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Chapter 1: The Challenge of Digital Marketing
Many of us got into digital marketing thinking it was going to improve our lives in major ways. You may even feel that you were ‘promised’ by internet marketing gurus that your life would suddenly be easy once you took up this line of work.
Digital marketing means working online and that in turn means working from anywhere, and without a boss. So of course, life will be easy! You can choose your own hours, you can work out of coffee shops or from beautiful locations…
And you can do it all your own way. Without someone breathing down your neck and shouting at you when you get things wrong.
What’s more, if you manage to achieve a ‘passive income’, then you’ll be earning money even while you sleep. Passive income means generating cash from a website, or a YouTube channel, or through affiliate sales. It means that even as you are resting, the seeds you sowed continue to reap their rewards.
So, you can take time off whenever you want.
And let’s not forget that during all this, you will be discussing things that matter to you. Things that you are passionate about. Things that you can’t wait to leap out of bed to start writing about.
That’s the dream of the digital marketer.
Oh, and you’re rich too.
Dreamer, Meet Reality
The question you should be asking at this point though, is that if it is that easy, why isn’t everyone doing it?
The answer is that – of course – things are actually a fair bit more complicated.
Because most people don’t wake up one day with a website getting thousands of views a day and generating solid passive income. In fact, no one manages to do that.
Instead, it takes a lot of time. Likewise, it takes a lot of time to build a massive mailing list that you can use in order to make money from affiliate marketing emails. It takes a lot of time because it simply takes that long for a site to take off in a big way or for anyone to collect that many emails.
But likewise, it also takes that long simply to learn. You’ll start off with your internet marketing not really knowing what you’re doing. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll build a brand that you’ll be embarrassed of in retrospect.
And if you’re anything like the vast majority of today’s most successful internet entrepreneurs, then you’ll probably end up scrapping your first few businesses and trying again. Trust me: I work in the industry and I know some of the biggest players very well. None of them got it right the first time. They all floundered at first with non-starter ideas and brands. That will be you. Trust me.
And this is when running a business is not easy and is not fun. This is when digital marketing is hard.
You were told you would be able to give up your job and start working from home right away. You were promised the world. Instead, you’ve done nothing but work your socks off, stay up late and give up your free time… only for nothing to happen.
And that can be crushing.
What’s more, is that many internet entrepreneurs will never quite achieve passive income anyway. I consider myself an internet marketer and yet a large portion of what I do involves working for clients.
And let me tell you: if you work for clients then you might as well work for a boss! Even the nicest client in the world is going to expect you to honour your deadlines to at least some degree. Even the best gigs around will sometimes involve writing about topics you hate, or designing sites that you don’t massively approve of.
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