So, you want to get started with internet marketing? As an internet marketer, you’ll be able to earn money from the comfort of your home, with no limit as to how far you can scale and grow your business. It’s highly rewarding, and it’s a skill that you can use to land jobs or market to other companies, too.
In short, you’ve made a very good decision!
Perhaps you’ve seen friends, or people online who seem to be earning money from the comfort of their home – and doing very well at it indeed. Now it’s time to give it a go yourself!
There’s just one problem: it’s all rather complicated. If you’re not familiar with the world of internet marketing, then you might even be wondering how it’s even possible to earn money online without selling anything physical! It may seem like everyone is promoting each other and no one is actually shipping any physical products.
Then there is all the jargon: PPC, affiliate marketing, display ads, SEO, SMO, CTR, CPA…
It’s all a bit daunting and it’s certainly not clear how or where to start. Read on then, and we’ll take a look at everything you need to know in order to get started with internet marketing and earning money online.
How to Choose a Niche to Target
The first step to creating an online business is to choose what kind of online business you want to create. This starts by choosing a niche – what is the subject matter you will be dealing with?
In this first section, you will learn how to do this, and you will see how this initial decision goes on to influence every other step.
What is a Niche and Why Does it Matter?
Every site should have a niche which describes the kind of thing that you will be writing about and the people you will be writing it for. Your site might be a ‘general’ site or a personal blog that doesn’t stick to any particular topic, but even then there will be at least a ‘theme’ or a feel tying it together. You might write about books, coffee, and the city, but that’s still a niche in its way and it’s one that will attract a very specific type of person.
And knowing and understanding your niche is incredibly important if you hope to be able to make a success of your site. Unfortunately, too many webmasters do not really fully understand their niche and their sites tend to suffer as a result.
Essentially you should know what your niche is. For most site owners or bloggers this will be an incredibly easy question to answer: the site will probably be about ‘football’ or ‘technology’ and that’s fairly easy to define.
If your site is more general, though, then make a list of all the topics that you write about regularly and then think about a) what ties them together, and b) what kind of person will read them. You’ve probably created a new niche for yourself, but as long as your future content meets those same criteria then you will be on the money.
The niche you pick should primarily be determined by your own interests. If you’re going to be living and breathing your blog for the next 10 years, then this NEEDS to be something you’re keen to learn and write about.
What’s more, is that you won’t be able to deliver really unique and valuable content if you don’t know anything about the topic! And hiring professional writers won’t guarantee that you’ll find someone who has a real passion and interest for the topic.
In addition, you also need to consider the viability of the niche choice. How competitive is it? Do you stand a chance against the biggest sites? How profitable and monetizable is it? We’ll get into this more further on, but the subject you choose should be something that people are willing to spend money on and that has lots of opportunities for support products.
Why You Should Get More Specific When Choosing Your Niche
But in order to really succeed – and to gain an edge over the competition – you need to go a little deeper. Sure, your site might be a technology website, but what kind of technology do you write about? Who are you writing for? And what is the purpose of your site?
For instance, you might write about all kinds of technology but find that you seem to stick more to technology that’s just around the corner. Perhaps you write lots of big previews for technology that’s coming. And perhaps you write in a very technical way that is clearly aimed at people who know their stuff?
This is a very different niche from a site that reviews basic commercial technology in a style that can appeal to the average customer.
Again then, you will have created your own niche that should be completely unique. You might make a football site, sure, but is it a dry site that deals with a detailed overview of football for real fanatics? Or is it a more gossip filled site that’s aimed at the typical ‘bloke’? Again, these are slightly different niches, and it’s important to recognize the difference.
If you can be consistent with your precise niche, then you will find that your site offers something that not every other site does. You will have a specific audience and people who particularly like the way you approach the topic. Stick to your guns and you can make your site highly successful as a result.
