Why 99% of People Fail at Internet Marketing and How To Be That 1% That Succeeds

I like you. You’re one of the smart ones. You’re not going to fall for any “Get Rick Quick schemes” or get suckered into buying a dozen products promising to reveal “the Secret to Making Money Online“, or show you the TOP secret method that NOBODY knows about that works like magic. You know that it is totally possible to make money online through internet marketing and you’re ready to do it right. Kudos to you!

Let’s answer a few common questions, then get you started on your journey to complete freedom through Internet Marketing.

What Is Internet Marketing?

Internet marketing can mean many different things to many different people. For the purposes of this website, we will be defining it as this:

Internet Marketing – The act of creating online assets that have the potential and functionality to earn a profit through various methods of monetization.

That should be simple enough to cover all of the different methods and components, yet specific enough for us to keep everything relevant.

ninety nine percent fail at internet marketing

Why 99% of People Who Try To Make Money Online Fail, and Why That 1% Succeed

First you have to realize that there is no magic bullet and that it is going to take a lot of time, effort, trial and error, and hard work before you earn your first dollar. While the mechanics of making money online sound easy – build a website, get traffic, monetize, there’s a good reason why 99% of the people who try end up quitting before they ever make their first dollar online. It’s freaking hard and takes more time and effort than most are willing to put in.

Here are the stages that a typical “failed” internet marketer will go through in their journey (the 99%).

  1. Realize that they hate their job, want to work for themselves, or discover that there is a better way to live.
  2. Get super stoked about making money online, start researching, and become ready to take some action!
  3. Throw up a website with some mediocre content, display some ads, and check their traffic statistics every 15 minutes.
  4. Get a bit discouraged when they don’t make any money in the first week or two, start exploring a bit deeper into the world of making money online , get sold on an eBook or 5 promising to make it as easy as 1-2-3, and spend the next 2 months trying out various methods to see what works.
  5. Get a bit more discouraged when those eBooks turned out to not be as helpful as the hype made them sound, try a new method or two, learn a bit more, find another eBook by a true internet marketing guru that will REALLY help them this time around.
  6. Get extremely discouraged when they’ve spent the last 6 months exploring, building websites, reading eBooks, and have not made a single dollar yet.
  7. Decide that it’s not actually be possible to make money online and that everybody saying it is is full of crap.
  8. Give it one last half-assed attempt, then say @#$% THIS! and quit.

one percent succeed at internet marketing

Here are the stages that a typical “successful” internet marketer will go through in their journey (the 1%).

First, they will likely start off just like everybody else and go through all of the same stages listed above. This is normal and very common, and most of all IT’S OKAY. Don’t beat your self up about it! Consider it the equivalent of your first two years of college. Consider the time and money you spent to be the cost of the opportunity that you are pursuing. If you don’t feel like all that time and money is worth working for yourself and living the life you choose, then you don’t want it bad enough because you are going to most likely put in a hundred times than much effort and work before you “make it”. This is just the beginning. Fear and self doubt run rampant but you need to persevere if you are going to do it … for me there is no other choice.

It’s at the end of this cycle of failed internet marketers where the successful ones rise above. Up until now I was describing the 99% who fail … now our story turns to you … the 1% who will make it no matter what.

Chalk up everything up to this point as your education and opportunity cost, and make a conscious decision to pause, assess everything you’ve learned, reorganize, make a plan, set your goals, and take consistent targeted confident action towards those goals. Here’s where you are going to do what most people cannot. You are going to CHOOSE not to fail.

