Let's establish a highly noteworthy point from the get go, the same tactics that one would utilize in trying to promote your businsess/website what have you, in the "real-world", may not be your greatest means as to getting your name out there on the net. Focus on your business and invest in a search engine marketing company. Your marketing efforts are quite possibly the most important aspect of your success in the online business world. Either learn the craft or get someone that you can trust with a proven track record to manage this aspect of your business for you. The next critical element that goes hand-in-hand with marketing is generating publicity.
Publicity and marketing are at a crossroads, with both terms being close to synonymous. Initially, it would be wise to concentrate your efforts on the most effective, yet cheapest method(s) of publicity: press releases and media interview are a great place to begin. Why is this such a viable tool, you may ask. Think about it for just a moment, if you were to sing your praises, this suggests confidence, but when someone else speaks about the validity of you/your company/website, this is acknowledgement from a third party. It's that much easier to believe the claims of someone other than the figurehead of your web business when they speak highly of you. Make yourself known, local media outlets can create quite a buzz surrounding you and what you do. The amount of free exposure that you can gain as a result of utilizing these venues can be tremendous, if it is well targeted and executed. You may not be able to afford a full-page ad in a major magazine or newspaper. However, let the right person know about your story and that same publication will be all to happy to tell the world about you... and be darn sure that you give them your website url and/or your toll-free phone number. So take a little bit of time and bone up on how you can be a "media darling". Then you can focus on learning marketing. This is where most online business people should probably spend 80% of their time - not on all of the busywork that you can get someone else to do. The most fruitful use of your time is probably in marketing your business, not making webpage updates, writing articles, or even creating products. You can rather easily get freelancers to do this for you at reasonable rates, through places such as Elance.com, for example. At it's core, marketing is really nothing more than establishing the benefits of your products or services in a cost-effective and efficient manner to your "target audience". Conveying your point in a confident and concise manner while utlilizing tactics of persuasion is the most important goal to strive for in your marketing efforts.
Internet marketing is just an offshoot of marketing, and most of the principles are the same. The sooner you realized this, the better off you will be (and the more rapidly you will get there, too). Most Internet marketers who are struggling don't have a good grasp as to how to integrate some of the key general marketing principles into an online forum. Without website traffic, your website basically has the same results as a billboard on a highway that no one travels. It produces negligible results because no one sees it. So you do need to learn how to generate traffic. On a final note, know that none of these resources will instantaneously cause your business to skyrocket, it takes a little time, and more importantly, frequent and relevant investment. Put in the effort now, and you'll set the precedent for an excellent foundation with which to build your business upon.
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