Internet Marketing – A Basic Approach to Affiliate Marketing
In this article I describe what I think are the basics of Internet Marketing to help new marketers to avoid some pitfalls and to learn a basic approach to learning Internet Marketing. Here are some things to consider:
It All Starts With You
We all have different backgrounds. Some are highly educated. Others never finished high school or got a GED after high school. Some have had military training. Others have been in business and know some principles of business. Whatever your educational background, it can hinder you or help you in learning Internet Marketing.
We also have special interest, hobbies and talents. These may of more use to you in Internet Marketing than your education.
Some of us have had some association with Internet Marketing. This can be a help or a hindrance. I have found it a great hindrance. I learned too many methods that are worthless in the field. I was influenced by the gurus who say they will teach you how to make money on the Internet but are in fact YOUR COMPETITION. They lead you on and on, selling you one product after another but you make little or no money. You most likely lose money.
So, there is a piece of advice: If you see a guru, RUN!
I mentioned that special interest, hobbies and talents can be very important. In fact, they can put you in business. One man had an interest in juggling but was not a juggler. But he found forums on the Internet where jugglers hang out. He learned what they needed. He set up a website and sold juggling equipment. He focused on that one market and became successful.
That is why I say that it all starts with you. So list your passions. List your special interest. List your hobbies. OK, list some special training you have had. Are you an expert in fly fishing? How about basket weaving or astronomy? List those items too.
All the above can lead you to a market that you can service.
Decide What You Want to Achieve
You probably are wondering why I’m not jumping right into basic Internet Marketing Concepts. The reason is that success comes from your dreams.
Nothing is created without a dream. Dreams lead to planning. Say you are an engineer and you want to build a dam. First you must go to the site and visualize the dam. Then you can draw up a design which will result in detailed blueprints for your dam. The builders follow the blueprints and build the dam.
Internet marketers often say that you need a blueprint to become an effective marketer.
Get Rich book writers often tell you to visualize yourself in the future. My old shop teacher in junior high school use to say, “Some day I’m going to have a red Cadillac convertible a half-mile long and when I pass you guys on the street I’m going to spit in your eye.
Gurus know that we all have dreams. They focus on new cars, big homes, long expensive vacation and lots of money just in case you want to buy a yacht. If the dreams are not already in your cranium, they will do all they can to put them there. They will promise you the moon but you may end up with the little dipper. But if the dream is not there, they haven’t got a chance to sell you their junk.
But you need to see yourself in the future. What are your needs and wants?
Are you in debt? Then you want to pay off your bills.
Are your kids starving? Then you need money to take care of them.
Can you visualize yourself as a successful business person. You must become that to be a successful Internet marketer because Internet Marketing is a business. So what are your dreams?
They are very important to your success!
Determine Your Future Path of Action
No one knows their future but you can make your future by taking actions change it.
So you need to determine your path of action.
Maybe you will want to focus time and energy on Internet Marketing.
Maybe you want to help others.
Can you plan your future course?
You don’t need to know everything to start but you can put yourself on that golden road that will lead you to happiness.
Set Goals and Stepping Stones
Goals can be broad or focused. Start with broad and gravitate to focused.
Say your goal is to make money in the Internet. Then you decide you will start by affiliate marketing where you sell other peoples products and gain a commission.
Now is your goal to learn the ropes of Internet marketing?
Set that major goal and then add the stepping stones to make each goal a reality. Your goals can be earnings, number of sales, number of products to represent and so forth.
As you learn, your tasks will become more obvious.
So be patient.
Rome was not built in a day and how many materials did Edison test before he found carbon fibers and then tungsten?
Learn Internet Marketing Techniques
You say, “He’s finally getting to the point!” Well, if you forget the first steps I have given you, you will not succeed. You must see your future and you must plan.
So what Internet Techniques am I talking about?
First, I suggest that you learn article marketing. Here are the steps:
Steps to Article Marketing
A. Find a niche market. Say you are an expert or have a strong interest in gardening. You dig into that area of interest. Perhaps you come up with rose gardening.
B. You build a website and write content on the site about rose gardening. You can get a free web page easy enough. I suggest you start with a blog, so go to a blog site such as blogspot and build a page according to their instructions.
Add to this blog often and always go to pingomatic and ping your blog to the blog directories.
Make sure your blog is focused. If you decide that you want to take up sunflower gardening,start a second blog.
