While there's great potential for businesses of all sizes to profit from an online presence, the Internet can prove to be a very unproductive place, as far as getting your work done is concerned. During business hours we may surf to one site and spend half an hour or longer looking through its offerings.
Before you know it half the day has gone by and you have yet to begin your Web site promotion for the day. This article will focus on perhaps one of the most efficient and effective ways to harness the power of free advertising online.
What I don't recommend you do is spend your time on techniques such as blasting your link out to millions of "Free For All Pages" or to thousands of search engines and directories that no one has ever heard of let alone actually visited. Those are very unproductive and ineffective free advertising methods.
What you should be doing is spending about one hour per week writing an article related to your Web site's niche and field of expertise. Wait...I know you've probably heard this before. This article is not going to get too involved in the benefits of writing articles in order to obtain free advertising. Rather, it will highlight why this is a much more effective and productive way to spend your time than you probably first thought.
Let's say you spend just one hour per week to produce an article. Here's what you can do with it.
- Include your article in your own ezine (if you publish one) and send it out to your own subscribers. This has completed one of your important tasks for the week.
- Create a list of other ezine publishers who accept content related to your niche. Send your article to these publishers, making sure your resource box is attached. This will bring in new visitors to your Web site or new subscribers to your own ezine, depending upon what you've put in your resource box. If any publishers do run your article, you've just gained free advertising that would've otherwise cost you between $10 and $50 to obtain. That's your free ezine advertising taken care
of for the week.
- Send your article to offline publishers. These can include newspapers, magazines, trade journals, etc. Don't underestimate the free publicity that you will obtain through this form of off-line advertising. Just be sure to mention your site in your article or in your by-line, which as an author you're more than entitled too.
- Create a list of Web sites that post articles of other authors. You'll find many that do, as they like to update their content as much as possible. Then send your article to the respective webmasters for consideration. Ensure that you tell the Webmasters that you would like any hyperlinks you have in your resource box to remain active.
- Turn your article into an HTML page and upload it to your Web site. If you do this task on a weekly basis, you'll be adding fresh content to your site regularly and it'll encourage your visitors to return again and again. Remember that visitors are more likely to return to your Web site if you update its contents on a regular basis.
- Optimize your HTML page for search engine placement. Popular search engines (those that will bring in 90% of all your traffic) are beginning to ignore doorway pages generated with various software programs. If you've included targeted keywords throughout your article, both in the title of the article itself and in the first few paragraphs, you'll stand a very good chance of a high position. Also be sure to use the keyword and description "META Tags" emphasizing the same keywords. Then submit your new page to the major search engines. Notice in this article I have used the keyword phrase "free advertising" quite frequently and that's a phrase I will be targeting for the search engines.
- Update your contact lists. Once you've completed the above six tasks, now's the time to spend a while updating your contact lists. Look for more online and offline publishers who might be interested in your articles, and also spend some time searching for other submission sites that might accept your articles. Doing this additional task each week will help to increase your overall exposure as time progresses.
Now it would've probably taken you about an hour to produce your article. If it took a little while longer, don't fret -- you'll become much more efficient at performing this task if you do it on a weekly basis. You may have also spent another hour or two performing the above seven tasks. BUT, in that 2-3 hours you have taken care of your weekly ezine content, your free ezine advertising, your free offline advertising, free exposure on other Web sites, content building on your own Web site, and your search engine positioning.
If that's not three hours worth of highly productive work, then I'm not sure what is, especially considering this is all free advertising. Then when these tasks are done, you can spend the rest of your working week focusing on other areas of your Web site promotion.
Duncan Carver is the CEO of Internet Marketing Innovation Ltd., a company dedicated to providing innovative and affordable marketing solutions. Visit his Web site http://www.onlinemarketingtoday.com for hundreds of free articles and a FREE $29 Value eBook.