I work with a lot of people who are just starting out in internet marketing and a lot of them are very new to the computer as well. It can understandably be very challenging to try and build an online business when the basic fundamentals of a computer are still foreign to you.
If you find yourself in this position, then this post is for you. I’m going to lay out 10 tips to help you get more acclimated to the online world and hopefully allow you to shave a little time off the learning curve.
Here are my 10 tips for internet marketing beginners in no particular order…
1) How To Get On The Internet
It may seem silly to most of you, but there are a lot of people out there who simply don’t use their computer for anything but checking email and they just don’t know how to connect to the internet. I’ve even spoken with people before who were on the internet while I was talking to them, but they had no idea how they got there.
To connect to the internet you will need an internet browser. There are a few different ones (I recommend Firefox) but the one that comes with your computer is either Internet Explorer if you have a PC, or Safari if you have a Mac.
You should have an icon for either of these on your desktop (your desktop is the screen that comes up when you first turn on your computer). Double click on the icon and your browser will open.
2) Browser Basics
For simplicity’s sake I’m going to write this section based on using Firefox on a Windows 7 machine because that’s what I am using right now.
1. Locate your browser bar. It is the long white box at the top left of your screen that currently has some website in it. This bar will always display the url web page you are currently on. In this box you can either type a web address (like http://google.com) which will take you straight to that website… or you can type in a search query like “how to google something” and you will see a list of search results.
2. Important distinction: Typing youtube into the browser bar is not the same thing as typing http://youtube.com. The first will get you a list of search results based on the search query “youtube”. The second will take you straight to the website. You’d be surprised how many times that confuses people who are just learning the basic internet marketing for beginners concepts.
3. Find the browser control buttons in the upper right of the screen:
These are their functions from left to right:
1) Minimize – Clicking this button will minimize the screen, meaning you will no longer see your browser but it will not close the application. Your browser is still running and you can get it back on the screen by finding it’s icon in the bar at the very bottom of your computer screen and clicking it.
2) Maximize – The maximize button will either shrink the browser to a smaller size on the screen or maximize it to fill the whole screen.
3) Close – This button closes the browser.
4. Make use of the multiple tabs feature of modern browsers. At the very top of the screen you should see a tab that displays some info about the page you’re currently on. Right next to it will be a little plus sign.
Click this and it opens a new tab, allowing you to browse to another website without leaving the one you’re already on. This is something you’ll have to master to be efficient online.
3) Internet Marketing For Beginners – Keyboard Shortcuts
A keyboard shortcut is simply a set of one or several keys that executes a command quickly. There are a ton of keyboard shortcuts, most of which you will never need to know about. But in this internet marketing for beginners list, I think these will be the most helpful to you.
- Ctrl + F
The keyboard shortcut “Ctrl + F” means that you first press and hold the Ctrl key (should be bottom left of keyboard) and then press “F”. This shortcut will open up a “Find” window in whatever application you currently have up on your screen (like a browser or word document). You can type anything you want into the “find” window and it will search and find it for you.
- Ctrl + A
Executing this command will select all of the text in an open document or text box. This is very handy when you want to select a large amount of text but don’t want to have to scroll through a whole document to highlight it all.
- Ctrl + C
This command will copy whatever you currently have highlighted.
- Ctrl + V
This will paste whatever you have last copied.
- Ctrl + U
If you are currently viewing a browser window, pressing Ctrl + U will convert the current page into it’s raw html equivalent (the code behind the page). This is useful for many reasons but you probably won’t have need of this one for a while.
Look for the F11 key in the top row of keys on your keyboard. If you have a browser up, pressing this key will remove everything from your screen but the content of the current page. This means you can’t see any navigation buttons, browser bar, even the bar that is always at the bottom of your computer screen disappears. Many people accidentally press this button and then have no idea what to do. They eventually have to turn off their computer by holding down the power button (which you should never do unless absolutely necessary as it can lead to data loss). If you ever find yourself stuck in this position, just press F11 again and everything will come back.
The key in the upper left of your keyboard is the “escape” key. If you ever open something and can’t find how to close it, this key will usually do the trick.
- Shift + Enter
When typing something out you can go to the next line by pressing the “enter” key. This is called a line break. However, in some applications pressing the enter key will produce a double space for a paragraph break, or sometimes will act as a submit button actually submitting your comment rather than inserting a line break (like in FaceBook). In these cases, you can force a single line break by holding “shift” and then pressing “enter”.
