There are lots of ways to make money online. Some of them do not add to the over all value of life or culture. Consider this an open letter to everyone who wants to make money online.
One of the main ways to monetize an Internet presence is to provide ad space on your sites. There are a myriad of companies willing to place ads on your blogs, websites and other Internet real-estate. Google is one of the largest providers of contextual advertising, others being Yahoo, Adbrite, Bidvertiser as well as millions of affiliate programs. The temptation is to create keyword rich sites, created solely for the purpose of placing ads. This undermines the significance and the integrity of our Internet. The whole concept of e-commerce is to provide solutions to peoples needs via the Internet. This is what I have coined the “crystal ball” syndrome. People using the Internet to solve deep and intimate problems i.e “how do I lose weight, cure acne and of course make money online etc. There is lots of money and careers to be made fulfilling these needs with products that are viable and competent and that add real value to the lives of our clientele.
Having Integrity in our marketing online and otherwise, does not mean we can not be master copywriters. There are techniques and skills learned over many years of testing and observing that could be labeled manipulative. If you have an integral product, you can feel good about your clients purchase on a ethical level and even if your advertising is sensational and verbose but factual, in that the product, simply put, does what it is supposed to. Hypnotic trigger words, image placement and subliminal messaging aside, if your product actually helps us lose weight, cure acne or make us money online there is no moral issues in standing out in the market place through advertising techniques. Just don’t lie and believe in your products integrity, that is the bottom line.
Getting banned by search engines is one sign that you aren’t playing fair and not doing the work of adding real meaning and value to cyberspace’s culture and identity. Keep our Internet relevant and useful, thank you.