The world is full of people who are itching to give you advice and share the benefits of their wisdom and expertise.
That’s really thoughtful, don’t you think? Well, I guess that depends on what their advice might be. We all know people who like to believe they’re the font of all knowledge, whether that be a mate who met a bloke down the pub who knows someone’s best mate, or an industry insider who got the inside track from a ‘reputable’ source. Advice is only useful if it’s correct and based on fact. The world of internet marketing is no different. Certain myths have grown over the years about internet marketing: many are completely spurious and others nothing more than generalisations, yet they have been accepted as the gospel truth. Well it’s about time some of these myths were exploded. In part one of this article, we’ll have a look at 5 of these 10 internet commandments that you’d be well advised to ignore.
Internet marketing’s free – you don’t need money to create a successful online business
Yes I know there are plenty of free advertising opportunities available on the internet, but the fact remains that you need money to make an online business work effectively. Advertising lies at the heart of any successful business, and to exploit it you’re going to have to spend a few bob. No one in their right mind would expect to get free advertising on the TV or in newspapers and magazines, would they? These media outlets are businesses too, and need to make money to survive. Businesses need to invest in advertising if they’re to have any chance of getting a foot on the ladder. The internet is a fantastic resource and marketing tool and offers infinite possibilities for business promotion, but you’re going to have to speculate to accumulate. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Anyone can be become a successful internet marketer
We all have our dreams and aspirations, and in our less rational moments, believe we’ve got what it takes to make it to the very top in whatever field we fancy. I like to mess around with my guitars from time to time, but am not deluded enough to believe I’ll ever become the axe-wielding super hero I grew up idolising. If you’re going to be successful in internet marketing, then you need to be wired in a certain way: you need to have not only the aptitude and capabilities to stand apart from the crowd, but also the focus and drive to achieve all you set out to. You may well think that marketing is a piece of cake and anyone could turn their hand to it if they applied themselves, but you’d be wrong. Why else would there be so many marketing consultants practising? Answers on a postcard please.
Anyone can get rich on the internet
We’ve all read stories or seen news reports about people who made a fortune from internet marketing. So some people would have you believe if it happened to Joe Soap, then it can happen to you too. Some people are born luckier than others, ask any lottery winner about that: others are the same as you or I, but are prepared to graft for everything. Yes, some people have made wads of cash from internet marketing, but far more people have fallen flat on their faces and ended up broke. The successful ones tend to be the exception, not the rule. There’s no such thing as a free lunch in internet marketing: if you’re going to succeed, then you’re going to have to earn it and be focused, talented, hard working and very determined.
Short copy is good copy
Wrong. I don’t know where that commandment came from, but it really is wide of the mark. If it’s based on the premise that readers don’t like to read through long articles online, then it really is spurious advice. Why else would e-books be so popular? Someone is obviously buying and reading them. If you search around the internet you’ll find irrefutable and overwhelming evidence that proves beyond a doubt that long copy is better than short copy. There is, however, a caveat to that point. The copy has to be compelling, interesting and engaging to be effective and readable. There’s no point writing 1000 word blogs, if you’re reader’s nodded off after a sentence, or switched to an alternative. Readers don’t have limited attention spans. The so-called ‘experts’ should be aware that statistically long copy has been proven to outperform its shorter rival.
All traffic is equally good
Orwell famously wrote about some pigs being more equal than others: well, it’s the same with internet traffic in many ways. It’s quality, not quantity that counts. You may have established mutual links with other businesses to increase the volume of traffic visiting you site, but unless these links have a direct relevance to your own line of business, then they’re frankly a waste of time. The whole point of trying to encourage web traffic to visit your site is to try to turn some of these visits into conversions. That’s unlikely to happen if the re-directed visitors have nothing in common with you. Back links are great, and have an important place in any seo strategy, but there has to be a connection between the businesses who share the link. If you run an online pet shop, is there any point buying or sourcing links to a body piercer’s? I think not.