The Biggest Market Of Them All … And How to Tap It

    July 10, 2003

Been online a while? Steep learning curve, isn’t it? Like me, I’m sure you remember all too well how overwhelming everything seems at first. So many unfamiliar terms and concepts. What, pray tell, is an autoresponder? What’s an ezine and why do I need to advertise in one? What’s wrong with this list of 300,000 email addresses that I can mail to for only $29.99? What do you mean?

Why can’t I send email to anyone I like? You mean I have to have my own website? How do I do that? HTML what? Coding. CODING? Oh, c’mon, you must be joking, right? And, by the way, where is all this EMAIL coming from? How did all these people get my address? I didn’t give it to them so how did they get it? Huh? Email address harvesting? What’s THAT? And on it goes. And on and on and on ….

So, you realize pretty quickly that there is much to learn. You decide the best approach is to just set out to learn everything there is to learn about internet marketing. After all, you want to be sure to do this right. And, once you’ve mastered everything, you just know you’ll start raking it in! Because this is the INTERNET! So off you go on your quest. You spend a fortune on this and that marketing course, this and that ebook promising to TRIPLE! your sales in seven days (for some reason, perhaps because this is the INTERNET, you never stop to think, yeah, well, that’s all very well, but triple zero is still zero).

Three months and nine hundred dollars later you finally accept the truth. You will never know all there is to learn about this business and everything you learned from the stuff you spent your nine hundred bucks on is all stuff you could have discovered yourself for free. You finally understand that things change every time you turn around and if you wait until you know enough, you’ll never start and you’ll bankrupt yourself in the process. At this point, the newbie either just forges ahead or gives up in frustration.

From what I can tell, this is a pretty universal experience. And, to make matters worse, there are SO many scam artists circling overhead like the vultures they are, just waiting to pick the bones of the unsuspecting newbie, that the whole experience can be more than a little disillusioning.

It’s a wonder to me that so many people persevere at all. I have to wonder how many more just give up at this point. Estimates vary, but suffice to say many thousands of newbies come online every single DAY looking for ways to make money with their computers. That’s an enormous market. And a continually replenishing one.

Anyway, what’s all this got to do with you, you say? You who have already graduated from the school of hard knocks and now know what it takes to make it in your own online business? Plenty. You see, you can make a positive difference in the lives of these hordes of would-be entrepreneurs, reduce their learning curve AND earn a reward for your efforts in the process.

How? By sharing your wisdom and experience. For a price. Here’s just three ideas to get you going.


To begin with, start publishing an ezine targeted specifically to internet novices. How does this make you income? When you get to the 1,000 subscriber mark, you can start charging for advertising. And the more subscribers you have, the more you can charge.

Can’t think of anything to talk about? How about answering the very questions you yourself had as a newbie. We discussed some of them earlier. Explain what an autoresponder is and what it does. Explain what an ezine is and why it’s a good place to advertise. Explain what spam is and isn’t and how to protect yourself. Explain how to create a website. We’re not talking brain surgery here. Just explain the basics. It may be old hat to you, but for the internet novice it’s a whole new world. They’re crying out for someone they can trust who will show them the way.


Next, create a website targeted specifically to the newbie market. You can promote your ezine from there as well and generate new subscribers from your site visitors.

Not only that, sign up for affiliate programs of quality products that are targeted to the newbie audience and promote them from your site.

Your site needs to be more than just a collection of affiliate links, though. You need to gather content that will be of real and practical benefit to newbies. Some of this you will have to create yourself, some will be readily available from other sources that you can avail yourself of. A really good example is free ebooks. Gather up several quality free ebooks that are geared towards the newbie market and make them available for free download. Stay away from the get-rich-quick titles though. They just perpetuate the problem. Other types of value-added content include articles, archives of your ezine and tutorials.

As your website starts attracting more traffic you can branch out into accepting paid advertising on your site.


Affiliate programs are all very well, but you’re working on commission. To keep 100% of the profit, create your own information product for sale at your website.

An internet marketing training manual targeted to the newbie audience is one obvious example. Another is a series of reports on some subject about which you are knowledgeable and which would be of benefit to the newbie audience.

And create a line of products that grows with your audience. Expand your repertoire to include products that appeal to the next level internet entrepreneur. Your “intermediate” suite of products should be geared to a somewhat more advanced audience. This way, you continue to be relevant to your audience, even when they are no longer newbies.

For all the talk of the internet revolutionalizing our lives, it’s easy to think that everyone is online and internet-savvy. The truth is very different. There is still a huge proportion of the population yet to make the leap into cyberspace but they’re coming on board in droves.

Remember your own humble beginnings and especially those kind-hearted individuals you stumbled across in the early days (which, more likely than not, were really not that long ago) who graciously lent you a helping hand and steered you in the right direction. By integrating your own business objectives with a genuine desire to help those who need help, you not only ensure the survival of your own business, you do something positive to make the internet a better place for all of us.

2000 Elena Fawkner

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online … practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur.