The more I learn about how to build a successful online business, the more I realise how important it is to market your business in such a way that it reaches to niche-targeted masses as fast as possible. I am coming to realise the power of marketing.
It goes without saying that if you do not have good converting content, rich in keywords, you will have nothing to market. But after content, marketing is the key to success if you want to attract visitors, if you want to high rank on the most prominent SEO engines and if you want to build an authoritative brand for your online business. And let’s admit this, if you also want to make money!
The one thing that has bothered me all this time, is the jargon around the concept of marketing. You read about internet marketing, then you have network marketing. Not to mention my beloved affiliate marketing.
Confused dot com??? Yep, same here. Until, that is, I decided to read more about it and built an overall picture as to how the whole shebang works.
What Is Network Marketing
I shall start by the one concept that I found the more difficult to visualise.
In a way, as far as I was concerned, if I have an online business, which I advertise via the internet, surely any and every form of internet-based marketing was to be classed as internet marketing, right?
Well, it turns out that my way of thinking was in fact wrong.
By network marketing the online gurus refer to all those programs which are based on an MLM business model, including the much dreaded pyramids.
So, for instance, Finish Line Network is a network marketing opportunity. But if you opt for Leads Leap, where the aim is that you advertise your website and the services that it renders, or the merchandise that it sells, primarily to increase visitors, again these two programs are deemed to be a form of network marketing.
The reason is that they both reward based on an MLM repayment, or compensation, plan. You are rewarded with a points formula, which can be converted into monetary repayment, based on your own efforts to sell their product. But you are also rewarded based on your capability to build your own sub-team. You will therefore be rewarded on a tier system proportionately also to the sales made by your team members, as well as their capability to build their own sub-teams.
Can you picture the idea of a pyramid now?
Ok, let me not beat it round the bush. Network marketing is the one type of marketing which can be frawned upon by a few expert. And this is because it is the one business model that can lend itself to scam more easily than others.
Have You Ever Heard Of The Word ‘Ponzi’?
‘Ponzi’ business models are actually FRAUDOLENT. This is because they promise investors for return on their investment, when in fact the model only aims to pay off the initial investors, or the founders of the business.
The proposed investment is normally in a company or in a trust fund, or even in a stock market profitable project. The bubble burst when, a few hundreds or thousands investors down the line, it becomes clear that the original founder of the ‘ponzi’ scheme has in fact run away with the all the dosh.
Legality Of Pyramid Schemes
Now, earlier on I referred to the pyramid shape not by coincidence. Because in most countries worldwide pyramid schemes are equally deemed as illegal and fraudulent as ponzi models.
The scam is in the fact that you are invited to join the scheme against payment of a recurring fee, and are invited to recruit others. The promise is that you will be compensated based solely on paying number of sub-members you recruit.
Unlike with a genuine MLM business model, where there is a sale contract between a vendor and a purchaser, a pyramid scheme does not sell anything.
I have found a very interesting piece of advice by UK government, which not only explains how to recognise a pyramid scheme from a legitimate business proposition, but it also warns how you could end up committing a crime if promoting one, and how you could ultimately find yourself loosing a great deal of money by participating in one.
The Worlds Of Internet Marketing
My understanding is that by internet marketing (or online marketing, as it is also referred to) is intended any other form of internet-based marketing, which does not involve an MLM business model.
Unlike with MLM, which can request a membership or a one-off joining in fee, internet marketing is mostly free. For this reason it is more widely used.
Still puzzled? Let me make it easier.
If you look on the right-hand side of this article, you will find a few pages on How To Create Your Own Website. Two of those pages, Best Ways To Market Your Business and Best Ways To Drive Traffic To Your Website For Free will just explain how many ways you can use to promote your business and to attract visitors.
The most widely used is of course social media. And its strength as a marketing tool is given by the fact that, being free, it is truly used worldwide.
Personally, I find social media not only one of the most effecting network tools available online, but also great fun. I use it not only to promote my business, but literally to network with other people on a personal level. Call me a bit of a hermit, but I do believe in virtual friendships, and find that they carry more weight when it comes to giving each other support in so many ways … including business.
If you want to keep in touch with me on my social accounts, click the below windows to access my profiles.
Keep In Touch With Mailing Lists
Networking, at the end of the day, is none other than a fancy word for ‘keeping in touch’, right?
