Is THIS why you’re struggling to make money online?

I’ll explain the picture halfway down this post ๐Ÿ™‚

So if you’ve been in internet marketing for any length of time you probably know what you should be doing to make money online right?

Find a niche – go through the research thing, desperate buyers and all that, have some graphics made, produce some content, bung some Adsense on there and all the rest.

You know the score.

Or maybe you prefer affiliate marketing.

You start an authority blog that you post to daily, or maybe some smaller blogs that you optimize for SEO then put Clickbank ads on there, or Commission Junction ads.

Or maybe you just build a bloody big list and send them emails every other day recommending products through your affiliate link.

That’s how it works right?


It’s all big a pile of steaming cow crap, complete with grass poking out the top.

I’ve got a fair idea of what I’m doing with this internet marketing game, and there’s not a chance in HELL that I would ‘do some niche resaerch to find desperate buyers….’ and all that rubbish.

At least not unless I added something of my own.

Because everything EVERYTHING you’ve been taught by 99% of the marketers you listen to is WRONG.

Not intentionally of course – they know what they’re doing and more importantly it’s working for them.

It just won’t work for you very well.

Here’s why.

You’re missing out a vital ingredient.

and that’s YOU.

Your personality.

Let’s back up a second and imagine I have piles. Huge throbbing dangly great hemorrhoids that give me grief day and night.

I snap at the kids, can’t sleep properly and would rather throw myself off a cliff than even THINK about going on a bike ride.

And it’s 3am and I want a cure.

I’ve had enough and I want one now.

I start googling and I come across a handful of sites, one of which is yours.

They all have affiliate links to Clickbank ebooks about how to cure your piles with a wire brush, a 12 year old single malt and a clothes peg (to bite down on)

(I’m being silly of course but there is a point to this)

Which site do I buy from?

Well which site would YOU buy from?

Well personally I would check out at least a couple of these competing sites to see what they had to offer.

And I’d buy from the one that resonated with me the most

The one I related to.


Now you don’t have to agree with me (net yet anyway) because there’s more…

Think about the last 5 products you’ve bought online. I’m doing the same while sitting here writing this on a sunny morning at about 7.30am

I bought one of them because I had wanted it for a while but never gotten around to grabbing it.

The other FOUR I bought from links in email from marketers who I like and trust.

I read their blogs, I open their emails.

Now when was the last time you bought something from a random site you visited from a Google search?

Quite a while ago I’d guess.

Oh sure I go Googling for stuff that I need. I get the results and read through a few sites.

I probably type in the word ‘review’ after the product name to get a few opinions on it.

But then when it comes to buying I’ll mostly buy either from the main link (Amazon or Ebay) if it’s a physical thing that needs posting to me, OR if it’s en e-product, course or membership I’ll buy through the guy I’ve either heard of or like the sound of the most.

Why do you think perfume manufacturers, car companies, insurance companies and shedloads of other pay Hollywood stars, sports stars and pop stars to advertise or endorse their products.

Yep that’s right – it’s because we know who they are and the companies assume we’re more likely to buy because of that.

You open my emails right?

Who are your top three favourite marketers (apart from me of course :)?

Why do you like them?

They tell the truth, you like their way of imparting information, you trust them

Whatever your reasons just look at WHO you follow and WHAT you buy

How much of that is anonymous – just a random visit to a site or an email from someone you don’t know?

Probably not so much eh?

So why the f*ck are we taught that internet marketing. niche marketing, affiliate marketing, email marketing is all about anonymous, sterile, non personality marketing?

Because it ISN’T guys – if you’re doing it like that you’ve got a long hard struggle in front of you to get anywhere.

Several years ago I got an email from a young school teacher who was trying to get into internet marketing. He (flatteringly) called for advice and to ask for a JV which we subsequently did.

We met up for lunch in a pub, had a few pints and chatted about internet marketing.

He was Lee McIntyre, and he’s one of the biggest marketers around now. He’s a great bloke and an outstanding marketer.

And look at the amount of personality he puts into his marketing. ‘Blimey’ and crisp butties.

Little things but they make him real.

It would fall flat on it’s arse if his marketing was crap of course, but it isn’t.

