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What are you promoting online?

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Yahoo!, E-lists or Free promotion?
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By Jim Daniels

Do you own a small or home based business? If so, the internet is the place to be! After all, I'm sure you've picked up a magazine recently and seen ads like this...

"Get your business in front of millions of customers! Advertise online and sell your products to the world!"

Hey, I'll be the first to tell you, it's true. You can get your business in front of millions of customers. You can sell to the world and make a great living. But, and this is a BIG but, you have to do it right.

For starters, you must steer clear of the big no-no's such as bulk email. Try it once and you'll find out why. The myriad of complaints you'll get will have you deleting that $400 bulk email program before you get a chance to learn how lousy it really is. Bulk email will damage your reputation faster than a fraud indictment in the real world. Bottom line, don't do it.

Okay, so exactly how does one go about "reaching the world" once connected to the internet? I thought you'd never ask...

This year alone, I've tried many online marketing methods. Hey, although there are plenty of experts online who know it all, I consider myself to be in the "still learning" stage. (That's right, even after three years of successful online marketing. I plan to be in this stage forever -- it keeps me trying hard and my business growing!)

Today I'd like to share the results of my recent efforts with you. Here's what I'll be reporting on:

1. My Yahoo! banner ad.
2. A recent "Joke-A-Day" email list sponsorship.
3. My most recent article release.

Note: One important fact in online advertising is your budget. If you're like me, and don't like to spend a lot of money on advertising, you are in luck! As you will see from the numbers below, the best results are sometimes earned with the tiniest of budgets. So, let's get on with it...


1. Yahoo!

Recently, I brushed the dust off my wallet and decided to buy some banner advertising at a major search engine. Why not go right to the top, I figured. I called Yahoo! and asked them what it would take to get a banner ad placed at their site. It was a breeze -- all I needed was a good banner and a minimum of a thousand bucks.

So, I spent a few hundred dollars having a couple nice rotating banners designed. Then, after speaking with their sales rep I settled on some keyword banner advertising. The banners ran for a month.

I was lucky enough to secure great keywords such as "home business", "business opportunities" and "online marketing" so when someone typed these keywords, my banner would pop up.

Cost: $1500

The results? After the campaign was over, I spoke to the sales rep and she said I had achieved a very good click-thru rate of about 8%. That is, for every thousand times my banner was displayed, I had about 80 people visit my site. Or, for the roughly 28,000 times my banner popped up, I achieved a total of just under 2300 visitors.

Now, since these stats were new to me, I did not have anything to compare them to. So, I did what any business owner would do. I added up my sales and the total of new gazette subscribers (possible future sales) this campaign brought me.

My monthly sales were up by about 7%, or $1200 -- just under the total I spent in the campaign. I also received about 220 new gazette subscribers who reported finding me through my Yahoo! banner. Naturally, many of these would result in sales eventually as well.

My rating on a scale from 1 to 5: (3.5)

Although I would do it again, I had expected a bit more action. It certainly wasn't a waste of money, but when I went a step further and figured out that I paid about 65 cents per visitor I didn't rush right out and renew. My suspicion is that "branding" would be the best type of campaign for this advertising medium. My business is a little too small for that.


2. "Joke-A-Day" email list sponsorship.

A month earlier, I had tried advertising in an email list called "Joke-A-Day" at www.jokeaday.com. Their daily email goes out to about 100,000 recipients, all of who have asked to be on their list. (no spam!)

Cost: I placed the following advertisement for around $100... (they've since gone up a bit.)

-----
EVER DREAM OF OWNING YOUR OWN HOME BUSINESS?

JDD Publishing has taught thousands how to do it online - they can teach you! Recently in publications by Inc. and PC Novice - Come see why...

http://www.bizweb2000.com

Can't get to the site? Sign up for their FREE weekly newsletter. It's full of internet marketing help and business classifieds! Mailto:freegazette@bizweb2000.com

-----

The results?

My sales for the week were up by about $300 -- well over the total I spent for the ad. I also received just under 100 new gazette subscribers who reported finding me through my jokeaday ad.

My rating on a scale from 1 to 5: (4)

I'll have to admit, going in I was a bit skeptical. After all, was this audience targeted enough? The answer was YES! I have since used their advertising twice and plan to continue advertising with them on a regular basis.


3. My article release.

On a regular basis I release articles to a list of my favorite ezine publishers. A recent article I released resulted in quite a bit of sales. The article first ran as a "tip of the week" segment in my weekly e-newsletter, the BizWeb E-Gazette. The article was called "Delete or Investigate." It was about how to get your email messages read instead of trashed.

Cost of this promotion: Free

The results from this particular article release?

44 publishers ran the article in their ezine and a few published it in their real world magazine. My website traffic for the 2 weeks following the release was up by 20% and my sales along with it. I also received over 250 new gazette subscribers each of these two weeks - an increase of about 35%. Many of these new subscribers will eventually become customers!

My rating on a scale from 1 to 5: (5)

This is my favorite online marketing method. Hey, I'm cheap, remember?

As my article runs in more ezines and magazines, more prospects will find my website and ezine. Therefore, it's hard to measure the exact results, but let's just say they were cost effective -- after all, I spent ZERO dollars!

Every month I now release one article that I feel would fit in well with other publications. Anyone can use this online marketing method. It's simple, you write a short article about your area of expertise and send it to ezine owners who publish related material. (Our private site members now have access to our database of 400+ezine publishers!) As a publisher myself, I'm always happy to receive submissions from authors.

I hope my results have enlightened you. I know first-hand that anyone can make a living online, even without a big budget. All it takes is effective marketing strategies and the willingness to try different things.

And remember, the best things in life are sometimes free -- even in the high-tech world of cybermarketing!

Webmasters/Ezine Publishers:
Free professional content - pre-licensed to you...

You are invited to use any or all of these internet marketing articles in your publication or website. The only requirement is the inclusion of the following, after each article...

* Article by Jim Daniels of JDD Publishing. Jim's site has helped 1000's of regular folks profit online. Visit http://bizweb2000.com for FREE "how-to" cybermarketing assistance, software, manuals, web services and more. No time to visit the site? Subscribe to their Free, weekly BizWeb E-Gazette: mailto:freegazette@bizweb2000.com

Note: If you are an associate publisher/reseller of our book, Insider Internet Marketing, feel free to change the URL in the above resource box to your associate publisher URL.


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