All posts by Assoc Biz

Online Income Development

The Case for
Online Income Development

There are so many opportunities to consider when seeking to develop online income. Just like the typical employment scene, online income development presents many of the same opportunities as for anything that can be done offline.

Online business activity provides for personal creativity when developing supportive income streams. The Internet is a true joy for many new small business entrepreneurs as well as those who need to work from home because of various restrictions affecting their lives. Plus, it is a great source of extra income that can be earned while maintaining a full-time job.

Work From Home
The New American Dream

Developing an online business presence and the ability to work from anywhere you choose is the new version of the American Dream. In some ways, it is a revival of the small business effort.

Reasons for Starting
a Home-Based Internet Business

You Can Do What You Love

Most people have something that they really love to do. Getting paid for doing what you love is a dream come true. The pride you will develop as your ability and self-confidence grow will be truly satisfying.

Your Great Idea Comes to Life

Many people have great business ideas that they wish they had the financing and time to develop. Unfortunately though, the startup costs of product development, inventory, office rent and equipment, personnel and salary arrangements, plus all the other facets of a typical storefront business are beyond their financial investment capacity. Many would-be entrepreneurs are overwhelmed by what goes into developing a business plan necessary for securing loans, and the typical storefront business is too difficult to put into place quickly, easily, and affordably.

Ease of Startup

The ease of startup is, for many, the number one reason for starting a business from home where they don’t have to deal with all the extra expenses and details. The types of ideas that are good for a home business are ones that can become full-fledged businesses quickly, and are able to bring in income almost immediately.

Availability of Products, Multiple Streams of Income, and Leveraged Earnings

Affiliate and Internet marketing provide some of the best at-home startup business practices that enable one to affordably learn about what type of products to promote, to advertise, to sell and to collect payment. They are great avenues for gaining experience without incurring tremendous debt and defeat. Typically, the work effort is similar to that of being a commissioned salesperson who sells the products of others in return for commission payments. Also, one can structure their business in such a manner that they can earn commissions from the efforts of others, and in more than one business endeavor at a time.

You get to be the boss

You set your hours for what is convenient for you. No more working so hard for someone else and frequently having nothing to show for it but hurt feelings and too little money. Developing your own storefront or home-based business permits you to be the boss and you will reap the rewards.

More Time with Your Family

Home businesses are especially good for those with young children who need to be taken to school, to extra-curricular activities, and who must stay home when the child is sick. Also, no more missing out on special occasions, holidays, and weekends with the family. Plus, for the homemaker, the home business provides the chance to get all the household chores done while earning money as you run your business.

No More Wasting Time and Money Commuting

Just think of the time and money you will save when you work from home. You will avoid spending a lot of money on gas, tolls, and parking. You will have a lot less wear on the car. Your auto insurance rates will be less than that for long commutes. You will not have the displeasure of long and difficult commutes each way.

Research Your Project

If you think you might be interested in developing a home based business, or in just learning more about the topic, then visit the following links for great information to get you started. Most information is free. Learn how to think about what really interests you when it comes to working at an income producing activity.

http://webdesign.about.com/od/jobs/

https://www.facebook.com/online.etc

https://careers.google.com/how-we-hire/

https://www.onetonline.org/

http://www.ehow.com/how_2313037_find-online-jobs.html

http://www.tutorvista.com/teaching-jobs

http://www.moneymakingmommy.com/

https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/how-to-find-a-real-online-job-and-avoid-the-scams/

5 Legitimate Online Self-Employment Opportunities

The Physical Product

Selling The Physical Product Online

Generally speaking, to sell online you should start with a business license (self-employed or otherwise). There are many good companies to get you started with the correct type of business formation and license for your endeavor – online or off.

After the choice of a business license, you need to contact your local and state revenue departments to acquire what is necessary regarding sales taxes and permits required for your type of product and choice of venue. This is probably the most overlooked area when starting to sell online.

Legal Requirements Must Be Met

Most people want to sell online but do not understand that there are many legal requirements to meet. That includes whether you work from home or not, or if the product is hand-crafted, auctioned, retail, wholesale, or in any manner networked.

Generally, in the USA, affiliate and network marketers earn commission payments that are reported on 1099 forms. The form is constructed from information placed on W-9 forms which are required to be completed before any earnings are accrued. The problem with this,  though, is that the identifying tax reporting number must be a social security number if the form 1099 is for a non-business registered person, a self-employed person, or even a single member LLC company. The IRS uses the social security number of the entity completing the form – and will not consider the use of an EIN or other numbers to be used for reporting the commissions earned per the 1099 if the income tax form is a 1040. Whether or not that will still be true by the time you earn your commissions is presently unknown. In the meantime, if you must use your social security number on the W-9 and the 1040 to report your taxes owed, then you are vulnerable to identity theft problems.

