I think there is a need to have a glossary of sorts which explains, in plain english, what the many aspects of Internet Marketing are, and better still how they relate to each other.
To over-simply for the sake of the of you, the Newbie, Internet Marketing can be grossly oversimplified into three categories like this:
A) You need some sort of web presence, this may be your own site or a free blog or whatever, but you need to be on the internet somewhere in order to market on it
B) You need to be selling something. Whether its your own product, someone else's, or even advertising, you need to be selling something in order to make money.
C) You need to get traffic to whatever your web presence is using traffic generation strategies
Now I'm going to divide this posting into two separate sections, one is your "Selling Web Presence" and the 2nd is "Traffic Generation."
Single Product Website: These websites are usually one page sales letter style websites. Sometimes they have multiple pages, but oftentimes their sole purpose is to take a prospect from cold and uninterested to pulling out their credit card. You can easily recognize this style of website by the following features:
- Big bolded headlines
- Long form sales copy
- Extensive use of graphics
- Extensive of use of testimonials
- Buy Now Button at bottom of page
The product can be anything from anything physical or digital. Ebooks, lawnmowers, software, vacations, seminars, and nearly all other types of good or service can be sold like this by their creators/owners.
Also the owner of the product can charge a one-time fee for purchase, or may choose to charge a recurring monthly fee. If they charge by the month these types of sites are usually referred to as "membership sites".
- You keep most of the profits
- You can get affiliates to sell for you
- Can be very lucrative depending on your market
- Membership sites pay month after month
- It's usually difficult for most newbies to create a product
- Can be costly if you outsource it
- You have to personally deal with customers or hire someone to do so
- Can be an epic fail if you don't choose a good market
Affiliate Website: These websites can cover a wide variety of different styles and designs, however they all have one thing in common: They are trying to get you to buy someone else's product. Let's go over some styles of the affiliate website:
Affiliate Review Websites: These websites usually review several similar products and sort the products in descending order from best to worst. This website style makes money on any product that the visitor decides to purchase, and they will usually rate the highest paying product the highest.
Example: Wordpress Conduit Websites
Affiliate Store Websites: These websites usually use some type of scripting software or combines several web technologies to automatically pull existing products, usually physical products, from a larger website like eBay.com or Amazon.com. Of course the affiliate makes money from any products that the visitor buys.
Examples: Build A Niche Store, phpBay Wordpress Blogs, Amazon.com Niche Blogs
Affiliate Lead Capture Websites: These websites usually offer something for free in exchange for the users email contact information. They will then structure their free item and subsequent follow up emails to sell the interested prospects on products who they are affiliated with and many times their own products as well.
A.k.a: Lead Capture Pages, Landing Pages, Squeeze Pages
Free Affiliate Blog Websites: These websites are usually used by people with shoe string budgets and promoted through article marketing. These sites are built around free blog software platforms like Blogger or Wordpress, however unlike regular blogs they are not updated often, and much if not all of the content there is trying to sell a prospect on an affiliate product. There are also self hosted affiliate blogs.
- You don't have to make a product
- You don't have to do any customer service
- Some styles of affiliate sites cost little or nothing to setup
- Commission on many affiliate products is small
- You could end up promoting a dead or slow selling product
- Some styles of affiliate sites require technical skill
"Niche" Content Websites and Blogs: These websites are growing in popularity and have been a staple of the internet since the advent of the World Wide Web and the HTML website programming language. These sites can be built on many many different types of software, and more recently the trend has been towards Wordpress powered niche blogs and websites. These websites are usually focused on a single subject matter, and can make their money from a variety of different sources. I'll try to cover a few here:
A) Selling the website owner's own product via banners and related content.
B) Selling other people's products via banners, related content, and integrated software as mentioned before.
C) Selling banner advertising space on the site itself directly to other webmasters
D) Selling text links to directly other webmasters.
E) "Cost Per" Advertising Programs: These require a little more explanation. There are a few different "Cost Per" Advertising programs on the internet. I'll cover some of the more popular one's here:
- Cost Per Click (CPC) - These programs pay the website owner every time someone clicks an ad. Example: Google Adsense
- Cost Per Action (CPA) - These programs pay the website owner every time someone completes a certain action. It could be as simple as submiting an email address, or something as complex as completing a multi-page survey. Example: AzoogleAds
- Cost Per Thousand (CPM) - These programs pay the website owner a certain amount of money for every thousand impressions the website gives their banner ad. An impression is simply when the ad is served to a website visitor. Visitors may see the same ad multiple times, but each time counts as an impression. The letter "M" comes from the Roman numeral for 1,000. Example: ValueClick
- Once a website gets popular it can make a large amount of money
- After a website is established in the marketplace it can run on near "autopilot"
- Marketing a new website to good earnings requires considerable work and can take time
- Could possibly produce less than expected earnings depending on the market
Forums: This is a little self explanatory here. But you can make a ton of money with forums too. Pretty much all of the ways you make money with a Niche Content site can apply to a forum website, except with a forum you can charge fees for access to certain areas, implement classified ads and/or charge fee's.
