>>Would you mind giving me some marketing advice? Do you know of any ways to make my site stand out on the internet?
I received the above inquiry in my inbox.
Well, since these are sincere questions asked by many people I decided to answer here in my blog.
The short answer is promoting websites takes time, or money, or creativity.
Or all of the above.
Here are a few common approaches:
- Targeted online paid advertising (Google Adwords, FaceBook ads, etc)
- Social media marketing: Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, etc etc.
- Search engine optimization: on-site content and offsite content; news releases, article directories, etc etc.
- Traditional marketing: word of mouth, news releases/publicity, etc
The Free Approach
The more creative you are the less it costs to promote yourself and your business. Creative people seem to dominate marketing. It’s because they do things online and offline that cause word about them to go viral. Sometimes by accident, without even trying to go viral. Viral marketing means others are spending their time and energy to spread the word about you, instead of you doing the work yourself on your own time or your own dime.
For everyone else (me included) lots and lots of time is needed to promote anything using SEO and social media marketing approaches, or lots of money to buy automation tools—to save time. Time-saving online marketing automation costs thousands of dollars, not hundreds. I spoke about this in my earlier posting titled Can SEO Be Automated?
If you want to avoid spending money on advertising write articles online. Participate in relevant online discussions. Write a book. And do other things that don’t require money – like event speaking etc.
Investing In Your Company
If you don’t mind spending a little money, test online advertising.
I can give you a certificate for $100 in free ads on Google for each business if that is a way you’d like to go. The requirement is that you need to be new to Google Adwords and each business you must deposit $25 with Google.
So basically $125 in advertising costs you only $25 for each online biz. Done right you could get over 1,200 visitors to your site who are looking for what you are selling. Done wrong you could lose all of it.
Google gives away free money like this because they feel once you see how Adwords works you’ll be hooked to keep spending money with them. Their free $100 approach actually does work.
They are like a drug dealer saying, “the first one’s free.”
After that they own your butt :p
How To Get Started
I’m a Google Adwords Agent. In most cases agents do not make any money recommending Google ads to others. Not a penny. They make money advising, setting up, and monitoring ads for clients. All of which you can do yourself.But Adwords can be (is) tedious to get up to speed without wasting a ton of money trying to learn how to get visitors to your site. Is a doubly painful process if after spending all that time visitors fail to buy anything–the worst possible scenario when advertising :(
New to Google Adwords? Go to http://adwords.google.com/ to learn what Adwords is.
You create your ads
You create ads and choose keywords, which are words or phrases related to your business. Get keyword ideas
Your ads appear on Google
When people search on Google using one of your keywords, your ad may appear next to the search results. Now you’re advertising to an audience that’s already interested in you.
You attract customers
People can simply click your ad to make a purchase or learn more about you.
Avoid Paying The “Stupid” Tax
Google wants you to make money advertising with them. They know the more you make the more you will spend with them. And they know that if you lose money you won’t continue with them. So they give tons of free tools to test and make sure you are making not losing money. Few small business owners actually use those tools. Instead they pay Google’s “stupid tax.” i.e. they lose money for being too lazy to learn how to do things correctly.
As you make $$$, reinvest what you earned back into ads. Never spend more than you make. That’s what most people do. They lie to themselves saying they are buying ‘branding’. That’s dumb. They are just losing money. Fast. Instead, learn how to track, measure, and convert visitors into buying customers.
And never take much money out of your own pockets to test Adwords for the first time. Test using Google’s money :)
What You Need
If you plan to advertise you need a “real” website. Not one of those websites provided by a parent company to thousands of other people too. This is because you need to be able to place tracking code on the site to track what is working and what is not working. Knowing your stats allows you to change your ads and adjust for what is working and not working in real-time.
Unless you can track activity in your ads and your site you cannot avoid losing money when spending money on online ads. You must have your own website. Besides, Google does not allow more than one person to advertise the same site. You need your own website to advertise.
Owning your own site is cheap. You need a domain name of your own (www.your-domain.com). $9 a year to register a domain name (use godaddy.com).
You need a place to host your domain.Pay around $12 a month for Hostgator.com’s baby croc plan (unlimited number of domains supported).
Never ever use godaddy’s basic hosting services for a small business. Never never never!
I think the entry-level service is a rip off. For getting started only use their domain registration services [is what they are best at and are the most stable registrar I’ve ever used]. Say ‘no’ to everything else they try to sell you (except maybe privacy). Their basic hosting services are somewhat ‘crippled.’ They disable stuff that is otherwise free and then charge extra for those removed items. Stay away.
Stick with Hostgator.com for hosting.
Oh. I also have discounts for Hostgator hosting services. A few percentages of savings off $12 is negligible. Maybe a dollar a month or something like that. I can’t recall. I have to look it up. I’ll do so if you want the discount codes. Just send me an email via my ‘Contact” page. I’ll email the codes to you if you want a hosting discount.
Hopefully this is the advice you were looking for too.