I strongly suggest using services like the Small Business Administration (SBA) to guide you as to what you will need in order to perform in a legal manner and not incur penalties.

Visit the SBA and the IRS

The U.S. Small Business Administration provides a wealth of information and services for those interested in becoming a small business enterprise. Help involves everything from setting up your business with all the legal necessities correctly in place, starting and ongoing business education, and even financing for those who qualify. Start with the following links:

https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/what-we-do

https://www.sba.gov/learning-center

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/get-federal-and-state-tax-id-numbers

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-and-permits

https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage-your-business/stay-legally-compliant

Regulations for Physical Products
Differ From Those for Digital Products

Selling a physical product is different from selling a digital product for a variety of very important reasons, but the first reason involves sales permits and taxation. In many areas, the sale of digital products online does not require a sales permit or the rendering of sales taxes. You must check with your state and local revenue departments.

Even when deciding upon the classification of your business activity when acquiring your business license, it is usually more involved when selling physical products. Also, with physical products, there is a great need to be aware of regulations from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding both truth-in-advertising and consumer protection laws.

Physical Products: One Size Does Not Fit All

Physical product sales come in a variety of forms. There is the selling of items you personally own but no longer want, the selling of items you have purchased but no longer need, the selling of products you create including hand-crafts, the selling of items in retail store manner, the selling of wholesale items, and, in some instances, the consideration of personal use or commercial use licenses. One thing is for certain, the sale of physical items (online or off) is not a one-size fits all situation.

A Variety of Online Options
for Selling Physical Products

Perhaps the best solution after learning about the SBA and IRS (Internal Revenue Services) rules and regulations,  will be to choose an online store to service your needs. There are many online store setup arrangements to consider. For example:

eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Wholesale Distributors, and many online stores that provide a wealth of resources from website development, to payment processors, to marketing methods, and basic support for just about any issue that arises.

Difficult At First – Gets Easier With Time

Once you get a basic understanding as to what type of product classification you are selling, and what legalities you must adhere to, it gets easier as you develop your business. However, without fully discussing the next issue, is the need to learn about rules and regulations for selling Internationally. Do not overlook the GDPR data privacy regulations, nor the Value-Added-Tax requirements, and who knows what is next as regards what country your customer comes from. It can be truly difficult to sell to your own country only.

Cheer Up! Be courageous. Better yet, be smart and do not over-extend yourself but learn and grow with experience.

 

Ingredients for Successful Sales

Your Passion: A Very Important Quality

There are many approaches as to what is important when choosing products to sell. Not to be overlooked is the amount of passion you have for the product. It is claimed that it is the passion that the marketer brings to the promotional effort that results in both creativity and success.

Passion is the quality credited for developing strong focus and for keeping a determined sales effort alive when sales are slow and profits low. It is essential to like and know the product well enough to convey to potential customers the value of the product.

Your Knowledge of The Product’s
Benefits and Features

It is important to discuss the product’s features, worth, benefits, and its ability to solve some problem for which the customer is seeking an answer. It is frequently stressed that the marketer needs to remain focused on the idea that the customer comes to the product only because he or she is seeking a solution to a problem. They are not searching for the product just out of curiosity or some casual need to spend money.

The customer is seeking something that benefits his or her condition, solves a current problem, and offers more solutions than originally thought necessary.

Both Passion and Product Knowledge

It is claimed that product knowledge without passion will not succeed in helping to develop the mastery that enables one to promote oneself as an authority to be respected and believed. Lack of passion about the product will result in lackluster, ineffective marketing techniques, and reduce the ability of the product marketer to set one’s self apart from many other marketers promoting the same product. Lack of product knowledge results in poor presentation of its usefulness and reduces confidence in its worth to others.

How Many Products to Offer

Then, there is the issue of whether to sell only one product (not typically recommended) or to promote many products (which creates the risk of confusing the customer).

If the marketer recommends only one product, there is the chance that the customer will prefer more options to choose from. When promoting only one product, the marketer risks generating fewer sales than when promoting more than one product.

However, too great a selection of products might confuse the customer to a point of inaction and may result in the potential customer leaving the process of purchasing.

Knowing what to sell and how much to sell comes from having as strong a knowledge about the target market as about the product being sold.

USING NICHES TO PROMOTE PRODUCTS

The successful affiliate marketer learns how to analyze which products are proven sellers. Tremendously successful marketers learn to combine a thorough knowledge about the target market with a good selection of products to create a “niche”.

The niche created is limited in focus to a small theme, for instance, the subject of “golf” as opposed to the subject of “sports”. The term “sports” represents a large category whereas “golf” indicates one specific sport.