The Power of Creating Your Own Niche
That said though, there are few niches left that have a good number of people interested but that nevertheless don’t have too much overcrowding in the marketplace. This is particularly difficult when you consider how important it also is that you actually be interested in the niche that you’re going to be dealing with and that you know a thing or two about it, too.
So how do you stand out without limiting your appeal or writing about something dull? Well one solution is to come up with your own niche and to create a website that will be unlike any other. Here we will look at how you can potentially accomplish that.
Sites That Don’t Fit Neatly Into Boxes
When you browse the web for inspiration on niches for your website, you will often find lists of categories such as ‘fitness’, ‘making money’, ‘football’, ‘film’, and others like these. Not every site, though, has to fit neatly into a category like this – it is possible to come up with a completely unique angle and to create a niche that wasn’t there before.
Take lifehacker.com, for instance. Go back a decade and that niche wouldn’t have existed. This site ties together lots of themes using a ‘way of life’ or ‘attitude’ to gel it all together. In this case that attitude is the ‘hacker’ attitude – where DIY applies to everything from self-improvement to making money; but you could just as easily build a site around any other central idea like this.
Bringing Various Concepts Together
If you can’t find a new theme to link the items on your site though, then another option is to simply combine multiple existing niches that you think will go well together. This way you have your built in audience – because you’ll get visitors from both of those existing niches – but at the same time you will have your own unique view and be able to offer something that’s different from everything else. Examples might include ‘bodybuilding and self-improvement’, ‘making money online and city living’, ‘travel and art’, or ‘cafes, coffee and books’. Alternatively, just taking a broader approach with your stories can help to give your site more meat and put your niche more in context with other topics.
This strategy is also effective because it creates a number of simple marketing options that you can use to reach a new audience. For instance, if you have a website based around bodybuilding and self-improvement, then you will be able to promote your site on self-improvement forums without being directly in competition with those sites.
Going More Niche
In contrast to broadening your niche, another option is to get even more specific by finding a category within a category. Again, this will allow you to market on sites that would otherwise see you as competition, and it will help make SEO easier by focusing your aim. An example might be to target a particular kind of film such as ’80s action films’, a particular era of music, or perhaps a particular kind of exercise such as bodyweight training alone.
Finally, if you have the resources, then you can even consider creating a niche before you create your website. For example, if you run a software company and you release a new piece of software or a new computer game, then you will likely find that this generates interest and fans. You can then provide an official website for that interest and create an almost symbiotic relationship between your software and your website where the success of one helps the success of the other. This can work for most kinds of product and services that will catch the public’s attention. Though not every webmaster will have a product to promote, it’s important that businesses and entrepreneurs don’t miss this opportunity when it does present itself.
How to Choose a Business Name, Register a Domain, and Set Up Web Hosting
Once you have your niche figured out, it’s time to turn that basic topic into a business model. This is where things can get complicated for some, but it’s also the most fun and exciting part!
And it all begins with choosing your business name, which is highly likely to also be your website name, which is highly likely to also be your domain name (the address that visitors type into the browser to find your website!).
Choosing Your Domain Name and Site Name
If you are preparing to launch a new website, then there are several things you will need to do in preparation before you can even begin to think about content writing or SEO. Of course one of the most fundamental starting points is to find a hosting service and to choose a domain name for your site or blog. This will give you somewhere to store the files that make up your site, and it will give your visitors a way to access them.
But deciding on a domain name is more than just a practical matter, it’s also going to have a huge impact on the way your visitors view your site, and on the way you’ll go about promoting it. Here we’ll look at how to choose a domain name that will make sense from a business standpoint, and from a creative one too.
Coming up with a name for your website that you can build a brand around makes a lot of sense for several reasons. For one, Google has explicitly stated that it will be trying to give more prominence to brands and to bury ‘exact name domains’ (keyword URLs) in an attempt to show better quality sites. At the same time though, if you can create a brand name this will give you more opportunity for future expansion meaning that you can more easily market your site and create awareness while using that same branding in your advertising.
Of course, if you want people to come to your site often and to spread the word, then it also makes sense to choose a URL that will be easy to remember. If your website name is too long or nonsensical then this will mean that people struggle to return to your site, or to tell others about it. Avoid complex combinations of dashes and underscores, and try to make the URL as catchy as possible.
While Google is no longer giving any advantage to exact-name-domains, typing your URL into Google is still one way that people are likely to get to your website. If your URL isn’t at all unique though, then you’ll be buried somewhere around page 100. In this regard then, calling a company ‘Apple’ would be a bad move (fortunately the Apple already had a lot of clout behind them).
Likewise having a more unique company name will help you to be more memorable again, and will also help you to avoid using any trademarked names. Of course you may also want to do some research to ensure that the name you want is available and that you’re legally entitled to use it. Having a unique domain will also allow you to buy up similar domains (for typos, etc.) with less chance of them already being taken.
↪ Other Considerations
There are many more considerations to bear in mind besides these points, though the degree to which they apply to your site will vary. For instance, if your business is likely to be listed alphabetically, then coming up with an URL beginning with ‘A’ or even ‘1’ could be a good way to get yourself near the top. Likewise, you may also want to consider the length of your domain, and of course this is all just academic until you take into account the price and availability…
Tip: While you don’t necessarily need to buy the trademark for your domain name, it is a good idea to make sure that nobody else has already bought it. Check that there are no websites that have very similar names, and likewise do a search for trademarks to make sure that yours is unique (https://www.uspto.gov/trademark).
Buying Hosting and a Domain Name
Now that you have a name for your website, the next step is to build it. This means doing a few things:
- Investing in a webhost
- Buying your domain name
- Creating the basic foundation of your website
A webhost is where your site will be stored, and essentially provides you with space on a huge, always-connected computer called a server. You upload the files that constitute your website to this computer, and then when someone types your URL into the address bar, they will be shown those files.
That’s why you of course also need to buy the domain name. You can do this separately, but most webhosts will also allow you to buy a domain name through their site directly. Once you click that you want to sign up, this will be the first thing you do before you pay for a deal.
There are plenty of different options and settings when choosing a plan for your hosting. As you are starting out as an internet marketer, you won’t have a huge amount of traffic to begin with, nor will you need to deal with lots of very big files, so usually the most basic options will do.
Finally, you need to set up the basics of your website. To do this, I highly recommend using WordPress.
WordPress is a completely free tool that is readily available on most hosting plans and can be installed from the dashboard via a single click. This then gives you a skeleton website, and lets you easily add new posts, tweak settings, and even install entirely new themes and mini apps.
WordPress powers over a quarter of all websites on the net, it is used by many of the best-known brands in the world, and it is completely open-source and fully customizable. There is a huge community of support (just do a quick search for “how to set up a WordPress website” to get started), and it works with the largest proportion of third-party apps and plugins. In short, there is no reason not to use WordPress.
Get Started With the Most Basic Promotion
Over the next few sections, we’ll be looking at some advanced marketing and promotion you can use to get your site to the top. This includes social media marketing, email marketing, and more. Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, you might want to simply start populating your site to get more people to go there.
Your job now then, is to find the blog section of your website and to add a new post that directly relates to your niche once every week or every day (the more the better, but pick a schedule you can stay consistent with). Simply adding more content to your site gives visitors a reason to keep checking back, to share your content, and to consider buying anything you’re selling. Likewise, adding content will help to give Google something to use to identify the topic of your site, thereby helping it to better present your page when people search for relevant terms.
Keep in mind that you can do this a lot more effectively if you also use basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization). That means integrating commonly searched terms strategically within your text. This is a more advanced form of marketing, but one that you can look into as you progress.
Once you have your website and a bit of content, it’s time to start actively marketing it to start getting people to go there. How do you do that?
One of the most powerful options is email marketing, and this is where we’re going to start.
What is Email Marketing?
