Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There's Gold In That Thar' Internet!

I just finished reading an article about online marketing in which the author compared it to the California gold rush. The article said that just as hundreds raced West in the hope of striking it rich, so too are hundreds now rushing to get online with the same dream. And, it says, just as so many struck out in California instead of striking it rich, the same is happening to the vast majority of online marketers.

Are people really making millions online? Yes, they are. Are they the minority? I don't know. I don't have the data on that. Are there plenty of people making a decent living online? Yup! That I do know because I'm one of them and I know many others. Can you make a fortune online? I don't know. It's possible. But I DO know that you can make a living online just like many of us are already doing.

How do you get started? First, you need to decide what your business will be. Will you become an affiliate others' products? Will you create your own products? What types of products and/or services will you offer?

Second, it's a business. Treat it like one. If you think you are going to sign up for free affiliate programs, put up some free classified ads, then sit back and watch the checks roll in, don't quit your day job. It doesn't work quite that way. You can't own a McDonald's franchise without a little upfront investment. The same is true of any business. You can find some legitimate businesses that are very inexpensive to start. It only cost me $299 to start with Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing. And there are some very good affiliate programs such as SBI that are free to join but pay very good commissions. But you still need to invest a little bit in advertising.

Once you have decided on the basis of your business, you need to learn all you can about your internet marketing and your business in particular. There are many ways to do this and you will find all kinds of "gurus" offering to help if you will pay them enough. Some of them really do know what they are talking about and some of them don't. I can personally recommend some of them and you will find them mentioned in many of my earlier posts. You can also read this blog from the beginning for help. Be prepared to spend a little bit of money on some of the better books, courses, and seminars. Consider it part of your "online marketing degree!"

Let everyone know you are in business! This seems to be one of the biggest obstacles for most online marketers. Either they think they can't afford to advertise or they don't know how to do so effectively. Some, especially the network marketers, are afraid to do so because they think no one will take them seriously. Let's face facts. You can't slap a McDonald's on a street corner and expect to do business if no one knows McDonald's exists. You can't expect customers to find you if they don't know who you are. Tell people! If you don't have money to advertise, start by telling everyone you know. You can do that pretty inexpensively and you know far more people than you realize. When I started in Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing, the first thing I did was send an email or a postcard to everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE) I could think of telling them what I was doing and inviting them to visit my website. Some of them ignored me (FHTM is network marketing, after all). Some didn't. Some of those that visited became my customers. Six of them even became involved in the business with me. Those six have helped me build a team of over 300. Not too bad for a few emails and a postcard or two. And the ones who laughed? They aren't laughing so much anymore!

Work your business. The number one reason most internet marketers fail is that they give up. They just quit. They don't make thousands of dollars overnight and so they just stop working. Do you know how much my first FHTM commission was? 84 cents! Eighteen months later I'm not going to tell you how much I make, but it's enough to support me quite nicely. Am I a millionaire? Not yet. But I make more than enough to live on. So get up and go to work every day. If you have to keep your regular job while you build your business, that's okay. Just be sure you do at least one thing everyday to move your business forward.

Internet marketing is just like any other business. You will get out of it what you put into it. I can't promise you will get rich. I can promise you that if you find a legitimate business or affiliate program, take the advice of those who have gone before you, let people know you are in business, concede that you aren't going to get rich without some investment, and most importantly, WORK YOUR BUSINESS and DON'T GIVE UP - you can make a living online. Heck, if I can do it, so can you!

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