Save Money – be a Dummy

With all the monthly memberships, $97 eBooks, $5000 seminars on how to make it big on the Internet, one would get the fast impression that you have to spend a LOT of money to learn how to make money online.


SEO For DummiesIt’s amazing how much information can be found in the $15 “Dummies” book.

With all the monthly memberships, $97 eBooks, $5000 seminars on how to make it big on the Internet, one would get the fast impression that you have to spend a LOT of money to learn how to make money online.

Internet Marketers, Bloggers, and other online entrepreneurs often spend tens, hundreds, and even thousands of dollars to learn the technologies and ins-and-outs of Search Engine Optimization, Monetization, Web Development, Web Design, Blogging, Code, and Internet Marketing in general.

Some time ago it came to my attention that the for the price of a few fancy coffees at Starbucks, I could learn just as much if not more than what I would learn in thousands of dollars worth of training programs, eBook, videos, membership websites, and coaching programs.

One of the most comprehensive, thorough, and advanced educational resources and reference materials I have owned on the subject of Search Engine Optimization, for example, is none other than Search Engine Optimization For Dummies by Peter Kent.

As another example, when various paid training programs became inaccessible, unhelpful, difficult to navigate, glitchy, or otherwise unnecessary, I finally threw in the towel and decided to start with Google AdWords For Dummies.  I am sure one could learn many more advanced Pay Per Click techniques and strategies, but it starts with learning the basics of the system and how it works, gaining a full familiarity with the program’s interface and features, etc.  And many people jump right into expensive training programs before they have ever test-run their first campaign.  There is nothing wrong with that either but in some cases I find it simpler to start with a $20 guide book than a $99-per-month membership.

When my business model took a turn toward local brick-and-mortar marketing and SEO for offline businesses, and I wanted to ensure I knew all the most important information of that field, part of our quick solution was Local Online Advertising For Dummies.  My husband read three chapters of that book and flew off to Florida to give an Internet Marketing seminar to dozens of business owners, who wrote rave reviews about the seminar.  The clients resulting from that seminar generated over $16,000 for our business over the next several months plus ongoing contracts.

Just the other day I listened to a webinar on the subject of mobile marketing. The the increasing importance of mobile marketing and Web 3.0 in the modern industry hit me in a way it hadn’t before – but I am afraid that instead of purchasing their $447 training package (marked down from $997 or so) I wound up on Within about 45 seconds I had found and ordered Mobile Marketing For Dummies. When I finish reading that, I may or may not feel the need to learn more and I can always reconsider a $500 or $1000 training package if I decide to … but, one has to start somewhere. And sometimes it’s easier to start with $15 for a thorough overview of an entire field or subject matter. Now, I am not saying that these books are an end-all or that they replace the need for any additional training. Not at all.

There are some fantastic training materials available online, and yes I do use them. And recommend you do as well – where applicable. I still do use other training materials; some are more specialized, some contain additional information, and some consist of strategies and techniques that a marketer happened upon and found successful, based on personal experience, and is now teaching to others. But it is also true that the information I have encountered in some of these $15.00 paperbacks has provided training and information equivalent to or greater than what I could have purchased online for hundreds or thousands of dollars (through whatever training package, membership website, or whatnot).

Another advantage of these amazing little paperbacks is that you can get away from your computer screen, sit on the couch, and read a book in front of the fire, just like the good old days.

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7 Responses to “Save Money – be a Dummy”

  1. Cell Phones for Seniors
    December 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    I would have to say that this is one of the most sensible posts that I have ever read. To many of us try to run before we can walk. We fall for some sales page malarkey and boom… $1000 down. I’ve spent fortunes on courses, ebooks and all the rest of it, only to find that you new the method that the guy was selling or it was simply an old method rehashed. I would encourage anyone starting out in this business to begin with the basics and try to understand what it is that you are actually trying to do. Don’t go chasing a dream based on something that you don’t understand. Once you understand, then your dreams may come true. Not the other way around.

  2. Rob McCance
    December 20, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Amen Anna!

    You should see how bad the information scam ripoffs are in Stock Market Trading info and Real Estate nonsense. Even the legit books for stock market ideas are $80!

    I’ve also found that a lot of web surfing and participating in quality blogs will also answer a LOT of questions for you on various topics, as well as teach you new things.

    I signed up for one “live seminar” in my life about 15 years ago and it was a very expensive complete ripoff. That seemed to cure me for the rest of my life!

  3. Raffaello Tamagnini
    January 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    hey Anna thanks a lot for your suggestion. I m starting my web site now so this is really what I needed people is offering super expensive seminary..but I wasnt sure about it and thnk you I ll be saving a lot of money. I m already looking on amazon to the books you said. Take care

  4. Mr. Maroon
    February 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Being new to the blogging world and facing some of the decisions you discussed in your post, it is reassuring to here that you can make it work with minimal overhead. So far all of my knowledge and research has come from free sources online, but I am now considering the dummies books. I look forward to reading future post. thanks

  5. saintjoe
    May 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Nice one Anna! I don’t think many know just how deep/vast the “for dummies” series is. They literally have any and everything covered.

    Good stuff, and smart advice for sure.

  6. philip michigan
    September 1, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    wow its really great big money and time to save, i like to try this.

  7. Mister
    June 6, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    My advice is – never spend a dime until you earn it first 🙂

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