Why Do Most Internet Marketers Fail?

I know that it’s a figure I’ve quoted before, but statistics tell us that 95% of would-be internet marketers quit before they have made a single sale.  Why should this be the case, and how can we avoid being just another statistic?

What the majority of wannabe marketers fail to comprehend is that failure is a natural part of the growth process.  Many are lured into the internet marketing business by the promises of great (and instant) wealth.  Just this morning I received an e-mail promising me $3,356 a day if I purchased a particular system.  With such potential income, who wouldn’t be attracted to start an internet marketing business?

But let’s get real.  Yes, money can be made through internet marketing, but it won’t be instant, and there will be failures along the way.  Failure is part of the process, and it’s how we react to failure that singles us out for future success. 

In a recent recording of ‘The Apprentice’, one of the young entrepreneurs claimed that she had never failed at anything in her life!  Thankfully Lord Sugar instantly came back with a suitable riposte. Years ago one of my colleagues made a similar claim, and actually said that he deliberately set out to fail in one exam just to “know what failure felt like”.

I have just finished reading Tim Harford’s excellent book ‘Adapt’.  The sub-heading – ‘Why success always starts with failure’ – is a powerful challenge to our success-orientated society.  Tim’s closing paragraph is well worth repeating here:

The ability to adapt requires this sense of security, an inner confidence that the cost of failure is a cost we will be able to bear.  Sometimes that takes real courage; at other times all that is needed is the happy self-delusion of a lost three-year-old.  Whatever its source, we need that willingness to risk failure.  Without it, we will never truly succeed.”

As a school student I frequently failed.  I didn’t have an encouraging home environment, and success wasn’t expected.  It wasn’t until I left home that I found my true passion for learning, and eventually I found success and graduated with a doctorate.

I have been a teacher for over 25 years, and I have witnessed an increasing tendency for parents to blame teachers for the failures of their offspring.  I also see it on the sports field – if a son or daughter doesn’t get into a team, then parents instantaneously point the finger at the coach.

As individuals we need to accept the responsibility for failure, and sometimes we won’t get the grades we expect or selection to a particular team.  We need to view failure as a necessary step towards future success.  Thomas Edison famously said:

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed.  I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is just one more step forward.”

So don’t be one of the 95% who give up on their internet marketing dreams.  If at first you fail then see it as part of the learning process.  Dust yourself off and move forwards.  Success always comes to those who persevere.

Keep dreaming those big dreams!


p.s. Tim Harford talks about a ‘validation squad’, a team of people willing to give you critical and honest feedback.  Internet Marketing can be a very lonely business, and it’s so important to surround yourself with ‘critical friends’.  I belong to the Internet Marketing Review, and my good friends and mentors – Neil Travers and Neil Stafford – are always there to give me guidance and advice.  If you’re really serious about being successful as an internet marketer then you really should have a look at what the two Neils have to offer.  Just click on the image below for further details.

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