Internet Marketing Essentials
Part I: Introduction
Internet marketing is essential to major businesses and to many small businesses. In fact, many Internet businesses found a presence on the Internet long after the business was established. Some large corporations were very slow to get on the Internet. The purposes of a large business on the Internet and a small business may be quite different.
A large corporation wants a presence on the Internet. They want name and brand recognition. Many large corporations have distributors. A good example is an automobile manufacturing company. They want to present their products on the Internet but they do not want to sell them there. That is the job of the dealer and they will direct you to a dealer near your home.
Some of these companies do not have dealers per se, but their products are readily available in supermarkets and drugstores. They are not going to direct you to one of their dealers because they don’t have any dealers, they have distributors, but they do want you to recognize their products.
These large companies also use television to advertise their products, specific products that solve a specific problem. For example, the pharmaceutical industry is well known for this. We are constantly bombarded by their commercials for some drug that relieves symptoms that may cause serious side effects. “Ask your Dr. About Drugcrap!”
Small companies usually want to sell on the Internet. They have a product line and they would like to present it to folks on the Internet and give them an opportunity to buy the product. I know a couple who sell doll parts. They had a good business, almost word-of-mouth. They put their products on the Internet and increased their sales several times in a very short time.
My son is a veterinarian but he sold Irish flutes and whistles and such for many years. I told him he should put the products on the Internet. He was already selling on eBay, but when he set up a website, his sales grew dramatically.
He had a long mailing list. He simply told the people on the list about his new side. Therefore his business was an instant success.
He has an interest in herbs so recently we sent him up in a new site. He notified his customers about his new site and went about lecturing and selling a book that he wrote specifically to sell at his lectures.
He is like King Midas. He needs to be like Midas because he has 15 children, many of whom are now in college.
The Dilemma of New Internet Marketers
Internet gurus, presenting themselves as Internet marketing experts, lead many to marketing on the Internet. They have a “system” guaranteed to make you rich. What they really have is a system to make themselves rich. So they mislead and discourage people from ever taking a proper approach to Internet marketing.
I hear many say they want a fool, proof step-by-step method, of making money on the Internet. Many of these dreamers have been corrupted by the gurus.
Folks new to Internet marketing often have little or no sense of business. They don’t think of Internet marketing as being a business. They think you simply set up a website and put a few products on the website and that people will “come banging at the doors.”
The conception is that every site on the Internet is visited by many thousands of people. Actually, some sites are hardly visited at all. I’ve had a few of those sites (dogs) over the years.
It’s true that spiders crawl the Internet but they are selective. They are looking for significant content. Some sites are selected for top listing but most are not.
The Internet is a place where people go to find answers to questions. They are there to find a solution to a specific problem.
It is true that not all those who surfs the web are looking for a product. For example the World Wide Web, it’s great capacity to handle huge amounts of traffic, was established by the pornography industry. Some people are looking for this kind of content called smut.
Some surfers want historical information. Some are looking to learn how to do something. Maybe they want a salt water taffy recipe.
If they are looking for a particular product, they often go to Amazon or other large stores.
Something special is needed to compete with such giants.
It is not a big club.
It is that special market which is called a niche market.
Part II: Niche Marketing
A niche market may be defined as a small segment of a large market.
Say that the large market is auto parts. Is “tires” a niche market?
No, because Niche markets are created.
Pink tires with purple polka dots might be a niche market.
Is that true?
No, it is not.
The reason is that there is no market for pink tires with purple polka dots. Have you seen any cars running around with tires that are pink with purple polka dots?
You have? Where, at the circus?
Small Markets Versus Niche Markets
Just because a market is small does not mean that it is a niche market. Just because a market is specialized does not mean that it is a niche market. To find a niche market, you must obtain a sharp spade and find a need, or perceived need, that is not being filled.
To find a niche market you must study a market, mingle with the people in the marketplace, and find out what they are saying and doing. If you are like my son and already part of a special group, then you have an advantage.
If there are people in the marketplace that are looking for something specific that they have not found, it may be a niche market.
Perhaps you can supply a solution to a specific problem that some part of the market population is looking for.
Looking for a Refrigerator
I have used this example before, so being old and senile, I’ll use it again:
You decide that you need a new refrigerator, as I did yesterday.
What do you do?
I went to the local hardware store first.
I did not find a refrigerator there that I wanted.
So I drove to Twin Falls, taking my wife’s care-giver along to make sure that I bought the right refrigerator.
To make the story short, I purchased the refrigerator from one of those large hardware / lumber stores that have driven many neighborhood hardware stores out of business.
