And forums, masterminds, mentors, membership sites etc.? I was having an emofest this morning because it seems like this internet marketing schtick just gets harder and harder and none of my content lately is making any kind of cash. Part of this is because I turned my biggest money maker- an adsense site- inside out to try and turn it into an ecommerce solution, but I can't wrap my head around dropshipping yet so it's become a huge work-in-progress with no Adsense earnings until the subdomain I moved the blog to starts getting rankings. But enough about all that, point is that my emofest led me to start wondering what other methods I could explore. I then realized that since I started learning about making money online I've dipped into just about every method there is- PPC, email marketing, social networking, MLMs, PPV, PTC, bum marketing, CPA and a whole slew of other stuff. The two things I've never really touched are ewhoring and autoblogging, but just about everything else I've dipped my fingers into. Trying to find a new method prompted me to rip open my hard drive (figuratively speaking, of course) and tear through all the ebooks I've downloaded over the course of about a year and a half (I started back in August '09). I was pretty disappointed, in a way, with the fact that I hadn't forgotten the magic pill- it just wasn't working for me (not to the level it supposedly should be, anyway). But the more I read and the more I relearned, the more I started to think about all the stuff I'd done just because the gurus, or forum fellas from forums like a certain (very awesome) one with "blackhat" in its title instructed me to. Don't get me wrong, I'd learned long ago that you should ALWAYS test things yourself, and that DOUBT is your best friend in this industry, but one thing I didn't realize was how monumentally blessed- or cursed- with information I was. There's so much stuff that we all learned probably in much the same fashion- starting with "make money online" or "make money blogging" or the occasional guy who actually knows what affiliate marketing is and searches that. Then we start learning you need to make a website, get traffic, the methods to get traffic, and yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes you'll see twists to methods and, rarely, you'll see new methods completely (most of the time based off of new up and coming websites, though, so the method itself takes backstage to learning about the new reservoir for traffic). But the point is that probably everybody out there learned from a resource which probably gave them very specific plans and instruction. Regardless of whether they worked, the theory behind most stuff selling is solid, I'm sure everyone will agree. I hear of people that starting learning to make money online as far back as 1999 were still learning from others in the space before them. But what if they hadn't had that resource, or anything else to turn to? Without rambling on too much longer, let me just jump straight to the point. Imagine you were just now starting to become interested in Internet marketing or making money online. You go to the Internet for information, but there's nothing on it, aside from resources included in advertising programs, affiliate programs etc. For example, you have access to the Google Adwords Help Center info, but not to Perry Marshall's eBook (or whoever else's). Knowing nothing about how websites are ranked or how to manipulate these rankings. Being clueless as to how to start (or even why you need to start) email lists. Not getting any info on what keywords are or determining what the best ones to build sites around are. How would you make money? P.S.: When I talk about "make money" I don't mean going to sell on eBay or write articles etc. I mean assuming you wanted to start an online business as similar as possible to the one you have now. If you've got an eBay empire... Go to another thread. For everyone else, try and be as realistic as possible- you could probably build thousands of sites and trial and error your way to learning about search engines like the pioneers probably did, but would you really? And I know there are some resources like Matt Cutts' blog (I think that's his name) that are official and talk about SEO and give concrete, if vague, info on how to rank, but pretend those don't exist either or that they're even more vague than now.