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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

FREE Advertising

Some say there is no such thing but there is. You can advertise your business and sales for free on several areas of the Internet.

Some examples of free advertising are message boards, top 100 lists, traffic exchanges, link exchanges, blogs, plug boards, social networks, and even your email.

Message Boards:
Message boards are great because not only do you post ads but you also get to know your target market. Building relationships is essential in online marketing. Because you are at somewhat of a disadvantage of not being able to show product up front, you need to find creative ways to work around this.

Here are a couple message boards to get you started:

Top 100 Lists:
Top 100 are great for page rank and getting web crawlers all over your site. The more your link is out there, the better. Many of those submitting to these lists also click on your site. These generate traffic that can result in sales or even team members. While many feel they are a waste of time, take advantage. These can be your best friend. The more people see your site, the more likely they are to remember it when it comes to shopping.

Here are a couple top 100 lists to get you started to get you started:

Traffic Exchanges:
I know some are not a fan of these and while they can be work to keep up with, these can be very rewarding. This is especially true when first starting out. The main thing is to get your name out there. These do just that. You may reach an audience you had no access to previously. I do recommend not signing up for several. Find a few that are recommended to you, have a professional appearance, and are targeting your needed audience. Example is if you are selling diapers, you do not want to get on an exchange that is geared towards techs or men. Periodically change your sites in these, stop and start your site in rotation (meaning only apply a certain amount of rotation credits and stop when these run out for a short time). While you want to get your name out there you do not want over kill. You can have the best site there is but if that is the only thing you see all day, every day, your audience is bored. Think about this when you are watching a show and the same commercial is played over and over again. Another great way to use a traffic exchange is they almost all have a chat or shout out box. Each day you log in to surf, post a quick blurb with your link or any specials you have going. You can also do this in the surf and chat sections.

Here are a couple traffic exchanges to get you started to get you started:

Link Exchange:
This can be the tricky one but can work very well. This is where you and another person place each other's link on your website. This is why this one can be tricky. If you do not have a website this is not able to be done. You can however setup a free website using hosts such as webs.com. While I don't recommend these for everyday business these are great for helping each other out and using these. Just make sure you site is not like everyone else, you are not filled with nothing but banners, and you offer some great information. Just links and banners will not work and most people will not click on them because of it. Use this valuable space properly. If you are selling an item, have a picture, and a pay button. Do not have your products set to take you off on another site. It defeats the purpose. If you do not wish to sell product, offer helpful tips, recipes, even a blog.

Social Networks:
Social networks are sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Cafemom, Tagged, and so forth. These can often be over used but the potential to use and how they are used are dramatically under used. These pages are there to be social not just one big advertisement. Gain friends and get to know them. Post the occasional ad but keep these fun. This is why many go wrong on these pages. They use them as ads and people get tired of them. Facebook allows you to create a page just for your business. In this case make it about your business. Many social networks allow creation of groups. Create groups. These can be groups for fans of your product, team members, or groups just to network with others in your niche. DO NOT directly sell products on these sites. Many times these are in direct violation. These are not for you to sell such as a shopping website. If you are caught or reported your page will be deleted and you may be banned. Nobody wants to do business with someone who cannot follow the rules.

Everyone has a blog these days. They go from personal to informational to advertisements. If you have a business, you need a blog. Post sales, teach people about your product, address a need and why your product satisfies this. Don't stop there. Post your tips as a mom balancing work and home. Post your own recipe that you have created and been serving to your family. Have a holiday coming up? Share why this holiday is special not just a holiday sale. Blogs are online journals. Use them as such.

Plug Boards:
These are a bit old school but still widely popular. Use them. These are more exposure for those not only visiting the plug boards but also visiting the site these are placed on. I personally recommend plug boards for 125x125 banners or 468x60 banners. These are more visible and more easily found. The smaller 88x31 will get your link out there but can often become lost in a sea of mini banners.

The last place your link should always be is your email signature. Many times people are clicking on these to see what you offer. This is traffic and traffic can equal sales and recruits. Your signature should always be attached to all outgoing emails no matter new or replies.

While these paid ads can be expensive, some papers offer free ad space when they need fillers. College papers are a great example of this. This may take some leg work but find all the papers available in your area including free papers and see who offers this.

City websites:
How many cities these days do not have a website. Many are offering free classifieds on their site. This is very useful. Not only are you getting the attention of locals but also those interested in visiting or relocating. This is a great place to post recruiting ads. Contact your local chamber of commerce to inquire about all websites available for your city. You will be surprised as there may be a few brand new sites who are needing exposure. This is when you can also give back. Get your ad space then pass out the new site.

This list is not all inclusive. These are just a jumping off point to show you free ads are possible. You have to look for the right spot. Just placing your website and ad anywhere will not cut it. Be selective and where your target audience will be exposed to what you have to offer.


Genesis said...

Hi Olivia,

I really enjoyed this article. The information is on target! Great Job. Thank you for sharing.

Best Regards,


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