You Can Do Free Advertising & Marketing Online

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No matter what type of online business you have, you need to be promoting it at all times. If you don’t make the effort to tell your target audience about your business then your business is not going to be seeing the number of engagements, connections and sales it could be seeing.

Marketing can be expensive. If you're just starting out, it's not a good idea to use paid adverts unless you're experienced. Every advert costs money, and you could easily spend at least several hundred dollars on an advertising campaign and have unsuccessful results if you aren’t careful.

You see, despite what other people might say you don’t HAVE to spend a fortune on your marketing efforts. In fact, if your budget is tiny or you are just starting out, you don’t have to spend a single cent if you don’t want to. On the other side, if you have a few hundred dollars to spend, just find a service that will run a successful campaign for you. You'll still see small results, but they should be good results!

It’s true – sometimes the best things in life really are free. And marketing your business online can be one of them. Make it manageable, strategic, measurable and remove what does't work or pay someone else (at the lowest and most quality for price) to do what you're not good at or has become tedious. Let’s find out how to advertise and market you online business for free. The trade off is time and effort, so to make expectations real clear before beginning, it's not really free but let's call it advertising and marketing online without paying cash!

If you're just starting out it really is better to use non-paid methods because you learn the framework of how things are done and this helps build the solid foundation for your business you need.

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Content Rundown

  • WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO CONNECT WITH
  • GETTING A BLUEPRINT IN ORDER
  • SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR PRIVATE BUSINESS PURPOSES
    • The main site you're leading your audience to
    • Learn all the options for effective Twittering
  • TRADING
    • Blogging as a Guest
    • Exchanging articles
    • Exchanging links
  • HUBPAGES
  • GET YOUR ARTICLES IN THE FREE DIRECTORIES
  • OTHER WAYS
  • DO NOT DO
  • CLOSURE

WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO CONNECT WITH

Before you start marketing your online or private businesses in the ways we are going to discuss, you need to think about who your target audience is. There are lots of ways to market your business for free, but depending on your audience you may not need to use all of them. Or you may need to choose the right sites or platforms that correspond to the location of your who you're attempting to connect with.

For example, if you have a product that is aimed at retired people, the chances are you won’t find too many of them on social networking sites. Always know exactly who you are trying to reach from the outset; that way you won’t waste any time using methods that aren’t going to give you a good enough return.

A small amount of time spent figuring out who you are looking for and where you are likely to find them will pay huge dividends later on. So with that said, let’s move on to the next step you need to work on.

GETTING A BLUEPRINT IN ORDER

When an online marketer is investing money in a marketing campaign, they tend to put a lot of effort into it, even paying for market research and specific suggestions on actions to take. After all, they want to be sure they are going to see a good return on their investment.

But when it comes to marketing a business online for free, some people just don’t put enough effort into it. It’s understandable – after all, you aren’t putting any cash on the line so it doesn’t really matter if you do something and it doesn’t work. It also doesn’t matter if you forget to do something or you skip a stage when you are too busy with other things.

But don't get caught thinking like this, or make sure you shape up. You need to think differently. You need to take the same professional approach to a free marketing campaign as you would if it was going to cost you $10,000 (which many pro could spend in week or a day). Not only will you learn a lot by doing this, but your business will thank you for it too.

So start mapping out what you're aiming to achieve and the “doable” tasks that you'll act on with your free marketing efforts. Start thinking about how you could develop your business in this way. And as you read through the rest of this content, you'll soon find yourself starting to come up with fresh ideas and blueprints that could make you a decent amount of money in the weeks and months to come.

Don't get cluttered, stay focused on your training (if it's good thorough training) and keep doing effective tasks over and over daily. I repeat, don't let yourself get cluttered by too many ideas. If you do come up with new ideas write them in a journal then “close it” it for later!

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SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR PRIVATE BUSINESS PURPOSES

It’s not supposed to be done, and if you read the conditions of using most of these sites you will see that they frown on the idea of businesses using them for their own ends. But also consider this, many of them have advertising plans, so the marketing and promotion must begin somewhere and for us it's while using our general account on that network.

They are free (for the most part, at least, and certainly for our purposes) and they are easily able to accommodate people who have an interest in a specific subject and want to share that with like minded people.

So for example, you might have a website that regularly sells USB gadgets. And of course you would be fascinated by all the different USB gadgets that are on the market, wouldn’t you? So why not share your thoughts and knowledge with all the other people out there who like the same things and have a growing selection of them themselves?