While social networks have come and gone, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has been through many changes that have led people to question its long-term effectiveness, e-mail marketing is something that has been around for the longest time and shown no signs of going anywhere. Most of us will still start our days by checking our e-mail, and any messages we find in there are still likely to get read and noticed.
In order to get started with email marketing, you will first need to get something called an autoresponder. This is a tool that you use in order to collect email addresses and then to send out multiple messages at set times.
While you might think this is something you can do without a mailing list, that is absolutely not true. To successfully collect and manage emails, you will need to handle spam and ensure that people really want to be on your list – both of which will involve the use of a confirmation email. You’ll also need to handle people unsubscribing, you’ll want to maintain “list hygiene” by removing defunct emails, and you’ll want to be able to track who opens your emails and which ones are most successful. This would be an incredible headache with a lot of negative potential for something going wrong to try to do manually.
Consider one of the following autoresponders, and choose the most basic plan:
Other good options include: ConvertKit, Drip, and ActiveCampaign.
With this tool, you’ll be able to create a form to collect user details. You can then add this to your website in the sidebar, or at the bottom of each post. WordPress will let you do this easily with the use of plugins.
Using Email Marketing
Collecting emails when someone lands on your website is a powerful and useful strategy for turning visitors into leads. Now you can market new products to them, and encourage them to come back to your site.
One way to use your email marketing is to send out emails that provide additional content – just like your blog posts. Another option is to email people talking about all the posts you’ve recently added to your website in order to encourage them to visit again.
Then, when you have a product to sell, you will message to promote that product and drive more sales. This will be discussed in more depth shortly.
The point is that by using email marketing, you aren’t relying on your visitors checking your website every single day. You now have a way to reach them – and it’s a way that isn’t dependent on a third party site like Google or Facebook.
How to Get Your Emails to Stand Out
But while email marketing has remained effective, it has somewhat changed in the last decade or so, even though it might not be obvious on the face of things. The biggest change, of course, is the way that we check our emails. For most of us, this is now done on the move and constantly via our smartphones and tablets. Rather than getting home and checking 20 e-mails at once, we are instead ‘drip fed’ emails throughout the day as we go about our business.
This in turn then means that each email will be more likely to ‘stand out’ from the others and get noticed on its own merits, but it also means that we have become more accustomed to just brushing them off and viewing them as a nuisance. If you want your email marketing campaign to be a success, then you need to take that into consideration and factor it into the way you design your subject headings and the way you send your messages.
When you create your mailing list you will of course need to select the names on it based on who you think will be receptive to your message. This should be a targeted mailing list so that the people you are contacting will find your product or service relevant – it’s no good sending a Priest a catalogue of baby clothes.
At the same time though you also need to think about the time at which your mailing list will be most receptive to your message. This means both in terms of the point they’re at in their life (baby clothes catalogues will be more effective sent to those in their 30s), as well as the time of day. What time are they getting home from work? When are they likely to be sitting around answering e-mails, and when is their inbox more likely to be empty? Sending materials on a Sunday morning will be much more effective than sending them at 3pm on a Monday – so get as much information as you can about your recipients and consider the temporal factor in your marketing.
↪ Images and Clickability
If you want to get your recipients to then buy something or visit your website, then you need to think about the images you use in your message. Using a clickable button instead of a small hyperlink will always improve your click through rate because it will be more appealing to press. Likewise, using images can help to make a quick visual impression on your visitors.
But then you have to consider the fact that many e-mail accounts will block images from unknown senders, and that people can become annoyed by downloading large images. So keep your messages relatively plain then, and use images sparingly to give them more impact. Considering the wide range of devices your message might be viewed on will help you to avoid limiting your impact.
How to Get Traffic Through Paid Advertising
PPC stands for Pay Per Click and refers to the use of ad networks such as Facebook Ads or Google AdWords in order to promote your website or product. Basically, with any of these services you agree to pay a set amount for each time someone clicks on your advertisement, and this way you can avoid spending money on a campaign that doesn’t generate any website views.
