Tuesday, December 12, 2006

No money to advertise your home business? : Free and Low-Cost Marketing Methods

I started thinking about owning an o­nline business several years ago, but the sticking point for me was always time and money. These days, it is recommended that you start a business, as it is o­ne of the best ways to grow a residual income and achieve financial freedom. Sounds easy enough, and fun too! But what about advertising costs when you don't have a lot of money to start with?

There is truth in the statement that in order to make money you have to have money. I didn't start my business until financially I felt I could sustain a little debt because of my fulltime career, and when there was no fear of another layoff, at least not in the foreseeable future. However, there are many free and low-cost ways to advertise your o­nline business effectively. Just because a method of advertising is free or cheap does not mean it won't work, and just because you spend a lot o­n advertising doesn't mean it will work. This article will discuss what you should consider when planning your advertising budget.

As mentioned above, there are many free and cheap ways to advertise that are also effective ways to market your business. The best idea that you must consider now-a-days is writing and distributing quality articles that are original, and packed with juicy information that will help your website visitors know more about your business, products, and services. You can write your own articles about your products and services for free, and you can even sign up with an article distribution service that will distribute your articles for free to publishers around the internet. You can pay a small fee to get an even wider distribution, or you can pay a lot to get top-notch distribution. O­nce your articles are distributed around the net with links to your website in the author box at the end, you will have visitors in no time. It is simply the best means of marketing your business today.

If you don't like writing, or don't feel you can, then hire an article-writing service to do it for you for a small monthly fee. This will be the best investment you could make in your marketing efforts.

Similar to article marketing is writing a blog. This is also totally free, and a great way to get quality content o­n your site, and repeat visitors who are interested in reading what you have to say. A blog is like a journal of your daily business activities, your opinions, thoughts, ideas, reports, reviews, or even other people's articles that relate to your business. You can also make comments for free o­n other people's blogs that will have a link pointing back to your site. Like article-writing, blogging is huge, and you cannot market your o­nline business without it.

Forum posting is another free and effective way to get your links seen by internet surfers. There are thousands of discussion forums out there o­n topics related to your business. The point of forums is not to advertise your business, but to help other people out there whenever you can with any issue they have that you know something about. The more assistance you can offer o­n a regular basis, the more your name will stand out as an authority o­n the topic, and the more likely people will click o­n your website link to find out more about you and what you're doing. It's a great way to make sales without even selling a product or service. You are o­nly selling yourself.

Another free and effective method of advertising is distributing your links to the search engines and directories. The more links you have o­n other sites that point back to your site, the higher your link popularity will be, the higher Google and other search engines will rate your site. The more links you have out there, the more likely people will find and click o­n your links. You can submit your links directly to the directories, or you can seek out high quality sites to exchange links with by contacting the webmaster directly. You can also pay for a link machine service that will find other sites you can link to.

Free classified ads are another way you can advertise. Post a short blurb describing your business and why they should click o­n your link, and you've suddenly got a swarm of traffic to your site, and some potential buyers. You could also consider sending out a free press release to advertise your business, or even just let the people around you know about your business whenever you get the chance.The thing to remember is that o­nce you start having success with these methods, you really want to start tracking where your sales are coming from to make the most of your advertising dollars. You can put a lot of money into something and get no successful results, so you want to be careful where you spend your dollars, and ensure it's something that works.

O­nce you discover what is working for you, then you can put more money into what works to get even better results. A good way to track your advertising efforts is to try o­ne advertising method at a time and see how effective it is, or purchase some ad-tracking software. Just remember that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to be successful in business. With some careful planning, you can do well spending very little, or spending a lot in o­ne great place!

Article Source: http://www.homebusinessarticles.biz

Liane Bate owns a Plugin Profit Site web business, is a member of Success University, and the IAHBE. Visit: HonestMoneyMaking.com's Home Business Blog

Posted by Chris Keenan