You will be able to have a link to your website on most social networking sites – in fact they usually have a specific place where they ask you to type in the URL if you have one! That’s fine by them – but what they don’t like is blatant advertising and spamming. One of the best things to do if you promote anywhere else other than the specific place for your website url, is give something away for free. Link away from the social network to a blog or landing page that has a free offer.

All you are going to do is share your fascinations, interests and free things with people. They will naturally follow you onto your website anyway, so you won’t even need to try and sell to them.

Can you see how effective these social networking sites can be for finding potential new customers? Lots of businesses do this and it doesn’t cost you anything to get it started. You do need to invest some time and effort into to get the best results though, and this is where planning ahead really helps. Remember what I just mentioned about planning your free marketing efforts? This is exactly what I am talking about. You can put in just a few minutes a day on this, so we’re not talking about taking on a full time task here. This should be one of just 5-10 things a day you do. You need to be doing this regularly so that people will come to realize you are around on a regular basis. When they realize you're consistently around, they will be more likely to follow you and what you have to say – and that can be a very important step towards turning them into a future customer.

The main site you're leading the audience to

This is another example of why it is worth spending that little bit more of your time thinking about how you are going to proceed with your free marketing plans. Ask yourself this question. When you think about social networking sites, what is the first one that comes to mind?

Now unless you already happen to be using another one, I can virtually guarantee that your answer will be either Facebook or Twitter! That’s understandable, because these are the main two contenders that everyone knows about. More recently Instagram, Pinterest or even Tic Tok (check them out if you have not already).

Though Facebook and Twitter are the primary social networks online businesses engage with others on doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be the ones that are ideal for finding your audience. So investigate ALL the possibilities before diving in, and don’t spread yourself too thin either. You are always going to be better off concentrating on using just one or two sites and really making a mark there, at least to begin with. And remember there's enough other tasks you should be doing outside social media marketing.

Learn all the options for effective Twittering

Using twitter is a main tool for free marketing and advertising online, so before we move on I just want to mention a few things about it. You only have 140 characters in which to communicate with anyone reading your page, so you have to be brief. That’s why it is so easy to fit into your day, no matter how busy you are.

Just launched another new gadget?… Tell everyone on Twitter about it. Just added a new page of products to your website?… Make sure everyone knows. – It's that simple!

You can see the possibilities here, and once again if you put a little regular effort in and tweet your updates every day or so, you will get a merry band of followers who will also check out your website to see what else you are up to. Job done, and no cost involved. Perfect!

TRADING

This is another free technique you can use to help you enhance your marketing efforts. A lot of people simply overlook this one, because it is not perhaps one of the most obvious ways to go about things, and it does take a little more work. It also relies on making connections with other marketers online, and some people don’t appear to like doing this.

But don’t knock it! A lot of associations with other marketers can really help advance both your and their business in the long run. So look at this as a long term venture that will help you to promote your business for free AND find a whole new audience in the process.

How does this work? Well, there are a number of ways you can do it, but basically the idea is that you exchange services with another person who is in a similar business to you.

Now I know you are thinking that means talking to your competition, but if you do it right they could become a valuable “ally” instead. Let’s check out the various ways you can make this happen.

Blogging as a Guest

If you have a blog that you use to help you promote your business and find new customers, see how many other marketers you can find in the same business who also have one. Make sure you pick those whose blogs are of a standard that is at least equal to yours – one that you would be happy to see a post of yours on.

The thing is, as you know yourself, writing a blog constantly can be tricky at times. You may run out of ideas here and there. You may struggle from time to time to keep it looking and feeling fresh.

NOTE: You can hire writers once a week or once a month to create blog posts for you. They range in quality.

But anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to get an injection of knowledge and advice that is somewhat different to your usual mix? And who better to ask for such an insight than a fellow marketer in the same arena to the one you're making your money in? They will have the exposure they need as well!

What you need to do is approach them and ask them whether they would be willing to write a guest blog post for your blog. Make sure you confirm that in return you would write one for their blog, and you could both link back to your own websites at the foot of the post. Another benefit is using links in the posts that lead to offers.

