All the information in the world won't do you a lick of good if you don't develop the skill needed to apply it successfully.

Many people who spend a small fortune on internet marketing training products fail. Then they turn around and claim that the methods the gurus are teaching don't work.

The gurus and their fan clubs respond that it's the students' fault for not applying what they were taught.

Who's right?

Both. And neither.

True, some of what's taught doesn't work. Or at least it only works by sheer luck or if you already have the right contacts and resources, and isn't reliably repeatable.

And sure, some people fail because they read the material, make a token effort at applying only part of it, and then give up.

One point that the gurus often fail to stress enough, and many students ignore even if they know it, is that reading an eBook and knowing what to do and even how to do it doesn't automatically mean you'll be able to do it.

You may know in precise detail exactly how to shoot a basketball, but that doesn't mean you'll get it in the hoop the first time you try. Nor the second. Nor the third.

Heck, even the pros miss over half the shots they take.

Consider copywriting. You may know that the headline is one of the most important elements of your sales letter. You may know that your headline needs a hook to draw visitors into your sales copy. You may know what kinds of things make good hooks. You may know whether short or long headlines work better, what fonts and colors work best, a whole slew of words and phrases that have been used successfully, and a million other things about writing great headlines that are 100% true.

But when you sit down to write a headline for your sales letter, if you can't successfully apply that knowledge to your product, your target market, and the particular traffic stream that'll be coming to this sales letter, your headlines may seem to follow the formula perfectly and yet still be horribly ineffective.

Reader Comment:
Pam Palmer said:
Experience is the key, greatly written. What works for some may not work for others, even if you follow their advise. Some people are really good at making money from adsense while others are good at email marketing. Trial and error is the key, the m...
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It takes skill. And skill takes practice and experience.

There's a difference between practice and experience. Practice is like going out on the basketball court by yourself and learning to make shots from anywhere on the floor. It's useful, but it's not the same as making shots when there are 5 people on the floor trying to block you or steal the ball, and 50,000 people in the stands screaming for...or against you.

Experience in internet marketing is what you get when you split test headlines, find out which one's work and which don't, and start to get a feel for the difference between the two.

Experience is what you get when you ask people for feedback and listen not just to their words, but to their tone, to how quickly they respond, to whether they sound like they're trying to soften the blow and protect your feelings, etc. (And then use split testing to validate the feedback -- people who are reading to give feedback will often tell a different story than test results from people who are reading to decide whether or not to buy or subscribe.)

Gurus who are selling "quick, easy and cheap" methods aren't going to tell you that it takes practice and real life experience to get good at internet marketing. They may tell you that "I learned by experience, by failing over and over. Lucky you, you get to learn from my mistakes so you won't have to repeat them."

But the truth is that, while you can gain valuable knowledge by studying their experiences and the lessons they learned, just like them, you'll need to work and gain your own experience to develop the skill you need to succeed.