Promotion

Article marketing is one of the oldest ways of driving traffic to a website. It’s in fact one of those few methods that works all the time as long as you know what you are doing. In reality, you are not going to get a huge boost of traffic from a single article. But if you keep at it and produce high quality, exciting articles on a consistent basis, there is no reason you can’t build a decent following online. Of course, when you write a decent article, you want to make sure you get as many eyeballs on it as you can. One way to do that is by taking advantage of premium article distribution services. These services let you submit your articles to top directories without having to create an account with each site. That not only saves you time but lets you get more out of your articles as well.

If you are planning to go beyond E-zineArticles and get more out of your existing articles, the following article distribution services are worth a try:

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My Article Network: is a hybrid article/blog system that can get you lots of back-links and traffic from the blog network that is My Article Network. Your articles are put on highly ranked websites in your niche, and you not only get relevant back-links, but a whole lot of targeted traffic. It gives you much more flexibility as far as your links and content are concerned in comparison to other article distribution services.

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Isnare.com:  a top article promotion service for small businesses that lets you get more exposure for your articles and increase traffic to your website in the process. Isnare is an article directory and an article submission service. You can submit your articles to up to 40,000 sites by using Isnare’s premium service. [click to continue…]

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Whether you are a small business owner hoping to go online or just starting your online business, you are going to need a website to succeed. Hosting a website is not too expensive these days, but having a website designed from ground up can be. That’s why smart small business owners rely on open source solutions such as WordPress to go live with their websites without breaking the bank. Premium WordPress themes make it easy to give a website a whole new look and feel without spending too much money. And if you need your site to look unique, you can always hire a designer to change things around. That won’t cost you as much as hiring someone to design a site from scratch.

If you are planning to launch multiple websites and need professional quality themes to give your sites the better chance to succeed, here are 5 WordPress theme membership clubs you should look at:

Templatic: a very powerful membership theme club for WordPress that gives you access to various professional looking themes to take your e-commerce business online or start your business blog.

WooThemes: WooThemes is one of the top premium theme clubs for WordPress. New themes come out on a regular basis, and the cost is not that high. Best of all, you get all you need to change these themes around to make them fit your needs. [click to continue…]

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Whether you are a blogger, a small business owner, or work for a start-up with a handful of products, you always want to give your visitors and customers a way to communicate with you and each other and share information. Forums have long been used by companies for support purposes. It’s so easy to address the concerns of your customers by putting up a forum and responding to their questions on a consistent basis. Best of all, there are plenty of open source forum software solutions that you can use to save money and get yourself a head start in the process.

If you are looking for a forum software that lets you start your own business forum and save time in the process, here are 4 forum scripts you should take a look at:

PHPBB: a free software solution that gives you the chance to build a killer forum without spending too much money. You can always enhance the functionality of this script and even get help.

vBulletin: one of the best forum software solutions on the market. It’s not a cheap solution and is designed for those who have a commercial forum in mind. Many top forums on the Internet are taking advantage of vBulletin as it’s secure and easily customizable. [click to continue…]

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In case you haven’t noticed, Facebook Ads is quickly becoming one of the best ways to promote your online business to a targeted set of Facebook users and get more exposure for your brand and your business. Facebook Ads has been around for a while but has recently gotten an upgrade to make it easier for business owners to create and manage their online campaigns. Facebook is the hottest social networking site around. Facebook Ads may not be Google Adwords yet, but it does give you yet another avenue to promote your business online and reach a more savvy set of prospects.

Facebook Ads provides you with a plenty of ways to better target your audience and get more exposure in front of the right audience. With that in mind, here are XXX ways to use Facebook Ads to drive targeted traffic to your website:

1. Destination URL: make sure you have proper tracking in place to see who’s coming to your website from where. Also, provide your targeted audience with an optimized landing page just for them. That should help improve your conversion rate as well.

2. Title: make sure your title is clear and magnetic enough to make people want to click on your ad. You can be a bit creative here but Facebook does have a set of strict rules, so you don’t want to get yourself banned here. To stay on the safe side, you can always talk about the value you provide in your title.

