>> "There is no secret" --- yaa, may be :-).
Maybe there are some true secrets, but not many and as buckworks says, they don't do you a lot of good if the non-secret stuff isn't figured out. Worse than that, they divert your energy and attention and make you think that hard things should be easy.
Let's say that 99.999% of the stuff that's "secret" isn't secret, it just takes work and experience to learn it. If I were to buy 200 halfway decent ebooks on AdSense Secrets, Traffic Secrets, AdWords Secrets, and so forth, I would learn a lot, but none of them are "secrets" in any meaningful sense of the word. That said, the best of those books would no doubt save me time in learning a certain body of knowledge that is otherwise widely available. But so what? Until I put in hours and hours of work to apply that, I'm nowhere. A head full of these pseudo-secrets and $4.95 gets me a latté at Starbucks.
Then there's the other 0.001%. Like, let's say, every nuance of the Google algo. Of course, it's an utter myth to even use the singular for that - the Google algo is a collection of algorithms - indexing, ranking, canonicalization, spam filters and so - so complex that no one person, not Matt Cutts or Sergey Brin, knows half the stuff that's in there. But, a genie suddenly appears and gives me not only the Google algos, but a complete analysis of how best to create pages that appeal to the algos. It would not enable me to suddenly outrank Wikipedia page for page. In fact, once again, this secret probably does me no good whatsoever if I have an otherwise empty head, no good ideas, no writing skills, nothing to offer that people really want, no time to apply what I've learned. A head full of these true secrets and $4.95 still gets me a latté at Starbucks. In fact, for someone who hasn't already achieved a certain level of competence with the unsecret secrets, it probably does me no good at all.
Secrets are like luck, and the famous quip from (I think) Armand Hammer applies: "I notice that the harder I work, the luckier I get."
There is a difference between learning "the secret" and achieving mastery. To the beginner they may look the same. The person who knows "the secret" appears to effortlessly rank sites and rake in cash. And, in fact, she does. But not because one day someone said "shhhh don't tell anyone but..." and told her the secret and week later she was working two hours a week and living on a beach.
Nothing I've every tried in life has worked that way, but maybe I've just never been let in on a real secret.
I know this, though, from my experience in quite another domain. Someone read one of my published pieces and said "I wish it were as easy for me to write as it is for you."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, the words just seem to flow out so quickly and easily for you."
"That piece you read," I replied, "was my tenth draft. By the time I sent it off I hadn't seen any human being other than my wife in eight weeks and my constant resting pulse was 25 beats above normal. I woke up in the middle of the night once and had chest palpitations so bad I thought I was having a heart attack."
"Oh" he said.
So at least for me, in my life and in my experience
There is no secret