Continued from page 1
Idea Marketers - http://www.ideamarketers.com Ezine Articles - http://www.ezinearticles.com (another gem from Kate Schultz) Find Your Dream - http://www.findyourdream.com Media Peak - http://www.mediapeak.com
Publish In Yours - mailto:email@example.com Free Content - mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
=> Doorway Pages
These are webpages you create with a specific search engine's algorithms in mind. Essentially, it's a webpage optimized for a particular search engine (configured to meet search engine's criteria for keyword density, title, description etc.) and submitted to that search engine only. The webpage includes a link to your site.
What happens is that doorway page, because it can be easily optimized to be attractive to specific search engines, ranks well and therefore websurfer selects it from search engine results. The doorway page is called up but immediately diverts surfer to your main site.
Be aware, though, that search engines are aware of this practice and some are penalizing for it.
I recommend you bookmark Search Engine Watch to stay abreast of this issue and also to stay current with various search engines' general preferences which seem to change on a daily basis: http://www.searchenginewatch.com .
=> Ezine Advertising/Ad Swaps
Your promotional strategy should also include paid advertising in ezines. If you also publish your own ezine, don't forget to do some ad swapping with other ezine publishers.
For a directory of ezines that accept advertising, check out: The Directory of Ezines - http://www.lifestylespub.com The Free Directory of Ezines - http://www.netmastersolutions.com
=> Free Classifieds and FFA Links
Opinion is divided on how effective placing ads at free classified sites really is. Personally, I've found that it's not worth effort, particularly when you consider that by submitting to these sites you become an immediate target for spam. But, others claim to have success with it, so by all means, give it a go.
Some of most popular sites include:
Yahoo Classifieds - http://classifieds.yahoo.com Adland Pro - http://www.web-source.net/adlandpro.htm Web Sitings - http://www.websitings.com/classads/ Small Biz FFA - http://www.smallbizffa.net FFA Network - http://www.ffanet.com
Submitting your site to FFA (Free For All) sites won't do much for you in direct terms. The reason to submit to these sites is that they boost number of sites search engines record as "linking" to yours and this can boost your ranking with some engines. Be prepared for a DELUGE of mail back from these sites. You'll need to set up email filters to handle it.
=> Invite Referrals
Give your site visitors and ezine subscribers a way to recommend your site and ezine to others. Recommend It is worth signing up for: http://www.recommend-it.com .
=> Fresh Content
Update your website content frequently to give visitors something to come back for. Invite site visitors to leave you their email address so you can notify them when your site changes.
=> Keyword Bidding
GoTo.com is one of a new breed of search engines that allows you to bid on key words to improve your ranking. At present, this is a ridiculously cheap way of ensuring a good ranking so it's worth thinking about. Some keywords can be had for as little as $0.01 per visitor. This means you pay GoTo.com one cent for every visitor they send you: http://www.goto.com .
=> Reciprocal Links
Contact webmasters of complementary but not competitive sites and ask if they will swap links with you.
=> Discussion Boards, Newsgroups and Mailing Lists
Constructively participate in discussion boards, newsgroups and mailing lists relevant to subject matter of your site. Include a link to your site and/or ezine in your sig file.
=> Joint Ventures
Enter into joint ventures with other websites and/or ezines. This could be as simple as cross-promoting each others' ezines on your "Thank You For Subscribing" page or something grander such as getting together to promote a new product or service you have both developed for purpose.
=> Press Releases
There are several good press release services available. Here's just two:
Canada One, a free interactive press release builder - http://www.canadaone.com/promote/pressrelease.html
Gebbie Press - links to print and electronic media on Internet http://www.gebbieinc.com
See what I mean about your work just starting? Hopefully you can also see why everyone keeps telling you that you need to spend 80% of your time on marketing!
Running a business online is no different to running a business offline when it comes to marketing and promotion. Both require planning, diligence and application, day in, day out.
That's where real work of running an online business comes in. It's not website -- that's necessary but not sufficient. It's your website coupled with hours of work promoting it that makes your business a success.
One without other will relegate you to scrapheap of wannabes - all 95% of them. Don't let yourself be one of 95% who never make it. By getting foundation (your website) right and then constantly and effectively promoting it using all of methods outlined in this article (as well as your own brilliant ideas, of course) you stand a very good chance of securing your place among 5% of online businesses that actually do make it.
Elena Fawkner is editor of the award-winning A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas, resources and strategies for the work-from-home entrepreneur. Subscribe at http://www.fawkner.com/subscribe.html