Internet Marketing: The 5 Biggest Mistakes Most Internet Marketers Make

by Mike Adams

Internet marketing strategy and success isn't necessarily easy, but it shouldn't be as hard as some people make it either.  I believe it was Michelangelo who once said that making a sculpture is easy, "I just carve away anything that isn't art."  So let's start our journey to Internet marketing success by carving away the 5 biggest Internet marketing mistakes - mistakes that shouldn't be part of your Internet marketing sculpture!

The following are 5 surefire recipes for disaster in Internet marketing... but don't worry, I will also show you how to prevent or cure each one with some common-sense Internet marketing strategy.

Mistake #1: Selling Something You Don't Understand

Trying to sell something you don't know, don't understand, and aren't an expert in is one of the most common mistakes of Internet marketing.  For example, you shouldn't be trying to sell an Internet marketing product if you haven't made money in Internet marketing.

Don't jump on every business opportunity that comes along just because someone you know is promoting it. Think about what you know.  Think about what you love to do.  Think about what you would genuinely enjoy spending time writing about, creating a Web site around.

Find something that you love, then build a business out of that. If you love skydiving, then find a way to develop a web site and product around that.  If you love golf, then create a theme out of that.  Review golf courses and golf clubs, or sell golf videos on your site.

Mistake Recipe #2: Not Adding Your Personality

Have you ever noticed how many one-man (or woman) Internet marketing operations on the Web keep saying "we?"  I know I've been guilty of it on sites I run all by myself, have you?  Why do you want to try to look like a big corporation anyway?  Don't you realize many people hate huge corporations?  Besides, your website probably isn't going to look like an international corporation's site if you only have a hundred dollar budget anyway!

You must use your secret weapon…you.  Your personality could be your biggest strength.

Many people are ashamed to do this, but you absolutely have to add a little bit of you into your Web sites. Your visitors are not looking for another corporate site. They are looking for real solutions to their problems, and they want them to come from a real human being.

Include your name on your site. Give your phone number and personal email address. Tell them facts about why they should listen to you. Let them know what experiences or credibility you have in your niche.

Be interesting to the people who visit you... and be interested in the people who visit you.  Develop relationships.  Networking is as important in Internet marketing as it is in offline marketing.

Mistake Recipe #3: Ignoring Your Traffic Statistics

Do you know where most of your traffic come from? Ask that question of 90% of the webmasters out there, and they will just give you a blank look. They have no idea where their traffic comes from.  How can you improve your Internet marketing strategy if you don't know what works and what doesn't?

If you really want to be successful in Internet marketing, you must know where your traffic comes from - especially if you are paying for traffic.  And you are paying for traffic whether you realize it or not.  Your time is probably worth far more than your money!  A wise man once told me, "You can always make more money money, but you can't make more time."

Almost every Web hosting company provides some kind of statistics software.  Use it.  Review your stats regularly to find out where your traffic is coming from.  You want to know things like:

  • What search engines did people use to find you?
  • What keywords did they use?
  • What Web sites are linking to you?
  • Which pages do they visit first?
  • Which section of your web site do they go to the most after they visit the front page?
  • Which pages do most people exit your site from?

Study your traffic statistics and you will learn the answers to these questions.  Use what you learn to improve your Internet marketing strategy and increase promotion in whatever areas are working. If you notice that you are getting a lot of hits from a specific search engine, increase your promotion on that engine. If you receive most of your hits through links on other sites, then work more on creating links.

Mistake Recipe #4: Not Collecting Email Addresses

If you are trying to market on the Internet and you are not collecting email addresses, you probably only have one shot at making a sale.  People surf away from a site as easily as they surf in, and they rarely will "bookmark" your site or make it a "favorite."  Plain and simple, if you do not have a way to follow up with your visitors, you will only sell a fraction of what you could.

Unless you have an absolutely incredible site (what they call a "sticky" site) that makes people want to visit you again and again, you need their email address and permission to email them.  Your best Internet marketing strategy is to create your own ezine or to offer a special series of reports by email every day, every few days, or every week.

Think about it this way. If you can't get a prospect to commit to you by giving you their email address, then there is no way you can sell something to that prospect.

Focus on collecting the email address when someone visits your site.  Offer your ezine on every page of your site. Give free ebook bonuses for subscribing. Offer other incentives for subscribing. Build your list and at the same time make your first product offer to your subscribers.

Your actual Web site really serves two strategic purposes. It gives you the basic credibility so that people subscribe to your email publication and it helps you take online orders.

Mistake Recipe #5: Selling Shoddy Products

If you are out to fail in Internet marketing, then sell some shoddy products. It used to be said that if one customer had a bad experience they would tell 10 of their friends about it. Now, with the global efficiency of the Internet, instead of them just telling their friends, they may tell thousands of people about it.

When you sell a really good product, the news gets around. When you sell a poor product, the news gets around even faster.  The best Internet marketing strategy here is to always deliver far more than what your customers expect.

There you have it, the 5 biggest Internet marketing mistakes, and how to prevent or cure each one.  Now it's time to go carve away everything that shouldn't be part of your Internet marketing strategy.

Mike Adams is the owner and Webmaster of as well as Gigantic Resale Rights, and many other sites.  He has been marketing on the Internet since before the Web became a household word.