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SOME FRESH AND SOME NOT-SO-FRESH MARKETING IDEAS
by: Cary Christian


Marketing your business online is getting tougher by the day. Email marketing is becoming more and more difficult, even when you have a large opt-in list to market to. The problem is that people are being bombarded by so much email they never asked for. The email address harvesters are working overtime and are on the verge of killing off email marketing for good.

I believe it's time to start concentrating heavily on increasing traffic to your website in creative new ways . . . and time to seriously revisit some old standards. Let's start out by looking at a few new ideas.


A BETTER LINKING STRATEGY

If you've been reading this newsletter for awhile you know that swapping links with other websites that are similar to your own can generate lots of targeted traffic and help you rank better in the search engines. This technique is still very much worth using, but let's take it a step further.

Can you write? If you can't, can you get someone to write for you? I'm talking about a standard article, maybe 700 to 1,000 words in length, that relates to your website and is rich in keywords that apply to your site. Either write one or have it written, and then investigate the possibility of exchanging articles with similar websites instead of just links.

Links can be very effective, but let's face facts here. Many links pages contain so many links you're not likely to get a lot of traffic from them. You will get some traffic, and it will be excellent quality traffic, but your host is not going to be complaining about all the bandwidth you're using as a result of these links.

The article, on the other hand, will get noticed by those interested in your subject matter. You'll also get hits as a result of the other site's search engine positioning if your article is properly linked within the site. Ideally, the link to your "guest" article will be on a page that is ranked well on the search engines. In time, your article page may even get spidered by the search engines and rank well on its own. Of course, you'll need to do the same for the site you're exchanging with.

One other benefit is that you will also get a link back to your site from this article exchange. So you get the same results as a link exchange, only better.

Want a quick example? We have information on our site about accounting systems for small businesses. Let's say you sell accounting systems. You write an article for me about tips and tricks on using an accounting system effectively. Your article links back to your sales page. I write an article for you on evaluating accounting systems. My article links back to our sales page for our book on accounting software selection.

Our products are complimentary and our articles each provide value to our visitors. It works well for both of us.


NICHE AGGREGATE SITES

These are sites that accumulate very narrowly focused links to sites that serve a specific niche market. Some of these sites become very popular and are able to charge for listings. If you operate in a niche market, you should check out these sites. Getting listed could generate a tremendous amount of traffic for you.

If you can't find a niche aggregate site for your niche, consider starting one. If you are the first to do so, you might find yourself a gold mine. These animals are coming on strong. Consider right away how they might figure into your marketing future.

How focused are these sites? How about a site dedicated to wine cellar software? Check it out here:
http://www.vinote.com/wine_software/wine_cellar_programs/

How about a site dedicated to cartoonists? Check it out here:
http://www.planetcartoonist.com/

When I say niche, I mean niche. For example, accounting software is not focused enough. How about accounting software for stores that sell toy trains or accounting software for beauty salons? That's focused!


SOME NOT-SO-FRESH MARKETING IDEAS YOU SHOULD NOT OVERLOOK


PAY-PER-CLICK ENGINES

You're probably getting tired of hearing about them. You know they're a favorite of mine. Use them. They work. When used properly they produce high-quality, prequalified, highly targeted visitors to your site at a very reasonable cost. Enough said.


SUBMIT TO THE SEARCH ENGINES THAT ARE STILL FREE

Yes, there are a few left. You can submit to these four in a matter of minutes:

1. All the Web - (Fast) Add URL page: http://www.alltheweb.com/add_url.php3

2. HotBot - Add URL page: http://hotbot.lycos.com/addurl.asp

3. AltaVista - Add URL page: http://addurl.altavista.com/addurl/new

4. Google - Add URL page: http://www.google.com/addurl.html

It may take a month or two to get listed, and there is a possibility you won't get listed, but it's free and can provide you with a lot of traffic for many years to come. It's the proverbial gift that keeps on giving.

And of course you should submit to DMOZ / The Active Directory Project. This will take more than a few minutes but it will get you into a lot of search engines. The add URL page is located here: http://dmoz.org/add.html

Marketing online is changing rapidly. Then again, that's the nature of and the beauty of the Internet. With every difficulty introduced by change, there are also opportunities for those who are able to adapt.


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