Still though, you need to think about how you are going to convert the traffic you gain into profit, and you need to think about how you can get the right people to click on the adverts. There are a number of tricks to creating a successful and profitable PPC campaign, so here we will look at what those are.
The Goal of PPC Marketing
Really the most important thing to bear in mind is that a PPC campaign that gets the most clicks is not necessarily the most successful one, as that means that you’re actually spending the most money. You only want people to click on your ads if they’re likely to earn you money once they come to your site, such as if they’re likely to be returning visitors who will be interested in clicking on your ads or buying the products that you’re selling.
One of the best ways to make use of your PPC campaign is to link straight to a landing page where you are selling a product. Then if you can get the product to sell for say $30 a throw, then you can afford to pay $1 per click as long as you sell to at least 1/3rd of your visitors (this is called a conversion rate). This way you are still making a profit.
PPC ads are shown based on a split-second bidding system. That means that the more you opt to pay per “per click” (you get to set this amount), the more your ad will be shown in the relevant spots. By increasing the conversion rate on your website and by improving the ads, you can spend more money and get your ad seen by more people – scaling up your profits.
In order to work with this then, you need to focus much more on the CTR (Click-Through Rate) on your page and the quality of the traffic that the PPC ad is bringing you. If you are tricking people into clicking your advert and they are then only spending a minute on your page, then actually you’re just wasting your money. Likewise if your page isn’t doing a good enough job of convincing people to buy, then again you are actually throwing money away.
Designing Your Ad Accordingly
As such you should be aiming to create an advert that will attract the attention you want it to from the right people, and only if they are likely to make a purchase.
In other words then, you might consider including the price in your advert, the reason being that this will then allow you to drive away people who aren’t willing to spend that kind of money – which is just fine because you don’t want to pay for them to come to your site. You may be interested in attracting such visitors for other reasons, but unless you’re operating a charitable service with an ‘outreach’ budget, you should use less expensive marketing methods to reach them.
What is important still, though, is that your advert catches the eye so that the people you want to see it do, and the important thing to bear in mind for this is that your advert MUST look professional if you hope to make sales. Be professional, be honest, and be up front, and then as long as you focus on the CTR of your landing page, you can very reliably generate money this way.
Whether you choose to use Facebook Ads or Google AdWords, one of the most important considerations for an effective campaign is targeting. In other words, are your emails reaching the right people – the people who are likely to buy from you. Again, this increases the conversion, meaning that you can spend more money to achieve more reach for increased profits.
AdWords shows adverts on Google’s search engines and is based on what people search for. You will pick the search terms you want to target, and when someone looks for that phrase, your ad will appear at the top as a “sponsored result.”
Facebook Ads shows ads on a user’s Facebook newsfeed based on their interests, demographics, and more. For example, you can this way choose to show your fitness book only to people who have listed “working out” as an interest to target potential customers who are more committed to investing in solutions versus those who are just looking around.
Which option is better for you? That depends on the nature of your monetization, which we’ll talk more about in a moment. Keep in mind, though, that while Facebook lets you target an audience based on a greater amount of information, Google lets you target people based on their intent. In other words, if someone searches for “buy fitness ebook,” then that tells you they are actually looking to buy an ebook. Thus they might be easier to convert.
If you are trying to make your money from advertising other people’s products, though (and we’ll also be discussing this option shortly), you might not be able to funnel as much money into your business plan.
How to Integrate Social Media to Grow Your Business
Now you have PPC and email marketing being used to direct traffic to your website, and to drive sales of a product (that we haven’t added yet). But there are still more tools at your disposal for driving even more customers.
One such tool is social media. Social media is an extremely useful resource when it comes to gaining traffic because it essentially lets you talk to an audience like a human being. We all use social media, and so we understand how it ticks. This is certainly NOT necessarily true of Google!
What also makes social media powerful is that it lets you build relationships with your audience. That in turn can be immensely powerful when it comes to getting people to become loyal to your website, getting them to sign up for your emails, and getting them to visit your page directly – Google or no!
