The Best Ways to Advertise Online
I originally wrote this article in response to a subscriber quite a while ago at MalKeenan.com
I have updated it and re-posted here. I think you will find these methods very helpful. I look forward to your comments.
What are the best places to advertise online?
Well, this is going to be a long one. You may want to print this page.
I cannot comment on forms of advertising that I do not use but here is a list of the ones that I DO actually use that produce effective results.
1. Article Marketing
This is my number one strategy at the minute. Creating and writing articles targeted to your particular Internet niche is the most effective way to grow your site and visitors short and long term. I use article submissions services to submit my articles to the article databases. I mostly write my own articles but occasionally pay someone, a ghostwriter, to write them for me.
You can hire someone to write articles for a few dollars each from Elance.com or Rentacoder.com. This is especially useful if you are building sites in a market about which you know little to nothing.
Putting keyword phrases as your linking text in the resource box of your articles creates instant traffic and also increases your standing in the search engines, increasing your rankings over time.
I use Steve Shaw’s Submit Your Article Submission Service to automate this strategy.
2. Pay Per Click Search Engines
a) Google AdWords
I occasionally use Google AdWords to send traffic to my sites. Google AdWords is based on a pay per click system. You can pay anything from a few cents to a few dollars per click, depending on your budget. If you are not experienced, this is a sure way to lose a lot of cash, quickly.
You can set up a Google AdWords account for free. If you are contemplating using AdWords read Perry Marshalls Definitive AdWords Guide first. There is a free 5 day course available from his site.
Don’t even think of starting a Google AdWords campaign before getting this guide or investing in some expert coaching: Perry Marshall’s AdWords Guide
b) Yahoo Search Marketing
Formally named Overture this is another program similar to AdWords. I find the traffic from Yahoo to be of lower quality. The upside is that you will not pay as much per click and can find some highly competitive search terms for a few cents per click.
3. Participating in Online Discussion Forums
Answering and asking questions at the numerous online discussion forums is a great way to get some free traffic. Most forums will allow you to post a signature file, in which you leave a link back to your site. Then, when you participate in the forums readers will see your site address at the end of each of your posts.
Depending on how heavily you participate and the quality of your posts, PLUS your standing in the particular forum, the traffic can really add up. The downside is that you have to post daily and regularly to make this effective. Spending too much time in online forums, can also hamper your progress.
My favorite Internet Marketing forum and most frequented is the Warrior Forum:
Warriors Internet Marketing Forum
I don’t get over to the forums as much as I used to. I would also advise to use your energy at discussion forums sparingly. I see some marketers spending much of their days at these places, which is not good. They are fine to drum up some traffic but you’d be much better using your creative energy to blog rather than giving away all your tips on someone else’s forum.
Content can be difficult to come up with, not to mention time consuming to write. How much content are some people adding to discussion forums? Build YOUR OWN BUSINESS!
Tip: Go and find a question being asked by a newcomer on one of the marketing forums, then post the question on your blog AND answer it yourself. That way, you are adding to your own business and eventually will attract search engine traffic.
4. Free Traffic Exchanges
This is another free way to promote your site. Free traffic exchanges like Traffic Swarm will send traffic to your site in exchange for visiting sites in it’s network. This can take up a lot of your time but if you want to go the free road then MORE time is what you’ll invest.
There is a better way to build those traffic credits, and that is by referring other members. That way, when they surf you get a % of their surfing credits. This is something you can think about in the future as you start to get some traffic to your site. For now, you’d be best surfing the exchanges for traffic.
DO NOT send free exchange traffic directly to your website. It is much more effective to use squeeze pages. These are email capture pages offering something free, like a free ebook. You can see what I mean here ➡ Trafficswarm Squeeze Page. That is the squeeze page I use for Trafficswarm.
As you can see, there is very little content on the page other than my free offer. This is done purposely. The main point of the page is to encourage free traffic exchange users to add their email address. I then promote my affiliate products and services to the list that I gather through the squeeze page.
Using Traffic Exchanges any other way is a complete waste of time.
I do provide a free squeeze page – coded with their auto-responder form – for customers who purchase my blog set up service. Click here for more info on that.
That is basically what I am doing through this blog. I write posts, the blog sends a signal out(pings) that a new post has been made and the search engines visit to index my new page.
Blogs are a fantastic and extremely effective way to attract search engine visitors, and to promote your products or services. You can get many, many tips on how to do it just by browsing this site.
In my experience, it is much better to write original content than post content that you can find online, for instance at Ezinearticles.com. Do not over analyze though, whether original or duplicate content is better. The important thing is to get started.
You are much, much better posting duplicate content than no content at all. A blog must be updated regularly if you are to make an impact on the search engines.
If you blog in a niche market – a less competitive, smaller, niche – then the power of blogging regularly, will be ten-fold. It would be impossible to blog regularly in a smaller market online and NOT attract loads of targeted traffic. TARGETED TRAFFIC = SALES = PROFITS FOR YOU!
6. Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking sites are simply a way for members like you and me to save our favorite websites online. Like many other sites, they are not setup to be used for online advertising but can be used to do so, without abusing/spamming them, or angering other members.
Social bookmarking is a relatively new way to market your sites online. Sites like http://del.icio.us are now being seen as a great way to advertise your website and create back links to increase your search engine rankings. The important thing when posting to these sites is to stay within their rules. DO NOT spam.
Social bookmarking sites use tags which the user chooses when posting to their favorites. This is a good opportunity to add your sites keyword phrases. Each tag that you create will produce a new web page complete with your links on the bookmarking portals.
I use Social Bookmarking Demon to automate this process. Personally, I don’t want to spend hours creating accounts and logging in daily to bookmark my pages. This software does the lot automatically – saving me countless hours. I basically log in, click ‘Bookmark’ and leave it to do the work. Powerful stuff!
7. Video Marketing
Again, video sites were not setup to provide marketing methods for online entrepreneurs. But hey, it doesn’t stop us using them 😀
You know, the Internet has really levelled the playing field, where it is possible for the little guy to compete with the big guns in ANY business. This reality is partly due to our innovation in using the vast traffic, and coming together of so many people at networking sites, to our marketing advantage. I don’t see a thing wrong with that as long as you don’t overdo it – Don’t spam!
One method that I have used recently was to create a short tutorial on a simple Internet marketing method using Camtasia Video Creator, posted a watermark on the video using the same software and posted it to Youtube.
If it is something really useful then there is the possibility that your video will get passed on. If it is useful AND funny then there is even more chance that your video will go viral. That is the aim of posting videos on Youtube and other video sites.
If your video DOES get passed on then each viewer will see the watermark in the video leading back to your website and may visit. Like all forms of online marketing, the more your employ this method the greater the rewards will be.
When you do post your video on Youtube also make sure to leave a link to your site in the ‘More info’ box to the right of your video.
I have paid someone to create some videos for me in the past too which is another option. You can get videos created for $20 or so but they aren’t great quality. I have personally not had much success in this area but that is not so say you shouldn’t get involved in video marketing. Many marketers have made fantastic inroads in this area and make it the main focus of their online marketing.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide and wasn’t meant to be. If you are serious about this business and being successful online then you should research each of these areas individually.
There will be many ways to advertise online that I haven’t covered here but I try not to write about avenues that I haven’t personally tried and found to be effective, in growing my online business.
As I encounter more advertising strategies I will add them to this list. So, it may be a good idea to bookmark this page. You can do that below.
If you have any specific questions about the methods or software or course I have recommended above please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
“Let Me Know How I Can Help You Get Started Today”
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