3. Body Text and Image: your body text needs to be compliant with Facebook policies. At the same time, make sure you convey what value you can provide to your visitors. An image can help you get more clicks and will set you apart from amateurs on Facebook. [click to continue…]

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Driving traffic to your online venture should be one of your top priorities. Your goal should be to get your conversion rates as high as feasible to make a profit with your business, but a conversion rate of 100% does not lead to a profitable business. In fact, any number like that probably means that you are not doing a good job driving enough traffic to your website. You can always try SEO and pay per click marketing to increase traffic to your business and generate leads, but what a lot of entrepreneurs are not paying attention to is the power of Facebook Ads. It’s true that being involved in Facebook and having your own fan page up and running can generate leads for you. But in order to really make it on Facebook, you’ve got to take a more aggressive approach. Facebook Ads is a very exciting ad system that lets you target Facebook users by their birthday, how they are interacting with your pages, their age, and even their marital status. These are all invaluable information that can help you reach a more targeted set of prospects.

There are many Facebook ad strategies that you can use to make money online, but you don’t have to be a genius to get started pushing your brand on Facebook. You do need to create a page for your business before getting started. A lot of entrepreneurs that are using Facebook only drive traffic to their own websites. But you should compare your conversions rates from your fan pages and your home page to find out which one is more suitable for Facebook traffic. Once you have done that, you are ready to take advantage of Facebook’s Ad system:

What I like about Facebook Ads is the fact that is very simple to use. So you don’t have to be genius to get started with it. You do want to take time to read the guidelines to find out what you can and can’t do on Facebook. The people behind this system are very strict, and they won’t hesitate to remove your ads if you are not compliant with their policies. You also want to test image ads versus text-only ads to figure out which works the best for your situation. [click to continue…]

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As someone who has been involved in the online marketing business for years, I hear from people who have started their iPhone development business from time to time and try to help them out get more traffic and sales. Developing a killer iPhone application may sound difficult, but promoting it could be even more troublesome for iPhone developers. A lot of these folks are not online marketing experts, so they find it difficult to figure out where to spend their effort on. After all, you only have 24 hours a day and limited resources when you start your venture, so you want to make sure you get the most out of each and every minute everyday. But there are a certain things every application developer can do to promote their apps more effectively and get free leads.

Online marketing may look complicated on the surface, but there are a lot of tactics that everyone can adopt to generate leads. Sure, there are more complicated strategies that are better left to professionals but creating a Twitter account, a YouTube video, or a Facebook fan page is not that difficult to do. If you are an application developer, here are 10 tactics you should adopt to push your app and generate more sales:

  • Video Review: creating a video review for your app can help others find out whether your app is worth trying. It’s easy to tell people what your app is capable of. But it’d be all more effective if you show people what your app can do in a video. You can even give applications away in return for video reviews. You should at least try to create a YouTube account and post a couple of videos from your app to show what your app can do. There are many other video sites that you can be on, so make sure you take advantage of what’s out there.
  • Lite Version: one of the best ways to show people what your app can do is by giving others the opportunity to test your app for themselves. That’s why it’s a great strategy to create a lite version of your app and give it away for free and encourage your lite users to make the move and buy the premium version.
  • Facebook Fan Page: one of the best ways to get connected with your fans and build a real community around your application. Don’t forget to register a catchy name for your Facebook page when it’s eligible.
  • Twitter: if you have an iPhone application that you are selling online, and you are not on Twitter, you are missing the boat. Twitter is a great community to find people who are interested in all kinds of products. Use Twitter search or these twitter tools to figure out who may be looking for your app.
  • FriendFeed: may not be as popular as Facebook and Twitter nowadays, but it certainly has a lot of potential and a bright future. You should take time to sign up for an account, connect with folks, join rooms, and be involved.
  • Ning: Ning is a cool web service that lets you create your own social community. If you have a niche app, why not create a social community around your niche and push your app that way. Ning doesn’t cost any money (unless you go with premium features) so it’s worth a try.
  • LinkedIn: now this is a bit more tricky to pull off, but you can always try to reach out to folks in your niche or industry on LinkedIn and either push your app or ask them to spread the word around. You do want look useful on LinkedIn. So don’t hesitate to post polls, ask questions, answer questions, and work on your profile.
  • Giveaways: once you have your social media accounts ready, you should try to make things interesting by giving away copies of your app to your followers and Facebook friends. Freebies are a great way to go viral, and people who win these competitions can help you spread the word around and gain more leads.
  • Bloggers: reaching out to top bloggers is an amazing way to drive lots of traffic to your app and make a killing on iTunes. If you happen to get featured on Engadget or any other top blog, you are going to get more traffic that you can handle. Don’t be afraid to reach top bloggers and ask for their reviews.
  • Press Releases: press releases can drive you lots of traffic if you play your cards right. Ask any search engine optimization professional, and he/she will tell you how important press releases are to their overall strategy in optimizing a site for search engines. Just choose keywords that can help you make sales and include them in your press release. It’s easier said than done, but there are plenty of sites that can show you how to go about writing a killer press release.

