I thought I’d take a moment to write a post directed at all new, struggling, and “would be” Internet Marketers and online business owners.
The first thing you need to know to be successful…you CAN do it. I am living proof.
There are many different avenues you can take when marketing online, my focus has been on creating client sites using WordPress, promoting various WordPress-related products and services, and creating and selling my own WordPress-related products.
That said, you can probably apply most of the following advice to whatever Internet Marketing strategy you choose (or have chosen) to pursue.
1. Realize this first: There are NO shortcuts.
Generating a real income online takes dedication and hard work. It’s like the old days of “get rich quick schemes”. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t waste your money getting sidetracked on quick money schemes. They don’t last and aren’t sustainable.
2. Be an honest marketer.
This is directly related to creating a long-lasting and sustainable business. It took me several years to realize that I could promote other products while still sticking to my core values. I’ve burned bridges in the past by promoting crap to my followers because I got greedy. Guess what happened, that follower quickly left and my reputation suffered.
3. Be trustworthy.
Email subscribers, blog readers, Twitter and Facebook followers are REAL PEOPLE (for the most part). You are building a relationship with these people. You are gaining their trust. Just like in offline life, if you treat someone like they’re just a number, they won’t respect you and will choose to stop listening to what you have to say.
4. Ask for the sale.
This one took me a long time to “get” too. In the beginning I thought I had to “trick” people into clicking links and following me by using a bunch of snake oil salesman pitches. Sure, appealing to someone’s emotions are part of the marketing and sales game, but you can be direct with asking for what you want.
5.Give away your knowledge and advice.
This post is part of that philosophy. First off, it’s just good karma to do so. Secondly, it’s a great blog marketing strategy. Whatever your online business is, you better have a blog and you better be writing regularly with helpful advice for your Google visitors and subscribers.
Not all your articles need to be pure free content, you should mix them with affiliate product articles and the like too, but if all your site has is affiliate link after affiliate link, what incentive is there for anyone to follow you?
6. Ask for emails. I’ll say that again…start building your list NOW.
I literally waited 5 years before focusing on building a list of email subscribers. I thought it was a shady practice because all I saw on websites were pop up window after pop up window when visiting sites trying to learn more about Internet Marketing.
Pop ups aren’t inherently bad, it’s just that there were more people using them badly than there were people using them non-invasively. Ask for that email, but make sure you do it directly and with RESPECT for your visitors.
7. Create your own products.
I know what you’re thinking because I thought it too. “How can I create my own products, I’m not a programmer or designer”. Start with an ebook. Make a tutorial or write up some advice about some process you are familiar with (like this thread…could easily be a free report in return for an email subscribe…and that’s what it will likely turn into).
Make your ebook free, or make it paid. Depends on how valuable you think it is when done.
8. DO NOT STOP.
You know the old saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” Do not get frustrated, do not stop moving forward.
Everything you try doing you will learn from, good or bad. There are NO FAILURES, there are only lessons to be learned in what works and what does not…for your business.
9. Network with others in your niche.
Contact all of those people who you respect and you see doing something you would like to do. Some people will be guarded and not willing to share their advice. Don’t worry about them, they’ll never survive the long term because they will eventually get stuck on old techniques and their products will soon become outdated.
Focus your energy on those willing to share and collaborate. Sure, sometimes people just don’t have the time, but you will quickly learn that there are MANY people out there willing to help and advise.
10. Help others selflessly.
“Pay it forward” as they say. It’s just good business. People will remember your name and brand after they’ve learned something of value from you. People will also (and I would argue more often) remember the jerks who treated them poorly.
Whether that’s a bad product, terrible customer service, or a condescending tone, etc. You will remember that experience and likely spread the word about that experience when the opportunity presents itself.
There’s so much more that could be said, but I hope the above 10 pieces of advice inspire you to get started, continue one, or to move ahead with a renewed sense of purpose.
…and don’t forget…YOU CAN DO IT!