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Advertising DOs and DONTs

From early on in my online career I realised that the fastest way to internet riches was to find a marketing concept that brought me profits and plough as much as I could into that resource, thus building my business and capital as I went. For those just beginning in home business marketing it would be prudent to start off with a very small investment (I started with around $30) and try to build from there. It would like to report that I was very wise after the first investment but the truth is that the illusion of easily gotten riches lured me into a spree of buying virtually every item of software/marketing resource that I happened to feast my eyes upon. Needless to say this is not the best way to go about building a successful online career but the experience and benefits I got from this initial burst of enthusiasm, in how not to go about targeted advertising, far outweighed the financial losses. I have spent money on most of what the web has to offer in terms of marketing and can now enlighten you on what to buy and what not to touch with a 12 ft barge pole. FFAs or Free For All link pages were once a useful free resource and could have provided at least a few hits per day given the right ad.

Today using the free version of these pages is all but useless and in my humble opinion a total waste of time. The vast majority of people submitting to these sites today are using automated submission software so human eyes WILL never see your ad and as far as I know Automatons (Robots to some people) DO NOT buy products;-) Paid or free safelists from my experience are just not worth the effort involved. The very fact that everyone posting to a safelist is not interested in the subject matter but in selling their own products gives us some idea on the ineffectiveness of this method.

Couple this with the time spent sorting through emails mostly for deletion you really could spend your time in more worthwhile marketing ventures. Moving up the ladder of effectiveness we have banner advertising. From my experience the best banner I was able to design brought me in a maximum of 2.8% click through rate and from what I hear this is a GREAT %. Most banners will only pull a 1% CTR. If you can find a company selling banner advertising cheap enough to bring you into the profit zone then certainly give it a bash.

Please remember though to track all your banner ads otherwise you will not know whether you are getting massive click throughs or none at all. If you are going to post to classified sites then opt for the free version. There is some good classified submission software out there and may be worth the investment. Again ALWAYS TRACK YOUR ADS.

Renting an email list is a good option and can bring you many hits to your product or affiliate site. Make sure that the list is optin only, meaning the people have requested to see your ad. There are many good reputable companies out there and if you are willing to pay sometimes high fees to rent a list, this can be a profitable venture. Search engine submission is definitely a worthwhile project and considering a good listing will bring you daily and continuing free traffic I suggest you spend a bit of time perfecting this method.

I use Web Position Gold software to automate my submissions and prepare my pages for submission. This cuts down in hours of work and I would certainly recommend any budding business owners to get a copy. I have also paid for a listing to Yahoo's directory. At $299 per year this may sound very expensive to some but the traffic I have gotten from this listing paid for the submission within a short period of time. Pay per click advertising is another good advertising resource to drive TARGETED traffic to your site.

First figure out how much you can afford to pay per visitor to your site. For instance if you make a sale every 100 visitors and your product costs $20 then if you paid 20 cents per visitor you would break even. The reality is of course that you can get visitors for much less than 20 cents and I have many keyword phrases that will send visitors to my site for 1 cent each. If you can find a few good keyword phrases at a profitable price then you will do well. Two good PPCSEs to start with and that I use are Overture and Findwhat. Ezine advertising is by far the best form of advertising and more importantly is reasonably priced.

From my own experience a solo or top spot ad are the most effective and will return more visitors for the price. For a good list of ezines The Directory of Ezines. A word of WARNING before closing this article: If you want to keep your business and your reputation intact then NEVER EVER use bulk email advertising. It just isn't worth the risk. The hassle that you will get from sending out unsolicited email to 1000s of untargeted prospects will bring your business down in the long run.

There are enough forms of advertising listed here to keep you going for a long time. Don't waste your time on unproductive and senseless SPAMMING. I wish you all the best in your efforts:-).

Mal Keenan is editor and publisher of Home Business Tips Newsletter and Forum.
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