There is a big myth about online marketing, and that is internet advertising costs nothing. The fact of the matter is that all advertising costs something. However, one of the biggest advantages of advertising on the web is that you don’t necessarily have to pay with money; at least not to get started. Instead, you can pay with your time. This is great news because it means that virtually anybody can start a business if they can spare some extra time.
You need to consider several factors before deciding what’s best for you and your business. It will take you longer to build an income if you only use free advertising methods, so it’s a good idea to start reinvesting a portion of your initial earnings into paid options as soon as you can.
There are a lot of free ways to market your business online. Some of the better known ones include traffic exchanges, safelists, article marketing, social networking sites, forums and online classified ads. Here is a brief overview of each of these methods.
Traffic exchanges are where you visits a certain number of sites in exchange for people visiting your site. A typical ratio is where you need to visit three sites to get one visit back to yours. You will need to visit each site for about 20 seconds before it counts, but that means others have to visit your site for that amount of time as well. Safelists work in a similar manner, but you have to read email messages as opposed to viewing websites. So, the more sites you visit or emails you read, the more people you will have viewing yours.
Article marketing can be done with little or no internet advertising costs, depending on your ability as a writer. Here you simply write articles that are related to your business. You then submit these to various article directories, and include a link at the end of the article for readers to visit your site.
Social networking sites and forums put the power of communities to work for you. This takes time because you have to focus on building relationships with the people of each community. You have to be careful that you don’t use a “hard sell”, or you will just make people mad.
Online classified ads work just like putting an ad in the newspaper. You will be limited to how many words you can use, but that should help you in choosing your words more carefully. One of the downsides is that the free ads tend to move down the page quite quickly, so you will have to submit ads as often as each site allows. The other problem is that the only people who will be viewing your ad are people using the site themselves to advertise. For the most part, the average internet user will never visit a classified ad site.
Yes, internet advertising costs one way or the other. But if you’re just getting started, and don’t have any money to spend, then it’s good to know that there are plenty of options that only require an investment of your time.