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OK, I admit it. I've developed a great fascination with and respect
for Internet marketers. The good ones, at least.
If you subscribe to any marketing ezines, you become familiar with
their names soon enough. Terry Dean, Yanik Silver, John Colanzi, Jim
Edwards, Lee Benson, Dave Balch, Marlon Sanders, Jan Tallent-
Dandridge and Jim Turner, to name a few. And a there's a whole slew
of up-and-comers on the horizon, men and women who have studied the
masters and are trying to follow in their footsteps--or create paths
of their own.
I can see some of you out there, wrinkling your noses as you read
this. Internet marketers? Aren't they a bunch of hype-driven
shysters whose sole reason for existence is tricking unsuspecting Web
surfers into giving them their credit card information?
Well, no. Not the good ones, at least.
What are they, then?
1. First and foremost, they're writers. Every one of them. They
write books, articles and reports by the dozens. They develop e-
courses and publish ezines. Internet marketers don't talk about
writing, or dream about it, or hope to do it someday. They *write*
prolifically, and the best of them are darned good at it. And
they're not starving writers either, living in unheated garrets and
subsisting on stale bread. These writers make money. Some of them
make plenty of it.
2. They're entrepreneurs. You might even call them pioneers. They
took one look at the text-based Internet, saw its potential, seized
its opportunities and built mini-empires on it. They boldly
published ebooks long before the rest of us thought of electronic
publishing as a viable outlet for our work. Success didn't happen to
them overnight, but they believed in the medium and, more
importantly, in themselves and what they had to say.
3. They're motivators and motivational. You'll never meet a more
upbeat group of people online than successful Internet marketers.
Powerful words and positive phrases make up the bulk of whatever they
write. They constantly urge their readers to set lofty goals, be
willing to make sacrifices, persevere in the face of adversity and
eschew any doubts expressed by people who supposedly have our best
interests at heart. Just like any "regular" writer, they know that
their loved ones might not understand it when they prefer to be at
their keyboards instead of Uncle Harry's birthday party. But hey,
they need to finish that chapter first, or work on that Web copy
before they take time to socialize.
4. They've mastered the art of self-promotion. Moreover, they enjoy
it. Internet marketers happily write articles and freely give them
away for publication in ezines and on Web sites, knowing that the
exposure to their own newsletters, sites and products is worth its
weight in gold. They find ways to get interviewed, both online and
in print. They collaborate on joint ventures (known in the biz as
JVs), pooling their talents and strengths on projects for their
mutual benefit. These people not only "think outside the box" when
it comes to promoting their wares--they never believed there was a
box to begin with.
5. They are Web-savvy, and more than willing to share their
knowledge. They'll lead you to all the free tools and resources
online, show you how to attract more visitors to your Web site,
divulge their own publicity tactics and respond to both technical and
nontechnical questions if they can. Although I have uncovered a
number of useful resources online through my own research or in other
writers' ezines, many more have come from articles written by the top
marketing people. They know their way around the Web, and pass many
of the nuggets they find along to their readers.
Certainly I am not saying we should all become e-persuaders; readers
also want poetry, mystery, romance, information, news, inspiration
and all the other types of things we writers produce. They want
writers to entertain and/or inform them, help them with their
resumes, create stories for their children or document historical
But can we all learn from the enthusiasm, expertise and
resourcefulness of the top Internet marketers. From them, we can
discover how to find our own markets, how to get our work noticed,
how to promote our services--and have fun doing so. We might also
pick up an idea or two we can apply to our own writing efforts.
And hey, if we happen to whip out a credit card and purchase one of
their products after reading one of their articles, then that proves
how well they really write, doesn't it?
About the Author
Mary Anne Hahn edits and publishes WriteSuccess, the free ezine
dedicated to the success of writers everywhere. To subscribe,
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