Posted June 12, 2010 8:08 am by with 6 comments

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There is a plague within the Internet marketing industry. This plague has existed since the inception of marketing online, and will probably continue to exist as long as there is money to be made on the Internet. It’s likely that if you have done anything online you have seen it in action. What plague am I talking about? I’m talking about the plague of the amateur. What’s that? You’ve never of the plague of amateur? Well let me explain.

Some call it spam. Some call it black hat. Some even call it crap hat. Whatever, you want to call it’s all the same. And, I’m tired of it. It seems like every day I open my e-mail and find a new advertisement in my inbox for Viagra or imitation designer watches. Everyday I get irrelevant link request. And everyday I see social media sites saturated with low quality content. Most folks that are annoyed by these types of amateur tactics, call them annoying and irrelevant. Which is the case for me as well. However, my frustration stems more from examples of spotty marketing tactics then the content itself. For once I’d like to see an Internet marketer use sophisticated dialogue and a well thought out strategy to market Viagra online. I wouldn’t purchase any of it, but at least it be refreshing to see someone competent pushing popper pills.

The definition of an amateur is one who doesn’t get paid. Which is exactly fitting for most of the markers that engaging in spam like tactics. In short spam doesn’t work.

So why are there so many amateur marketers out there? I think one reason is because of the prevailing myth that making money on the Internet is easy. Because of this, many people begin a career in Internet marketing with no experience or education. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about formal education. Even I didn’t study marketing in college. Like other half-way successful Internet marketers I spent years trying different things and studying what works before I started making money. This is the type of education that the vast majority of amateur marketers on the Internet ignore.

How to go from amateur to professional and start making money.

Study successful marketers. The Internet marketing industry is full of successful entrepreneurs and marketing professionals that are more than willing to act as a mentor and provide free information on their blogs and websites. These individuals can be a vital source of valuable information to anyone starting out in marketing. It’s important to not only study the strategies they use but also their style and choice a dialogue. Tactics like blogging and social media are important but without understanding the proper method of communication all can be lost.

Learn how to write. In almost every aspect of marketing the ability to write successfully can create a truly competitive edge. Becoming a better writer means that you are sharpening communication skills. Understanding how to communicate is at the core of marketing–both online and off. Even if you are just writing code, understanding how to write clear and concise statements will drastically help you communicate with clients and customers on a daily basis.

Join the community. Being part of a community can help the amateur understand all of the various methods and strategies available. One can join the community by participating in different online forums and discussion groups. But the best way to make a real connection with members of your community is to meet them in person at industry conferences and trade shows. Being a part of a community can help the amateur find value in doing good solid work by witnessing firsthand others that have found success.

So now its time to take a hard look at what your efforts entail and ask yourself, am I an amateur? If so, don’t worry there’s still hope for you on the web. Just remember that if you want to stay in this business of making money online, it isn’t going to be easy and you are going to have to hustle. But I am confident that if you work hard and follow the advice above you will make the transition from amateur to professional in no time!

  • How to go from amateur to professional and start making money.

  • My answer to this post is on my blog (sorry it’s in French)

  • Nice article.useful information.

  • This is a great post Joe. I find that too many people think that they can just jump on the internet and once they’re there the money will just start rolling in.
    People should listen to your three tips, because I think they’re all very important, especially the last two. People become engaged with companies that create good content and interact with their communities be it other professionals or their consumers. While the studying of other successful people may help them to get started as well, I think that once you learn a few things you then have to make what you do your own. It’s hard to get by while just try the same things everyone else is doing.

  • Joe,

    As said in the French Blog of Laurent BI strongly disagree with you point of view.

    If your email is spammed, you should be pissed off with your email provider and / or you should be more careful to whom you give your business cards.

    In his post LaurentB highlight one very important thing – Spam emailing and black hat techniques are not performed by a bunch of amateurs just getting into the web, they are performed by highly trained people with very important logistic, marketing knowledge and code knowledge, there is no amateurism in there.
    My guess is most of the Black Hat SEO are even more skilled than you, they just have chosen another way of making money and believe me, Good black hat SEO and massive email spammer , they make money, LOTS of money.

    Now regarding the poor content on social media … well when it has marketing purposes (because most of the really poor blog, FaceBook fan page or other social media i have came across were personal stuff with absolutely no marketing purposes), when it has marketing purposes, this is true amateurism you are right but how much do YOU take for a social media campaign management. I know how much money I am billing and many people can afford that…

    I think you have a bad perspective on this specific problem and you should probably review it

    • I didn’t bother commenting because Mr Hall most likely feels superior to everyone else.
      He is totally unknown in France, and you told me he has a voice in the US.
      That’s scary because people who think like that don’t deserve to get published on a good blog like marketingpilgrim.

      In case Mr Hall wants to read my post answering this one