I face this question often while talking to people who are interested in pursuing internet marketing as their career. As each profession has multiple implications in practical and professional life as means of earning, so does internet marketing. Of course, you can always, always have a regular job as an internet marketing specialist if you really have good command on the subject, but the topic of my today’s blog more revolves around using internet marketing skills to earn money from home or to develop a business where you are your own boss.
What’s Internet Marketing Anyway?
Before we go into further details, let’s first make it clear what is internet marketing and what comes under it? Well anything and everything that uses internet as a media to market or sell your commodity comes under internet marketing. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for example is one type of internet marketing. Developing a website to sell your goods is another type. SEO is actually a tool to boost your internet marketing efforts. The other alternatives to boost your site is branding it away from the net using print media or by paying search engines or other websites for that matter who place your ads to promote your business on a certain price. It’s your choice to see your short-term and long-term goals, the budget and most importantly ROI (return on investment) of the business model you have. I know a person who pays about 5,000$ in Google ads to promote his site in US for selling home security products. Despite numerous recommendations to use SEO as a tool to sell his security products and save, he is happy the way he is doing and of course his ROI exceeds his expenditures on Google ads.
If you are targeting a highly-paying niche, have a strong website, unique ecommerce system, a team to manage your sales process, and enough cash flow to run your business without significant revenue for a year, promoting your site using paid advertisement might be a good option to explore. However, I expect that if someone is reading this blog, he is more interested in learning good ideas on how to use his skills rather than paid advertisement to make out his living. Well, the good news is that there are one hundred and one ways to earn money online without paying to Google or other paid advertisement sites if you already possess the skills of internet marketing.
The simple equation for an online marketing business is to have a good product that sells and to find target traffic to that product of yours. We will talk about generating traffic first and how to find a suitable product later. Actually once you have a product ready, you will need a good, catchy & professional website as well to help you in conversion. I would suggest hiring some freelancers from websites like elance, rent a coder or odesk or hiring someone local whom you know and where you can save few bucks in your start-up (you can always use our web development services at (www.seoturn.com). Never try to learn to develop a website unless you want to make it a profession. Each business has different processes and its best to outsource some of the processes to the ones who possess better skills than yours and you spend your time and effort in what you do better, i.e. internet marketing.
Once a website is up and running with the product you chose; now it’s time to get some targeted traffic to introduce your product to them. There are simple and easy ways to get that traffic by searching free directories and placing your website in appropriate category. There are thousands of free directories that would be happy to list your product either for free or with a reciprocal link to them. If you don’t want to spend money in paid directories, it’s better to create a page on your website for “related links” or “partner websites” where actually you can put reciprocal links to the directories you are going to list yourself. Good directories normally require to have your PR (page rank) at least 2 or 3, so its better you put some quality content, write in your blog regularly and have some backlinks to your site to boost your page ranking. I would also suggest to buy an old domain with some PR or keep an eye on expiring domains on sites like expireddomains.net, or place backorder on expiring domains on sites like name.com, godaddy etc.
Another good and free way to promote your site and get traffic is to write a press release on your business start-up and submit it to free press release websites. Make it a habit to submit one press release a month on any interesting news about your website or the business. Placing ads in hundreds of free classifieds can bring you some regular traffic. Websites like Craigslist, expatriates, gumtree, meclas could be a good source to start from. Please note that I am talking of generating traffic to your site and not building links, so it doesn’t matter if that site gives you a link back or whether or not it’s a do-follow. If you are targeting your product locally, it’s good to find out some super stores in the area which can let you post your ad in their shops. Placing a banner, if that’s an option, printing stickers for your car and of course your friends’ cars (what are the friends for anyway?). Think and you will find many simple ways to promote your website and get traffic.
While you are doing all this branding effort, keep promoting your site using simple SEO techniques like writing good content, internal page linking with your related keywords, getting some quality backlinks by writing guest posts in others blogs, purchasing some cheap links on non-spammy sites, posting in relevant forum and blog commenting. I will tell you that if you can write really good on a subject, there are many high authority blogs that would welcome your posts and would be happy to give you backlinks once you prove yourself and have reached their minimum limit of quality blog comments or forum posts.
Using WordPress as Your CMS, The Key to Success!
In my experience, if you really want search engines to like your website, use WordPress as your CMS. WordPress comes with many free SEO add-ons that could help your onpage SEO with a little knowledge. Unlike Joomla, WP has built-in system that it never repeats duplicate URL within the same domain and that’s one of the reasons Google loves it. WordPress sites are simple to develop and there are thousands of free WP themes that you can download and modify them according to your business needs. Some hosting packages actually include free one-click WP installation from within your cPanel, isn’t it great? Always use fresh, unique content which is engaging for the users. Check your content on copyscape or grammarily before posting to make sure it’s unique. If you are using WP as your CMS, there is an all-in-one SEO pack that can help you generate SEF (search engine friendly) URLs. WordPress, Joomla, drupal and all other open source CMS have easy built in SEO META input fields, where you can put each page’s unique METAs to help your on-page SEO. Try to target each page of your site for 2-3 keywords and put them in your all META tags like title, keywords, & description.
Finding a Right Product for your Online Business!
Coming back to finding a product! Well, you might want to try those well-known, hot-selling products who offer affiliate reseller programs. This will save you a lot of effort in developing your own sales process, ecommerce and technical team. Your only concentration would be in bringing targeted traffic to your landing page and making them click on the “golden link” that generates revenue for you. Once you are comfortable on promoting your site through affiliates and you got some hands-on experience, then it’s time to search for a product of your own. First thing you need to decide it whether you want to target local market or international. For example, you may want to develop a site to serve as market place for buying/selling cars in your country. Or you might want to generate leads for a pizza shop in your area. A good example of global website could be a travel website. Depending upon which market you want to enter, you have to choose the right product for that. The deciding factor is your research. You can do search using Google keyword tools globally or on a country level (or use Google insight) and see what people are searching in the region. See the traffic these keywords are generating and the competition level. A best match for a product is high-search, low-competition keywords, but again it’s rare to find. Also search Google for different keywords of your interested niche and go through top 20 websites and see what products they are offering. This will give you good idea of many related products which might have skipped your mind. See classified sites and newspaper ads to learn what businesses are hot, what people are advertising and what people are searching for. I will tell you that search is your basic tool when it comes to finding a good product for your online marketing effort.
Using Google Ads (and others) on Your Site for Instant Cash Flow!
Sometimes, you can earn using internet marketing expertise without having any product by just using your traffic and then placing relevant ads that might be of interest to your reader base. This way when any visitor of your site will click on these ads, you will get percentage of its revenue. Google Adsense is a good example of it. There are tens of other reputed website that provide opportunities to the publishers on better rates than Google. Again you need to weigh pros and cons of each before deciding which option to go with. Sometimes you can use multiple options simultaneously and then based on your results you can fine tuning your options. Developing a website for high traffic and ad clicks is a separate topic and needs to be written separately with more detail. I sure will do that next time I am waiting for my flight on the airport . This is the best place I get writing ideas!