Online Marketing: The Complete Guide to Online Marketing

If you’re reading this, I assume you already know what online marketing is and
how it works. (If not, then maybe it’s time to find out!) If you have a blog or website,
you’ll most likely use online marketing to grow your audience, promote your products,
or both. While there are plenty of in-house marketing specialists that work for big businesses,
not everyone needs to hire a full-time marketer to make an effective online marketing plan.

That’s why we’re going to cover every aspect of online marketing in this tutorial,
including things you may not even realize are necessary to run a high-quality,
professional-looking blog or website. By the end of this post, you’ll know
how to create a rich online presence that will make your customers and potential
customers proud to have found your blog or website. So, let’s get started.

Choosing a Hosting Service

First, you’ll need to decide which hosting service to use. There are dozens
of hosting companies out there, all boasting unique features and free themes to choose
from. In addition, many hosting providers offer one-click WordPress install, which makes
setting up your blog or website a breeze.

The important thing to keep in mind is that as a blogger or website owner,
you’re ultimately in control of the look and feel of your site. That means you can
choose an economical hosting plan that doesn’t sacrifice quality (most important),
and you can always upgrade later.

Choosing A Domain Name

The next step is to choose a unique domain name for your blog or website.
If you’re looking for a free option, then.blog is still available, but don’t
go with this one because it’s been overloaded by businesses looking for a free blog
platform. You’ll want to choose a.com or.net extension for your domain name
so that you have the opportunity to connect with potential customers who may have
already heard of you. If you don’t have a budget, then the.com extension is
still very affordable, and it’ll allow you to build a significant audience with
just a few blog posts.

Blogging Platform

Now that you have a blog or website, you’ll need to decide which blogging platform
to use. There are dozens of options out there, and unless you have a specific reason
for choosing one over the other, then Google Blogger is the perfect choice because
it’s extremely easy to use and gets the job done. You can simply log in to your
blog and start posting content as soon as you have enough material.

For those of you who are looking for an alternative to Blogger, then consider
moving to a self-hosted WordPress platform. Not only is it less expensive to maintain,
but you also have complete control over the appearance and functionality of your site.
Plus, with WordPress, you can always opt for the paid version that offers all
the bells and whistles.

SSL Certificate

If you’ve been paying attention to online security in the last couple of years,
then you’ll know that nearly all websites now require an SSL certificate to ensure
that all data exchanged between a website and its visitors is encrypted. If you’re
running a business that deals with financial transactions (e.g., online banking, credit
card processing, etc.), then you’ll want to get an EV certificate so that your customers
know their personal data is safe.

Once you have your SSL certificate, you’ll need to install it on your site.
Fortunately, this is extremely easy to do with WordPress and takes just a couple
of minutes. After you’ve installed the certificate, you can optionally configure
the site to prompt visitors to confirm they’re a genuine person by asking them
to click a link or enter a code (the general public won’t be able to tell whether
or not you’ve enabled this feature).

Email Marketing Services

Once you have a blog or website, you’ll need to consider whether or not to also use
email marketing to grow your audience. As someone who has a personal email
account, I get at least a couple of pitches a week from brands and businesses looking
to engage with me about my blog. Most of these emails are in some form of
subscription marketing, which means they’re trying to get me to sign up for a
newsletter or take out a store credit card so that they can keep in touch with me
via email about their products or services.

If you do decide to implement email marketing, then you’ll first want to choose
a free email service provider. Google Apps for Business is a reliable option that
lets you create a free, gmail-like interface to handle all your email marketing functions.
If you’re looking for a more professional-looking option, then consider checking out
MailChimp, which offers the ability to build attractive email campaigns with the
help of their designers. While we don’t recommend choosing either of these providers
as a standalone option (due to limited integrations and themes to choose from),
they’re both suitable for use in conjunction with a blogging platform.

Content Marketing Platform

If you want to create quality content for your blog or website (e.g., sales letters,
reviews, how-to posts, etc.), then you’ll need to choose a content marketing platform.
What is a content marketing platform? Essentially, it’s a website that provides
you with the tools to create and distribute content, whether you’re a professional
writer or someone who just wants to get their thoughts out there.

There are dozens of options when it comes to content marketing platforms, but if
your goal is to grow your blog or website, then consider opting for a simple, yet
effective product like HubSpot, which provides you with everything you need to get
started including a free platform, a newsletter template, and webinars to help you
get the most out of their product.

Pricing And Revenue Model

Once you have your blog or website, you’ll need to choose an affordable price point for
your customers to afford. Fortunately, with the increasing importance of the
digital market, it’s becoming easier for businesses to make money online. Many
companies, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and Wix, offer eCommerce solutions that
allow you to create an online store. These solutions provide everything you need to
sell products online, from a product catalog to sophisticated shipping and payment
options.

If you decide to use an eCommerce solution, then you’ll most likely need to decide
between a free or paid version. The choice is completely up to you, but if you want
to create a sustainable business, then opt for the paid solutions, as they provide
all the features you need and don’t restrict the number of products you can sell. Some
ecommerce platforms, like Shopify and BigCommerce offer free trials, so you can
test out their services before you decide to move forward.

Federation

One of the advantages of a WordPress platform over a plain blog platform is the
ability to connect with other websites and blogs via “federation”. Basically, federation
is when you link back to another site or blog from your own, which then makes you
part of a network of websites and blogs.

For example, let’s say you run a fashion blog. You may choose to connect with
other fashion blogs and websites via federation. When a customer lands on your blog
or website, they’ll then see all the content linked to the fashion industry, which
may encourage them to make a purchase or subscribe to your email list.

Federation is another way WordPress makes your blogging or website stand out
from the crowd. While many other platforms might let you search for blogs or websites
by popularity, with WordPress, you can also find relevant blogs and websites based on
the topics you choose!

Search Engine Optimization

Unless you have a genuinely unique style and format for your content, then it’s
important to establish yourself as a regular on the internet. That means you’ll
need to optimize your blog or website for the major search engines (e.g., Google,
Yahoo, and Bing).