The Basics of a Home-Based Internet Marketing Business

The rise of internet marketing has been phenomenal in recent years, to say the least. It has provided income-generating opportunities for millions of people and it has effectively diminished the geographical differences that separated people from potential jobs. Now, more and more people are starting home-based internet marketing businesses full-time or at least, to supplement income from their regular job.

Internet marketing explained

Internet marketing is also called online marketing or sometimes, e-marketing. Defined simply, it refers to the type of marketing or business that promotes and distributes products using the Internet. It is also the term used to refer to the Web-based advertising that businesses use to spread information about their products and promote their business.

Advantages of home-based internet marketing businesses

As a home-based business, internet marketing is a perfect model. It can be started from home, does not require specialized training, uses only minimum equipment or computer applications and in many cases, does not require large start-up costs or significant inventory. Internet marketing is also very convenient, not only because it can be run from virtually anywhere online access is available but also because it allows for more efficient distribution of information and targeting of the market. Internet marketing, for example, is one of only a few types of businesses that can rely exclusively on e-mail marketing and other digital media for sales, promotion and even customer service.

Limitations of internet marketing businesses

Although highly effective, there are also certain limitations to an internet marketing business as a work-from-home initiative. It tends to be biased towards new technologies, obviating more traditional techniques. This means that an internet marketer has to be on his feet all the time to ensure that his site and strategies remain relevant. The fact that most customers cannot physically come in contact with the product prior to purchase can also be limiting, prompting internet marketing business owners to offer broader return policies. Online security is also a concern, which means that a business that cannot assure its customers of high standards of security will stand to lose them. However, the advent of new technologies and the imposition of more stringent regulations should improve customers’ responses.

Types of home-based internet marketing businesses

There are several types of home-based internet marketing businesses that are considered effective for this model. These include

Online commerce

Online commerce, also known as e-commerce, involves the sale and distribution of goods to consumers through the Internet. There are two ways to do this: (1) by setting up your own website and using that as an online shop where customers can browse, order and purchase and (2) setting up an account with an auction site and selling the goods from there. Either way, there would have been an exchange of goods and services for a specific or agreed-upon price. Online commerce allows entrepreneurs plenty of freedom to sell what they want at a competitive price. It also affords them the luxury of time since order taking and purchasing can be automated and easier to manage.

So which products sell in today’s electronic marketplace? Just about anything that someone wants to buy. It’s truly up to the seller which goods to focus on in order to achieve his sales and profit goals.

Service-based commerce

Other than goods, online service-based commodities enjoy brisk business as home-based internet marketing businesses. Services traditionally available only offline can now be offered as part of an internet marketing business. Booking services for airlines and cruises, party needs, life coaching, photography services, web design, etc. are just a few of the home-based businesses that have become part of internet marketing.

MLM or Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing is one of the oldest business models still in existence today. Also known as network marketing, MLM has transitioned from a person-to-person and door-to-door approach model to the internet-based business that it is today and with great success. Most network marketers prefer to run their MLM businesses actively through internet marketing because the medium is a lot faster, cheaper and more convenient. Searching for and communicating to prospects, for example, can be completed within a 24- to 48-hour period. Traditional ways of doing marketing, on the other hand, require much more time and effort.

Publishing and advertising

Another very lucrative method of running an internet marketing business is by setting up a website and selling advertising space. Many personal (and even business) websites and blogs use this method to monetize their sites. In fact, it is considered as one of the top 5 ways to earn an income from a website. As a home-based internet marketer, however, becoming a publisher does carry with it certain requirements. A site, for example, has to have a large number of following in order to become attractive to advertisers and sponsors. However, a website with sufficient traffic should be able to do well with this pay-for-performance model.

Cloud Computing Is Changing Information Technology and Internet Marketing

You have already used a form of cloud computing if you have an email account with a Web-based email service such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail. The software and storage for your account lies on the service’s cloud servers, not on your own computer. Some experts are saying that the desktop PC will soon become obsolete and all that will be needed to do cloud computing in the near future, is to have a monitor connected to an ISP and have the appropriate apps on a smart phone.

