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I received this email from Perry Marshall and I think it sums up some of the frustrations I read and feel as I navigate these "Make Money Online" waters. Perry Marshall is well recognized as one of the leading authorities on Google Adwords. I enjoy reading his emails and think they are very informative. I hope you think so too.


Written By: Perry Marshall

In the last few months there has been an explosive proliferation of all manner of Make Money Online / Make Money at Home / MLM / Direct Sales opportunities.

Business opportunity fervor is visible in the requests for media interviews that I get; just a couple of weeks ago I was conversing with a reporter from the Washington Post about this very topic. It's plainly visible on Twitter and in the blogosphere; we're seeing it in our blog comments and the kinds of new customers we're getting. It's a sea change that's resulted from the current economic climate.

Everybody is jumping in with both feet. But many people are AFRAID. And justifiably so. There are some very important things that all such people need to be mindful of. Especially beginners.

If I wanted to make a bunch of money I'd just shamelessly pander to this trend, and tell everyone how easy it is to make money online.

Those of you who know me know, it ain't so simple. I've been burned before, so my caution lights go on. I want people to know what they're getting into. Today, my thoughts about what separates the good from the bad in the biz-op world. And what it really takes to build a viable online business.

A web-based business you can run from home is the white picket fence of the 21st century. It's hard to think of a more desirable asset. Allows the young mom to be at home with her kids and be able to manage interruptions (since email is less urgent than phone calls); allows you to travel, to live where you want, do business wherever you are. From hotels or beaches or cybercafes.

And it's not like this is some remote fantasy. There are hundreds of thousands of people who make a respectable living online.

So let's talk about the pitfalls:

  1. Online marketing as a profession is 10-12 years old. It's just as deep as engineering or accounting or medicine.
  2. However, it can be made to appear a lot easier than it actually is. (Just like flipping houses or anything else on late night TV.)
  3. The public school education system conditions you to believe that success comes from "staying on track" with a plan or a program and being "at least as good" as everybody else.
  4. Most "business in a box" opportunities cater to #2 and #3.
  5. In marketing, the truth is: Conformity is death. In marketing, success comes from doing something distinctively different. It means "staying on track" with your customers but marching to a different drum than your competitors.
  6. Most "business in a box" opportunities blatantly ignore #5, and in fact pretend that it doesn't exist.
  7. The best way I know of to describe "staying on track" with your customers is: Making a commitment that you are going to only try to market to people for whom you could literally write a page of their diary; and they'd say "Wow, how did you know that about me?"

It's that psychic connection. If I had to name the most elusive yet most critical ingredient of marketing success, that is it, right there: Being able to write a page in your customer's diary.

Now what's cool about online marketing is, there are literally a million niches. There is nothing on earth that caters to your unique individuality like the Internet. There are few things I admire more than a person who has found his or her singular voice on the Internet and finds joy in expressing it.

Which means if you're trying to figure out what to do online, the first question you need to address is:

What markets do you know so well that you could write a page of their diary?

A few weeks ago I wrote a post called "Memo to a Pink Koolaid Drinker" where a very frustrated woman from New York City asked me what she could do to get her business to finally work. I gave her some candid advice including a self-inventory that I think is a MUST for all marketers, successful or not.

Also, a couple of years ago I got a delicious rant from a Roundtable Member (read: NOT a beginner, actually was the owner of a fast-growing, multi-million dollar company) who was frustrated at all the people selling all advice and no results. Interestingly, the #1 recommendation I had for him was to perform some un-glamorous surveys and market research. Make sure there's water in the swimming pool before you dive in.

For anyone who does not yet have a genuinely successful online business up and running - and even some who do - I heartily recommend Glenn Livingston and Terry Dean's A-Z blueprint system. I think it's underpriced and it's got 10X more meat than most other systems that claim to teach you everything you need to know.

It's also probably not as exciting and glamorous as those systems. It's probably like that old movie The Karate Kid where the Kid spends the first half of the movie "Painting the Fence" for Mr. Miyagi.

But it works. You can download it and make it your "bible" and sole focus for the next 6 months, a guideline for everything you do. And as far as I'm concerned you can un-subscribe from everybody else who does not deliver meaty, actionable advice in the emails they send to you every week.

