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BizReport : Internet Marketing 101 : July 27, 2009

Internet Marketing 101: Where to Begin

With the economy around the world still struggling to find balance, more consumers are out of work and considering striking out on their own in the big, bad world of online marketing, ecommerce or ebook writing. Unfortunately, many of these entrepreneurs will fail within that first year because this big, bad world requires more than a slick website or sales pitch. Today's consumer is very intelligent when it comes to products, deals and sales pitches so today's online marketer has to be savvy, too. Over the next few days, BizReport will cover a few basics of online marketing to help beginners hit the ground running. The first step - having a plan.

by Kristina Knight

According to one report up to 30% of the US workforce are now self-employed, that is 42.6 million Americans working on their own, both online and offline. Just like any other business, an online business needs a business plan. What will you sell or provide? How will you reach consumers? What makes you different and better than the other marketers already online?

Andrew Morden, CEO of the Internet Marketing Center, an online business training service, knowing the answer to these questions is crucial. Andrew adds one more question to the list: do you have a niche?

"At a macro level, the kind of problems people are searching for are recession proof. If I've got spiders in my basement, it doesn't matter that there is a recession on, I have to get those spiders removed. If, then, our businesses have tapped into that market they can get their business up and running fast. There are thousands of examples of this kind of niche marketing," said Mr. Morden.

So, first, find your niche. Don't just market a product, tell the consumer why your product is better, why your service is better. In essence, why they should choose you over the 500 spider exterminators already online. One of the best ways to do this, after figuring out the niche, is through search engine optimization

"Be focused on keywords. It's very competitive and in order to stay ahead of the trends, marketers must continually update and continually be dynamic. From there, build a list," Morden advised. "Don't try to sell the consumer from the first second. Give value and you'll 'sell' them down the road."

Next, diversify. Don't rely on one product and one product only because as soon as The Best Spider Repeller is on the market, the New Best Spider Repeller will be on the way.

Finally, test the message and test the market. Test keywords, test email marketing messages, test subject lines. Test, test, test. Although testing does take time in the long run the time is more than paid for by better targeting messages and a higher ROI.

"Businesses have to do their market research, They have to know what consumers are searching for in relation to what their product is. We're very focused on niche market research. The internet gives a unique opportunity to do that," said Morden.

Tags: ecommerce, entreprenuers, internet, Internet Marketing Center, niche marketing, online marketing, online niche

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