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An Open Letter To Every Stuggling Internet Marketer

Dear Struggling Internet Marketer,

Can I have your attention for a moment and speak candidly with you?

Life as a internet marketer is fun, exciting, and full of possibilities…the sky truly is limitless to how far you want your business to grow.

However, life as a struggling internet marketer is down right horrible, full of empty promises and dreams unfulfilled.

In fact, not only can you lose your self respect as a struggling internet marketer, but also the respect of your friends and family members.

I can still remember my dad calling me on the phone and him asking, “So, what are you doing for work?” The answer goes something like this, “Hum, well….I’m making money online, and selling stuff on the internet.” Meanwhile, I’m asking him for a $1,000 loan to help pay my rent.

That is brutal…true story too.

I get emails from people wanting to make quick money online. I understand that sentiment.

My issue is the way people are going about “how to make money online.” Let me give you the facts, and please understand, I’m being candid.

Fact #1 – Buying template affiliate sites, and thinking you are going to quit your day job selling affiliate products from them, is a surefire way to kill your internet marketing dream.

Cookie cutter affiliate sites, template sites, ‘one button’ website creators, are nothing but a marketing tactic to get you to buy their affiliate templates. Who makes the money? The template seller or the template buyer?

Fact #2 – It is NOT about your website. Being successful as a internet marketer has absolutely nothing to do with how well your site is designed, what your template looks like, your graphics, or any other cosmetics…. In fact, look at this website. Pretty plain if you ask me.

Internet marketing success is about YOU, your ability and desire to help people, and not your website.

Fact #3 – Do you really thinking writing articles all day and putting your affiliate site/link in the resource section and submitting them to is going to get you to the place to quit your day job?

Wake up and smell the coffee!

How many successful internet marketers spend all day writing articles and submitting them to article directories? Out of 10,000 maybe 1…and they’re probably asking themselves if there is a better way. And there is.

Don’t get me wrong. I love article marketing, and it is a source for traffic and seo backlink purposes, but you will not quit your day job any time soon if your focus is to sell affiliate products using article marketing.

How much money do you really think you will make by submitting articles to a template affiliate site on a $47 Clickbank product on weightloss…and you make 60% of the sale? Let’s get real. You’ve been lied.

Fact #4 – Successful Internet Marketers do four things:

(1) They learn the art of affiliate marketing and make some initial sales
(2) They create their own products after they learn some affiliate marketing skills
(3) They build their subscriber list at every level of their business – dividing their list between prospects and customers
(4) They use the power of leverage (ie, ‘other people’) to help them build their business, whether it is jv partnerships, affiliates, and/or outsourcing of projects.

Most importantly, and in the terminology of Seth Godin, successful internet marketers create their own “tribes” and use their own products and the art of personally branding themselves as their entry.

Click Here For A Free Audio Of Seth Godin’s Book: Tribes: We Need You To Lead Us

If you want to stop chasing the dream and living it, then you simply have to become a product owner and use the art of personal branding as your launch pad. Owning your own product gives you leverage with both affiliates and other product owners, and cements your credibility in the internet marketing community and to your subscriber list.

Fact #5 – You must become highly skilled and a pro at “one thing” if you want to make a name for yourself as a internet marketer.

There will be a reason why people follow you and open up the emails you send to them. They will listen to your advice and buy products from you because they perceive you are a expert in a particular niche or topic.

It is never too late to become a expert. Study everything you can on your one topic, and in 4-6 months you’ll have your own Ph.D. in that topic. Apply it, get some successes under your belt, and then communicate your successes to help others. It really is that simple.

Fact #6 – A personal branding site, using a wp blog, is the best launching pad to help others and get started as a internet marketer (as opposed to buying another template affiliate website).

Stop following the masses, and start trailblazing your own path and journey. Focus on One Thing, and become a PH.D. in that One Thing. Personally brand yourself, and stop buying those cookie cutter template products. Become a product owner and cement your credibility. Be good to your subscriber list, and your list will be good to you.

I’m sure you’ve had to discover some unsettling facts yourself – look back on where you’ve been before now – did I leave any out?  Did I get any wrong?

