What Is Online Marketing? – Part 2 of 6: The Web Site By Richard Hoy

Last week, I wrote about the “core truths” of online marketing:

1.) The Internet is a collection of niches.
2.) Be a good, honest source of information.
3.) Never force yourself on anyone.

This week, I’m going to elaborate on the tactics that enable you to do these things.

The starting point of any online marketing campaign is the web site. You need to have a place around which your prospective buyers can congregate.

For an author, the web site really serves as a way to build a readership to which you can later pitch your book, and future books. Why is building a readership important? Because the person who has the relationship with the customer has the control. Amazon.com is not a powerhouse in the publishing industry because they sell books, but because they have millions of customers to which they can market and sell those books. In other words, Amazon.com has a direct relationship with millions of book buyers.

What you want to do is try to create a similar, though admittedly smaller scale, relationship with the potential book buyers who visit your site.

The first step is to understand the type of web site visitor you want to attract. You can do that by answering these questions:

1.) Who is my target audience?

2.) What makes my book (or product/service) unique?

Let’s use a real example. Say your book is about bonsai trees – which for you that don’t know is the “art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small shallow pots or trays.” (Thanks, Dictionary.com).

So, the answer question number 1 – who is the target audience – are people interested in growing bonsai trees.

Let’s say that, in answer to question number 2, your book has specific chapters on using unusual species to create bonsai trees – like maple or lemon trees. It’s those chapters that make your book different than every other bonsai tree book on the market.

Take these answers and translate them into keyword phrases people might use if they were looking for information on those topics.

Now that we have an idea of what the site should be about, it’s time to refine the type of information we’re going to have on the site. That means we need to find out what phrases people are entering in search engines to find information about bonsai trees.

Here is a free way to find it. Go to: