Match Internet Marketing Opportunities to
Your Life Choices
by Steve Jackson
There are almost unlimited opportunities in Internet Marketing, in terms of the different paths people can
choose to take in search of the mighty dollar. But what many newcomers fail to consider up-front is that the
different opportunities place very different demands on your time – in ways that can have a significant impact on
Some Internet Marketing opportunities are very close to being “set and forget.” The Underachiever strategy for
marketing information products, promoted by Frank Kern and Ed Dale, is a case in point. Once an information product
is written, the selling web site is up with all payment issues handled by a 3rd party, and pay-per-click ads are
bringing traffic, there is relatively little to do. Similarly, anyone building quick-and-dirty web sites for
Adsense income has a similar opportunity. In contrast to content-rich theme sites that may be lovingly nurtured and
grown over weeks, months or even years, these sites can be created in hours (sometimes minutes!), “activated” as
far as the search engines go within a few days after very little work, then effectively abandoned ... to gain
traffic momentum over the months with the free search engines.
But many other opportunities demand a serious commitment of time – at least, unless you are prepared to
outsource much of the work.
For example, while eBay does not have to be this way, many people selling on eBay end up in a situation where
all the tasks involved in operating the business represent a commitment equivalent to a full-time job. What sounds
easy on first glance can involve researching opportunities or products, finding sources or products, even
making your own products (information products sold on CD’s, for example), taking or finding photographs, finding
or writing product descriptions, putting the final ad together, placing the ads, answering bidders’ questions,
packing, shipping, dealing with returns, dealing with payment problems, and so on. It’s still Internet Marketing,
of course, and potentially very lucrative, but this can become hard work.
Other types of Internet Marketing opportunities demand you go back regularly to update websites to reflect
changes in product or technology so that your sites are always current. This is a common problem with some
affiliate marketing sites where there are many links to individual pages on merchants’ sites; while these might
offer better conversion rates than links to the merchant’s home pages, these links need to be constantly checked
and updated because merchants have a habit of changing products (or even just the specific web pages on which a
product is offered).
Some opportunities call on you to respond quickly and consistently to questions from prospects and customers.
These might be questions asked by people considering buying your product – in which case you certainly don't want
to make them wait; or, questions by frustrated people having problems downloading a product they just bought from
you. The longer the wait, the higher the frustration. Then there are issues of refunds, questions about billing,
and many more situations (sometimes just plain dumb questions) that demand the personal touch - at least, until you
are large enough or confident enough to hire others to handle the administrative side of the business.
One of the most effective Internet Marketing strategies is of course to maintain a list of people interested in
your product or the topic in which you are a specialist. For many marketers, this list IS the holy grail;
everything else is just a means to build it. That’s because a good list can be like gold; a captive audience of
people who already know and trust you. But there’s no question, it can take a serious commitment of time and effort
to maintain and service such a list effectively. Now, if all you do is e-mail to them occasionally with a
half-dozen lines and an offer to buy some affiliate product from you, that's one thing; sure, the commitment is
minimal but in return you can expect a high drop-out rate and poor conversions. But if you put together a valuable
and interesting newsletter with good formatting, grammar, spelling and content, one designed to develop a solid and
lasting relationship with the people on your list, you’re not talking about just a few minutes a week. If you want
the most effective use of a list, this demands consistency of timing, too. So you not only have to commit time and
brainpower, you have deadlines to meet, too.
One of the issues that had me kicking myself initially was my shotgun approach to building Adsense sites – I
built sites that had very little to do with each other. All the Internet marketing experts agreed that if all I was
doing was slapping Adsense on those sites, and not collecting Opt-in e-mail addresses, then I was throwing away an
income far larger than the one I was making. But there was simply no way I could afford to maintain and effectively
service a list for every site if I was to do it justice in terms of establishing a value-based relationship with
the people on the lists. Sure, I could have thrown something together, and I know some marketers do exactly that,
but that’s not really my style. An anonymous site is one thing, but an e-mail from me, with my name on it, has to
represent something of value.
Still on a personal level, I suppose I should also be happy that for once, my daughter is actually listening to
me! Now she’s into Internet Marketing and building her own sites she is sticking to a common theme for a whole
group of different sites. This means that a carefully written single newsletter can be applied to everybody on the
List developed from ALL the sites in a group, because it's relevant and valuable content to every site in the
group. There are also valuable SEO advantages from having a group of sites ( a mini-net) on a common theme, of
course; the extra traffic means more visitors, which means a bigger List, ... without requiring any increase in
time committed to the newsletter. When the Affiliate-based income from the List dwarfs the Adsense income, this
Internet marketing strategy is the key to some serious coin.
Steve Jackson is a full-time consultant (in a field largely unrelated to Internet Marketing) who
decided to explore Online opportunities as a way to help friends and family develop the increased
freedom of choice that can emerge from a serious side-stream income. His website at www.adummygetsitright.com is a massive source of free
information on Internet Marketing opportunities.