I've been involved with Internet marketing for over ten years and have seen marketing techniques come and go. Some are still around and some are new and innovative. Below you will find what I believe to be the best and most effective online marketing techniques.
Article Marketing - Article marketing was and is one of the most powerful online marketing methods available. Not only does it do wonders for you and your business, it's also free! Article marketing consists of writing helpful, informative, easy-to-understand articles that actually help your readers, instead of trying to sell them something. You then submit your articles to article banks, directories and ezine publishers. When your article runs in a popular ezine, it can make a major difference to your business. Contrary to what you might think, it's not that hard to get started.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Don't worry about your ability to write. People are looking for help, not big words.
- Advertise in your resource box, not your article.
- Provide real, helpful information and resources, not hype!
- Write from the heart! Let your personality shine through in your articles.
Blogging - Blogging is a newer form of online marketing that became popular in the late 1990's. Blog is short for weblog and is an online publication in the form of a log or journal. Blogs can increase your customer base, your traffic and your search engine ranking, thus increasing your sales.
Blogging can be done for free through such sites as:
Be sure and update your blog regularly; every day would be best as people like fresh content, ideas and information.
Ezine Publishing - Ezine publishing has been around much longer than blogging and is far more effective, in my opinion. Your ezine needs to contain helpful resources and information, not just sales pitches. It's important to develop a relationship with your readers. Let them know they can trust you and rely on you when they need your help.
Things to remember when putting together your ezine:
- Keep it clean and easy to read.
- Limit your advertising and be selective.
- Always provide quality content and information.
- Add your personality into your writing. This helps readers to get a feeling for you as a person.
- Always provide contact information and be accessible.
- Be consistent; send your ezine regularly as scheduled.
- Be sure and proofread your copy before sending it out.
Online Networking - Online networking, as with offline networking, is very important to your business. This is where you connect with as many people as possible to learn more and share information about your business. Many leads can come from networking. There are several ways to do this online.
Email Discussion Groups: Go to yahoogroups.com and search for appropriate groups.
Message Boards: Be sure and follow the rules for posting and offer your help as much as possible.
Social Sites: Examples include: MySpace.com, Ryze, Merchant Circle, etc. These can be great ways to make more contacts and get leads.
Joint Ventures - This is when you enter into an agreement with another online marketer that will benefit both sides. Examples of joint ventures:
- Ezine ad swaps
- eBook ad swaps
- Subscription page ad swaps
- Affiliate programs
- Exchange advertising for a percentage of the sales
and the list goes on and on. Be creative and come up with new ways for you and your associates to help each other.
Podcasting - Podcasting uses digital media files which are distributed all over the Internet via syndication feeds. Podcasting is still a fairly new way of online marketing and has great potential. Podcasting can be powerful because it uses voice, instead of written words to get the message across. Offer your articles, do voice interviews, offer a chapter in your ebook via podcast, etc. Again, use your imagination to create new ways to spread the word about your business.
Ezine Advertising - Advertising your business, product, service, etc. in quality ezines can be well worth the money spent. Before you do so, here are a few things to consider:
Conduct a search to find ezines that cater to your target market. Once you find several targeted ezines, subscribe to them so you can look them over and see if the publisher is reliable in sending them out. You can also look over the other ads and make sure the publisher is selective in their advertising. You might be able to learn what the other readers think of the ezine as well.
Try contacting the publisher to see if they respond to your email. Ask about testimonials from other advertisers. Find out how many ads they run per issue and what it costs. You could also ask the publisher to do an ad swap to get an idea of what the response is like. Be selective in your choices and always code your ads so you know which ezines actually deliver.
I hope this article has given you some insight as to how to market your home/online business. I use several of these methods and know from experience that they work.