The online universe is growing exponentially and so is the revenue being derived from it. Entrepreneurs are spilling from the woodworks with ways to monetize the net. If you want to get in on this 21st century gold rush, you need a game plan. Here are three common sense strategies for Internet entrepreneurs:
Try, try, try. A million and a half online start-ups will probably launch and fail this year. Every year, in fact, Internet entrepreneurs attempt new ventures: ways to integrate social media into existing webpages, ways to monetize search results, affiliate link revenue shares, the list goes on and on. Instead of sitting on your one great idea for so long that it eventually becomes obsolete, you should be continually investing in and pursuing new ventures. Whether you’ve come up with a brilliant way to partner a new soda affiliate with www.1800vending.com, or you’re experimenting with installing Skim Links widgets onto a CMS client, the only way to be successful in any industry, especially the Internet, is to keep trying.
Attend Internet marketing conferences and summits. Look into attending SMX (The Search Marketing Expo Conference Series), PubCon, the Online Marketing Summit. These conferences will regale you with lectures and guidance on social media optimization trends, email marketing, link building, affiliate marketing, SEO, e-commerce and dozens of other issues relevant to online entrepreneurs. These conferences are also invaluable ways to network with heavy-hitters in the industry. Once you get past the irony of physically networking with people about online social networking, you’ll find that adding clutch business cards to your rolodex is still quite important.
Hone in on a specialty. The first tip, “try, try, try” was not meant to make you run around like a chicken with your head cut off. You still need to be focused and hone your talents and skills around a niche that you want to take on. As you can see by the number of tactics discussed at the conferences, Internet entrepreneurship is a pretty vast field. You need to be able to bill yourself as specializing in one specific niche category. Do you do link building? Paid searches? Affiliate links? Don’t overshoot the moon.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to cash in on the Internet industry, you should be prepared to do a little more legwork than simply milking ad revenue from Google. Educate yourself about the incredible diversity of ways startups and small businesses are monetizing the web and using it create new business models.