Do you want to hear my answer to why Internet Marketing is so popular? It’s simple, really – 250 million. You’re probably thinking – what the heck?! Ok, ok, let me explain – 250 million is approximately the number of Internet users in North America, according to Word Internet Usage Statistics website. But really, it gets better and my answer now is 750 million. Because you know, the average time spent on browsing Internet each day is 3 hours per person.

How is this time spent? Since you are one of these users, you already know or at least guess the answer. Moving beyond guesses, research shows that people mostly spend time communicating, gaming, shopping, and simply surfing. Surfing takes up as much as 15% of time spent on Internet or roughly 27 minutes per person per day. 27 minutes of “just browsing” might not sound like much, but it sure beats the amount of time people spend exposed to newspaper ads or TV commercials on any given day.

Of course, it would’ve been great if the entire 27 minutes of unstructured surfing time were spent on your website learning about your “amazing super-widgets” or whatever else you’re selling. Except of course, there are millions other sites promoting “super-widgets” similar to yours. And even if some or most of them are a lot less amazing than yours, they will still beat you to the top of Google search unless you get serious about Internet Marketing.

Heard of an 80/20 rule lately? Well, guess what?! 80 percent of income on Internet is being earned by 20 percent of the marketers. The problem is having a website is not enough, hasn’t been enough for a long time. Getting your website to the top of search engines’ results pages takes lots of work, knowledge and discipline. Note that I didn’t include “lots of money”. Yes, it doesn’t hurt to have a good marketing budget. But really, you can still get very successful on Internet even on a very tight budget. And that’s another reason Internet Marketing is so popular.

Of course, lots of people dabble in it. Don’t worry about them. Many are confused – they think it’s easy money. They will not last. Others get scared by all the terminology, all the geek-speak, all the acronyms. They think it’s rocket science. They will not last either. Yet others view online marketing as a project – with an end in sight. They stick to the program, get their websites off the ground, and then stop learning. They will only last for as long as Google doesn’t change its ranking algorithms.

You don’t have to be one of these people. Again, remember the 80/20 rule. Get your website or blogsite http://www.vbsondemand.com/2008/10/blogsites/set up and get to work. Set the goals, based on your business model – B2B sales, B2C sales, sales of advertising space, lead-generation, etc. Identify your target market based on your business model. Write your copy focused on your target market.
Now start communicating to your prospective clients. You don’t need to jump on the pay-per-click bandwagon to start bringing traffic to your website. Get involved in the forums and online communities that relate to your products/services. Social networking sites can be great tools for finding consumer networks.

Get the word out about your business and establish some authority by writing and submitting online articles. Article marketing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to bring more visitors to your website. You don’t even have to write articles yourself. There are lots of free articles on virtually any topic available online at sites like Articlesonline.org. You can also hire a freelance writer or a virtual assistant specializing in articles writing to do this work for you. Bonus point – a virtual assistant will even submit your articles to online directories for you.

Whatever you do, be genuine. Internet users hate spammers. They are tired of blunt sales messages. They are sophisticated and know how to deal with marketers whose attitude and practices are built around making a quick buck at any cost. Web 2.0 is a community where information and influence flows both ways. Keep this in mind when planning your internet marketing strategy.

Author's Bio: 

Serena Carcasole is a business consultant and the President of Virtual Business Solutions ON DEMAND, a premier virtual assistance firm helping entrepreneurs around the world to succeed and grow their businesses. In addition to administrative services, Virtual Business Solutions ON DEMAND provides a host of specialized technical and marketing outsourcing options to meet business owners' unique needs. Some of the most popular services include Internet marketing through social networks, blogging, and article marketing; website and graphic design; search engine optimization support.

Virtual Business Solutions ON DEMAND has access to a large network of niche specialists, whose certifications include QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel Expert, Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant, and other. As a full-service outsourcing provider, VBSOnDemand provides full project management support for even the most complicated projects. VBSOnDemand donates 1% of sales to the Canadian Cancer Society.