Note From ShoeMoney:This is an entry post for our “What internet Marketers Can Learn From contest“. For making it to the blog this author will receive a Verizon mifi device and even perhaps some extra bonus items as well as a chance to win the grand prize! Submit your entry here
When I was in college, I started out as a biology major. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Mrs. Shoemoney and become a doctor because, hey, I thought I could save some lives. Unfortunately, I realized I was more interested in how screwed up our political system was and became a history/political science major.
However, while I was a bio major for three years, I learned quite a bit about what it meant to be a scientist. I did a project and presented a thesis to some of the college’s top biological professors. I even dealt with one professor whose nickname was Hurricane because she came through and destroyed projects.
What I learned from all of this, though, I was quickly able to apply to my Internet projects. I realized that an Internet marketer could learn a lot from a scientist. Because of this realization, I came up with five things that an Internet marketer can learn from a scientist.
1. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
When doing a project, whether it’s trying to determine how much protein is in a mother’s breast milk (did that) or which color ad block works best, it’s important to experiment. But, the important thing is that you’re not just experimenting once and then calling it quits. You have to experiment more than once and continue to experiment until you find what works best.
In Internet marketing, we call this A/B testing. In A/B testing, we take the control—the website—and then apply two different changes. On site design A, we do one thing, whether it’s an ad block, type of content or anything along those lines. And on site design B, we do something different. However, the important thing to note is that you’re testing the same variable. So, if you’re testing which headline converts more sales, make sure that the headline is the only thing different from website to website.
You want to continue to experiment until you find something that works the best for you. And, you might think you found the best thing, but before you know if, you’re doing another test and you realize that there’s something better.
In science, a researcher might do the exact same experiment three or four times to ensure, without a doubt, that what they are finding is definitely valid.
2. Don’t Say Something without Backing it Up
Building on the importance of experimenting comes the next thing an Internet marketer can learn from a scientist. Never say something unless you can back it up.
Scientists are always coming up with hypothesis, but very rarely do we hear of them because when they look to back it up, the experiments simply don’t work. Unfortunately, in Internet marketing, many in the field say that something works because they heard it works or because they think it’ll work. For example, that person who told you that spammy blog comments will help you in the SERPs obviously knew nothing.
It is important to experiment before you make a claim. If you’re going to make the claim that link wheels work—and I’ve not done enough testing myself to determine whether they do or don’t—at least do what Shoemoney did and run a test to back it up. It would be bad for his reputation for him to say that something worked and then a bunch of his readers get screwed because of it. I haven’t seen him suggest a product that he didn’t first make sure was valid.
That’s important for you to do as well. If you’re going to start making suggestions and theories about how things work, at least back it up with some fact. In other words, experiment, experiment, experiment.
3. You’ll Start Alone but Learn to Network
When you come up with that crazy idea, chances are, you’re going to have it all by yourself. Or, if you do have any help, it’s going to be a very tiny team. The same is the case in science. Sometimes, you might only have two or three people working on the project. You might want support, but you just don’t have enough clout to get that support.
Many bloggers and Internet marketers started off alone, but over time, they were able to gain some connections. We all start out with our domain name and that’s it. It’s what we do with it that determines our success.
Scientists start to network. They begin sharing their research with other like minded researchers. They discuss theories and see if what someone else has worked on could help them out as well. If Shoemoney says that link wheels works, I don’t need to test it myself extensively…I can apply it.
The same is the case in science. You start alone, but through networking, you can begin to make those connections necessary to bring your study or your website to the next level.
4. People Will Bash Your Idea
You’re going to think that your idea is the best thing in the world. That’s obvious…You came up with it. Unfortunately, many people are going to think your idea sucks. And in science, that is the exact same situation.
I read an article about a couple of scientists arguing that a macro-virus was the building block between simple cells and advanced ones. Numerous scientists bashed them for this theory saying that since viruses were not living, there was no way they could be part of life.
However, what was soon found out was that many of the same genetic traits that viruses possessed, we possessed as well. Suddenly, those scientists were right.
We come under constant attack for our ideas. We say that something is going to work and people say we’re dumb for thinking that because the old ways are right. We do tests and suddenly, those same people that are bashing us realize that we were right.
That’s an unfortunate part of this business. People are so jealous of other people’s success that they immediately discount it as something stupid. They say that it can’t work and that you’re wasting your time.
But, it’s important for Internet marketers not to get demoralized. While this work isn’t the easiest thing in the world, it is significantly easier than owning a brick and mortar business. This Internet gold mine can still be had, but we need to look past the bashing that we are going to get.
Besides, once they’re done bashing, they try something else…
5. People Will Try to Steal Your Idea
The final thing that you must learn that a lot of scientists have learned is that someone will always try to steal your idea or attempt to take credit for what you’ve done. It’s because of this that very few Internet marketers are willing to show what they are working on because the second someone sees success, they try and piggyback on it.
Think about the drug industry. These pharmaceutical companies have copyrights on their drugs because they spend millions and millions in development. If someone else just came along and made the same drug, but for cheaper, that would be disastrous to their bottom line.
The same is the case for us online. How many times have you seen someone say, “Yeah, I made $500 last month on Adsense with my website” and people flock all over it wanting to know what niche he’s in. They just want to steal the idea and make some money for themselves. You need to make sure that you don’t let that happen.
Scientists and Internet Marketers
Just because a scientist does one type of thing and an Internet marketer does an entirely different type of thing doesn’t mean that they don’t share some similarities. And there are a lot of things that we, as Internet marketers, can learn from these scientists. By understanding these simple things, you have an increased chance of succeeding. However, in the end, even a scientist makes mistakes and can mess up. That’s why you experiment, experiment, experiment.