Blog Posts

Are Internet Marketers Good or Evil?

It's another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>

Here are a few of my favorite Expert Briefs:

I thought I'd have a little fun with this week's Expert Briefs. (Don't I always?)

“Marketers” and especially “Internet Marketers” get a bad rap. We're sometimes viewed as sleazy, slimy, snakes with dollar signs in our eyes.

Obviously those of us in the industry know that, while there are marketers like that, the majority of us are just hard-working folks who want to offer value and help people to get results – and get paid for doing so.

But, what people don't always realize is that it goes well beyond that. For many of us, Internet Marketing is a means to an end. It provides us the income and resources and platform to do good for the world. What do I mean? Well, you'll see in just a minute.

The question I asked our experts today is:

“Has there been an instance where your internet marketing skills have come in handy in your personal life? Perhaps helping with a charitable organization, with your kids, in your marriage, or to help a friend? If so, tell us about it.”

I didn't ask this question to brag, but to get us all thinking about ways we can use what we know, our platforms, and our resources for good.

Here are their replies… (as usual, these are supposed to be “brief” but several of us got a bit wordy. lol!) Enjoy!

AliceAlice Seba of Contentrix says:

Absolutely, it has come into play in a number of ways.

I have put together some campaigns for our school fundraisers and through the power of the Internet was able to raise much more than if we'd tried to raise money offline only. It was very worthwhile that's for sure.

When roped into a Tupperware party, I got a bunch of online sales for the consultant, instead of hassling all my local family and friends. Not that I hassled people online either…I just have more online connections…so it's relatively easy to get something going.

I have also set my children up with blogs, so they can practice their writing skills, display their art and keep in touch with friends.

Other specific skills like copywriting, communication and just business sense come into play on a daily basis. It's so ingrained in what I do and how I approach things, I don't always notice!

MarkMark Mason of says:

Wow, this is a really interesting question.

I can think of a couple of fun answers about how internet marketing has impacted my marriage, but I will save those for another expert brief. [LOL]

The most obvious answer for me is that Internet Marketing can make for interesting conversation. Almost everyone is a little curious about ‘how the internet really works,” especially when it comes to money. I get pulled into lots of conversations about the How and Why of internet commerce.

A more exciting answer is that I am able to help people that need “internet help”. Examples include a fan page for my church choir, a blog for my friend who is an Ohio State football nut, and hosting for my brother. It's really cool to be able to help people with something “very complicated” like the internet and not charge them a dime.

ConnieConnie Ragen Green of says:

My Internet marketing skills have come in handy several times since I first came online at the end of 2005. I was new to marketing and needed a way to practice the skills I was learning. My first opportunity came very quickly.

I joined my local Rotary Club, an international service organization, during the summer of 2006, and they asked me to help them with publicity for our club. I set up a blog and began posting about our club projects and guest speakers. Then I started writing articles about what we were doing. Soon people from around the country were finding out about our projects, and by 2006 the international division of Rotary had written an article about us for their worldwide magazine. They even used the pictures I had taken of our project for special needs children at our local elementary school. Now I help our club with fundraising, using my online marketing skills. (By the way, find a club near you by going to

Around the same time one of my family member's had lost his job and started a handyman business. Again, I set up a blog and wrote articles to let people know what he was doing. Then I interviewed him on Internet radio and created a few short videos to show him doing some repairs. His phone began to ring and his business has remained profitable throughout these recessionary years.

Knowing how to market online has been helpful to the people in my life. I feel fortunate to be able to share these skills with others for such worthwhile reasons.

Kathleen Gage of says:

I held a teleseminar for a fundraiser for the Lymphoma and Leukemia society. It raised over $1,000 with the one hour session.

I've also used the internet to market a local event at my church where we raised about $600.

I also helped set up a blog for my favorite non-profit organization dedicated to the care, rehabilitation and placement of abused, neglected and unwanted equine. (Check it out here: Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and place these animals in new approved homes.

Dr. Mani of says:

My situation is probably unique in that I developed and improved my Internet marketing skills specifically to further a charitable purpose – to provide life-saving heart surgery to under-privileged children born with congenital heart defects (see for more details).

It has been a reciprocally beneficial relationship. The purpose behind all my online activities gave me the necessary persistence and determination to face and overcome the hundreds of obstacles that litter the path of anyone setting out to learn Internet marketing.