Social Media Marketing Explained
Sometimes it can feel a little like guesswork when you’re trying to build a following on social media – especially when you start out.
At first you’ll feel like every post you write is falling on deaf ears and that after spending ages coming up with interesting things to say you’ll be met with the sound of silence in return. And what sort of content should you be focusing on anyway? And how do you get people to listen?
While it can seem like you’re just blindly fumbling about in the dark, though, there is a proven method for finding success on social media and it’s perfectly possible to systemize the process to ensure rapid success. Here we will look at how to implement the best strategy and utilize the right tools to start generating a following and taking the guesswork out of social media marketing.
↪ The Strategy
The process of building a successful social media campaign is fairly straightforward when you know how. The goal is to continuously deliver value to your audience via informative and interesting posts that you upload regularly to your various accounts.
At the same time, you also need to make sure that you have a strong brand identity across these accounts. That means that you should have the same account name, logo, and imagery on Facebook and Tumblr as you do on Twitter and Instagram. You should be creating multiple channels that your visitors can use to find you and using them all synergistically.
From there you should begin building your followers. This is trickiest when you’re starting out as followers beget followers – in other words, people will be more likely sign up once they see that other people have.
To start those followers coming in, you should make sure you have social media buttons your website or blog. That doesn’t just mean sharing buttons, but links directly to your account that your visitors can follow to find you. Alternatively, you can use more elaborate widgets to showcase your channels, such as having a Twitter feed or embedded Facebook page. This will have the added bonus of making your site look more active.
This is very important and while you might not think it would work, simply having those links there will be enough to gradually get some visitors seeping in.
From there you keep posting. And you can use some of the following tools and strategies to start getting even more followers as you do…
Some quick tips:
- Use the most trending hashtags when posting where appropriate.
- If you can’t be on every social platform, then try to be on the ones that fit your style of content creation and that target the same audience that you are looking for.
↪ How to Grow Your Connections
Want to know one of the biggest motivating drives for people? A sense of obligation. That is to say that if someone feels like you’ve done something for them, they will feel compelled to do something back until they feel like they’ve done as much for you.
This powerful tip can be instrumental in building your social media following. Be interested in other people, show your value by serving them and not just promoting to them, and they are more likely to become interested in you.
That said though, you don’t want to waste your time chasing connections that have no interest in really being social. Such people can still be very valuable, but best reached through less interactive means like your blog posts or email lists. (In most cases, your blog posts can be configured to automatically post to your social media channels when they publish, to be able to reach the purely information-gatherers without having to dedicate exclusive time to them.) Like the PPC marketing mentioned earlier has a distinct monetary cost to consider, social media carries with it a similar cost in time.
That then is where a tool like Social Rank can come in very handy – this will tell you which of your followers is engaging with you the most and which of them has the biggest following of their own. Very powerful stuff when making choices about who to engage with and how!
What Social Rank also does is to illustrate the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to your social media followers. In other words, it’s better to have one influential and active follower than a million who don’t care about you and don’t have any reach of their own.
↪ How to Improve Your Posts
As you post, you also need to ensure you are keeping track of how effective those posts are so that you know whether what you’re doing is working.
LikeAlyzer lets you see which of your Facebook posts are successful and what your competition is doing – as well as providing you with actionable tips for your own page.
In general, make sure that your posts are using popular hashtags and that they’re focused on hot topics that relate to your target market and offerings.
BuzzSumo is a very useful tool that will enable you to easily see what topics are currently popular, and you can also see trending tags on Twitter itself.
Of course, you can also use tools like Buffer to save you time actually posting (it lets you queue posts).
↪ Don’t Give Up!
Hopefully these tips will have helped you to start feeling more confident in your social media campaign. If you find you aren’t a hit overnight though don’t worry – these things take time and a combination of trial and error and lots of data will only help you to refine your strategy. This isn’t an art, it’s a science and once you get the hang of it it’s an incredibly powerful tool for you to leverage.
