November 10, 2009
If you got behind the wheel of a car without knowing how to drive, chances are, you’d crash. Yet, every single day on the Internet, thousands of newbies are performing the equivalent of the aforementioned driving analogy, by putting up a website without having the slightest idea how to promote it. And guess what happens – they crash!
In my opinion, starting a business – any business without having even basic marketing skills is not only putting the proverbial cart before the horse – it’s downright foolish!
Now some might argue that a business plan is more important than marketing ability. And others might argue that knowing how to manage a business is more important than having a marketing acumen.
Well, I agree with the former argument. A good business plan is like a GPS system. It will keep you on course, and headed in the right direction. A business plan is an absolute must, and you should definitely develop one before you start any business.
However, I reject the latter argument. Why? Because you can be the greatest manager in the world, but if you don’t know how to market your wares, your business will fail – I don’t care what you’re selling.
That’s why I consider competency in marketing the most important business skill that you can have. If you become proficient in the art of marketing, it will allow you to become profitable that much quicker. Then you can afford to either hire a manager, or take a business management course.
A Simple Classified Ad
How important is it to acquire marketing proficiency? Believe it or not, writing a simple classified ad is considered both an art and a science, seriously! Publisher and mail order legend, Melvin Powers actually wrote an entire 240 page book about classified advertising titled, “Making Money with Classified Ads.” In an advertisement for the book Powers writes:
“I’ve run thousands upon thousands of ads, month after month, year after year and have made millions doing it. I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I found that, as with most things, making money with classified ads is easy when you know how.”
Author and master copywriter, Robert Boduch also wrote a book about classified advertising titled “Classified Magic …How To Make Your Small Ads Pay Off BIG!” In an advertisement for his book, Boduch wrote:
“After years of running ads — trying out various approaches — I began to collect the key ideas that worked. I wanted to figure out what made some classified ads so successful. And I kept testing new approaches until …I finally figured out …what works and what doesn’t.”
By the way, while we’re on the subject of writing ads, do yourself a favor and start reading Brian Clark’s outstanding copywriting blog, CopyBlogger. You won’t get a better ad writing education anywhere on the Internet – and it’s free! You can thank me later.
How Do I Get Free Traffic to My Website?
I’m a member of several small business forums, and without fail, whenever newbies visit the forums, the two questions they ask most often are: “How do I promote my website?” or, “How do I get free traffic to my website?” Those two basic questions get asked by newbies every single day.
Newbies, are you starting to see my point about the importance of acquiring marketing skills? You need to know the answer to those questions, before you build a website. As I demonstrated a moment ago, even writing something as simple as a classified ad requires a certain degree of competency.
The Seduction of Internet Marketing Newbies
In his book “Seduction,” author and social theorist Jean Baudrillard writes:
“Many social behavior theorists classify seduction as a specialized form of persuasion. Seduction can also be viewed as a form of power that relies on psychological mastery rather than the use of coercive power, money, or intellectual appeals.”
I couldn’t agree more. Seduction is indeed a “specialized form of persuasion that relies on psychological mastery.” That’s one of the reasons why so many newbies come online believing that they can succeed without any type of training – without any marketing knowledge whatsoever. They’ve been psychologically seduced – mentally manipulated into believing that they can – much like gamblers are seduced by the dream of striking it rich in Las Vegas casinos.
Allow me to elaborate: Naive and highly impressionable newbies see stories on tv about ordinary people getting rich on ebay. They see the slickly produced “get rich quick on the Internet” infomercials. They read the newspaper and magazine articles about people starting an online business with little or no money, and seemingly making millions overnight.
