There is so much software available freely that anyone running a website could perform all the marketing tasks themselves, without any real costs. The fact that with Google you can check out relevant keywords or analyse the visits to your website free of any charges is a tantalising prospect for most business owners. And if you use Twitter or Facebook, well, all you need is a free e-book on social media marketing and you’re away.

Except, of course, you may be missing things. But never mind, there are loads of websites offering you Internet Marketing advice and there are dozens of forums where you can get all sorts of additional support.

The fact is, if you really want, you can run your online business alone, without any external help just using information you garner on the web. And therein lies a problem

Doctors will tell you all about the difficulties of relying on advice you get on the Internet. Every day they get patients in their surgery, clutching printouts from some website which “prove” they have some rare illness or disease. Most of the time, these people do not.

New research shows that this is down to the fact that we are unable to self-diagnose. The study found that we are able to diagnose illness in other people much more accurately than we are in ourselves. If someone else has symptoms of indigestion we say they have indigestion. But if we have those symptoms ourselves and go online to check them out we end up focusing on the negatives and suspect we have some kind of undiagnosed heart condition. We appear to realistically assess the likelihood of serious disease in others, but are unable to do the same when it comes to ourselves.

This is just an example of the “wood for the trees” syndrome. When are close to something our ability to interpret the information becomes clouded by our personal attachment to the subject. This means that if you rely solely on reading websites or checking out e-books on Internet Marketing you are likely to be underestimating or overestimating what you should be doing. Your judgement as to what you need to do to market your online business is clouded by your emotional attachment.

The only way out of this is to get expert advice. Indeed, in the study on the impact of reading online health advice, the researchers conclude that the best thing to do if you have symptoms of illness is to get them checked out by a doctor who will make a much more reasoned and objective analysis of the situation. That advice stands good for Internet Marketers too. If you want advice about marketing your online business then seek out third-party help and support, rather than trying to do it all yourself.

Check out my online business mentoring service.

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