Let me know with a comment (I read them all!)

Yours in knowledge,


About Mark Dulisse

Software Developer, Blogger, SEO Consultant, Internet Marketer

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  1. Well that’s a bit depressing! I think you are right though. The only caveat I think is if you are selling physical products. If I’m an affiliate selling Toys at Xmas for example I don’t need to be an expert in Toy design. I just need to be able to do keyword research, get a good ranking in Google or the others, and drive traffic to that site and then get some good back links and use Web 2.0 to keep it there. I also need to make the site attractive enough for someone to want to stay for a little while and get enough of an impression to convince them that the particular product is worth or not worth purchasing. I don’t think you need a 100 page Blog either. Just a few pages of well written copy, a video and some good quality images. Admittedly it is never going to make you millions but you can make a reasonable income at it. I must admit I don’t really want to be an internet Guru or any other kind of Guru, I just like designing sites, getting them ranked and selling stuff! may be not what you want to here but hey we are all different!

  2. I totally agree with what you have pointed out here. I bought into a product called Instant Site Launcher. They put up these websites that you can sell to people that do not have website building knowlege or have the time to build websites as though they have the answer to building professinal websites better and faster for you. Not the case . As soon as I was able to login and really see what they were selling as oppose to what was on there squeeze page . i asked for a total refund. Just know that it is just as fast and you get a quality site with wordpress.Do not buy into these type of products, its a waste of money

  3. Finally, someone is telling the truth. I applaud you Mark, for telling it like it really is.
    After spending many, many thousands of dollars on everyone’s product and
    still not making any money, I’ve come to realize there are no shortcuts.
    – You just have to buckle down and do the work.

    Best Wishes,
    Carl Willoughby

  4. You are correct. There are a lot of newbies out there that should read your blog post before jumping in on the next big thing. It would save them a lot of money. Thanks for posting this. It is definitely a reality check.


  5. Oh Man. you are so right.

  6. Mark,
    Very insightful and compelling to say the least. It took me a couple of years to draw the same conclusion. Due to the fact that IM is such a profitabel niche, the tactics used by the Guru’s is more psychological than anything else.

    Success in IM is more of a mind game than a skills game.

    Thanks for an insightful post.

  7. I think if you are real and not hide behind a “pen Name” and promote tried true and tested stuff is a great start. I think that the “internet marketing” niche is over exploited and is bubble that has popped! Just like the real estate market products are over-inflated, rehashed garbage and folks want real tangible things that they can touch taste and feel. Online info-sales is a dinosaur that needs to be fossilized as it is ruining the entire internet’s ability to apply simple auto-responder tools and develop a list. We are so pounded with the next wave of guru promotions every other day that people are turning off and going to FB and other mediums, much like the mute button for TV commercials and Ti-Vo their favorite shows skipping all the ads.

  8. Yeah, Mark, I needed this reality check. After more than a year online trying to get to grips with how to make money, I in desperation still fall prey to these cookie cutter make money schemes. But I think I’m sobering up now and starting to listen to real guidance – like yours. Always appreciated!

  9. Hey Mark

    Excellent article, i’ve been into IM for 6 months now and the past 2 months of it have been a real eye opener. I look at my first 4 months and cant believe the amount of crap i bought, all those shiny new products and systems that promise to make you millions this time next week.
    You know the harsh reality is that when i finally woke up i realised IM came down to the basics i.e. keyword research, time tested traffic techniques, wordpress, etc, etc. Most people (like i did) chase this elusive dream where as if you treat it like a business which you have to continually keep working on, then the results will come.

    I genuinely apprciate you as an IM’r Mark ..not saying that to brown nose you but i see genuineness when its in front of me and my BS detector is finely tuned lol.



  10. Mark, I commend you, for your honesty and on a great article that says so much. The internet is just a vessel and how you use it will determine where you can go. To plan your journey is one thing, but to live it, well, that’s another. We all at one point have been followers, sometimes an expensive, but easy path to take. I believe when we decide to step out to live our dreams truly believing we can achieve those dreams, only then will we experience what we really have been looking for. Talk to you soon and Thanks !


