Digital marketing is not the name of a single skill. It is the name of a set of skills. Unless you break digital marketing into small chunks and learn one chunk at a time, it is going to be difficult to master it. This guide shows you the path.
Digital Marketing is not a difficult skill to learn. In fact, it is so easy to master it that if you follow the right approach, you can turn yourself from a beginner to a pro internet marketer within a year of time.
The bar to entry in the field of digital marketing is so low that it doesn’t require any formal education for you to get into this field. All you need is a knack of learning and the right guidance to excel in this field.
This article is written keeping the beginners in mind, and aim at becoming the most comprehensive resource to learning digital marketing at home for free. Let’s start:
What Is Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing is all about promoting and selling products online via different platforms.
There are several online platforms such as Google, Facebook, forums, etc. where your audience could be hanging out. As a digital marketer, your job is to identify such platforms and use different methods to reach out to your audience with your offer.
If you could put the right offer in front of the right audience, you have done your job pretty well. This is the ultimate goal of learning digital marketing.
One more thing I must mention here. Although digital marketing involves the use of many smart tools and tactics to reach out to a large audience fairly quickly, yet it is not spam marketing. The best practices of traditional marketing apply here too. So follow those practices. Otherwise, you will quickly lose credibility in the eyes of your audience.
3 Pillars of Digital Marketing
Any digital marketing campaign relies on three important pillars- Platform, Traffic, and Monetization. An absence of any of the three pillars can quickly make a digital marketing campaign lame. Let’s understand the three:
A platform simply means your online presence. If you are to do digital marketing and promote your products online, you must have an online presence.
An online presence could be in any form such as a website, a Shopify store, a social page, a YouTube channel, etc. Consider it like your shop where people would come to buy products.
I recommend you start with a website.
Once you have your online presence set up, your next step should be bringing visitors (also called traffic) to it. These visitors will ultimately pull out their credit cards and buy products from you.
There are several ways to drive traffic to your website such as SEO, SMO, paid ads, etc. I have tried all of them and none is better than the other. They all work fine but require different skill sets.
I recommend you start with SEO.
No volume of traffic matters unless you have a product to sell to them. You have to have an offer that you can put in front of the visitors coming to your website. That’s where all the money is.
There are several options to monetize your website. You could sell your own products, promote other’s products (known as affiliate marketing), or put up some display ads on your website.
I recommend you start with affiliate marketing.
Time To Learn Digital Marketing At Home
Now that you know the three pillars of digital marketing, it’s time to master each of them but progressively.
I have divided the entire digital marketing curriculum into three distinct levels- beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Progress through them by one step at a time.
Do not make the mistake of learning everything simultaneously. It will do more harm than good. Instead, master one level before starting on the next one.
1. Beginner Level
If you are a complete beginner, You should not jump into learning paid advertising channels. Otherwise, you may blow up a lot of money quickly. Instead, follow the stack suggested below:
1.1 Platform: Set Up A WordPress Website
Making a WordPress website does not require any coding skills. It’s a drag and drop editor that helps you build a beautiful website quickly, something you can brag about and show off to your friends.
Moreover, WordPress is available for free.
Place To Learn: https://www.wpbeginner.com/guides/
1.2 Traffic: Drive Traffic With SEO
SEO should be your first vehicle for getting traffic to your website. SEO is a game of patience. It does not cost you money but time.
Moreover, SEO teaches you many valuable skills such as keyword research, understanding intent, content writing, etc. All these skills slowly wire your brain into thinking like a marketer.
Place To Learn: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo
1.3 Monetization: Earn Money With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the easiest way to put products on your website without having to keep an inventory. With affiliate marketing, you promote other people’s products and get a commission on every sale. Thus, it is the easiest model to monetize your website.
Place To Learn: https://webteachers.in/affiliate-marketing/
2. Intermediate Level
Once you have mastered the beginner level, you will have a decent understanding of how online marketing works.
This is the right time to expand your knowledge into the social media realm. So, at this level, you will learn how to set up your social profiles and drive traffic to them with paid advertisements.
Also, at this level, you will get your hands on an easy form of eCommerce known as dropshipping.
2.1 Platform: Set Up Social Profiles
This is the right time that you create your social profiles. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn are the essential profiles that you should set up for your website.