This gets both of you free publicity for your businesses; and of course it also means you can tap into an established audience that won’t be exactly the same as the one you already promote to. Let’s suppose for example that you both have a visitor rate of, say, five thousand people a day to your blogs. That’s 35,000 a week. Now there is no way that you are both going to be reaching the exact same five thousand people every day. So there is a chance that you could as much as double your reach just by writing a blog post for someone else. This is of course on high end when it comes traffic, but a good SEO optimized blog can reach these limits and more!

And of course, you don’t only expand your connections to other marketers online and open up the possibility of more free marketing chances later on down the line. You can also write for each other’s blogs once a week or once a month if you wish. This turns a one off freebie into an ongoing event that really builds up your marketing efforts and doesn’t cost a cent in the process. This does take quite a bit of hard work, but again, it is doable.

Exchanging articles

This is basically the same as the blogging opportunity. Some websites have room for articles on topics that are related to the main subject matter. This may not be a regular item like a blog post would be, but you can still approach the site owner with a similar proposal.

And of course the articles would remain on the site for the possibly the life of the website too. This means that half an hour spent writing a 500 word piece to go on a website would get you a steady stream of traffic for the foreseeable future.

Exchanging links

If you’re not that keen or confident about your writing skills, don’t worry. You can still approach other people with similar websites or blogs and ask them if they would be prepared to enter into a link exchange agreement with you.

You provide a link back to their website (together with a one or two sentence review or description about it) and in return they do the same for you. If you do this with several other websites and/or companies, you can create a “and be sure to check these other sources” page on your own site which contains all these recommendations.

This has a couple of advantages. Firstly you will increase the number of places that could lead to your site being found by new visitors. But secondly and most importantly, quality links which lead back to your own website will help your search engine rankings. These are called “backlinks”.

If you are struggling to rank highly in the search engines, this will definitely be of use to you. A better search engine ranking will of course lead to more visitors and hopefully more sales. All this happens because you asked for a few reciprocal links – all completely free of charge.

Who said that anything worth getting was worth paying for? As you can see, it doesn’t always ring true when it comes to online marketing.

HUBPAGES

With Hubpages you may think of each separate hub as being more like an article. Check out the different hubs that are already on the site and you will see what I mean. They are very well formatted and written. If you're not a good writer, again, you can hire a writer and post to Hubpages. It's a powerful publishing platform for exposure.

You can add your website address to each hub in the upper right info section however; just make sure you don’t tout things for sale or really promote your business in any heavy way in the articles.

So how would you go about creating free traffic streams to your website on this Hubpages?

Well, the best thing to do is to think about the different aspects of your business. So for example, think about those USB gadgets. You could write about all the different people who buy them. You could write a separate article about each one (something along the lines of “why buy a USB massager?” perhaps). You could even write about unusual stories or incidents that have occurred as a result of owning a USB gadget.

And here’s an idea – how about creating some USB gadget ideas of your own? That one would no doubt tap into just the right audience, and you may win a few extra fans along the way if you pick hilarious or out of the ordinary ideas!

You could soon have plenty of hubs up and running – and the more you have, the more of a chance there is of someone finding them… and you… and your business, as a result.

GET YOUR ARTICLES IN THE FREE DIRECTORIES

Any internet marketer worth their salt will have heard of Ezine Articles. But this isn’t the only article directory out there and if you devote some time to writing a few articles about various aspects of your line of work, then you can submit them to the directories on a regular basis.

Once again this does take work, but you will have an ever increasing number of links out there that are going back to your website. What’s more, each article represents a chance to get someone else interested in what your business is all about. The best way to do this is hire lower quality writers to write unique articles (you always want unique whether they're low or high quality pieces of content for whatever reason) then use a software or outsource someone to post to all the directories. I'll mention this right quick as well, outsource the writing and distribution of press releases. This tops articles directories.

Also the same rule which applies to Hubpages applies here too. Make sure you don’t promote your business at all in a salesy way while you are writing your articles. There is plenty of opportunity for that afterwards, when you are giving people the link to your website. After you get them to your site you can soft-sell with landing pages or free offers. The main place the link to your website will appear the most is at the foot of the article, and you only need to check out some of the thousands of other articles that are on these sites to see how it is done.

OTHER WAYS

There is no doubt that the above methods will get your free online marketing campaign off to a roaring start.

But there are other things that you can do to promote your website or business, so make sure you don’t just stick to the above. We’re going to take a look at a few of these other methods now, before looking at a few things you may have considered that aren’t always such a good idea.

