6 Types of Training for Internet Marketers

Posted by Mark Thompson - May 25, 2010 - SEM - 12 Comments

Continuing education for an internet marketer is a must! The industry is always changing and evolving, so it is important to have a system in place that allows for you stay up-to-date with what’s going on in the industry.  There are lots of different ways that you can keep up with industry, of course some ways are more expensive than others, but can be worth the investment.

Lets take a look at the different ways you can keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date.

Reading Books/Blogs

Probably the simplest way to keep up with the industry is just by reading as many books and industry blogs as possible. Even if there are some SEO books laying around your office from 5 years ago, don’t even bother with them. The industry has since changed and they are already outdated.  One of the great things about learning from books and blogs, is it is relatively inexpensive.  Usually a book with run you around $15-$20 and as for blogs, the majority of the content is free.  To be honest, some of the content that is created on top blogs like Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land and SEOmoz is better than these premium content websites that charge you a monthly fee to access their content.

Some of the best books/blogs available:

Books

Blogs

There are really too many to choose from.  Check out my post “100 SEO Blogs You Should Subscribe To” for a complete list.

Training Courses

Personally I have never been to a formal training course, however I heard that they are excellent.  The key is to find a course that is being offered by a proven person in the industry.  If you are learning about Online Reputation Management, having someone like Andy Beal teaching you, is going to be MUCH more valuable than a guy who just finished up reading ORM for Dummies. A few caveats to these training courses is many times you have to travel to their on-site facility and they are only offered during certain times of the year.

Some of the best training courses available:

Premium Members

I have tried out a few of the membership programs, where you pay a certain amount per month to have unlimited access to their premium content.  Usually it will also come with a discussion forum or way to communicate with the others in the community and most importantly, the ability to have access to professional advice if you ever have questions. The quality of these communities really do vary so I would suggest signing up for a free trial (most offer some sort of free trial or introductory price) first to see if you find it valuable.  Odds are if you are joining a premium site on a credible blog that you will get your moneys worth.

Some of the best premium sites available:

Internet Marketing Degree

Boy do I wish they had an Internet Marketing degree when I was in college.  Now that the field is being more and more popular there are many colleges and universities that are starting to offer the program.  I would love some insights from anyone reading this post who has actually graduates with an Internet Marketing degree.  My thoughts are that you will most likely gain a lot of the core fundamentals of SEO, PPC, Social Media, etc…however actually applying those fundamentals will come once you are out in the workforce.

Some of the best Internet Marketing degrees available:

Industry Conferences

People have mixed feelings about the true value and learning experience from attending a conference.  I for one see it more as a networking opportunity to get some face time with the larger players in the industry.  Of course, the sessions will have some valuable tips that you can gather while you are there, but to me its more about building a personal relationship with the people you connect with online. 

Another question I always like to ask is are conferences worth the price of admission?  Once you factor in conference tickets, airfare, hotel, and meals you are looking at upwards of $2,500.  Could you have used that money on other training techniques that would offer you more value?  I guess that is going to be different for everyone, depending on how well you take advantage of a conference.

Some of the best industry conference available:

Real Life Experience

Hands down I strongly believe that someone with real life experience in the industry is better off than someone who has formal classroom training.  The industry just moves to fast and there is a lot of “Art” involved when it comes to our industry. From my experience, I was basically thrown into the mix, helping to manage SEO/SEM clients, setting up PPC campaigns, and basically applying what I had learned from countless hours of reading industry books/blogs.  Looking back on it, if I had a mentor figure that I can look up to and learn from, I think I could have learned the industry much quicker.  However on the flip side of that, sense I had no one to coach me,  I had to force myself to learn on my own because there was no one to tell me if what I was doing was the right or wrong way to do things.

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter
10 comments
damien sayer
damien sayer

you are exactly correct that someone with real life experience in the industry is better off than someone who has formal classroom training. i think Industry Conferences & Internet Marketing Degree is not highly effective for successful internet marketing.....

Jonathan Beebe
Jonathan Beebe

I'm still amazed that there are actually Internet Marketing degrees, but I'm curious as to how accurate the information is considering things seem to change month-to-month in the "internet marketing" world. I think since it's most-likely an online degree, I might pursue that one day, but right now I just don't have the time.Thanks a lot for the great "training" list, now I know where to refer people to when they need a list of reputable educational resources for internet marketing and making money online/blogging.

LR Hand | MLMMastery
LR Hand | MLMMastery

Mark, I totally agree with you that the Industry is always changing and evolving. It is up to YOU to continually educate yourself and evolve your skill sets.“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” ~ Jim RohnBest,LR Hand

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Good points and nice quote! Understanding how to apply both your formal training and job experience will give you the well rounded background....however outside the box thinking is what separates you from being good to great.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Exactly! Continuing to improve your skills and knowledge is a MUST in our industry. Now days all of the information you will ever need is out there, it is just a matter of people being passionate and committed to what they do.

MLMMasteryPro
MLMMasteryPro

Mark, I totally agree with you that the Industry is always changing and evolving. It is up to YOU to continually educate yourself and evolve your skill sets.“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” ~ Jim RohnBest,LR Hand

Prateek Parag
Prateek Parag

For making internet marketing effective it is always necessary to have a proper idea and knowledge. Even if initially it costs something then also one must go for it as later it will be a great help and one can generate several times more revenue.

YourNetBiz Mentor An
YourNetBiz Mentor An

This is the perfect post for all the folks who keep asking me what the best way is to learn or stay on top of online marketing."If you think education is expensive, try ignorance" - is one of my favorite quotes.Thanks, Mark.Ana Hoffman / What is YourNetBiz

Prateek Parag
Prateek Parag

For making internet marketing effective it is always necessary to have a proper idea and knowledge. Even if initially it costs something then also one must go for it as later it will be a great help and one can generate several times more revenue.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Thanks for the comment Damien, I agree that conferences are not really a venue for learning. It really is a way to network and work on building personal relationships with other experts in the industry.