http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ihPOTDxMfE Even when you're an experienced internet marketer, don't forget about your roots and your time spent as a newbie. Everyone was new once. Pay it forward by helping others in the same way that people helped you out when you were just starting out. Don't tell people how much money you've got, either on the internet or in real life. There's the potential to make serious amounts of money from IM - way more than most people with 9-5 jobs can imagine - and bragging about how much you're making can cause real friction and resentment with your friends and family. On the internet, if you talk up about how much money you've got, you're making yourself a target for scammers, hackers and the IRS. Keep it on the down low. A good blackhat empire should be like an iceberg - all anyone ever sees is the harmless looking tip. But underneath, there's a humongous mass of automated sites cranking out 10s or even 100s of thousands of hits a day. A force to be reckoned with. Don't tell people about what you're doing! If you've got a method and it's working, rinse the fuck out of it as hard and as fast as you can while it's still working and don't tell ANYONE. Especially, don't go harping on about your awesome method on message boards while you're still making serious money from it. Only reveal your secrets when you're already moving on to the next thing. In the mean time, ruthlessly blast away any competition you might have and own your own little corner of your niche. This is a war you're in. Don't trust anyone. Other webmasters, affiliate managers and programs, joint venture partners, payment processors, even friends you decide to teach... They'll all screw you without a second thought once real money is involved. Especially if you only know people online, always take measures to protect yourself in whatever way you can, and have contingency plans in place in case they fuck you over. Never leave your future or your livelihood in the hands of someone else. Don't go wasting all your hard earned IM dollars on crap! This biz is like a rollercoaster and you might be banking hard one minute and broke the next. Always, always put some cash away for an emergency fund and funnel some into expansion for your business. Domains, hosting, programs, captcha services, outsourcing, whatever - while you're on the way up, live frugally and spend your money on making more money and scaling as hard and as fast as you can. There will be plenty of time to party when you're making 7 grand a week. In terms of your own geographical area, and your real personal stuff online, keep your blackhat activites and your real life completely separate. Don't go spamming blogs or local sites that are owned by people in your own city or doing things that are going to get irate members of the public turning up on your front door. Keep your anonymity top notch - secure proxies, anonymous VCCs and fake names wherever possible. Keep your real Facebook account, gmail account etc completely separate from your dodgy marketing activities. Clear cookies regularly and use proxies if possible so the powers that be have trouble identifying you as a blackhat. You want your neighbors to think that you are a respectable online entrepreneur, not a ruthless spamming prick. Don't shit where you eat. Don't lend money to people you only know online, or listen to any kind of bullshit sob story. If you do, don't ever expect to get the money back and treat it like a bonus if you do. That goes for anything of value - links, traffic etc - you can't ever count on anonymous people on the internet (especially blackhats) holding up their end of the bargain. That doesn't mean you can't set up deals, but protect your own interests at all times and don't deal with fucking retards. Try to avoid doing business or partnering with family members. These things seem to end badly more often than not. Definitely don't sign up your parents or spouse to any kind of loan to put into something as unpredictable as an IM business - fund it yourself, rely on yourself and then feel the immense satisfaction when it pays off knowing that YOU made it happen. Often you'll find that family members who aren't internet savvy don't understand what "black hat" is all about and it's easier to let them think you're a run of the mill marketer or web designer rather than have them accuse you of being a criminal. And leave the work in the office; enjoy spending time with your girlfriend, wife or kids and forget about IM once in a while. Again, anonymity and preparedness is essential. You might not have a kilo of crack in a gym bag in the kitchen, but you probably do have a hard drive of dodgy marketing scripts and data and more of the same on a server or VPS that is rented in your name with your credit card. Take proactive steps to limit your exposure to the law; what you are doing may or may not be illegal (a lot of the stuff we do has never been tested in court) but all it takes is a lawsuit to bankrupt you. Encrypt your backups; use proxies and VCCs; set up an offshore bank account or an LLC that protects you personally from financial ruin; shred your papers; do whatever it takes to keep yourself safe. Also, outsourcing is essential in 2011. There is just too much for a single person to do. Outsourcing is cheap and accessible with sites like Fiverr; take advantage of them, so you can focus on doing your highest value tasks rather than menial labour. If you post on boards, you will eventually find yourself friendly with a bunch of other IMers - either just talking shop and trading tips via email or Skype, or doing joint ventures and making money by combining your efforts. Don't ever fuck your business partners over! That means both in direct financial terms and in terms of keeping the stuff they tell you to yourself, not outing people's productive sites and methods etc. If someone is kind enough to share something with you in confidence, respect that and keep your fucking mouth shut. If you get a rep as untrustworthy, you will rapidly find yourself shut out of the closeknit IM community and you won't be privy to any more juicy secrets. This one is more for advanced IMers. Don't do prepaid traffic deals or offer services if you can't come through with the goods, whether it's delivering leads, paid sales, prepaid traffic, backlinks that stick or whatever. Reputation is a fragile thing in an industry filled with sharks and scammers, and all it takes is one false step for you to lose all the good will that you've worked so hard to gain. Work hard at this game and you could literally be a millionaire within a few short years, or even within 12 months if you are smart and ready to really hustle. If you work smart there is no limit to the scale to which you can build this thing; but if you act rashly, you could lose your shirt. But you've got to be willing to put in work and get your grind on 24/7 if need be to get that cheddar. Hustle hard, keep striving and NEVER, EVER GIVE UP.