Dan's Blog

Internet Marketing

Oct
26

Well here’s a massive subject and one that I’m not sure will ever be of any use to me. But as usual I’m interested to learn more so I’ve been dipping my toe into the arena and have worked out a few ways to market online. Who knows, I may end up starting an online business – though selling what I have no idea!

So here are a few of the basic things I’ve learned so far.

Pay Per Click

This is a method of advertising online and only paying when a potential customer clicks on your advert. Google is the main source of PPC (as we experts call it lol). So when you do a Google search and see all those boxes that say Ad, the companies pay an amount every time someone clicks on the ad. It’s quite a clever system although I understand that the big G can get very expensive for some types of business.

Affiliate Marketing

This is a whole new idea to me, though I understand it’s about as old as the internet (which isn’t that old if you think about it). What happens is that a company wants to expand so they look for internet marketers to sell their goods or services. They give their marketers a special link that shows a purchase comes from their site and the marketer gets a small percentage of every sale. This may be just pence for small items but could be quite hefty sums for high value purchases. You can also do affiliate marketing through websites like Clickbank, where they partner with numerous companies and you can be an affiliate for multiple sellers. I don’t know much more at this stage but could be worth a closer look.

The downside to my way of thinking is that the affiliate has to know how to market! I think that’s where the next point comes in.

Organic Listing

Internet marketers have to become expert at SEO (search engine optimisation), so they can get to the top of Google searches. It’s all very well selling the best thing under the sun, but you have to let people know you have it. So the best and most economical way is through getting listed at the top of Google. So say someone wants a widget – they type “widget” into Big G and your widget page needs to be there right in front of them. No good having your site on page 5 or no-one will ever see it. SEO is a big skill – sounds like witchcraft and probably only mastered by a select few. Not sure that is ever going to be me!

Advertising

There are lots of places to advertise on the internet, depending on your goods or services. One place that’s proving quite popular I understand is Facebook. I think this is pay per click, so I suppose I should have listed it above. But there are loads of other sites that take straight advertising or pay per click. It’s a matter of finding sites that are relevant to your products and trying to get a good deal. Some of them can be horrendously expensive.

There are also companies whose ads feature in your Facebook listings. No idea how that works but I bet it’s expensive.

Back in the day

I’ve read about some weird and wonderful attempts at monetising the internet, but many have fallen into disuse since users are becoming more savvy and less tolerant of intrusive ads.

I’m sure there are lots of other internet marketing methods that I’ve yet to discover, but that’s about the sum of my knowledge so far.

I’m finding it useful to note down all my findings and I can always add more things as I discover more. Hopefully in the meantime it will serve to refresh my memory as I read through these blogs.

 

Website Building

Oct
05

Alongside all the other things I’ve been learning, I’ve been getting to grips with building a simple website.

The recommended one is Weebly where you can put up a free site without even having to buy a domain name. I think it’s a bit simpler than WordPress, although I still don’t really get the difference between building a website and a blog, because you can add a blog to a website or make a blog into a website (I think).

Anyhow Weebly is user-friendly because everything is drag and drop so it’s straightforward once you get the hang of doing it and getting everything in the right place.

Of course, I’m just getting used to everything and where it all is and how to edit, when they have a massive upgrade and change everything. Typical timing. However I think the new stuff is even easier so I’m persevering.

I’m going to put together a very simple website, subject still to be ascertained. It’s funny when I try to think of something worthwhile nothing springs to mind. I suppose it could be quite a good way to document everything about a hobby. Keep it all in one place and easy to refer to. I used to like keeping tropical fish and have been thinking of getting a new tank and getting back into it. So perhaps I could do some research and build a website on the subject.

The thing with the internet is that there’s almost unlimited information on every subject under the sun. You find some useful titbit and write it somewhere or bookmark the site, but you never come across it again, so these things are lost. So I’m imagining building a website a bit like a scrapbook. Just add useful articles and bits and bobs and upload videos and links. Could be quite a lot of fun and also useful.

Back to Weebly. I’ve learned how to add images, where to buy them if I want to, and how to resize so they fit the page.

I can also use text boxes, dragged and dropped, and can insert a photo inside the text box.

You use headings for ahem headings, and there are different sizes so you just choose the size you need, then it automatically sizes it.

All this stuff creates html code – perhaps I’ll get to understand that one day, though I seriously doubt it. Looks very complicated and I don’t have that sort of nerdy brain unfortunately.

I’m getting a bit out of sync here because the first thing you have to do with Weebly is choose a theme. There are lots available. Then you just delete all the bits you don’t want, add or subtract headers and footers and end up with something that looks nothing like the template. But if you hate the way it looks you can simply change the template and the whole website switches to the new design. It’s a very neat feature.

Soon we’re going to learn about SEO (search engine optimisation). I’ve no idea if or why I’d ever use such a thing and I’m not sure I want Google knowing everything I do, but let’s see what that lesson brings. Who knows it may shed some light on what seems to be a bit of a black art!

So now I’m off to do some research on tropical fish.