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Common Mistakes in Internet Marketing - and How to Avoid Them

Common Mistakes in Internet Marketing - and How to Avoid Them The two most common mistakes that internet marketers fall into are marketing too wide and shallow, or too narrow and deep.

Imagine that the internet is a gigantic (and very deep) pond, with hundreds of millions of fish in it. These fish need food (products and services), and you need to be on the pond and in your boat to catch them. You will need a pole - a particular method of marketing, such as article writing, pay-per-click advertising, or social networking, and you will need lures - specific article submission directories (Ezines, GoArticles.com, ArticleFinder.com) , advertising engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN), and or social networks (Linked In, Myspace, Squidoo).

The first common mistake is trying to put a couple dozen lures on one pole, and relying on that pole to catch enough fish to eat. No matter how deep their line goes, or how many good lures they have, they never get enough fish to bite. We'll call this type of fisher the "Deep & Narrow Fishers."

An example of a Deep & Narrow marketer would be to write an interesting, informative and well-designed blog, updated twice weekly for months, but to avoid promoting it on social networks, optimizing the site for search engines, or submitting the blog articles to e-zines or directories.

The second mistake is to throw out a few dozen (or more) poles, each fitted with one or two small lures. Even with all those poles in the pond, only a few of them get a nibble, and these fisher will also eventually starve. Their nickname can be the "Wide & Shallow Fishers."

A Wide & Shallow marketer would have short, minimal profiles on several social networks, have a blog with only a couple posts on it, and have a few dollars in a dozen different pay-per-click campaigns.

The ideal internet marketing strategy will have a balance between the number of poles in the lake and the depth of each pole. In other words, you want your internet presence to be both wide and deep. Your message, personality, or link should be in as many locations as you can maintain a meaningful, regularly updated web presence.

You want your message about your product/service to appear in front of your potential customers as many times as possible. But remember that people are MUCH more likely to click on your link and consider your product/service if they trust you and/or have received some kind of valuable information from you.

In sum, creating a meaningful web presence where you build trust and relationships with your potential customers will result in consistent traffic and higher yield on your investment of time and money. The best marketing makes the customer want to come to you - instead of making you chase the customer.

What are your next steps to a better marketing system?

1. Analyze your current marketing practices and determine whether you are closer to a Deep & Narrow marketer or a Wide & Shallow marketer. Do you tend to get consistent traffic on your website? Are you active in social networks like LinkedIn, or Myspace? Where could you use some improvement?

2. Choose three ways you can either deepen or widen your marketing practices to get more leads, more contacts and more sales. Consider article writing, blogging, creating a Squidoo page, adding a video to your Myspace page, or widening your email marketing. Choose something you will enjoy working on and find rewarding to complete.

3. Create an action plan with specific, concrete tasks that will help you reach your goals. A daily to-do list with tasks such as "check stats on pay-per-click, create new ad for AdWords Account, etc." will be more effective than a general list of goals for the week.

4. After 3 months of following your action plan, re-analyze your marketing practices to see if you notice a difference in your results. Depending on your findings, re-adjust your marketing practices, create a new action plan, and assess again after three months.

Remember that being Consistent, Targeted, and Smart about your marketing plan will bring you more results and fewer headaches in the long run.

Good luck in your practice, and consider an affirmation my mentor Steve Anderson used to repeat: "I do what I ought to do, when I ought to do it, whether I want to or not - No Debate."

Do Good, and Be Well,

Colin J. Turner

About the Author:

Colin Turner has been an entrepreneur since the age of 17, and is a regular blogger and writer about home based businesses. He has become a mentor and trusted source for information on Internet Marketing. www.marketingsystemforsuccess.com

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