Internet Marketing – 5 Pitfalls to Watch For
You have decided to 'try your luck' on the internet. Good for you. With millions of people turning to the internet everyday there is more than enough room for you. Today people go to the internet for any number of things including chat, research and to purchase. Depending on the style of your internet business you can make money in any of those three categories and more. BUT there are pitfalls along the way, and the 'newbie' is often blissfully unaware of this. I fell into most of them on my way. I 'accidentally' got into internet marketing when I joined a multi-level-marketing company whose products I love. Part of the business is an online store with my name on it. It looks nice, and I am able to personalize it with my photo and story. I change the products on the front page from time to time. But then I thought, how do I find customers for my online store? No idea. I asked some of the people who were also in the MLM company, and they all said they had their own unique website. Well …. I had never in my wildest imaginings thought that I could make a website. Then I went to the Google search engine and typed in a few different 'keywords' until I found a mentor.
And so it began … the journey I wish I had embarked on ten years ago. So much fun! But I Learnt it all the hard way, rushing ahead, trying everything .. I could easily have become one of the 95% of people who go into this exciting business only to give up. Instead my 'inbox' became my 'junkbox' as I put my name down for everything being offered 'out there' to the newcomer on the block. I saved some of it, and am still learning as I make my way through all the emails put neatly into their own folders. So now I want to share a little of what I learned with you. Rather what I learned Not to do.
# 1. Have Realistic Expectations
There are fast talking internet marketers who promise you $ 5,000 in your first week or first month if you only download their software which is so advanced it will do all the work for you. The truth is that if you are serious about having your own business, look at it as though you are investing in an offline business, then apply those principles to your new internet marketing business. While it is true that the internet has the capacity to put your business in front of millions of people, it does not just 'happen'. For instance, if you were to, say, set up a clothing store from scratch that no-one has yet heard about, would you employ a window dresser to change the window every three days because you were told that this would make you $ 5,000 in your first week or first month? You may indeed employ the window dresser, but would be very naive if you thought that was all you needed to do to bring people into your shop. And sure, you would get the people who walked by and happened to see your big sign outside inviting them in, but what if you put the shop in the wrong position and there was very little sidewalk traffic? Sorry, but this is the same principle.
# 2.Research, Research, Research
Following right on from the first point; look around for people who have PROVEN their strategies work, and follow them. There are a number of entrepreneurs who will let you try out their system for a week, some for a month, with very little outlay. You then continue on a monthly membership after the trial period IF you find that their methods are assisting you to reach your goals. I 'opted in' for a number of 'guru's' that asked for pretty big money up front, only to find they were hard to follow, and spent a lot of time telling me how good they were, without really delivering the goods. There are some very good teachers though, which I was blessed to ever find. So aligning # 2 to the clothing store in # 1, you would hardly put a clothing store up in an industrial area, or in a neighborhood that had no other stores around. Educate yourself BEFORE you begin, or you will be changing direction constantly.
# 3. Stay In Control of Your Business and Your Budget
You can go into business on the internet without even knowing how to set up your own webpage. BUT you need to explore the options before you spend lots of money on lots of software. You may wish to set up your own website, which is a lot of fun, incidentally, and keeps you in control of your new internet marketing business, then there are ways of going into internet marketing without a website, known as affiliate marketing, where you spend time and / or money advertising someone else's website for a percentage of the sale.
Once you are set up, you will need to attract visitors. Before you spend heaps of money on your advertising, or an affiliate, site learn the science of choosing the right keywords to use in your advertisements. Many people lose a lot of money this way, and become discouraged and leave. Once again, the information is out there, just take the time to learn and you will stay in control of your business AND your budget.
# 4. Choose Your Market First
Many internet marketers do what I did initially, which is find a product, then find a market. Clever internet marketers, on the other hand, check out the internet and see where internet users are going and what they are buying. They then build their business around a niche they discover, and begin their business that way. Because I began in this industry to bring awareness to the lovely organic products in my MLM business, I had myself in a pigeon-hole before I began. As I educated myself about the internet and how to sell 'online', my vision enlarged, and now I have more than one website.
# 5. Persistence is the Key to Success
Be prepared to put the necessary time in order to earn yourself a good income online. Makes sense, really. The internet is a goldmine it is true, but not a 'get-rich-quick scheme.' A point to remember is that goldminers spend a lot of time digging the dirt before they strike gold.
Summing up, only about 5% of people who enter the arena of internet marketing actually stay there. Many begin with high hopes, then give up because
(a) they failed to educate themselves before they began
(b) they are expected to become a millionaire overnight
(c) they spend all their money on advertising without the studying which 'keywords' will bring people to their website and help them to buy
(d) they jumped in with a product that appeared to them, without researching the market and
(e) the time they had allotted to their new enterprise was insufficient for the returns that anticipated.
I wish you luck in your new venture. Take care to wear your headlamp turned on and watch out for the pitfalls.