Internet marketing is a broad term used to describe any activity online in which the goal is to make money. Internet marketing is an extremely profitable and exciting area of the world economy right now and learning the basics will allow you to get started almost immediately. There are many ways to make money online. Digital product creation, lead generation, and affiliate advertising are arguably the most common. Each of these has multiple angles and variations which one can use to create an online business but only the basics will be discussed here.
Digital product creation is exactly what it sounds like. It is the creation of an electronic book (e-book) or piece of software that is the solution to a specific problem. It really doesn’t matter what problem this product solves as long as it is one that is marked with urgency and one which people will pay money for. This is an important aspect and one which many new internet marketers fail to understand. Just like in the physical product economy, people will only part with their hard-earned cash for something that they need or something that they believe will fill a void in their life. It is this urgency that digital products need to address and create artificially by solving some existing problem. If an internet marketer can successfully identify a problem, create the solution, and publish it online, they will have more trouble spending all the money they will earn than they will in trying to sell their product.
This area of internet marketing can be extremely lucrative if the product is one of high quality and with limited competition. It is not uncommon for digital products to “go viral” on their own success as people often want to buy what everyone else is buying. The problem in this niche of internet marketing is that there is a lot of competition. With the popularization of e-book readers such as the Kindle, Kobo eReader, and of course the iPad, the demand for digital products is at an all-time high and internet marketers everywhere are taking their shot at this lucrative and growing market.
Lead generation is the act of providing targeted internet traffic to a company in exchange for a certain amount of money. Basically, for each potential customer that you provide a company with, they will pay out a small fee. Typically, if a marketer gets someone to sign up for a company’s e-mail list, they will get $1 - $2. This may not sound like a lot of money but if you consider that you can potentially be signing people up 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, these small fees can really add up. There are several methods of lead generation, most of which you are likely familiar with from your travels on the internet. E-mail signups, zip code signups, mailing address signups, and mobile phone number signups are the most common. If you have a talent for generating a lot of targeted traffic to your e-mail signup advertisements, the potential income is incredible.
Affiliate advertising is advertising on behalf of a company, service, or product creator. This type of advertising is most commonly seen through contextual advertising or through pay-per-click advertising. Contextual advertising is best explained with an example: a Netflix ad on a movie review website. The website is privately owned and operated and the advertisements are for related products or services. By associating the advertisements with related content on websites, the potential for customers goes up much more than by simple random advertising. Pay-per-click affiliate advertising involves creating an ad and paying for an advertising engine to display the ad to their users. The most common advertising platforms are Facebook Ads and Google Adsense. Very basically, an internet marketer creates their ad including an image, text, and title. They submit it to the ad platform and place a bid on how much they’re willing to spend for each click.
The higher the bid the more often their ad gets displayed to internet traffic. The money comes when someone clicks their ad and completes the affiliate offer that they are advertising. A simple example would for a dating website. An internet marketer creates an ad with an attractive male or female with a title of “Click here to meet me!” and has the ad displayed on Facebook at a cost of $0.50 per click. When someone clicks the ad, they are taken to a dating website where they have the option to sign up. If they sign up, the internet marketer gets paid a set fee or possibly a commission. If they get more sign up fees paid to them than the cost of the clicks on their ad, they are making a profit. This method is extremely profitable, with many marketers making four or five figure incomes each day.
Internet marketing is a complex and ever-changing industry. All it takes to get started is a little knowledge of some basic methods. Every person is different, with different talents and aptitudes. The key to being a successful internet marketer is figuring out exactly what your talents are and leveraging them for the most money possible.