But I could have gone to a Mall.
My thinking would be that I would go to one of the largest department stores like Sears and buy a refrigerator. That store would be a mall anchor store.
So I what would I do?
I would drive into the parking lot and perhaps I would catch a whiff of the odor coming from the food mart. So on my way to Sears I would grab an Orange Julius and a slice of pizza.
Now I would walk down the hallowed halls of the mall looking in the windows of the larger anchor stores and the many smaller shops along the way. I might see a low cost for a quality laptop computer. I might drop in that store and purchase it.
Now with my computer under my arm, I pass a kiosk where a pretty young lady tempts me with a pair of sunglasses. She says they make me look distinguished so I buy a pair.
With sunglasses on, a young man sells me a new case for my cell phone. Finally, I find a refrigerator at the anchor store and leave the mall.
Note that I bought a lot of stuff besides the refrigerator. This is called impulse buying. It occurs when folks visit Amazon.com. Fore that reason, many affiliate marketers promote Amazon.com products. The buyer might buy much more than the product being promoted bringing higher commissions for the affiliate marketer.
Did I visit any niche markets in the Mall?
Popular Products and Consumer Products
Products that are sold in your local supermarket, anchor stores and shops in malls and in hardware stores are not niche markets. You have to find something specific to a small segment of a market that is not being supplied.
That is the dilemma of new marketers. Finding a niche market is not all that easy to many.
You can not just reach up into the air and grab one.
It takes research of the market and you need to know the people in the market and you should communicate with that community. You should become a member of that community.
Many people have started an Internet business simply by using what they have learned from their hobbies and activities. Some have taken special knowledge they have to build a business. The bottom line is that no resource should be overlooked. One successful man liked to juggle so he built an online store.
Part III: What are People Looking for on the Internet
Finding a Niche Market
There are a number of ways to search for a niche market.
One way is to go to DMOZ, the Open Directory Project, and look at the main categories from Art to Sports. Select a major topic and then dig down into the subcategories. Once you find a narrow interest, then go to the Internet and search for forums on that subject. There, join a few forums and start contributing. Get to know folks and see what they are in need of or where there is at least a perceived need.
Amazon is another great place to find small markets. So is Ebay. You can see what the top sellers are for example. Sometimes such products will fit into the content of your website and you can earn commissions from Amazon, etc. But the thing to remember is that you are searching for markets.
If you go to ubersuggest.org, you can search subjects in many different languages and from six different sources including the Internet. You will find thousands of keywords and keyword phrases which you can evaluate with a keyword tool. You can also find keywords by looking at Google Suggest, the keywords Google shows you as you type in their search box.
I suggest JAAXY as your keyword tool. You can make a number of free searches before you subscribe. You will be able to find the number of searches being made each month and you will see how many competitive websites there are. You can also find affiliate programs to promote.
JAAXY does not depend on Google and the information is accurate.
Using keyword research and working forums should put you into a position to find a niche market. Once you find a niche, or what you think is a niche, you will have to test out the market.
Part IV: Going Into Business
Going Into Business on the Internet
Going into business on the Internet is not just building a website. You should have a business plan, however brief.
That is you should have a model for your business.
You should have a purpose for your business.
You should have ways to present your products and draw potential buyers to them.
You have to decide what is needed to start and what is needed to sustain your business. “How much is this thing going to cost anyway!” Your spouse might say that.
This process does not have to be complicated but you should put some thought into your business before you start.
You might look at a business plan. I wrote a blog on this so you may want to read it. Check my bio at WAU (tjbooks).
You will need a philosophy for your business. Big companies make a mission statement. Maybe you should to. “Our mission is to supply the best solution for those suffering from psoriasis.”
Your Message to Your Market
Remember that you are supplying a need and that your readers will not have your background or interest in some cases. Therefore you need to be comprehensive in your treatment of your message. You are, after all, the “expert” that is going to help them solve their problem.
One thing that has always amazed me about WAU is the knowledge possessed by our members. New members often bring in their expertise. So you will want to communicate with other members for the same reason that local merchants join the Chamber of Commerce. Business people talk to each other. Having said this, some things you may want to keep to yourself so that you can develop your project with less competition. WAU is not your marketplace.
Building a Website
Once you have found your niche and have found a keyword domain name, you can build your website.
Most hosting companies have WordPress available for site building. With WordPress you can build your site quickly and then add the content.
If you are a Startup Member at WAU, you can start with a siterubix.com site which is a good way to start. It is a good way to test concepts too and siterubix site are indexed by search engines. (The Free Lifetime Startup Membership gives you two such sites.)
