Thursday, December 30, 2010

Clearly Defining Your Internet Marketing Plan For 2011

With the New Year approaching, millions of resolutions will be made and ultimately broken over the next few weeks or months.  I have never been a fan of resolutions per se, but I do believe the New Year is the perfect time for goal-setting, in particular, definable goals with suitable timetables.

It is especially important in internet marketing to have definable goals.  By definable, I mean goals with predetermined numbers or objectives.  Simply saying, “I want to write more articles in 2011” is not a definable goal.  A definable goal in this case would be, “I want to write 5 articles a week in 2011.”  There is now a definitive number of articles to write in a given time period.

Another example of an undefined goal is, “I want to make money online in 2011.”   Well, of course as an internet marketer, you want to make money online, but how much?  A more definable goal for making money online in 2011 would be:  “I want to make $1000 a month online within the next 12 months.”

There are three primary reasons for making your internet marketing goals definable:

1) Planning

When it comes to making money online, there must be an internet marketing plan in place to succeed.  Planning provides the blueprint for reaching your goals.  Short-term goals can actually be the plan for reaching your long-term goals.  In the example a provided above, writing 5 articles a week could be part of the plan to make $1000 a month online.  In essence, your short-term goals are the plan for reaching your long-term or most ambitious goals.

2) Motivation

If someone approached you and offered to pay you to carry a 50 pound rock up a steep hill, your first question would naturally be “how much?”  If the individual never disclosed an amount, you would probably never be compelled to carry the rock up the hill.  Now if that same individual offered you $100.00 to carry that same 50 pound rock, it would likely change your attitude.

The example here is a bit goofy, I know, but you get the picture.  An undefined payment for carrying the rock probably wouldn’t motivate most people, but $100.00 might certainly do the trick.  This same logic can be applied to internet marketing as well.  Coming up with a monthly income figure that would impact your life in a meaningful way would likely be much more motivating than simply aspiring “to make money online.”

3) Evaluation

At the end of the day, there must be some way to evaluate performance and measure progress.  In the 5 articles a week example, it is easy to evaluate performance and measure progress – anything less than 5 articles written per week is not meeting the defined goal.  With a clear understanding of how you are performing and progressing in your goals, it is easier to identify problems, find solutions and make the appropriate adjustments.

It’s okay to have New Year’s resolutions, but as an internet marketer it is more useful to set new goals for the upcoming year.  Sit down, come up with some realistic and attainable goals and then define those goals with concrete figures and objectives for 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Minimize Internet Marketing Discouragement

About the only thing that is guaranteed when marketing online is discouragement.  Many new internet marketers come into it bright-eyed and bushy-tailed only to have reality hit them in those bright eyes and then kick them in that bushy tail.  Anyone who expects success in internet marketing must be able to cope with the ups and downs of it all.
I blame a lot of the disillusionment on unscrupulous internet marketing programs that promise instant online riches.  With slick websites and even slicker recruiters, they lure desperate prospects into their online business with the promise of making thousands in just a few days.  When the immediate success doesn’t materialize, “newbies” often quit out of frustration - thinking making money online is not possible for them.
I sincerely believe anyone can make money online, but it takes time, patience, and perseverance in addition to sound internet marketing training and strategies.  Anything worth having rarely comes easy including creating wealth online.
Approaching online marketing with the proper mindset can make all the difference during the inevitable challenges and struggles. 
Here are a few tips to help minimize internet marketing discouragement:
1) Have a long-term online wealth creation mindset.  Rome was not created in a day and neither will your internet marketing empire.  When setting internet marketing goals and objectives, a minimum of six months should be given to accomplish them. 
Too often internet marketers have the “30 day mindset”, meaning if they aren’t making a certain amount of money in 30 days they will move on to the next thing or give up altogether.  While generating an online income in 30 days is possible, it shouldn’t be the standard by which ultimate success is measured. 
Many very successful internet marketers took months or even years before they found success.  Creating wealth online should be thought of as a marathon not a sprint, and survival is determined by the strength of one’s resolve.
2) Don’t buy into the hype.  Internet marketing programs are a lot like politicians, they often “overpromise and under deliver. “   Some opportunities can be quite convincing with stirring testimonials, videos and screenshots of PayPal or ClickBank earnings, or even money-back guarantees.
These types of marketing tactics may not be complete lies, but most are highly deceptive.  Out of 100 people recruited into a program, only 2 may actually achieve the rapid success often depicted in catchy splash pages.  So, while such incredible claims may have an inkling of truth, for the 98% who fail to make thousands right away, these ads are terribly misleading.
When choosing an internet marketing opportunity, it is best to leave the emotion out of it.  Any decision regarding an internet marketing opportunity should be based on sound evaluation of the business itself and not the promises of those making money to promote it.
3) Focus on free internet marketing strategies.  Nothing breaks the will of an internet marketer faster than spending money on ineffective advertising.  With all of the free methods for generating website traffic, there is no reason a marketing budget should put an internet marketer out of business.
Most Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO) tactics can be learned and implemented at little or no cost.  SEO marketing can be a bit tedious and time consuming, but remember internet marketing success is a marathon not a sprint.  Taking the time to effectively use SEO is the cheapest and most effective way to promote an internet marketing business in the long run.
It is probably impossible to market online and not get discouraged at least some of the time (especially in the beginning), but it doesn’t have to wear you down and ultimately defeat your efforts to create wealth online. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Anyone Can Master The Art Of Effective Article Writing

One of the biggest myths surrounding article marketing is that to be good at it one must be born with creativity and a gift for writing.  While these attributes would certainly be useful, nothing could be further from the truth.  Like great leaders, great writers aren’t necessarily born, instead they nurture and hone their skills over time.

All of us of have thoughts and ideas that can be shared with the world.  Expressing these thoughts and ideas comes naturally to some, but we all can learn to express these hidden talents with commitment to learning how. 

Putting thoughts and ideas into words is actually pretty easy.  It’s putting them into words that keep a reader’s attention that’s the trick.  This can be an especially challenging accomplishment in the ultra-competitive world of internet marketing.    

Any internet marketer who wants to use article marketing effectively must develop a strategy for turning their own unique thoughts and ideas into interesting reading material.  Here are a few article writing tips for internet marketers:

  1. Keep a notebook or journal at all times. Thoughts or ideas for an article might be triggered at anytime or any place, so it is incumbent to have a way of capturing those thoughts or ideas for future reference.  When on the Internet, a pen and pad should certainly be handy to write down anything you see or hear that could be the building block for a future article.

  1. Peruse article directories, forums and other blogs for ideas.  I would especially recommend this when the creative well has run a little dry.  At some point, every writer struggles with the creation of new ideas.  It’s okay to take a look at what other writers are writing about in a given online niche.  You never want to steal someone’s work, but providing a new perspective or point of view from your own unique thoughts is the very essence of creativity.

  1. Find your inspiration and/or passion.  If you’re writing about something that doesn’t move you, then you’re probably never going to find success writing about it.  Finding a niche market that piques your interest is critical here.  Sure, all internet marketers want to earn online income, but we all don’t have to take the exact same route to get there.  Think of all the things you are good at, enjoy doing, or have a passion for and start from there.  You will find your article writing and other internet marketing strategies come a lot easier if you are inspired or passionate about what it is you’re doing. 

  1. Limit distractions when writing.  Turn off the TV, complete all your errands and tasks, put the kids to bed, and try to isolate yourself if possible.  Of all the internet marketing strategies, article writing requires the most time, focus and energy.  Since most internet marketers have full-time jobs, families and other responsibilities, finding uninterrupted time for writing articles can be a daunting challenge.  Even if it means staying up a hour later or waking up a hour earlier, finding an uninterrupted time to formulate your thoughts and ideas into words will make a tremendous difference in the quality of your writing.

Don’t allow the thought of creating ideas and then translating those ideas into words intimidate you.  It may be a process, but anyone can learn the craft of effective article writing.  Use the 4 tips in this article and watch as your writing talents and online income flourish.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Keyword Research Tips For Affiliate Marketing

Keyword research is the first and most vital step in Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO), but many internet marketers have no idea how to effectively research keywords.  Keyword targeting is highly competitive and the research that goes into it must be thorough.

So many internet marketers are not done in by bad affiliate programs or poor products, but instead by poor keyword targeting.  Choosing the wrong keywords will all but doom any website hoping to generate organic traffic.

There are numerous keyword research tools available online to assist with selecting quality keywords.  Here are a few useful keyword research tips that will help in the selection and targeting of keywords for affiliate marketers:

  1. Spend time on keyword research before selecting an affiliate opportunity.  Most affiliates, of course, choose an affiliate program and then begin the keyword research process.  Researching keywords prior to choosing an affiliate opportunity, however, gives affiliates an idea of the competition, popularity and demand for a particular online niche before committing to marketing it.  Finding an affiliate program to fit a selection of targeted keywords that meet the competition, popularity and demand criteria is much easier than doing it in reverse order.

  1. Avoid keywords that are too broad.  This is probably where most people get it wrong when targeting keywords.  Sure, it would be ideal to rank at the top of Google and other search engines for broad keyword terms.  Unfortunately, unless you have an authority site or have cracked the SEO code, you will likely find yourself buried in the search engine abyss – never to be seen on page one.  And while broad keyword terms have ideal popularity, the traffic is not targeted and often useless when it comes to affiliate sales.  The key to getting conversions from search engine marketing is targeted traffic.

  1. Avoid keywords with low monthly searches.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, some websites are doomed by low search volume for their targeted keywords.  You can think of this as “having the keys to Ferrari, but no gas.”  Ranking at the top for every keyword you target is great, but if those keywords generate no traffic, what good is it?  It can be fairly easy to rank for keywords no one uses for searching, but the ultimate goal is to generate traffic to earn income online – not rankings.

  1. Use long-tailed keywords for better targeting and less competition.  A useful strategy for generating more targeted traffic and less competition is to use long-tailed keywordsLong-tailed keywords are multi-phrased terms (usually three words or more) used to search online.  An example of a long-tailed keyword is credit repair for families (credit repair would be the general or broad keyword term).  Benefits of long-tailed keywords include: higher conversions on website traffic, less competition for ranking, and more targeted visitors.  If doing Pay-Per-Click advertising, long-tailed keywords are also cheaper.

Keyword research can be a tedious and time consuming process, but the rewards are well worth the effort.  Targeting the proper keywords is often the difference between an affiliate website flourishing or dying on the vine.  Make use of the free keyword research tools available online and use the tips mentioned earlier in this article for guidance.