The delimited subject is then intensified by adding items that are necessary to its performance and that enhance its attractiveness, for instance: golf clubs, balls, bags, clothes, shoes, hats, carts, and so on which are further developed by the use of various brand names and golf masters who provide sponsorship promotional activities for particular product lines. To develop a website and product line devoted to golf clubs only would be an example of a micro-niche (a very specialized part of a larger niche (golf or golf accessories).

THE CREATION OF THE PROMOTIONAL WEBSITE

The marketer who uses the niche development technique will usually create a website devoted to only one subject. The heavy use of content becomes the tool to deliver knowledge and information about the product being promoted. Content is also used to present the site as an authoritative voice that can be trusted to deliver quality and honesty.

The addition of graphics is intended to deliver even more knowledge about what the customer can expect the product to be and to accomplish. For many website developers, this has become the use of audio and video to promote the product.

The arrangement of the content and graphics, the choice and placement of product keywords, the repetitiveness of keywords, the use of keywords in the domain name, page title, meta tags, and content combine to create a search engine friendly website.

The purpose of developing a website that is specifically focused upon search engine optimization techniques is to rank high in the results pages returned when one searches for information via search engines. This type of website development is known as Search Engine Optimization. It also becomes a specific type of marketing method. Not to be overlooked, is the creation of an easy method of product selection and a simple path to purchase and payment.

THE ABILITY TO IDENTIFY HOT SELLING ITEMS

There is another approach to product selection that also works well for those who master the skill of knowing how to identify an existing hot demand or fad. The best masters of this skill frequently use business intelligence software. Business Intelligence software uses data mining, reporting, and querying to identify noteworthy trends and existing hot demands. It helps businesses to understand, monitor, manage, and respond to specific situations that further enable decision makers to make better choices more quickly.

Business Intelligence software helps to identify important aspects of your promotional efforts such as types of customers, purchasing trends, competition, and so on. Figures produced indicate which customers are the most profitable, which products perform well, the best times to launch marketing campaigns, and whether or not important goals are being reached.

Business Intelligence analytics can also boost your sales and help to define in what direction to proceed regarding product selection and marketing. These ingredients are just a basic part of developing the sales process but are also fundamental to successful sales.

Time To Choose A Product

BASIC PRODUCT CONSIDERATIONS

It is time to think about what type of product is best for you. Successful online business and Internet Marketing requires that you really need to know your abilities, desires, and budget capacity before deciding upon a product or service to promote. A passion for the product combined with good content and knowledge enables you to present yourself as an authority regarding the product and are necessary elements for developing successful promotional campaigns, abundant sales, and large commission payments.

The use of business intelligence software or services helps to identify important aspects of your promotional efforts such as types of customers, purchasing trends, competition, and so on. Business Intelligence analytics can also boost your sales and help define in what direction to proceed regarding product selection and marketing.

Once you are familiar with all of these elements, you can begin to pick a product or service upon which to focus your online income producing effort. Start with deciding seemingly small issues that ultimately become major concerns.

SMALL ISSUES BECOME BIGGER ISSUES

You will want to consider why someone would buy the product from the Internet as opposed to a “brick and mortar” store. Is it important for the customer to see, feel, or listen to the product? Does the product need to have its features demonstrated? Is it perishable, fragile, bulky, or in any other manner difficult to ship? Will shipping the product require insurance charges? Are the ship to and from destinations easily managed?

Will you need to keep inventory and pay for inventory insurance? Will you need space other than your home to run the business? Can you sign up for wholesale drop/ship services that handle all of those issues? Can you afford to do that? Are your credit credentials and limits good enough to do that?

Will special types of credit extensions, processors, merchant services, and miscellaneous fees be reliably measurable? Will you be able to easily calculate profits and losses to the point that you can present a meaningful budget, control the cost of marketing, and assess the value of a customer? Can you control the cost of sales? Do you need a complex pricing strategy? Will you need special refund procedures (including shipping methods and costs)? Do you have a dependable financial accounting system?

Will there be difficulty in creating company policies? Can you provide simple and complex security measures that protect your business, your website, and your customer’s valuable purchasing identity credentials?

Can your product be enticingly presented when using a website? Will the development of a website and related Internet services be useful and affordable? Will you be able to control the development and maintenance of the website, or do you rely upon a webmaster? Do you know how to choose a webmaster?

Do you need customer service employees? Can you use virtual assistants? Can important activities be reliably outsourced to other individuals and companies?

DO NOT OVERLOOK BASIC LEGALITIES

Never neglect to check out your local and state requirements for conducting your business. Be sure that you become familiar with the Small Business Administration (sba.gov), the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov), the Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov) and other entities that affect the legality of your product and business operations.

