Ethics Pay Off in Online Marketing

Thu, Dec 31, 2009


To hear some people talk about it, the world of online marketing is nothing more than a den of thieves. The industry is populated by hucksters, liars, charlatans and crooks, according to some. That picture isn’t really accurate, of course, but it isn’t uncommon either. That’s why it’s so important for anyone who hopes to make money online to maintain the highest ethical standards to help combat this ugly perspective on marketing.

Let’s be honest. There’s a reason why so many people have a negative perspective on online marketing. It’s the same reason that the Federal Trade Commission has recently implemented a number of new standards regarding disclosures and the use of testimonials. While most of those involved with online marketing are “on the up and up”, there are just enough bad apples in the barrel to create mistaken perception of the industry as a whole.

The ugliness of this extends beyond the ripped off consumers. It puts the entire industry at risk. The Internet is ripe with profit potential, but the opportunity is contingent upon maintaining some level of trust with consumers.

The “there’s a sucker born every minute” attitude of some lousy online marketing practitioners may allow them to line their pockets will unearned income for awhile, but in the longer run it puts everyone at risk. The more people who suffer at the hands of unscrupulous marketers, the less likely we are to see as many willing buyers for our products and services.

In other words, ethical online marketing isn’t just the right thing to do (although that should be enough reason to stay on the straight and narrow). It’s also the smart thing to do. If you want to build your business, you’ll wnat to build a foundation of trust. If you want to keep making money via the Internet, you’ll also recognize the fact that you have an obligation to yourself to protect the industry from a rotten overall reputation.

Don’t be tempted to play on the edges of legitimacy to turn a fast dollar or two. It isn’t worth the ethical compromise required and it certainly isn’t in the long term interests of online marketing.

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