Internet Marketing: Beginners Guide
So you want to get started with internet marketing. Maybe it’s because you’ve read or heard about success stories from other marketers making money from the comforts of their own home. Or perhaps you’ve seen your own friends earning money online and doing very well at it. True enough, there are with no limits as to how far you can scale and grow your business through internet marketing. Obviously, it’s highly rewarding, and it’s a skill that you can use not just to start or grow your own business, but also you could land great jobs as many firms are willing to pay high salary for someone who’s highly skilled in internet marketing, or you could even perhaps market your skills or knowledge to other companies too.
But then, there’s just one problem – It’s all rather complicated! If you’re not familiar with the world of internet marketing, then you might find a lot of things you come across in the internet marketing world to be quite overwhelming. For a start, there are all these jargons like PPC, CPA, Affiliate Marketing, SEO, Video Marketing and so forth… It’s all a bit daunting and it’s certainly not clear how or where to start.
Well, don’t worry because you are not alone. There are so many people feeling the same way you do right now. And honestly, I’ve been there myself too. You see, I started with drop shipping on eBay back in 2013, and then on Etsy before selling physical products on Amazon through Amazon FBA. After that, I started doing Affiliate Marketing, which is promoting other people’s products online. Throughout the years, I’ve made money through different channels with internet marketing, where at the same I had my own offline business to run. It was quite hectic managing everything all at once. But even during those days, internet marketing played an important role in many businesses. And today, it’s almost impossible for any business to survive without internet marketing, regardless if it’s an online or offline business.
But before we go on any further, I would like to point out that you do not need to master every method in order to succeed in internet marketing. In my experience, acquiring a lot of knowledge will give you a better sense of which internet marketing method works best for you, and for what purpose. For example, if you already have a product or business that you want to grow, you may feel that CPA or Affiliate Marketing might not suit your needs, so you might want to learn more about Amazon FBA or Email Marketing instead. But if you’re just starting out and don’t have you’re own product to promote, then doing something like Affiliate Marketing might interest you more.
“If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.” — Bill Gates
So to get started, here’s a couple of things that you ought to think about before jumping into internet marketing:
The first thing you need to do is to establish your niche. Regardless if you’re planning to start a blog, a YouTube channel or even starting an eCommerce store, it’s very important to establish your niche as this will help you plan your internet marketing strategy a lot better. It will also give your viewers and potential customers a clearer picture of what it is that you are trying to promote. When looking for your niche inspiration while browsing the internet, you’ll find a list of categories such as ‘fitness’, ‘technology’, ‘make money online’ and so forth. You can choose a niche that is more focussed like ‘tennis’ or you can go for something a bit broader like ‘sports’. There is nothing wrong with going broad, although at times a more focussed niche might help you gain followers / customers faster.
My personal thoughts would be to go for a niche that you have interest in as you’ll need to be talking a lot about it. Also start with a more specific niche, but one that you can expand later once you have gained enough popularity.
Once you have established your niche, you can then decide wether you want to promote / sell physical or digital products. Both has it’s own advantage and disadvantages.
With my own business for instance, where I have my own physical products which is sold offline as well as on my eCommerce store, there is still a lot of physical work involved (some may be automated but not fully – for example doing stock count). Of course you may hire people / outsource agencies to handle all these things for you, but for most people especially when just starting out, you might need to handle some of the task yourselves initially. Still, I find selling physical products has it’s perks… and with the right internet marketing strategy, you may be able to grow your business ever further than you think possible.
So what about digital products? Honestly, I love selling digital products because a lot of things can be automated. It does however it has it’s own set of challenges. For example, as an Affiliate Marketer promoting other people’s digital products, I’d still need to know how to set up a Blog or YouTube channel and how to drive people to my offer and so forth. And of course, there’s always an option to sell your own digital product like your own ebook. So obviously digital product is great too!
Fact: Many online marketers out there actually run multiple businesses, having their own digital and physical products too. And these products might be in different niches all together. It’s pretty normal… Word of advice – start with one, and then expand later if you like!
It’s a always a good idea to get your own domain even though if you’re just starting out. This is because a website will give you a lot more leverage like you can do SEO to pull traffic to your site, or earning money from Google Adsense. And of course if you are planning to start an eCommerce store, then you definitely need to get your own domain. Of course, having your own domain means that you also need to pay for a server hosting plan apart from getting someone to design your website too. So you do need to set aside some budget for this. However, you could still save some money, if you learn do certain things yourself – like designing your own website and even eCommerce store, using simply free tools (like me!)
Fact: There are many people who do not have a website but are still making thousands of dollars with internet marketing. This is usually from selling physical products on ‘marketplace’ such as eBay & Etsy (popular in US) and Lazada & Shopee (popular in Malaysia). There’s actually a lot more platforms / marketplace around, it varies with different countries. Still, having your own website would give you an added advantage even when selling on these platforms.
Once you have established your niche, what product you want to sell and getting your domain, then you are now more prepared to start implementing internet marketing strategies to help you boost your business. I’ll discuss some of the marketing techniques further in other post.
For now, take your time to figure out the 3 things above first. Trust me, it will be worth it. You see, when I first started my internet marketing journey, I didn’t have a clear plan of doing things. I would try many different internet marketing methods and although I made money, it was never really consistent. This was because I was moving towards the next new ‘shinny object’ I see and never really gave my business a chance to fully grow. The thing is, in order to really be successful at internet marketing, you have to treat it like a real business – have a clear goal, work out a plan and most importantly be consistent! Else, you’ll end up wasting so much time, get frustrated and maybe feel like quitting altogether, just like I did. And I really don’t want you to go through that.
With that said, I hope you find this article useful in starting your Internet Marketing journey. Good luck!
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