And neither is yours.

If you’ve not hit the success you want at this moment in time try putting your personality into your marketing more. A LOT more.

Look at the ‘new’ marketers who have come through in recent years – Garry Sayer, Simon Greenhalgh, Oz, Mark Lyford, Dean Holland

They’re all personality-driven businesses.

You don’t have to put yourself out in video all the time – I don’t – or be as flamboyant as a gay gypsy, all lyour have to know is let people know your opinions.

Which is what most new marketers are scared of.

I tend to let my opinions loose on my blog and it loses me readers and subscribers.

But it also gets me rabid fans.

If you share your opinions and values it WILL upset some people.

That’s their loss.

You CANNOT please everyone no matter how hard you try…

…so DON’T try.

Be true to yourself and put your personality into your marketing.

Safe is boring.

Reading someone who can see ‘everyone’s side of the argument’ is mind-numbing.

I want to read someone who knows their own mind.

I do quite often get emails from people who say a particular post offended them.

Welcome to real life!

No-one has ever exploded because they read someting that ‘offended’ them.

It’s not being offenseive either, it’s just expressing what you think. If another person CHOOSES to be offended by that well that’s their problem.

Heh I’m waffling – let’s get back on track.

It’s just as important whern you’re marketing to tell people what you DON’T like as well as what you do.

I tried article marketing for quite a few years.

Now I have the honest opinion that anyone who follows advice to ‘write and submit 20 articles a day for two weeks’ needs locking up for their own safety REGARDLESS of the results it brings.

You may disagree ๐Ÿ™‚

But I think that the internet has changed, and it’s no longer a place where cold hard information is king.

It was, which is why people were making a hundred grand from AdSense ads each month.

But now information is COMMON on the net.

There’s shedloads of it.

What counts now is how it’s presented and who presents it.

We’ve followed how TV works, and now the easiest way to get rich online is to use the marketing skills you’ve acquired since you started – the email marketing, the SEO, the list-building, the blogging, the LOT…

...and inject your own personality into it.

Start a blog.

Find your own style and use it in your emails

You don’t need to pretend to be something you’re not.

You just need your honest opinions, your beliefs and your personality.

Without that you’re just another website.


Let me know what you think – comments below!

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29 responses to “Is THIS why you’re struggling to make money online?

  1. HI Tony

    Very true.

    just one thing:

    “Without that youโ€™re just another website.”

    Seth Godin stated a few years ago:

    “You either have to be remarkable, or you will be invisible”

    For most of us, the only thing that makes you remarkable is your personality, or your “voice”, your way of saying and doing things…

    call it whatever you like.

    But you are absolutely right: The “missing ingredient” is “a bit of You”



  2. Yea too true Tony!!

    It’s funny as I was thinking of Lee as I was reading the post and you went on to mention him, as well as the other guys and I could not agree with you more.

    In fact this is what gives your publications and posts the unique flavour that they have.

    As I have mentioned before – it almost reads like poetry it is so full of character !!

    I guess I am on the eccentric side a little (ex music bizz and all that lol) but feel that character building comes with confidence – and that comes with success etc..

    But I am an enthusiastic little spark and will shine brightly in no time at all :O)

    Yes… this post has got me thinking … Genius stuff mate :O)

    So obvious yet no one’s mentioned it before !



  3. Tony Shepherd

    Oh forgot to mention it in the post. The guy in the pic as you probably know is Liberace. Don’t know much about him except good piano player or not that OUTFIT could win an oscar on it’s own.

    John Wayne wasn’t hard enough to wear a shirt like that!


    (Please note I have no special affinity either for or against gay piano players ๐Ÿ™‚


    But if you’re add personality do it BIG style eh?

  4. Danny McConnell

    I have maintained for quite a while that your potential customers are looking for two things (consciously or no)- a method that works for them, and someone who’s teaching resonates.

    That voice is a critical component of the sales process.


  5. Glad you said Liberace … I was just thinking it didn’t look much like Lee McIntyre to me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. And they are all guys that you mention…

    AS well as checking competing sites, I also check that they are “real” people, I search for them on Twitter and LinkedIn before I consider buying from a random site I’ve discovered through search.

