Dynamic Ways to Get Low-Cost,
by: Brett Krkosska
what you pay for. That's the adage. Is it possible to put this old saying
on the shelf and find low-cost advertising with great returns on your
Yes, you can. When it comes to advertising your small business on a limited budget, it's more accurate to say "you get what you look outside the box for."
The payment is still there. But the idea is to transfer some of that payment from dollars into other, less green kind of payments. You pay by using more of your time and creativity. Here are some ideas:
Getting listed in the major search engines is a must. When people want to find something on the Internet, this is where they start. The engines below are responsible for the vast majority of all search traffic. It's best to submit to them manually and avoid automated submission services. For some pointers on how to properly prepare your site for submission visit SearchEngineWatch.com.
Inktomi supplies results to many of the major portals such as MSN, AOL, iWon, HotBot, Overture, NBCi, and feeds hundreds of smaller portals. The best way to get listed is through PositionTech.com.
The other major players are:
2. Use Pay-Per-Click Search Engines
With a little research, pay-per-click engines can be a fantastic bargain. Start by looking for relevant keywords and the search count of your keywords across several different engines. You can get software that's perfect for this job at GoodKeywords.com.
Next, compare the cost of bidding on your keywords among the different engines using the the online tool at CompareYourClicks.com.
Be sure to track your sales from pay-per-click engines so you can fine-tune your bids for maximum returns.
People who subscribe to your newsletter have already consented to lending you their ear. Bend it. They are a targeted, ready-made audience waiting for you to solve all their problems. Help them do just that.
You can use a third party list manager such as Topica.com or Groups.Yahoo.com to manage your newsletter list, or you can self-publish with these software products:
4. Publish Articles
An attractive advertising technique is through writing information articles and offering them for reprint to publishers. I have generated thousands of new visitors through articles that are picked up by large publications.
People that visit you through your articles are more apt to be buyers. Good, informative content establishes credibility and expert status - and people will buy from someone they trust. Some great places to start submitting your articles are:
5. Get Linked from Relevant Sites
Find other sites willing to exchange links with you. You can create a "partners" page on your site for this very purpose. Use a search engine to find sites which have a high ranking for keywords people might use to find your site. Broker a link exchange, place an ad, or write an article for them. Aside from the direct exposure you'll receive, forming a network of links can improve your ranking among search engines.
Advertising in ezines is a still a great bargain. To find compatible ezines for your ads, try these sites:
Although you can't blatantly advertise in news groups, you have the opportunity to both learn new things and share your knowledge with others. Through active participation in forums you will notice an increase in traffic to your site. Visit Gripe.com and Groups.Google.com to find appropriate news groups you can join.
Whenever you try a product or use a service you like - tell the owner! Business owners love to hear from people who have truly benefited from their service. Your endorsement might even get posted on their site with a link pointing back to your site. These testimonials are typically posted for long periods.
Offer a valuable free product or service to people. Make sure your freebie is valuable as a stand-alone, but use it as a teaser that entices people to purchase something else. You should also require people to leave their email address before getting the freebie. This way you can follow up with them later.
Get listed in your phonebook. When people want to buy locally this is one of the first places they look. Newspapers are also a persistent value and still widely read. Bargain hunters and local shoppers alike use the newspaper to find great deals within driving distant.
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