  11. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
    The truth is IM can be really tough.
    Lucky we have people like you Mark to help us along the way!



  12. Mark, I really appreciate the honesty of telling us the hard facts the way they are. I am a newbie in IM, still studying module 1 and am fascinated with everything I am learning. I agree with your “get a PhD on one thing”, albeit I just started IM101. My only side note is that I have decided to use a pen name. The reason is that I did not quit my day job to do IM; the job quit me as the company closed down. So my real name and its corporate brand is out on the internet looking for a job – for the moment I couldn’t fit my job hunt profile and my newbie IM profile together. I know you went through a similar period and I admire where you are standing today.
    All the best,

  13. Mark, excellent points and
    direct and sincerce as usual.

  14. Uh-oh, this is a bit much to swallow. It looks like the unvarnished truth about internet marketing business, and nothing can be so disillusioning than the truth.

    Why is it so painful and depressing hearing the thruth? Because it destroys our castles in the air, the dreams and the hopes built on sand. And we all have our dreams and hopes, and we do not like it when somebody comes and tells us the truth. It doesn’t matter which one. Because then we get lost, lost in our feelings of harm and desperation.

    But there is more than these feelings, we have a mind and we can think. We can ask ourselves: “What, if he is right? What, if we were wrong?”

    Perhaps it takes us days, perhaps it takes us weeks to find the right answer or perhaps we need to reach the bottom first. But then when we realize that the truth can help us to become successful, we can start again and try it with these methods described here.

    This truth is nothing for opportunity seakers, this truth is only for people who want to build a real online business, and it doesn’t matter if it takes time and effort.

    I can understand Brian Welsh when he says in his comment he likes to design nice pages and there is no need for him to become an expert. I think he is already an expert in his niche, in presenting his things real nicely. His page is so well designed that I was on it for about half an hour just because I liked so much.

    If somebody can cope with the truth, he will become successful sooner or later, there is no doubt about it. If somebody doesn’t like it, there are other marketers out there just waiting for him that he falls in their trap.


  15. Thanks for the reality check Mark.


  16. Sage advise for sure.

    Now, hold on while I sign up for your “Free 7 Day eCourse – “Copy And Paste Income Streams””


  17. Mark
    Thanks for the sober down to earth advice. It will help ground us in the work that has is ahead of any Internet Marketer. I know I am continually overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do and the knowledge I have to learn and implement.

    I am glad I invested in your course it continues to be a valuable learning tool.

  18. Nice Mark, Very realistic to say the least. I understand the focus on “one” thing and become an expert. We all take to much on and end up in a tail-spin. Buying everything you see on the internet for your Marketing is just crazy. Thanks for the reminder on my focus!

  19. Your candor is truly appreciated. If we can only listen with half the conviction that you show,
    we’ll all be in a better place. Keep it up. We’ll be right here following along.


  20. Your timing for this is impeccable as one of the affiliate systems that you refer to was launched today amidst much hype. I referred all of my subscribers to this blog post today and warned them that they were about to be swamped with recommendations to buy said product.
    Hopefully they take heed.

  21. I love mark that is my on comment

  22. I agree with you Mark people should spend time to built their brand name before they try to sell and most importantly having their own personal blog that provide usefull post and content is a must to start building this relationship

  23. Great article Mark, nothing but the hard truth.
    I have wasted thosuands of dollars and endless time chasing after the “next Big Thing” and the get rich scheme that does not work.
    I have forgiven myself for the mistakes, learned from them and move on with my life.
    Now I am getting back to basics, learning the fundamentals and building my foundation to build a sustainable and profitable business. I am working on my 1st website now and it will be launched in a couple of weeks.

    This is my 1st time to your blog and it will not be the last.

    To Your Success.

  24. Dr. Robert Doebler

    Internet marketing takes a lot of time, patience and effort. I admire those who have the courage to quit their day jobs to turn into full-time internet marketers. Thanks for the tips Mark! This will truly be helpful to the newbies and aspiring internet marketers. Fact number 4 is my favorite. Those four things are some of the things that we overlook but are really important.

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