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Essential Tools of the Internet Marketing Elite

There are a core set of skills and tools that you need to be successful as an internet marketer. Make sure you use or at least learn about every single one here, but ideally in the end you want to leverage all these tools and skills to get the most out or your marketing efforts. Let’s look at each in turn:

Writing

There I said it, you’re going to have to do some writing. But don’t let that scare you, I’ve had to create official reports before at my old job and THAT was scary writing, but writing on the internet is so much easier.

On the internet you just write as you would speak, you don’t need to worry about using the biggest words you can to impress your boss, you don’t need to worry about proper grammar (I’m not too sure if that was good grammar or not!) and punctuation – which makes writing so much more fun!

Let’s face it though, in a day to day job you have to talk, you talk to your colleagues, on the phone, to your boss, to clients etc. Now on the internet you don’t have that, the medium to talk is by writing, so that replaces the talking you do in a normal environment.

If you are not a very good at typing then probably the best investment you can make is in Dragon Naturally Speaking 10, which is speech recognition software that types what you say. It is so much easier (and faster) to just talk away and let the computer types it up for you!

If you don’t get that then at least look up some tips online to help increase your typing speed and accuracy, a good start might be here: www.wikihow.com/Type. Even when you are earning enough money to pay someone to write things you find boring like maybe articles, then you are still going to need to write emails etc so it pays to learn how to type faster now!

Website / Hosting

When you start off then you might be able to get away with using web 2.0 properties like I am about to discuss in the next part, but in the end you are going to need your own website.

This may be a company website, it definitely makes you look more professional to have your own company website for when people look up who you are, but more importantly then your ‘money sites’ should be your own.

It takes a lot of work to get your sites to where they are ranking nicely for keywords and if you are using another site like squidoo.com to get that ranking then if they decide to close your account or change something… you’re dead in the water! A central website should be your main aim, something you can nurture and build which will stay as a money making asset with you as your business grows.

Another huge benefit is that you can split test different elements of the page, testing is what separates those who earn pennies from those who earn millions.

Even just a very simple tweak can result in huge gains from the same traffic – but if you don’t own the site it is very hard to test things properly. You are also limited to using their layout and their styles etc which again could affect your conversion rates.

Getting your own site up and running is relatively easy, if you know nothing about html then there are plenty of tutorials out there that you can learn from, or you can install a WordPress blog and that allows you to update your site without editing any html!

Hosting can be purchased from Hostgator at just $4.95 a month! A domain from Namecheap / Godaddy will set you back just under $10 a year for a .com, that is all you need to pay to have a site up and running!

As soon as you can try and make your own website (if you haven’t already), take the accelerated learning route and just throw yourself into it! Web 2.0 Sites. I know I have just been talking about the benefits of having your own site, but leveraging web 2.0 sites can be the smart way to get extra traffic both to your own site, or directly to your offers.

So what is a web 2.0 site? Well there are lots of different definitions, but I like to think of them as sites where the users can generate content themselves and/or comment on content and interact with other users while there. What this means is that you can generate your own content on them to market to people on these sites.

The power lies in the fact that these sites are usually very powerful in the search engines, they have a lot of links coming into them, they are huge and constantly being updated, so the search engines rank their pages well. This means that you have to do a lot less work to rank well in Google with those than you would with your own site (often a lot less!).

Make these a part of your marketing arsenal by targeting low competition phrases to get traffic to the page and through your links, and you can also use them to give you valuable links to your websites.

Each site is different and allows you to use it in a different way, here are some of the most popular sites and a brief description of what they can be used for:

  • www.blogger.com – create your own blog
  • www.scribd.com – submit digital documents which it then publishes for you
  • www.ezinearticles.com – submit your own articles
  • www.youtube.com – submit your own videos
  • www.zimbio.com – submit your own articles
  • www.squidoo.com – create your own page (lens) on the site
  • www.buzzle.com – submit your own articles
  • www.hubpages.com – submit your own articles
  • www.revver.com – submit your own videos
  • www.searchwarp.com – submit your own articles

Blogs

As mentioned before then if you don’t have any html experience then you may be better off going for a blog rather than a static website, but in certain circumstances then a blog will be much better even if you can make html websites.

Google has a love affair with the only blog platform you should consider – WordPress, because of the way the blog is laid out and the way it archives posts etc. This means that often (not always) a blog ranks better than a website.

You do however lose some of the flexibility to have the page looking exactly as you want it. With a normal website you can quickly edit your page in an html editor and see the results, with the blog then you have to edit the template code on the server and then go back and change it if the results were not as expected.

The Internet Marketing Elite

The Internet Marketing Elite

What you lose in flexibility there though, you gain with the ability to add in plug-ins to your blog which can easily provide the ability to do lots of different tasks.

