Online or Offline Learning? Why not have both?
If you want to learn about creating webpages you have a variety of means of achieving this. You can learn offline at college, from text books and magazines or through online training companies to whom you pay a small monthly fee to access the members only library of videos and articles. You can also access support and feedback from your tutors in person (offline) or through online support systems.
A few years ago at university, online learning was a brief session in a Psychology of Decision Making lecture where a researcher discussed whether it could be a learning forum of the future (it was only 2005). I enjoy both learning styles and they rarely disadvantage you these days.
Informal learning in your community
I first began formally learning about webdesign and webhosting in 1999 as part of a community centre website launch geared around the Millenium. They had recieved funding for the website and as a selected member I joined the team to learn about HTML, FTP and content design and research. We spent several weeks learning about HTML and how to design the website. The learning environment was coorperative and we all brought our strengths and skills to the team.
We gathered information, interviewed local charities and organisations and took digital photographs of the community. We wrote our articles and created the content. There was a member of the team who decided that he would take responsiblity for the FTP (File transfer protocol) making it seem extremely complicated and fearsome. He informed us that we may risk destabilising the website if we all did it ourselves, as we had been taught. Instilled with the belief that we shouldn't mess with or mess up the website, everyone backed off. In fact we backed off to such a distance that the project became very fractured and later faultered.
No one can learn or progress under those conditions in any field of pursuit. You will find in IM that there are people who genuinely want to help you, while others are just there to help themselves - to your money. Take the advice I was given at a recent networking event by a respected investor - don't purchase anything for at least 6 months. You will soon sort the men from the greedy, spoilt and bad tempered boys!
Fit Your Own Budget
If your intentions are to learn about internet marketing at your own pace and within your own budget, then I can guarantee that you will be able to find a style of learning to fit your needs and preferences.
I didn't forget what I had learnt in 1999, however HTML is hard work, so I used simple and effective templates for years for my business site, which provided enough information for clients to find and book my services regularly. I incorporated additional sources of income to that site also, but knew nothing of the additional skills of driving traffic and using paid adverts. It still worked though. I was top of the search engines for that local business and clients found me.
Later, I moved on to learn about webpage design again at a local college. You may be able to find a local weekly class in your community college that can fit within your schedule. If you are unemployed, on low pay or on benefits (in the UK) you are likely to find that you are entitled to waived or reduced fees for your course. There is so much free, quality information available on the internet, that you can feel free to ignore those wanting your credit card details for 'advice' for a long time.
Your local library also provide ample resources for learning material on internet marketing. At some point you will need to read, watch videos, join webinars and practice. Create time for this.
Where There's a Will, There's a Way
During the time of my college course, I attended a half day writing course and was introduced to blogging as a means of developing the creative writing habit. You can create a blogging space for free with blogger.com and wordpress. They offer space for airing your views, ideas and sharing your creative or recreational interests.
After completing my college course in 2009, I intended to follow on and again relearn the FTP skills and other software for webdesign. However the exam coincided with my operation, and I was told I couldn't do the course unless I entered the exam too! Following my operation and during recovery, I was informed the course had been removed from the college syllabus, and that's why I began learning online at home while convalescing.
Learning Forums: Conference Calls and Webinars
Live conference calls can be interactive although you may not be able to make a vocal contribution to conference calls, as you can during live lectures.
To get invited onto a conference call/webinar, you will usually have visited a website and submitted your email address. Subsequently you will receive a series of emails and often will get your invitation as a 'link' in the email which allows you to register for the online conference call. Often the calls/webinars may consist of a recorded vocal message, a power point presentation with a voice over, a live presentation with power point slides or a demonstration/video during which you can type questions in the interactive area or if you are given permission can ask your question via a phone or headset connection.
Online Membership sites
Online membership sites are a fabulous method of learning internet marketing. For a monthly fee, you can access a library of PDF's, videos, conference call, MP3's and support to learn everything from content creation, creating a website, template use, search engine optimisation, keyword searches, traffic building strategies and developing various income streams from your website. If you are new to internet marketing, it is one of the best places to invest your money by spending a small monthly fee and then have 24 hour access to all round training.
Getting More Than You Bargained For
I have to say, I immediately stumbled onto two of the best training sources I have used over the last two years, however these days, if I had found the kind of software I now use earlier, I would have been months ahead with a simple website concept, but to my additional benefit I have learnt so much about the many various ways of generating income, supplying products and creating traffic, that in time, the long route around will have been worth the journey.
I only needed a simple website, but these days in the competitive internet market, it is useful to know more than you need, in order to maximise the strategies that you know well.
So, just like many university students who has invested thousands in their education, once you have a good general overview of your topic, you will then find an area of internet marketing that you can feel comfortable using.