Online marketing plays a huge role when it comes to the success (or failure) of your internet business. Whether you decide to sell e-books, affiliate products, concentrate on website publishing, or flip virtual property; without a good marketing strategy, there is little chance that you will see success quickly – if at all.
Understandably, there is much more to making money online than simply throwing up a website and expecting customers to come to you. As in the off-line world, there is a significant effort required to get your name (website) out there and sell your product or services. This is one point that many new Internet marketers miss. As a result, they can spend months, or even years, struggling to make a few dollars here and there.
It’s been said that starting and running a successful online business is harder than running a brick and mortar business in the real world. Whether that’s true or not, the fact of the matter is that making money online seems to have a “get rich quick” stigma attached to it. For those who have been lured by the so-called “easy money,” there are some tough lessons to be learned.
If you treat your Internet venture as a business and you implement sound marketing techniques (as in the real world), you should have a reasonable chance at making it in this competitive environment. At least you’ll have a decisive edge over the majority that underestimate how important it is to be able to market your product online.
Everyone is opting for an online presence these days and the competition has never been tougher. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t carve out a tiny piece of the action for yourself. While you may not be able to compete with the big boys and their multi-million dollar budgets, you can, nevertheless, take advantage of your ability to provide a personal touch (something customers won’t get with big corporate websites). You have an opportunity to go above and beyond for people and get word-of-mouth traffic in return. The thing about that kind of traffic is that they are more likely to buy from you, given that there is a level of trust established already.
Certainly, branding is one of the best things you can do. Whether you run a blog or a full e-commerce website, you should be working on establishing a brand. Get a logo made and include it on everything you have (your website, social media, e-books, emails, and any correspondence). It takes a long time to get a reputation established, but the sooner you start, the better.
It’s possible to get your name out there without spending a dime. This involves leaving comments on other websites/blogs, videos, social media, and various forums. I am not talking about leaving anonymous comments (and your link) on a hundred blogs without contributing something. Generally people are okay with you leaving your website link if you post something sincere and highly relevant to the article or conversation. It also helps if you have left good comments in the past. This gives you some credibility. Sure, starting a relationship with a site owner takes time, but it’s well worth it. Oftentimes, if your site is high quality and relevant, they may give you a link on their main page without you even asking for it.
Spamming is a huge problem. Much of it is automated these days. Website owners feel as though they are under attack and they’re implementing tougher measures to keep it under control. You might be noticing this on your own site. Bottom line: If it feels like you’re spamming, just stop it.
While you may feel that you don’t have to buy traffic, it may be one thing that you could consider – provided you monitor it very closely. Most medium to large websites buy traffic because they make a profit from it. They have tested and tweaked their campaigns to the point that they are getting their money back and then some. In your case, the number one reason you’ll want to buy traffic is to get your name out there, even if you don’t break even in the beginning. Ideally, you should have an offer to help you recoup some money while spreading the word.
Social media represents the biggest opportunity for you. Oftentimes it’s free, but even if you have to pay to get the ball rolling, it’s worth it. Why? Because of the power of sharing.
If you are able to create a few highly sharable items, the sky is the limit. But (and this is a big but), it isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds. I have created dozens of highly shareable items (funny cartoons, witty sayings, quizzes) – things that I was sure would take off – and nothing. Nada, zero, no interest.
So, don’t automatically assume that the clever quiz you just created is going to explode around the world on social media. It is a fickle thing.
If you really understand human psychology and you have been doing this for awhile, then you have a good chance at creating something that takes off. Some people experience beginner’s luck, but are unable to re-create what they’ve done. You’re looking for consistency – and that can only happen with experience.
Some have likened email marketing to turning on a tap whenever you need money. Well maybe it’s not that amazing, but it is still an asset that you should be building. Not everyone is going to buy from you on the spot. Sometimes it takes multiple exposures before a person is convinced. That is why you should be getting their email at a minimum. Once you have the person on your list, you can give them stuff, develop a relationship, and establish trust.
The result? A list of warm prospects that could buy from you many times over in the future.
All this can be completely automated and doesn’t require much intervention once set up. All you need to do is pay for your email service. Over time, it can grow into something extremely valuable. A real asset that is always there for you – as long as you don’t abuse it.
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