Over the years I have found that online marketing and off line marketing are very similar in some ways and very different in others.
In the offline "brick and mortar" world most business owners will tell you that the three most important things to running a successful and profitable business are, location, location, location.
In the online arena I will tell you that the three most important factors are, Focus, Focus, Focus.
From owning and operating online ventures myself over the years, as well as speaking to hundreds of others in our field it is clear that the number one reason for new marketers to fail or to take much longer than others to succeed is simply a lack of focus .
The typical scenario is pretty much the same for almost everyone including myself, yes, I have "been there and done that" and it goes
something like this.
We come online and for a year or two we go through the indoctrination of all the get rich quick schemes and hopping from one hyped up something for nothing program to another, and following the advice from the e-books that we paid good money for. (which of course we now know were outdated, and free somewhere online) and we start trying to find "The Secret".
After which time time is spent with no results we become desperate to prove to our friends and family (who can not help but snicker at you a little) that this "internet thing" works.
So, how do we go about it? Well we copy one of the hokey programs that we were suckered into, or one of the e-books that are sitting on our virtual collections collecting virtual dust, you know, the ones that had "The Secret"
The secret to internet sales. The secret to building lists. The secret words that hypnotize. The super duper secret to make Any website a sales machine. And on and on, and decide to sell them ourselves, knowing full well that they are junk, so much for our integrity.
We put up our first free hosted purple and yellow webpage with our latest and greatest program or e-book along with several flashing graphics of fireworks and dancing horses and twenty five or thirty banners of varying sizes and offers and begin to submit the site to all of the automatic submitters that promise to send your advertisement to the world with one click.
We also figure that since we receive so many offers through email that we will capitalize on that strategy ourselves.
Our first real business expense comes when we purchase one of the "secret" weapons, The Group Mailer. Next, we will buy the $ 15.00 email list of 5 million ready to buy customers, load them into the group mailer and with one push of the send button, we are all set and just need to wait for the money to roll in.
Of course what roled in was spam complaints, and being banned by the search engines, and losing our service providers. I guess it's just a right of passage or something for new online marketers because regardless how many times I explain this scenario to new people and advise them that there is a better way they inevitably just have to go ahead and try the way that wastes their time and their money and generally leaves them humilated and cynical about trying to earn income online.
After this initiation most of us remember that somewhere along the line while in some online forum like the Net Marketing Forum or an online conference room, there was this voice, someone saying that they had just done, someone that was now a mentor, and now they were successful and would not mind helping you to do the same, provided that you could swallow your pride and put yourself on the line with some real focused effort to follow their guidance
and to become self-disciplined and stay on track and to Not Quit. Failure is not an option.
If you are smart you will leap at this chance because the fact of the matter is that you can not be successful on your own by yourself online.
As a mentor myself my first bit of advice to new people, especially the ones that have gone through the scenario above is to Forget "The Secret" there is no secret.
Marketing online is Not Easy. It takes self discipline, time management, tenacity, consistency and persistence. It takes knowing what you want from an online business, when do you want it? and knowing that there will be sacrifice on your part both with your money and your time in order to get what you want.
It would take much more than this simple article to explain even the very basics, but there are places online such as the affiliate bedroom that will explain everything that you need to know.
After deciding that this is really for you I would suggest taking these steps:
Pick something that you really have a passion or special talent for that you would not mind doing or sharing for free. Find the tools and knowledge you will need in order to profit from it. Make a plan and set aside specific times during the day to follow the plan and nothing else, focus, focus, focus. Set short term and long term goals and announce them to someone, preferably an online mentor, and give them your permission to push you to reach each goal.
Focus, focus, focus, while online and do not get drawn off track from your work by clicking on the latest latest and greatest super duper "secret" we already know how much time and money they waste.
Take baby steps or "chunk it out" as I like to call it with your projects and you will accomplish a lot more than trying to put everything together at once.
Learn what you need to know When you need to know it. You can not learn everything so do not try, you will only get information overload and when that happens, Everything shuts down.
Treat your new venture as a business and decide what you would want a good employee to do if they were running your business and then you do it, or fire yourself and go look for another job.
As I said, marketing online is Not Easy, but it is simple. Just focus, focus, focus