What Makes the Ultimate Internet Marketer?

Posted by Mark Thompson - March 21, 2011 - SEM - 9 Comments

If you think Internet Marketers are just people who add “keywords” into a website for “search engines” to see, there is nothing further from the truth.  Internet Marketing as a whole, involves a wide range of skills that can take years or even decades to master.  What I learned quite early on is that there are so many pieces to the puzzle and if one thing is wrong, it can affect your entire marketing campaign.

Let’s examine each of the different skills involved that make up the “Ultimate Internet Marketer:


No Internet Marketer is complete unless you are able to be able to perform in-depth keyword research, competitor analysis and market research.  Without these skills, your efforts will surely suffer or fail.  Understanding the balance between search volume, market saturation, and website authority is KEY!


Even though Internet Marketers are on the internet, they still need to be able to have personality.  The BEST Internet Marketers all have one thing in common; they are all GREAT story tellers.   Telling a story, combined with a positive personality can sell just about anything.  If you are trying to sell your own products, you are going to want to create videos, conduct webinars and interviews…which means you want to sound intelligent and compelling.

Technical Skills

I am not saying that you need to also be a programmer, but an Internet Marketer should have an understanding of certain technical skills to carry out a marketing strategy.  This may include working with WordPress (themes, plugins), various CMS or shopping carts, being comfortable with editing HTML (meta tags, anchor text, etc..), XML sitemaps, robots.txt files, etc…


Probably the most under-estimated aspect of Internet Marketing is GREAT COPY.  It is pretty amazing to see the impact great copy can have on conversions.  Being able to understand the market, target audience, psychological triggers, scarcity, the power of story telling, gripping headlines and calls to actions can make or break a product launch.

Great copywriters also understand the difference between blog copy, website copy, email swipe copy, whitepaper copy, etc…  They also understand how often and when to send specific messaging.

Not to mention, when it comes to Internet Marketing, your content will be the foundation of your strategy so you need to be able to write blog content easily.  Good bloggers can come up with CONSISTENT, compelling content topics, headlines and 300-600 words in under an hour (usually).

Their is a reason that great copy writing is so expensive…because it works!

Link Building

Its no secret that building backlinks is a large component of gaining page 1 organic rankings. A good link builder can analyze competitors links and figure out which links have high authority and how they can get those same links.

Link builders also have a overall understanding of LOTS of different ways to get backlinks.  Tactics such as article marketing, press releases, guest blogging, directory submissions, blog syndication, RSS feed submission, web 2.0 profiles and pages, social bookmarking, pinging…the list goes on.

A link builder should learn the proper way to build links.  Using varied keyword-rich anchor text and distributing link between your homepage and sub-pages are very important.

Traffic Generation

Regardless of how good your content is, if you can’t drive traffic, nobody is going to read it.  The ultimate Internet Marketer is able to research where their target market is hanging out and how to leverage that traffic to drive to their sites.

Traffic generation tactics like forum engagement, social media engagement, article distribution, long-tail blog content, paid search tactics, SEO…again the list goes on.

On-page SEO Skills

I don’t think an Internet Marketer needs to be an “SEO Guru” by any means, but they should be aware of the core fundamentals of SEO.  Things like Title tags, Meta tags, H tags, internal linking, website hierarchy, and regular content are all essential aspects of good on-page SEO.

Paid Search Skills

Paid Search can be a very lucrative marketing strategy, if you understand how to maximize your ad dollars.  A good paid search marketer can find alternative PPC networks besides Google Adwords to gain qualified traffic, at much lower costs.  They understand the proper way to structure a campaign for maximum quality score and/or relevancy.

Testing…testing…testing, is a HUGE part of PPC marketing.  Being able to write and adjust compelling ad copy, keywords, bidding, time of day, frequency, landing pages, offers, etc…

Social Media Skills

There is no denying that Twitter and Facebook can drive MASSIVE amounts of traffic, so the Ultimate Internet Marketer should be able to know how these networks work and how they can leverage them.

Building Twitter followers and Facebook Fans can be a long-term but easy way to share your content and marketing message.

Social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Mixx, Reddit, Yahoo Buzz, and lots of others, can drive massive amounts of traffic.  Each of these sites have algorithms and unique communities that can either drive no traffic or lots of traffic.

Conversion Optimization

Ok, so you have great content, been building links and have utilized various traffic generation methods, but you are not converting anyone into leads or sales, why?  An Internet Marketer can test different landing pages and tweak elements of a page, to then analyze and see what converts at a high rate.

