'Marketing on the Internet' for Dummies

By: Susan McLaughlin

This is not to imply that you are DUMB! However, if you are new to internet marketing, it might feel like it. Once you open up the floodgates by requesting information, the amount of "stuff" bombarding you can be overwhelming and confusing. Rest assured, there is a way to emerge with valuable training and a plan of action. Having a reliable guide through the mess is definitely helpful. But the first step is definition...

What Internet Marketing is...

Basically, Internet marketing is the business of both advertising and selling goods and services over the internet. This form of business is ever-increasing in popularity, with millions of people now making purchases on the internet. Internet marketing began in the early 1990s as primarily a means of product description, consisting merely of text descriptions. As technology progressed, internet marketing rapidly advanced to include pictures and other rich graphics as part of advertisements for products and services. After realizing the remarkable potential of this means of marketing, internet-based companies started opening their virtual doors for business. As opposed to what are now known as "brick and mortar" operations, these e-businesses offer their products and services to a growing number of consumers, conducting all, or nearly all, of their business in the virtual world of the internet.

There are many forms of marketing on the internet. Among them are article marketing, blog marketing, e-mail marketing, search engine marketing (to include search engine optimization), banner ads, pay-per-click ads, and pop-up ads, and more. In fact, the internet is constantly changing and new methods emerge all the time. It is important to note that each of these forms catches the attention of the target market in different ways, and some may be more effective than others depending on the product or service, the target market, and the strategy and goal of the business marketing itself.

Internet marketing has also become an integral component of many "brick and mortar" operations, but online-only retail businesses have offered some challenge in the arena of sales by providing competition due to convenience and often price advantages. However, other online-only businesses have taken different approaches, such as online auctions, sites that allow you to find the best price on what you're shopping for, and also sites that allow you to name your own price. Further, affiliate marketers have emerged, offering products from virtually all types of business. These affiliates typically receive what is called "pay for performance" or a commission for every sale. Additionally, online companies labeled as "business opportunities" abound. These usually sell a pre-packaged product(s) combined with a compensation plan more lucrative than the basic affiliate commission. Finally, traditional network marketing companies started coming onto the internet in the late 90's and have continued to flourish ever since.

There are many benefits to the concept of internet marketing. It allows consumers to shop and conduct business from the comfort of their own home, any time of day or night, or from virtually anywhere provided they have a connection to the internet. It is this convenience that has allowed the internet to flourish. This is also the reason millions of people are jumping into home-based business marketing and online/internet marketing.

As you can see from all of the options, the overwhelming number of possibilities can be a major hurdle for the new person. Each of these requires a different skill set and information. When first starting out it is important to find a few people you can trust and start learning from them... following their lead.

Contrary to much of the information being circulated, there are no immediate miracles on the internet. It does require effort and some dedication. However, with far less work than expended in your day job, there is the real potential to replace that job and create a miracle over time.

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Sue McLaughlin is a professional Internet Marketer with past experience in corporate management & business ownership. Check out what Sue is up to at her PlugIn4Profit Blog. Looking for tools and training? Visit Success Marketing You can get a

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