The cut-throat business competition today requires us to hone our marketing skills, including hiring those who sleep and eat marketing. In online entrepreneurship, the importance is magnified.
While business startups in the off line world require you to invest thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollar to get things started, in online world, you set up a killer online business for as low as $10. If you are into affiliate marketing, you even don’t need a dime to start your business. For such a very low investment, it’s only logical to expect competition to be ultra-fierce.
Low investment costs mean low barrier to entry; many people can enter Internet business arena easy – too easy, maybe. On the other side, you can easily get kick out from the competition if you are not resilient enough.
How to survive the competition, even thrive in the midst of it?
In my 2 short years in online business and make money online arena, along with well-respected mentors and friends who have helped me along the way, I concluded – we concluded – that in make money online, online business ownership and web property investing, success is often driven by one, single factor: marketing.
Noobpreneur.com is started with just $10 for the domain name and web hosting. But the effort in building it can’t be measured by money. I know my content is useful in one way or another, but without marketing, everything will be in vain.
Let’s have a look at blogging and blog ownership…
I have visited tons of quality blogs with exceptional content but poor traffic. Web traffic – both quality and quantity – is important in your blogging cause. Unless you are blogging for yourself, like a personal journal or diary, whether to make money or to build your business/personal brand, you need to get your message (your blog entries) across to as many people as possible.
No matter how skillful you are in blogging, little visitors mean only a few who read your blog; your blog posts don’t serve their purpose well.
But then again, there are blogs that are popular and make money well for the bloggers. Of all success stories I read, the conclusion is pointing to… surprise, surprise, marketing.
The authority bloggers sweep the blogosphere with their content because they initially promote them. They visit other blogs and forums, they are active on them – leave comments, opinions, etc. They also do link building, search engine marketing, and tons of other tools to get them to be where they are right now.
Let’s have a look at web business and web property investing…
I was in web directory business, and am coming back to the niche right now with a better understanding on how the business operates. Again, the critical success factor is… marketing.
Two directories in similar quality can generate a huge difference in revenue. Let’s say the directories are Directory A and Directory B. Please note, this is not a theory – this is a real life example, with fictive names to protect the privacy of directory owners.
Directory A is promoting on webmaster forums and do link building. The directory is getting a trickle of traffic from there; however not much money generated. The owner just waits to see for things to come to his/her way.
Directory B is promoting on webmaster forums, advertise on directory-related sites, offering promotion on regular basis, build email list, and do link building. The owner is actively seeking leverages for his/her directory, so that traffic will come automatically via the marketing efforts, even organically via the search engines.
Obviously Directory B is making much more money compared to Directory A. In fact, Directory A is making a mere $20/month while Directory B is making a decent $300/month.
Even if Directory A is better in quality, it can’t match the marketing efforts of Directory B’s owner.
What makes a real difference: Your marketing skills (and team)
There’s no short cut; even if there was, it won’t last for long. There are people using short cuts to build their web assets and web businesses successfully, but I know from some real life examples that short cuts will only give your business a 2 or 3 years of life. Some lucky folks can stand the test of time, though.
Those who build their web properties using legit and proven techniques are more likely to stand the test of time. A friend of mine has been in web property investing for 12 years and has survived the dot com bubble burst and still thriving today. He’s not making as much money as the Facebook founder, but he makes a decent amount enough to be financially independent (if not financially free.)
Like it or not, you need to hone your marketing skills. Of course, you can’t master all aspects of marketing. You’ll need a lot more than a fancy online marketing degree to succeed. To overcome your weak areas, you need help from others via hiring staffs or outsourcing.
One word of advice: Sure, entrepreneurs should reduce costs and/or go frugal, but you need to invest your time, efforts and money to market your web assets and web businesses. The adage “you need money to make money” are often true to the core.
Good luck in promoting your web properties!
Honing my marketing skills