Internet marketing can be a very tricky and confusing business, especially if you are relatively new to the game. You will be faced with all sorts of terminology and concepts that may sound completely foreign, totally baffling, and utterly inexplicable. Even if you have been doing the Internet marketing thing for some time, you will inevitably encounter something that doesn’t make complete sense to you. Maybe you need a little help with search engine optimization or choosing just the right affiliate products to market.
Yes, you could venture into the vast world of knowledge offered by Google and Wikipedia, but you may emerge even more confused than ever. You could even invest in some e-books on the matter, but they could become outdated by the time you purchase them. What is a budding online entrepreneur to do? Well, a review request has come in for a new online community called IM Answers. Can you take a guess what it does?
Get the Answers That You Need
You’ve got a burning question and you’re just dying for someone to give you the straight goods. IMAnswers.com is designed to provide exactly this kind of forum, as it is marketed as “an Internet marketing Q&A community.”
In a nutshell, this website is comprised of two primary components. First, you are able to ask whatever questions you may have about Internet marketing. They can be as simple as how to hyperlink an image or embed a video on your blog, or they can be much more complex than that (and everything in between). The second half of IM Answers comes from answering these questions. Share your knowledge with your fellow Internet marketing professionals and pool your expertise for mutual gain. Get the answers you need and provide the answers that others need.
Question and Answer Period
The questions can be broken down into a number of different categories and these are listed along the left-side of the main page.
These include everything from affiliate networks and backend sales to web programming and work from home. If you’ve got a question about making money on the Internet, there’s a good chance that someone in the IM Answers community has the answer for you. The design of the site is remarkably straightforward for this process.
Working in a similar fashion to a forum, each question has a subject and a link to the member who posed the question. If you think that you know the answer, you simply click on the Answer button and fill in the information as needed. This is also where you can provide any supporting links, but you are warned against blatant spamming of your website. You can link if it’s relevant, but don’t overdo it.
The details aren’t so clear — IM Answers is still in beta, after all — but the site is said to offer ad credits for each time that you answer a question or refer a new member. These credits can then be cashed in for “free” advertising on the site, so you do get rewarded for being helpful.
Profiles, Pages, and Groups
Looking to market your website or online service a little more? IM Answers offers a few options in this arena too. While the focus is on educating the community on Internet marketing, you can also provide some value to the community by doing more than “just” answering questions.
First, each member is given his/her own profile page. It’s not the most advanced profile page out there, but it gives the name, photo, about me, and basic statistics. Beyond the profile, there are also IMA Groups and IMA Pages. You can set up IMA groups to provide an area for discussing something specific about Internet marketing. For example, I set up a group about freelance writing. Feel free to contribute to that group.
IMA pages, on the other hand, work like a mini-site dedicated to a certain topic. To test out this feature, I made a page for fighting video games. It’s similar to a very simple blog, but the newest post is not on top. Instead, the posts are in chronological order and they don’t have any indication of the time they were published. On a side note, both IMA Groups and IMA Pages can be used for some mild spamming.
The Price for Internet Marketing Knowledge
IM Answers is still in beta, so I’m willing to forgive some of the minor issues that the site appears to be having. For example, I cannot seem to log in using the text fields on the left sidebar; I have to use the standalone login screen. Also, when I went to view my IMA pages, it sometimes ended my session for no good reason. I sincerely hope that IM Answers is working hard to rectify these and other minor issues.
So, how much does it cost to join the IM Answers community? It is 100% free. From what I can tell, the site owner makes his money through advertising, so IM Answers is effectively free for all of its members. Not a bad deal if you’re looking for some Internet Marketing assistance.