Not only think carefully about a variety of aspects regarding your business and the manner in which a customer interacts with it, but visit other company websites to better understand how many issues are handled. If you can learn from your competitors and others, then you have a good chance of rising above them.

Don’t Get Overwhelmed – Just Plan Well

Planning is the key activity. In the beginning, you will frustrate yourself if you try to cover all aspects of starting to earn an online income and develop an Internet-based business. However, really think about that which might be problematic and prepare solutions. The best solution might be to start out slowly and test the waters with a “dummy” type of product – one that teaches you how to master various activities but is able to be economically inconsequential.

Now start to pick a type of product such as a digital (intangible) product or a physical (tangible) product or a service.

What Can I Do To Earn Online Income?

More Than You Presently Think Possible

This post will cover some elementary methods of earning money online that will enable you to also become self-employed.

What Are You Good At?

Besides the technical issues of developing the online income earning opportunity, is the other aspect of what to do to get customers. Do you have a product that is desired?  What about a service you offer?

Take Stock of Your Skills
and Primary Interests

What would you do for off-line income? Generally, if it can be done off-line, it most likely can be done online.

Some General Ideas

Are you interested in customer service conducted by phone, email, or other types of help/support systems?

Would you be able to be a virtual assistant capable of managing an online office complete with online employees and the typical offline office tasks but now performed online?

Can you perform the typical financial duties that accompany most business enterprises?

Can you manage online retail and procure sales?

Can you prepare product or service presentations?

Can you develop and carryout marketing plans and services?

Are you competent at any type of consulting service?

Are you a master of a particular type of software such as those used for accounting, statistical needs, brochures or newsletters?

Do you like typing and data-entry?

Are you artistic?  A photography buff?  A Crafts Person?  A writer?    A teacher or tutor? A translator? A nutritionist, health care specialist, or personal trainer?

Do you have a special hobby that you can turn into a business venture?

The point I am trying to make is to have you really try to objectively assess your skills and interests.

Furthermore, before seeking physical products to sell, I encourage you to visit online job services to learn about what is being sought by others and the skills requested and required. If you can work for another, it won’t be long before you can work for yourself.

Working for another brings me to suggest that you learn some basic affiliate marketing skills. How to become an affiliate marketer is covered in more detail in another site of mine:  Affiliate Income Sites.

Whatever your basic interests are, there probably is a product being sold that caters to the subject. The product developer doing business online will be seeking others to sell this product using online selling techniques and will pay a commission for sales and leads procured.

Digital marketing and sales require some new ways of doing things and, when first starting, the best way to learn about these is through affiliate marketing. When you sell the products and services of another, generally, you will get not only a commission but also a variety of selling tools to learn to master. Generally, the only cost you will have is in marketing the product. This is more affordable than you first imagine.

I also encourage you to consider starting with informational and digital products as these will be less expensive than other types of products when first starting out. In many instances, the sales methods will be the same as those for physical products as will also be the typical set of business statistics regarding customer value, commission and conversion rates, break-even, and all the typical stats that go into measuring off-line business success.

In other posts, I go into more detail about types of online money-making opportunities that will lead to self-employment and possibly the development of your own business.

So, sit down, relax, and decide what will bring you the most enjoyment when spending time obtaining income.

 

Be Seen On The Internet

I know that I want an online source of income, but how do I start?

The Basics of Being Seen on the Internet

 Some Basic Elements Need to be Put Into Place

Throughout this site, many aspects of developing online income will be presented. Some methods will involve working for others while other methods will involve your own freelance efforts, or the development of  a monetized blog, or an actual store or other type of business. There are those who already have an offline business that they want to put online. But, no matter what, if you want to earn money from Internet based activity, you need to learn how to be seen on the Internet.

What You Must Have

For the Do-It-Yourselfers (DIY), obviously, you will need a computer and internet connection. There are so many good choices to make for these elements of success that I won’t even try to list them.

A Domain Name

The Main Function of Your Domain Name

Once you have your Internet connection, then you need to be found on the Internet by others. This is achieved by purchasing a domain name (this identifies your presence in a manner similar to a mailing address).

Your domain name is how you want your website to be referred to when not using Internet Provider (IP) numerical addresses (for example: 111.222.33.4)

The domain name is what is typed into the browser’s url address area: (for example: http://www.mydoghousestore.com ).

The domain name is meant to be something that can be easily remembered, identifies the main theme of your website and product,  and is easy for the search engines to index.

The average domain name registrar makes it easy for you to use a search box to create the name phrase you decide upon. If the name is already taken by another, then usually variations of it will be presented.

