You bought into the Internet Merchant Dream. You now have one or more websites selling products online that you are convinced are in great demand. Now that the entire internet world becomes your customer base, you figure that your sales will blossom your websites into a ‘Wal-mart of Websites”!Most likely you have received one or two calls per week from a number of Internet Marketing companies who promise you the glories of improving one or more of these:
Your traffic by establishing reciprocal links
Your Google Ranking through Hundreds of Directory registrations (registrations that are repeated 2 -4 times each month)
Web Traffic through writing articles for eZines and BLOGS
Traffic (up from the number of Visitors you now have – whatever that number is) using Marketing using email campaigns
Search Engine Page inclusions based on the proper selection, webpage positioning and page density of Keywords, Meta Descriptions and Meta Keywords to improve search bot sweeps of your site.
Search Engine Page Inclusions with XML and ROR sitemaps for Google and Yahoo Search Bots
Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns
Web Banner campaigns
Advertising Revenue through Affiliate Programs, Adsense, el al
Each Marketing Company will pitch you the importance of their company’s offering providing you the “winning formula for the Internet Selling Bonanza”. Well almost!Take it from me – someone who operated a “mortar and brick” business: a franchise that offered a great new way to merchandise healthy life style products and services. We all want to hear how quickly we can make thousands and thousands of dollars as a Retail Merchant. We all get convinced by a few of these “get the sales quicker” Internet Marketing Companies pitch that their product or service will vault us into Conversions (fancy name for Internet Sales) with unbelievable speed.We entrepreneurs, each and every one of us, must first buy into the concept, the products, the vision of demand for the products and services offered. Our hope for a successful business, coupled with our zeal to quickly start our business, clouds our vision in applying the basics of building a business. Beware these purveyors of “Business Bliss”!I am often reminded of a story we read back in elementary school called Stone Soup. It is fable about a traveling Minstrel who had devised a simply ingenious way of obtaining food at each of his stop-over destinations. The housewife invites the Minstrel into her home intrigued by the promise of a “Magic Stone” capable of turning plain boiling water into a delicious soup.While the Minstrel is stirring the Magic Stone (free for the taking from the roadside) in a huge pot of boiling water, he begins to tell the unsuspecting housewife how wonderful the soup is going to taste. He weaves a tale of a tasty and healthy meal for her family. But then he states, “As delicious as this Magic Stone Soup will be, it would be even more delicious if we added a few carrots.” The housewife always obliged and would eagerly add diced carrots to the Magic Stone Soup.The Minstrel would continue this charade of suggesting other vegetables to enhance an already excellent tasting Magic Stone Soup. And the housewife, or another person in the village or town, would eagerly add what vegetable the Minstrel suggested to the soup pot. At the end of the story, the soup created was a great soup, filled with vegetables donated by the towns people! This Magic Stone Soup is then shared with the lady of the house, and the whole town. Once he has had his fill of soup, the Minstrel would remove his Magic Stone and continue on his way to the next village or town. This is the technique used by many Internet Marketing Service companies – Stone Soup Selling. They start you with something simple (and free or of little value) and before you know it, you have to invest more of your money and time to make what they originally sold you work.I will agree that a balanced approach toward applying ALL of the items above (and more) are necessary for getting people to your website. But getting them to move from Visitors (browsers) to Sales Conversions (buyers) requires good old merchandising and pricing and promotion techniques as well.So don’t buy into the Stone Soup ‘Quick Fix’ messages delivered by most of these Internet Marketing Companies. Like any business, whether it be Mortar ‘n Brick or Internet, it takes months to years to build a loyal client base and reap your Merchant Fortunes. Be patient. Be diligent. Apply the many aspects of marketing; whether it is theFIVE P’s: People, Price, Product, Promotion, Place orFIVE C’s: Customer Solution (benefits), Customer Cost (competitive) , Convenience (right to your door), Communication (engage emotion, information).Remember: there is no such thing as a quick road to riches (at least not morally and legally). There is no magic Stone Soup. Beware the “Minstrels of who weave a tale of Quick Money”.