Internet Marketing Strategies and Techniques
This guide to Internet Marketing Strategies and Techniques has been written with a view to providing help and advice to anyone who would like to try their hand at marketing online.
Many people dream of 'giving up the day job' and making a living online. The problem is that they simply do not know how to begin.
The first thing that you need to realize is that internet marketing is hard work! At least in the initial stages.
It is not an easy way to 'get rich quick', despite what many of the adverts and emails you receive would have you believe.
Marketing on line is like any other business. It takes time and hard work to become a success!
This is not to say that you cannot make money with an online business, lots of people do so every day.
Just do not run away with the idea that you are going to make a fortune overnight with little or no effort. It simply isn't going to happen!
Learning the basic internet marketing strategies you will need is not too difficult. Putting these techniques and strategies into practice is where most people tend to struggle.
According to some reports that I have read (I have no way of knowing if they are correct) 90% of people who get into internet marketing make no money at all. In fact many of them actually end up losing money. I can believe this!
Of the 10% that make money only about half of them make a reasonable income.
Do you still want to give Internet Marketing a go?
Many people who claim to be marketing online have simply not taken the time to learn the internet marketing strategies that they need to put into practice. They are doing no more than placing the odd advert, CPA offer or affiliate link on their site and expecting the money to roll in. They are not really running a proper internet business!
Without putting in the time and effort that is required you will have little chance of making a success of your 'online business'.
I do however firmly believe that providing you follow sound Internet Marketing Strategies, and are prepared to work at it, you can make a reasonable amount of money online. It just needs lots of effort and patience!
Most people who have been successful and really understand about Internet Marketing Strategies agree that, just like any other business, you need to prepare a business plan. In fact a number of reports I have read suggest that you should in fact prepare a three or five year plan.
Your internet marketing strategy for the first year is simply to lay the foundation for your business. During this first year you may, or may not, make any real money.
Once the foundations are in place you can begin to develop and grow your business and hopefully begin to see some financial rewards.
Of course you may be lucky and begin to be successful much quicker than this. Many people are. Just don't assume that it will happen automatically. Be prepared to be patient.
The majority of people working online will generally have a website that is promoting a product (or products) relating to their niche. These can be either physical or digital products.
The big benefit of doing any sort of business online is that your 'store' never closes. The internet works 24/7 so your customers can reach you (and buy from you) any time of the day or night! This being the case you can be making money even whilst you are asleep. This is often referred to as earning a passive income!
As the 'The Complete Guide to Internet Marketing' website develops I will try to provide information on as many Internet Marketing Strategies and techniques as I can.
Many of these will probably relate to affiliate marketing as this is the area that I am most familiar with.
If there are techniques or products I find that I think may be of interest to you, and help you with your business, I will try to write about them for you.
I am not (and do not claim to be) an expert or 'guru' when it comes to internet marketing. I have however gained some knowledge about the subject over the past few years which I feel may be useful to others.
The main subjects that will be discussed are likely to be:
- Setting up and maintaining a website.
- Optimizing you Website for Google.
- Keyword Research.
- Niche Research Techniques.
- Getting Traffic to your Site.
- Monetizing your Website.
- Online Marketing Product Reviews.
- Anything else that I feel may be of interest.
Until recently building website and Online Marketing was nothing more than a hobby for me. I had a full time 'proper business' which took up the majority of my time. As a result I only had a limited amount of time to devote to internet marketing. The time available would vary dramatically from week to week.
I understood the basic Internet Marketing Strategies and Techniques that I needed to follow but, due to time restrictions, was not always able to follow them.
My situation is now a little different (read my 'about me page') and I have more time on my hands. I am, hopefully, now going to be able to devote more time to internet marketing projects.
Some of this time will be spent keeping this website updated. The rest of the time will be spent working on other niche websites that I have.
With a bit of luck somewhere along the way I will also make some money!
Internet Marketing Strategies for a Successful Online Business
In most cases the first step that is required is to set up your own website. It is possible to make money online without having a website but I believe that having your own website is extremely important. There are certainly far more money making opportunities available for those with a website.