C. You write an article on rose gardening. You add a link to your blog. Just make sure you follow the guidelines of the article site. Write as you speak and don’t worry about being sophisticated. Just make sure you have all your ducks in order so that the article is of value and helps your reader grow roses.
D. You are becoming an expert in rose gardening. Your readers will look forward to your articles and they will follow your blog. Go to Twitter and Facebook and other social sites and tell everybody about your articles and your blog.
E. Now we need something to sell.
I suggest you stick with ClickBank to start.
Go to the Marketplace at ClickBank and find a product to sell.
JUST REMEMBER THIS: YOU ARE NOT TO SELL.
Now I know that is against your natural instinct. You must let the vendor do the selling.
Simply give a link to a helpful product that your readers may be interested in.
Make sure you own the product you are selling. As a member of ClickBank you will get a commission when you buy it, so you will always be buying at a discount.
When anyone else buys the product, ClickBank will pay you a commission.
F. Place a signup form on your website for those who would like to read your emails.
These emails must be full of good information. They also should have your affiliate link.
To be able to collect names, I suggest you try SimplyCast. It is less expensive for a beginner than the other sites that handle lists and provide auto responders. An auto responder sends out an email automatically to new subscribers to your list. It will also send on your schedule other informative emails that will bring you earnings.
There are a few other things that you need to know about article marketing. One is to use keywords in your title and in the text of the article. But these keywords need to be keywords that people are using when they search the net. Also, when you put your keywords in quotation marks, e.g. “keyword or keyword phrase” you should look at the number of sites that come up. Try to keep this lower than 5000 or so. Use Google’s external keyword tool to do this. To find the tool just Google it.
There are other important techniques used by Internet marketers. One is PPC or Pay-Per-Click. Stay away from this at first but spend some time learning about it. Later, you will want to get your feet wet. I just don’t want you to drown.
I suggest that you learn from Google, MSN and Yahoo as they are the main PPC sites.
The process is easy in theory. You write a keyword ad, the PPC search engine puts it up when the search term is used, your ad sends your “customer” to your web page or blog.
You make sales when they click on our affiliate links.
It is risky so make sure you have earned your capital from other means before you start.
If the cost of your ad or clicks is less than your product profits, you are a winner. If not, trim your ads, try different headlines, test, evaluate.
Apply Internet Marketing Techniques
One good practice in Internet marketing is to give a product away at no cost. These are sometimes called bonuses if they are given away when a person makes a purchase. Never give discounts but you can give a buyer a bonus. It is usually a useful article or ebook.
You can also write an eBook and have ClickBank list it for a relatively low setup fee. Then other affiliates will be selling your product. After commissions paid out, you get the profit.
When you learn a technique that works, repeat it with other products. That is what makes the Big Boys successful. When they learn that something works, they work it to death.
I guess that is learning the tricks of the trade.
You must never stop learning.
Evaluate Your Progress
Like I said earlier, Internet Marketing is a business. So keep track of your cost, sales, profits, campaigns, and all other aspects of your business. Now how does the actual income compare with your income goals?
Yes, you do want income goals. If you write lots of articles, your income will increase. If you are not meeting your goals, you must modify your techniques.
You will want to evaluate any PPC campaigns. You can LOSE YOUR SHIRT if you don’t mind the store. However, once a PPC campaigns works, it can work for a very long time, bringing you profits over the years.
As I said, repeat techniques that work!
Find Internet Friends and Associates
It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.
Have you heard that before?
Well, your associates and friends can really help you in this business. They are “more valuable than pearls” as they say. They will give you information that you will get nowhere else. And that information comes from their experience.
So join forums, social networking sites, answer emails from other marketers, take part in the “social life” of other Internet marketers.
Set Business Standards
Always be courteous, truthful, honest, etc., in your business dealings. Stay in contact with your customers. Guarantee your products and make sure your vendors do the same with their products.
Remember, if your customers lose their faith in you, you are dead!
So give reliable information on products you own. Never try to sell anything that has not helped you. Your testimony can be part of your pitch to your affiliate link: “Here is a product that I own that has increased my business: Click Here!”
Continually Improve Your Business
They say that if you are not going forward, you are going backwards. So that is! So keep your business up to snuff.
I hope this article has been helpful to you. Good Luck in your Internet Marketing Activities.
FLY OLD GLORY!