What is the ‘Full Stack’ Internet Marketer?
In the world of programming, there is such thing as the ‘full stack developer’.
A full stack developer is a highly sought after creature and an elusive one for sure. This is a person who is able to handle every aspect of coding, which is to say that they are capable of creating a program’s back end and front end and everything in between.
For the uninitiated, front end means the interface and the layout, whereas back end is the part where the administrators log in, where they can upload and edit posts and where they can look at things like user permissions, statistics etc.
So, the full stack developer is able to handle the front end and the back end, the databases and everything else.
And as you might imagine, this is someone who is highly in demand because they’re capable of carrying an entire project all by themselves to an incredibly high standard.
A similar concept is the ‘triple threat’ in Hollywood. In tinsel town, a triple threat is someone who is able to sing, dance and act. This makes them highly employable and means they’re likely to be cast in roles that no one else would be quite suitable for.
So, what is the equivalent in the world of internet marketing?
The ‘full stack’ internet marketer is likewise someone who has amassed a great number of different skills and this is something that can make you completely indispensable to any company and able to build entire businesses and brands from scratch.
Let’s take a look at some of the skills that the full stack marketer should look into developing…
Skills That Will Set You Apart on the Web
SEO and Marketing
Of course, the full stack marketer needs to know marketing inside out. That means you should have a full understanding of how SEO works but you should also be able to build and run a successful social media campaign and you should know how to write the kind of content that is successful for content marketing.
Email marketing, autoresponders, writing press releases… These are all things you should be highly adept in and really this is going to be your ‘bread and butter’ as it were.
If you want to take your skills to the next level, then it is always worth learning design. That means you should be able to create logos and icons, as well as building websites from scratch in WordPress. You need to learn how to use the tools and how to develop your eye.
Photography is another useful skill for the web, whether you will be taking photos of products, for an Instagram campaign, for articles on a blog, or to sell!
Learn to film and edit videos and you can take your brand to YouTube, you can create video openers and you can promote your business in a way that seems highly polished and professional.
To be a full stack developer, you should also be a full stack programmer – or at least know the basics!
How to Create Physical Products to Sell As An Internet Marketer
A lot of internet marketers are lazy. There, I said it!
That is to say that they decide they want to make money online but partly the reason for this is that they want a job where they don’t have to leave the house, don’t have to interact with people and don’t need to invest any time or money into what they’re going to create.
That’s not an ideal motivation as you might imagine!
But it explains why 90% of internet marketers that refer to themselves as such, will focus purely on making products that are digital in nature – like ebooks and courses. They rarely make the effort to sell anything physical because they don’t know how, they don’t want to invest in materials and they don’t want to deal with delivery!
But I’m here to tell you that you should change this habit and start selling physical. Why? Because it will open you up to a much larger audience.
Fact of the matter is that digital products will only ever have a limited appeal. Realistically, can you imagine your grandma buying an ebook? Most online sales are still physicalproducts. Physical products tend to come from real, reliable businesses, and they also allow you to create things that are much more required by your audience and that have clear and obvious value.
And it’s not as hard as you think…
Options for Selling Physical
If you want to sell physical products, then you can always sell something as an affiliate. This means that you’ll be selling products that someone else made – and keeping a percentage of the profit.
Better yet, if you want to put your own brand on those products and pretend that you were selling them directly, then you can look for dropshipping opportunities. Sites like Alibaba will let you find dropshippers and in short, these are affiliates that don’t include their branding anywhere and that permit you to claim you manufactured the products yourself!
Another option is wholesale reselling. Just buy products in bulk, then sell them on at a profit online. You can even do this through eBay!
Or how about selling your own products that you made using skills like painting, sculpting or woodwork?
Better yet though is to genuinely create something yourself from scratch. And even that isn’t as hard as you may think…
How to Create Original Products
First, you need to know how to create 3D CAD files (computer aided design). These are files that are used in CGI but which can also be used to design products. Use a tool like Blender and you can do this entirely for free!
Ideally, you should also create a prototype. You can turn a CAD file into a prototype by looking for a 3D printing company like Shapeway. Send them your STL format file and it will be printed in 3D! You can also try creating a prototype of your own.
Using this, you can raise funds on Kickstarter and discuss with a manufacturer the option of making more. Or you can go straight to the manufacturer and discuss prices you can afford without financial backing.
You’ll also need a BOM (Bill Of Materials – a list of all materials you’ll need) and ‘Functional Specifications (a document explaining what your product should do, how much it needs to cost etc.).
This One Article Will Make You Fantastic at SEO
Okay, so that’s a bit of a bombastic click-baity title. I apologize.
But I do genuinely believe that you can learn the basics of SEO and master them in a single post. So, let’s dive right in.
SEO Then and Now
SEO is Search Engine Optimization – optimizing a website or page for Google, such that it appears at the top of the search engines for a particular keyword or keyphrase.
This involves building links and it involves writing content on your site. Writing content is important, because content is what Google’s ‘spiders’ will look for when they trawl the web.
They will look for keywords and other notable signals and they will add your site to an index. Then, when someone searches for a particular thing, Google refers to its index and then pulls up the most relevant sites.
