The “making money online” niche has always been a highly competitive one with many people vying for the same consumers and affiliates but as a member of this niche myself, the more time I spend the more disgusted I become. The industry has become inundated with newcomers that each successive year have gotten more and more vigilant in their efforts to spam any un-spammed portion of the internet, this blatant self promotion is what gives the industry as a whole a bad reputation.
The forum spamming is one of the most noticeable increases in this niche, any forum that has anything to do with making money lately has been so filled with self promotion that I can barely discern what is viable advice. This is unfortunate and results from major forums such as DigitalPoint as well as many smaller affiliate marketing forums allowing users to post more or less anything they want (I’ve even seen some that allow blatant pornographic advertising as long as it doesn’t have viruses). The definition of the word forum is “a public facility to meet for open discussion”, but when the information itself is taxed with self promotions those that wish to get their foot in the door cannot. Whenever I meet a new marketer that is asking where to find information I point him in the direction of a free ebook that I find, a forum, etc. but more and more these are becoming the targets of blatant advertising, the free exchange of information has ceased to be as the true information is guarded by those making large amounts of money from it Black hat forum.
The home business opportunity industry is one of the most essential as it is the gateway for a large portion of the newcomers into the internet marketing field. Through various ebooks, infomercials, and other media people are finding themselves entering into the field and from there they disperse into promoting whatever products it is that they like (and typically a bit of business opportunity promotion themselves). By contaminating the information that they receive when they enter the industry, it creates a self feeding loop of marketers that do not respect their customers, other affiliates, etc. which breeds more and more “black hat marketers”, email spammers, and other things which the world outside of our cocoon greatly discourages.
I am not saying that self promotion is necessarily a bad thing, but as a white hat marketer myself I feel that there are plenty of opportunities out there to make money in a legitimate manner without being a nuisance. By promoting white hat methods rather than black hat you will gain more respect in the industry and it will greatly increase the chances of you eventually making it big or reaping long term profits. I find it hard to describe my actual job to friends and family because of the recent trends online, not that i am ashamed, I simply mean that they do not comprehend that there is such thing as marketing without spamming, and that there are ways to make money without ripping people off. I hope that everyone in the industry can learn a lesson from this, give it a shot yourself and you will see that there are far more results to be had from white hat marketing when used properly.