Conversion optimization know how to easily test headlines, graphic elements like buttons, layouts, fonts, colors and other things that can affect your Conversion rates.  Using tools like the Google Website Optimizer and Clicktale to study how users are engaging with your website and content, is extremely important for improving conversions.

Overall Experience

Latest, I must say that the Ultimate Internet Marketer has REAL experience and not just theory or understanding of these concepts.  There are so many aspects within each of these topics, that I didn’t even mention.  These aspects are best learned by actually DOING and learning from your mistakes.

Personally, I have seen hundreds of idiosyncrasies on platforms like WordPress, FileZilla, Aweber, etc…that you wouldn’t really understand until you have experienced it yourself.

Also, as you start actually putting these concepts into practice, it will become second nature.  This means each of these aspects will come much easier and are able to be completed in a more efficient manner.


Hopefully by now, you agree that there is much more to Internet Marketing that meets the eye.  It can be extremely difficult to put all of these pieces together to make a finely tuned marketing campaign.

What do you guys think?  Do you agree?  Are their other aspects of Internet Marketing that I am missing?


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
Custom Papers
Custom Papers

This one sounds so intriguing! I read another review of it and want to read it big time!

Chuck Ferraro
Chuck Ferraro

EnGreat article and website! Your writing ability puts a fresh spin on some highly sought after topics. I Will be visiting often!ter text right here!


Oh boy. Well, I got through this post. I am going to need to come back tomorrow and read all of those that are linked here. Very nice list of ideas anyway. I really like what Constantin Gabor said - "I'd add being a good dude and genuinely trying to help people. :-)" Blogs are a social media, after all. Have a great day! My recent post SEO and Link Building – Where To Get Backlinks Today


Hey Mark... I think the best part of the article is that you acknowledge there are a variety of idiosyncrasies on platforms that you really don't see until you're knee deep in it. And it definitely extends beyond platforms like WordPress and Aweber. For example, it's one thing to say that article marketing works. But if you've really had your hands in it, then you know that it's not JUST a matter of submitting your article somewhere, and surprise - instant traffic. Each site has a rhythm. And the only way to master that rhythm is by doing and observing and tweaking. To me, that's one of the most important things that separates wanna-be's from the real deal marketers. Good stuff! My recent post 646 Pageviews and 53 Click Thru’s My Traffic Experiment with SlideShare

Constantin Gabor
Constantin Gabor

Awesome list! I'd add being a good dude and genuinely trying to help people. :-) My recent post How Apple Uses Smart Branding & Free Advertising for their iPod and What Your Business Can Learn from Steve Jobs


This was a good blog post, but I differ a bit in terms of defining the "ultimate" Internet marketer or SEO Guru or other such variances of these phrases. The biggest lesson I've learned is that there is no real "Ultimate" or "Super Guru" in terms of the internet marketing sphere - especially in regards to SEO (a very big part of internet marketing). You can find individuals and companies who may have tons of experience and know how to handle certain situations – however with the changing nature of the internet and search engines themselves, the expertise deteriorates and can only be sustained with research (which I'm glad you mentioned as the FIRST oint in your blog post). A review of the various internet marketing and SEO services that one should incorporate are briefed here and can be read through: http://www.9thsphere.com/services_marketing.html (reputation management is something many companies overlook). Of course one must not just be bogged down by "SEO" only and should leverage all other aspects of internet marketing as well. I just hate how companies that have been working for so many years now, can still come up and promote their services as a "GUARANTEED" rankings. How can you even guarantee anything when the search engines that you're utilizing, don't even belong to you!


Link building is the core of being a internet marketer..I say if you can't build links for a dead site..then you must move on to another profession. "Black Seo Guy "Signing Off" My recent post Why Most Blogs Comment Suicide After 30 Days

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Thanks for stressing that point. It's funny when I speak to a client and I say we are going to do blog commenting or article marketing as a way to build links. They are like "why can't I do that myself?" However until they actually get their hand dirty, they don't understand what it takes or the IDEAL ways to be building links.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Great point Constantin! Our industry is getting saturated with a ton of fly by night IMers, who are just trying to make a quick buck and don't seem to care about the long term credibility and personal brand. Its unfortunate, but it seems like the industry is starting to call these people out...especially with all of the terrible product launches that have been released over the last 6 months.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

I agree with a good point that you brought up, that you need to adapt in such a changing industry. I think that may fall under the first point I mentioned (research), but its true that you need to keep up with the world of Search!