The foremost question that comes to the mind of any aspiring internet marketer is “Can I learn internet marketing on my own with the help of the resources I find on the web?” The question becomes pertinent because there’s a sea of information available on the internet on how to start a blog or how to make money online and with too many scams happening and the many so-called legit “training” available, it becomes difficult for a beginner to make the choice. So, should you enroll yourself in a training on digital marketing or is it just a wasteful exercise because all the information you need is available for “free” on various websites and blogs? This is the billion-dollar question for any beginner.
Starting an online business – the sequence of steps
All online business follow a sequence of steps which is more or less the same for any product.
- Explore the market to find a need. As of 2018, it is said that there are close to 3.75 billion people online. These people are all looking for answers to their questions, seeking solutions to their problems or looking for things to buy. Now what you do is help these people by providing answers, solutions or stuff that they are looking for. How do you do that? By creating a website in a niche (a distinct segment of the market, your audience) and making people visit your site for the solution they seek.
- Choose a niche. The niche could be anything. But it is ideally something that you are familiar with. It is something that you are passionate about because you want to be doing something you truly love.
- Create a website. Buy a domain name of your choice and choose a hosting company to host your site.
- Create content that engages the people in your niche. Why it’s important to choose a niche that you are passionate about it is because you’ll be creating content on your website on a regular basis and it’s easier when you like the niche.
- Drive traffic to your site. Whether yours is an e-commerce site, a niche site, a membership or a membership site, you’ll be driving traffic to your site and this traffic will be your audience and your potential customers. There are ways to drive traffic and you’ll be learning how to do that.
- Learn social media and email marketing skills. Creating valuable content will not be enough to attract visitors. You’ll need to learn social media marketing and email marketing to expand your target audience.
- Build up an expert reputation or authority in your niche. People will visit your site because of the trust they have in you. Difficult it is but you need to learn how to establish trust in the online world for you to be successful.
Are there free sources of information on internet marketing?
There are many websites and blogs that are a great source of information on the latest trends in digital marketing, WordPress sites, search engine optimisation and virtually everything that you need to know on creating your own successful online business. Some reputed sites are:
You can create your own schedule to read these blogs daily.
Above this, you can watch videos or read e-books to learn internet marketing. A search on the internet reveals many free videos and books, and they can be actually very helpful.
Is it possible to learn internet marketing from scratch on your own?
Despite the availability of many free as well as paid sources all over the internet space for learning the ropes of internet marketing, the subject is too vast and dynamic to be able to learn it solo without any external guidance. For a beginner, it is extremely difficult to make sense of all the information from these sources alone. In fact, the information available can easily overwhelm and discourage any aspiring marketer. This is why it is essential to start from scratch and cover all the basics by going step-by-step through a well-designed course and with constant support throughout. Most courses follow a predefined, proven sequence of steps mentioned above where you consolidate your knowledge with a solid foundation.
Why learning in isolation is difficult?
The internet blogs mentioned above provide a wealth of information but these are more suited for experienced marketers. The blog posts are mostly intended (though not explicitly stated) for those marketers and bloggers who are on the lookout for enhancing their existing knowledge and for those more experienced people who want to learn new tactics and ways to reinforce their ongoing strategies. Moreover, each post on these blogs will cover only a single topic or area of interest and if you want to learn everything from scratch, the posts will only add more to the confusion. To really exploit these blogs, you need to have your basics covered already. Internet marketing is an extremely broad discipline and one that is constantly changing and the field ranges from web development to graphic design to content creation with a sea of information on search engines and its optimisation methods. Without following a well-designed course, it is always going to be an uphill task.
Preferred learning style – different people, different styles
We are all different and as such, each individual has his or her preferred style of learning. This is to say the best learning method for you might not be suitable for another person. Some people learn better from reading, some from listening or watching videos, some from practical experience and some from a fine mix of all learning styles. There are people who prefer learning by doing and in fact, there are many successful self-made internet marketers. Similarly, there are people who want to learn everything from scratch, going through lessons and as such prefer enrolling for an online course.
Theory with hands-on experience supported by an online community – the ideal mix
Most people are visual by nature and learn well through the visual route. Some prefer the hands-on learning – the learning by doing. Would you not want a platform that teaches you the theory part – lessons (instructions and videos) along with practical hands-on experience on your own website? Would it not be wonderful to learn this within an online community where you are helped every step of the way? There’s nothing like a community learning where knowledge is shared across members, both experienced and newbies. Just imagine the power of Quora within the realm of internet marketing only. The biggest advantage of being a part of an online community is that you are at once both the learner and the teacher. You learn important information from the more experienced members alongside the training and the same time, you also learn by helping other new members who are less experienced than yourself. By interacting with other members and through discussions, you will end up learning more about online business than by just cramming information through other people’s blogs or reading books.
Is there a good online course for learning internet marketing?
Have you heard of the Online Entrepreneur Certification course from Wealthy Affiliate? This is a 5-level internet marketing course that gets bundled with Affiliate Bootcamp when you enroll for the Premium membership. There’s no better platform to learn the ropes of internet marketing than this certification. Imagine being in a community of 1.2 million like-minded members all across the globe, in different time zones interacting, sharing training posts, information, videos and their success stories and formula. We were talking about the hands-on training, and once you are a Premium member, you get to launch 50 websites (25 on your own purchased domains and 25 on free domains) and host them all at no extra cost! The websites are hosted on some of the fastest web servers and with constant technical support throughout. You will undoubtedly have the widest repertoire of training videos – short videos and long ones which are actually the recordings of the weekly live webinars. Now, you have what they call the perfect mix – elaborately designed training course, hands-on training on your own live and running websites, and a vibrant community support. The trainers in Wealthy Affiliate are some of the best industry experts and internet marketers with years of experience behind them. The best thing is you can even join Wealthy Affiliate as a free starter member and get to launch two websites without paying a dime! Cool, isn’t it?
So which is better – learning on your own or through a course?
If you think you can follow all the steps mentioned above on your own, you need to be reading a lot of blogs and implement all of them on your website. You have to be really good at finding things and be persistent and patient. Depending on how you look at it, it can either be fun and extremely gratifying or very frustrating. The internet marketing field is too vast and with its constantly changing nature, it will take a lot of time and hard work to figure out the maze on your own. There is a sea of information out there and with many “experts” teaching different things, for a beginner, it can be overwhelming. So, whether you are a newbie or someone with a little bit of experience, the best way to go forward would be to enroll yourself in a well-designed course. If you are a beginner, you can start learning everything from scratch. And if you have some experience, you can relearn what you have already learned to consolidate your knowledge.
So, my final take on the matter is that it’s always better to enroll yourself in a good internet marketing course if you are a beginner. That way you can learn the ropes of this highly complex and information-heavy field of internet marketing. It needs to be learned in a step-by-step phased manner so as not get overwhelmed.
I have said what I wanted to say. If you have anything to add to the topic or a different take, please do leave a comment below.