A problem many online marketers face is their tendency to jump from one type of marketing to another. The latest, greatest marketing tools just sounds so much better than whatever they’ve been doing, and there are some big names out there telling them how wonderful it is.

There’s one problem many don’t consider. If you don’t know your basics, you probably won’t do so well with the new things. Chasing the shiny new ideas won’t help you.

That’s the point of a post over at The Lazy Marketer I read over the weekend, and I have to agree with it. New doesn’t mean better. Not with razors and not in marketing. It just means new.

Some ways I find that kind of funny. Take a look at what we’re doing when we market online, all of us. It’s basically all pretty new in one sense. We’re using a relatively new technology to sell our products and services or to earn commissions.

But at the same time, the principles aren’t all that different. You have to know who you’re selling to. You can’t sell if you don’t know your target market. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing pay per click, article marketing or social media marketing. Any of it can be a waste of time if you don’t know something as basic as what your target market wants. That’s true even if you’re sending print ads through the mail.

If you’ve had an online business for long, you’ve probably had some successes. What were they? Are you still using them? Why or why not?

These are things you need to ask yourself, especially when you are considering going into some other sort of marketing. Sure, you don’t want to be behind the curve, but what does that really mean? Do you understand what you’re doing now well enough to make a different tactic worth adding on? Can you manage both?

It’s rarely a good idea to drop something that’s working for something new. Even if you’re just starting to make it work, why bring yourself lower on the learning curve with a new marketing method? Are you really ready for that change or should you keep working on what you know something about?

Don’t get me wrong. There are benefits to be had from using social sites such as Facebook and Twitter if you know what you’re doing with them. There are people gaining huge benefits from having their businesses on those sites. That doesn’t mean you will.

The other problem is that you may not get the whole story on how to make the new idea work. Does it really help you to just hear that having a Facebook page for your business is beneficial? What does that really tell you about how to set one up?

Your first priority in your online business should always be the things that are making money for you. When you have time after those are taken care of, then look at trying new things. If they don’t work for you or take a while to learn, you’ve still got your basics taking care of your income needs. You can make the growth happen as you learn in your own time.

Use the new things as appropriate, but remember they don’t always produce the income you’re after. Knowing where your paying customers are, where the money will come from, and targeting that area, will produce a far more stable online business than chasing after new techniques just because they’re new.