There you have it. You don’t have to be a genius to pull the above tactics off. These tactics, if implemented correctly, can get you a lot of traffic and sales. The first days of any venture can be difficult but once you tough them out and gain momentum, who knows where your business can take you.

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Whether you are an online business owner or own an offline local business, you can use the power of the Internet to your advantage to drive leads to your business and increase your profits. You can have the best local, national, or international product in the world. But if people don’t know about what you are offering, they are not going to come to you for your business. Every business owner wants more Internet traffic, but not everyone goes about getting online traffic the right way. There are thousands of ways to get traffic for your business. You just have to decide which traffic source matters to you the most, and whether it’s worth your effort to pursue non-traditional traffic generation sources.

If you are a business owner and looking for more traffic for your business, here are 25 ways you can go about increasing the size of your audience:

  1. SEO: search engine optimization is the cheapest way to get traffic. You got to have a search engine optimized website however (SEO resource).
  2. Pay per click: getting traffic from Google Adwords or Yahoo! search marketing is one of the best (but expensive) way to get traffic (resource).
  3. Twitter: is quickly becoming a great source of traffic for businesses.
  4. Facebook: another great social network to get traffic to your website.
  5. Social News Sites: sites such as Digg and Reddit can be effective traffic drivers as well (submission service).
  6. Directories: should be a part of your SEO efforts (submission service).
  7. Blogs: displaying your content on other blogs can help too (resource).
  8. Facebook Ads: you can advertise on Facebook to get more traffic as well (Fads)
  9. Article Marketing: pushing your products with articles can help too (EzineArticles).
  10. LinkedIn: a great way to reach to your target audience and gain their business.
  11. YouTube: doesn’t need any introduction. Great for going viral.
  12. StumbleUpon: advertising on StumbleUpon or just getting your site voted by the community can drive big traffic to your site.
  13. ClickRiver: advertising on Amazon can be another decent way of driving traffic (CR).
  14. Giveaways: giving away things is one of the best ways to go viral online (just give away an iPhone 3G S or another hot gadget).
  15. Free service: you can also put up your service up for grabs to go viral.
  16. Information: giving away information for free can help as well (e.g. reports).
  17. Newsletter: building a killer newsletter gives you access to targeted leads (Aweber).
  18. Podcast: what a better way to get some following going with a killer podcast.
  19. Video-cast: creating a video show on the web can help your business generate leads.
  20. Blog: still one of the best ways to drive traffic to your business. Easily set up your site with WordPress.
  21. iPhone: building an iPhone application for your business helps too.
  22. Offline Marketing: you can always give away business cards, brochures, pens, and … (offline marketing).
  23. Blog Comments: commenting on other blogs can build your traffic gradually.
  24. Forums: your signatures on niche forums can build your traffic gradually as well.
  25. Affiliate Program: creating your own affiliate program is another cool way to build traffic (idev).

Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this series for more specific ways to drive traffic to your business.

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I still remember the first time I signed up for PPC Classroom. It was an Internet marketing course that was designed to help newbie pay per click marketers increase their return on investments with their Adwords campaigns. What interested me the most about the program was not the content inside but the comprehensive launch plan set forth by the entrepreneurs behind this system. I admit that affiliate marketing was not only part of the equation but it was a big part of it. Launch Tree is a new course based on that very experience that shows you exactly how to use affiliate marketing to make lots of money fast.

Affiliate marketing may sound simple but it’s actually an art. Sure. You are giving folks a decent commission check to promote your product. But that doesn’t mean they would. Even if you are very successful with affiliate marketing, you may still be leaving money on the table. 90% off sales are made by 10% of affiliates. Reaching out to these affiliates won’t be easy. Top affiliate marketers are notorious for picking only high quality products to promote. So you want to position your product in a way that gives top affiliates the impression that your product is worth promoting. Not everyone’s going to get it right, but those who do get to make a lot of money. Here are a few ways to launch your product in the affiliate marketing channel like a pro:

  • Deals with Top Affiliates: top affiliates are special. Unfortunately for you, they know it too. It’s essential for you to reach out to these guys and offer them more money to promote your products. These guys often have large lists and a large following. Don’t underestimate their power.
  • Tools: don’t forget that the more your affiliate marketers deliver, the more money you make as well. Don’t be hesitant in giving them all the cool tools they need to become more productive. That includes providing your affiliates with ads, sample copies, e-mails, and …
  • Training: not all affiliate marketers are super affiliates. You can still make money by going to those regular affiliates. These folks are ready to learn new tricks so don’t hesitate to teach them how.
  • Content: creating new content to promote your product could be a hassle for a lot of affiliates. Put videos on YouTube and create sample blog posts to give your affiliates an idea how to promote your product.
  • Prizes: giving away cool gadgets to your affiliates to appreciate their performance can be a great way to skyrocket your sales. I have seen merchants that give motorcycles to their best affiliate. But they also offer smaller prizes to keep their smaller affiliates encouraged.
  • Cross-selling: affiliate marketers care a lot about the money that they’ll be paid. It’s always encouraging for affiliates to know they can earn more dollars if you manage to sell complimentary products in your back-end. It’s all about treating your affiliates as partners. They’ll appreciate it.
  • Leads: pay per action is a decent pay model, but the folks behind Launch Tree have had a lot of success with a hybrid model. They not only give prizes for qualified leads but also pay commission per each action.
  • Relationship: many large corporations treat their affiliates as secondary employees. You’ve got to treat your affiliates as your business partners. If you look out for them, they look out for you too.

As you can see, there is a lot of factors that you need to consider to launch a successful affiliate program. It’s not all about the money. Affiliates work hard, and they appreciate every little help that you give them. The folks behind PPC Classroom certainly got it! If you are interested to know more about how to launch your own successful business, you should check the videos on Launch Tree. It’s a case study on a project that generated millions of dollars in revenue. And you can bet affiliates played a big part in it!

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Choosing a domain name for your business is perhaps one of the most important decisions that you ever make for your business. A catchy domain name not only helps you with your branding efforts, but it could also help bring a lot of traffic to your site. That is why you shouldn’t take your eyes off the ball when it comes to choosing a domain name for your business. Domains  may be cheap but that doesn’t mean you should take them lightly.

Here are a few tips that you should keep in mind in order to register the perfect domain for your startup or small business:

  1. choose a clean domain name (no curse words)
  2. choose a meaningful domain name.
  3. go for a catchy domain (e.g. Digg, Treehugger, …)
  4. stick with a short domain. Long domains are harder to remember and inconvenient to type out.
  5. avoid using hyphens and numbers in your domain if possible.
  6. avoid using other companies’ trademarks in your domain (that includes YouTube too!).
  7. register all versions of your domain name.
  8. register sibling domains for your future business plans.
  9. do not register a .net domain without getting its .com version first.
  10. work with domain registrars with a good track record.
  11. do not choose a silly domain name, unless you are in the right niche.
  12. keep an eye out for your brand in other people’s domains.
  13. register your domain privately, if you are concerned about your privacy. Make sure you use a registrar that allows you to do this easily
  14. ask your domain registrar to lock your domain.