Setting Up a Website
Designing, setting up and published your first website online can be a little daunting if you have no experience.
There are a number of things that you have to consider before you even begin to start thinking about your actual website design.
The first thing to consider is whether you want to build your website for free or whether you are prepared to make a small financial investment.
Free website builders
There are a number of free options available if you wish to use them. The most well known of these include Wix, Weebly, Yola, Jimbo, Squarespace, WordPress, Moonfruit and Blogger, amongst others.
Each of the above options really are 'free'. You do not have to spend any money at all to get your website up and running. You will be given a domain name and the site will be hosted absolutely free of charge.
It all sounds a little too good to be true. What is the catch?
Actually there is no catch and for some people the free option will work perfectly.
If, for example, you simply want a website/blog for your personal use then one of the free website options will be all you need.
The majority of free website providers make it extremely easy for you to construct a website.
You are usually given the option of choosing from a list of pre-designed templates which you then personalize.
In many cases it is simply choosing various options from a drop down menu and/or 'dragging and dropping' elements into the position you want them.
You are able to add your content (text, graphics and even videos) into your blog/website. There is very little, or no, technical know-how required.
The end result does, for all intents and purposes, look reasonably professional.
Even a total beginner can construct a basic website in only a few hours.
You can also, at least to some extent, use a free website for your business. Many people will in fact be perfectly happy using a free website for their business. It all depends on exactly what you require and what you want to be able to do with your site.
There are however a number of reasons why you might prefer to have your own self hosted site!
What are the problems with using free websites for online marketing?
I personally believe that there are a number of downsides to using a free website for online marketing!
Although the free website builders allow you choose your own domain name it will always simply be a sub-domain of that providers own site (example: http://yourdomainname.weebly.com). You will not be able to choose a '.com' or '.net' option for your site
Because of this everyone who visits your website will know that your site has been built on a free platform.
This is not a problem if it is simply your own personal blog that you will share with friends. For business related websites I believe it can be a problem.
Self hosted sites do however (in my opinion) help to project a more professional image if you are a business user.
Secondly free blogging platforms also tend to restrict the number of pages that you can publish on your blog/website. This may be as low as three pages in some instances. Obviously this is a major problem for online marketers and limits the Internet Marketing Strategies and techniques that can be employed.
There are also a number of the free providers that have gone out of business in recent years. Anyone unfortunate enough to have built a site through one of these companies will lose lose their complete sites, including all of the contents and backlinks. There is also no option to move your website to another provider or hosting company.
There is often no facility available to back up your website. Some of the larger providers (such as Weebly) do allow you to back up your site to a zip file for archiving. They do however include a warning that, should you wish to move your site to another host, some of the data (including blog posts) will be lost!
(See the screen shot below)
In reality the only real option is to start from scratch again with a new provider!
Any new provider will however supply you with a totally new domain name so any following that you have built up will be lost. This will obviously be a serious problem for anyone using the site for business purposes.
If you are completely new to the internet and website design however using one of the free website services will allow you to gain a little bit of experience without having to part with any money. When you progress to a paid service the experience you have gained will help you to progress.
It is also worth noting that several of the free website providers also have paid upgrades. This usually means that you are able to use their website builders but the domain name restrictions are lifted (you can use the .com, .net etc suffixes).
Using these 'free providers' for paid hosting is however generally substantially more expensive than dedicated hosting companies like HOSTGATOR, BLUEHOST or GODADDY.
Build your own Self Hosted Website
If you are serious about running an online marketing business then a self hosted website is essential.
Many of the Internet Marketing Strategies that you will want to use are far more successful if you have your own self hosted site.
Having your own self hosted website enables you to choose your own top level domain name ( www.exampledomain.com), you are no longer restricted to using a subdomain.
Your website can then be published via any hosting company you choose.
Once you have bought your domain name it is yours for as long as you want it.
These are a few of the benefits of having your own self hosted website:
You have complete control over the way the site looks.
You can create as many pages and posts as you wish.
You can easily move from one hosting company to another.
- You can take your domain name with you when you move.