Choose Your Words Carefully

As to what you choose as a domain name, it can range from using your own personal name to a company name, or a product or service description. Ideally, your domain name should use words that reveal why you want others to find you and also reveal what you are offering. More importantly, the words should be those someone would use when trying to locate the item when performing a search engine search.

Which Domain Name Extension is Best For You?

When you start researching domain name development, you will also note extensions to the base name. These extensions can be “.com” to indicate a commercial site, or “.org” typically used to indicate a non-profit organization, or “.edu” to indicate an educational site. There is a constantly growing list of extension options and a domain registrar is the best place to learn about the creation of a domain name that is right for you.

Once you have purchased your domain name, you will need hosting to put this name on the Internet. And, you will need a website to function as your place of business.

Domain Names Should Be Linked to Hosting Services

GoDaddy (.com) and Namecheap (.com) are typical registrar places to learn how to create and purchase a domain name. As for hosting, the most popular hosting options tend to be those offered by the domain name registrar.

However, hosting companies such as Hostgator.com, BlueHost.com, and many more will offer a variety of services including domain name selection and many more services that will be important to your online marketing efforts. One of the best features offered is the ability of having someone develop your site based on what you describe and then having it done within a website builder that you can learn to edit as you desire. All for a very affordable price.

HOSTING

Your hosting account is what makes the web pages you create available to the world to view. The hosting company owns a web server that rents you space for your website files.

The hosting company will provide nameservers that you will place with the domain registrar. This will connect the domain name to the webpages to display on the World Wide Web (www). This is how the domain gets linked to the web server and how your site gets displayed when one types the domain name into the browser URL address area.

Most registrars provide hosting, and most hosting companies provide domain registrar services. The instructions for setting up the nameservers are extremely easy. The host provides the nameserver details (for example: ns1.xyzhost.com and ns2.xyzhost.com) that you will copy and paste into the correct area of your domain name manager.

“URL,” an abbreviation for “Uniform (or Universal) Resource Locator,” is the unique address of a specific internet resource such as a web page. Every page on every website on every web server has a unique URL that is shown in the browser’s address field. This web address is the standard way to provide the location of any resource on the Internet that is part of the World Wide Web (www).

The typical format of a URL consists of an Internet protocol (http://), a domain name (myhouse.com) and other optional elements such as a file name (/report.pdf). Each URL refers to a unique web address and is mapped to the computer IP address by special computers referred to as Domain Name Servers (DNS).

Most all domain registrars and hosting companies provide detailed written instructions, along with various forms of help support that will make it easy for you to get up and running.

Be sure to visit the links below under “Related Links” to get a more indepth understanding regarding IP addresses and your website.

So Many Good Choices

There are many good companies from which you can purchase both domain name and hosting and even more setup items such as the design and development of your website. Really, there is little sense to being on the Internet without having a website. That arrangement is really only for advanced affiliate marketers.

Save Time While Learning From Others

If you are just starting, there are so many good affordable options that make getting up and running much easier than doing it yourself. Plus, with most programs, you will also be able to personalize your new site in nearly any manner you desire. The time you save, and the knowledge you gain is truly a time-saver.

Love Your Search Engine!

Again, learn to perform search engine searches for what you need to learn and do. For those on very limited budgets, learn to put the word “free” in your search expression and you will be pleasantly surprised by the results (for example: “free website hosting”). Also, use the word “review” to pull up good comparisons about the different options available (“review of best domain registrars”). Once you get the hang of it, you will fall in love with the results you can find when performing a search for some item.

Now, Get Found on a Search Engine!

Choose your domain words correctly, add a revealing snippet within your website content ( both seen and unseen), and your offer will start showing up in search results. Without getting into detail, let me just say that there is a real mastery to be achieved when learning Internet Marketing.

More To Come

There is still more to cover regarding the basics of getting started and these will be discussed in other posts but, for now, JUST GET STARTED.

Related Links:

Here are a few advanced learning links
related to learning to get online:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHOIS

https://whois.icann.org/en

https://whois-search.com/

https://www.ultratools.com/tools/ipWhoisLookup

https://www.godaddy.com/whois

https://www.namecheap.com/domains/whois.aspx

https://mxtoolbox.com/whatismyip/

http://www.wikihow.com/Trace-an-IP-Address

http://www.ip-tracker.org/

https://www.tracemyip.org/

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-trace-an-ip-address-how-to-find-your-own-nb/

What To Sell Online: The Target Market Approach

Which Comes First?

Target (customer centered) or
Niche (product centered)
Marketing Analysis?

How does one go about deciding what to do for the development of a reliable source of online income when one does not already have an established off-line business to put online? There are different approaches to the solution for this issue.

I have already listed the need to assess your interests, skills, and motivation. Then do research into existing online job centers for ideas. I truly believe that the better you know yourself, the better your chances for success.