Example: Warrior Forum
- Once a forum gets established it can be a great earner for years and years
- Relatively easy to setup using special made forum software
- Can take some time to get a large user base
- Can be hard to get new members to stay active
- Requires moderators to police the forum, usually its YOU when first starting out
Website Selling a.k.a Site Flipping: This is nothing more then the act of selling one of the aforementioned or any other kind of website on a website marketplace. Websites with existing traffic and earnings will always sell for more than brand new websites.
- Can be very lucrative if done in large volume
- A great way to liquidate existing virtual assets
- Requires technical expertise and web design skill
- If you are flipping starter websites solely, they might not always sell
Example: See Flippa.com for many many websites for sell
Dropshipping/Physical Goods eCommerce Store: These types of sites sell actual physical goods. Many of these are hosted on eBay.com, however there are tons of them on their own domain names. Many of these use the process of "dropshipping" to source their product.
Dropshipping is when a manufacturer of a product will ship the product to your customer for you while you buy the item from them at a wholesale price. You can make money because many people don't know about dropshippers, therefore you can charge retail prices while paying wholesale. Its very appealing to some because they don't have to order large quantities of product at a time.
- Can be lucrative if you sell the right things
- Pretty easy to setup on eBay.com
- Can be hard to find quality dropshippers
- Have to deal with refunds and customer service
- Can be epic fail without proper market research
This is by no means a complete listing of the various ways to make money online, but these are the some of the more common ways you'll come across in this forum. Now lets cover the other aspect of Internet Marketing....
As a newbie, it can be very difficult to distinguish between actual ways of making money online and driving traffic. For example, there are many products that explain how to make money with certain websites like Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace. However these products actually explain how to use those websites to drive traffic to an actual Selling Web Presence which will make you the money.
Lets look into many of the different ways to drive traffic to your selling web presence.
Article Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves creating articles and submitting them to various places online with the sole intent to have the article bring visitors to one's selling web presence.
A.K.A = Bum Marketing
Video Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves creating videos and submitting them to various video sharing websites online with the sole into to have the video bring visitors to one's selling web presence.
Nearly any product having to do with Youtube will actually be explaining video marketing.
Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC): This traffic generation strategy involves using Pay Per Click advertising services like Google's Adwords to drive traffic to your website. Unlike many of the other strategies mentioned here, you have to pay money per every click your ad gets.
Social Network Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves using social network websites with the sole intent of driving visitors to your selling web presence.
Examples: MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Social Bookmark Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves using many different social bookmarking websites to drive traffic to your selling web presence. A social bookmarking website allows users to save their favored and interesting webpages online and share them with their friends. This could mean thousands of potential visitors to a website depending on how many people find it interesting and pass it along.
Examples: StumbleUpon, Digg, Propeller
Social Media/Web 2.0 Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves creating content and spreading it across many social media content sharing websites, also referred to as Web 2.0 sites, with the sole intent of driving visitors to your selling web presence.
Examples: Hubpages & Squidoo
RSS Feed Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves taking an RSS feed from your blog, website, or forum and submitting it to many RSS directories in the hopes that you can garnish actual human visitors to your site.
Blogging & Pinging: This traffic generation strategy involves using a blog website and posting to it often. Then you will "ping" other blog services using a site like http://www.pingoat.com or http://www.pingomatic.com. This "ping" alerts the blog search engines to come back to your site and index your new content that you've posted there so your listing in their directories will always have your fresh content at the front.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This traffic generation strategy involves optimizing the code, design, and content of your selling web presence to be more appealing to search engines. As you rank higher within the engines your traffic will climb as well, and usually your earnings follow too.
There are two main factors of SEO:
SEO is highly technical and the information on the subject is forever changing as the search engines themselves change.
A) On Page Optimization - This involves optimizing your website's actual HTML code, design, and content to be more search engine friendly.
B) Off Page Optimization - This involves acquiring as many backlinks to your website as you can. Backlinks can be further divided up into other categories:
- 1 Way Backlinks : These happen when a sites links to you but you don't link to them, many consider this the best backlink to have
- 2 Way Backlinks: This is when someone links to you and you link to them, these are not considered as good as 1 way backlinks
- 3 Way Backlinks: This is when you link to Bob, and Bob links to Sue, then Sue links back to you.
- Linkwheels: This is the same as a 3 way, only more sites are involved. Imagine a chain of links which each site being a spoke in a wheel to get a picture of what I mean.
Directory Submission Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves submitting your website to as many internet directories as you can find. While mainly for backlinks you will get some human visitors to your site this way.
