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More Ideas to Put on Your Internet Marketing Checklist

Here's another gem from Michael Masterson's Early To Rise. It's easy to become overwhelmed by all the aspects of Internet marketing, so this article reminds us that business is still business regardless of the medium. We just have to learn how to leverage each business channel...

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MORE IDEAS TO PUT ON YOUR INTERNET MARKETING CHECKLIST

Recently, I participated in a seminar on Internet marketing.  I went to listen and learn, but I did make a small presentation. One of the most important points I made about the Internet is that it is not one thing but many things. It is not only a market but also an industry and a medium.

Strike that. It is not just one medium but many media.

Websites are the medium people most talk about when they talk about the Internet. Websites come in many forms and have many functions. There are sites that are nothing more than data-storage centers. You go to them to find something. There are websites for shopping. Websites for news. Websites for advice (like ours). Websites for auctions. Websites to watch sex. Websites to plan travel. Websites to register your opinion. Classified websites. The list goes on and on.

Each kind of website is unique. Yet so much of the advice you read about websites is singular. It makes as much sense to make blanket marketing rules for all websites as it does to apply shopping-center selling strategies to daily newspapers.

And websites are only one group of Internet Media. In addition to websites, we have e-mail, banner ads, insert ads, e-zine advertorials, and much more. Each of these Internet business venues has a unique nature and purpose, But, again, so much professional Internet marketing advice lumps all these things together.

How To Sort It All Out

It's no wonder so many businesses have lost so much money on brainless Internet marketing schemes. In a market where money is abundant and good sense is rare, large losses are bound to occur. And they have. A quick tally of the marketing follies that have already crashed and burned would total in the billions of dollars.

Of the marketers attending the seminar, some had made money "on the Internet" and some had not. But all expressed some confusion about what exactly they were doing. When I asked them, "What is the primary purpose of your website," none had a clear and certain answer.

Yet when I polled those who had been successful, an interesting thing came up. Although they had all toyed with elaborate and fanciful plans about marketing (many of which were based on popular ideas), all had, when it came down to brass tacks, abandoned those ideas in favor of simple direct-marketing techniques.

Rather than lose a bunch of money following somebody's idea of how to use a website or write an e-mail ad, they fell back on their old ways. And guess what? It worked! It turned out that, contrary to what the self-appointed Internet experts had predicted, the old rules of selling are still effective - and these marketers instinctively knew so.

The Internet Has Changed Business In Many Ways, But One Thing It Hasn't Changed Is Human Nature.

Most of the early claims about New Economy marketing were based on the (wishful?) proposition that the Internet was going to change human nature. It didn't.

Thank God it didn't. Those of us who have built businesses by understanding human nature are happy to be able to apply the same old principles to the new media. And that gives us a very valuable clue. If you accept the idea that the old rules apply, you can be successful on the Internet by figuring out which rules apply to what situations.

The secret to doing that is to look for resemblances. What does e-mail resemble? Direct mail, of course. And if my theory is true, that would make it possible to make good money by sending e-mail solicitations to a list of people with common interests. Of course, that is exactly what porn e-mailers do (with great success) and it is what one of my colleagues has been doing for about a year. (During that time, a list of 30,000 names has yielded over a million dollars.)

What else? Internet insert ads resemble fractional space ads in magazines. And guess what? They work like them too.

Banner ads look like billboards to me. If you know how to make billboards work, you might be able to do wonders with banner ads. (Instead, thousands of companies have spent billions of dollars treating banner ads like I don't know what - maybe silly business cards - and they haven't worked.)

Internet classified ads - and advertorials - look like, and work like, classified ads in newspapers. Websites that act as magazines should use the layout and advertising approach that magazines use. The same holds true for websites that resemble department stores. Or websites that are, essentially, daily newspapers.

Figure out what an Internet medium resembles and apply the rules that have always worked on its corollary. Chances are you will be very close to right on.

About two years, ago I created a little website to sell weekly leases for a beach cottage I own. Since I didn't know any better, I ignored all the rules about what I should have done and followed the rules I knew for selling real estate in classified space. It was a good instinct. A $200 investment has returned almost $80,000 so far.

In the near future, I'll show you some specific examples of what I'm talking about. In the meantime, think about

(1) the method you have traditionally used to sell your product/service,
(2) what Internet form it resembles, and
(3) how that might some day make you rich.

MMF

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This article appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet's most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.


Internet Marketing Resources

IBP's Top Ten Optimizer Tools
Get top 10 rankings on Google & Yahoo with IBP's proven Top 10 Optimizer. Search engine optimization is never ending and it's nice when you can automate some of the work. If you found us through a search engine, it's because we've invested a lot of time and resources to understanding SEO. Google Adwords is good, but free organic traffic is even better.

