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If you have a marketing background and want to become a digital marketing expert; you may be wondering which is the best way to go about it. There are several courses on digital marketing which are being offered as workshops, online courses and one-on-one coaching programs.

There are even MBA programs with specialization in digital marketing such as this one: NYU Stern MBA Digital Marketing.  There are certification exams such as HubSpot Inbound Marketing certification program and Google Adwords certification. But does attending all these courses and getting all the certificates make you a digital marketing expert? The answer is a big NO. It may help you learn the fundamentals and even some advanced concepts in digital marketing but it does not make you career ready for a position like Digital Marketing Manager. Digital marketing expertise comes with digital marketing experience.

The best way to become a digital marketing expert is to start practicing digital marketing from today. The best thing about digital marketing is that you can start doing it at a very small scale. All you need is a computer, an internet connection and a small amount of money to play with. You can learn digital marketing by applying the concepts in your own mini-project. Here are the things you can do right now:

Applying Digital Marketing on a Small Scale

  • Choose a topic you are passionate about and start a blog about it. Cost: Approx $50 per year for domain and hosting.
  • Learn a little about SEO and write SEO optimized articles in your blog.
  • Install Google Analytics tracking code and see if you are getting some traffic to your blog. Explore Google Analytics.
  • Open an Adwords account and do some keyword research to see what people are searching for in Google to find information on the topic you are blogging about.
  • Write more articles and publish on your blog.
  • Open a Facebook page dedicated to your blog (apart from your personal page) and share the articles on your Facebook page.
  • Promote your page with Facebook advertising. Budget for promotion can be as low as $10.
  • Implement Facebook like box in your blog.
  • Embed social sharing buttons in your blog articles. You can do this using WordPress plugins and it is free.
  • Sign up for an email marketing service such as Aweber. Costs $20 per month. Also try MailChimp.
  • Embed email signup forms in your blog and collect subscribers. Email subscribers whenever you publish something in your blog.
  • Promote your Facebook page through email marketing and in turn also get more email subscribers from your Facebook page.
  • Promote your blog via Adwords. Get started with very low CPC bids. Most new Adwords accounts get a free $100 credit for promotion. If you don’t get it, call Adwords support and they will give you free credits to get you started.
  • Sign up for Google Adsense and deploy advertising codes in your blog.
  • Convert your blog into a mobile friendly blog and create mobile ads in Adwords.

All the above steps can be done in 30 days by investing one hour per day. After you do all the steps above your would have gained a bit of hands-on experience in the following areas which pretty much sums up to the following major components of Digital Marketing:

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