Dear Mom

“I still don’t quite understand what you do, but you always sound happy
and that makes me think that whatever it is, you like it.”
-Connie Kinsman

If you’re an internet marketer, you’ve probably received a lot of skepticism and a lot of questions about what it is you do when you work from home, travel to events, and correspond with your virtual friends and colleagues. No, we’re not in the porn industry (well, most of us anyway) and we don’t work for Google either.

I’d often try to avoid the question “what do you do?” as the answer usually took a great deal of time to explain, and would simply tell people know that I was in “non-corporate internet marketing”.

When I first got into this industry, I’d moved across the country from Boston to California and my poor mom would Google my name and find random pictures and blog posts I was showing up in. I had a constantly growing list of email addresses and websites I was affiliate with. I got an email from her today telling me that she’s still trying to piece it all together, thus resulting in this current post. So…

What do I do?

Dear Mom,

I’m a virtual assistant to a few internet marketers who help people make money online. It’s a very elite group of marketing pioneers who have discovered the best tactics and some great secrets to making a living online. They often host events or speak at seminars, which business owners will attend in order to apply these lessons to their own companies online.

At these events, the speaker and host share split the commission on anything sold from the stage. This can include software, coaching programs, membership sites, and service packages.

Another means of generating income is through launches, in which one of the internet marketers will promote their product or service to their list, and others will reciprocate, thus creating a close-knit group of joint venture partners.

Traffic Generation: attracting people to come to your website. To drive traffic you can use social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs) and provide links. You can increase traffic by optimizing your [Google] search engine rankings when you use social media, as the more action THOSE sites are getting, the more legitimate you look to Google and the higher you’ll show up at the top.

Search Engine Optimization: uses the above tactics combined with other strategies so that when a person searches for something similar to what you’re offering online, they will find your sites at the top of the page. The goal is to dominate the search engine rankings so your name or company name is an obvious choice to click on. Companies may bid on keywords to improve their ranking, which often requires a great deal of money, attention, and skill, and has many variations.

Conversions: getting people to buy from your site or sign up for your mailing list by offering them some kind of incentive. There are SO many aspects of your site that can trigger a person’s decisions, and tests are done with different videos, graphics, sales copy, pictures, titles, page layouts, etc.

Affiliate Marketing: making a commission on products you influence others to buy that aren’t yours. You can draw people in to click on your link by ranking high in the search engines, developing a relationship with your social media following or the email list you’ve built, or simply offering a bonus to those who buy from your affiliate link, which will often redirect to the company’s site but the buyer’s IP address is recorded to give you credit for the sale.

Social Media: any online platform that brings people together to share ideas, information, photos, videos, etc. The most popular is Facebook in which you connect with friends, while the newest trend is Twitter in which you “follow” people according to location, or topics people are “tweeting” about. Using a variety of social media outlets allows you to get your message across to as many qualified buyers as possible, and requires establishing a relationship involving likability and trust by providing content and entertainment surrounding your sales messages.

* * *

There’s so much more that goes into internet marketing – I’m still trying to grasp much of what it entails. Each person seems to specialize in something different, whether is be graphic design, lead generation, branding and imaging, web design, copywriting, launch management, and outsourcing. As a “VA” I mainly do general administrative work from my laptop, manage membership sites and affiliate programs, and help with the sales events. When I travel, it’s often to assist with the coordination of an event or talk to potential clients to close sales. I’m known in internet marketing as a connector due to all of the people I know from parties and events, and a bit of a social media junkie on Facebook.

The best part about the internet marketing world is that the people involved are just as unique as the industry itself. I’ve developed amazing relationships with so many of the people I’ve met in a short amount of time, which not has not only changed the dynamics of my social and professional life, but they’re starting to feel like family too.

I’ve enjoyed sharing my accomplishments with you while I’m away and have nothing but great feelings about the future and opportunities that lay ahead. I’m excited to report to you in the near future when I start moving forward with my own projects online, particularly those that are profitable! And if all goes according to plan I’ll eventually replace the car I crashed in high school.

So now you know that I’m safe, happy, and am spending my time with some of the greatest people I’ve ever met who support me in my successes and that’s what I do! Talk to you soon!


10 Comment

  1. Great blog post… My mom basically left it at “He helps people get their websites to be first in Google” but damn did it take me forever to get her even to that description.

    I’ve started using “I’m a blogger” screw it if it’s wrong at least it’s quickly understood, close enough, and the conversation moves on. LoL

  2. Jerry says:

    Great post Joanna and lol@Justin – My mom is “technologically challenged” and is not comfortable using a computer at all – I have tried with no avail to explain what I do… show her web sites, niche blogs, PPC ads that are mine – nothing works. I figure she thinks I am in Amway or something:)

  3. Now the biggest question I’m getting has been HOW do you get into IM? The cool thing is we all have our own stories πŸ™‚

    @Justin I guess in short I “help the people who help people make money online” I know I never would have discovered this on my own but I’m so grateful that I fell into it – it blows my mind sometimes!

    Thank you guys for checking out my blog and your comments!

  4. Thea Mikles says:

    Many thanks for sharing such an insightful article with all of us. I’ve bookmarked your blog will come back for a re-read again. Keep up the good work. We have a Dan Kennedy Copywriting seminar that we offer to our customers you can check it out here Copywriting Seminar Click Here

  5. i wouldn’t have considered this was interesting a couple years ago yet somehow its funny the way age evolves the way you have an understanding of distinct ideas, thank you for the article it’s enjoyable to browse something smart now and then instead of the common trash mascarading as information sites on the web, i’m off to enjoy a couple of rounds of zynga poker, regards

  6. Thea – thanks so much for checking it out and bookmarking! Now I’ll have to start blogging more!

    Zynga – thank you! It’s true – unfortunately there’s a lot of garbage out there but there’s also a lot of great stuff too! How did you find my blog?

  7. Fantastic site, where did you come up with the info in this summary? Im glad I found it though, ill be checking back soon to see what other articles you have.

  8. Thanks Kyle! I just wrote on my understanding of internet marketing so far from my experiences πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot for checking out my blog – curious to know how you found it!

  9. Thanks Joanna, I normally tell my mum I sell drugs/porn/cigarettes to school children using the internet as a medium. It normally stops her asking questions and gives her quite the shocked expression. Something like this might actually give her some insight. Thanks πŸ™‚

  10. Haha that’s so funny! It was really refreshing to go home and despite them knowing that I don’t work a traditional job, they don’t question it anymore as long as I appear to be doing ok! Thanks for coming to my blog – hope to see you soon and hope this article helps your mom understand what’s going on! πŸ™‚

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