One of the interesting aspects of online marketing is that as far as anyone around you can see, you’re doing the exact same thing those people who just surf the Internet are doing. You’re sitting in front of a computer, tapping on the keyboard and clicking with the mouse and staring at the screen. You look exactly like the next guy on the Internet. For all anyone knows you could be just wasting time or playing games. Some aspects of Internet marketing even have a lot in common with the best video games.

But the similarity ends with what people can see. An Internet surfer and an Internet marketer approach the Internet in two entirely different ways. Just like the lifeguard at the beach views the beach in a whole different light than the people out to have a good time, the online marketer looks at the Internet a whole different way. A sure sign that you are becoming an Internet marketer is that you too are changing the way you view and use the Internet.

This is an important point because initially, a lot of people who want to be online marketers continue to approach the Internet from a consumer point of view. One reason all those get-rich-quick-on-the-Internet schemes work so well while continuing to be ineffective for most people is that for the most part, even the ones who long to make money on the Internet still have a consumer mentality. They really want to just surf the Internet and somehow make that pay. I know because I’ve been there. They want to consume a package that promises to make them money, but they’re still not at the point where they are ready to actually create anything.

Becoming an Internet marketer means becoming a creator. You aren’t online to consume anymore. You are online to create. You’re going to create a website, you’re going to create content, you’re going to create something that engages your readers. Then you’re going to create articles and more articles. You might also create special landing pages and you might even create targeted pay per click ads. All of those things you’re creating are going to add up to a well crafted campaign whose main purpose is to convert those interested Internet surfers into customers. If you are promoting the whole field of online marketing as I am, you get the added excitement of converting many Internet consumers into creators like yourself.

But becoming an Internet marketer doesn’t end with becoming a creator. After all, millions of people who don’t earn a dime on the Internet do create content. The difference, though, is that the content you as an online marketer create has an overarching purpose and plan to generate income. Take participation in forums for example. Both Internet surfers and Internet marketers participate in forums. The difference is that for the online marketer the participation is purposeful beyond the topic of the thread he happens to be on at the moment. He wants people to visit his site and buy his product. He participates in forums with that purpose in mind. He contributes relevant answers, he tries to help the people who have questions he can answer. But his real reason for being there is found in the signature lines, where he has an enticing, but subtle link to his website. Most of the others in the forum are either there to pass the time or get a particular question answered and then move on with their lives. He’s there to get some traffic and some backlinks.

By Linda

Linda Green: Linda, a tech educator, offers resources for learning coding, app development, and other tech skills.