    I also check the quality of the information and how hype-y something is. The more hope, the more promises of world peace and the cure for cancer, the more likely I am to bugger off and buy from someone else.

    As Seth said and Peter quoted, be remarkable or be invisible. You do have a choice.

  7. Dan

    When I saw the subject line I opened your mail, expecting an answer or explanation. Instead I had a good read of a superb article, great!

    Personality. Who is interested in your personality? Depends on. On what? That’s the missing point of all the thousands of smart courses and webinars and all that.

    Nobody talks about TALENT. You can’ learn to be talented. If you are not talented, nobody is interested in your personality, or will buy from you. Some have it, some don’t. The usual 9X% don’t have the talent to present their personality and fail, whatever they do.

    When Frank Kern says on stage: “buy my shit, give me your mother f****** money”, thousands of people will buy, because he is one of the most talented marketers in the world. Even if he would say on stage: “you are all idiots, if you buy my shit, because you won’t have any success like I do, because I’m talented, and you are not”, people would buy like crazy.

    Most Gurus state: “Everyone can do this, if you follow my steps!” What a brutal lie. There are very few online marketers, who are honest with what they state, Eric Holmlund and Chris Farrell e.g., they often say at least: “watch out, this is not for everyone”. Translated: find out if you have the talent to succeed with my product first.

    If you are struggling to make money online, though you do everything “right”, you are not talented for this endeavor. Like about 9X% of all wannabes, making the Gurus rich.

  8. hi Tony
    What a great post. Be Yourself,let your own personality comes across.
    when I finally learned about how much being yourself matters, I decided to give it a go on my blog. I got many very positive comments back where most of them wrote that they liked my STYLE. !!!! My STYLE !!!!

    I couldn’t believe it…!!! If I were justbeing me, Tina, then people responded positive ๐Ÿ™‚ What a great lesson that was.
    So just be yourself and don’t be afraid of talking about your mistakes.
    Writing both articles and emails also becomes much easier to write, because You don’t have to pretend to be a milliondollar guru – You can be just you!
    cheers Mate,

  9. Phil

    Tony – I like your style. And your personality does get through. Despite your lack of proof reading… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Tony,

    Absolutely brilliant post. I read the first few paragraphs and couldn’t see where it was going
    (although I did recognise Liberace! Age thing.)

    It was when you started mentioning names that it
    hit me full in the face. I know that I only buy
    from people I read and listen to and resonate with.

    Listen to, or see on video is the operative thing
    these days. You mentioned Lee McIntyre. Agreed he
    is an amazing marketer but his accent grinds on my
    ears. Its the North/South thingy so my accent might well grind on him

    Now I know you come from ‘oop north’ but so far I have
    not heard your voice. However, you write like a Londoner and speak my language, so if you started to
    do loads of videos it wouldn’t matter now.

    Same with Americans. I follow Nicole Dean and Connie Ragan Green, both of whom I have met. They both come from the southern states and their southern drawl makes my toes curl and go all unnecessary!

    That’s not the only criteria obviously but it did get me thinking as to why we buy from the people we do.

    I am in the process of helping my son to get started online as he has recently been made redundant. He and I are great pals as he makes me laugh. I will make sure he develops his personality from the start.

    Thank you for your insights.


  11. Got to say, that was a real eye-opener for me…thanks
    And when you think about it, it’s sooo true.
    I suppose I was always, ‘scared’ of upsetting, or offending someone, rather being true to yourself.

    Steve Pavlina says practically the same thing, that you should always write what YOU think, and if it does upset someone, then there is a part of what you have written which is, ‘true’ for them.
    Thanks for the clarity…really appreciate it;-)

  12. Tony Shepherd

    You say that’s Liberace not Lee mcIntyre?

    Well on a night out…..

  13. Tony Shepherd

    ..and Phil – proofreading is for wimps


  14. I guess your right about having your own blog and being totally transparrent and to be honest I’ve tried or should I say attempted to get my blog going over the years and its stil */(*& sat doing nowt !

    Maybe I should follow your advice and get stuck in ?

    Oh yeh, you are on my IM Good Guys list :_

    Stay focused people.

