Dealing With Information Overload
When you first get started in trying to make money online, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed with information overload. There’s a lot to learn in Internet marketing, and there’s also a lot of conflicting information. The area of Internet marketing is also sufficiently broad that there’s no set way of doing things. Plus, if you join a couple of marketing forums in order to learn about marketing in general, you’re going to find a lot of disagreement about just about any topic. It can be pretty frustrating, and not just for newbies. It can be tough for experienced marketers, too.
When you’re first starting out, you’ll have to learn the basics about how affiliate marketing works. What’s an affiliate link? Whats an advertiser? What’s a publisher? Then you’ll have to learn about marketing niches. Then you’ll have to learn about how to monetize your site. Do you run ads? Post text links? Do you collect email addresses to build a mailing list? If so, how do you do that? And how do you build a Website, anyway? What is WordPress? The questions and answers can be overwhelming, and that’s where information overload sets in.
Experienced Marketers Have Information Overload, Too
It’s not just newbies that suffer from information overload; experienced marketers can suffer from it, too. I recently signed up for a very expensive paid forum that was devoted to paid advertising. This site deals with pay per click, pay per view and pay per call advertising, along with advertising on Facebook, Google and Bing. When I joined the site, it had nearly 200,000 posts, and my experience with paid advertising is fairly limited. I know about the basics, but more complex issues such as traffic arbitrage, international redirects and tracking SubIDs were just making my head hurt, and I’ve been in Internet marketing for fifteen years.
I ended up bailing out on the forum, not because the information was overwhelming (which it was), but because a lot of the information was dated. Internet advertising changes monthly or even weekly, and methods and techniques that made sense in 2011 might not even be profitable today. I’m still interested, and I’ve got other resources for learning about paid advertising and I’m going to focus on one thing and get started slowly.
That’s the secret to avoiding information overload. You need to focus on one thing. If you’re not sure which of a variety of things you should do and you think they’re all equally good choices, then just pick one. Then get started doing something with it. If your choice is a blog, then start building a blog. Yes, you’ll have to learn about Web hosting and how to build a site using WordPress, but these are logical steps after you’ve decided to build a blog. By making a single choice and getting started on it, you now have something that resembles a path, and you can learn what follows in a sensible, linear fashion.
Consider my recent adventure in a paid advertising forum. There were a variety of ad platforms to consider, and a ton of information to learn about each of them. Many of these platforms were incompatible with one another; if you’re concentrating on pay per view advertising, then you’re unlikely to be doing any advertising on Facebook, for instance. In my case, I’ve decided to dabble a bit in Facebook advertising, and I’m going to be concentrating my efforts there in order increase my presence on that site. Pay per view advertising is interesting, too, but I can’t concentrate on both at once, because they require completely different tools, separate advertising budgets and vastly different skill sets.
If you focus on one thing, you can find your path to what follows from there. If you build a blog, then yes, you do need to figure out how to build it. Then you need to figure out how you’re going to monetize it, but you can do that after you learn how to build it and get it online. Sometime down the road, you can decide if you want to create a mailing list, and then you can learn about how to go about building one.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping abreast of what’s new in the industry; I follow several forums on a daily basis to see what other people are doing. But I make a conscious effort to avoid getting distracted by interesting new things that are completely unrelated from what I’ve chosen to do. My primary focus is this blog. That means that anything else I look at needs to be related to that, or I’m not going to pursue it right now. I recently came across an interesting method of making money as an Amazon affiliate. It requires building a new Website that’s completely different from this one and it’s going to require pretty much all of my time for about two months to make it work. Does it look profitable? Yes. Does it look like something I can do with the set of skills that I currently possess? Yes. But it’s going to take time away from my ability to work on this blog, and right now, I’m trying to make this site bigger and better. The other thing, interesting though it might be, is just going to have to wait.
Information Overload Summary
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by information overload in affiliate marketing, but this field is no different from any other. If you decided to become a brain surgeon or a lawyer, and you had no experience in either field or appropriate skills or education, you’d be overwhelmed by all you need to know and you’d likely suffer from information overload there, too. The key to avoiding information overload with anything is to pick one thing, arbitrarily, if necessary, and focus on it. Learn all you can about that one thing. From there, the next steps will become obvious and will logically follow. Eventually, you’ll branch out into related areas and you can pick up what you need to know with time.
For now – pick one thing and get started actually doing. You’ll learn more by doing something than you will from reading. Get started.