Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, and it arrives in less than a week. I thought it would be an appropriate time to write about the demons of internet marketing. By this I mean that whenever one ventures into the online business world, trying to make their fortunes online, there are always obstacles to face along the way. Let us call these obstacles “the Demons of Internet Marketing”!
Demon #1: The Demon of Trust
Our first demon when trying to find profitable home based business opportunities online is the Demon of Trust. With so many online, money making opportunities out there, which source is the one we can safely put our hard earned dollars into? Which internet guru is going to take us by the hand and lead us to success? Which opportunities are scams and which are real and legitimate? Well it takes some time to figure these things out, but the time you take to do your research into different opportunities will be well worth it in the end. Most of us delve into this or that hot new opportunity and lose a little money along the way, but if we know the business has a good reputation, have checked it out at the Better Business Bureau, have asked questions in forums and to direct contacts, have compared opportunities, and read books on the subject, then we can probably feel safe that the Demon of Trust is not going to knock us down.
Demon #2: The Demon of Money
The second demon we run across when we are deciding on a new business opportunity, or have already chosen one, is the Demon of Money. This demon can be nasty, as internet marketing ventures can be very expensive if we’re not careful. First we have to determine if we have enough money to not only start, but to sustain a business online. Then we have to create a business plan and budget for ourselves so that we can maintain our business for the long term. After all, a web business is not something you quickly whip up, leave alone, and expect to bring in the bucks. A web business takes a little, or even a lot of money to maintain over time. Ask yourselves if you have enough to do it. Find out ahead of time what costs will be involved along the way. What do you have to pay for membership fees? What programs might you be asked to join? What advertising techniques will you have to pay a pretty penny for? What methods will you use to market your business and how much will it cost? Get an Excel spreadsheet together and track your expenses. If you do these things, the Demon of Money might not burn a hole in your wallet.
Demon #3: The Demon of Time
Running an online internet marketing business is no easy task. It takes hard work, energy, and consistent effort before you can expect to see results. Even if you realize it will take time, there are often unforeseen events that happen in our lives that prevent us from moving forward with our businesses. You have to account for the unforeseen when managing your time. You have to expect to do something every day to get your business rolling, even if you can only manage one small task. Making a daily to-do list really helps in this case. Write yourself a note about what you want to accomplish and set some goals that you will work towards achieving. It’s a bad idea to try and do too much all at once, as it just leads to feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and burnt out. Just like with your money, you need to manage your time in a way that suits every other thing going on in your life: Your day job, your family, your friends, your athletic pursuits, your recreational activities, your rest, and your relaxation. If you can only do a business part-time, don’t try to force yourself to make it full-time. You can only do so much if you want to stay healthy. Plan your days wisely and the Demon of Time will tire you out.
Demon #4: The Demon of Advertising
Internet marketing involves a great deal of advertising if you expect people to find your business online and purchase products or services from you. We must select different forms of advertising to find out what works best for us. This, too, is no easy task, and it can be terrifyingly expensive. If we keep in mind that there are many free and effective ways to advertise and we find and use these methods, then we might survive. Article writing, blog posting, linking, and free classifieds are great ways to advertise our online businesses and don’t have to cost us a cent. But of course, we are going to want to try some paid advertising methods, especially if we have the money to do so. We could select and pay for ezine solo ads, pay for an article submission service, or a ghost-writing service if we have articles written for us. We could pay for Google Adwords, or pay to get quality one-way links pointing back to our sites. We could pay for a press release or newspaper ad or flyer. The possibilities are endless. We have to find out what’s right for us, and sometimes this just takes a little bit of dabbling into everything to find out what works. Then once we find out what works, we can get ahead of the Demon of Advertising by duplicating what we have done to get positive results.
Demon #5: The Demon of Traffic
Once we have our web businesses up and running, we must get visitors to our sites if we expect to make any money online. The Demon of Traffic gives us endless frustration as we try to find ways for people to find our products and services online. If you don’t have a very specific and targeted niche market, then this can get crazy in a competitive internet marketing world. One of the best ways to get traffic to your site is by writing articles and placing the link to your site in the author’s bio-box at the end. Article marketing is huge and your links will get spread around the net in no time, especially if you use an article distribution service that reaches thousands of publishers online. You should also try to get one-way links pointing back to your site by submitting your URL to different link directories on a regular basis. You can also get your links circulating by posting your link in different discussion forums, or making comments on other people’s blogs. Your links are picked up by the search engines and will appear in the search results when someone searches for a particular keyword. You also want to offer a newsletter on your site and perhaps advertise your site by circulating and opt-in form in different traffic exchanges. Traffic exchanges are another way to get credits to show your links and build traffic to your site. The ways to generate traffic are endless if you are creative and again, find out what works best for you and duplicate your success.
Demon #6: The Demon of Downlines
If you are involved in a network marketing business, it is a real challenge to build a good downline to grow your network. You have to be willing to find prospects and communicate with them regularly if you expect anyone to join your business. You should be willing to offer your contact information, and accept phone calls to answer any questions your prospects may have. You must be willing to offer your support and assistance whenever it is needed, and you must go out of your way to make your customers feel like they are number one. You may even want to distribute business cards, flyers, brochures, or create a CD to demonstrate your product or service and give it away for your prospects to review. You may want to find network marketing distributors who are already interested in your business and have some knowledge already about it. If you are willing to communicate, support, and be there for your prospects and customers, then the Demon of Downlines can be beat.
Demon #7: The Demon of Sales
Last but not least is the Demon of Sales. Sometimes even when we are doing all the right things in our businesses, the sales just aren’t coming in as we’d like them to. Once we build a list and have traffic to our sites, and we have advertised using this or that method, how do we translate our efforts into sales? How do we keep our current customers interested in our products and services and coming back to us in the future to buy more? Sometimes this is just unpredictable, but one thing you can surely do to help your business boom is to develop solid relationships with your client base. Once you have a list of subscribers to your newsletter, talk to them. Send them personal messages in addition to your business messages. Don’t try to sell them something every time you write or talk to them on the phone. Show them that you care about their wants and needs, and care about making their lives happier in some way. Show them how your product or service will satisfy that need or desire. Show them that you are there and willing to help them at any time. Build rapport with them by asking them questions, and asking for their feedback. Get them involved in your business as much as possible. Once you have a good relationship, you have customers, possibly for life!