TWO MORE WAYS TO DECIDE

My next directional point is to consider whether or not you have a product, service, or skill that can be better developed by deciding which to develop first and how to develop it.

There are some who are ready to locate a target market while others will fare better searching areas of limited and well-defined interests (niches) that already have avid spenders.

RESEARCH TARGET AND NICHE MARKETS

It is important to understand how both target and niche market researches work together to improve each other.

If you start with the Target Market concept, then instead of developing the product first, you start by finding out about to WHOM you want to sell.

The Customer First Approach

A skilled marketer will start with the customer interest, first, because the customer is cash-in-hand seeking something. The marketer wants to find out about what the customer wants to buy. The marketer finds out what the customer need is and then matches it to a product. This type of product development is more apt to succeed than when first starting with product development.

To find the target market best for you, find methods to seek out those with whom you want to converse; try a newsletter or forum group; consider taking surveys of your current customers. After ascertaining who your target market is, you can then find better and more appropriate products to present.

It is important to realize that most of your business effort and time will be spent with your customers; therefore, what interests them is where you will spend most of your lucrative time.

This target market should be one in which you are knowledgeable and are very confident in directing.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A TARGET MARKET?

A target market refers to a group of customers to whom you promote your income-producing activity (products, services, and skills).

These potential customers are grouped by the type of interests they have, by age, gender, level of education, financial capacity, geography, and any other identifying trait that enhances the likeliness that the particular targeted group will purchase what you are marketing when you specifically cater to their interests and demographics.

THE CUSTOMER IS THE FOCUS OF TARGET MARKETING

With target marketing, you really focus on the customer. Ultimately, it is the purchasing customer that tells you what is trendy, what is wanted, how much demand there is for an item, what price they will pay for it, and what the product’s future might become.

Primary Focus: The Potential Buyer

The primary focus is on the potential buyer by acknowledging their specific needs. This is important because most people do not buy unless they have a specific need or problem to solve.

The product developer will frequently start by first assessing the need and desire for a particular product and then choose to whom to cater (based on the segmentation analysis) as it is determined that the products that have a great value for that group.

SEGMENTATION  IS THE  METHOD

Identifying and defining the target market involves the process of separating the mass market into manageable, disparate units based on the demographics listed above. This process is also referred to as “segmentation.”

There are other units of measure, but the traits listed above tend to be the best starting point. Various analytical and business intelligence guides are used to group potential buyers by age, gender, nationality, political inclinations, religious affiliations, and other grouping identifiers.

From a General Market to a Specific Market

The process of segmentation breaks down the general market into smaller units that enable the product developer to cater to the more specific needs and desires of the customer. This also results in the indication as to which group the product will appeal to most.

The product developer and marketer can further appeal to potential customers by further adapting the product to meet increasingly specific detailed needs and concerns of the segment being targeted.

For instance, there is pet food, and then there is rabbit food (niche); furthermore, there is nutritionally enriched rabbit food for domesticated breeding rabbits (a micro-niche). This is an instance whereby the well-defined target market leads to a well-defined niche market.

The traits analyzed are studied and mapped by the merchant promoting the product. The analytical results, delivered in reports, further indicate other trends about the product’s use, future, profitability, and competition. Furthermore, research reports can also indicate the best promotional methods and times. Most importantly, these reports can indicate who visits your website.

TARGET FOCUS AND SEGMENTATION ANALYSIS
AFFECT WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION

A strong focus on the Target Market will lead the website owner to develop web pages that use very specific words, terms, and images to attract buyers. Keywords, language, graphics, colors, and other features can be adjusted to more directly appeal to the target market. These methods are how the web pages get “optimized” for being found by search engines, and for being returned during search engine query result page positions. The more these pages are optimized to attract the target audience, the greater the sales.

Another aspect of targeting and segmenting the market is to understand how the visitor landed on your website pages. Did they get there from a search engine result page, from surfing and clicking on a banner ad, from discussions in forums, or from visiting social sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and others? Once you know this answer, you can better adjust where you advertise, the form of the advertisement, and what you spend on advertising. Eventually, you can track the success of your advertising method and learn to adjust it further to gain more prospective customers.

To learn more about targeting, segmenting, and analyzing your market, you need to learn how to use tools that determine demographical information based mostly upon the visitors’ online behaviors. To do this, visit the following websites:

https://www.quantcast.com/

http://www.alexa.com/

Do a search on Google Trends for more information regarding the optimization of your pages.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Trends

 

 

Find A Good Niche

WHAT IS NICHE MARKETING?

A niche is a well-defined subject that is typically part of a larger subject matter. It tends to function as a subset of a larger group, concept, or market.

