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Full time internet marketers, how do you tell people what you do for a living?

By Edited Oct 27, 2013 2 3

Ever since I quit my job to make a living from building websites and making money from affiliate programs, one of the biggest troubles I have had is telling people exactly what I do for a living. When I had a regular job in IT, it wasn't so hard and since most people I met had little interest in IT or computers, the discussion would end there.

Now when I tell people I make money from the internet for a living, people are a little more intrigued, especially since they see that I don't go to an office and I always seem to have time to do anything I like during regular working hours.

It's strange how most people still think that making money from the internet is some kind of scam or you are involved in gambling and adult websites. It is also strange that regular uses of computers and the internet don't really understand how websites make money and are some of the most profitable businesses in the world.

I usually explain how I make travel websites and how I add hotel listings to the website. I then explain how if someone books a hotel through my website I get a percentage of the room rate. Some people are satisfied with this explanation, but other people will be even more confused. I suppose to someone not involved in affiliate marketing, it must seem strange how I can create all of these relationships with hotels and how they can then know and track which customers I have sent them and how I can finally actually get my commission. You can see their minds just ticking over. If you think about it, it is pretty amazing and would be unthinkable ten years ago.

I also spend a lot of my time traveling, so this is often intriguing to people how I can do work while traveling. I know I have had strange stares from people when I sit typing on my computer in some exotic location. I can just imagine them thinking, "what's this guy doing spending his whole holiday using his laptop". Fortunately, it is becoming more common to see people hanging out with their laptops in wifi cafes around the world.

One time I tried to tell someone I was a search engine optimizer, which of course is something I spend a lot of time doing to make money online. The person was a regular internet user, but couldn't believe that were people out there who could influence the results of the listings.

I have also struggled with what job title I should give myself. I spend a lot of my time writing, but if I tell people I am a writer, they just want to know what books I have published or which newspaper or magazine my articles have appeared in. If I say that I am a website developer, you can be sure, they will ask you to make a website for their company. If I explain I don't do design, but I outsource this work, they start to think again what I actually do for a living.

Finally I started calling myself an 'internet marketer' which isn't such a great thing to call yourself in internet marketing circles, but the label seems to work well with most people. Since most people don't know exactly what is an internet marketer, and they don't want to feel stupid by asking what it is exactly you do, the conversation usually changes to another subject without you having to get into explanations about SEO and link building.



Sep 6, 2009 5:24pm
I tell people the basics....but, I usually stop conversations short of SEO....that would take TOO much time...lol...and most people don't seem to get it anyway...it's a science perfected through trial and error
Sep 7, 2009 9:21pm
LMAO - I am pretty sure that several people I have told I make living online think I sell sexy pics of myself or something ROTFL! Its a really hard questiosn to which I am yet to have an adequate answer - I "just play on ther interwebs and make $1000's while I sleep" isn't going to cut it for much longer! Just had to explain it to my accountant - that was fun too!
Mar 18, 2010 11:38am
Hi RetireYoung,
Yeah, I'm an Internet Marketer. Yeah, I like that. In the past couple of years I have experienced the same things. People look at you like your nuts or up to something no good. I try to explain what I do but most people don't get it and get frustrated because they don't get it. Nothing wrong with not getting but don't give me a strange look or make some comment like, OH, you sell scams. When they say that I say if that's what you want to think and smile. Again they look at me like I'm nuts.
I will from now on call myself an Internet Marketer because that is exactly what I am. Thank you so much.
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