If you’re new to Internet marketing, you may not yet have everything you need for your home office. Many people find they work better after they have all of the things they need for their business. Productivity can really go up if your office is equipped properly – even if it’s nothing more than a laptop and convenient Internet connection.
A computer and Internet connection is the most obvious thing you’ll need. It doesn’t matter if your computer is a PC or Mac. Either will work just fine for your marketing efforts. Just keep in mind that most Internet marketing software is created for the PC, so if you have a Mac, you may need to make sure you can also run Windows programs on it by using a Windows emulator, or installing Windows on your Mac.
Your computer doesn’t have to be a high-end model unless you intend to do a lot of extreme graphics work or video editing. Most Internet marketing tasks can be accomplished well even on systems that are several years old.
You should probably have a high-speed Internet connection, but if you can’t get one, you can still work just fine. You might be slower, but you can still accomplish most tasks on a dialup connection.
A few things might be out of your reach on dialup. For example, you might not be able to do much video marketing if it takes you 12 hours to upload a single 10-minute video. But for the most part, you can do whatever you need to on dialup until your success takes off and you’re able to upgrade.
You’ll need a comfortable place to work, with an ergonomic chair. Most people find they’re most productive if they have a clean room with few distractions. Your work surface should be as clear of clutter as possible. Have folders ready for projects and a place to store and file your receipts and other things you print out.
You don’t have to have a separate office, but you’ll need to make sure you can have a little quiet space if you need it to work. If you live in a small apartment with a family, you may find it difficult to get any privacy, so a good set of noise-reducing headphones and a good white noise CD or MP3 can really help. White noise will help block a lot of bothersome noises, and will help you focus on your work. Music can also work, but it may be too distracting for some people.
Some marketers find it very helpful to have a small refrigerator and microwave in their office area. This way, you can easily grab food and drinks without breaking your focus too much. If you only have to walk three feet to grab a soda, your focus won’t be broken as much as it would be if you had to travel downstairs to the kitchen. But at the same time, it’s equally important to take some small breaks to relieve stress and maintain your sanity.
A fax machine and printer is a very good purchase. Many companies will require you to print and fax documents like a W-9 tax form. PayPal occasionally restricts accounts for various reasons, and then they often require you to fax certain documents to them in order to reactivate the account.
Having a fax machine can save you from having to travel to Office Depot or Kinkos while you’re panicking because your account is restricted during a big launch! Have a good planning and scheduling program, and keep your tasks well organized and documented so that you can achieve your goals easily.
Defining What It Means to Be an Internet Marketer
There’s no PhD you can strive for to be in the Internet marketing industry. You have to learn as you go – on your own – soaking up information along the way. The first thing you need to know is what it means to be an Internet marketer, because it isn’t always clear to everyone.
Let’s start with what Internet marketing is not. It’s not being a con artist. It’s not being a spam king. It doesn’t just mean selling on eBay or having your own website and products.
In reality, Internet marketers can pick and choose from a whole host of options available to help them make money. Your opportunities are virtually endless, and include one or more of the following:
- Selling digital downloads (information products like eBooks)
- Promoting other people’s products for a commission (affiliate marketing)
- Selling on eBay or other auction sites
- Running a membership site
- Selling your online services (writing, graphics, etc.)
- Owning a website that sells dropshipped or wholesale items
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Being a newcomer to Internet marketing, you might be worried that you don’t have anything to sell. That’s okay – most people don’t start out with anything, and you never have t stock a tangible inventory if you don’t want to.
Internet marketing creates no gender or age boundaries for you. There are teenagers who have launched multi-million dollar companies as budding Internet marketers whose ideas sprung to life and catapulted them to instant success.
You don’t have to do anything unethical or shady to succeed at Internet marketing, and in fact, launching a respectable business with a solid reputation is the secret ingredient that will allow you to hatch an empire on the ‘net to fulfill all of your dreams and those of your family.
How Do You Know Who to Trust?
In the world of Internet marketing, there are a lot of unethical money-hungry scam artists preying on those who are ignorant about the industry. They know you’re new, and they know you won’t realize you’ve been suckered until it’s too late.
So how does a newcomer to Internet marketing safeguard his or her pockets from the greedy, self-indulgent scams of an unscrupulous marketer? First, you want to do a bit of background research.
If you land on a page where someone has recommended a course or tool that you feel will help accelerate your Internet marketing earnings, don’t buy on impulse. You might regret it later and have to ask for a refund, or suck up the cost if no guarantee is offered.
Google can be your friend here. Type that marketer’s name into the search engines and see if there are any scam details. But beware! One of the most common affiliate pre-pitches is to promote a product by using the scam approach initially and then building the product up with the detailed review.
You may see about 5 page’s worth of links if you type in [marketer’s name] and scam, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re real scam accounts. Always read the pages with care.
You also need to know that practically every marketer has a disgruntled customer. Some people get angry if their download link doesn’t work and they don’t get a response within 30 minutes. Others intentionally try to sabotage the competition by posting poor reviews online.
You should be able to find as much positive information (in the form of praise) as you do bad reviews. If not, it might be best to steer clear of that marketer since no one credible can endorse him (or her).
Never rely on their own claims (even screenshots of earnings can be manipulated). And if you find them in a forum, don’t think that just because they have the highest post count, it means they’re the best marketer.
Get personal recommendations from other marketers. If you want to find out who has the best affiliate marketing guide, ask in a forum and find out. Or, take the recommendation of a marketer you already trust, because if they provide you with a poor product recommendation, it tarnishes their own reputation, too.