One of the methods I haven’t mentioned yet is advertised via classified ads. There are plenty of websites online that allow you to publish a simple lineage ad free of charge. Most of them are split into categories so you are able to put your own ad in just the right place. You can do search for “classified ad swipes” to find examples to model your ads after.

The only problem with some classified ad sites is that you don’t have any real idea of how well your efforts are doing. One way to combat this is by setting up a special web page on your website (so it won’t cost you any money) and directing all readers of that particular advert to that web page. That way you’ll know whether the ad is working or not. You can also link tracking but that will require another program in which you'll have to overcome another learning curve.

I mentioned this above, another good method that can help you is to write the occasional press release that you can have distributed free of charge. You won’t be able to do this all the time, but whenever you have a new product to sell or something new to tell your visitors, then a press release can get you that extra bit of attention and another stream of visitors.

If you go via this route simply search for free press release companies in the search engines. Most of them will also happily supply you with information and advice on how to write a release that will actually be read by other people. I wanted to make sure you knew these extra little details about press releases. Last detail, help a reporter out “HARO” is kinda like press releases and should be looked into as well.

A third method that helps your website to be seen more readily is simply to submit your site to as many search engines as you can. It is a little time consuming but it might mean your website gets listed and seen sooner than it would be otherwise. This really applies more to new sites rather than old ones that have already been around for a while. If you search you might find a service that does this for free just for signing up at their site.

DO NOT DO

You might be tempted to try any number of free ways to get more attention and more traffic to your website. That’s understandable – after all you want to make sure that your website is seen by the right target audience.

But don’t let that tempt you into trying anything and everything without considering the consequences first.

For example, link farms are a definite no no! They basically exist just to provide links to peoples’ websites, and Google has taken to frowning on them as a result. It's trade you don't want to make. The only way they work is by those go there post links, that's only traffic they get. That means you won’t get any benefit from being listed with any of these link farms, and you will do your website some damage as well, as far as its reputation is concerned.

Another method that a lot of new internet marketers do involves traffic exchanges. Now I am not dismissing these entirely, but you need to know exactly why you are using them if you want to go down this route. Don't stay longer than you should and don't get caught signing up for everything you see while surfing.

A lot of people put their website home page address on there and surf for hours to get credits. These credits are then turned into visitors to your own website. But how many of those visitors have any interest in what you are showing them? In truth, the only reason they are looking at your website is because they want to view sites in order to earn credits and get their own websites seen. Along with I stated above, the main way to use the traffic exchanges is to have a really, really, really juicy free offer on a landing page that converts and gets email addresses or messenger signups.

Do you see how it works? You might be getting visitors, but most of the time they probably won’t be the people you want.

The only people who really use these sites are other online marketers. That means that unless you have something that is relevant to that market, you are better off devoting your time to some of the methods I have shown you above. It can take quite a while earning enough credits to really make a difference to your traffic levels anyway. Once they run out, you're back to square one again, with no traffic at all.

This is very different to the other methods you now know about, such as creating pages on Hubpages, writing article, press releases, and using those social networking sites. Once you have put these into motion you can reap the rewards from them even when you aren’t actively working at developing them any further.

All the methods I have shown you can be targeted to your specific audience. There is no point going for free marketing opportunities online that send your message out to the world at large. You might reach a lot of people – but a lot of those people simply won’t be interested in what you have to tell them. So always make sure you evaluate any future free marketing opportunity you come across before you dive in. Also avoid traffic deals like ad blasters and places that claim they'll get your site seen by hundreds of thousands of people or even millions of people a day or week.

CLOSURE

You are now in a position to drive your online business forward and reach even more people than you ever thought possible. The great thing is that you won’t have to spend a single cent to do any of it.

All you need to put into this is time and effort as stated in the beginning. Those Hubpages won’t create themselves, but they will reward you with traffic once you have got them going. The same goes for articles and guest blog posts. All it takes is half an hour to an hour or two at the most here and there and you have something that will send you traffic for the foreseeable future and beyond.

I want to mention this lastly, use bookmarks to organize sites you're using and save copies of your articles, blog posts and pretty much everything you're posting online. Even keep copies of email messages you send out once you start email marketing.

So take some time to plan and write down how you would like to promote your business. Generate some fresh ideas and then go about finding the people who would be interested in hearing about it. Remember that not everything takes a huge (or even small) amount of money to get started.

Get things rolling! – I would say “good luck”! But I don't believe in it…

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