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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

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Find Your Target Audience

When practicing online marketing, I find it best to throw your morals and ethics out the window. Chances are, if the offer you’re running pays well, there’s something shady about it. Maybe it’s a website that promises a free sample, but actually signs the poor sap up for a monthly subscription if they don’t cancel with 7 seconds of ordering (next time read the fine print). Maybe it’s some new diet fad that is too implausible to actually work. Whatever it is, you have to temporarily suspend guilt to market it effectively.

My technique for this is simple: Just find a group of people that annoys/infuriates/pisses you off. For me, that’s everybody on Earth except for children, redheads, and kittens. Of course, that’s still a very broad demographic, so I’ll break it down into more easily identifiable groups.

Middle/High Schoolers

I got my first email address in 6th grade. I quickly discovered that the amount of spam I received was directly proportional to the number of “OMG FREE N64″ sites I signed up at. Today, when I run email submits, I like to think that I’m teaching a valuable lesson to the younger generation. Specifically, don’t give our your personal information online.

The same thing applies to cell phone offers. I didn’t even get my own cell phone until I was 18, and by then I knew it was stupid to (a) put my phone number into some random site and (b) not read the fine print. These days, we’ve got 12 year olds* running around with iPhones and clueless parents not teaching their kids about online privacy. If you’re marketing a ringtone offer, consider it a public service.

*Tricking 12 year olds into signing up for a ringtone service is still a scummy thing to do. Wait til they’re in high school. They should know better by then.

Soccer moms

I’m not talking about the stay-at-home moms who keep the house clean and raise their kids. I’m talking about those horrible abominations that dress like they’re 10 years younger, max out their husband’s credit cards, and suck down frappacinos like they’re dying of thirst. In short, consumer whores. Go ahead and target them with whatever you want, because they have no common sense and they’re not going to change any time soon.

Dirty old men

Those 45 year old guys hitting on the 21 year old girls at the bar? Yeah, them. While I haven’t tried it, I’ve heard that posing as a girl of said age group on Myspace/craigslist and tricking those guys into signing up for online dating services works wonders.

Douchebags

“Hey brah, wanna play some Halo brah? Have you seen my can of axe brah? Wanna hit the kegga’ brah?”

College humor has this one covered.

Abandon your ethics

Just find one or two groups and exploit the hell out of them. Maybe they’ll learn something from the whole experience.

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2 Responses to “Find Your Target Audience”

  1. Jonah Says:

    ethics? Whats that?

  2. Elijah Says:

    “When practicing online marketing, I find it best to throw your morals and ethics out the window.”

    I’m pretty sure online marketing killed the few ethics/morals I had left. Words of wisdom, Geoff.

    CollegeHumor doesn’t have that bad of a chokehold on the douchebag demographic. Look around…they’re everywhere. Online marketing allows the nerds to get a disgusting sense of revenge.

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