Guaranteed Failure in 2011? Normally I wouldn?t publish stuff when I?m in a bad mood, but today?s going to be an exception? Here are 5 sure-fire ways to absolutely guarantee failure and crappy results in 2011. If anything sounds familiar? you might wanna re-think your strategy? ?????????- 1) Always Gravitate to Whatever is ?EASIEST?? Ever notice how so many people are obsessed with article marketing? Or how many products/offers specifically focus on things like ?you don?t need a website, a product or a list?, etc.? The reason is because the barrier to entry is basically zero, which makes that appealing to people who think this is somehow ?push-button?. That means that any old slob can go sign up at EzineArticles or wherever and start promoting Clickbank?s Finest. It?s so ?easy?. The same applies to stuff like auto-blogging, using PLR, etc. Easy, my ass. Everything about it is tough as hell. Go to ANY marketing forum and take a look at all the threads with subject lines like ?Help, I?ve submitted 150 articles and I?ve only made $32.75!!? That?s pretty extreme, and usually it?s because their niche (or keyword) sucks, but you?ll see that a lot. Let?s talk about why? You?re limited to targeting long-tail keywords. You?re sending all of your traffic to someone else (who?s actually building a real business from it). You?re not making enough money to outsource your ?easy? activities. Meanwhile you?re working your ass off, for hours on end, churning out one article after the next. Not to mention, you don?t OWN anything. And ? considering what just happened to EzineArticles in the Farmer update (a 90% LOSS in SERP visibility), you are also held hostage by what happens to the entity you are piggybacking. Sound insane? YES. So why the hell does everybody gravitate to this? Because it?s ?easy?. Yeah ? it?s so much ?harder? just to build a site, market it for a month and then let the search engines send traffic to it passively for the next 8+ months (or indefinitely if you run some periodic backlinking from time to time). Which, in comparison, is actually far easier, less effort, and less work. Speaking of article marketing? 2) Only Ever Target ?Low Hanging Fruit?? I have received hundreds of emails over the years from people who are obsessed with finding keywords and keyphrases with ?under 5000 competing search results?. So they?ll email and ask, ?Ken, I decided to target ?Cheapest Car Insurance for 1972 Imported Mini Coopers? because it only has 273 competing organic results and since I can rank really easily for it with basically no effort I think it?s a good way to go ? what do you think?? What do I think? Well, for one thing I won?t tell you exactly what I think about that, since my thoughts contain several swear words. However, what I will say is this? YOU NEED TRAFFIC. And no, getting 5 visitors a day isn?t traffic. Unless you are selling Luxury Yachts or Pacific Islands, 5 visitors a day is going to put you in the poor house. And no, the solution isn?t to go and build 100 ?poor houses? and hope that the combined effect will be a ?not-as-poor house?. That?s just a stupid way to build a business ? let alone an online empire. What is so scary about just aiming for keywords that will actually provide you with tons of traffic? It?s truly NOT that difficult. Does it take elbow grease for a month or two, and 5 minutes of research? Yes, it does. (But it?s a hell of a lot less effort than being an article slave, or building 500 ?low-hanging fruit? miniblogs?) Not to mention, sites that go after REAL keywords make REAL money. What a shocker. Turns out it?s actually a lot more work to pick low-hanging fruit than it is to just go get yourself a ladder and have all the good stuff to yourself. 3) Follow the Masses. Here?s a depressing exercise? Go to any popular marketing forum. Browse the threads. Make a note of what appears to be the most popular activity or method. Then, make a note of all the threads where people complain about poor results, not making any money, etc. Guess what? 99 times out of 100, the stuff that DOESN?T WORK is what EVERYONE is doing. (If you wanna know why, go back and read Steps 1 and 2 in this post). You wanna know what REALLY works? Ignore the marketers. Ignore the forums. LOOK at who?s ranking in Google. LOOK at active marketplaces. LOOK at who?s advertising with PPC, Facebook, etc. LOOK at what people are buying. And then just reverse-engineer it. Look at how THEY are doing it. This isn?t rocket-science, folks. You?ve gotta shut off the noise, and ignore the shovel-sellers ? and open your eyes to the logical reality of the web. It?s literally right in front of you. And becoming a player really isn?t that hard, guys. All it takes is observing obvious success, and then just reverse-engineering that logical path. Not just following the herd. 4) Obsess Over Details, Technicalities and Specific Tactics? Another way to guarantee failure is to get hung up on ?doing everything right? ? or to assume that simple actions aren?t as effective as complicated processes. A good example of this is something I mentioned above ? people?s obsession with Organic competition (such as only trying to rank for keywords with less than 5,000 exact-match results). First of all, as an aside ? those values are completely unreliable. One day a keyphrase will have 3,500 competitors. The next day it will be 950,000. Try this and see for yourself. Anyway ? the point is ? the reality is that you are only competing with the sites on page 1. The only thing that matters is what the sites on Page #1 have done, and whether you?re prepared to do the same thing. THAT is how you measure feasibility. Not some convoluted pseudo-science based on nothing other than ?common knowledge?. (If you rely on common knowledge, you get common results). End the confusion by focusing on logical, straight-forward thinking. There is SO MUCH data at your fingertips these days. With inexpensive tools like SEMRush, SEOSpyglass, and so on, it is literally a matter of 20 seconds of research to completely reverse-engineer the entire marketing ?blueprint?, tried, tested and proven by your competitors. All you?ve gotta do is step up, put your work gloves on, and have at it. That?s how you get results. Not by embracing over-the-top tactics or pining over convoluted theories. And finally ? if your goal is to fail this year, make sure to? 5) Resist Anything That Requires Initial Effort, Forethought, or Otherwise Isn?t Mundane or Automated This is the big one. This will absolutely guarantee ongoing failure for as long as you do this? I tell you the truth: ?You don?t know which way is up, so it will probably take you about 6 months to figure out what?s what. After that point, when you?ve chosen a market and laid out some target keywords, you need to probably produce about 50 ? 100 articles. Then you need to go out and build backlinks for about 2-3 months. Then you need to wait for Google to respond to your efforts. THEN ? it will start to pay off. You can literally build a crazy income, just by building a few sites like this.? By this point, the ?spark of excitement? in their facial expression will have gradually faded into a glazed-over expression that communicates exactly what they?re thinking? ?Oh, well ? screw it. I thought it would be easier?? Now, I want to draw your attention to the PURE INSANITY of what just happened? I basically tell someone how to make a solid 6 figures a year (or more), in about a year?s time, and as soon they discover that there?s work involved ? forget it. Let?s see if we can break down their thought process, from a logical point of view: 1) I can continue running my fledgling business or working as an employee, where $45K is a good year, and eventually retire when I?m 75 in some run-down apartment, with no money to have fun, and with a part-time job at Walmart just to get by?. OR 2) I can spend a whopping SIX MONTHS of my life learning a business model that can build incredible wealth and passive income. I can probably eventually sell my online empire for a very nice 7 or maybe even 8+ figure payday. Then I can literally make 6 figures a year, passively, just in interest alone. I can do whatever the hell I want, and I?ll never have to work again. Hmmm? let me see. Option #1 please. It?s less effort. Sorry, I have to go home now and waste 4 hours of my life watching reality TV so I can escape my mundane existance with zero prospects for the future ? but it was nice talking to you. You sure are lucky! I know I?m being very sarcastic, but this is a very serious ?mindset disease? that plagues our industry. People are literally CHOOSING PSUEDO-SLAVERY over and above proven, fundamental strategies that can create life-long financial freedom ? simply because it?s ?less effort?. (And you?ve gotta ?work smart, not hard?, right?) Folks, working smart is about realizing WHAT ACTUALLY WORKS, and then focusing on that exclusively. And what?s ironic is that when you simply DO put in the initial effort ? building REAL sites, building REAL links, producing REAL content, sending REAL emails to your subscribers? ?it ends up being FAR LESS effort overall in comparison to all the pseudo-slaves working their asses off all day long spinning articles, setting up auto-blogs, running ScrapeBox and burning through proxies, and intermittently buying ?WSO?s? as a form of entertainment disguised as productivity. It?s a 3 or 4 month effort that can turn into a 6-figure operation. Instead of a 3-year attempt to ?resist effort? that turns into constant tactic-chasing, whining on forums, marital stress and a wallet full of nothing.