Swapping Marbles: How to Get a Top-Notch Site Without Paying a Dime

Dec 7 22:00 2001 Stefene Russell Print This Article

My father is a lawyer, and a good number of his clients ... ... and car ... When they get in ... call my father, because they know that he will rescue themin their hour

My father is a lawyer,Guest Posting and a good number of his clients are
plumbers, plasterers and car mechanics. When they get in trouble,
they call my father, because they know that he will rescue them
in their hour of need-and they won't have to pony up their rent
money for legal fees. My father trades his legal services for
drywall, wiring and car repair, and with a nearly 200 year-old-
house and a car that's not far behind, he puts that labor to good

Though "barter and trade" sounds like a medieval concept, it's
actually a very common occurrence, even in big corporations. Huge
dot-coms often swap ad banners with restaurants and sports
promoters, who supply them with event sites, gift certificates,
and "shwag" for contest giveaways. Most of the small business
owners I know have been a little squeamish about dipping into the
barter and trade pool, unless they're massage therapists,
naturopaths or Reiki practitioners (until insurance companies
cover alternative healthcare modalities, these friends will be
forced to get creative with their compensation, whether they want
to or not).

So what does this have to do with websites? Plenty. I know many
webmasters and mistresses who have swapped their services for
hypnotherapy sessions, vintage clothes, horseback riding lessons
and housecleaning. What holds most of us back from hiring a
professional web designer is cost. However, there's nothing
saying that money has to even come into the picture, if you have
something your designer needs (or even better, just wants!). Put
ads on bulletin boards, the local paper, or ask around; maybe one
of your best friends has a kid in college who's studying web
design, and could use your site as an opportunity to start
building his or her portfolio. You can also trade for instruction
on how to update or re-design your site yourself, or a tutorial
on how to use the latest, cutting-edge software. If you feel a
little reticent, don't. It's just like marbles when you're a kid.
Your friend wants your green marble, and you want his orange
marble, so you trade 'em across the table. It's as simple as

Take it from a second-generation barterer rader: when I've
traded writing or editing for carpet-cleaning or a haircut, not
only was I able to eat off my floor, or drive without having to
peer through a curtain of hair, but I felt all the closer to my
hairdresser or my housecleaner afterwards. Trading is not only a
cost-effective way of doing business, but you'll be strengthening
your ties to other small businesspeople-and your entire

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About Article Author

Stefene Russell
Stefene Russell

Stefene Russell is a freelance writer living in Salt Lake City,
Utah. She has worked as a print journalist and as Senior Content
Producer for citysearch.com. She is currently Dr. Kevin Nunley's
in-house website expert, providing site analysis to e-businesses.
For a free website analysis, email her at stefene@drnunley.com or
for a detailed analysis, visit

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