Just Say No to “Gurus”

By , August 1, 2009

Do not pay money to a “guru.” Ever.

The word “guru” implies a blind faith which many embrace in their religions, but it iisn’t appropriate for business.

Don’t buy a “course” or “system” or even an ebook about “How to Make Money from AdSense” or “Internet Success Secrets” or “Money Machines” or any other gimicky name.

And don’t pay money to buy “secrets.”  There really are no “secrets” about how to make money. There are strategies, of course, which can often work when properly applied — but they aren’t secrets.

The information is already out there, available for free (with expert commentary, including lots of warnings about how techniques being “sold” by gurus can backfire).  You just need to invest the time to read and to think critically.

If you want to earn money from affiliate marketing, or from web site advertising, don’t spend your money on “gurus” or ebooks — instead spend your time on forums like ABestWeb.com. (Go to the forum; register as a new user; read through the introductory forums; and do not post any messages until you’ve spent at least 20 hours reading and using the “search” function to find the answers that are already there. Yes, I’m serious — at least 20 hours spent actually reading posts (not just “taking time to reflect”) before you post anything, not even an introduction or a “thanks for the advice” post.)

Of course, what the “gurus” promise, and what we all wish we could have, is a “foolproof system” where all you need to do is follow a very simple set of instructions and then watch the money roll in.  Guess what: those instructions will always include “steps” that require you to apply experience and wisdom that you probably don’t have. For example, to earn money from AdSense and affiliate programs, or from PPC spending on AdWords, you need to develop expertise on a specific topic, and then do extensive research, and then do extensive, careful testing.  And 90% of the people who “buy the system” or “pay the guru” never earn a profit. Many find that the “foolproof plan” is a fast path to bankruptcy.  Of course, the “guru” disclaims any responsibility because the failed venture didn’t follow the steps correctly.  (In fairness, most of us simply don’t follow instructions; we’re all looking for shortcuts, and sometimes the shortcuts are especially tempting, when we “don’t know what we don’t know.”)

Think about it: If someone shares a “secret” of how to make money, and the “secret” is easy to implement, then a bunch of people follow the advice until the opportunity is fully exploited or saturated. And of course, if someone really does know a good way to make money easily, they’re not likely to share it with others who might drain away the opportunity.

I’ve been doing this (affiliate marketing) for 12+ years, and right now I’m struggling to earn a living.

Don’t pay a guru. Ever.

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