Friday, May 25, 2012

What is "Internet Marketing"?

John Abert

What internet marketing is, the many types of it, and what it can do for you.

When most people think of internet marketing, especially the ones actually “in” this business, their mind immediately goes to the rat-race of selling internet “how to” products. In reality, that is only a very small part. It could mean marketing anything on the internet... selling on online auctions, selling anything from recipes to used cars… literally ANYTHING, including using affiliate links to send the reader to another vendor from which you make a referral commission, to even giving things away and getting paid for it by the vendor! If you have a simple, free blog, and allow the provider to put ads on it of any kind, you ARE involved in internet marketing whether you realize it or not, or even whether you make money from it or not! You may not be making money, but if your provider is, then you are a part of his system! That includes everything from the site's platform logo, to their putting other ads on it from which they get paid by the advertiser. It's ALL advertising, and it all is designed to make someone money... so why not get your piece of the pie, too!
And as much as I would like to say that I am NOT a part of that rat-race, in order to teach how to market other products, many of the same principles and products drift over into this area as well. It’s unavoidable!

If someone is saying that they hate computers and refuse to use them…who are they trying to kid? Everything we do these days involves computers. They are in our vehicles, in our appliances, in ATM’s at the banks, even in flashing billboard signs! Unless you live under a rock, you interact with computers on a daily basis, whether you intend to or not! So you might as well get over your fear of them and learn how to use them properly!

Internet marketing can be anything you want it to be.

You can advertise your realty, carpet cleaning, home repair or blacksmithing business. You can sell physical products, either your own or other people’s. You can sell ebooks, software, videos, audios, tickets, cars and airplanes! You can even give stuff away, or simply refer readers to other sources. You can auction your item off to interested bidders. You can advertise your web-based services, such as programming and web building or even search engine optimization (SEO). You can sell programs and apps that you or other people have developed. You can make it what ever you want it to be!
Yes, there is a particular niche involved with teaching people how to use this medium to sell other people internet marketing products and courses, and it has a whole slew of products just for that purpose, but it doesn’t have to be that niche that you sell in, unless you want it to be! And many of those products also apply to selling other “non-IM” products online as well. Only YOU can decide how you want to run your business and what kinds of products to sell.
Even within the internet marketing niche, there are literally hundreds of different ways to make money online. And within those ways are other specialty niches.

If you have ever bought or sold anything on eBay… you were in internet marketing, even if it was for a short time.

One of the ways that people often get started are with auctions, the most famous being eBay. However, there are close to a hundred others that have sprung up as well, and for some items they may work even better. Some are specialized into handling home-made crafts, artwork, jewelry or fashions. There is even one that specializes in auctioning web sites and blogs! Even within the auction realm, there are physical products, digital products, timed auctions, buy-it now sales, stores, and many other specialties, including physical stores where you can take the products and have other people sell them for you in the online auctions! And even they advertise on the web to draw you in, to actually sell your physical products for you. It’s all part of internet marketing!
Nearly everything relates to web sites or blogs in one way or another. There are companies that host them, and companies that furnish web builder software on the site (usually for a monthly usage fee). There are companies who will sell the web builder software so that you own it. There are web designers who will build the sites for you, graphic designers who will create special artwork for them, and optimizing specialists who will make sure your site gets recognized and gets top positions on the search engines. There are programmers who will create special code to tell certain programs to do special tasks, as well as the more modern "app" (application) builders who design apps for mobile devices… the list goes on and on… and nearly all of them sell their products and services on the web.
There are companies who specialize in wholesale products, and if you can’t find good ones on your own, there are companies who will find them for you (usually for a fee). There are manufacturers, importers and other places that need web sites, as well as the retailers who buy from them and sell the products to the public.
Even places like governments, from the federal government to city libraries all have web sites these days, and someone has to design them, build them, host them, maintain them, and serve the people that use them. And somehow, the site has to generate enough revenue to offset the cost of providing it, as well as (hopefully) produce some profit over and above all that!  Even if you only own a simple little blog just to let others know what you are doing, you are marketing, even if it’s just yourself. You have to let others know where to find you. The techniques used are all part of internet marketing.
And speaking of actually “marketing”, which is usually how to go about determining how to sell a product, where to place it, who the buyers will be, and how to get the traffic…..all of that can be done on the web also, using market research tools supplied by hundreds of vendors.
You can learn almost anything online (including some things you shouldn’t), and you can buy and sell anything online. You don’t even have to own it or take possession of it before you sell it. There are companies called drop-shippers, where once you set up an account with them, you can use their product pictures and descriptions to create your ad, and once you have sold the product and collected the money for it, you order that product from them at your discounted wholesale price, and they will send it to your customer for you. You keep the difference as your profit. So as you can see, you don’t need a huge store or inventory to start making money online! All you need is ambition!
You don’t even need to own a computer. You can go to an internet cafĂ© or library and use their computers to make money! The main thing that you need to be an entrepreneur is the ability to THINK! I can teach you the techniques, but I can’t teach you to think. You have to learn to do that on your own, and some people never will.
Sometimes just referring a customer to another web site can earn you a commission, and it doesn’t even have to be for a sale. Some vendors pay for just clicks on their link, knowing that simply getting people to look at their site without buying anything, could mean a verbal referral to another person down the road. 

You can earn money from posting other people’s ads or links on your web site and collect for each impression or click through, even if they don’t buy. This is typically called CPA, or “cost per action”. Other companies will pay you for getting them a lead, such as having someone fill out a form. You can even charge people a weekly or monthly fee for putting their ad on your web site, the same way a newspaper gets money for posting ads in the paper. The ways you can make money from the web is almost limitless.
Some businesses provide special equipment and products, such as for the new telephone services that operate over the web, free of long distance charges.
If you need special services, there are web sites devoted to matching people with talent to the people who need work done, from copywriting to article writing, and from optimizing sites for the search engines to writing code. You can hire it all done online.
You can even post an ad for help, find yourself a J-O-B, or even a life mate online! There are sites where you can sell your photos online to the people who do the web work and ads. It’s all a matter of world trade, because digital products online can be sold to almost anyone, anywhere in the world! The entire planet can be your customer base!
That’s what internet marketing really is. It’s what makes businesses of all kinds work in today’s world and tomorrow’s. So don’t be afraid of web commerce. Any word that you click on, any banner that you click on, is making someone money, somewhere in the world. You might as well get your piece of the pie, because this is what the “American Dream” is all about! 
Stick around. There’s lots more information coming, and if you have any questions, please let me know.

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