  15. Tony Shepherd

    Absolutely Rick

    People don’t get ‘stcuk in’ not because they’re lazy, but because they’re scared.

    Of what other people will (or might) say.

    It’s not worth the fear. Express your own opinions and don’t worry about what others will say.

    Get a bit angry y’know that other people’s opinions seem to matter to you above your own.

    That’s just crazy.

    Get stuck in mate ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. Doug

    G’Day Tony,

    “Owyergoinorright?” … Strine speak!! …I’m chuffed to be here (following your post – given that I hold the spot) … btw “strine” means “Australian”. Yeah Mate, you’ve got it down pat and you’re a joy to read.

    The “fearful” comment reminds me of a book titled “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers.

    Most folk can display personality in face to face communication, ‘cos they can read how they’re going (facial expression – body language etc.). When it comes to “print”, there’s the “time delay” factor and one has to “guts” the whole “bib full” – no chance to “adjust” during delivery – so we can tend to be “Statement Stymied” (made that up on the spot!). Or polite speak … “Scared Spitless”…

    Thanks for having me Tony … and … avagoodaymate … Cheers from Aus. … Doug …

  17. Great advice here Tony, and it’s the truth as well! Fear of others opinions is the biggest obstacle – at least for me it is…it’s of aweful mindset disease.

    You get so far in your campaign and out of nowhere Bam!! The doubts start to set in.

    Just of interest, whats your take on Glenn Dietzel’s sales funnel ideology yesterday??

    My opinion is that there is still promise in the conventional method we all know n love. :0)

    Great post btw.


  18. Tony Shepherd

    Hi Kevin

    I thought Glenn’s take on sales funnel ideology was…interesting.

    I think everyone has something to impart, some knowledge that is of interest to others.

    That said I thought there was perhaps a little to much emphasis on selling and not as much on the quality of what is actually being sold.

    You can sell ANYTHING. Seriously ANYTHING.

    Keeping the customer happy is another matter.

    What do you think?


  19. Hi Tony,

    your post really made me sit up and think hard about the future of my websites. I have 3, all in niches I am passionate about and not just because they can potentially make me money.

    I struggle with finding time to write lots of posts because I have a full time job, so time is tight to concentrate on writing, and I find writing quite difficult as I am not one of those guys who can knock out an article or post in half an hour or so. And after staring at spreadsheets all day…

    My blogs tend to be more instructional than personal. My sites are aimed at newbies so my thoughts were to make my posts helpful rather than opinionated. I am still a relative newbie myself.

    But… I think now, although I will still have the instructional stuff, I will also make some more personal posts to give a bit more of “me” to my blogs.

    Hopefully this will get a few more eyes to my blog. Otherwise, I am just another blog amongst the millions out there already.

    Thanks for the insight Tony and the education.

    I had a rant this morning on one of my blogs about a book which had some awful, appalling and ridiculous advice. Do you know what? It felt good. If you want to see it, let me know and I’ll send you the link. I don’t want to spam your comments with a random link. I’d appreciate your thoughts too.

    All the best, Mike.

  20. Tony Shepherd

    Send over your link Mike sure – be good to see.

    And a quick question for you.

    You obviously enjoyed putting your own personality into your niche site writing, so why didn’t you do it from day one?

    What stopped you?


  21. Absolutely agree!! Keeping the “customer happy” is of paramount importance!

    I’m living proof of the above, as i’ve been an addicted customer of yours for several years! Courtesy of your communication style and candor expressed via Blog posts such as this one, continuity programs and strategic email marketing communications.

    What can I say – it works! lol!

    Excuse my slightly off-tangent here, but did you design and build your own Blog from scratch, or did you decide to outsource the whole project from the outset??



  22. Thanks Tony, here’s the link:

    I am a bodybuilder / weight trainer and have been for years which is why I was so “passionate” about this. Apologies to those who are not familiar with some of the terms.

    What stopped me? Fear, pure and simple. The old, what if people don’t like what I am saying? Will I get negative comments? Will anybody like me?

    Seems silly now but it wasn’t in the early days.

    And, I don’t know everything. I still use other peoples articles, if they have more experience, qualifications and expertise. Especially in the bodybuilding niche.

    Thanks, Mike.