- Ctrl + +
Pressing Ctrl then the “Plus” sign will zoom in.
- Ctrl + -
Pressing Ctrl then the “Minus” sign will zoom Out.
- Ctrl + 0
Pressing Ctrl and then “Zero” will return zoom to original.
- Middle Click On Mouse
Not a keyboard shortcut, but a shortcut nonetheless. If you click on something with the middle scroll wheel of your mouse it should automatically open the link in a new tab.
4) Password Management
Being an internet marketing beginner, you are going to accumulate a lot of usernames and passwords. This can quickly become a daunting thing to manage, especially if you’re logging in and out of multiple accounts many times a day.
This is why a password management solution is sooo important. It will save you literally hours of time.
The password management software I use is called Roboform. I’ve been using Roboform for years and it’s been nothing but smooth sailing for me. This is an excellent piece of software and no one who uses the internet for anything more than looking up funny cat videos should be without it.
I honestly can’t imagine how cumbersome it would be to have to write down and remember all my passwords anymore… yikes!
You should also always use the password generator that creates strong, random, impossible to remember passwords for you. If you can remember your password, it’s too easy, and it’s just a matter of time before some automated bot comes along and brute force hacks your account.
I think Roboform costs something like $10 – $20 a year.
There is also a popular free alternative to Roboform called Last Pass. I’ve never used it myself but it has good reviews and it’s free.
Jing is a free piece of software that allows you to easily capture anything you can see on your screen as an image. This tool is absolutely essential and next to Roboform, I use this more than probably any other tool I have.
I’m always amazed this thing is free. In a post about internet marketing strategies and tools for beginners, Jing has to be there.
6) Use A Plain Text Editor
When copy and pasting from one source to another (like a word document to an email) there is often other hidden formatting and/or html that is copied along with the text. This can give you a lot of trouble if you’re not aware of what’s going on.
To avoid this, you should always copy from the original source, paste into a plain text editor (like Notepad on PC), then copy it again from there and paste it into the final destination. This way you will only be pasting in the text and nothing else.
7) Take Security Seriously
There are many bad people out there who want desperately to use your computer to steal your money, steal your identity, and otherwise ransack your life.
If you’re going to use the internet on a regular basis… You Need To Be Careful.
Here are some tips to help you be safe on the net:
1. DO NOT ever click on a link in an email unless you know who the sender is. This is one of the most common ways people get viruses and worse on their computers. A lot of people who are beginning in internet marketing make this mistake and it can be a costly one.
2. If you receive an email from your bank or ANY other service you belong to telling you to click a link and login to see whatever it is the email is alerting you to… DO NOT CLICK THE LINK.
It may be a legitimate email… but…
A common scam is to send a legitimate looking email… you click the link and go to a legitimate looking website… you enter your login details into the boxes provided… and bam, they just stole your information… game over.
Instead, login to that account the way you usually would and then, if the email was really legitimate, you can take care of whatever they were talking about once your logged in.
3. If you receive an email from someone you know that is out of character for that person, like something that sounds spammy with a link to click, DON’T CLICK THE LINK. Their email account could be hacked and sending out infected emails to all their contacts.
Instead, first verify that the sender is the exact same email address as your friend, and if it is then reply back asking them if they really sent it or contact them another way to verify they are really the sender.
4. When browsing the internet, take great care in every link you click and every website you visit. A little tip is that if you hover over a link, you can see the destination url in the lower left of your screen. If the url looks shady, think twice about clicking it.
Also be careful when Googling things. Since you’re just starting out in internet marketing, you will likely be Googling a lot of things. Try to find safe sites for the things you do frequently that you can come back to over and over again (like Wikipedia, Warrior Forum, and Amazon). Clicking on obscure search results is always a bit risky.
What I usually do is… if I see a website I don’t recognize, but I want to click on it, I’ll Google that website first. If a lot of stuff comes up and I like what I see then I feel a little safer visiting the site.
5. Use Anti-Virus software. If you’re going to be online, you need some kind of anti-virus software protecting your computer. There are many many anti-virus products out there. 2 popular free products are Avast! and AVG.
6. Always use very strong, randomly generated passwords. Using a tool like Roboform, which I mentioned earlier, will generate strong passwords and save them for you.
