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A Beginner's Checklist to Promoting an Online Business (Part 2)

This week we continue with Part 2 of our 3-part series on
how to market your online business. Part 1 is available at .

As much as we all love free stuff, an Internet business is
still a business and you can reasonably expect to invest
in marketing. Fortunately, online marketing can be quite
affordable -- even to beginners on limited budgets. Here's
a quick list of some of the more popular paid methods for
small businesses.

PART 2: Effective Fee-Based Online Marketing Methods

1. Search engines. Web surfers typically use the large
search engines such as Google, MSN, and AOL to find
the information they want. If you can manage to get
a good ranking for some of your top key phrases, you
can get a steady stream of traffic. Expect to invest
funds for review/submissions, and possibly even for
hiring an optimization expert or for self-education.
A great site to learn about search engine optimization
is Search Engine Watch, .

2. Major indexes. Yahoo [ ] and Open
Directory [ ] are two of the best-
known indexes. Both of them can significantly increase
your link popularity, and provide you with additional
traffic. At the time of writing, Yahoo charges an annual
review fee for commercial websites. Submissions to Open
Directory are currently still free.

3. Pay-per-click search engines. With these search engines,
you literally pay a certain amount of money for every
click they send your way. The more you bid, the higher
you'll rank for your search term and the more visible
your link will be. The largest and most popular PPC SE
is Overture, A list of PPC SEs
is available from .

4. Ezine advertising. Although this takes a fair bit of
practice and experimentation, ezine advertising is
potentially one of the best and most profitable ways
to promote your business online. The editor has already
done the hard work of putting together a list of opt-in,
interested prospects; you just take advantage of it.
Search for complementary ezines at, or use the excellent
Lifestyles Publishing Directory of Ezines at .

5. Direct email campaign from a reputable list broker.
There are companies on the web that specialize in
building permission-based email lists, targeted to
each subscriber's area of interest. This is true
'opt-in', unlike the endless stream of spam email
that implores you to purchase '30 million addresses
for only $99!' True opt-in lists are not cheap by any
means, but they have the potential to yield great
results. Check out
as an example.

6. Press releases. Your newsworthy press release could
generate loads of free publicity for your business.
Invest some of your marketing funds in educating
yourself on how to generate publicity; an excellent
source of information is Paul Hartunian's website at .

7. Advertise on a targeted website. Find complementary
but non-competing sites and check their rates for
advertising. Banner ads are the most common type of
advertising permitted; however, they're usually not
very effective. Text ads or endorsements typically
perform better.

8. Mini-sites. These small sites (typically around 3 or
4 pages) are focused on selling one product. There's
usually no free content; just a sales letter, perhaps
a FAQ and some contact information. Mini-sites are an
excellent way to get your prospect to do just one thing,
whether that's order your product or sign up for your
newsletter. The costs to create a mini-site would
include domain name registration and hosting fees.

9. Experiment with some of the promotional services
offered online. The only way to know for sure whether
or not they'll work for you is to try them (and track
the results). Use discretion -- be careful not to
associate your business with promotion services that
are nothing but 'disguised' ways to spam! Before you
shell out the cash for these types of services, ask
around for first-hand experiences.

10. Hold a conference. A great credibility builder is to
offer a web or phone conference for your visitors.
Use it to offer helpful information -- for example,
you could open the conference to questions from the
audience -- and generate additional interest in your
product or service. Two sites that offer conference
services are and .

Don't be afraid to invest in marketing your online
business. Effective 'free' promotion is always wonderful,
but there are many equally effective paid methods that
can result in a great return on your investment. Be
sure to track the results for each method you use; that
way you'll be able to concentrate your efforts on those
methods that work best for *your* business.

Stay tuned next time for a checklist on promoting your
Internet business in the 'real world'!

About the Author


Angela is the editor of Online Business Basics, a practical
guide to building a business on a beginner's budget. It's
a proven hit with beginners, for the down-to-earth style
and loads of instantly useable tips! For details, visit
OR request a series of 10 free reports to get you started: