For the more regular readers out there, this article might come as a little bit of a step back, since it is going to cover many different aspects of how Internet Marketing works, and many of you know these things already.
However, starting from this post, we are going to be publishing content aimed at filling in the knowledge gaps that our audience may have. It’s our goal that by the end of the year, we’ll have created content covering everything that you need to know about Internet Marketing, so you can have the confidence to take your first steps, and then gain the experience necessary to take you to the top.
This article is going to cover many things that you’ll need to learn to succeed with IM, so even if you are one of the more advanced readers, you can use it to see how far you’ve come.
What You’ll Learn Today
- How Internet Marketing Works
- My Definitions Of Internet Marketing
- The Basic Skills You Will Need
- How Much You Can Earn
- Other Key Things You Need To Know
How To Do Internet Marketing For Yourself
Internet Marketing itself is such a broad category, trying to describe all of it would be like trying to describe computing. Often times you’ll hear ‘Digital Marketing’ used as well, but it’s not quite the same thing. It’s a term used largely used by Marketing Agencies and although they have similar skill sets – they goals of an agency and our own are vastly different.
So to keep this article short enough for you to actually finish reading it without getting through a whole bag of coffee beans, I’m going to first define what aspect of Internet Marketing I operate in and teach, and then explain from there.
The basic fact though is that Internet Marketing is the act of making money online. It can have many different aspects and faces. Offline businesses might engage in Internet Marketing as a means of boosting their sales. Even Obama used Internet Marketing via email to encourage his supporters to vote for him.
The area of Internet Marketing that you’re going to learn about today, is what is known as affiliate marketing, or niche marketing.
Affiliate Marketing Summed Up
In its purest form, affiliate marketing is the act of promoting other companies’ products, and being paid a commission for doing so.
An example of this would be a site like The WireCutter, which promotes many different products on Amazon, and when a user clicks through a link from The WireCutter website, then buys a product they recommend from Amazon – TWC receives a commission.
Most of the time though, affiliate marketers operate in a smaller, niche market. The Wire Cutter is a huge site, it covers many different topics, and has a huge amount of content.
Niche sites typically only cover a small sub-category, such as straight razor shaving, or dehumidifiers, or a certain type of office equipment.
It’s much easier to succeed when you only focus on one small category like this, known as niche marketing. Without going into it too much, this is because Google prefers to rank sites which focus on one topic and appear to be experts. It’s also easier for your site visitors to trust your recommendations, since you aren’t trying to claim you know everything about everything.
Affiliate Marketing Does NOT Involve Handling Products
From time to time, I get contacted by prospective customers, asking me for more details about the sites we sell. They want to know who handles shipping on the products that the sites promote. They ask questions about sourcing suppliers, and resale rights.
These are legit questions, but they aren’t directly related to affiliate marketing.
The benefits of affiliate marketing are that you don’t need to handle any products. You just recommend them. You don’t even need to buy them first to review them, you can just do research and due diligence online.
Sites like Amazon provide so many user reviews, it’s very easy for you to find out which products are worth recommending and which aren’t.
This is why many beginners are attracted to affiliate marketing in the first place. It has a much lower barrier to entry than dropshipping, FBA, eCommerce, or other forms of Internet Marketing., and you don’t have to worry about the logistics of dealing with customers, shipments, or even taking payments.
You are just paid to point people to the best products.
Want To Learn How To Build Amazon Affiliate Sites?
Take our seven-video training course, and get started with affiliate marketing.
An Example Case Study
I have just finishing publishing an 8-part series where I walk you through the various trials and tribulations that one of my first Amazon sites experienced. Over the course of a couple of years, the site went from a bit of a failure, to earning me $10-15,000 per year. I ended up selling it in early 2016 for over $25,000.
If you’d like to follow along and see first hand how an affiliate makes money, click here to read the first post.
Also, if you’re more an audio learner – here’s an episode of our podcast about the pros and cons of affiliate marketing.
Skills Required For Affiliate Marketing
The number one skill you need might surprise you. It’s tenacity.
Being able to keep going on a project long enough to see success is one thing, and that’s very important. However, the real reason you need tenacity is because for the first five to ten months of an affiliate site’s life, it won’t make a dime.
This is largely because of how the Google algorithm works and why you should start today. It takes time for your site to get to the top of the search engines, but when it does, you get a lot of site visitors, and those visitors earn you commissions.
Of course, you can get traffic from social media or paid advertising in the meantime, but the majority of an affiliate site’s income comes from Google traffic.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen somebody quit because they weren’t earning much after a year, and they thought it would take several more years before they got a decent income. In truth, all it takes is one uptick in your rankings, and income and traffic explodes.
If you don’t understand these concepts yet, that’s fine. Just rest assured that affiliate income happens in stages, not in a straight upward curve.
In terms of the more technical skills, web development has come a long way in the last ten years. Gone are the days where you need to learn code. I have personally built over a hundred sites and have never learned a single line of code. I can make the occasional tweak here and there, but that’s about it.
Software like WordPress makes it so easy to build websites now. It’s not quite drag and drop, but it’s a powerful web builder and content manager. If you can learn how to use Microsoft Word or how to add attachments to Gmail, then I can’t see any reason why you can’t learn WordPress. It takes a bit of time, but it’s straightforward enough.
You should also practice your writing skills. Writing IS very much a skill, and this means you can learn it, hone it, and perfect it.
The main thing you want to learn is how to write naturally. This isn’t a university dissertation, and your website readers don’t want to read one. They just want you to tell them which fishing rod to buy and why.
How Much Can You Earn?
Even though you are most likely going to be operating in a niche, your potential income is unlimited. I am saying “potential” here of course, but there really is no limit.
The internet makes your reach global, and the economics of business are drastically different from an offline business.
Think about it this way, if every town in America only has 10 people interested in a certain topic, chances are, a business on that topic wouldn’t do very well in any of those towns. However, when it comes to the Internet, all of those 10 people in all of those towns can suddenly become your customer.
See what I mean about potential?
Now I know you would prefer me to just give cold hard numbers, and I will. First I want to mention that everybody has different results, and your miles may very well vary.
There are people who make a few hundred to a few thousand dollars online from affiliate marketing, and there are people who make tens of thousands of dollars per month. There are even people like Pat Flynn who make over a hundred thousand per month.