How to Start Monetizing
If you got into this with the aim of making money from your website… then what are you waiting for? If you have people actively visiting your website and reading your content, then there are many ways you can generate a great profit from that without having to compromise in any major way and without even affecting the experience for them.
You’ll earn money even as you sleep, and you’ll find that your income can grow in greater proportion to the amount of labor you put in once you set it all up. Not that this is free money, mind you, but the culmination of all your hard work putting together a site that people find valuable enough to visit. Genuinely serving others deserves, and even requires, meaningful compensation in order to remain sustainable and grow further.
That’s right, we’re finally getting to that point. It’s the internet marketing dream! But not so much about raking in cash with no work or responsibilities, but rather being paid for having satisfying, flexible work in an area you enjoy and feel energized by.
Monetization Methods for Your Website
The following are some of the most powerful monetization methods for any website. Just keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to pick between these. Often the best strategy is to use them together!
Every webmaster is familiar with ad networks. The idea here is that you sign up as a publisher, and then you place a little snippet of code on your pages. That code then autogenerates adverts from participating advertisers based on the content on your pages, and that in turn ensures that you get the most relevant adverts showing up on your sites and that you don’t need to worry about chasing down the advertisers yourself. You will then be paid in most cases per click every time someone clicks on one of your ads.
The most obvious ad network that most people use is Google AdSense which is known for relatively high pay outs and being a reliable and easy to implement system. Some companies make their entire living from AdSense.
However, AdSense is not the only ad network on the block, and there are some out there with less stringent requirements and that are less likely to simply close down your account without recourse (as several webmasters have reported Google doing).
At the same time you might choose to combine multiple ad networks. You can do this using AdSense if you are using another similar network, but if the method is sufficiently different then you can double up if you so wish – for instance you can use ‘in text’ ads such as Kontera. However, Kontera has a relatively very low CPC (Cost Per Click) and can in some cases distract clicks away from Google rather than doubling your clicks as you might have hoped. It has a CTR, though, so it has some value for sites with very high volumes of traffic.
Selling affiliate products is often more profitable on a per-click basis but you will have a much lower conversion rate as people have to actually put their money where their mouse is and buy something in order for you to get any benefit.
Amazon have perhaps the most popular affiliate service allowing you to get a cut for recommending a range of their products. However, this is a relatively low cut, and you can get more from using other services.
Many online stores have an affiliate scheme if you are a webmaster, and Clickbank provides a great way for you to find many other partners and sell such products as eBooks.
Your Own Products and Services:
Of course, there is also the potential to make even more per sale by marketing your own goods and services rather than just earning commission selling for others. However, keep in mind that, unless your website exists solely for the purpose of this marketing, that this would essentially be running two businesses instead of one, which may add a level of complexity that not everyone will find desirable.
There is an area of middle ground, though, in the form of producing your own digital goods. While such production can still be a distinct business venture in itself, it has an advantage in being an upfront cost that can be worked around your other business needs rather than being an ongoing commitment that might compete with them. Once an item has been produced, it then requires little to no additional cost to sell and distribute through your existing marketing system, and can continue being sold without storage or maintenance costs for as long as its contents remain useful to potential buyers.
One example of this is to sell e-books. Likewise, you can sell subscriptions to your site, copywriting and web service packages, or even a ‘course’ which might consist of some regular e-mails, a book, and subscription in one package. And people will be willing to pay a lot for that if you market it well.
Think about your target audience. Choose one market, and design your product specifically for them and you will have more success than more vaguely aiming your product at everyone. Think about your demographic and create an imaginary person in your mind that would be your ideal customer. Then, as you design your product ask yourself – how much would this specific person like and benefit from this?
Converting Your Visitors into Customers
Now you want to be able to direct your visitors as necessary in order to convert them from visitors into cash. Here’s a quick question that can often be highly illuminating regarding your site – when someone first visits your home page, what do you want to be the first thing they do? If you currently can’t answer that definitively, then you will find your visitors don’t know where to go either.