And at the same time, my growing skills at marketing on the Web brought in more donations and greater business profits (a portion of which has always been ear-marked to be donated as well). This has allowed me to expand upon a seemingly impossible dream that has come true because of Internet marketing.

But the skills acquired while learning Internet marketing can have far wider applications to real life – often in delightfully amazing ways.

Believe it or not, but I've used my copywriting skills to find spouses for two people – one a family member, another a friend – and both told me (after the weddings) that their spouses mentioned that the powerful copy in the initial approach letter/email is what swayed their decision to proceed! (Is there a copywriting niche in there for me, somewhere?!)

And the financial freedom provided by an information business built on Internet marketing skills has funded my travel to many countries, brought me into contact with amazing people, and even led me to have dinner at the British House of Commons!

So yes, Internet marketing skills have touched and changed my life in incredible ways – just as they can yours, if you're willing to give it the good old college try! Fortunately, today, there are excellent teachers and coaches like Nicole Dean who can help speed up your journey to the top. So what are you waiting for?! 🙂

NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

Well, since I was the one who asked the question, you KNOW I have answers. 🙂

1. Raising Awareness.

Those of you who follow me regularly know that I sneak in mention of suicide prevention wherever I can. Suicide is such a preventable thing – usually all someone needs is time — but it's an act that can never be undone. Just last weekend I learned of a woman that I knew with two young kids who killed herself. The damage can never be reversed. Those kids have to live with that forever and it just breaks my heart.

How does Internet Marketing help?

Because I have a large audience, I can sneak in mention of Suicide Awareness (like I'm doing right now) with a link to (where you can learn more).  I'm able to use my platform to make people aware of how they can help those who they love get through difficult times and how to watch for warning signs.

2. Raising Money for Charity.
I recently ran some promos for and promised to donate all profits earned from sales during a specific time period that were sent through affiliates. Because of that promo, I was able to donate over $2000 split between three charities. While it's not a million dollars, I am VERY proud of how many of my affiliates promoted during this period of time AND how many also donated their own affiliate commissions during this promo.

And, yes, I cried when I typed in the comments when I placed the donation to the Children's Gaucher Research Fund in honor of Melissa Ingold's son, Kyle:

This donation is in celebration of the life of Kyle Ingold who passed away in his sleep on June 19, 2010.

In his short life, he touched many hearts and we hope this donation will help him touch more.

Years ago, when I was strapped for cash, I donated as much as I could to charities. But my point is that, because of the business that I've built, I'm able to give more on a regular basis – and that is a very good side benefit of building an online business. 😉

3. Copywriting to Do Good.

It honestly amazes me how copywriting can benefit every area of your life.

You may know that I'm fostering dogs as part of the Emerald Coast Golden Retriever Rescue. A big part of the reason I can do so is because of my flexible work schedule.

Well, part of my duties as a “Foster Mom” is to take pictures of the dogs in my charge and write a description of the dogs that I foster so they can be adopted quickly to good homes. Basically, it's selling via copywriting, right?

Well, our first foster dog got 5 applications the first week. 😉 The rescue said they've never seen anything like it. What can I say? The dog was cute — and I write good copy. lol!

4. This blog post.

Please check out the organizations mentioned in this post. Showcasing worthy organizations was part of my diabolical plan. 🙂

Those are just a few examples. Please leave your thoughts, questions, concerns below. Also share your stories of how you're using your business skills and your reach to make the world a better place. I personally read every comment that comes through.

Nicole Dean

PS. Our list of Experts is growing. If you think of a successful business owner who is making the web and the world a better place (and making good money in the process) and you'd love to see them answer these questions, please contact me and let us know.

Or if you're a successful business owner who meets those criteria and you'd like to contribute – tell me a bit about yourself and we'll get you added to the list. 🙂

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • The Mom

    As I’m not an expert internet marketer, I don’t feel I have much to say on the topic. However, since I am Nicole’s Mom, I take liberties on this blog, as many of you know. 😉

    Nicole does take her marketing seriously and uses it whenever and wherever she can to do good. And like most things in life, the more you give the more you get back. (Those foster pups are just one example… love them!)