"The Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet" system
CWS purchased this program years ago. After implementing the tips for SEO, pay-per-click advertising and e-mail marketing, business has grown even during the down market. We highly recommend this one for a comprehensive view on all things having to do with Internet marketing.

12 Profit Accelerators that Could Quadruple Your Business in the Next 15 months Alone!
Michael Masterson's book on "Changing the Channel" provides new insight into the various online channels for marketing. Even though we were familiar with many of them, his perspective sparked ideas for implementing new programs in areas we just never gave much thought. For those who are relatively new to the various online marketing channels, the "bookinar" can walk you through the information so it doesn't becoming overwhelming.


Webmaster Tools

Small business owners and entrepreneurs who can work their way around HTML may be able to utilize open source and low cost applications. Even if you have a big budget, there's no need to spend a lot if inexpensive software is available or an application that serves the purpose is available for free. Although you do usually get what you pay for, Google has proved that some of its free resources (ex. Google Analytics) work even better than paid alternatives.

Domain Registration and Management

MyDomain.com ($10 domain registration)
Not the cheapest registrar, but I love the ability to easily manage many domains from one account.

Web Hosting and Managed Dedicated Servers

1&1 ($9 domain registration | dedicated servers starting at $50/month)
After hosting several sites on shared servers for many years, we realized that we needed the power and space of a dedicated server without having to actually set up and maintain the server. That's when we found 1&1's managed dedicated servers. Their technical support has been great and we only pay a little bit more than we did for all of our separate shared hosting accounts. We now host all of our web sites on our dedicated server.

Web Analytics

Google Analytics (free)
Robust web analytics that's quick to set up. If you don't already have a Google account for your business, set that up first. (We don't recommend using your personal Google account that you may already have with Gmail. Create a separate account to use for your business.)

Web Design

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 - Full ($399.00)
The industry standard for designing and updating websites yourself. Yes, it's a bit pricey but we've tried many other applications and this one has been the best. Absolutely worth the investment but a trial version is available if you want to take it for a test drive first.

Email Marketing

phplist (free download)
We currently use this for our email newsletter management. Processing didn't work well on a shared server, but once we moved to a dedicated server, phplist has been fantastic. Although this open-source application is free to use, it has more than 30 nice features including:

Online Shopping Cart

PayPal (free setup - % of sales)
Accept payments online. In a relatively short time, your site can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover as well as e-checks and, of course, PayPal. There are millions of users with existing PayPal accounts and prefer to pay this way because it keeps financial information secure.

Marketer's Choice - 1ShoppingCart ($34/month - $99/month)
Affordable shopping cart software with a 30-day test drive. Has some limitations but is easy to set up and gives you a good return. Because some people do not like PayPal, adding this shopping cart more than doubled our conversion rates and still allowed PayPal users to checkout.

Ad Serving Software

OpenX (free download)
Ad serving software that's very flexible and feature-rich. Because it gives you a lot of control, be prepared to read the help documentation when you want to use the advanced features. We use this on our own websites. Works best on a dedicated server so if you're on a shared server, you may get better results using the hosted option.


Donn's Recommended Reading / Listening

These are being presented in the order that Donn read them. Beginning with the "Four Hour Work Week", Donn has a hard copy as well as an iTunes audiobook. The print version is good for quick reference and for ear marking your favorite sections. The audio version is great for drilling home important messages and taking advantage of hands-free review when you're on-the-go.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change (Unabridged)  Audiobook
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons In Personal Change (Unabridged)"
Got to be on the best-seller list longer than any other book I've read. If you haven't read it yet, I'd be sursprised.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Don't Work and What to Do About It (Unabridged)  Audiobook
"The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Don't Work and What to Do About It (Unabridged)"
A must-read for the small business owner...explains why my first attempts at starting a business were so frustrating. Now I've learned to use systems so I can spend more time working ON my business rather than working IN my business.

The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Unabridged)  Audiobook
"The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Unabridged)"
This book has been mentioned everywhere. I assumed it was another fad business book, but it turned out to be refreshingly original. Who wants to wait until they retire before really enjoying life? Not me.

Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business  Audiobook
"Changing The Channel: 12 Easy Ways To Make Millions For Your Business"
If you haven't already read the book, I purchased this audiobook through iTunes and finished it quickly during his 1 hour + daily commutes. Chapters cover everything from paid search engine marketing to email marketing to affiliate programs...and to my surprise, covered areas (channels) that I wasn't already familiar with.