This week we continue with Part 2 of our 3-part series on how to market your online business. Part 1 is available at http://onlinebusinessbasics.com/articles/checklist1.html .
As much as we all love free stuff, an Internet business is still a business and you can reasonably expect to invest in marketing. Fortunately, online marketing can be quite affordable -- even to beginners on limited budgets. Here's a quick list of some of more popular paid methods for small businesses.
PART 2: Effective Fee-Based Online Marketing Methods
1. Search engines. Web surfers typically use large search engines such as Google, MSN, and AOL to find information they want. If you can manage to get a good ranking for some of your top key phrases, you can get a steady stream of traffic. Expect to invest funds for review/submissions, and possibly even for hiring an optimization expert or for self-education. A great site to learn about search engine optimization is Search Engine Watch, http://searchenginewatch.com/ .
2. Major indexes. Yahoo [ http://yahoo.com/ ] and Open Directory [ http://www.dmoz.org/ ] are two of best- known indexes. Both of them can significantly increase your link popularity, and provide you with additional traffic. At time of writing, Yahoo charges an annual review fee for commercial websites. Submissions to Open Directory are currently still free.
3. Pay-per-click search engines. With these search engines, you literally pay a certain amount of money for every click they send your way. The more you bid, higher you'll rank for your search term and more visible your link will be. The largest and most popular PPC SE is Overture, http://www.overture.com/. A list of PPC SEs is available from http://payperclicksearchengines.com/ .
4. Ezine advertising. Although this takes a fair bit of practice and experimentation, ezine advertising is potentially one of best and most profitable ways to promote your business online. The editor has already done hard work of putting together a list of opt-in, interested prospects; you just take advantage of it. Search for complementary ezines at NetterWeb.com, http://www.netterweb.com/ or use excellent Lifestyles Publishing Directory of Ezines at http://buildyourhomebiz.com/directory.html .
5. Direct email campaign from a reputable list broker. There are companies on web that specialize in building permission-based email lists, targeted to each subscriber's area of interest. This is true 'opt-in', unlike endless stream of spam email that implores you to purchase '30 million addresses for only $99!' True opt-in lists are not cheap by any means, but they have potential to yield great results. Check out http://www.postmasterdirect.com/ as an example.