Links pointing at your site are important because they a) help spiders to find your content and b) act as testimonials from Google’s perspective.
Once upon a time, good SEO meant using as many keywords per article as possible and building lots of links, regardless of quality.
As you can imagine though, these weren’t behaviors that Google was keen to encourage.
Remember: Google is there to serve the users and not the writers. It’s objective is to ensure as many people as possible are able to find the useful, interesting or entertaining content they’re looking for. Why? Because that way they’ll be likely to come back and that means people keep using Google!
So if you want to climb Google, then you need to align your goals with Google’s. If you are creating great content, then Google wants to help people find your site.
Conversely, if you try and trick Google by writing low quality, generic content and spamming links, then you’re going to end up getting penalized. Even if Google doesn’t spot the difference right away, each improvement to the algorithm will bring you one step closer to having your position adjusted accordingly.
How to Do it Right
So, with that in mind, how do you do it right?
The first thing to ensure you do is that you write content that is for the reader and not for Google. That means it should be well written, it should have something new to say and it should be presented in an attractive manner.
At the same time, you also need to ensure that you do this in a way that Google can recognize though. And so that means trying to make your content a little longer (1,800 words) and it means using a keyword with very low density (about 0.5-1%) and including synonyms and related terms naturally where possible.
In terms of links, the key is to look for authorities and sites that Google already trusts. These include sites like the BBC, Forbes, anything with a .edu or .gov domain.
Your objective is to get links from them and if not them, then from other sites that do have links from them. It’s like a game of degrees of separation!
Outsourcing for Internet Marketers: The Skill to End All Skills
As an internet marketer, you will wear many hats. The more skills you can develop, the more well-rounded you will be and the more impressive your campaigns will become.
This is the crux behind our message. While you can become an internet marketer with nothing more than a little writing know-how and basic knowledge of the web, the reality is that it is far better to know all the other skills like design, like web development, like videography etc.
If you can do all of that, then you can build a website that is going to be much more stunning and your entire brand will be cohesive, impressive and effective at communicating a specific message. Not only that, but you’ll be able to outsource many of these skills too!
But what if you don’t have those skills? The answer for many internet marketers is to make do without a logo – or to make one themselves in MSPaint (urgh!). Likewise, it is to not bother with a video presence. And the result of this is that you end up with a weak brand that looks unprofessional.
There is a better way.
How to Outsource
The answer of course is to outsource. Now, this is going to cost you money but the truth is that it will be a fantastic investment and one of the best you can make.
If you want your business to be taken seriously, then you need a high quality logo. And the best way to get one of those, is to either design it yourself if you have the skill, or to outsource it to someone else.
Likewise, if you want to start adding great content to your site, then you need someone who knows how to write and is free to do it regularly.
Often, outsourcing which actually result in higher quality work that is provided on a more consistent basis. Remember: this is their job so they are usually going to be pretty good at it!
To get started with outsourcing, you can take to a number of sites. One option is to look for professionals on webmaster/marketing forums. These include the likes of Warrior Forum, Digital Point Forum or Black Hat World. Any of these will provide you with a place to advertise and/or find pros.
You can also try freelancing sites, where prices tend to be higher but work is often more consistent. Good examples include UpWork or People Per Hour. Fiverr is also a surprisingly fantastic tool for finding professionals and these days you can get real professionals rather than always paying just five dollars.
You can also find sites for more specific skill sets. 99Designs is a great place to find designers for logos etc. for instance, while Constant Content is brilliant for writers.
The last take-home is this: you do get what you pay for. Pay $1 per 100 words for writing and it will be stolen, it will be pidgin English or it will be rushed and filled with typos. If you want others to value your brand, you need to first value it yourself!
Photography for Internet Marketers – An Underrated Skill
If you want to become an internet marketer or run a successful business online, then you need to hone certain skills.
As you read this, you might imagine that you already know what skills those are. Perhaps I’m talking about writing skills, maybe I mean SEO.
Maybe I’m talking about web design.
In fact though, there are many other useful skills that often fly under the radar that more serious, advanced marketers should look into. One such skill is photography.
Why Photography for Internet Marketers?
They say that a photo can tell a thousand words. So, if you know the importance of writing for your marketing campaigns, then that should give you some clue as to just how important photos are too!
Photography is critical for social media campaigns of course. Instagram in particular is entirely built around imagery, as is Pinterest. Those accounts will succeed or fail on the strength of the photos.
But photos almost always adorn content, so if you’re writing a blog post then chances are that this will need pictures too. And the quality of those pictures will impact how people react to the content.
This will define whether they instantly sit up and take notice because it looks interesting or relevant to them, or whether they just move on and feel disinterested.
Photos also convey emotion and tell a story very quickly. A story can make a product look wonderful, or perfectly underscore the point you’re making in an article. They also heighten production values and they make whatever you’re building seem more professional.
Can you buy stock images or outsource the photos? Of course. But firstly, that’s expensive. Secondly, that often means settling for images that aren’t quite perfect for the point you’re making. That results in content that looks generic, and that’s actually pretty much the worst thing your content can end up being!
