Top 5 Crucial Internet Marketing Tips for 2010 – Are You Prepared?

January 19, 2010 - Written by Gyutae Park  

2010-pathCan you believe that it’s already 2010? I’ve been involved with Internet marketing and SEO for over 7 years now and each year has always been more exciting than the previous one. 2010 is looking to be no different.

There are so many opportunities online to make money and make a difference. If you ever wanted to get started in this space, now’s the time.

I know that I’m a few weeks late, but I want to use this post to reflect on the past year in terms of what I learned about online business building and marketing. I’ll outline my top 5 learnings from 2009 and share my Internet marketing predictions and tips for the new year. Cheers!

1. Time is always against you – focus, hustle, and outsource
As I pile on new projects and campaigns on my plate, I’m learning more and more that time is always against you. There’s only so much you can do in a 24 hour day, so those who manage their time wisely and use it most effectively are going to win.

My biggest tip? Don’t spread yourself thin with too many projects and sites. You may think you’re doing yourself a favor with “diversification”, but in this case, it’s better to put your eggs in one basket. That way you’ll be able to focus all of your attention to growing one or a few sites to reach critical mass. Otherwise, you’ll likely see no results whatsoever.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to spend money on outsourcing some of your work! Some people insist on doing everything themselves, but remember, time is more valuable than money. You can always make $100 back, but you’ll never be able to the get the past 10 minutes of your life back. Outsource whenever possible so you can focus on the activities that yield the greatest ROI.

2. The early mover advantage is growing
Back in May ’08 I wrote that the window of opportunity is shrinking for independent publishers online. A lot has happened since then, but my theory still holds true. Webmasters who started their sites back in 2000 have a huge advantage over their more recent competitors. Not only are they given preference by the search engines simply based on age, but they’re more likely to have accumulated high quality links, social mentions, and stronger branding over time.

In some super competitive niches, it’s almost coming to a point where new sites with small or medium-sized budgets have absolutely no chance of competing. Even smaller less competitive niches are getting saturated very quickly.

The solution? Don’t delay any longer. Focus your attention on just a couple branded sites and build them out like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll want to start by focusing on and dominating a smaller sub-niche.

3. Buying established sites is a great shortcut strategy
In the summer of ’09, I had my first experience buying an established site (a personal finance blog) in the 5-figures range. I’ve always wanted to get involved in this industry, and buying an existing site with good traffic and positive cash flow offered a great opportunity. Not only was I able to get a large head start in the personal finance industry but the cash flow allowed me to invest monthly profits back into the site for further growth. It’s a great strategy especially since growing a new site these days is increasingly difficult (as I mentioned in my previous point #2).

Monitor online site marketplaces like Flippa, Digital Point Forums, and eBay on a regular basis. You may be able to pick up a distressed site for relatively cheap – especially in this economy. People are more willing to part with their sites to gain cash quick.

I have a detailed case study about my experience buying an established site for 5 figures as part of my Winners Circle membership program. Check it out.

4. Ad-based business models aren’t reliable – build out your own products
If there’s anything the recession has taught you, it’s that you shouldn’t rely on advertising to make up the majority of your site’s revenue. I’ve written before that blogging for ads is dead and I think this is a trend that will continue moving forward. If you have a large site that gets a ton of page views, then sure monetizing through advertising can be very lucrative. But for 90% of sites out there, making a significant amount of money through advertising isn’t really feasible. Plus, an ad-based business model forces you to be at the mercy of sponsors. Who wants that?

A much better way to make money online is to create your own products – whether they be e-books, DVDs, subscriptions, or an actual physical item. It’s definitely not easy (I’ve experienced this first hand through my Winners Circle membership program), but the rewards are greater and much more steady even for small sites.

It’s fine to start monetizing through ads, but I think all online publishers should work towards some sort of paid model. With the web being polluted with free low-quality content everyday, readers will increasingly begin looking for better paid sites to cut through the clutter. You’ll want to be in a position of authority with your products ready to go when this happens.

5. You need creative & aggressive marketing strategies to stand out
As I mentioned, the competition online is getting stiffer and web surfers now have more options online than ever before. So why should they go to your site to fulfill their needs? You can say that you have better content, better features, blah blah blah. But at the end of the day, it all comes down to marketing. Yes, I agree that content is important, but what’s equally important, if not more, is getting people to actually see your content and come back again and again.

For that, you can utilize marketing strategies like social media votes, contests, link bait articles, software and tools, etc. In fact, I’m currently holding a huge contest over at Money Crashers with $8,300 in prizes. In just 2 weeks, RSS subscribers have increased from 500 to 3,000. Of course, for promotions like this you need the content to back it up and get people to come back when it’s all over. Even so, big promotions are great for giving your site a boost and actively putting your site in front of your target audience.

The most important thing is to keep hustling and working smart in the new year to see success. Consistency and persistence are always rewarded.

Do any of my tips and experiences resonate with you? What are your goals for online business in 2010? Share them in a comment below.

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33 Responses to “Top 5 Crucial Internet Marketing Tips for 2010 – Are You Prepared?”

Tom | Build That List on January 19th, 2010

I love your point that time is always against you. That is the one thing I am focusing on this year – time management, because it is always the thing that holds me back.

 
Raviaa on January 19th, 2010

“Focus, hustle, and outsource”

I like this one. Hey, you could be turning that into a book [or digital format] and sell hundreds of copies at $15 or more :)

P.S. Gyutae, what are your thoughts on blog “flipping”?

 
John Paul Aguiar on January 19th, 2010

Great tips.. who get’s there first wins the most.

Work it hard each and everyday, take calculated risks and hustle your ass off… is how you stand in front of 90% of all marketers.

80 20 rule can apply.. 80% of all IM money is made from 20% of marketers.. so get in that 20%

 
Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny on January 19th, 2010

Gyutae,
Excellent article! The time commitment piece really spoke to me. I’m facing new and fun opportunities, but how does it all get squeezed into my already busy life. Keep moving! Keep hustling! Somehow, we figure out how to get what’s most important done. I’m in my 6th month with still much of the mountain to climb. Undaunted, I’m pressing on with new contests for 2010 and a plan to create my own product (what!?) to sell. Great ideas! Thank you.

 
Chris Peterson on January 20th, 2010

I loved your every step that what you had properly explained especially step 5. Create right business strategies to promote product is best way of marketing. Without proper strategies making plan mean wasting time and money.

 
Luca DiNicola on January 20th, 2010

I can really relate to your 1st point about spreading yourself to thin. Being a small business I try and do everything myself to save money but I’m learning that in the long run it’s taking me away from the important parts of my biz. I guess it’s time to consider some outsourcing

 
Tamahome Jenkins on January 20th, 2010

#4 is definitely an excellent and relatively easy way to monetize your site. Besides having control over the end product, you also have control over how to market it and how much you make. It also sets you apart from all the other people trying to peddle the same affiliate program.

 
Gerald Weber on January 21st, 2010

Tip #6

Get rid of annoying auto popups that offer a signup to a newsletter or mailing list.

If you already have a newsletter signup offer, along with a call to action that is clearly visible on the page, that should be sufficient.

It’s very annoying when you start reading an article and 5 or 10 second into it BAM a popup interrupts the reading process asking yo to subscribe. 9 times out of 10 I will hit the back arrow and if it’s on a social media site like Stumble upon etc I’ll give it a thumbs down. In short it creates a bad user experience.

Just my 2 cents. ;-)

Tamahome Jenkins on January 21st, 2010

Ah, the lightbox! A web 2.0 example of the law of unintended consequences :P

 
 
Matt on January 22nd, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Great idea to run a contest to increase subscribers. I can’t wait to see how my blog flourishes in 2010, i know it’s going to be a great year.

To our success gyutae!

Always -Matt

 
Kai Lo on January 23rd, 2010

#2 is wrong, Gyutae. Search engine does not have preference for old domains. They have preference of old BACKLINKS. Just because a site is 20 years old with no quality backlinks does not mean it will show up on first page of Google in a month for keywords Make Money Online for example.

Super competitive niches mean nothing if you are better than the rest in SEO.

-Kai Lo

 
Andrew@BloggingGuide on January 28th, 2010

I agree with outsourcing some of your work. I decided to employ someone and ‘outsource’ some of the administrative and everyday tasks associated with my online business.I was spending so much time doing all the things you have to do to keep several sites up and running, that I was finding no time to create any more of my own products.I must say, the early stages in the ‘partnership’ are turning out pretty well.

 
nelson @ bathroom shower on February 1st, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

I thik thats quite true of having creative and agressive marketing stratey will help you a lot for standing out in the market properly.

 
Menandro from Pincpassion on February 7th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

You a right about outsourcing. There are just so many things to do in internet marketing. And besides, it’s nice to give a job to somebody else.

All advises are good especially creating your own product and being aggressive in marketing strategies. It’s worth to really work hard today to enjoy the benefits tomorrow.

 
Paul on February 8th, 2010

I love your tips. Outsourcing menial tasks is fine but gaining a headstart by buying a website is not so easy.

Besides the financial outlay, you have strive to keep the audience interested by keeping up the same quality content as the previous owner.

 
players club international on February 8th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Great Stuff. Keep hustling and working smart in the new year to see success. Consistency and persistence are always rewarded.

 
SFaith on February 9th, 2010

I struggle with time management. I am building 2 sites and I love the work but there’s just SO MUCH of it. If only there were 2 of me…

 
Mohamed Adam Jr on February 10th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Awesome stuff Gyutae… you should always try to outsource, you’re very right.. you’ll never be able to the get the past 10 minutes of your life back.

 
Kavin Arora on February 11th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Great tips. Thanks for sharing this information.

 
Peter Slowakei on February 11th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Gyutae,all that tips will help such novice at blogging people as I stand out.Thanks for your help!

 
molly on February 12th, 2010

hey you people gave me great tips about the internet marketing .As i am new learner in this field and i am designing different sites and learned so much about marketing, so thanks for your suggestion.

 
Ovi on February 16th, 2010

These strategies are really some difficult tasks but being creative is very important.

 
Heidi Passey on February 16th, 2010

Great tips here. I am guilty of spreading myself too thin. Right now I do this in my spare time outside of my regular 9-5 job. Time is pretty limited. I’m trying to keep my focus on my main projects, but I get easily distracted.

Thanks – Heidi

 
Coz on February 17th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

awesome tips, finding ways to outsource is always a challenge

 
Shanker Bakshi on February 21st, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

I feel “Time is always against me” noted couple of point up there, hope i will manage the thing well in time now…

 
Work at Home Dad on February 23rd, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

This is a very informative post and I learn a lot from it. Thank you for sharing this one.

 
Amy on April 22nd, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Great tips. Thanks for sharing this information.

 

I love point 5. I have just been listening to Alex Jeffreys who was mentored by Rich Schefren talk about creating events on your blog that encourage people to interact. I 100% agree that this whole concept of learning to market is vital. Alex blogs once a month but always around an event that he has created. If you want to see if the strategy works, check out the number of comments he gets.

 
Brand Management Development on May 28th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Time is one big factor in SEO. For websites the older it gets, the more it create authority in the web. Also, results in your SEO efforts takes time to create impact in your site. Whether you like it or not, you;ll embrace time with patience in the SEO world.

 
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