7. Whenever you download a program, toolbar, etc. from the internet always read and pay attention to the prompts during the installation process.
These programs will often tack on extra stuff that you don’t need or want (sometimes even things that will hinder the performance of your machine).
They can’t add that extra stuff without your permission though so there will always be a little check box somewhere during installation that asks you if you want this other stuff. Unless you are absolutely sure of what it is and that you want it, don’t download the extras.
8. Be very selective of the toolbars you install on your PC. I don’t use any except the Roboform toolbar. Some toolbars can be helpful, but very often they will become a nuisance and sometimes even start messing up your PC. I’ve had more trouble with toolbars in the past than any other software I’ve encountered.
9. Always keep your software up to date. Most updates include security patches and by ignoring them, you are leaving vulnerabilities on your computer.
10. This should go without saying, but never give out any sensitive info (like CC numbers, social security numbers, etc.) unless you trust the source that’s asking for it.
8) Keep Your Files Organized
Since you are now an internet marketer running your own business, it’s up to you to keep everything organized so you can run your business as efficiently as possible. This is primarily an internet business, so most, if not all, of your business will live on your computer.
If you’re not careful, things can get cluttered very quickly and if you work like this for too long it will seem an overwhelming task to ever get organized. It makes it a lot easier if you put forth some effort to stay organized right from the beginning.
Here are some tips for staying organized:
1. Most of us use 1 PC for everything, business and personal alike. Keep your business files and personal files separate.
2. Don’t just dump all of your files in “My Documents”. Create subfolders and more folders withing those folders. Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place. You should rarely have loose documents floating around.
3. Only use your desktop for active projects and then move them to a folder when you’re finished. The desktop can quickly become a cluttered mess if you’re not careful.
4. Locate your downloads folder and clean it out regularly. Whenever you download something from the internet it will be saved in your “downloads” folder. Many people don’t know that and they can never find what they’re trying to download. So they end up downloading 50 copies of the same file unaware that they are all being saved to their computer.
Keep this behavior up for a year and you can imagine how big the downloads folder might get.
9) Backup Your PC
No internet marketing for beginners list would be complete without discussing a disaster prevention strategy for your computer.
You should always keep regular backups of your computer. Hard drives crash, laptops are stolen… bad things happen. If you run your business from your computer, losing your PC could be disastrous. Plus, you undoubtedly have other personal family photos and things like that which are irreplaceable.
There are many ways to back up your computer. Here are a few of them:
1. Buy an external hard drive and use the built in Windows backup utility to automatically backup your PC on a schedule.
The benefit of this option is that you have an offsite backup of your files stored online so even if disaster strikes, you still have all your files.
The downside is that upload and download speeds will be dependent on your internet connection. Even with a fast connection, if you have a lot of data, it will probably take several days to do the initial backup. All subsequent backups are incremental (only backs up changes) so they won’t take as long.
3. You can use a syncing service like Sugar Sync. What I like about syncing as apposed to backup is that syncing maintains a true 1 to 1 copy of your files.
With some backup services, they save every file you ever had on your PC forever. And if you move a file, it will create a new one in the new location and keep the old one too.
So, if down the road something bad happens to your PC and you need to restore all your files, you’re going to have to sort through potentially years of deleted and duplicate files. What a mess.
Of course, the reason they do that is because this way you never really lose anything. Even if you accidentally delete a file, it’s still saved in your backup.
But for me, I like knowing I have an exact copy of my current files saved that I can easily load onto a new computer and be ready to go in minutes if needed.
4. Good Sync is another syncing service that does a ton of stuff and has a lot of customization options. I use it to sync all my files locally to a memory card that I can just pop into a new computer whenever I want. This is a good option because it’s so fast, but it isn’t as convenient as Sugar Sync if you’re wanting to backup to an online server.
10) Choosing The Right Program
I think the most important tip I can give to internet marketing beginners is to get involved with the right program and the right team. Assuming you’re starting this business to actually make money, joining the right team and program is going to make a huge difference.
There’s a lot of stuff out there and if you’re just starting out it can be very hard to tell a good opportunity from a bad one.
If you’re interested in working with us, you can take a look at our Partner With Us page to see what we currently recommend.
I also invite you to visit our Testimonials page to get a better feel of what it’s like to work with us.
And you can always get a hold of us anytime through our Contact Us page.
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To Your Online Success,
🙂 Shawn Smith