Greatest Obstacle to Online Success? Confusion.

confused-flickr-kristian_d2I was reading an online interview of a blogger that was becoming really well known in Asia and he said one thing that struck me when asked about one of the biggest problems he’s faced online.

He said, simply, “Confusion.”

I think this resonates with a few million people in the USA alone. There’s a good reason for that…

Online success in whatever area you’re operating demands mastery of that area, or at least a very high level of functioning. It is not only difficult to reach this level in whatever area online you’re trying to master – it’s seems impossible sometimes.

The reason? Those that have mastery of the idea dont’ seem to be writing tutorials for beginners that don’t have the necessary background needed to grasp an idea. There just aren’t. I’ve looked and rarely do I find something written at a level that I understand it.

For example, when you were trying to learn about RSS… Did you ever find an excellent tutorial that explained from step 1 what RSS is and how to use it to your advantage?

Have you found something that teaches you how to FTP something that explains all the parts of the big picture?

Have you found a step by step instruction set that tells you exactly what you need to do to protect your computer and yourself from all the harm that could befall you online?

Nobody is teaching the big picture. That’s the problem. Explaining something from the standpoint of the big picture means taking it from the beginning. A tutorial must help EVERYbody that wants to learn, not just those to whom the author is equal with in knowledge. Tutorials assume too much, which loses people in the learning process.

I’m at a fairly high level of knowledge about all kinds of areas of IT. I still run into (everyday) an explanation of something that gives a tiny slice of the picture, and doesn’t really explain it to me well. I still need to go research and figure out the other parts of the big picture so I can put all this knowledge together and use it for myself.

I’m confused multiple times every single day. Anyone else feeling like that?

Confusion can get you down. It can give you this negative opinion about yourself… as if you’re not smart enough to learn something quickly. Really it has nothing to do with how smart you are at all. It relates more to how you learn. It’s difficult to find a teacher that’s teaching exactly in the way you need to learn.

Confusion is  a major part of reaching success in whatever area online you’re trying to master. Keep pushing past the confusion until you have it down, inside and out. Confusion means you’re learning. Confusion means you’re pushing yourself into an area you were previously ignorant about.

I’ve pretty much given up trying to find tutorials to teach me things that make sense to me. I’ve tried over these 11 years I’ve been involved in internet marketing to learn hundreds, thousands of skills. Usually I find that I can get a piece here, get a piece there… eventually I piece it all together and come to a complete understanding of a topic. That’s the way I’ve learned over these years. It’s just as much work searching for tutorials that teach me in the way I learn as it is to go piece together the big picture on my own.

Learn all you can about online marketing, sales, PPC, SEO, web dev, email lists, and the thousands of other tools to help you accomplish something online.

If you’re trying to be successful online you have a lifetime of learning ahead of you. Get comfortable with that and offer to help those that don’t quite “get” something you know inside and out. Give them the big picture and encourage them to ask any questions about anything to help them advance their knowledge.

You can contact me through leaving comments here – ask me a question about something (non-SEO related) that you’re having trouble wrapping your head around and I’ll either:

  • help you if I can, or…
  • refer you to look somewhere else that might have the info

No question is too small or big – give it a shot… ask. If I can help, I’ll be happy to. If not – I’ll try to point you in another direction where the answer might be hiding.

Best of Life!


(Photo: member, Kristian D. Creative Commons Licensed (BY:))

2 thoughts on “Greatest Obstacle to Online Success? Confusion.”

  1. Vern –
    Great point – you’ve just given me a great idea for providing this type of information.

    I too have struggled – it doesn’t matter how technically advanced you are, if an area is new to you – like RSS feeds, or in my recent case, osCommerce, you can search all day and waste a lot of time. If everything was explicitly spelled out and easy to understand, you could get things done much faster. I’ve lost entire weekends troubleshooting stuff and there’s not much that’s more frustrating than that. There’s loads of information available, but sometimes you’re not really sure what you should be looking for.

    • Hi Randy,

      Yep, until you find that one article that has everything you need… it tells you the whole picture. What it is all about. Why you need to know it. How you need to do it – and gives specifics and the why of each specific… There are VERY few tutorials like this. I hope to create some here in the next few months. Thanks for coming by my friend…

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