I have been in internet marketing for over ten years and have seen marketing techniques come and go.  Some are still around and some are new and innovative.  Below you will find what I believe to be the best and most effective online marketing techniques.

Article Marketing – Article marketing was and is one of the most powerful online marketing methods available.  Not only does it do wonders for you and your business, it is free as well!

Article marketing consists of writing helpful, informative, easy to understand articles that actually help your readers, not try to sell them something.  Then you submit them to article banks, directories and ezine publishers.  When your article runs in a popular ezine, it can do great things for your business.  Writing articles is not as hard as you might think so give it a try.  You will be delightfully surprised at how much it can affect your business.

Remember:

Don’t worry about fancy words.  People are looking for help, not big words.

Advertise in your resource box, not your article.

Provide real, helpful info and resources, hot hype!

Write from the heart!  Let your personality shine through in your articles.

Blogging – Blogging is a newer form of online marketing that just started becoming popular in the late 90’s.  Blog is short for weblog and means an online publication in the form of a log or journal.  Blogs can increase your customer base, your traffic and your search engine ranking, thus increasing your sales.

Blogging can be done for free through such sites as:
blogger.com
wordpress.com
and livejournal.com

Be sure and update your blog regularly; everyday would be best as people like fresh content, ideas and information.

Ezine Publishing – Ezine publishing has been around much longer than blogging and is far more effective, in my opinion.  Your ezine needs to contain helpful resources and information, not just sales pitches.  Develop a relationship with your readers.  Let them know they can trust you and rely on you when they need your help.

Things to remember when putting together your ezine:

Keep it clean and easy to read.
Limit your advertising and be selective.
Always provide quality content and information.
Add your personality so your readers can get to know you.
Always provide contact info and be accessible.
Be consistent; send your ezine regularly as scheduled.
Be sure and proofread before sending it out.

Online Networking – Online networking, as with offline networking, is very important to your business.  This is when you connect with as many people as possible to learn more and share more about your business.  Many leads can come from networking.  There are several ways to do this online.

Email Discussion Groups: Go to yahoogroups.com and search for appropriate groups.

Message Boards: Be sure and follow the rules for posting and offer your help as much as possible.

Social Sites: Such as MySpace.com, Ryze, Merchant Circle, etc.  These can be great ways to make more contacts and get leads.

Joint Ventures – This is when you enter into an agreement with another online marketer that will benefit both sides.

Examples of joint ventures:

Ezine Ad Swaps
eBook Ad Swaps
Subscription Page Ad Swaps
Affiliate Programs
Exchange Advertising for % of Sales

and the list goes on and on.  Be creative and come up with new ways you and your associates can help each other.

Podcasting – Podcasting is using digital media files which are distributed all over the internet via syndication feeds.  Podcasting is still a fairly new way of online marketing and has great potential.  Podcasting can be powerful because it uses voice not written words to get the message across.  Offer your articles, do voice interviews, offer a chapter in your ebook via podcast, etc.  Again, use your imagination to create new ways to spread the word about your business.

Ezine Advertising – Advertising your business, product, service, etc. in quality ezines can be well worth the money spent.  There are a few things you can to to help you choose which ezines to advertise in.

Do a search to find ezines that cater to your target market.  For example: if you are advertising kids’ books, you don’t want to advertise in an ezine about cars.

Once you find several targeted ezines, subscribe to them so you can look them over and see if the publisher is reliable in sending them out.  You can also look over the other ads and make sure the publisher is selective in their advertising.  You can possibly learn what the other readers think of the ezine as well.

Try contacting the publisher to see if they respond to your email.  Ask about testimonials from other advertisers.  Find out how many ads they run per issue and what the costs are.

You could also ask the publisher to do an ad swap to get an idea of what the response is like.  Be selective in your choices and always code your ads so you know which ezines actually deliver.

I hope this article has given you some insight as to how to market your home/online business.  I use several of these methods (and should be using the rest) and know from experience that they work!

The possibilities with the internet are endless and we need to keep up with new and innovative ways of marketing ourselves and our business.  And we need to keep using tried and true methods as well.

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