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Proven Blueprint to Profitable Online Business – Step 5

There are lots of different ways that you can send visitors to your webpage. Should you choose to use them, some of these strategies involve spending money (paid advertising in other words), and others would be free in monetary terms (they cost you time instead).

It all comes down to visitors…

While using paid advertising is undoubtedly the quickest way of bringing visitors to your site, it can also work out to be an extremely expensive business. For this reason, I would strongly recommend that at this stage, you use only free advertising and promotional resources.

Learn about paid advertising, but in the meantime, let’s start driving visitors to your Squidoo lens using only free promotional resources.

Before we do, there is one final thing to mention. The more effort you put into promoting your business, the more results (i.e. money) you will get out. Remembering that this is your business – be prepared to use every spare minute you have to promote it.

Find a forum…

Forums are websites where like-minded individuals come together to discuss, debate and generally shoot the breeze about their common interests. Consequently, no matter what market niche you are operating in, if you can find a forum or notice-board site that is focused on the same thing your recently developed site is focused on, then you have immediately found a group of people who are interested in what you have to say.

The first and perhaps most effective way of finding forums in your niche is to search Google using a search term something like ‘your subject + forum(s)’. The beauty of using this strategy is that because the Google search engine naturally sorts everything in order of popularity, you would know that any forum site that appeared in the number one Google slot is automatically the most popular forum in your niche.

Even if you think it unlikely that there will be a forum in your market niche; the chances are that there are many more than you imagine:

Forums Search

Just a simple Google search of this nature will turn up many sites where you can get involved with other people who are concerned about the problem around which you have just created your site:

Niche Forum Results

Every member of any relevant forum or notice-boards site that you can find is a potential customer for your business, but do not be tempted to dive straight into the deep end. You should take your time breaking yourself into the forum gently, reading and learning from other people before getting involved.

Nevertheless, you should start to get involved as quickly as you can, because this is how you start building a status and reputation in your niche. At the same time however, understand that within any forum community, there are members who have little knowledge, and there are members who are experts.

If you would not classify yourself as an expert, take a little time watching what happens in the forum so that you can work out who the experts are.

Once you are confident of your knowledge and your ability, start to get actively involved. When people pose questions that you can answer, do so. When you have questions, comments or suggestions of your own, start your own thread, because this will elicit responses and reactions from other members.

Becoming an active participant in the forums has two advantages, one clear while the other is perhaps less so…

Many forum sites allow you to create what is called a signature file, which is a short text description of and/or advertisement for your business (but do not make it a blatant plug, because that will not be accepted by most forums).

If you can use a signature file (I would recommend that you check before joining any particular forum site), this allows you to attach a short ‘info-ad’ to every posting that you make on that forum. Your promotional message is in front of other forum members every time you participate.

Perhaps even more importantly, however, participating in a forum allows you to establish your expert status. The importance of this should not be underestimated. If people believe that you are an expert (however accurate that assessment may be), they will follow what you say, and act upon your advice. Remembering that other forum members are superbly well targeted prospects for your business, this is an ideal situation to put yourself in.

So, find as many forum sites in your own niche as you can (also check Big-boards.com and forum showcase), and pick no more than half a dozen which are active and will allow you to add a signature file, before beginning to get involved as soon as possible. It is unlikely that you will see any immediate benefits, but it is equally likely that it should not take very long before the results start to become apparent.

Social sites for traffic and links…

Over the past couple of years, social bookmarking sites have become amongst the most popular sites on the net. Growing out of the original idea that it would be helpful if people could store their bookmarks from their computer externally so that they could access them from anywhere, social bookmarking sites are now hugely popular and represent extremely active communities.

The idea behind the social bookmarking site is very simple. When you find some content – it does not matter what kind of content is – it could be a video, and article, a news story or whatever – that you think is worth reading, you bookmark it to the social site of which you are a member.

However, when you add this bookmark, it is public, so that other members of the site can see it. You also have the ability to recommend it to other site members whom you suspect will enjoy it, from past experience.

If someone you pass this information on to in this way does indeed enjoy the content, then they might pass it on to someone else, and so the link is passed round, and everyone who enjoys it will ‘vote it up’.

If something you have published on your lens is of sufficient quality to become hugely popular, then it may well end up on the homepage of the site. If this is a leading social site, then you can expect to see a deluge of visitors thousands strong within 24-48 hours.

Although this traffic is going to be temporary, if you can only retain a small proportion of votes visitors as ‘regulars’, you have just given your business a significant boost.

Even if you do not manage to land on the homepage in this way, every piece of content that you successfully add to a social bookmarking site will create a link from that site to yours.

This is extremely important, because Google pays a great deal of attention to links when they are trying to assess how valuable your site is for search engine ranking purposes. The more important your site appears to be (judged by links), the better the search engine ranking of your site will be.

The only disadvantage of promoting your lens by submitting it to the major social bookmarking sites is that it is a time-consuming and somewhat tedious task.