The additional benefit of social profiles is that you can quickly create a following. This way, you can market different products to your followers over and over again. As they already follow you, they would trust your recommendations.
2.2 Traffic: Drive Traffic With Facebook Ads
Almost all social channels offer advertisement opportunities, but I recommend you stick to one only- Facebook. This way, you won’t go overwhelmed and will be able to learn paid media with a focus.
Facebook is the king when it comes to social media. Almost every business will find its audience hanging out on Facebook. It’s just a matter of identifying them and putting your ads in front of them.
Place To Learn: https://buffer.com/library/facebook-ads-guide
2.3 Monetization: Earn Money With Dropshipping
I like dropshipping as much as I like affiliate marketing. It is the e-commerce counterpart of affiliate marketing.
In dropshipping, you put up products on your website and set their prices as high or as low as you want. Once an order is placed, only then you buy the product from the manufacturer, and the manufacturer ships it directly to the end-consumer. Thus, you don’t have to keep an inventory upfront.
Place To Learn: https://www.shopify.in/blog/dropshipping-guide
3. Advanced Level
Although this is an advanced level yet it should be easy for you as you have got a pretty solid foundation already. So, going through this level should be a breeze for you. However, this doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be lenient. Focus and attention to detail is the name of the game here.
At this level, you will learn how to setup lead pages, drive traffic to lead pages, capture emails, and market your own products to your audience. There is a lot to learn here. So, without further ado, let’s start:
3.1 Platform: Setup Squeeze Pages
Squeeze pages are designed to capture the email address of your visitors. You may set up as many such pages as you want to segment your audience.
You have to offer something of value to your audience in exchange for their email address. This “something” is called a lead magnet. Usually, it is an ebook or a quick video course.
The entire process is fairly automated. You run paid ads to drive traffic to your squeeze page, the squeeze page captures the emails, and the lead magent is delivered automatically.
Place To Learn: https://www.mailmunch.com/blog/squeeze-page/
3.2 Traffic: Drive Traffic With Google PPC
This time, you will use a different form of paid advertisement- Google PPC. This is not a tough skill to master but a very valuable one.
I want to caution you that you should not think Google ads work the same way Facebook ads do. The visitor profiles are different. So the visitors should be treated differently to convert them into subscribers or buyers.
Place To Learn: https://adespresso.com/guides/google-ads-beginners/
3.3 Monetization: Launch Your Own Products
This is the right time that you create and launch your own products. This way you will be able to get the maximum profit out of your visitors.
The product you launch could be anything. An ebook or a video course, a physical product, or a SaaS tool. You need to understand your visitors. You need to understand the problems in your industry and try to solve them with your products. This is the way to riches.
Get Your Questions Answered
Let’s face it. We all need hand-holding, especially when we are up to learning a new skill. Digital marketing is no different.
You will find yourself getting stuck in many places and would want someone to give you a little nudge on your journey to learning digital marketing at home.
Here I recommend a few Facebook groups that you can join and ask any questions related to digital marketing. The admin and other members of the group will chime in to help you out on your queries. Here you are:
- Digital Marketing Questions: This group is run by Ryan Stewart who is a well-known personality in the field of digital marketing. You may ask any question in the group related to digital marketing and will get answers from many members.
- Digital Marketing Q & A: This group is run by an Indian entrepreneur Sorav Jain. This is a large group, and a lot of members will respond to your query here.
- Digital Marketing Hub: This group is run by another Indian entrepreneur Parteek Shah. Not only you can ask your questions here but Parteek also drops many knowledge-bombs in the group that you can benefit from.
- Marketing Solved: This group is run by Kat Sullivan. This is not a strict digital marketing group but a general marketing group. Apart from digital, you can ask traditional questions as well such as how to research your ideal buyer.
- Dumb SEO Questions: This is my favorite group for asking SEO related queries. You are free to ask anything related to SEO here. A panel of experts will answer your query at the end of the week.
Over To You
Learning digital marketing at home is easy, fun, and not overwhelming. Just block a couple of hours per day for learning this skill. I am confident in a year’s time, you will be a well-rounded digital marketer. Also, don’t let the simplicity of this guide fool you. Follow it and see your skill improving.
In case, you are looking for interactive training and want me to mentor you then check my digital marketing training. It will give you the right headstart. P.S. I offer online classes too.