The term “cloud” is a fitting metaphor for this emerging use of the Internet… it is infinitely large, somewhere out there in the sky, and all fuzzy around the edges. Cloud computing is. more or less. an umbrella term used to describe a number of different trends; all of them involve the Internet and how computers are used. Most computer experts agree that computing activity and capability will be greatly extended well beyond current levels, and it will completely change how businesses and individuals use the computer.

Industry experts are quite sure that cloud computing will change the future of IT forever, but there is still a lot of speculation on how it will exactly unfold. All the major players are scrambling to get in front of the wave; companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, AT&T, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Unisys, Cognizant, GE, and hundreds more. Even in the face of all this anticipation and excitement, there are a lot of IT professionals who are still quite unsure what it is exactly. They are not sure whether safety and privacy issues can be handled properly, or what kind of impact it will have on their jobs.

Cloud computing generally offers customers more services for less cost; that is the basic advantage and promise. Customers must entrust their personal and business data to remote services, but in exchange, they get to access more software and a broader range of services than they could normally afford otherwise. Cloud customers become members, or subscribers, to cloud service providers at very reasonable fees, and are able to access vast libraries of resources as they need to, and store all their files remotely for safe keeping. The suppliers do all the heavy lifting and supply the infrastructure for the service or software; the customers enjoy all the benefits without having to pay for any of the development costs. All the customers pay for is their monthly use of services, similar to how customers now pay their monthly fees to a utility or telephone company who owns all the wires, poles, and power stations.

Accordingly, some vendors and analysts have defined cloud computing as “utility computing”, where data centers are similar to power stations. What power stations did for the use of electricity, data centers are now being constructed to provide virtual servers available to the client base over the Internet. Others have defined it saying that anything digital that is consumed outside the firewall of their personal work stations is “in the cloud”. As access to electricity became more available to customers, it spawned all sorts of new inventions to use it. Similarly, it is anticipated there will be an incredible amount of new products and services created for cloud users as the industry develops.

Cloud computing offers a variety of types of services: infrastructure, platform, software, storage, security, data, test environment, desktop, application program interface (API), and hundreds more. For example, customers using software as a service will usually rent the software applications and databases. The cloud providers own and manage the platforms and infrastructure on which the applications run, similarly to how web-hosting is now provided to individual users. Subscribers access cloud-based applications via a web browser, or light-weight mobile or desktop application. The cloud service provider also provides the data center and server for storing their data in a remote location from the client’s computer; which increases security, and reduces the need for a large IT staff. Developers claim that cloud computing allows entrepreneurs to get their applications up and running much faster than conventional means, with less maintenance and improved manageability. It also enables companies and individuals to adjust resources more rapidly to meet unpredictable and fluctuating business demands by accessing network IT consultants and support technicians.

There is a significant workload shift offered by cloud computing as well. Local network computers don’t have to do all the work when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that comprise the cloud, or the data center, handle all the applications instead. Software and hardware demands on the customer’s side, therefore, decrease substantially. The only software the user really needs to run on his personal computer is the cloud computing systems interface software, which could be any commercially available conventional browser. The cloud’s network would take care of all the rest online.

Right now, the market is standing on the curb, watching all the cloud options unfold like a parade just rounding a street corner. There is some apprehension about security because companies will have to trust the provider to store their data remotely and safely, and to protect it from hackers, piracy, viruses, etc. There is also a slight apprehension about being “held hostage” by the cloud provider once a company has all their data on their servers; and not just in the service rates, but for upgrades and storage expansion as well. Users tend to be a “captive audience”, and although they could switch cloud computing providers if things got problematic, The biggest fear is loss of control of proprietary information and technological downtime due to problems in the network infrastructure between the user and the data center. What would happen if a solar flare impaired not just a data center, but also the satellite and microwave transmission system to the end-user? Without a dedicated backup system in place, entire companies could be vulnerable to situations outside their direct control that could put them out of business.