Jeremy assumed the position, as he had done so many times before. He had turned the extra small bedroom in their home into an office from where he intended to manage his Internet marketing empire-the dreams were big back then…

But now, he was reclined in his office chair, hands clasped behind his head. His eyes were scanning the many shelves along the walls. They were packed with every Internet marketing course in the known universe; or so it seemed. And as he had done so many times before, he was searching for “it”-the big one-the marketing idea that would finally allow him to look into his wife’s eyes with the kind of pride that only comes from success.

Jeremy had been discussing how illusive “it” was with Susan at the last marketing boot camp they had attended. It was common for them to wind up attending the same marketing knowhow events. Susan had her own collection of Internet marketing courseware; it might actually rival his own. He liked talking to Susan about marketing courses. They’d both get so excited about the latest and greatest guru innovation.

It was quite different at home. Jeremy avoided buying courseware that had to come in the mail because his wife always got to the mail before he could. She had an eye for Internet marketing course material and saw it as a great waste of hard earned money. She would always put the package on his office chair-usually with a note saying she’d gone out with the girls and he was on his own for supper. Jeremy didn’t really hold this against his wife, after all, he had nothing to show for the small fortune that all those courses represented.

Susan however, like Jeremy, could really appreciate the brilliance in the strategies that the gurus could dream up. Yes! There were some really clever people out there in the world of Internet marketing. But also like Jeremy, Susan had yet to strike it big. Oh, they’d both managed to sell the odd thing online here and there, but no one was anywhere near quitting their day job.

Jeremy and Susan are course connoisseurs. They can name all the best courses and the greatest gurus. They can discuss the various strategies and show you examples of them on the Internet. But their dreams of Internet marketing success are so far just that; dreams.
Are you having experiences similar to those of our two Internet marketing hopefuls? If you are, don’t feel bad because you have an enormous amount of company. You can find figures all over the Internet that give new Internet marketing businesses a 95% chance of failing. Man! I don’t know about you, but I find that depressing.

Why do you think people find succeeding in Internet marketing so difficult? Well, I’m no stranger to course-connoisseuring myself. I spent a year and a half chasing my tail and sampling course material. Then one day I realized just how foolish I was being. You see, unlike many of you, I have a background as a systems analyst. I got paid to come in and assess systems, find out what was working, what wasn’t and how to optimize them. I am quite good at this, but like the shoemaker’s kids, I never applied these skills in my own sphere.

When I turned my analyst vision towards Internet marketing, I immediately noticed that the term Internet marketing is used as if one thing was going on. This is misleading and very far from the truth. I hate to lean on the overused metaphor of the onion, but is fits this situation perfectly-as you peel off a layer of Internet marketing, you find more layers.

Jeremy’s and Susan’s bookshelves were filled with onion layers, but there was no way to find a path back to a familiar onion shape. Each and every layer makes sense in its own right, but how is it supposed to work with all the other layers?

To answer this question, one needs an organizing perspective; a place to stand that allows you to see how the pieces can come together. By this I don’t mean to imply that there is “one onion”. This is where the onion metaphor breaks down when it is used to discuss Internet marketing. There is only one right way to put the onion layers together and get an onion. But Internet marketing has an infinite number of ways the layers can be reassembled and make money (money is the recognizable form of an Internet marketing onion).

The good news is this: there is a place to stand where one can make sense of the many layers. In the future things may change, but as it stands today, no matter what Internet marketing approach you are considering-it will fail without traffic.

And the secret to traffic is based on an understanding of keywords. Knowledge of keywords and traffic are skills that you can and must learn. Folks, there are no shortcuts here; you either acquire these skills, pay someone who has these skills to work for you or join the 95% failure group.

So, now we know we are not looking for a “Make a Million a Minute” Internet marketing scheme. Instead, we are looking for something far less exciting on the surface. It will probably look suspiciously like a course, where time, effort and a commitment to learning are required to succeed.

Once you have the basic skills and understanding of keywords and traffic creation, you will look at all those Internet marketing courses you’ve purchased with different eyes. You will suddenly see possibilities were you saw none before. You will be able to see how parts of one strategy could be used with parts of another. You will find that your new-found skills give you freedom to become your own guru.