How to Take Better Photos
So how do you begin taking better photos?
The most important tip is this: go on a course! That will make a huge difference to the way you see your shots and take them.
But for now, invest in some good equipment. That might mean a mirrorless camera or a DSLR – something with manual controls and changeable lenses. I use a Lumix G7 with a 1.7f 25mm lens and the photo have a crisp, movie-like quality to them.
You can then play with settings to get exposure just right, but remember that the light in the room/area will also have a big impact here. If you are taking a photo of someone and the light isn’t right… move!
Consider the composition of the shot. What’s in the foreground, the background, the middle ground. What angle do you want to get the subject from?
And what other elements can you include in the shot that will help to emphasize the point your making?
And this really is one of THE most important considerations: what story is it that you want to tell?
Video Editing for Internet Marketers
There are a great many skills that can come in highly useful for any internet marketer. Among these, is the ability to make video.
Videos have the distinct advantage of being highly persuasive and capable of winning over an audience and encouraging them to buy a product, subscribe to a mailing list or hire your services.
That’s partly because they allow you to convey your emotion more and to back this up with gesticulations and with music.
At the same time though, video is also important because it is highly engaging and grabs attention right away. Video with high production values will make your business seem capable, reliable and professional and there are more advantages on top of all this.
Creating great video comes down partly to your ability to film. But the real magic happens in editing. Read on to learn how you can create masterful videos that persuade, impress and enrapture.
The Art of Editing
The key to great editing is that if you’re doing it right, no one should notice you.
That means that your key objective is to remain hidden and not call attention to yourself with jarring jump cuts.
A jump cut, by the way, is any edit between two shots of the same subject with the same angle. These cuts are awkward because if they cut out some time, then the subject will have moved and it will be apparent that something unnatural has happened.
There are situations where jump cuts can help to increase the pace of a video, or where they can get a laugh, but they should be considered an exception and not the rule.
Telling a Story
So, how do you make sure your edits are ‘invisible’ the rest of the time?
One strategy is to follow the old maxim that you should always ‘cut on action’. That means that you wait until someone moves in a precise way in your shot and then you cut on that precise moment.
So that means someone might reach forward to grab their tea and you are going to cut as they begin leaning in and switch to a shot of them picking up the tea, now already in the right position. This works because your audience will be watching the action such that they won’t really notice the cut itself.
Another strategy is to somehow link your cuts. This means that you look for something thematic that can tie your shots together with.
For instance, you might have a karate master go to split a piece of wood in half with their hand and then cut to someone cutting carrots in the kitchen. This is a good way to maintain a narrative threat through your edits and thereby avoid jarring the viewer.
Also useful is the ‘L-Cut’. Here, the video will cut before or after the audio.
For instance, someone might gaze into the distance, the sound of typing might be heard and then the next shot might be that person at their desk. L-Cuts smooth transitions and add more story.
And really that is your objective here: tell a story and your edits will always seem smooth and natural!
Example: Building a Fitness Brand Online
It’s one thing learning the theory as to how you should go about marketing online. It’s one thing to have an abstract idea of how you’re going to build your brand and get word out. But it’s quite another thing to actually get out there and do those things.
In this post, we’re going to look at how you can go about building an online fitness brand and turning that into a huge hit. Here you’ll se how all those skills and concepts can be used together for something actually effective. Let’s go!
Create Your Brand
The first thing you need to do is to create the brand itself. That means creating a logo first and foremost but the logo itself is going to be born from your mission statement and from your plans.
That is to say that the best brands have a clear goal, a clear target audience and distinguishing qualities that set them apart from the competition.
This is what you need to define first – who is your fitness brand for? Is it for hardcore bodybuilders? Is it for fit Mums? And what do you want to promote? Being the strongest and most powerful you can be, or being happy and healthy?
Create a logo that expresses this, so that people will know precisely what you’re about, as soon as they land on your page. Then create a website that integrates this logo neatly. Build the site using WordPress – the free tool that powers ¼ of sites on the net, including many of the biggest brands in the world.
Set Up Social media
Now get your brand onto social media. That means at least the big three (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and it means identifying one of these to be your ‘primary’ target where you will invest the most effort and time overall.
I also recommend being on YouTube if at all possible. If you can add your brand there, then you will have a more dynamic and impactful way to interact with your audience. Commission some music, a video opener and some bottom thirds to add polish.
Define a Content Plan
Now come up with a strategy and a routine that you can actually fit into your workflow. Don’t be ambitious and plan to upload 100 new posts a day, or it just won’t happen. Identify the amount of time that you have and come up with a content plan – the same goes for adding blog posts.
Whatever you do, make sure your content comes regularly and that all of it offers real value.
In the case of a fitness blog, that means covering aspects of the niche that haven’t already been done to death. ‘How to Get Abs’ is not an exciting title for a post!
Videos ideally should be at least weekly and again, they need to have great production values and really stand out.
Build Links and Monetize
Only once all the value is in place can you start looking at how you will earn the money back. This means marketing and monetization. Look into products to sell, affiliate products to sell etc. And then find places you can share your links and influencers you can work with in the niche.