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Learning the Ropes of Internet Marketingby Jonathan Castro
The world of internet marketing can be overwhelming for the aspiring would-be marketer. Affiliate marketing, Adsense, Adwords, Blogging, Email campaigns, Website design, Keyword optimisation, Market research, ...where does one begin?
A useful first step for those just starting out in this area of business would be learning the basics of how to put together a webpage and generate traffic to it. A well designed website can make all the difference between selling something and going empty-handed. And without traffic, how will a website generate any money?
Nothing beats the thrill of designing your own website and making money from it. Beware the "get rich quick" schemes which will offer you a website, but at a great cost and without the ability to customize it as you wish. Instead, learn basic HTML yourself and get to grips with CSS and <div> elements for arranging and customizing your webpage. A great template makes it a lot easier to generate multiple pages if need be. You can get your own domain and hosting plan for less than 20 a year.
What should your website be about? This is where the business of market research comes in. Millions of people use search engines every day to find what they're looking for. To be successful at web marketing, you need to discover topics of interest that are frequently searched on, but which have little competition for advertising (e.g. have few or no Adwords adverts in Google), or have only a few thousand results returned by the search. A search phrase like "cheap carburettors texas", for example, may have little competition but still a sizeable monthly search volume. Once you have identified a list of related keywords for a certain topic which look financially promising, you can then design a website around that topic, incorporating these keywords. The domain name of your site should be appropriate for what you are promoting. Also, it makes sense to choose areas which are promising for affiliate marketing, as unless you are going to create hundreds of pages containing Adsense ads, you will not make much money from your site. Popular affiliate schemes can be found with Commission Junction (www.cj.com), PayDotCom (www.paydotcom.com) or Affiliate Window (www.affiliatewindow.com). You can sign up for free and promote a wide range of different products.
Blogging, posting messages in forums, email campaigns and writing articles like this can help to boost your website ranking in the search engines. Ideally, you will be able to get near the top for the keywords you have used, which will help tremendously in saving money on advertising, as if you're near the top in Google, why pay for an Adwords ad? Cutting advertising costs will improve the profitability of your site.
There are a lot of e-books on the web describing how you can achieve success online, but most of the techniques are already well known and in the public domain. I would recommend building quality sites, and not page after page filled mostly with Adsense ads, as this looks unprofessional, and why add to the massive amount of rubbish already on the web? Make your websites enjoyable to use, and you will improve both your popularity and your profits.
About the Author
Jonathan Castro is a technical author and web designer. His most recent project is taking shape at www.bluefishmall.com.
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