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A Beginner's Checklist to Promoting an Online Business (Part 1)

The Internet's full of hyped-up promises of the 'ultimate'marketing secret that will singlehandedly skyrocket your business to instant success. Naturally, this is ALL it is: hype. There's no single'se...

The Internet's full of hyped-up promises of the 'ultimate'
marketing secret that will singlehandedly skyrocket your
business to instant success.

Naturally, this is ALL it is: hype. There's no single
'secret' that will magically transform a fledgling business
into a powerful money-maker. Instead, every business owner
is responsible for testing and refining various techniques
until he or she has developed a solid, effective base that
produces the desired results.

What works for one business may not work for another!
Likewise, another business may have poor results with
one method, while others experience great success.
Here's a quick checklist of some of the more popular
-- and completely free -- marketing techniques to help
you build your online business (note: this is a 3-part
series).

PART 1: FREE ONLINE MARKETING TECHNIQUES

1. Build and use your own opt-in list of targeted and
interested prospects. Offer a free newsletter that
provides fresh, interesting, and relevant content.
You'll receive feedback from your readers about what's
important to them, and over time they'll come to know
and trust you. Your products, services, and even
recommendations will then be taken much more seriously
because you've developed credibility with your readers.

2. Contribute to newsgroups or discussion boards. Establish
yourself as a helpful member of a community. Other
members of the community who come to know and respect
you will often refer you to others.

3. Niche directories or search engines. Find all the
highly-targeted directories and SEs for your market,
and then work to get listed. You'll be surprised at
how many niche sites there are! Good places to start
looking are http://yahoo.com/ and http://www.dmoz.com/ .

4. Build your link popularity. For example, you can trade
links with other businesses in your market so that you
can 'share' each other's traffic. Most of the major
search engines take link popularity into consideration
when ranking your site.

5. Endorsed mailings to other lists. Find the editor of a
great newsletter, and offer your product or service to
him for free in return for a review or an endorsed ad
to his list. Endorsements from the editor can far
outperform regular 'ads', since they come from someone
they know and trust (the editor).

6. Testimonials. It's fine for you to say that your product
or service is wonderful... but there's far more 'punch'
when someone else says it! Testimonials show prospects
that you have happy customers and helps them to make
the decision to buy.

7. Use autoresponders to follow-up with your prospects. It
has been proven time and time again that autoresponders
can dramatically increase your profits! They're also
great time-savers, saving you from following up with
each prospect manually.

8. Ad swaps. You can get extra exposure for 'free' (no
out-of-pocket expenses) by swapping ad space with another
editor that caters to your audience. Plus it's a great
way to put 'remnant' ad space to good use.

9. Join a webring. Link to other sites like yours and
build an online 'community.'

10. Offer coupons or gift certificates to entice visitors
to make a purchase *now*.

11. Make good use of referral marketing. Ask happy
customers to refer prospects to you. Many people are
so busy these days that they're willing to rely on a
trusted friend or contact's advice -- it saves them
the time necessary to do all the research themselves.

12. Write and distribute articles in your area of
expertise. This is a great credibility-builder!
People who appreciate what you have to say are much
more likely to check out your business. Another 'bonus'
is that articles are often archived on websites for
visitors to refer to time and time again.

13. Become an 'expert'. If you like to write and have the
time to do so, consider partnering with a high-traffic
site within your niche market and offer to write a
regular column or article. You establish credibility
and get exposure; your partner site and their readers
get great content.

14. Use a 'Recommend-It' or 'Refer-A-Friend' script. These
scripts let visitors send your URL to friends.

15. Make it easy for others to link to your site. Consider
adding a 'Link to Us' section where you provide the
HTML that visitors can simply cut and paste to their
own web pages. Again, this helps to build your link
popularity (see point #4).

16. Hold contests. For example, every month you could give
away one of your products to a lucky subscriber or
customer.

17. Use a signature. Also known as 'sig files', a signature
is a brief blurb about your business along with your
URL and/or contact information. Put a signature on
every piece of email you send out, as well as on any
message board posts (if appropriate).

18. Give away a quality free eBook or report. eBooks and
reports can be excellent viral marketing tools. You
can even offer them as a 'premium' to other businesses
within your niche, so that they can give it away to
their own customers or subscribers. This is an
effective way to build a network that will willingly
promote your business for you! More on promoting free
eBooks and how they can help you can be found in the
article, '10 Quick Tips on How to Create, Distribute,
and Profit from Free eBooks':
http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/articles/ebooktips.html

Hopefully this has given you a few helpful ideas on how
to market your online business. In the next installment
of this series, you'll read about several marketing
techniques that may cost you moneyComputer Technology Articles, but that can be worth
the investment many times over. The final installment is
all about marketing your online business in the 'offline'
world! Stay tuned.

Article Tags: Online Business, Link Popularity

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide to building a business on a beginner's budget. It's
a proven hit with beginners, for the down-to-earth style
and loads of instantly useable tips! For details, visit
http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/article.html
OR request a series of 10 free reports to get you started:
mailto:businessbasics@workyourleads.com



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