If you haven’t yet heard the phrase information overload, you will soon. Unfortunately, not only will you become familiar with the phrase, you are likely to experience the feeling. This overwhelming information overload eventually, if not sooner, happens to the majority of new Internet marketers. What is this thing called information overload?
Well, it is what happens when you feel like you simply have way too much to learn and you have to learn it ALL, now!!! This idea that you have to acquire this excess of knowledge immediately can cause you to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and more confused than before you even started.
Information overload happens easily with this industry because there are so many concepts you have to learn. Each concept can lead to an endless array of opportunities that can send you down multiple rabbit holes as you struggle to untangle everything.
Causes of information overload
For example, you can be a product owner and an affiliate at the same time. You can use article marketing, social marketing, or pay per click campaigns to sell either your products or affiliate products you are marketing. Then you have to start learning what all those initials mean like SEO, PPC, PPV, CPI, CSS, CRM, PLR, CMS, B2B, B2C, FBX, and even ESP. No, not the reading your mind type of ESP.
As a newbie, you may not know much about any of the above. Suddenly, you have been thrust into an environment where everyone’s opinions differ. At the end of the day – heck, maybe even by the time you get your morning coffee, you don’t know where to even start learning all this stuff.
Believe you me, I have been there – in fact, sometimes I go back and visit old man Overload when I am trying something new. And these are some of the things I have learned to avoid staying overwhelmed for long.
Calming down when panicked
The first thing to do is to take a deep breath. That’s right – a deep breath. Now. Now scream at the top of your lungs.
Just kidding, everyone. Take another deep breath and then work to calm down those feelings you are having. Easier said than done. So, how do you reduce pressure this pressure? The next two key steps are internal – things you need to do to bring you’re your sense of calm. These will take the pressure off of you because many of the feelings you are having are a result of pressure you have put upon yourself.
Rethinking what you need to know
The first is to realize that all the information you need to digest isn’t going anywhere. The information will be available to you tonight, next week, and a year from now. Or longer. So, you can take your time learning everything you need to learn because the information will continue to be available.
The second thing that it is hyper-important for you to internalize is this: It is OK if it takes you longer to learn all the information you need to learn to build your business. Often, we put a limit on ourselves thinking that we HAVE to start making money in the first month – or even the first year. In reality, we are start at different places and it will take us different times to start making money. Make plans and set goals – but if you don’t meet them, don’t panic. Just revise your goals. Measure progress and only compare yourself to yourself – not to some blogger that tells you they made $6000 the first month they started blogging.
Calmer now? Good. Because, the bottom line is this. It is very very difficult to learn something new when you are in a panic. So, now that you are calm, how do you move forward to learn everything that you do need to learn?
Work on chunks of information
Don’t invest in a guide about Google AdWords, another about Squidoo, and another one about Private Label Rights all at the same time. This will increase your pressure to learn it all. Now, now, now. So, instead, work to learn one concept at a time.
There’s an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “One bite at a time.” Well, Internet marketing is your elephant. You have to choose whether you want to eat the ear, the foot, or the tail section first. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter whether you start out learning about social marketing before you know the ropes of article marketing.
The idea is instead that as you educate yourself about one concept, put that knowledge to work for you. For example, as long as you read the social marketing guide and apply that insight to a method of making money, you are making progress.
Focus on the most important concepts first
Some things won’t make sense to learn before others. If you know you have no money to start with, then don’t buy (or even download for free) a guide about pay per click marketing because you will not have the money to do this yet. If you try to learn it while you are also learning about everything else, then you increase your sense of panic. Instead, start with something you can do.
As you are working to learn everything, try not to rush forward too fast. I had this problem when I first started because I fell into the “Learn how to build a blog in one day” trap. Because I wanted to make a million dollars overnight. You understand – right? Anyway, I threw that thing together fast. Not one day, but fast. And started loading it with articles.
Then, I found out you couldn’t just throw out articles because they need things like photos. And SEO tweaks. Or And. . . Well, you do get the idea. What happened by feeling like I had to do it all fast was first a feeling of being overwhelmed. Panic set in. I had to learn more and learn it faster. Then, I had to find out more about that.
Search for support
When I couldn’t even think through the panic, then I had to sit back and start nibbling on the elephant. In essence, I had to start over at square one and decide what I needed to know to move forward. At that point, I decided to invest my time in a company that provided training and a step-by-step way to move forward. They were instrumental in providing support and guidance when I got lost. And could provide information on every topic I needed, when I needed it to move forward.
The good thing is that they provide a guide for free that will step you through the process without cost. If you decide they are worthy – and I think you will, then you can move forward to get advanced and ongoing support and help. In this way, you can immerse yourself in one topic or concept before moving on to the next.
Regrouping to avoid panic
Now, having shared this, I wish I could say that I never suffered from information overload again. But, I think this is something that Internet marketers fall prey to all the time. This is probably because things are changing so fast online and new products or methods of making money seem to be available every day.
So, when I begin a new tactic, I have to begin learning anew. When this happens, I still take a deep breath. Then another. Then, I remind myself that the information will be there tomorrow. And I will master it and be successful at a pace that meets my knowledge, skills, and schedule. I eat that elephant one bite at a time. And you can too.