DANNY DE HEKnbsp» Entrepreneur Decision Maker Connector Podcaster EducatorThis is a series of blogs written by Danny de Hek with the goal to give you more insight and control of your own Internet marketing without being exploited by Website Design & Development + SEO companies.

Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing a set of articles on WEBSITE ARCHITECTURE, DOMAIN NAMES, EMAIL, Web Hosting, CONTENT, Maintenance, Search Engine Optimisation and Paid Advertising.

What’s my background, how long have you got? My claim to fame – I started the first Internet cafe in Christchurch with a friend back in 1995 it was called The Email Centre on Worcester Boulevard. People who used to come and use our cyber services taught me how the Internet worked, looking back it was enough to make me dangerous. At that time my expertise was getting people with computers onto the Internet and teaching them how to surf the World Wide Web.

After 12 months I gained enough knowledge simply by looking over peoples shoulders, asking questions and seeing what others were using the Internet for. I learnt to be able to set up a basic website. One day I decided to sell everything I owned to buy a laptop and shortly after I maxed out my credit card with one of the first digital cameras that came to the market. I was equipped and ready to rock and roll as a mobile internet consultant.

I used to travel around New Zealand claiming to be New Zealand’s leading Internet consultant. For a one time setup cost of $300 and monthly hosting, promotion and maintenance for $30 a month, businesses could have a web presence within New Zealand’s Information Network. At one point I represented 45 different rental car brands, tourism companies and many accommodation providers throughout New Zealand. I was self appointed but I certainly made a big impact on the travel and tourism industry in New Zealand which earned me a six-figure income along the way.

Being dyslexic and not being able to read and write, I kind of stood out like a sore thumb. I received a lot of criticism in an industry that wasn’t regulated by so-called peers, known these days as keyboard warriors. However it made me stronger and more determined to succeed, the old saying “no such thing as bad press” was certainly true in my case, the fact is it put me on the map!

A few years later as the internet became more prominent and competitive, web development companies would approach my clients with flashy website designs which I couldn’t compete with. Understandably many of my clients wanted to take control of their own Internet services in house. This was my turning point, I re-strategised and invested time in myself and started doing a lot of affiliate marketing and commission based work. With a little luck one of my affiliate sites started generating $40,000 worth of profit each month. That site used to get 25,000 IP visits per day, the knowledge I learnt at that time was the real value.

These days I own and run ELITE : SIX business networking and continue to look after a handful of loyal website clients, and I run a few drop shipping websites of my own. A lot of the knowledge I’ve learnt from marketing other people‘s businesses and having my own sites, has kept me in the know and a leader in the industry of Internet marketing.

The main purpose for writing this is because I always get people struggling to figure out why their website doesn’t work. They often have spent thousands of dollars in the design of their website only to be told by the same companies, that they now need to pay a tonne of money for the marketing and advertising. I’m sick and tired of people getting ripped off by these companies simply because people aren’t educated and they are taken advantage of.

In an ideal world I would love people to come and see me before they start anything to do with Internet marketing, as a lot of people are getting exploited. With a little consultation we can save a lot of money and educate them where the money is best being spent. Some businesses can get more marketing power from a Facebook page as they can from having their own website.

Why wouldn’t you ask an expert who has more than 20 years of practical experience, before you invest your money with an Internet company that is more concerned about paying their staff wages than growing your business.