You can have the best website, you can have the best product, and you can have everything in your business perfectly set up, but if you don’t market, it won’t matter. Marketing is the difference between those who succeed in business and those who fail.

Now, there are other reasons why businesses fail: no need for the product, the owner doesn’t know what he/she is doing, etc. However, based on my experience online, I can tell you that most who contact me who are failing in online business are failing because they don’t market.

Marketing may be a scary proposition for you. After all, it means throwing yourself out there. You might face criticism over the way you market, or your product might face criticism. Think nothing of it. Most of the time when others criticize you, it’s because they are jealous, or they’re just negative people.

If you really want to make money online or offline, then put an effective marketing plan in place and market as much as you can. Here’s how:

1. What kind of marketing budget do you have?

If you have a lot of money to spend marketing your business, it will really speed things up. However, if you don’t have any money, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and put some elbow grease into your marketing efforts.

2. What internet marketing techniques will you use to market your business?

The best marketing is the marketing you do that is effective, but it’s also the marketing you will do. If you don’t like the idea of writing articles, then you won’t write them. If you’re nervous about contacting others to do joint ventures with you, you won’t do them either.

The point here is this: get a book on marketing. Learn the basic techniques of marketing both online and offline. Choose one you would like to try and try it. If you don’t like it, then change. As you master a technique, add new ones to improve your results.

What most who are new to internet marketing don’t understand is that although there are many principles in business that work all of the time, sometimes you have to use trial and error in order to achieve the results you want.

3. How much time do you have to invest in your marketing?

Time is an issue especially if you are first starting off. The rule of thumb you need to consider here is the 30/60/10 rule.

The 30/60/10 rule says that if you are running a product business, you spend 30 percent of your time creating product, 60 percent of your time marketing, and 10 percent of your time doing administrative tasks.

If you run a service business, spend 60 percent of your time on doing your services, 30 percent marketing, and 10 percent on administrative tasks. So, if you only have 10 hours a week to run your business, then spend three hours marketing.

Get a notebook now and write out your marketing plan. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, just do it. Then implement your plan. This is your first step toward success.