In addition, brilliantly composed and ultra persuasive get-rich-quick ads literally saturate the Internet. They’re everywhere! At virtually every turn, newbies are bombarded and seduced with stories, and images of ordinary people making extraordinary amounts of money on the Internet. And as is human nature, they want to get in on the action too. In essence, newbies are being seduced with unrealistic visions of the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
And because the seduction methods being perpertrated are so powerful and effective, they almost have a brainwashing effect. Most newbies are incapable of determining for themselves what’s true and what isn’t. They can’t comprehend that the “flavor of the month” success stories they see in the media and on the Internet are the exception, rather than the rule.
Now many of you reading this may erroneously come to the conclusion that I’m against capitalism, and free enterprise. I can assure you, I’m not. I’m all for everyone making as much money as they possibly can. After all, that’s the American way. That being said, I also think it’s important that newbies coming online be told the “truth” about Internet Marketing – that it’s not nearly as easy as it’s being presented.
The Truth About Internet Marketing
Because of fierce competition and ratings pressure, the tv media especially tends to glamorize certain news items. As a result, newbies are being fed a daily dose of sensationalized poppycock! The truth is, Internet marketing is hard work. No, not ditch-digging hard – but hard work nonetheless. And for every “rainbows and lollipops” success story that gets publicized, there are at least a thousand gut-wrenching failures that get swept under the rug.
The point of this article is to cut through the hype and B.S – to tell newbies the truth about Internet Marketing. It’s a business, like any other business. And it requires preparation, effort and dedication. So how can newbies realistically succeed on the Internet? In my opinion, the easiest, safest and best way for newbies to succeed online is with affiliate programs. What are affiliate program?
In a nutshell, an affiliate program is where you agree to promote another company’s products for a commission, or percentage of the profits. Affiliate programs are perfect for newbies, because for the most part, you don’t even need a website to get started making money. You also don’t have to worry about billing hassles, stocking inventory or shipping products. That’s all handled for you by the merchant. You simply promote the daylights out of the link the merchant provides you. And when you make sales – collect your money.
But what about if you don’t know anything about marketing? Glad you asked.
The best and most successful affiliate programs like Dr. Ken Evoy’s 5 Pillar Affiliate Program or The Internet Marketing Center (IMC) Affiliate Program take you by the hand, and help guide you through the marketing process. They work with you to help you become successful. They’ll do their part – but you have to do your part as well. That means you have to work hard, and faithfully study and apply their proven marketing techniques – and learn how to promote their programs. They’ll teach you what you need to know to become successful, and allow you to progress at your own pace.
There are also some excellent books on the market, written especially for newbies. One of the best is “Street Smart Internet Marketing” by Justin Michie.
So if you’re a newbie reading this, do yourself a favor, and pick up a copy of “Street Smart Internet Marketing.” It’s selling on Amazon for as little as $4.99 – a relatively painless investment in your marketing education.
Free Internet Marketing Resources for Newbies
A really great website for newbies is the original newbies site, Joe Robson’s The Newbie Club. This site has some incredible free resources, including articles, free tutorials, newbie software, newbie books and e-mail courses.
StartupNation is another fantastic site for newbies. It pretty much has everything a newbie would need, all on one website, including blogs, forums and a marketplace where you can promote your business for free. It’s a very impressive site.
Also, check out Lynn Terry’s Self Starters Weekly Tips website. Lynn has been working online for over a decade. Her website has plenty of free resources, including a popular forum and blog. And from what I’ve observed, Lynn goes out of her way to help newbies.
Another good site for newbies is Mike Merz’ im4newbies. Mike has been helping newbies for nearly a decade. Our paths have never crossed, but word is, Mike’s one of the truly good guys on the Internet – and his site has some excellent free resources for newbies.
In closing, Internet marketing is serious business – so be sure to treat it that way. Because unlike the movie, “Field of Dreams,” where “if you build it, they will come.” On the Internet, if you build a website without knowing how to promote it – nobody’s coming!
David Jackson is the owner of Reviews-by-Customers.com – verified customer reviews of reliable online services. Newbies, if you would like to learn how to make money with affiliate programs, read this: http://tinyurl.com/yl5hega