I mentioned Lancaster’s Law a couple of times before. I found it in his book, The Incredible Secret Money Machine, which was written about 40 years ago. The original book is now out of print, but there is an ‘updated’ (but not really up-to-date) paperback version available on Amazon for around $6-8 or so. It’s worth buying and reading (I bought the original about 30 years ago, and have re-read it enough times to pretty much wear it out). The original can be downloaded as a free PDF from Don Lancaster’s website. Here’s a repeat of what I refer to as Lancaster’s Law:
Should a good, reliable and legal way to make lots of money ever be found, it will immediately be taxed, commissioned, inflated, odd lotted, pointed, bid-asked differentialed, title insured, closing costed, restricted, termite sprayed and otherwise stomped upon to make it as bad as all the rest.
Somewhat colorfully expressed. A simpler version would be to call it the “Pile-On Effect.” Basically, any really good deal out there will be quickly crushed under the weight of people frantically trying to pile on before the “good” part goes away. I’ve seen that in a number of areas in my own life. For instance, the instant a bank learns that you want to use an account for a money-making business, it suddenly costs a lot more.
The Pile-On Effect shows up in other ways, too. For instance, a couple of decades ago, an immigration attorney discovered that it was free to post ads on Usenet, and subjected the world to the first instance of what we now call “spam” by posting an ad on every newsgroup in the Usenet feed. That problem quickly moved to email, and there does not appear to be a good remedy for that yet. Which makes it really tough to run a legitimate email sales campaign — unless you want to pay a fortune to a 3rd-party email provider (who seems to want all of the money you are likely to make).
The Pile-On Effect was what basically killed Google Adwords. While Facebook and Youtube (Free Youtube Marketing Course) are still reasonably good places to advertise, the Pile-On Effect will soon stomp them out of the “good deal” category. Instagram and Pinterest are starting to become the new hot places to market, but they will crumble just as quickly. Maybe even more quickly.
I think that the Pile-On Effect is a major reason for the Shiny Object Syndrome. It’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy that you have to get on some “wonderful new program” while it still works.
I have even seen Big Name Internet Marketers get sucked into the Shiny Object Syndrome — even Sarah Staar, of all people. She got suckered into buying WebinarJam (I told her that I was not going to buy it, and I explained why, but she got it anyway). To her credit, once she learned that it didn’t work all that well, she quit using it, and quit recommending it. I should also point out that I’m a techie, and she is not, which is why she couldn’t understand the obvious (to me) problems.
In case you are interested, there are a couple of new products available that have significant advantages over WebinarJam (and G+H, for which WebinarJam is just a thin front-end interface). One of them, which I bought myself, is Zoom (they don’t really have much of a referral program, but I’ll recommend them anyway — I think that if I get them some new customers, I’ll get an extension of my own account, but it’s only $15/month, so I’m not going to sweat it). Zoom is a product that definitely raises the bar for G+H, Skype, and similar services, and they even have a free version that will let you host meetings up to 40 minutes in length.
One of the reasons I haven’t made it big in the “How to make money on the Internet” niche is because I don’t really want to sell Shiny Objects that only work for a little while. I’d really rather teach you how to understand what’s going on behind the scenes so that you don’t fall for the Shiny Objects, but it seems that everybody wants a “Done For You” solution (including, apparently, most of the readers of this blog).
What’s wrong with DFY? Just off the top of my head, there are two problems: 1) If they work at all, it’s not for long, and 2) after you pay for a DFY product and set it up and it either doesn’t work at all, or when it quits working, you have no idea why, because you haven’t learned anything. So after it quits working, you are actually worse off than you were to start with.
But the evidence strongly points to DFY as being what people will pay for, which was recently reinforced by the totally underwhelming response to my course offering on how to master the underlying principles of a money-making website (which, as promised, is no longer available for sale).
So this blog is devolving mostly into notes to myself (I have some money-making websites, but none of them are about “making money on the Internet” which is why this site doesn’t get updated very often), and I may or may not try to resurrect my blogsite course sometime later.
But I think that my main difficulty with MMOTI is that I’m way too honest. I won’t tell you that everything is cheap and easy, and I won’t sell you a DFY. Too bad most people will buy that crap, but I choose not to be your enabler. OTOH, when I do find something worth buying (like Sarah Staar’s LPT program, which is currently unavailable), I will tell you about it.