This post is part one of a three part series to provide online marketing resources for beginners. Over the coming weeks, I will reveal my wisdom or, rather, my bookmarks, Google Reader subscriptions and various other avenues that I have found helpful while learning the fundamentals, implementing campaigns, and monitoring results. This week, I’ll focus on the basics of Internet Marketing and where to further your understanding of the techniques and practices involved.
When I became interested in Internet Marketing, I naively thought that I would simply enroll in a few classes in college and learn everything I needed to know about the practice. Of course, once I got to my university I realized that, while my course log covered almost every area of business, it did not include Internet Marketing. I was slightly frantic. Wasn’t I supposed to learn everything I needed to while in college?
I understood why Internet Marketing isn’t included in many course lists – it’s new, varied, and ever changing. Professors are better off teaching history of the 18th century, something that’s unlikely to change, rather than the continuously morphing practice of SEO. I was left stuck without any ideas of how to begin learning about the technique.
Luckily, I was able to secure an internship position at VIUS the summer before my senior year. While working as an intern, I was able learn a lot about Internet marketing: SEO, PPC, social media campaigns, and link building strategies. In addition, I learned about several resources that could have helped me with the basics of Internet Marketing.
This information is not only helpful for aspiring Internet marketers, but also for small businesses who don’t have enough resources to pay for full service Internet Marketing services. While these sources do not give you the secret recipe of SEO, they do introduce the basics and provide business owners with a foundation of Internet Marketing that they can use to help promote their own website.
Webinars: These typically free, hour-long sessions are held online (hence, ‘web’), and are basic ‘how-to’s on various topics. The presenter typically uses an audio stream to lecture and a set of slides for reference. At the end of the webinar, there is oftentimes an in-depth Q&A session so you can get answers from a professional. A great series of archived webinars to check out is the All-Stars Webinar Series hosted by Online Marketing Connect. Another great webinar series is through Hubspot; up-coming webinars are posted at the top while there is a lengthy list of past webinars so you can catch up.
Twitter: If you bypass the foolish celebrity chatter, Twitter is actually a very good resource for learning. There are several lists of Twitterers who tweet on the topic of Internet marketing. You can also find relevant Twitterers by searching for the Twitters of large Internet marketing companies. Because of the nature of Twitter, this content is constantly updated and fresh. One Twitter user that I always follow is the @SEOmoz. SEOmoz is an authority on SEO and their Twitter feed reflects that. In addition to posting their featured articles, they are very hands-on and interact with their followers.
Conferences: Admittedly, conferences in any industry often cost over $1000, but by strategizing, you can learn a lot for less. One option would be to purchase a one-day pass, often around a third of the total price, and choose the day that would be most beneficial to you. Another option is to find a regional division of a conference, which is smaller-scale in terms of both events and price. A coworker of mine recently went to a smaller-scale, one-day conference for Internet marketing, and the cost was only one-third of the normal, mega conference. If you’re still set on attending the huge conferences, buy early. Most offer a significant early bird special.
Websites: While there are a variety of resources available on the web written about Internet marketing, it makes the most sense to follow the information written by experienced, working professionals in the industry. These websites are an excellent source to learn about research, techniques, and best practices of Internet marketing leaders. Because of the large amount of Internet marketing specialists, good websites and blogs are numerous. However, in order to learn the most in a short period of time, here are a few of the most informative websites to read.
Search Engine Land combines up-to-date web news with Internet marketing articles and analyses to create a thorough look at web marketing techniques and the industry itself.
For what’s hot on the web and what’s new in technology, Mashable has it covered. From interesting insights to breaking social media news, it is a great resource to monitor the changing environment of the web and social media outlets.
If you’re oblivious to the Internet marketing world, trying to learn about the industry can be a daunting task. But if you look in the right places, you can certainly learn the basics on Internet marketing. To further your web marketing knowledge, stay tuned for part two of this series. In that follow-up post, I will list and explain various free resources marketers use on a daily basis and how they can work for you.