Online Marketing - Where Do I Start?
I recently received this question on one of my YouTube blog marketing videos. "I feel I am cut out for working in marketing, public relations and sales although, I'm stumped from there. What percent of marketing is online and how do I get started? - Fudruckus" Well, Fudruckus, if that is your real name, ;) I honestly don't know what percentage of marketing is done online but, I think it's safe to say - A TON! I mean think about it. When's the last time you turned on the TV and didn't see a .com tattooed onto the bottom right hand corner of the screen or scrolling across the bottom? Can you remember seeing a commercial that did not, in some way, include a web address? Companies both large and small spend millions of dollars a year on Internet marketing campaigns and more and more people every year get on the Internet. In addition to that, there's no other form of marketing that I know of that is easier or cheaper to get into. Now, all of that having been said I think it's important to know that marketing online does take work. Many people would have you believe that's it's as easy as buying a $497 product, working 2 hours a day and "BOOM" you're rich. I've made a lot of money online since 1995 and believe me not once was it as easy as I just described. That is a myth. To successfully market online takes time, effort and some monetary investment. Almost anything can be marketed online. But, not everything is good to market online. Some things do better than others. A man, much smarter than myself, taught me to always ask 2 questions to determine if something is worth marketing online.
1. Where can I get it?
2. How much does it cost? If those questions are easily answered then you probably shouldn't market it online. For example: Tooth Paste: "You get it at any grocery store and it cost $2." Bad for marketing online. Custom Skateboards: "I'm not sure where to get one or what they cost, let me 'Google' it." This may be something good to market online. Next, determine whether or not there are any good niche opportunities for the products and/or services you want to market. What makes a good niche? 1. You can find them in groups. (i.e. bikers, scrapbookers, dog lovers, weight loss, woodworkers, etc. People who are involved in these types of activities like to hang out with others, in person and online, who share the same interest.) 2. They are passionate and emotionally connected. (i.e. Some pet owners treat their pets as if they were human. They are crazy about them and will do anything for them, including spending a lot of money on them.)
3. They spend money. (i.e. Some hobbies / interests require that the participant spend money and some do not. Obviously, you want to find a niche market where the members spend money on their interests and they do it often.) Keyword Research Next do your keyword research to make sure there's enough search volume for the keywords you are going to target and to get a realistic idea of what it's going to take to compete in your chosen niche. In general you want to target specific keywords / phrases that have high search volume (at least 200-300 a day) with fewer results. (This means less competition) There are several good tools that will help you with keyword research you can read more about them here. http://1cat.biz/if-keyword-research-is-so-important-why-arent-you-doing-it/ Size up the Competition: Do a quick search in the top 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN) for the keywords you want to target. Take a look at the top 10-20 sites and determine the following: 1.Are the sites professionally designed? 2.Do they have a clear call to action? 3.Is the content compelling and current?
4.What are they doing right?
5.What are they doing wrong? Find what's missing and make sure your site includes it.
6.Are there any blogs or social networking types of sites associated with this niche? (Important if you want to use Social Power Linking methods to get large amounts of non search engine dependent traffic. Which I highly recommend!)
7.How can you make your product, service and/or expertise stand out from the others? Ultimately, what you are trying to determine is whether or not you can realistically compete in this niche. Only you know how much drive you have for this project, how much time you are willing to spend on it and how much money you have to do the things that need to be done in order to really compete. So, be honest with yourself. If 15 of the top 20 sites are all big companies like Sony, LG and Mitsubishi then, you might not want to try and sell flat panel TV's. ;) Build Your Site Once you decide on a market and you've done your research build your site and optimize it for your top 3 keywords/phrases. The quickest and easiest way to build search engine friendly sites, that are easy to manage, is to use WordPress. Even if you're not going to utilize WordPress' blogging features, which I think would be a mistake, it's still an excellent tool for quickly deploying websites. Getting Started with WordPress Register a Domain - It's best if your Domain Name includes your main keyword(s) Setup a WordPress Friendly Hosting Account - I like Host Gator. They're reliable and inexpensive. Choose a High-Quality Theme - There are many free themes available but, I like to use premium themes on most of my blogs. They look more professional, provide more exclusivity and the code is clean. (Free of embedded Spam links and poor programming that may cause bad performance and search engine issues.) Use the following posts at 1Cat.biz for setup and plug-in tips. 5 Essential Tweaks for all New WordPress Blogs 5 Essential Plugins for All New WordPress Blogs The Next 5 Essential Plugins for All New WordPress Blogs Getting Traffic to Your New WordPress Blog Obviously, you need traffic in order to sell anything from your new WordPress site. The best way to get traffic quick and to build good search engine rankings is to learn from the masters. I'm a member of Social Power Linking and I highly recommend it. Traffic to my website has increased 10x's since I started using the methods they teach. onKeyDown=textCounter(this.form.f_arttitle,this.form.avachars_title,150); To Your Success, Barry O.