‘Internet Marketing Explained’ is my attempt to explain internet marketing as simply and with as much clarity as I can from the perspective of over 6 years of internet marketing experience.
It is easy to lose sight of the simplicity of the internet marketing model because there are so many distractions and offers that confuse the issue.
In simple terms, you need to send targeted visitors (traffic) to a relevant offer or offers, follow-up and track the conversion rates and profits/losses in order to improve your results.
So lets start with traffic.
For a long time I was beguiled by SEO and the idea of free traffic. The problem is that free traffic is often highly competitive and subject to changes in algorithm that are outside your direct control.
It can also take time to get rankings and traffic via SEO.
The best way to get free traffic is to operate in a highly focused niche and carry out keyword research to understand both the potential and competition for the keywords you are trying to rank for.
I have observed that most gurus pursue paid traffic strategies because they are easier to switch on and off, faster to implement and easier to scale.
Paid traffic requires that you monitor your numbers closely to understand you click through rate, cost per click and earnings per click – if you fail to do this then you can quickly run into trouble.
So paid traffic demands that you have a marketing budget, that you know your numbers and holds you to a higher standard which is why most new marketers try to go the ‘free’ traffic route.
But ‘free’ traffic is not ‘free’ – it requires input of time and skill (which requires training). There is also no guarantee of results, so most experienced marketers simply buy clicks and monitor their returns on their paid traffic. Any free traffic is simply regarded as bonus traffic.
The exception to this is affiliate traffic but with affiliate traffic, the cost is that you pay a commission to the affiliate and you know that that customer will continue to be marketed to by the affiliate and any other product owners who that affiliate promotes.
Many paid traffic sources can now be highly targeted to your ideal prospect and paid traffic sources are plentiful so I recommend that you learn how to monitor and track your clicks from source to product delivery as quickly as possible.
Getting the click from your targeted prospect is as simple as using ‘copy’ to make the prospect curious enough to click your link to find out more.
With paid traffic, it is best to start with a low budget and then scale up gradually when you can see a return on your investment.
Many marketers direct traffic first to a free offer, usually on a squeeze page or optin form on the page.
The reason they do this is to maximise conversions i.e. they get the contact details of the prospect so they can market to them in future.
Often, after they have the prospects contact details, they will make an immediate low-cost offer and then subsequent upsells and downsells in a sales funnel to maximise sales and conversions.
There are strategies for picking up visitors that try to escape the sales funnel – things like exit pops or down-sells to keep the prospect on your site and reading alternative offers.
I include email marketing as part of the sales funnel process i.e. you keep sending your prospect back to the offer or to new offers.
To maximise your return from email marketing you also need to build a relationship by offering a combination of free value and paid offers that help them.
Email marketing is a learned skill in and of itself but this is where the majority of money is made if you do this properly.
It requires that you learn to write copy that invokes curiosity to click the link in your email to find out more. You also need to segment your lists so you can send relevant offers to the people on your list which will increase your conversions.
Product Creation or Affiliate Products
One of the skills you need to learn is how to create products that appeal to your market.
Whilst it is possible to earn good money by promoting other peoples products, you first need to get them on your list by offering them one of your own products either at the front-end of the sales funnel or as a bonus for buying using your affiliate link.
Digital products can be delivered via email, a download page or via a secure membership site.
You need tools to track the conversions through your sales funnel from traffic source to product delivery and also to track your email open rates and clicks. This enables you to test strategies for improving conversions – for example, split-testing landing pages or alternative ad copy.
Knowing your numbers and generating more revenue than you spend on traffic is the name of the game. You build your business by creating a list of responsive prospects and customers.
Tracking tools include Google Analytics, proprietary link trackers, ad platform information, affiliate platform statistics etc.
Each promotion need s to be created as a marketing campaign and closely monitored for results.
You need to operate in a focused sub-niche where there is already traffic and buyers of products. So researching your niche is a pre-requisite to internet marketing.
Once you have chosen your niche, you then need to immerse yourself in it to discover the problems and solutions that you can market to those targeted buyers.
Internet marketing starts with niche selection (and niche selection is another skill in and of itself) but rather than put this as the first item in this article, I thought that I would put it at the end just to be different!
That is the internet marketing business model in a nutshell.
How well you do in internet marketing is a product of taking action and your skill in the execution of the component parts of the model.
For example, being able to write compelling copy is a highly prized skill because you can dramatically increase sales conversions with this skill alone.
I hope ‘Internet Marketing Explained’ has been helpful to your understanding of the internet marketing business model – whilst there a whole host of nuances to this model, this is the essence of internet marketing.