Guest Post - Our host is Matt Geer, In this post Matt looks at the dangers of information overload from the 'online pros'.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
There is no blueprint to making money online. If you've spent any time researching how to build an online business than you already know this.
However, what you do have access to are all the make money online blogs, ran by guys who've already made their thousands or millions of dollars online. They figured it all out, and now share it so that you can repeat their success. So while it may not be a step-for-step blueprint, it's really the next best thing.
That said, there are so many bloggers, gurus and magic money fairies posting their tips online that reading and following all of these blogs and their advice can actually be counterproductive, even prevent you from succeeding. If you're not careful, that is. Here are 5 examples to show you what I mean.
1. Shiny Box Syndrome
Are you guilty of this? I am, and I'll tell you what; shiny box syndrome is a very bad and expensive sickness to have.
Shiny box syndrome is chasing all the latest tools, trends and techniques. For example, you would buy guru blogger A's product on how to make Amazon sites this week, and then as soon as guru blogger B's product comes out next week on how to make money with Facebook fan pages you'll buy that.
Do you see the problem here?
The most obvious problem is that the two products are on 2 completely different techniques. There is no way that you'll have enough time to read, implement and master the techniques in the first product, before you start working on the 2nd. So there are two outcomes to this situation:
- While you focus on mastering the lessons shown in the first product, the 2nd product collects dust on your hard drive. Chances are you don't get to the 2nd product at all.
- You bounce around from product to product, not giving yourself a chance to master anything. If you are having any success with your online business, it's probably mediocre at best.
You do know that, don't you?
2. You Don't Get to See (All) Their Struggles
Another problem with following all of these gurus is that you get to see all of their success, but very few, if any, of their failures. Sure, you might read a condensed version of it on their about page, but think about this for a second. Many of these guys struggled for years before finding success. Do you think that's really going to come across in 500 or 1,000 words of text?
And despite what they might say on their blog, not taking the time to highlight the mistakes they've made or their failures can send the wrong message to newbies. Even with the words - I failed for two years before making a dime - that all gets lost in the 4 and 5-figure income reports and posts about their #1 results for their niche site in Google.
3. You Don't Form Your Own Opinions
Something else that I'm guilty of is having no real opinion of my own. In other words, I'm easily swayed by what I read online. If you are too, the first step in the right direction is forming your own opinion so that you have something to fall back on when you face something like shiny object syndrome, or you're not sure where to take your blog, niche site or ecommerce website.
Hopefully that makes sense, but if not, here is an example.
One blog that I read suggests getting into PPC (pay-per-click) advertising and doing CPA marketing. In other words, you buys ads on Facebook or Google and send people to perform a task, such as filling out their name and email. When they do, you are paid for that lead.
However, I read another blog where the blogger does PPC too, but actually suggests building niche sites or blogs and becoming an authority on a topic or two (instead). The reason being is that CPA marketing isn't a long term strategy (you get paid and that's it -- no repeat customers), and that becoming an authority is.
Do you see how this can be dangerous if you don't have your own opinions on what is long term and what isn't? Moreover, if you don't know what your business goals are, or what you'd be happy doing for the next several months/years?
Just like shiny box syndrome, if you don't have any opinions or feelings of your own, you'll be swayed back and forth each time you read a blog post. This will be the case in your business too -- one week you'll be sending traffic to CPA offers via Facebook, and the next you'll be working on your sea monkey authority blog. And you'll be lucky if you create any traction in either.
4. You Spend More Time Reading Than Acting
Another problem with following (so many) bloggers is that there is always something new to read and learn about. Most blogs in the make money online space that I come across post daily. If you follow 10-20 bloggers, that's a lot of reading to do. Factor in commenting, taking notes and watching the occasional video post, and you can easily burn up 3-4 hours of your time. And if you're not working for yourself full time yet, 3-4 hours might be all the time you have in a day, possibly the week.
While there's nothing wrong with reading blog or forum posts and learning new things, acting and failing is going to get you much farther, much faster. I'm not saying you shouldn't read blogs, especially a helpful blog such as Spice Up Your Blog. But what I would suggest doing instead is dedicating so much time per day, or maybe one day per week to reading your posts. The rest of your time should be spent working, otherwise you'll never get anywhere.
5. Information Overload
This is a catch 22.
I love learning about new marketing techniques, traffic sources and monetization ideas. You can use Facebook for content ideas? I can create a membership site? You can become a millionaire from a blog about sea monkeys -- all I need to do is spam other blogs for traffic?
The problem with information overload is that you have all of these ideas, but you don't know where to start. What do you do first? Is it really the best option? Do you want to create Squidoo lenses, or does it make more sense to focus all of your time on YouTube?
It's hard to decide. Less is more, as the saying goes, and it applies to the amount of information you take in about creating an online business too. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I wish I only learned one new thing when I first got started. It'd be much harder to get overwhelmed only knowing one way to make money online, as opposed to knowing 20.
So there you have it -- the 5 problems I have and think people face with following (so many) different gurus, bloggers and the occasional make money online fairy online. I want to be clear that this isn't a post to bash anyone, or to encourage you to never read or follow anyone's blog. There is a lot of good advice out there, and reading blogs can certainly shorten your learning curve.
That said, there is a lot that can be said about limiting the number of blogs that you do read, as well as shutting out all the noise every once in a while so that you can actually work and make some progress with your own online business.
So, what about you? Do you, or have you had any of these problems above? What did you do to fix it? Is there anything that you'd like to add? Let me know about them in the comments.