I always have a few siterubix.com sites going. I’m a premium member in my forth year so I can have as many siterubix.com sites as I need or want. (I also host my sites at WAU because it is free to Premium members.)
Note: Not to digress too much, but it cost me nothing to be a member of Wealthy Affiliate. In fact, I make money each year just by promoting WAU and JAAXY. Also, I always pay annually for much greater savings. I suggest that new members consider this method of financing WAU. I know that it cost more for one course at our local community college than it does to belong to WAU for a year.
When building a website, follow the instructions given by Kyle and others. You want your site acceptable to search engines so make sure you have an “about” page and a “privacy” page. How to write these pages is in the tutorials at WAU. See References at the end of this tutorial.
I use only a few plugins. They are Akismet, All in One SEO Pack, Sociable, Google Analytics for WP, Google XML Sitemaps, Smart Youtube Pro, WP Hit Counter, and Spamfree WP. Sometimes I may use other plugins for a specific purpose. How to use these is in the WAU tutorials and blogs.
Part V: They Will Come!
What You Need is Traffic
You can build a beautiful website with good content but nobody will be able to take action if nobody is there. Say that you are directing a reader to click on a link at the bottom of a post or page. One out of 100 readers might click on the link. Of those that click, some fraction will purchase your product or service.
It’s a numbers game.
Here is how I attract traffic:
I find that providing relevant information in blogs is an effective way to drive traffic to my sites. It can be more effective than many other methods. People are looking for relevant information. That is a main reason for surfing the web. I suggest that you blog several times a week. You can blog too much but I don’t think there is much danger in that. A new site can submit posts everyday.
I use the Sociable plugin which puts the links to the social sites at the bottom of each page and post. I use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Digg and Linkedin. I guess the more the better. I only link when I update or publish. Some folks like to live on Twitter and Facebook. I don’t. I want to go fishing with my grandson.
I have written many hundreds of articles on the Internet. I use to keep myself in the top 100 at EZA but I no longer want to spend my time doing that. I do write some for StreetArticles.com but I’m much more inclined to blog these days after Kyle gave me some information on the high effectiveness of blogging. I always write articles when I put up a new site. It is a fast way to get an article indexed pointing to your site.
I use Aweber. I don’t like email marketing even though it is an effective way to promote. I should email every week but I’m not inclined to do so. However, it is an important way to market.
I’ve tried PPC a few times and Google and others are always trying to get me to use their experts to make my campaigns effective. Some marketers are very good at this. I’m not. I lose money. I don’t suggest this for new promoters. WA has some excellent training in this area. (See the references)
Part VI: Conclusion
An Intelligent Approach
An intelligent business approach can make you a success in Internet Marketing. You will have a lot to learn, a never ending process. But you can with time, give up your day job if you like and make your living on the Internet.
Not everyone is able to do this. Some don’t have the patients and diligence required. Too many expect to get rich overnight because that is what the gurus tell them. It takes time to grow a business.
Some marketers, like me, spread themselves too thin. They have two many businesses going at the same time for one manager, you, to handle. That just doesn’t work.
In this racket you must supply what somebody wants or needs and has the money to buy it.
Continual testing is advised to make a business successful. Most don’t think this is necessary. If a page is not promoting to the point where a reader will click on a link, then it is time to revise it.
Some folks like to use copywriters who know how to feed on the emotions of the reader. But relevant meaningful content is the key to success.
I hope that is tutorial will be helpful to those just starting into this exciting business. Little detail was given here. You will get that from your training. But members help members here at WAU.
Part VII: References and Helps
Helps at WAU
1. http://goo.gl/KD8rp Online Entrepreneur Certification – Getting Started
This is a 10-lesson course that is part of the Wealthy Affiliate Online Entrepreneur Certification. It will walk you through the steps of creating a successful online business that generates revenue. This getting started course (level 1) is your first step to realizing your potential as an online business owner. Lessons will teach you how to find a niche market, build a webite, draw traffic by social marketing and other methods to your site and how to promote your site to search engines, etc. Kyle is the author.
http://goo.gl/MZJizS JAAXY, Do You Need It?
Kyle points out the advantages of using JAAXY for affiliate marketers.
http://goo.gl/NmJWDH WordPress: Installing the All in One SEO Plugin by Kyle
http://goo.gl/oMGIwP Article Marketing Secrets by Ty Johnson
http://goo.gl/IypJng Email Marketing Getting Started Guide by Kyle
http://goo.gl/1mLyr An Introduction to PPC by Kyle
http://goo.gl/R4hSK2 WA Super Affiliate PPC Training Course by Kyle
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