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internet marketing
niche market
marketing strategies
family and friends
The Basics Of Internet Marketing
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Internet Marketing is an extremely complex business, if you have never done any before. Believe me, I'm no expert, only having been involved for the last two months. But, I think I've learned a great deal and found that there was very little information available for people who have absolutely NO IDEA what is involved. There doesn't seem to be any avenue where things are put in a straight-forward, easy to comprehend manner. So, I thought I'd give it a go myself and try to tell you the basics.

Marketing in general is a way to direct people towards purchasing a product. That's it in a nutshell. Marketing strategies are the techniques that people develop to draw a buyer to a seller of merchandise. Internet Marketing is pretty much the same thing. If you think about it, most people who surf the net are looking for something. It may be something they want to purchase, eg. a gift, an asset, etc. or it may be a software package, a subscription, etc. Either way, they are usually looking for something (unless they are just on Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends, of course!).

Firstly, you need to find what is called a 'niche'. This means that you need to find a small piece of the marketplace that is not terribly common, yet quite specific. It needs to be something that people are definitely looking for, but finding it a bit hard to locate. It also needs to be something that you know a bit about so that you don't have too much trouble promoting it. Let's face it, there's no point trying to promote golf if you know nothing about it! But don't worry, there are lots of tools available to assist you to find a 'niche' market.

Secondly, you really need to develop a website. It is possible to market stuff without a website, but it's much easier if you have one. You don't need to stress about this. If you do a course on internet marketing, chances are the organisation you are studying with has the tools to help you build a website. I thought this would be the most difficult part of the course, but it's one of the easiest! You can have a website up and running with a few pages in about an hour (for the first time - much less time for any future websites). Your website is the tool you will use to promote whatever it is you are promoting.

Thirdly, you need to find out how to drive traffic to your website. Traffic meaning people. The more people, the better. One of the most popular ways to do this is by writing articles. Google likes article marketing (or authoring, as they are now calling it!). You don't need to panic about this. You are only expected to write an article of about 400 - 500 words. It gets easier and easier as you go along and before you know it, you'll be tapping out an article in about 20 minutes or less! Trust me! Just try to make the article interesting enough for people to read. You then learn how to link your articles back to your website. This is another simple thing to learn. So much easier than I ever dreamed!

When you are writing your articles, you must include what are called "keywords". This really means a 3 - 4 word phrase that people are actually typing into their search engines, like Google. Google itself has a keyword research tool that's available for free and there are many others around to choose from. I will admit that I didn't put too much stock in article marketing and keywords during my first month of learning IM (internet marketing) but I can now see the error of my judgement because I am now getting much more traffic to my website by using appropriate keywords and typing articles.

There are many tools available on the net on how to drive traffic to your site - try it for yourself. Just Google 'how to drive traffic' and you will see what I mean. Marketing strategies are changing all the time and you will never learn it all, if you live to be 100.

Okay, the next step is: how to make money. Well, there are thousands of programs out there which are called Affiliate Programs. This means that you join up (often for free), and start to promote their goods. You can promote through ClickBank which is a site that advertises thousands of different products that you can choose from to promote on your site. Just try to make the items you choose suitable to be advertised via your website. If anyone purchases from your site (you will have your very own personal link back to the product suppliers) you will receive a commission of the sale. Some of these sales - particularly electronic purchases like software - have an extremely high percentage commission - up to 75% at times!

Another avenue is subscription marketing. This is great to get into because, if people join up for a subscription, chances are a percentage will drop out after a few months - BUT, quite a lot stick with it. This means recurring income for you, every month. So the more you have signed up, the more income you can count on every month. You don't have to go out and try to sell to them again, because you already have them in your hand, so to speak!

If you want to go to the expense of paying for advertising, there is Google adwords. You can set yourself a budget for advertising in this way and Google will place your ad where your keywords suggest. This can work out expensive and I wouldn't recommend it for beginners. You could end up broke if you are spending money for advertising before you are gaining enough traffic to your website to get any kind of ranking with Google.

So, there you have the basics. There is a lot to learn. You won't make much money in the first few months, so don't give up your day job. However, the more you are involved, the more you will learn without even realising that you are. One day, it will all fit into place and you will know what all the abbreviations mean (like SEO - search engine optimisation, etc.). If you are determined, stoic and enthusiastic, there are millions of dollars to be made doing internet marketing. You can work from home, as little or as much as you choose, get rid of your boss for good!, have a holiday every year and have it when you choose. Just do a few searches on Google about article marketing, authoring, pay-per-click, clickbank, affiliate marketing. There's so much information at hand that now you have the basic knowledge of what it really means to make money at home, you may have a better understanding of what you are researching on internet marketing.

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