Taken at face value you might believe the advertising hype that simply setting up a business site and using a handy $297 app will make thousands of dollar within a few days. Well, let me dispel that myth for you right away.
Back in the day when keyword stuffing and site-jacking worked as a longer term solution, you may have been onto something – those days are long gone.
Truth is: You should expect to be putting in consistent work for at least a year to make money online. You’ll need to align your expectations and budget accordingly. Too often I see smart people laying down a ton of cash at the beginning and expect instantaneous results. That my friends, is thinking like a gambler, my sincere hope is that you think of your online business as just that: a real-life business.
With this in longer-term view in mind, I wanted to outline everything I believe you need to be doing consistently in order to make your online business a long-term success.
Build Your List
It’s no secret: more visitors = more sales. This is no less true for online sales than it is for a brick and mortar business. Make no mistake about it, this is a numbers game so you’ll need to keep a constant focus on not only bring in customers, but keeping the customers that you have.
This is where your list comes in.
You may have heard the old marketing adage, “the money IS in the list”, well it’s true today as it was in those marketing classes of the 60’s. Problem is very few online marketers truly exploit the full benefits.
During the beginning stages of your journey you’ll want to begin to develop this list right away and update it as new prospects or customers are added. Stay consistent in adding new names. And don’t be shy sending out emails. As soon as you’ve developed your marketing material, send out consistent e-mails to your in order to create trust between you and your prospects. For many people it takes months of repeated e-mail to get them to bite, and if they don’t want to be on your list, they can simply request to be taken off or block your e-mail.
Pay Per Click
Over the years I’ve used PPC campaigns to send thousands of visitors to my sites or landing pages. If you want the quickest bang for your buck PPC is the way to go. While you probably have heard of Google Adwords, don’t be afraid to use Yahoo, Bing or Facebook as well.
These days they have great algorithms to narrow down exactly the keywords and customer you’re looking for. The key as a business owner is to understand who your key demographic and keywords are.
Looking back on my humble beginnings 12 years ago to the present, Social Media represents the single biggest change in the online and the benefits to online marketers is huge! While for an old hand like me it’s taken a while to get the hang of the new features, but boy am I glad I did.
Like Google.com, Social Media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr all have their idiosyncracies, so learn them and become an expert. These sites are great ways to build an audience of authentic “follower” that are more likely to purchase products you recommend than traditional marketing channels since they represent a more personalized approach. The key to success in Social Media is just being yourself and interacting with other people on a regular basis.
Quality Articles and eBooks
Writing high quality articles or eBooks will naturally drive customers to your site via the search engines, provided you understand your keywords and customer. For long-term online success, it’s one of the most important methods for driving customer to your site. If you’re not the writing type, there’s so many outsourcing sites available today for you to get the job done affordably.
I’ve had some great success with sites like iWriter, Fiverr, Upwork and iNeedArticles.
Forum Posting and Comments
If you really want to be a success – you need to rub-elbows online with others in your field. That’s why I strongly recommend you find the relevant forums and site in your chosen field and add your advice – that’s it! There’s no magic bullet here, but it’s something that 1.) Search Engines recognize and 2.) Ad credibility to the other visitors to these sites.
One of the most positive things to happen to me during my online career was when I elected moderator at one of the most popular online health forums that I’d been an active member in. This has created so many more opportunities for than any other strategy I’ve suggested today.
I’ve been selling online since 2004 and have tried probably dozens if not hundreds of different ways to drive traffic to my web pages. Take my advice and concentrate your efforts on the 5 above and you WILL see results that are long lasting