I've gotten a slew of questions, worries and gripes about this, from beginners who are clearly very nervous. Let me share some with you:


I just don't get it. I have been in this spiral of hype from you and [marketer X] and [marketer Y] which seems to have you all in simply an endless trail of "buy this now that you've done that" mode. And now this product your promoting (AdWords Technique: 7% to 20% CTR, Overnight) that sounds, of course, like something I've gotta have…you've done an absolutely stellar job of hyping it. BUT under your Terms and Agreement is this paragraph:

"Links to Third Party Websites.

We may provide links to web pages which are not part of the our web family. These sites are not under our control and we are not responsible for the information or links you may find there. We are providing these links only as a convenience. The presence of these links on any of our websites is not intended to imply our endorsement of that site but to provide a convenient link to relevant sites which are managed by other organizations, companies, or individuals. Accordingly, this Agreement does not apply to your use of unaffiliated sites to which this site only provides links."

And this tells me basically that you are only blowing smoke. I'm very disappointed in this path that I've been led down. So, what you are telling me with this paragraph is that you are only promoting this product so that you can make more money. Right? In essence, "buyer be ware".

Perry, I simply want to make an honest income for my family. I've got 3 young sons and have been desiring a home-based business that gives my the kind of money we need to live the way we choose while working for myself. Yes, I'm willing to work at it.

I thought I found it, then it wasn't what was pitched, so I bought more stuff that I was told I needed, then I thought I had it, but I'm really still in the learning curve because it keeps getting more and more involved with what I need to buy next, thanks to all you great promoters. And so far it seems I've been led down a road of simply promoting other people's info on how to make money, which promote other people's info on how to make money, which (and on and on).

Can you please just help me make an honest living for my family without leading me down a seemingly endless hole of "how-to's" and "must-have's"?

I would be immensely grateful,


Wendy, about the disclaimer: Our site has all kinds of links to all kinds of places. Not to mention blog comments that have links to the commentors' sites. We cannot conceivably take any legal responsibility for what all those people do.

What I can tell you is that Howie and Glenn and Terry are among the most conscientious people I know and they'll deliver a competent product, hassle free. If there is a problem they'll address it. Most of all they will not saddle you with an endless hole of how-to's and must-haves.

Glenn has some fabulous free material at Check out Howie's materials at

Also, Wendy, read "Memo to a Pink Koolaid Drinker" and hear my opinion of people who teach you to make money by teaching you to teach other people how to make money, etc.

Finally, notice how often it is that when I get questions like this, I direct people to do market research. I think Howie and Glenn's Checkmate system is a really easy to use, highly effective way to find out - in an hour or two - where your competitors in AdWords are falling short.

I've never seen a market, however competitive, that did not have holes in it. No fortress is impenetrable.

But in any case, pick battles you can win. Sell to people for whom you can write a page in their diary. Never jump into a market you know nothing about, based on a promise of easy winnings. You'll get slaughtered.

Here's another:

This sales pitch sounds fairly similar to every other beginner's guide to internet riches. "We'll tell you the truth!" It really sounds to me like yet another opportunity to soak beginners out of some money. I'm simply unwilling to part with $100 for another beginner's guide that may or may not be useful to me. I must say that your endorsement is disappointing. Generally, when you promote your conferences, products, calls, etc., there is an understanding between the reader and you that this is your project. Your baby that you promote. Now you have ventured into the "beginner's guide to internet wealth" affiliate world wherein it is very difficult to trust an endorsement because it is based on commissions and gullible readers. I think you owe it to everyone to at least acknoweldge that this is a commission based endorsement. That's the professional thing to do.


Any educated marketer should know that many if not most marketing course endorsements are paid. Mine included. Frankly most things I could endorse have an affiliate program so therefore I'd be foolish not to get paid for my endorsement.

The question is not whether I get paid, or even whether I tell you I'm getting paid or not. The question is, do I give solid recommendations?

Some people endorse everything that might potentially make them money; I turn down 95% of the JV and affiliate requests I get pitched on. Most never make it past my gatekeeper.

Glenn and Terry have a very simple money back guarantee. I would encourage you to purchase the product and take the very first chapter and put every bit of it in action and see if it doesn't get you more forward progress than any other product you've purchased.

Yes, I know it's hard to tell their pitch from anybody else's. What you need to know is them. For example if you want to familiarize yourself with Glenn and his methods, go to and get his free MP3's and interviews about market research and marketing principles. Absolutely golden stuff, in my opinion. But you can decide for yourself.

Ultimately my reputation rests on not whether I get paid for my endorsements, but whether I endorse high quality, trustworthy, results-delivering advice. Buy it risk free and see for yourself.

Perry Marshall

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