I’m going to keep this post short since I’m sick of constantly rehashing the topic.

Unfortunately though, it could not be ignored as a top five reason for failure in the affiliate marketing industry.

“What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little.”- Lord Byron

In my experience over the years, there are two main reasons people seek fame in the Internet marketing industry:

  1. To be as visible as possible to attract clients, larger consulting or project fees and to create a resume that is impressive to potential clients and/or makes you more valuable to your employer and/or building up a brand/resume for future needs should they arise. (Looking for visibility/branding)
  2. To fulfill a need to feel popular and loved because you were treated like shit in high school or because you’re an attention whore. (Looking for Rockstardom)

It’s pretty well known that I think running around desperately seeking “Internet marketing rockstar” status is nothing but a huge waste of time that can only be described as ego food for the soul even though some people chase it as if Google’s algorithm is exposed once you land on the Search Engine Land blogroll.

“Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space.” – Diana Black

Most don’t even realize they’re looking for #2 and will swear they’re after #1. But, come on, let’s be realistic shall we?

If you’re truly looking for visibility/branding, the following might actually help you achieve that:

  • Being able to show websites from your portfolio/clients that rank/proof you know what the hell you’re doing
  • Testimonials/recommendations from past clients or industry leaders
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Writer on a regular basis for a respected and widely read publication in the field
  • Guest posts on websites with a much higher profile than your own

Some signs that you’re fooling yourself into believing you’re looking visibility when you’re really looking for Rockstardom:

  • Running around Sphinn leaving fourteen fantastic comments per day, including one that pwns the latest troll
  • Bragging that you were invited out to the same dinner that Andy Beal attended at the last conference
  • Spending hours each day accruing mozpoints by commenting an hour per day at SEOMoz (assuming you’re not an actual mozzer)
  • Spending four days campaigning to win a “Semmy”
  • Spending weeks kissing ass so you get invited to that exclusive conference party
  • Patting Matt Cutts and other Google employees on the back for their latest “awesome post” in hopes that they might finally notice you
  • Blogging about a topic that once blogged about, will make something that financially benefits you or could potentially benefit you, suffer

I advocate becoming visible if you take on clients or have another valid, financially motivated reason for needing or wanting visibility. But be honest with yourself. Being visible has an ROI. Being a “rockstar” doesn’t. The first list is working hard. The second list is working soft.

If you’re new to this industry, not only can you not afford to be distracted by “Rockstardom”, but you also can’t afford to be impeded by it. If you’re playing the fame game, it becomes very hard to ask questions or ask for help/advice when you’re running around trying to prove you’re “the expert” all the time.

It also becomes very easy to get wrapped up in “industry drama” and you’ll quickly find, as I have, that nothing will waste your time faster then caring who said what about who and what so and so said about you.

There is no such thing as “famous” in this industry. Since my mother doesn’t even understand what I do for a living, I’m having a hard time buying into there being true “fame” in Internet marketing. And so should you. Paris Hilton is famous. Hell, even the cast of the Surreal Life could be called famous. We’re not “famous” and 99.9% of us never will be. Being financially comfortable however, if we keep our eye on the ball, is entirely within our reach.

“It’ll be tough to pay the bills with a wallet full of famous.” – Lee Odden

Next up, we’ll take a look at the third topic in the Reasons you fail at affiliate marketing series – desperately searching for the silver bullet. If you’re confused, stay tuned. I’ll explain tomorrow.

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