Ethical Internet Marketing

We are all taught that marketing is about matching people with their needs and wants. Some even dolly it up and romanticize the whole process – we don’t just sell products, we create visions, bring dreams to life, cure all that ails us and yes, we even have the ability to generate world peace like some sort of seedy social working Wonka in a fantastical cyber-topia – watch out for the gumballs and no that’s not a river of chocolate.

Yup, no-one can do the spin like a marketer. We can take any side, any topic and twist it until it makes some sort of logical sense.

Now while regular marketing is beginning to finally get the recognition and credit that it deserves, internet marketing is seen in a completely different light. Internet marketers have such a bad reputation that we make regular marketers look like jolly old St Nick – complete with his Coke bottle. But the very mention of us tends to send people running to filter their emails and upgrade their anti-virus!

And let’s face it. There are more than a few internet marketers out there who have sullied our reputation, but now the fight back is beginning. We all want to join the ranks of ‘ethical marketers’ and fight the good fight.

But wait – What is ethical marketing?

‘Ethical’ is very much in the eye of the beholder. There may be hard and fast rules set out by a governing body for the real extremists, but as individuals we all have a different perception of ethics. We all consider ourselves to be upstanding citizens, we have principles, we follow the local law and have a good grasp of moral righteousness. But yet as soon as we get online, our moral gauge gets a bit twisted and we begin to do things that we never would in the real world.

So, let’s start with a few questions just to help you gauge your own ‘ethic level’ of marketing.

1-Would you engage in random email spam tactics or promote junk emails designed to get people to send money to bank accounts in Nigeria?

2 – Would you promote or create a product purely for profit – without considering or even caring whether it works or not?

3 – Would you create a product or course but leave it ‘unfinished’ so that the person that buys it has to buy another product from you, at a greatly inflated price, to get the full picture?

4 – Hitler is a massive brand. The very image of him creates such a powerful emotion in people – would you utilize this response and use pictures of Hitler in your promotions?
(No, no, no and hell no? Cool, we are off to a good start)

5 – Would you go out of your way to find work-arounds for Google policies, FTC compliance or even sites that have changed their Terms of Service?

6 – Would you use spam tools that automate social bookmarking and blog commenting?
(Yes spam tools – why do you think that they constantly fail and need updating? They are trying to get into sites that are desperately trying to stop them submitting stuff! This is spamming.)

7 – Would you deliberately try to cheat a system designed to give Joe Average the best information and value, just to get that all important ranking and make sales?
(Isn’t that really what SEO, backlinking, auto submission services and social bookmarking is all about?)

8 – Do you send out emails that claim to be helping people but that are really only designed with the sale in mind?

9 – Social Bookmarkers – do you really care about the people that you are dealing with? Or is the whole point of building the relationship to focus on the end game – make a sale?

10 – Would you knowingly try to get inside the head of your reader and try to manipulate their actions, either by playing on their fears, hopes and dreams or by tapping into their feel good or nostalgic impulses?
(Uh huh, thought so)

On some level all of these are either acceptable or unacceptable to you. If they are all unacceptable to you, then just maybe you are in the wrong industry. The vast majority of us work somewhere around 7-10 and are OK with that.

Call it what you want, but internet marketing is a career choice and at the end of the day, if we didn’t have to do it to earn some sort of crust, most of us wouldn’t be doing it.

How you choose to earn that crust is entirely up to you; you can choose to create good valuable content that will help the reader regardless of whether you make a sale or not; you can do this, have patience and maybe cheat a little bit; you can go with the transparent PPC methods or you can go the way of the black-hat.

But you also need to be aware of the consequences of your actions. In some cases it will be an account suspension, in others total IP address expulsion, in extreme cases you may face the full wrath of the FTC.

What you choose to tell your kids about what you do for a living is up to you too. How you sleep at night is also your choice.

But remember too, how people respond to you is their choice. It is these people who will ultimately decide how ‘ethical’ you are.


Using High Quality PLR Articles to Scale Your Business

While most people just think of plr articles as a cheap and easy source of content there are so many other ways that you can get even more bang for your buck from good quality plr.

Now before we get going I just want to emphasize something – by good quality I mean plr articles that your reader enjoys reading, gets a lot of information from and that you are proud to put your name to, NOT the rehashed 30 articles for $7 that some providers offer and that you have to spend hours rewriting so that they make sense.

Once you have your quality packs there are a variety of ways that you can use them so that you get the most from the ideas contained within the article.

For plr articles that are superb quality you can use them unaltered on your blog, just change the keyword structure within the article to fit your target keywords and you are done.

Rewriting
If you are worried about duplicate content these articles are fantastic for simply rewriting. One 500 word article takes about 10 minutes to rewrite, far more economical than the hour plus that it takes some of us to write well researched articles, or the $15 that we have to pay someone else to write it for us 🙂

A quick hint here though, before you do anything put the article through Copyscape. I bet that if you have bought new plr content there is a good chance that it has not been used before, meaning that your site would be the first to use it!

Spin
Once you have the article on your main site, then you or your ghostwriter can rewrite each sentence and put this through spin software so that you get hundreds of unique articles to use in your link building efforts.

Videos
If you have PowerPoint then there are many templates that you can use to create great slideshows of the content. For those without PowerPoint I bet that your computer has some sort of video editing software installed, so use this to create a short movie of the article.

For those who are not afraid of appearing on camera you can also video yourself using the article as a sort of ‘speech’. Use your imagination and the options are endless.

Autoresponder
There are many marketers who need articles, not for article marketing, but to use as a part of their autoresponder email series. Everyone knows that to have a successful series you need regular contact with your readers. This is important because you need to build your relationship with them while giving them worthwhile and useful information.

This is actually one of the hardest things to do and many marketers struggle to keep up with the requirements of having an email autoresponder series. Having a set of plr articles is a great way to get the information across while tweaking the article slightly can be a great way of getting your personality across and building the relationship.

Put together to form a report or even an eBook
Whether you are an affiliate or a product owner you can gather plr article packs together so that they form a report. This report can then be used to entice people to give you their email address and join your mailing list. Once you have collated the articles then you can convert it to a PDF document, zip it up and it is ready to go.

As a product owner with affiliates this offer of a free giveaway report is a great tactic to use to help your affiliates promote your product.

Create a Kindle Book

By gathering together 20-30 articles and putting in a bit of effort you can create an eBook that can be sold online for downloading to eReaders, like through the Amazon Kindle store.

However you look at it, PLR content does have its own place in the savvy marketers toolbox and using it wisely can scale your business to completely new heights!