Acquiring experience in the field of Internet marketing is like learning how to ride a bike. Similarly, once you've got it, you never forget the techniques involved. It's just a matter of getting past the scrapes and bruises.
After having learned the basics of creating a high-traffic site and/or blog (i.e. submitting your URL to the search engines, adding meta tags to your pages, writing keyword-optimized articles, etc [keeping in mind that many of these are no longer standard practices, or have at least seen an evolution in recent times]), the really tough part comes about; It's branding your website properly, and selling and/or promoting the right products. If you're an aspiring merchant, you'll need to develop them, and if you'd prefer to remain an affiliate, you're going to have to do some digging (which, in all honesty, could take months).
A basic design course can help you with the branding aspects of your website, one that will hopefully empower you to independently implement a logo and overall theme consistency. Through this, your message to visitors becomes more clear. But the converting process is different, and let us stress the importance of converting visitors into loyal customers. Your online presence may revolve around offering quality, usable information to attract targeted traffic... but does it have earning potential? The answer is "Yes, it does", regardless of the niche you're in. But there's another question worth asking: Is it your intention to generate income online through your site? The answer should be "Yes"... but to a certain extent.
The way online marketing works is you have to first please visitors in order for them to begin to know and trust you. From that point forward, you have their attention (and e-mail address if they've subscribed to your newsletter). The next steps are crucial to your success. Many Internet marketers are great writers, know how to offer something free of immense value... but they wait too long to profit thereafter. As a result, by the time they finally do decide to monetize their site, their resources have been expended, their energy levels are low, and they're simply spent. Ready to throw in the towel, they throw up a couple of conflicting ads (or revolving ads they have little to no control over), often sparking a downward spiral in their reputation and site worth. ROI is reflected by their anxiousness to make money online.
A better approach would be to pick a few excellent products related to your site's main topic, and highlight them through in-depth reviews, your sidebar content, an announcement bar at the top of your site, etc. This, of course, is if you're opting to remain an affiliate marketer. The alternative as we've already mentioned is selling your own products; Integration of this strategy is an involved process, but returns are usually more fruitful.
Affiliate marketers need to push out content on a regular basis, focusing their efforts on promotional tactics - whereas merchants should concentrate on engaging their audience, keeping users up to date, and delighting them through new products, product enhancements, and in some cases... exceptional product support.
The selling of a service is also an option but for the person who takes this route, they'll find more benefit in offering an automated service tied to a specific product (which could either be a physical product or a digital good [eg: software, etc]). The software-as-a-service model (or SaaS), for example, provides publishers with a lucrative opportunity for receiving both passive and residual income. It's the reason why reseller programs run rampant across the Web. People just don't have the time or technical background to develop their own software, so they promote other people's applications under their brand (or at the very least, as a white label product). If your expertise is in getting traffic, this might be the right path for you.
By this point, you might be wondering why we've emphasized the generation of income when the article itself is entitled Internet Marketing experience? In truth, selling is a major part of Internet marketing, given attention to by the most experienced of Internet marketers. Without sales and profit (or in other words, the bottom line) our website is only a face, and nothing more; Let's make it into an ever-increasing organism, capable of sustaining itself while offering solutions for others to grow as well.