This is what you should be wanting from your visitors: an e-mail address. A great way to do this is to give something away for free. By giving away a free chapter of an e-book for instance, or a free video from your course, you will be able to exchange that for an e-mail address. Then once you have their address, you will be able to market to them directly through their inbox. The great thing about that is even if they don’t stay on your site, you will still be able to continue to market and build a relationship with them.
Growth Hacks and Advanced Strategies to Skyrocket Your Business
Now everything is in place: an excellent website designed in WordPress, with a smart branding and domain name. You have a design that is born out of the niche you chose; you have regular content coming out, and all of that content is directing your visitors to either buy a product, click an ad, or sign up to your mailing list – you’re making money either way.
But that’s just the start. Now it’s time to grow. And the good news is that there are some very quick and effective ways to do this.
This section is going to share “growth hacks” and advanced strategies. However, it’s not just going to share the usual slew. Rather, it’s going to contain the methods used by the biggest brands in the world, and the key difference between a highly successful website and one that just turns over a little profit before sputtering out.
Growth hacks are techniques you can use in order to get ahead when promoting a website. They essentially allow you to circumvent the usual gradual trajectory for the popularity of a site and instead to create a much steeper climb.
Here are some examples:
↪ Guest Posts
A guest post is a post that you write and give away for free to another content creator. The idea is that this post then includes a link back to your website. They get free content, but in exchange, you get a link that will improve your ranking on Google AND lead to some direct clicks from that creators’ following. Not only is it a link, but it will also act as a testimonial of sorts from someone those people trust!
↪ Trending Hashtags
Especially when posting to social media, this makes a huge difference. If you’re not sure what hashtags to use, check out the ones used by your best competitors.
Likewise, creating content based on current trends can be an extremely beneficial strategy.
↪ Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a strategy that involves getting someone with a big following to mention your blog (often called a shoutout). This works extremely well, because even a small percentage of that person’s audience can be a big boost to your incoming traffic. If someone with a million followers posts a favorable link to you, then that’s a BIG influx of traffic right there! Though, of course, when evaluating such relationships to pursue, it must be kept in mind that the relevant thing to look for is number of active followers who are also part of your specific target audience, not just the number of followers shown on someone’s profile page.
↪ Highly Valuable Content
Not everything of value has to be sold to be profitable. Openly publishing a few rare gems for free showcases your ability and expertise, leading to increased customer confidence and conversion rates, increased sharing of your site among your followers’ networks, and an improved reputation in the eyes of Google.
Growth hacks might be popular, but even more important is to take your skills to the next level and to develop the serious, advanced strategies used by major brands and blogs.
One example of this is SEO (Search Engine Optmization). SEO can be extremely powerful in helping you to gain more visitors for your website, especially if you use SEO alongside a large amount of content with affiliate links.
Some quick and effective tips for good SEO:
- Use a tool like Keywordtool.io to find your search terms.
- Be subtle in your use of keywords when writing – 1% density is more than enough.
- Use related terms and synonyms.
- Include the keyword in your opening and closing paragraph, one header, and your page’s title.
Another example of an advanced strategy is to create a YouTube channel. This is one of the very best ways to build a relationship with your visitors and to gain more exposure. It can be game changing if you take the time to create a successful channel.
Finally, make sure that you spend a lot of time and effort on branding. The key to a highly successful brand is to ensure that as soon as someone looks at your website or your logo, they know if it is going to appeal to them.
So now you have learned the tools and skills you need to begin internet marketing.
What’s more important is taking action. Building your website is one of the most crucial things you can do to succeed online because with it you are essentially building your own platform.
Use various social channels in combination with SEO and paid advertising to gain an audience to your website and its offerings to build your brand and business.
Most importantly, never stop learning. Those who are successful today started from the bottom and worked their way up without ever giving up!