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The SEO Vent

December 2003

When you pay zero down you can rest assured you are getting exactly what you paid for.

As a person learning, performing, and teaching internet marketing I take great pride in helping people avoid scams. Not only do I personally offer just about everything I know for free, but I even created the worst practice Black Hat SEO directory.

Learning

Most internet marketers do not become successful overnight. All the while when I was not successful, I was not getting paid to learn. I was not getting paid to fail. Nobody said "you just sucked, congratulations here is $20."

The dot com bubble destroyed real people who lost their real houses. As someone who took to the internet with no knowledge or formal training toward the tail end of the downfall the odds were stacked highly against me. Many self taught internet professionals never learn enough. Many fail even to come out of the debt they earned while learning every scam the wrong way.

Because I taught myself does it make my education any less valuable? The same way a person gets paid for past college, past learning should be accounted for in current wages.

In any legitimate long term business you invest into partners. Other than maybe government spending few businesses operate on a we'll do all the work and then hope for pay months later idea.

If I am talented, why in the hell should I waste my ability handing out zero interest loans hoping that I can help some company that I do not know get wealthy? If they are not willing to invest a dime in me should I do anything but laugh at their offer?

Amazing

What amazes me is that some extremely large companies view smart SEOs as total idiots. A while back a guy wanted me to create and promote his Canadian pharmacy website. The only portion of the business he had set in his mind was the 10% partnership deal with a pharmacy. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with the website (other than his 10%).

I explained to him that I could get a better percentage than that, and that I though the idea was poor. I always recommend learning, writing, teaching, and sharing what you are interested in. Somehow his Canadian pharmacy idea did not spark my serotonin, dopamine, norephedrine, or anything in my head.

Obviously I never worked for this one dumb guy, but others try to rephrase the same idea...thinking perhaps I am growing dumber by the day.

Recently

I got an email from a company that has VERY VERY large partners and customers. An eagerly awaited phone call was scheduled to discuss if I could perhaps work for some of these HUGE accounts.

Time passed. I got off the phone with one of the internets most well known marketing companies. His offer was similar to that of my Canadian pharmacy friend. I have a week to make a decision that I already have made in the past.

The Proposal

As soon as some people view you as successful they offer you one of the dumbest business propositions ever. Lets recap, shall we (please note, real words were omitted and actual thoughts are quoted below)

Bullcrap marketing company to prospective SEO partner:

"I have a business proposal...I want YOU to invest your time, money, and talents to create functional marketing programs and websites for me. If you fail that's ok, I am not out anything. If you succeed I will give you 20% of the profits. Did I mention that I am not only a middleman, but I am taking a cut for doing absolutely nothing. The beauty of it is I am only taking 80%."

Obviously the 20% is not clearly discussed, but I was always good at math. I know enough about the world around me to be able to guess what commissions are. I think this 20% I am speaking of is a conservatively high number anyway.

The Wrong Way

When I first jumped on the web I saw how much some affiliate programs paid. I was excited to think I could be the one making that money. I signed up for a ton of affiliate programs and made a directory of affiliate embedded links.

When I got done I realized I had just created a static search engine which did not describe its products. Worse yet, many of the affiliate partnerships were changing. My site not only lacked quality content, but it began to fill with broken links. A recent casino check for $75 made me laugh, but other than that...I wasted my time.

While some affiliate programs are great, its the quality and context which matter...never the quantity. One good partnership can make your more than a thousand bad ones.

Business of any sort starts with a relationship. Sure there will be tricks to siphon off search traffic, but if you do not believe in me I have to work a hell of a lot harder to sell you anything. Why should you reward me for my topical ignorance? Why should you pay me for throwing clutter into your life? Why should you pay me for wasting your time?

The Alternative

So I could have tucked tail as a failure, I could have settled for another middle level management job where I did 30 hours of unpaid corporate charity work each week, but I said screw that. If that's what life is I wanted no part of it. I have two jobs since my mom signed my permission slip to join the US Navy at 17. I will never be directly employed by another company again.

Another Alternative

As a publisher of Google AdSense I could craft clutter sites as proposed by my marketing firm friends, but run my own ads on them. Imagine a scenario where all of the worlds largest companies were fighting against each other to pay me. At least with AdSense I know I only have one midleman.

The real question is, why should I waste my time building clutter when I can be building real value. I can be creating lifelong relationships.

The Real Alternative

I really like the internet. I really like marketing. I really like learning. I really like helping others. What if I could actually do all of those as I saw fit? What if using the internet helped me restore sanity in people who are stuck on drugs that their doctors give them to make them better? Oh wait, it can...

"THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!
I really thought I was loosing my mind. You are not kidding, they are so very bad! I have been taking your advice! Today I am feeling better! The migranes are pretty much gone, one every once in awhile and I can control it with IBPro. The dizziness is all I have left, and even that is MUCH better, and only if I move my head too quickly. The weakness is MUCH better also!!! I am still
getting tired early but NOTHING like it was a few days ago! I know you said that you are not a doctor, well, if anything you are a GOD sent to us all! Not even my doctor would give me such advice as yourself, and it WORKS, and is still getting better! GOD bless you! I really felt so very bad! Now in just a short amount of time Im feeling MUCH better! THANKS SO MUCH FOR ANSWERING SO QUICKLY! REALLY YOU ARE A GOD SENT!
Thanks again and again,
Michele"

That's the whole point of being an independant SEO. Each day I wake I can chose who I help and how I help them. If I am not interested in something I will not do it. Why should I?

If I create clutter I am the problem, not the solution.

Summary

I am not going to work for that marketing company.

Hopefully he does not call back in a week. Maybe while they are playing vulture to acquire more SEO partners they will run across this article. Perhaps they will then realize what a valuable resource they are trying to waste.

- by Aaron Wall, owner of Search Marketing Info

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