There you have it. Choosing a domain name doesn’t have to be difficult, but you need to pay attention to what your business goals are and who you can afford to work with. Here are a few websites that allow you to get ideas for your domain names:

  • http://www.dotomator.com/web20.html
  • http://www.webscriptlab.com/domainnamegenerator.php
  • http://www.hackslash.net/?page_id=48

I have personally worked with the following companies as they have the best prices and give you the best bang for your buck.

If you are looking for an affordable solution for your business domain needs, you can go wrong with the above companies.

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So you take time to write a business plan for your online business. You do presentations and get some funding and build a respectable business. You can do everything right and still not get enough traffic to your website. That could be extremely disheartening for an entrepreneur. You can have the best website in the world, but if you don’t let people know about it, you are not going to get any following going. No traffic, no sales, no money!

When you think about it, there are many ways to promote your online business. You can always use search engine optimization tactics to get ranked higher on top search engines such as Google. You can always buy advertising with Google Adwords and Yahoo! Search Marketing. And you can use social media services such as Twitter to let folks know about your business. But what folks don’t consider is the offline tactics that you can use to drive tons of traffic to your website.

It may sound unintuitive, but you can drive a ton of traffic to a website by using offline methods. It’s true that people spend hours online searching and finding things online. But what do you think they do when they are not online? They are probably outside working, taking a trip, going to an event, or just walking in the streets. Your goal as a business should be to get in front of these folks no matter what they are doing. Folks may not be ready to buy when they see your sign on the street, but they will remember your brand.

Here are a few ways you can go about promoting your business offline:

  • Post cards: you have probably gotten post cards from the companies that you have bought from before or those which you have never heard of before. The conversion rate may not be high with this method, but it’s a great brand method.
  • Business cards: business cards are no brainers. If you own a business, you’ve got to have your business cards. But you shouldn’t just keep them on your desk. I would recommend giving your business cards to anyone who may be interested in your service (and don’t forget to put your website on your business cards).
  • Pens: who doesn’t like free pens? You can give away free branded terms and get the word around about your business as a result.
  • Mugs: mugs, too, are very popular giveaway items. By putting your web-site’s information on your mug, you are going to get the word out about your business with the help of those who use them.
  • Car door magnets: do you drive a lot around your city or your country? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep promoting your business while you are driving? That’s exactly what you can do with car door magnets.
  • Notepads: have you wondered why some very successful companies giveaway notepads? It’s because they know the more you use it, the better chance they have of spreading the word around about their business. And these companies are very successful. Every small business can benefit from giving away things such as notebooks.
  • Flyers: flyers are no brainers. If you are a local business, you can get a lot of benefit from distributing flyers about your business (with your website information).
  • Lawn Signs: lawn signs can help you get traffic from the least expected sources. You can always ask your friends and family members to help you out there as well.
  • Rack cards: rack cards are another way of promoting your business offline. Depending on the nature of your business, you can attract new customers by using rack cards.
  • T-shirts: one of the best ways to get the word out about your brand. The more you giveaway, the more people will know about your brand.
  • Hats: just like T-shirts, hats are also hot giveaway items.
  • Key-chains: key-chains are also great for offline promotional campaigns. And they are very cheap.
  • Window Decals: another great way to get your business name and website in front of people.

These methods may not generate a ton of online traffic for you, but they do help you to spread the word around about your services and build a more visible brand. There are a ton of other ways you can promote your business offline. As long as you get your brand in front of people, you are giving yourself a chance of acquiring new customers. Be bold and think outside-the-box. Just make sure you don’t do anything to embarrass yourself and your business.

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