If you’re reading this, I assume you’re interested in becoming an online marketer or already are one. Congratulations!
You’re in the right place. Here, we’ll discuss the steps to becoming an expert online marketer.
Decide What You Want To Specialize In
This is the most important decision you’ll make as an online marketer. Without a clear idea of what you’re doing, it’s difficult to become an expert. So, before you start gathering information or building a website, take some time to consider what interests you. There are numerous opportunities in online marketing, so you might want to consider taking a hard look at several areas.
As I discussed in a previous post, affiliate marketing is one of the most popular online marketing specialties. You’ll typically learn the ins and outs of affiliate marketing through an affiliate marketing certification program. With affiliate marketing, you’ll develop the ability to promote products and services, which may or may not be related to your field of expertise, with the aim of earning a commission.
Another option is to focus on SEO (search engine optimization). Just like with affiliate marketing, you’ll learn the theory and then apply it to a real-world project. With SEO, you’ll work with a team of content creators to develop compelling content that will attract potential customers to your site. When they click a link to your site, you’ll earn a commission. In addition to building a solid foundation in SEO, you’ll develop your communication skills by participating in meetings with representatives from Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Join A Social Network
Before you start building your audience, it’s important to be reachable. One of the best things you can do for your marketing is to join a social network. These platforms give you a way to connect with people interested in your field of expertise (or at least, what you’re presenting).
Rather than using your own contacts to find people, you’ll join a social network and make use of their large pools of users. When you join a social network, you’ll have the ability to create groups and share content with those groups. If you’re new to social networking, take some time to learn the ropes. Just remember, no matter what platform you choose, take the time to build a community.
Decide To Build Or Buy A Website
Now, you don’t need a big budget to build a website. In fact, you can buy a very good quality website for as little as $5 a month. The key to creating a successful website is focus and a solid plan.
If you decide to build your own website, you’ll have complete control over its content and design. You can choose from a variety of free website builders, such as WordPress, to put together a stylish and functional website in no time. Once you have your site, you can use the $5 per month to make any necessary adjustments.
If you decide to buy a pre-built website instead, you’ll save a lot of time and have the advantage of not having to learn basic web design. One disadvantage to buying a pre-built website is that you won’t have complete control over its content. However, if the content is well-written and useful, this won’t be a problem. Just remember that buying a pre-made website isn’t for everybody. You need to be prepared to put in the work and learn new things to become an expert.
Understand The Differences In Online Marketing
One of the first things you’ll need to do as an online marketer is to understand the differences between advertising, marketing, and sales. The distinctions aren’t exact, but they’re important to grasp.
Advertising is when you pay to have your product or service mentioned or brought to the attention of potential customers. For example, if you’re a dentist and you run an experiential marketing campaign for a tooth whitening product, you’ll be doing some kind of advertising.
Marketing is the overall strategy and execution of an advertising campaign. In the example above, you’ll be practicing marketing to generate interest in a product or service, create awareness of the product or service, and then, ultimately, make a sale.
Sales is when you, as a marketer, actually make the sale. In the example above, when a patient signs up for the tooth whitening treatment you recommended, that’s a sale.
Now, none of this is theory. You’ll quickly learn the differences through actual, real-life projects. Once you understand the differences, you can start working on your approach and plan for each type of campaign.
Learn The Fundamentals Of SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving the ranking of your website or blog in search results for relevant keywords.
To do this, you’ll work with a team of content creators to produce compelling content that is relevant to your target audience. When someone performs a search on a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo! and lands on your page, you’ll want to make sure that they have the best experience possible by optimally positioning your content.
Just like with traditional SEO, you won’t be able to see instant results. However, over time, as you continue to improve your search engine rankings, you’ll see steady growth in the number of people discovering your content.
A backlink, or the link from one webpage to another, is a very important ranking factor in SEO. When you establish valuable, quality backlinks, you’re telling Google and other search engines that your content is worth reading and linking to.
You’ll typically earn this ‘link value’ by recommending relevant and valuable websites or blogs that have a backlink to your own content. The more backlinks you have, the better, because they all contribute to your ranking.
The best part is, you don’t need to have thousands of backlinks to achieve top rankings in the search engines. As I mentioned above, building a quality network of websites and blogs is an excellent way to get started.
Learn Conversion Optimization
Once you have a decent amount of organic traffic coming to your website, it’s time to start thinking like a marketer and not a web designer. You’ll be developing marketing plans to improve the conversion of this traffic into paying customers. When someone clicks on a link or performs a search, it’s called conversion optimization.
This is a broad area, but you’ll typically learn about A/B testing, split testing, and the like. For example, let’s say you’re running an e-commerce store and you want to improve the conversion rate of online shoppers. You can do this by running an A/B test, where you compare two different product pages, or two different versions of the same product page, and determine which one converts better. Or, you can run a split test, where you compare the results of one campaign to another.
You’ll also need to learn how to track the success of your efforts and make adjustments as needed. This is a crucial point: you’ll need to be able to measure the ROI (return on investment) of your SEO campaigns if you decide to continue down this path.
Learn CRO (cost-per-acquisition)
In addition to learning how to become an expert online marketer, you’ll also need to learn about the various metrics that can be used to determine the cost-per-acquisition, or CPA, for each campaign. Just like with SEO, CPA takes a little bit of theory and then you’ll have to apply it to a real-world scenario. So, before you start building your audience, take some time to find out how much you’re going to need to spend to make each acquisition cost-per-acquisition.
Learn Statistical Analysis
To be able to calculate the exact CPA of a given campaign, you’ll need to know the number of acquisitions that brought in that revenue. To do this, you’ll need to learn a bit of statistics. For example, if you’ve run a paid search campaign on Google AdWords and 10 people clicked on a specific ad and made a purchase, you’ll know that that particular ad cost you $10 per acquisition. You’ll also need to know the cost of the product or service that they purchased in order to make the CPA calculation.
Once you have this information, you can calculate the exact CPA of the campaign.