Wikipedia states that,

“A niche market[a] is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that it is intended to target. It is also a small market segment.”

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niche_market)

WELL-DEFINED  AREAS  OF  INTEREST

Niche marketing is the selling or buying of a product or service that targets a special area of demand. Niche marketing targets smaller groups of customers with specialized needs, desires, and established interests. Niches fill customer needs that have been ignored, overlooked, or neglected by others; however, it is the target market that indicates what is lacking in the overall product. Dominating this type of market is your competitive edge in the more generalized product arena. People with special needs and desires tend to spend more to get specialized services.

A SUBSET OF A LARGER AREA OF INTEREST

The niche is a subset of a larger population that shares a particular interest. The subset has a special core interest to which others are not adequately catering; and, it is underserved by the existing market.

Marketing to “niches” involves targeting smaller groups of people who are searching for solutions to specific problems or who are seeking information about well-defined subjects and products. It is the difference between marketing to those searching for pet food (the general market and product) or for rabbit food (the niche product market) and those searching for low calorie, protein rich rabbit food used for breeding rabbits (the micro niche market and product).

If you were to research who wants rabbit food, you would find a rather large market in comparison to those seeking a more specific type of rabbit food (which is the targeted and segmented market; and, the product you offer is the niche product). This distinction will become more important later on when you advertise based on keyword searches and when you optimize your website.

There definitely exist target markets consisting of those who want their special needs catered to by your specialized niches. The niche marketer presents the product as a way to meet the unique needs of the limited audience, and to a certain extent, those who need the product the most. The primary focus shifts from developing the product to focusing on customer needs. Niche solutions arise from paying careful attention to customer complaints, suggestions, problems, and desires. Then, the return is to continue to create better niche specific products based on customer input.

NICHE MARKETING AS A MARKETING TECHNIQUE

Again, it seems to indicate that the customer – his wants, desires, and needs – is what is first analyzed and then products are developed to cater to these issues. That is the creation of the niche product.

For affiliate and Internet marketers, however, niche marketing more aptly describes a marketing technique. It strongly refers to the creation of websites that target smaller segments of larger markets. The website is narrow in focus – really promoting one main item or idea – and then introducing related items that enhance the main item.

The marketer can create a niche themed website about that product. Niche marketing is more about product promotion than customer search and interest.

It becomes important to narrow your niche when starting. In that manner, you can come to position yourself as an expert in promoting the product. The niche themed website is used to promote the marketer as an authoritative expert regarding the product. It is now easier for the marketer to create a themed website of products that specifically relate to the main issue. It is also now easier to write the sales copy targeted to solve the needs of a small group of customers for whom the product provides benefits and solutions. The same goes for its related group of products.

Now which comes first – the product or the customer? In my opinion, this is best determined by the person spending time on the business. Is it easier for you to become a specialist regarding some hobby or special product interest that you already devote yourself to? Do you have an established passion or expertise about something that can be profitably sold – enough so that you can become self-sufficient?

Or, are you competent at researching target markets? Do you know how to locate potential customers, to spot what they want to purchase and how much they want to spend? Can you identify hot trends in both the purchase of products and in the economy as a whole? Can you spot potential product markets by being aware of the needs and desires of markets presented by social networks, media coverage, geographical differences, et cetera?

For me, it comes down to whether you want to follow customer needs or product developments. Still, there must be a desire and demand for the product or service; and generally, one that solves a problem or produces a significant improvement in some area. Either way, the next step is how to research the market – especially the niche market.

When first starting your online business it will help to narrow your topic and focus as much as possible. Success might require learning more about your product, pricing and marketing techniques, analytical tools, online business development issues, website development and practices, and more.

Look for categories of items and see if they can be further sub-categorized into micro-niches. Learn to identify niches within niches (micro-niches) and how to focus on hot, lucrative micro-niches. Gain ideas for the development of your own niches.

Consider visiting various online forums as these are places where people discuss problems and desires. Research, visit, and join forums using a search engine query.

The Internet is a super source of an enormous amount of information. Learn how to perform search engine queries and follow relevant search result links. Offline methods include going to libraries, book stores, and reading magazines. Read about marketing, product development, customer service, the economy, and hot trends.

The Digital Product

Learn A Lot with The Digital Product

Learning to market digital products is a great place to start marketing on the Internet (meaning: make money online!). Plus, it is fairly certain that whatever your primary interest, there is some digital product (created by another) that covers the topic in a meaningful manner; and, that you can use in a promotional manner to develop a source of online income.

The digital product market most notably includes ebooks, presentations, white papers, ecoaching (both as a product and a service), software, scripts, music, photography, videos, printable artwork, informational products and various forms of mentoring. Any product that can be delivered digitally is a digital (intangible) product.