Here’s what happens next for you, the 1% (ideally) …

  1. Consider everything you experienced up until now as your initiation and education. Forgive yourself for your previous attempts, and realize that unless you quit now, YOU DID NOT FAIL. The only way you fail at this is by quitting.
  2. Make a firm commitment to make this work, NO MATTER WHAT.
  3. Find a few truly honest successful internet marketers to follow and learn form.
  4. Reaffirm your commitment to learning, and be okay with the fact that it will take a lot of time, effort, learning, trial and error, and hard work to make this happen.
  5. Choose a method of making money online that appeals to you and make it your single focus.
  6. Learn, apply, learn more, apply it more, focus, learn more, re-evaluate your progress, make adjustments, learn more, and take solid action.
  7. Earn your first $1 !!
  8. Get SUPER pumped about it and realize that hey, you CAN do this after all!
  9. Fight off the urge to just go crazy and expand into 10 more new projects, because the ideas will be flowing now for sure.
  10. Concentrate most of your time doing more of what led to your first dollar that you earned.
  11. Set specific measurable goals that lead to your higher level goals and complete them piece by piece.
  12. Figure out what works for you, do more of it, diversify, repeat.
  13. Start to make small but consistent money online (maybe $10 – $20 a month)
  14. Build a support group and network of like minded people that love to help each other out. Realize that you’re not in this alone!
  15. Work harder, work smarter, grow your online income slowly but steadily.
  16. Diversify, network, and grow your online business to a point you can go full time.
  17. Quit your old job and work for yourself.
  18. Sit back, have a beer, and congratulate yourself for taking control of your life, freeing yourself from the old way of living life, and pat yourself on the back.


Now not everybody will follow that exact same path and many will get lost along the way. It’s those who preserver through it all who will unlock the door to a lifetime of fulfillment, and a life that is designed by choice, not by circumstance.

Will you be one of them? I think you will. I just know it!

So, How Can You Get Started Earning Money Online?

Since I’m in the process of creating content for my own internet marketing classroom now, here are a few links to some TRULY AWESOME people who you can trust and will not lead you astray. Explore them, follow them, learn from them, apply what they teach, and you will be well on your way to becoming a successful internet marketer. 

* If you want to make SURE that you do not get led astray, ONLY follow these people for now, as they have more awesome content than you have time to consume, I guarantee it.

Why stick to just these? While there are many others out there just as awesome as these guys, you might not be able to distinguish who is legit and who is not, so by sticking to this list you will not be led astray. If you want to expand beyond these guys, check out the people who they recommend and support. Consider them as the beginning of your network of trusted internet marketers.

One last piece of advice – If you want to learn from somebody not listed above, buy an internet marketing product, or try something out – please don’t hesitate to contact me here! I can answer any questions you might have or at least point you in the right direction. I’ve had lots of help along the way and I absolutely LOVE to help others out. You don’;t have to do this alone. Let’s do it together.

– Dave

Internet Marketing

It’s a lot to take in for somebody new to this field. It’s confusing and overwhelming for those wandering through it without direction or guidance. 

Internet Marketing

10 comments on “Why 99% of People Fail at Internet Marketing and How To Be That 1% That Succeeds

  1. Nicko on

    Hi, I can tell by your experience that you are on the right track. And your design is awesome, coding yourself?

    I have to say that a “becoming a successful internet marketer.” does not read the blogs you listed, niche sites is more SEO. and experience marketers don`t care much for SEO, is should know-

    I can relate to all the steps above, but everything changed when I ask an experience marketer to train me 1 on 1.

    • Dave on

      Hi Nicko! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment, I really appreciate it!

      Thanks for the kind words on my site design! Yes, I coded it all myself. I’ve been a front-end developer for a few years now.

      I agree that you don’t need to read any blogs or the ones I listed – I meant it as a starting point for those new to making money online to help them avoid the not-so-honest Internet Marketers.

      I’d have to disagree on what you said about niche sites being more about SEO – SEO is just one way to get traffic among many. I do professional marketing at my day job for medium and large scale companies in the Philadelphia Pennsylvania area and I have to say SEO is VERY important to us and what we do – but just 1 piece of the puzzle.

      I guess it all depends on your idea of a niche site. To me a “niche site” just means a website centered around a specific topic. It could be small or large, and it could be an authority site or not.

      I think many people have a misconception about what a niche site is – it has nothing to do with the size or quality of your site.

