Do you think you know who your biggest, baddest and most sinister competitor is online? Believe it or not, it's not other marketers. It's not spam filters either. Nor is it the bad customers, sleazy business partners or time-suckers who try their hardest to control your life.
No, your biggest competitor is much worse -- much more dangerous and powerful -- than all those combined. In fact, all the above put together is like a kiss from your grandma compared to the sheer power and ruthlessness of the real competitor we all face when we do business online today.
Who is this vicious Internet "nemesis"?
The answer is simple: It's the endless amount of government red tape and bureaucratic meddling –- all the way from your local city ordinances to international law. It's true. The more government sticks its fingers in the pie…the more out of control the laws will get, the harder it will be for the smaller businesses to make money, and the more dangerous it will be to even try.
If you don't think it can happen to the Internet, think again. It's already happening. It's happened to every cheap media ever invented. From infomercials…to 900 numbers…to broadcast FAX…and now –- after the draconian “do not call” list here in the U.S. –- even the telephone. It's only a matter of time before some major roadblocks are thrown up for Internet marketers. Roadblocks that are going to put a serious damper on your ability to milk money from the Web.
Which is why I really believe people should work hard at mastering direct response marketing and copywriting first, and the Internet-specific stuff second. Just ask yourself, “what exactly would I do…how would my business survive…if the Internet was taken away from me tomorrow?” If you can't answer that question, then you need to study less Internet-specific tactics and more direct response marketing and copywriting tactics. Because if you have your head on straight about how direct response marketing works, then it won't matter what media you use.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we shouldn't use the Internet to make a ton of money. And I'm not saying people shouldn't keep up on the Internet tactics at the same time. That'd be foolish. Just don't rely on it exclusively. Recognize the Web for what it is: just one of many tools to sell and build a list of customers with.
In that respect, it's no different than running a small classified ad or dropping a letter in the mail. Sure, it's extremely fast and cheap. Sure you can literally make money online in less than five minutes if you know what you're doing. And sure you can instantly access tens of millions of people…for mere pocket change…you might never have been able to access before.
But to rely on the Internet exclusively could be very dangerous to you, your business and your income. Just ask all the people who were making millions of dollars per year using nothing but broadcast FAX or telemarketing. One day they were raking the money in hand over fist. The next they were out of business, living with their parents and parking cars for a living.
Ben Settle is an expert copywriter and direct marketer. If you liked this article then check out Ben's website at http://bensettle.com -- where you'll find over 500 pages of advertising ideas, strategies and tactics just like this one -- as well as rare swipe file ads and hot marketing information not easily found anywhere else.