    My blog has a small, but growing, following and I took the opportunity to “market” something that I personally gain nothing from, except knowing that maybe a few more women can get mammograms this year. As I am one of the millions and millions of uninsured and un-insurable women (try getting private insurance when you’re a 55+ year old woman) I have to pay for my health care out of my largely empty pocket.

    As I am, and have been, a tax payer my entire life, I find and take advantage of all the programs my taxes pay for. Last year I found out that many hospitals offer low cost and free mammograms to women if they qualify (50 years old or older.) What a God-send for me!

    Anyway, I wanted to share the information and found my blog was a good way to do it.

    Was I using simple internet marketing strategies to spread the word? Maybe a little.

    Did I have something to gain from doing so? Maybe a little.

    I didn’t exactly turn my nose up at the increased traffic to my blog because I optimized a few keywords.

    Are my motives pure? Sure. Did I enjoy the added traffic? Sure.

    You can do good and enjoy the benefits at the same time. I would love it if just one woman got a mammogram this year because she read my blog. I also love watching my stats climb a little because I “used” the opportunity of October Breast Awareness Month to grab some readers.

    I hope my shameful use of keywords and phrases to get traffic to my site results in one more mammogram than if I had let that opportunity slide by.

    Okay, Nicole, I may have wondered off topic a bit, but thought you’d enjoy my thoughts today. I hope your REAL internet marketing readers did, too.

  • The Internet Book

    At some point in time most of us realize that we need to give something back in some way. I think that is why Americans are notoriously such charitable givers. I have spent time donating my services to the local Humane Society website and I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished. The went from a PR-2 to a PR-5 in less than a year and have an active following and newsletter list.

    What a great question to toss out there. In my case I have used what I know (and preach) a number of times to assist other charitable organizations…and even a few individuals who needed the help, but couldn’t afford to pay me. In fact, that was part of the motivation behind my most recent book, which is geared to small businesses that don’t have a marketing budget or staff and can’t afford to hire an outside firm.

    Small mom & pop shops are the lifeblood of our country and this terrible economy hasn’t been kind to them. Helping them get their websites working as hard as they do can do more for their business than almost anything else. Hearing about those successes has made all the difference in the world.

    Keep up the great work, Nicole…yours is a great business that helps a lot of people.

    ~ Tom

    • Nicole

      I agree, Tom.

      I’ve mentioned before on my blog that I’ve got a few offline clients, and it makes me extremely proud to know that I could be the difference between them making it or not.

      Keep up the GREAT work!

  • Christine

    Hi Nicole,

    Just wanted to say that I shared the link to Emerald Coast Golden Retriever Rescue on Facebook.

    I am in SWFL so it might be a bit far for someone to go adopt from there but who knows?


    • Nicole

      My last foster pup was adopted by a great family in Connecticut. So, thank you! Any exposure to rescues and the work they are doing is much much appreciated, whether it’s ours or another one.

  • Devin

    It’s always great to see people who recognize the power of giving. These are all very worthy causes and they are blessed to have people promoting them.

    Though I’m not an internet marketing expert YET, I have been able to use some of the skills I’ve learned to help other people.

    One of my offline clients had a t-shirt sale to benefit Gulf Coast Oil spill victims and I was able to promote the event using an email list we set up in Aweber. The response was amazing!

    I also set up a WordPress site for my family. We’re able to share family reunion information and I’m planning to raise money online for an annual scholarship fund that we use to help family members in college buy books.

    I know the value of charitable contributions and as my business and profits grow, so will my giving.

  • Denise Wakeman

    You bet! I’ve used my online marketing skills to raise $ for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation, to support research for Ovarian Cancer (I was challenged to raise $ for a 5K run using twitter from a friend who is a skeptic – I raised over $500 mostly from people on twitter I didn’t even know!). Most importantly I created a blog, twitter and facebook campaign to raise over $10,000 in microloans for with supports entrepreneurs around the world. My Kiva Challenge continues to this day, over a year and half in ongoing lending from the team I put together through social media.

    Great question, Nicole!

  • Sharon McMillan

    This is the other side of Internet Marketing that doesn’t get enough exposure to wider audiences.

    From my perspective I see Internet marketing offering many people who are unemployed locally and abroad with an opportunity to contribute in positive ways to their business community and to the health and welfare of their own families. Given this economy that’s so important

    Nicole thanks for raising awareness about such worthwhile causes like (that’s a new one for me) and the power we have to help others through this community.

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