Download Site Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves creating an .EXE file and spreading it across many many download websites, not only for backlinking but for direct human visitors as well. Usually the EXE file is simply a graphic with a link to your actual selling web presence.
Torrent/File Sharing Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves putting a piece of content on BitTorrent or any of the other file sharing networks. The content sole purpose of course is to drive visitors back to your selling web presence.
Forum Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves actively participating on as many forums related to your selling web presence as possible with a signature link promoting your actual site.
Blog/Video Commenting: This traffic generation strategy involves seeking out blogs and/or videos related to your website and leaving comment with a link back to your website.
Wiki Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves seeking out Wiki's, usually on Wikipedia that are related to your site and leaving your link on them with the sole purposes of driving traffic to your site.
Answers Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves seeking out Q&A websites, looking for questions related to your site and answering them, and claiming your site as the source of the answer. People who found the answer helpful will be naturally inclined to visit your site.
Example: Yahoo Answers
Classified Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves posting advertisements across many online classified ads websites whose sole purpose is to drive traffic to your selling web presence.
Examples: Craiglists, Yahoo Classifieds
eMail Marketing: This traffic generation strategy involves sending email to a list of people with the sole intents of driving traffic to your website. While you can buy premade lists of email address, its generally better to build your own list using a free offer and a squeeze page.
Now these are by no means the only ways of generating traffic online, however these are some of the more common ones that you will run into on this forum.
As a newbie, it can be easy to get sucked into all of the promises of making big money really fast from home with hardly no work done at all. While I'm not trying to debase any of the methods mentioned below they do have a long history of being scams perpetrated by quick buck artists:
- Assembly Jobs - Tells you you can make money assembling a companies product and shipping it back to them. They send you a box of stuff, you assemble it and send it back, then they send you a notice saying that your work did not meet standards and you never get paid. Plus we all know that most every company who sells a product needing assembly makes the end user assemble it anyway.
- Medical Billing Jobs - You pay $XXX for all the supplies you need to start a Medical Billing business, however you quickly find out that the supplies are outdated and the all the physicians in your area already have someone on staff who does this for them.
- Data Entry Jobs - Offers you money for inputting data into databases. Total scam, because you usually have to pay for the information, and most offline companies would hire locally or outsource to an established firm anyways.
- Make $5,000 or More Posting A Link On Google a.k.a Google Cash Kit - You'll notice these blogs as MaryGetsMoney.com, ScottMakesDough.com, or similar. Offers to send you a CD about making money with Google for $1.95-$5.95 shipping. CD never comes and your credit card is usually dinged within 7-14 days for $50-$75, and worst of all its hell to try to get your money back.
- Get-Paid-To Sites, ex. Get-Paid-2-Click - Offers to pay you $0.01-$0.10 for clicking ads or reading email. What they don't tell you is that you need to earn $100 in order to be paid which equates to months of clicking and reading.
- High Yield Investment Programs - Any type of low-risk ultra-high-return investment in stock, mutual funds, etc. is usually a scam or ponzi scheme. The markets don't work that way.
- Matrix or Doubler Schemes - Put $X into the matrix system and get $XX back. Total scam, doesn't work you can't create money like this and the system fails after a few "levels."
- Chain Letters - Everyone has gotten this one. Its a usually a letter telling you to send $1 to the 5 names at the bottom, then remove the first name from the letter and add your name at the bottom of the list, then syndicate the email to everyone you know. Doesn't work though...
- Home Typist Jobs - Promises to pay you for typing, you pay the scammer money for the "kit", then they send you a small CD with instructions telling you the "typing" is actually posting ads selling the same Home Typist kit
- Just Call This 1-900# for more info - 900#'s cost money when dialed, any reputable company will have an 800#
- Nearly any marketing product you see on TV - Most are used to get your contact info so that you can be aggressively telemarketed to.
- Envelope Stuffing - Trust me, just don't do this one.
I made this rather long posting to help the really new people get a better grasp on all of these things at a glance. If you have any other things which you think should be added here, please post them and I'll edit this posting to add them and credit you as well.
I've tried to make this posting as unbiased as possible and simply give defintions.
I'm no where near being a know-it-all expert. As a disclaimer some of my opinions may be wrong because they are based heavily on my own experience. As with anything in life do your research and due diligence first before investing money & time into a new project.
This forum can be a great place to learn, and don't be afraid to ask questions. There are a lot of high dollar earners here who would be happy to help you.
This posting is but a small fraction of all the different elements that our art incorporates. If any of these ways of making money sound good to you, do some more research on them, then go out and purchase products relating to them. The WSO section here is a great place to get some high quality info at low prices.
It can be overwhelming at first with all of the information thats out there, but if you pick one money maker and one traffic generator and stick with it, you will eventually succeed at some level. Many-a-newbie goes astray and jumps from one thing to the next never actually getting anything done.
I hope this post has been helpful, and thanks for reading it.