Although reference is made to buying a domain name what you are really doing is renting (or leasing) the domain for a period of time. Domain names can be leased from one to ten years. When your lease is about to expire you are offered the option to renew if you wish to do so
There are a huge number of applications (or scripts) available for website building. These include WordPress, Joomla, Mambo, Magento, Drupal just to mention a few.
Most of these types of website/blogging platforms are collectively known as CMS (content management) systems.
You will have noticed that WordPress appears in both the list of free and self hosted options.
The free version of WordPress is referred to as WordPress.com. The domain names issued on the WordPress.com platform will include the word 'wordpress' in the domain name and will look something like this (domainname.wordpress.com).
If you use the self hosted version of the WordPress platform (Wordpess.org) to create a self hosted site then you have complete control over the domain name you choose.
Having a self hosted site with domain names that end .net, .com. .uk etc look far more professional than the free offerings if you are using the site for business.
Is it expensive to set up your own website?
The cost of having a self hosted site is quite inexpensive. Domain names can usually be bought (leased) from around $10.00-$15.00 per anum. Hosting deals can be found online from as little as $3.95 per month. This makes the cost of a self hosted site approximately $60-70.00 per anum.
One note of warning!! Please be a little careful when you are choosing a hosting company. Some of the prices shown on the introductory offers rise steeply when you reach your renewal date. Always check to see what the second year of hosting will cost you before you commit yourself.
If, as I do, you have a number of websites you can get hosting packages that enable you to have multiple websites hosted for a set fee per annum. In my case I have a hosting deal that allows me to have an unlimited number of sites hosted for one very reasonable fee. This reduces the annual hosting cost per site significantly.
You do not need any technical skills to get up and running with a self hosted website. The majority of the web hosting company's have an 'easy install option' for most of the major site creation scripts (wordpress, joomla, drupal etc). This enables you to get your new website up and running in just a few clicks.
It is worth mentioning that approximately 25% of all websites use the WordPress script. It is also the platform that this site is built on. All of the Internet Marketing Strategies and techniques that you are likely to want to use can be implemented on WordPress.
I would highly recommend WordPress to anyone who is considering building a website for the first time. It is an easy platform to work with and the themes and plugins that are available make it suitable for every type of online marketing.
Get Someone Else to Build your Website for You
If you really do not want to build your own website then there are plenty of people who will build your site for you.
Obviously this is far more expensive than creating a site yourself.
If you choose this route you will still probably find that your website will be created using WordPress or one of the other CMS platforms.
Bear in mind that if you are using the site for online marketing you will want to be able to add content to the site yourself. In order to be able to do this you will need to have a working knowledge of the system. You will also want to have control over the Internet Marketing Strategies that are used on the site to ensure that you are able to achieve the goals you set yourself.
Website Design and Layout
Many people worry because they do not have any graphic design abilities. This is not necessarily a problem. Applications, such as WordPress, have thousands of themes and templates that you can use and it really is just a matter of adding graphics (which can be found online) where required.
If you want to get some ideas about how you want your site to look all you really need to do is do a Google search for other sites in the same niche.
If you only want to see sites that have been created with WordPress simply add the term 'powered by wordpress' after your keyword in the search bar (Keyword+”powered by wordpress”).
You can also find out which theme has been used for the site as well if you wish to do so.
Once you find a layout you like simply follow the same style for your own website.
Just Go For It!
Online marketing is not difficult to do. It is just a matter of learning a few basic internet marketing strategies and techniques.
There is money to be made but online marketing requires work. It is a scalable business, the more effort you put in the bigger the rewards.
If you are serious about wanting to get into internet marketing you really do need your own website. For any business related site I personally would always go for a self hosted website rather than one of the free offerings.
My platform of choice would undoubtedly be WordPress. It is the most used and most versatile system available. WordPress sites are easy to construct and work with. Virtually every type of website imaginable can be constructed using WordPress.
There is of course a 'learning curve' involved in building your own website for the first time. With WordPress however there are loads of tutorials available to help you and it really is not that complicated anyway.
There are a number of Internet Marketing Strategies and Basic Techniques that you need to master but none of these are too complicated.
Just go for it! What have you got to lose!