      I also agree completely that getting advice and learning from an experienced marketer is the way to go and can change everything for you if you are struggling to get good results for your efforts!

      Take care and I hope to see you around!

    • Nicolas Daudin on

      I knew about QuickSprout and Neil after a pocast between him and Pat Flynn but today reading your post I actually went there for the first time. Wow this blog is so huge… it’s actually kind of overwhelming. And how do you do to stay up to date with all these blogs? have you read all the guides from QuickSprout? They are super huge… It is so huge I’m actually thinking of just ignoring that website and focus on Pat and Spencer…

      • Dave on

        Hi Nicolas, thanks for stopping by!

        Yeah, Quick Sprout is pretty heavy stuff there. I’ve browsed through most of the guides looking for a few good ideas and have read the backlinking guide through a few times. I can see how it would be overwhelming. I’d say come back to that later when you’re ready to take it to the next level.

        I stay up to date on these blogs and others just by checking them every few weeks, seeing what they’re talking about and reading any posts that are relevant to what I’m doing currently. I don’t read nearly as much as I used to though. I’ve been building sites and learning internet marketing for about the past 2 years, and I feel I’ve reached a point where I’ve learned more than enough from those and similar blogs, I’m starting too see regular income come in, and now I need to learn by taking action and experimenting. I definitely keep tabs on those blogs and others though.

        If you’re just starting out, I would recommend sticking to 1 or 2 people like you mentioned and learn all you can from them.

        Specifically I would recommend following along with Spencer Haws’ Niche Site Projects and building an Amazon Affiliate or Google Adsense website, learn and master all of the basics like keyword research, site building, content creation, etc… I’d even recommend him over Pat Flynn these days because Pat’s stuff lately has been pretty advanced, not really “get your feet wet” kind of stuff.

        Tell you what, there’s so much information out there, and great information even, but if you just followed Spencer’s blog it would teach you everything you need to know to be successful making money online, then you could expand from there. Maybe check out some other blogs but just focus on the one.

        Good luck Nicolas and I hope to see you around!

        • Nicolas on

          Oh yay definitely I’m already taking action. In the summer I built an Adsense site and before Penguin 2.1 hit me, I’ve earnt like 700$ with Adsense + Affiliation, all by following Spencer and Pat’s Niche Site Project. I had been reading them for a year before starting so it was about time. Now I’m planning to start a new site, better and 100% white hat.
          I’ll definitely have a look some day at QS but maybe not now, Im really eager to get starting on that new site!
          Thats a pity, there’s no way to subscribe to the comments here 🙁

  2. Samiur Rahman on

    Hello Dave,
    Thank you very much for this post.
    I was reading nichepursuits and found you on the comments.
    I really liked the part where you showed the stages of a marketer’s life and I totally agree with with you.
    I already earned my first $1 from amazon. and it is great because now I know that its actually possible to earn money online.
    I will never quit this and only death can stop me.
    I am 100% with you.
    and about the links-
    *already done reading pat flynn’s blog
    *completed niche pursuits
    *completed copyblogger and the cb ebooks
    *currently following socialtrigges, quicksprout and dailybloggingtips.
    Thank you very much again.
    Sorry for this long comment.

    • Dave on

      Hey there Samiur, it’s great to hear from you – I’m glad you liked my post! No worries about long comments, feel free to leave comments as long as they need to be to get your points across.

      I’m with you – only death can stop me!

      It sounds like you’ve definitely learned a lot and have tasted your first “Internet Money”. Now it’s up to you to cut out the crap, and take MASSIVE ACTION towards your goals. I have a feeling you’ll be able top do it. Feel free to stop by any time and comment or email me.

      It would be great to have you on my email list (if you’re not already) – I only email once in a while when I have something worth saying or sharing – no email spam or email list sales here!

      Take care and I’ll see you around.

  3. hrh on

    Nice post! I’m still fighting through the first stages–you hit the nail on the head with being addicted to checking stats. Here’s to a great 2014 for us all!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *