Learning internet marketing never stops, as online marketing and the internet change. However, there are some basic elements that will never change as they make up the very function of that marketing. In fact, it’s just the same as offline marketing in terms of approach to prospects and customers, and what you need to do for them so you can make money.

Plenty of people think there’s some kind of magic formula that applies online that’s being kept secret by those
who are seen as successful at it. When really it’s a question of taking action on the basics and following through.

Using cookie cutter methods won’t help much when you’re looking for inspiration. If that were true, then everyone wold be doing it and it would be very obvious. Opposite to that, take a look at how online information businesses are different from each other.

There are common areas but each business has a unique or original angle or advantage that helps it to be successful. Rather than jumping on one of the first ideas for what to sell in your new business, ask yourself: What is my unique selling point? I know, it sounds too humdrum maybe, and you may have come across it, and even tried various ways of finding yours, before. But without you having something different to offer in products or experience for customers or results for them, there’s no reason prospects should be attracted to your business than to anybody else’s.

But it cuts deeper than that.

Internet marketing is based on knowing what your prospects and customers want and need from you.

There’s no getting round it. Producing bland, generic types of products for your niche will result in bland financial returns. Let’s say you’re in the travel or vacation abroad niche and you keep creating stuff about traveling around the countries or staying in small off the tourist track towns. But your prospects want to know more and more about capital cities, and need to know more so they can have a good a break as possible while they’re there. You’ll get some interest but your real market is capital cities, except you haven’t realized or found out it is.

You’ve missed your target market.

So, find out what your prospects want and need in the niche. Check out your competition first to work this out. Join their newsletters and other places of information they’re using. Join their forums. You’ll see what questions, complaints, worries people have about your niche. If you can, buy their products to see what they’re focusing on and how they’re doing it.

More importantly, what are they missing that you can take advantage of? Put everything they’re missing or being poor
at, into your products.

Research where your prospects are going to on the internet. Which blogs, forums and social sites do they use? Again,
note down questions they want answers to, and any suggestions made as to what they want from a business like yours. Talk to them directly where you can, such as on forums. Delve into their problems and ask further questions of them about what sort of solutions they want. Send them to a survey on your site where they can explain it, and then you follow up digging deeper into the detail you can use in your products. If they sign up to your list, ask questions in your emails.

It means knowing how to solve prospects’ and customers’ wants and needs

The cookie cutter approach falls down here as well. Every situation is different. The more detail you can find out helps your product to be as specific as possible. Write it all out as to what customers need to learn and to do in order to solve their problem. How long or big your product turns out, is not relevant. It needs to be as long as it takes to provide them with the solution – that’s what the customer values. Give them actions to take so that if they do them they’ll solve their problem.

Finally, aim to be the best in your niche.

Aiming to be the best means that you’ll be the expert in the niche and therefore you’ll be the competition others are measured against. This takes time and work and planning but begin by focusing on one aspect of the market. In the travel example, it might be capital cities of one or two countries so that it’s your business people go to for those cities. If you don’t differentiate yourself then people easily choose another business, since all the information is more or less the same.

It’s prospects converted to customers who provide your profits so your business begins with knowing your prospects’ and customers’ wants and needs. Then, how you can satisfy those wants and needs.