Categorized | Internet Marketing

Was Emperor Norton The Father Of Internet Marketing Hustlers?

The Internet is infested by people claiming to be coaches, mentors, copywriters, Internet marketing experts, and search engine optimization geniuses.

Most of the time, their writing is atrocious and their claims incredible and ridiculous. They show themselves as predatory, money-hungry hustlers attempting to victimize Internet newbies arriving online daily seeking business success online

from the Internet Gold Rush.

Should San Francisco’s Emperor Norton get the credit or the blame?

I say, the credit. Now, who was Emperor Norton?

Joshua A. Norton was born in England is 1819. A few years ater, his family

moved to South Africa. He inherited $40,000 but lost it all trying to corner the

rice market. He relocated to San Francisco and declared himself to be Emperor Norton of the United States, and he claimed to be Protector of Mexico, too.

He dressed in a somewhat shabby emperor’s outfit. He was regarded as a

delightful eccentric adding some panache to the city. He dined in the finest

restaurants at no charge and socialized with his subjects.

Like any emperor, he issued decrees. These included dissolving the Congress, charging people using the term “Frisco” with a misdemeanor and abolishing the Democrat and Republican parties. He died in 1880. Having lived and worked in San Francisco in the 1970’s, I can tell you that

Emperor Norton was the not only colorful character. People from the “beat generation” (AKA beatnicks, hippies) arrived in the 1960s.

Next came the “Summer of Love,” impacting the City’s Haight Ashbury area.

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and many European cities followed suit.

The City has an annual “Hooker’s Ball” to help aging, sick prostitutes, attended by elite establishment people. And there’s an “anything goes” group, COYOTE, meaning “Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics.” Like it or not, there’s no place like San Francisco. It’s different. But I still love

it, although I live and work in Florida.

Now, back to Internet hustlers. Just as Norton became a self-declared

emperor, so, too, are many of those pretending to have expertise online

are simply and deceptively self-declared experts. They use terms like coach, mentor, copywriter, Internet marketing expert,

and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists.

Let’s look at what these terms really mean:

1. Coach. The means “a person who trains athletes or athletic teams,”

According to The American Heritage Dictionary. Internet hustlers use the term

“coach” incorrectly in a non-athletic context.

It’s a lot easier for Internet hustlers to self declare themselves “coaches” than

to get education and certification in counseling or psychology.

2. Mentor. Using the same dictionary, mentor means a “wise and trusted counselor.” How can you confer immediate trust on someone you just

met-online? Internet hustlers self declare themselves as mentors incorrectly.

3. A copywriter is someone who writes advertising copy as a profession. A

copywriter is not just anyone who can compose a sentence and self declares

himself/herself to be a copywriter.

4. To claim that you’re knowledgeable in Internet marketing, you first must

have general marketing experience in print, radio, sales promotion, and TV.

Upon that solid base, Internet marketing’s new, unique applications can be added.

It’s impossible to lunge into Internet marketing competently without being rooted and experienced in marketing generally.

As a long term marketing professional myself, 40+ years, I understand why marketers must keep adding new things to a solid marketing foundation. In

any building project, everything depends upon the foundation.

5. Finally, let’s look at Search Engine Optimization people. If one claims the

ability to rank you #1 in Google, end the discussion there. Real SEO requires

specialized search engine knowledge coupled with powerful market strategy


And even with that, you will not be #1 on Google any time soon,

if at all. SEO people cannot influence or compel any search engine to do


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