Want to have a sitemap generated and update every time you make a post? No problem.

You want people to be able to bookmark your post at social bookmarking sites with just one click? Done.

You can probably do all of the extra stuff the plug-ins can do yourself on a static site, but it would need a whole load of scripts etc adding to your site and a lot of sleepless nights trying to get it all to work properly.

Autoresponder

The mighty Autoresponder, working tirelessly behind the scenes to deliver all your emails automatically when someone signs up to your list!

Autoresponders send a prefilled series of emails to your prospects/customers for you which are personalized with certain details like their name etc, you can also send broadcasts out to everyone on your list whenever you need to make an announcement.

Lots of people, especially offline businesses are amazed when they find out about autoresponders, and they are a fantastic tool. Most people on your list don’t know about them either, I regularly get emails back from people thanking me for taking the time to email them some useful info…

Building a list is one of those chores you know you should do, but you never get around to it. Sure thinking up new stuff to email them every few weeks can be a pain, but it can really pay dividends on your bottom line.

Imagine being able to send out one email over the weekend and pull in thousands of dollars! I know that seems like hype straight out of a salesletter, but it’s true; if you have a big enough list and a good product you can do exactly that. I have heard the figure being bounced around that you make the equivalent of around $1 per subscriber per month!

All you have to do is load up a set of emails to contact your subscribers every week (or more if you want), just touch base with them, give them some news or some useful information, then after say 2 emails of content and news you can push a product and make some money!

You can actually host your own autoresponders, but when your webhost finds your computer sending a lot of email they freak out about spam! Here are the three main autoresponders you can get which won’t suffer with that problem: www.getresponse.com, www.aweber.com & www.icontact.com

Now we’re getting to the part where you make money rather than spending it! If you are selling anything online then you need someone to process payments for you, once you have a big enough business then you can have your own merchant account through a bank to process payments, but in the meantime you need someone to do it for you.

A payment processor is just that, they process the payment for you and pay you; in return they take a cut of every transaction. It is a great setup as you don’t need to worry about anything but keeping your refunds low and getting people to your site! (if you have a high refund rate you may get into trouble as your product is low quality or your offer does not match the product you are selling).

There are certain products like gambling/mlm schemes/get-rich-quick schemes/etc. which the processors will not take, but most other things should be ok. To sign up typically you just fill out your details to apply and they review your details and give you a decision in a few days.

Here are some popular payment processors you can choose from:

  • www.clickbank.com (digital goods only)
  • www.paypal.com
  • www.paydotcom.com
  • www.2checkout.com
  • www.nochex.com

I think ClickBank deserves a particular mention, if you product is digital, like a digital book, a subscription to a website etc, then they will happily process payments for you, but they can also help you to sell more!

They have a built in marketplace where anybody with a ClickBank account can become an affiliate and help you to sell your product. That means if you have a salesletter that converts well you could get some of the top affiliates driving traffic to your site and you only pay them when it results in a sale!

Now onto affiliate networks, these are networks like ClickBank that pay you every time you refer someone to a site that buys a product. Typically you get between 5 – 10% of the sale, but at places like Clickbank where there is no physical inventory for the merchant to store then you can get as high as 75% of the sale!

All of the sales are tracked by the network, you are given special links and you get people to click through those links to go to the site, the sale is then tracked to your account ID and you are allocated a part of the sale automatically.

Here is a list of affiliate networks to get you started:

  • www.cj.com
  • www.clickbank.com
  • www.linkshare.com
  • www.affiliatewindow.com
  • www.shareasale.com
  • www.linkconnector.com

…and you can go here: AssociatePrograms – Affiliate network List for a whole load more!

Some networks have strict rules about how much traffic you need to be getting before you apply and what websites you can advertise with etc, but others just automatically let you in. Go through and apply to about 10 and you should be accepted by a good number to allow you to get going.

Relationships

Whoops, what is this doing here? No seriously, the relationships you form while you are online can be some of the most profitable things you have. If you have a good relationship with someone then that opens the door to assistance, to joint ventures together, to brainstorming together, all sorts of great stuff.

Lives have changed just through the power of the relationships they had with influential people in the world of online marketing. Know someone with a popular site? Ask them how they made it so popular and start one yourself in a different market!

Every action you take and every conversation you have with people is branding yourself. Are you someone who can be trusted? Are you always picking holes in other people’s ideas and projects? Or are you supportive and give good ideas? What is your customer service like? All these things will get noticed and may open or close doors to you.

Always give 100% to every email you send, every contact you have and try to form the best relationships you can every time you meet someone, you never know what it may lead to.

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