It's not a business.
Look, here's how it works, okay?
You have a product or service that is valuable. This is your offer.
There are people who value it. That is your market.
Marketing is presenting your offer to a market.
Internet marketing is using the internet for marketing.
Markets aren't interesting, really. There are markets in everything. Do a Google search for "tyler cowen markets in everything" and see what I mean. Tyler Cowen is an economics professor at George Mason University. He knows what he's talking about.
If you didn't take ECON courses in college, go buy N. Gregory Mankiw's Principles of Microeconomics - if you read and understand it, that will be the best $80 you ever spent. Understanding economics is like having a minor superpower. Seriously, you will be at least as awesome as Aquaman.
What is interesting is offers. It's what you can do to make markets happy. And if you did that search I mentioned, you know what I mean: there is a market you can make happy even if you are completely freaking incompetent.
There does exist a market of "stupid people who will buy any damn thing." Many of them are browsing the WSO section right now. And if you target that market, you will never be broke. You can sell pet rocks and poop signs and farting iPhone apps all day long. (Poop signs are like a stop sign, but they say poop. My friend Chris Yates invented them. They are pretty much the best thing ever. That is not an affiliate link.)
Seriously, I own a poop sign. Check it out. It's awesome.
There are people out there who will buy any stupid thing you can put out on the market, whether it is a Millenium Falcon toy or an Elfen Lied poster or a Bourbon Street sign or an exact replica of the sword wielded by the animated avatar of porn star Julie Strain in Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2, But that is not interesting.
People are stupid. That is not news. We are machines made of meat, and if you press the right buttons in the right sequence with the right timing they will give you their money.
It's not f*ckin' magnets, people.
What matters is your offer.
Almost every major marketer I know... and I know a lot of them; some people would even say I know them all... bitches at me for not making enough money. There are a tiny few exceptions. Colin Theriot. Paul Myers. Jason Moffat. They get it; they understand. It is not the bottom line. It is not the market. It is the offer.
"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." - Genesis 4:7
Internet marketing is not a business. Your business is to deliver something of value to the people who value it. As a contractor or vendor, you create that thing; as an affiliate, you find it. Internet marketing is simply how you deliver value to people.
It's people. Not numbers. People. Never forget that. It's not a numbers game, ever. It's people. Conversions and time on site don't mean squat if you don't take care of the people.
I'm really drunk.