The Online Goldmine: A Guide to Internet Marketing. Have you seen those adverts that promise to make you a lot of money, with an attractive lifestyle, just by using your laptop? Do they intrigue you and tempt you into following the link? Have you asked yourself, is this possible?
Well, it is. The trick is in knowing how to market your goods (or other people’s) over social media, email and websites. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Bombard your potential customer’s with too much of a sales pitch and you will drive them away. Don’t make your goods sound attractive and they won’t buy. You have to engage your audience, and get them to see you as a knowledgeable friend, before you can introduce them to your market.
So how do you start this new lifestyle? The first move is to find a product to sell. If you are a writer, or somebody with a service to sell, then create your own product. Write an eBook on a popular subject, or sell CD’s of training sessions you conduct, just use your creativity to your advantage.
If you are unable to create your own goods then there are other options. A great number of Internet marketers make money through selling other people’s products. There are a number of ways of doing this. These are the three most popular:
Affiliate marketing involves advertising somebody else’s goods or services. This generates cash for the marketer as they receive commission for each item sold. If you have heard the term “Cash for Clicks,” this is affiliate marketing. There are a number of websites that can match merchants and affiliates for a mutually beneficial service. So finding the right product to promote is not as difficult as it sounds.
Becoming an associate is similar to affiliate marketing. In fact the terms are often used synonymously. If you sign up as an associate of an online retailer, such as Amazon, the parent company will give you a percentage of the cost of any products sold through your referral. This is usually achieved by simply placing an advert, or widget, on your website. Once a visitor clicks on the widget, they will be taken to the relevant site. If they then make a purchase, you will receive your commission.
Reselling involves buying goods, or services, from a company, then reselling them for a higher fee. This is how some price comparison sites operate. While this involves more set-up work than affiliate marketing, it can also generate more cash. A reseller will have to negotiate with the parent company for a reasonable discount in order to make the business profitable, as charging a significantly higher price than other sources will not generate sales. However, if the marketing plan is sound, most companies are likely to be glad of the extra advertising. So this becomes a viable option.
Whether you choose to sell your own goods, or somebody else’s, you are now set to market your products and start your cash stream. This is where skill and a good business sense come into play. The biggest asset to an online marketer is “List Building”. For this, you need a webpage that will entice visitors with an interesting pitch. It doesn’t matter if this is connected with your saleable items, although this is the most sensible option, but it needs to be closely related otherwise you could be attracting completely the wrong market.
The page needs to contain your marketing blurb, which will advertise a free item (your newsletter, or a section of your eBook, for instance), and a dialogue box where your visitors can register their name and email address. In order to receive the free item the visitor then has to enter their details, which go onto your database, thereby providing a ready made advertising audience.
If this sounds difficult to maintain, then don’t worry as Adweber provide a management system that will administer your database and send out any regular correspondence by email. Check the details at their website. The other thing you need to have on your webpage is a link to your main product. Some visitors may skip the sweet talk and go straight for the sales, if your pitch is good enough.
Once you have people signed up you need to keep in regular contact. However, the last thing you want to do is bombard interested visitors with sales pitch after sales pitch. The sales will only happen if you take the gentle approach and get them to consider you as an online friend. Therefore, most of your communications shouldn’t be sales based. If you publish a regular newsletter then send this out the majority of the time. Otherwise, inspirational articles could be sent on a regular basis.
Once again, just use your imagination. Then, occasionally, send out a sales pitch for your marketed item. Once you have people onboard, and they trust you and don’t think you’re just out to make a quick buck, they are more likely to consider buying your goods.
As part of your friendly Internet style, you need to allow your potential buyers to interact with you. The best way to do this is to write a blog. Find a niche subject and write on it regularly. If you struggle to find inspiration, there are a number of resources on the Internet where you can obtain blog entries on a wide range of subjects. The important thing is to invite feedback on your articles. In this way, you can engage with your audience and find out what interests them and what turns them off.
This will help you when making your sales pitches as you can avoid saying the wrong things. Thereby building trust, and creating a sales opportunity, at the same time. If this approach doesn’t appeal, or even if it does, another way to interact with your clientele is through Twitter and Facebook. By adding the clients on your list as friends on Twitter, you can tweet them at any time with inspirational thoughts. Allowing them to tweet you back, or communicate with you through a Facebook page, will build their confidence in your trustworthiness.
Of course, the whole aim of these alternate marketing resources is to drive more traffic to your list building site, and thereon to your sales page. So make sure you advertise your website in Twitter posts and on your Facebook page. Try not to be too obvious however, nobody likes the hard sell.
This may all seem a little underhand and devious. In some ways it probably is, but by thinking in terms of your visitors as potential friends, who are interested in what you have to say, then you need not feel too guilty about the occasional marketing post.
Just keep the sales pitches to a minimum. Plus, by enticing your potential clients with a subject they have an interest in, and maintaining that topic, surely you are just offering them fresh opportunities. Always be honest and straightforward in your approach and the sales will come, without you losing clientele. By investing a little money and advertising your website, traffic will be driven towards the point where it all begins. Then you just have to keep them onboard, keep them interested, and keep it friendly in order to reap the benefits.