  23. Tony Shepherd

    Thanks Mike – everyone feel free to check this out and offer your comments for Mike here on the blog.

    Yep it’s usually fear of what other people think that holds us back from discovering our true potential in life


  24. Tony Shepherd

    Hi Kevin

    My blog just uses the Socrates theme from Joel Comm.

    It’s only been using it a day or so but I really like it.

    I actually bought it for another project but then when I had a look at it I liked it and got it installed on my own blog.


  25. Thanks Tony – would really appreciate as much feedback as possible.

    All the best…

  26. Thanks Tony…I actually like the look and feel of it too.

    Appreciate the info.


  27. I have recently come across your site and have started reading your emails. This one was very pertinent for me as I am a teacher who was successful online and then lost my way and have achieved nothing for the last 6 years. Let me explain …( if you are interestedยด?…. because I feel it exemlifies what have said in this email which has in fact jolted me back into reality of knowing what works.
    Some 7 years ago I built a good MLM business and had a large team .I was making good money and I supported anyone who needed help .
    When I recruited a new person I worked with them to help them and my team was built on trust and honesty.
    Somewhere along the way I lost focus. I moved from a position of being people driven to being product driven and I started building websites to sell products. I became disillusioned with mlm and before I knew it I had moved from a position of earning a fulltime income to zero over an 18 month period.

    All because I forgot that business online or off is about people and people will only buy from real people like Tony says .

    I am a bit slow sometimes ( Irish ? ) but these last months I have been slowly wakening to the fact that my businesses and websites no longer work because I have forgotten to be me …..your email Tony for me was very timed ….just when I had worked out myself it was time to change direction.

    So basically what I have siad in many words is you are absolutely right …it just takes some of us alot longer to learn!!

    wishing you all success.!!


  28. For Mike

    Hi Mike, you wrote:

    “I struggle with finding time to write lots of posts because I have a full time job, so time is tight to concentrate on writing…”

    The only way to do it is stop doing something you’re already doing. So if you watch tv for an hour in the evening quit watching. The watching tv might be family time, I don’t know, but if it is just sit there with a notebook and pen and sort of half watch tv and scribble down article drafts.

    Years ago back when I had a full time job I got up at 4am every morning and wrote as fast as I could until about 6 when my daughter woke up and raced through and jumped on me for a hug. I got a LOT done in those 2 hours.

    When you’re at work always have a little notebook in your pocket and if you get an idea write it down. No idea what you do for a job, but if you’re meaning to get into this internet marketing stuff full-time start finding ways you can write at work some of the time. You could start taking a lot longer in the toilet – lock yourself in and write as fast as you can. If you’re out driving around talk to yourself and record it then transcribe it later.

    I just looked at your comment again and saw that you stare at spreadsheets all day (my version of hell)so no doubt you have to concentrate while you’re doing that. But if you get lunchbreaks get out of the office into the nearest cafe that’s not full of co-workers, get a coffee and write as fast as you can. Doesnt matter what you write – don’t try and make it finished copy just get it out of your head as fast as you can because then you’ll achieve a lot more. If you don’t keep stopping to correct mistakes or rewrite bits you’ll fill pages of a small notebook and that’ll make you feel good. Fix up mistakes and improve it later.

    I put up a piece on my blog the other day about an Australian (that’s where I live even though I’m a Yorkshire bloke like Tony) who wrote an sells an ebook in the niche you’re writing about. It hardly took him any time because it was put together from stuff he’d already written for his blog and business, and he makes hundreds of dollars a month from it selling it on Clickbank, and has been for a year or so.

    Here’s the link scroll down to the Selling on Clickbank Still Works bit.

    hope this helps a bit


  29. Debbie Kennedy-Crook

    At the same time I started reading your post I was dive bombed by a moth the size of an Easy Jet Passenger plane.

    But rather than let it interupt me (I was just at the “piles and biting down on a peg” bit) I decided to turn of the light and squint at my screen while intermitently whacking the moth with a tea towel.

    With most blog posts I would have dealt with the moth first and then read the post after.

    So I suppose we all need to aim for the same sort of engagement from our readers.

    Hysterically funny and truthful as usual.


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