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When people talk about the benefits of digital marketing and the prospects for success, I’m always inclined to think of some of the people I know who have completely transformed their lives. Now I know if you start researching things like digital marketing or making money online that you’ll find a whole host of promotional stories.
You know the type, we’ve all read them –
“I was homeless and in debt but after starting the megarich program I became fabulously wealthy in just a few weeks. Not only that I discovered that I only had to work ten minutes a day and the cheques kept rolling in.”
Now hopefully, nobody will believe this stuff but unfortunately many do. It doesn’t take much to convince some people with these stories, after all we’re all desperate to believe it anyway. If you’re desperate, optimistic, fed up or simply a little bit gullible it’s extremely tempting to risk a few bucks to buy into this dream. In many ways it’s no worse than buying a few lottery tickets. However it’s important to to remember these are sales pages and although there may be a small kernel of truth to the story, most of it will be hyperbole and exaggeration.
Yet promotional stuff like this is almost certainly the reason that most people fail in their efforts to change their lives and fail in digital marketing. Which is a huge shame as there is huge potential there for most people to change their lives completely online.
How Can I Start Digital Marketing
Well first of all it’s best to remember that pretty much all the skills and knowledge are actually available online. However the difficulty is that finding, using and making money from this knowledge is much, much harder. If you find someone you trust who can it explain, help and mentor you then your chances of success are much higher.
One of the main problems is that there’s so much, choice and potential it’s very difficult to actually get started. The phrase digital marketing in itself is quite confusing as it covers pretty much everything. This makes it difficult to start and easy to waste time in procrastinating. yet you won’t get started by reading endless posts or by drifting and watching the BBC or YouTube.
In reality though the majority of people start in a few ways – creating websites, videos or social accounts and making money from them either through advertising revenue or selling stuff. I would estimate this covers 90% of people I know who make great livings from the internet. Much of it can be deemed as digital marketing, yet if you met some of the most successful you’d never believe that they were ‘successful marketers’.
So let’s take probably the most popular initial option – building a blog or website and promoting some sort of product. It can be literally all set up in a few minutes if you know what you’re doing, but if you have to learn from scratch it can take months or even longer. Believing the wrong people or following the wrong advice can add to this learning curve and can lead to frustration and people giving up right at the beginning of the process.
However there are simple guides and people willing to help without wanting to sell you overpriced rubbish at every turn. Here’s a marketer I trust demonstrating how easy it is to actually build your first web site –
That’s great, practical information on how to get started and it’s completely free. You can follow the video and create your very first affiliate site and start your journey in an afternoon. It should be available every where but if you get blocked try using region free DNS servers to access it. What’s more apart from paying for some basics it doesn’t even cost very much at all to get started either.
However many people can take ages getting to that point and will often spend a small fortune on over hyped products in the process. It’s really not necessary, and although there are products and information which can make your progress quicker you should be especially cautious before buying them.
Who Can Become a Successful Digital Marketer
This is actually fairly easy to answer because it’s virtually everyone. In practice that’s not entirely true but as far as financial, intellectual or practical barriers there are very few. The reason that the vast majority of people do fail is because it does take hard work, persistence and a somewhat resilient personality. If you can become successful in self employed roles in the physical world though there’s little to stop you succeeding in the digital marketplace too.
We shouldn’t underestimate the numbers who do fail though as it’s certainly a huge proportion. I’ve seen many estimates and of course it’s difficult to measure but I’d be surprised if it fell below 90% failure rate. The majority of people who fail though are those who simply gave up before they succeeded. It’s a statement that’s especially true in digital marketing as the potential is there for everyone.
Important points to remember though, are firstly it does take lots of time. The days where you could start up and make a fortune in a week or so are long gone. Although some video bloggers and people marketing on social networks can make money very quickly. However although you can potentially create and promote hundreds of social network accounts very quickly using something like Jarvee – the skills and knowledge needed can take a long time to develop.
Secondly it’s the work ethic, and this shouldn’t be underestimated. I normally focus on affiliate sites which promote technology products. Currently I’d expect to work on a site for at least a year before I’d expect it to generate a reasonable income. That’s a huge amount of unpaid work that had to be done before a return is realized. Of course, it’s much easier if you know that your work will eventually be rewarded but it’s tough first time to keep going which is why most don’t.
We’ve all come across fabulous websites which look completely abandoned. That’s because of the huge effort involved in maintaining, updating will eventually take it’s toll especially when they’re not generating any income. A successful website which does generate income however is much easier to throw time and resources into!
Start with an Interest
Whether you choose to develop a web site, social accounts or create a killer YouTube channel then there’s one thing you should definitely consider. Make sure that the topic or product you promote is something you’re interested in because otherwise you’ll be unlikely to succeed.
If you have a real interest in a subject then creating content will be much, much easier. Some of the most successful websites and channels on the internet where started as hobby/interest sites. I can think of many niches which are dominated by sites which were started this way with no budget just the enthusiasm of the creator.
You can decide that you’re going to be aggressive and create twenty Instagram channels to sell a certain product. Or perhaps that you’re going to make a fortune reselling concert tickets using proxies on Ticketmaster. However whatever format you choose, you’re going to have to become an expert in that specific area. This is whole lot easier if you have an interest in it too, whichi can see you through those early non-profit making weeks!
The beauty of the digital economy is that to some extent it’s pretty much open to anyone. You don’t need a degree, you don’t need lots of cash and it doesn’t really matter where you’re from or what your background is. Admittedly if you’re really poor with technology things might take you a little longer although many really successful marketers online are truly hopeless with technology (but they just pay people to fix stuff). Also there are certain challenges if you’re based in certain countries where it’s harder to get access to payment processors like PayPal.
Yet these are just all minor hurdles which you can be certain people have crossed successfully before. So if you’re considering a career or want to change from the traditional 9-5 model that traps so many of us – then try out digital marketing. It’s not that hard to get started and it certainly doesn’t require huge financial investment. You can succeed and join those of us who choose where to work and what time we get up in the morning!!