It makes sense to take advantage of the free social bookmarking submission service offered by OnlyWire, that will submit your site details to 27 of the major social bookmarking sites. All that you have to do is log in to OnlyWire every time you add new information to your lens so that you can send details of your new post every time you make one.

This may send direct visitors to your site or it may not. Even if it doesn’t, however, it will be instrumental in ensuring that your lens will attain a high search results ranking, and that in itself guarantees additional traffic.

Articles marketing

Writing articles is a terrific way of generating a long-term flow of traffic to your site. It is also an easy way of promoting your business, and does not cost you anything.

The first thing that you need to do is write an article of 350 to 450 words, using a couple of keyword phrases from your list as the central ‘core’ of that article. Look for one keyword phrase that you would consider to be a primary keyword (i.e. one that Word Tracker indicates to be enjoying more than 30-40 searches a day) and one minor keyword phrase which only enjoys 10+ daily searches.

Use your primary keyword phrase in the title of your article and three or four times in the body text, with the secondary keyword phrase used once or twice as a maximum in the body text. Create a short summary of your article (two to three sentences is fine) and a list of keywords for that article.

Finally (and most importantly), write a short description or biography of what you do, focusing in particular on why anyone who reads your article should visit your site (because this article is going to be published externally).

In the description, include a couple of hyperlinks to your lens. The first of these hyperlinks can be the URL of the site, with the second link being the primary keyword phrase on which your article is focused. This is known as anchor text, and again, by using anchor text in this way, you’re helping the search engines by telling them exactly what your article is about.

After you have created a suitable description, it is ready for uploading to half a dozen of the major article directory sites, places where people can go to read articles submitted by regular internet users about almost any topic under the sun.

Many article directories are extremely popular, with the ones listed below being arguably the most popular.

What is inarguable is that the most popular article directory is EzineArticles, and they will only publish unique article materials.

Consequently, after you have opened a free account with each of these directory sites, you should upload your article to EzineArticles first and wait until they have published it. Once they have done so, only then should you submit the article to the rest of the directories in this list:

  • http://www.articlecity.com/article_submission.shtml
  • http://www.ideamarketers.com/
  • http://www.articledashboard.com/
  • http://searchwarp.com/

Incidentally, if you would like to know more about using articles to market your business and to leverage this particular promotional method, go to: elite article marketing tools.

It’s persistence that counts…

All of the free traffic generation strategies highlighted in this section of the report work extremely well, and continue to work for many thousands of new marketers as you read this.

However, if you do not see a sudden deluge of visitors arriving on your site the very first day you launch (use Google analytics to check), do not be too dispirited or downhearted. It does not mean that you have failed or that you have done anything wrong, because in some market niches, the fact is that it simply takes time.

Persistence is the key to success. Even if you’re not seeing the visitor numbers that you expected, keep creating new videos, writing new articles and never forget to submit details of what you have done to the social bookmarking sites every time you create any new materials.

The fact is, the more links and articles you have published, the more traffic you will eventually see. If you keep contributing to the forums in your market, you will become better known, and people will begin to trust your knowledge and experience more and more every day.

Do not allow yourself to go into this wearing blinkers. You are not going to become a millionaire overnight, because building any business takes time, effort, determination and (yes, that word again) persistence.

Also, understand that this is not an exhaustive list of every free traffic generation method available. While using these strategies, you should therefore be on the lookout for other ways of promoting your business that will not cost you any money, because there are plenty of them out there.

Conclusion

Building a successful online business is within the grasp and capability of ANYONE, irrespective of their educational background, past business experience or even the amount of money they have available to sink into it.

However, building a business of this nature is a step-by-step process, and it is not one that you can hurry along. Everything needs to be done in a logical progressive manner, and as long as you follow what you have read in this manual in the order that the information has been presented to you, this is exactly what you will be doing.

Remember that it is all about finding a market where people need information, establishing that there is money in that market, and then finding a product that matches people’s requirements.

After that, build a simple website that features your ‘take’ on the product you are promoting, and then finally, start sending as many visitors as you possibly can to that webpage. All the time, keep reading, keep educating yourself and look for ways that you can improve your business.

However, do not allow yourself to be distracted by what you read. There are thousands of successful internet marketing entrepreneurs, and every one of them has their own view of what kind of business is the most profitable. It is therefore easy to get distracted, to race off to try another different type of business even before you have given the business that you have already established a decent chance to succeed.

Once you have set up your business as highlighted in this report, focus on it and do not allow yourself to be distracted. Have a plan that is related to this business only, and stick to it. Rather than charging off in a completely different business direction because someone has suggested that that is where the money is, focus all of your efforts on making sure that you keep improving your own business, because that is how you increase your income.

Keep all of this in the forefront of your mind, keep pushing more and more promotional materials out there into the marketplace, and you will achieve everything that you want to achieve.

As I suggested right at the beginning, there is no secret or magic key to online success.


Follow what you read in this step-by-step guide, put it into practice every day, and your new online business will be successful.


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