be true, it most probably is!
While I have no doubt about the specialized skills and techniques used by these gurus, it can get way too frustrating simply getting into all their hype, and find almost no value at the end of the day. Hype - that's one thing I agree these gurus are really good at. For some of them, unfortunately, the hype is the only thing they're good at.
So the question, for those who are trying to master Internet Marketing, might be:
1) Can I learn anything from these gurus without paying money?
2) Who is real and who is not?
3) Whose methods should I follow?
Can You Learn Something for Free?
Most gurus have opt-in newsletters on specialized subjects like website marketing, Pay-Per-Click, search engine optimization, or whatever specialized skill they have "mastered". Almost all of them ask you to subscribe to their newsletter in return for some kind of "breakthrough" report and promise to deliver "valuable information" weekly or monthly to your email address. Sound great.
Here's what happens 2 weeks later - You realize that the "breakthrough report" is the same old regurgitated information that you can find almost anywhere. You might also realize that the "valuable information" never comes in full, without any hidden agenda. The "valuable information" is actually a soft-selling (sometimes even blatant advertisements) ad for the guru's products, or even worse, some other Internet marketer's products.
I'm not trying to shoot down any marketer here, but the irony is in their teaching. Almost all internet gurus would advise you to offer valuable, free information that benefits other people. Profits, as they say, are secondary to actually helping people and making a difference in their lives. What a load of BS. How come they don't practice what they preach? Of is that how the Internet Marketing Game is played?
Fortunately, not all gurus are the same. There are still some jewels to be found, and they offer some great information in their newsletters, such as:
1) Vishal Rao: http://www.home-based-business-opportunities.com talks about home-based businesses.
2) Mike Cheney: http://www.magnet4web.com talks about building an effective and efficient business website.
3) Jill Whalen: http://www.highrankings.com talks about Search Engine Optimization.
Of course, there are more out there, but it is not necessary to subscribe to every Internet Marketing newsletter just to hope for nuggets of gold that may never come. Instead, give the guru a "trial" month, and if you don't find anything of value from them, just unsubscribe. It will only be a loss to them, not you.
Who's Real and Who's Not?
To answer this question, you really have to "get around" the Internet a lot. Go to forums where you will definitely find topics on info-products offered by these gurus, and see what others are saying about them. Forget about all those blaring testimonials that the gurus compile on their site. Forums are where the real testimonials are. You may also want to consider this site:
Taking on a Nasdaq-like approach, this site lists all gurus according to ratings and 'stock price'. Although I would advise you to take it more as entertainment than actual recommendations, perhaps this site will allow you to get a glimpse of "who's who" in Internet Marketing.
Whose methods should I follow?
Honestly, nobody's. At least not word-for-word of what is thought in their newsletters or ebooks. The important thing to realize is that you need to develop your own technique to be really successful. The gurus don't teach you everything, anyway. They almost always feed you the crop but keep the cream for themselves. In other words, no one really tells you the "hot money-making secrets", especially those gurus that have sold their soul a long time ago.
It's really up to you to learn some tips and tricks of the trade from them but set out on your own course. In order to be successful in anything, you need to do your own thing. Be original in your approach, whether it's writing sales letters, doing email marketing, pay-per-click, or search engine optimization.
Don't look to someone who has sold their soul to lead you to the path of success. That's wishful thinking.