Typically digital products are sold as products that are downloaded from an internet source to a receiving computer. The customer downloads the software, script, music file, pdf or .exe ebook, video or audio file, etc. As compared to physical products, they are easier and less costly to acquire and sell.

Ease of Use

Virtues of choosing a digital product include the relative ease of your decisions regarding the typical concerns that accompany the sale of a physical product such as: product variations, inventory, taxing, shipping, insurance, returns, and more. These issues do not typically accompany the setup of a digital product. Digital products generally have easier payment processors and methods to set up.

The digital product will also affect the policies governing your website business. For instance, special attention goes into the creation of the refund policy. Once the customer has downloaded the product there is no getting it back with the guarantee that it will not be used. To manage the inability to use or disable the product once it has been downloaded requires excellent skills involving the placement of product keys and codes that activate the product. The same goes for how many times the product is downloaded and on how many different computers.

You will want to structure your website with security features that protect not only the buyers’ purchasing credentials and privacy, but also from having your digital products stolen by online digital thieves. You will probably want to consider the protection services offered by various download managers, affiliate product management services, the use of SSL security certificates, and the placing of various forms of “trust” banners on your web pages. These services will present your website as an honest and reputable place of business.

Master the Core Basics of Selling Online

These represent core basics related to selling online. The digital product offers the chance to learn these procedures without a lot of expense, difficulty, and risk.

In the long run, much of what is required for developing the safety features for an online business and website is similar for both intangible (digital) and tangible (physical) product lines. However, it is much easier to learn with a digital product as opposed to a physical product. It is usually much less expensive and less risky in many manners.

The Affiliate Product

Yours to Sell but Not to Own

The affiliate product is one that is created by its owner but sold by another (the affiliate marketer) who promotes it and receives a commission when a sale is made. The affiliate product can be digital, physical, or a service.

The Focus: Marketing and Sales

For the affiliate marketer, the focus is on the marketing effort as opposed to product ownership.  The marketer does not own the product which also means that the affiliate marketer does not create, produce, control, or lay claim to any form of product ownership including altering the product in any manner such as pricing and does not assume product risks and vulnerabilities.

Affiliate Manager Programs

The affiliate marketer usually uses an affiliate manager program to choose a product to promote. This is not always the case, though. There are many businesses that develop and control their own in-house affiliate programs. When you are on a website that interests you, look to the bottom of the page to see if it has a link to “Affiliates” or something similar. If you click on the link you will be taken to a page that describes that company’s affiliate program. Look up some of your favorite places to shop and see if a reference to having an affiliate program is mentioned on the page – usually in the footer area.

Large Variety of Product Choices

The affiliate marketer can choose any item that is for sale and research as to whether or not it is being sold as an affiliate product.

When using a search engine, search for the product name (or general term) and add the words “affiliate program”. For instance, if I wanted to see if my interest in dog training has any affiliate programs, I would put the following term into a search box: “dog training + affiliate program”. The search engine results page (SERP) returns a list of programs related to dogs and dog training. If I visit a site, more than likely at the bottom of the page, is a reference to a related affiliate program.

I could also just put the words “affiliate programs” into the search box and pull up a large variety of programs to consider. A really good place to search is  AffiliatePrograms.com

Some well-known and reputable affiliate manager programs include:  Clickbank,  JVZoo, Pay Dot Com, Commission Junction, The Rakuten Network, Share-A-Sale, and many similar services. Visit these to learn more about what types of products and services have affiliate programs that you can join.

Affiliate Toolboxes and Free Training

The best part of becoming an affiliate marketer is the amount of free training and marketing tools you can acquire. Most all affiliate programs and affiliate managers prepare an affiliate marketing toolbox.

The toolbox contains many types of advertising tools such as content to be used in emails, signature boxes, forums, Twitter and other social programs that permit advertising. There are also graphic banners for placement on websites and in traffic exchanges, keywords for advertising in services such as Adwords, and for articles, blog posts, reviews, and ezines.

Some offer videos for YouTube advertising that can also be placed on the affiliate marketer’s web pages. Most also offer a variety of splash pages, squeeze pages, solo ad content, and more.

Frequently, there will also be a list of places where you can advertise. Many affiliate programs also offer courses and mini-lessons regarding how to advertise. Webinars are great sources of continued training.

Some even offer contests with great prizes so as to motivate the affiliate team.

If you are a talented marketer, your creativity can possibly be permitted by the product owner when developing some new approach.

Might Be The Best Free Training You Will Ever Get!

Really learn how to market a product by starting with an affiliate product. In my opinion, the toolbox and training are some of the best features of becoming an affiliate marketer. Learn how to market here before struggling to advertise your own products.