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Promoting Your eBusiness Without Breaking the Bank

By Kevin Noesner
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004

When you are starting a web-based company, there is no greater sign of accomplishment than watching your page counter start cranking. But how do you get it cranking when on a start-up's budget?

The secret is to market in stages.

If you can't afford a mass marketing campaign to get those hits rolling in, then there are a few tricks and secrets to getting enough traffic to get the ball rolling. First thing is to exhaust all free advertising avenues. Why pay for something you can get for free, right? Well, as with all things, you typically get what you pay for, so don't think that you can run your site on freebies alone.

Exchange links. Target websites in the same market, but are not in direct competition. Prepare banners of several sizes and background colors to accommodate your proposed web partners. You'll have more luck with the exchange if the website already contains banners or a links page. Don't expect a website to change their format just to accept your link. Focus on sites with moderate traffic that appear to have a bit of advertising on them. They'll be more likely to cooperate with an exchange.

Search engines. This is the #1 way that the public will find your site. Don't neglect the importance of search results. Be aware of the methods used by search engines. Something that may be helpful in your listing on one search engine may work against you on another. There are also several websites (such as ( that will add your site to multiple search engines simultaneously for free. Don't be impatient, though. Many search engines are over run with submissions, so getting a listing in 3 or 4 weeks is not uncommon.

Newsgroups. Find related newsgroups and get your name known. You can either do a post describing your sale items or services, or you can just be a newsgroup regular and become the resident expert.

Now that you are up and running, you should have enough traffic to financially support your next marketing wave.

Advertise on key websites. These are high traffic webpages that were out of reach for link exchanges; ones marketed towards the same consumers without being your competition.

Email ads. Be careful with this one. Out of the blue or "spam" email advertising can be very annoying to consumers and may backfire. Rather, find an email newsletter for your market and sponsor a few issues. Believe me, potential customers will be much more agreeable to an ad in their newsletter than spam in their inbox.

Time to crank up the marketing to a more traditional advertising media.

Magazines. There are really many similarities between advertising in magazines and web ads. Get exposure in magazines that reflect the interests of your potential customers, much like how you chose the right websites to advertise on. And eventhough it's tempting to use all the space, try not to cram a lot of information in a magazine ad. Rather, use an attention grabber that will persuade a reader to jump on your website for more information.

Radio. Radio advertising is really flexible since you can choose the amount of exposure that is right for you. If you are doubtful of its effectiveness, just sponsor a related local radio show. If this works out well, then you may want to have commercials cut, or sponsor a national show. Again, choosing the right show is of utmost importance. For example, if you website deals with finance, then sponsor a radio broadcast that deals with investments.

Television. Nothing quite gives an internet company instant prestige like a witty tv commercial. As with radio, you must select a proper time slot to maximize its effectiveness. Choose your target audience wisely and project a professional company image.

These are just a few suggestions to achieve .com success. Take these ideas and personalize them towards your own web-based business. There is no perfect formula that fits every market, however there are proven marketing methods. And remember that the web is still a relatively young form of media, so the sky really is the limit.

About the Author
Kevin Noesner is founder of, a company providing affordable rental property management software. For more information or a free copy of RentTracker Lite, go to: (


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