What better way to keep in touch with your regular visitors, then, than by being able to reach out to them directly whenever you want to share promotions, ideas and events?
If social media allows you to spread the world to the mass, mailing lists allows you to directly contact individual subscribers to your website mailing list with regular emails.
So many of you have already subscribed to this website, and know how I like to keep you abreast with my latest blogs and articles. But mailing lists should never be used for spamming. The line can be extremely fine between keeping in touch and becoming a nuisance. And the more you harass, the easier it will be for you to lose that so much vital contact to the flourishing of your business.
I must admit, initially it took me a little while to understand how mailing lists work. For this reason, I shall discuss them shortly in a separate post. There are different components to them: from a subscribing page, to the actual list, to campaigning emails.
Rest to say that the reason why I so wanted to get the hang of it, is because I knew it would boost my business. And it has!. Having a list of ‘regulars’ guarantees a fairly regular amount of clicks on your website and contributes to affirming your brand as a reputable one.
Affiliate Marketing, My Passion
Now, talking of my subscribers, if you are one, you will know how passionate I am about my very favourite form of marketing: the one and only Affiliate Marketing!
I have already spoken at length about how affiliate marketing works. I shall not bore you by going through the motions again.
But what I would like to reiterate is why I love affiliate marketing so much.
To me it is the most straightforward form of marketing. You work in the niche that you truly feel passionate about, you find an affiliate program that will support your passion, and you promote it as you feel it can help others in the same way that it helped you. You are then rewarded for attracting more customers to that same affiliate program.
But, the business model adopted by affiliate programs is one of a one-to-one relation between the program you join and yourself.
With an affiliate program, you get paid the same commission for each sale the program makes as a result of you promoting that service or merchandise.
So, for instance, as you know I am a Wealthy Affiliate affiliate. I do actively promote Wealthy Affiliate ‘earn while you learn’ progam, because I genuinely believe the program is fool proof in teaching you to build your online business and to market it to the max.
When any of you joins the program, I am rewarded. And I am rewarded more if you upgrade your membership to Premium. Which, of course, I do advise you do, not because I want to make money out of you, but because I did upgrade to Premium member myself and the benefits I got from the additional learning tools and and from the additional mentorship are seriously second to none!
But, if you then recruite more affiliates to Wealthy Affiliate after you join yourself, I am not going to earn any additional commission. My commission is solely on the one-to-one affiliate transaction between and my first tier recruits, and does not extend to any subsequent level.
For this reason, some may deem affiliate marketing less lucrative. I though find it also less prone to become object of scam.
Let Me Tell You What I Really Think
As much as I love affiliate marketing, I recognise its limitation in so far that it only promotes one item, or one affiliate program. It is used to review a service you support, or merchandise, and as such it becomes part of your website content.
What affiliate marketing does not do is broadcast your website to the world. For that you need a broader form of networking. Which is where internet and network marketing come in the game.
You may have your own favourite too. The reality of the matter, however, is that in order to successfully market your business, and especially your online business, you ought to embrace and adopt as many forms of marketing as you possibly can.
I am not suggesting you should join every social media platform under the sun. Nor that you should go for each and every network marketing program you come across.
A word of warning, if I may. Particularly with network marketing, you want to be sure you are joining a legit scheme. Do your homework, read reviews, seek the advice of independent fellow online entrepreneurs with longer standing experience than yourselves (a mentor or a colleague, a friend) before committing your money to something you are not entirely sure about.
My advice is that you find a few solid social media that you regularly use already and are already established as contributing member. Likewise, find yourself a good mailing list, which you can afford (there are so many which have free packages) and which you find user-friendly to use.
Find yourself one or a few effective MLM network marketing programs, which will help you build your team whilst attracting traffic to your website.
But, whatever you choose to do, and however many programs you decide to join, make sure they are not too many.
Especially at the beginning of your online career, each of them will take learning time from your already busy schedule. You should, therefore, bear in mind that they need to be managed sensibly as part of your time management schedule.
If still in doubt, I shall be more than happy to help you tackle the big wild ocean of marketing opportunities out there. All you have to do is drop me a line in the Comment box below, leaving your name and a valid email address. Likewise, leave your comment if you have any suggestion and advice to offer us all. I shall reply to you all as soon as possible.