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The Barter System - Overlooked and Underrated

By Sharifah Hardie
Posted Thursday, December 23, 2004

Looking at the benefits of the often underused and overloked barter system

The barter system is one of the most overlooked and underrated forms of site promotion available today. Bartering is one of the fastest ways to increase your traffic almost overnight. I am not referring to bogus traffic that looks great on your web site statistics but doesn’t actually return any orders, subscribers or anything of use. I mean actual legitimate traffic that will increase your exposure and sales.

For the purpose of this article we are referring to the barter system as an agreement between business owners to give something in exchange for receiving something else. For example: One business owner may sale ebook creation software and another may own a start page exchange. Now you may think these businesses are so vast and so different they have nothing in common. However, in taking a closer look we see they have a very important element in common; they are both in need of exposure. What business isn’t? From the Microsoft’s or McDonald’s of the world to the small Mom and Pop stores, exposure is the difference between success and failure.

There are many business owners who are adamantly against bartering. They will tell you that it’s a waste of time. These are the business owners who already make enough money, don’t need any more traffic and aren’t willing to work together in order to get ahead. If these things apply to you stop reading now. However, if you want to increase the amount of money you’re currently making, increase your traffic and wouldn’t mind helping someone else out in order to improve your own status, bartering is definitely the way to go.

What are the benefits of bartering?

No out of pocket cost to you
Increased exposure
Increased name recognition
Increased name recognition by association

What do we mean by increased name recognition and increased name recognition by association? Once you barter with a high profile business your name is going to be seen more, remembered more and as a result recognized more by your target audience. The key to effective bartering is bartering with a company that is comparable with yours. If you own a shoe store bartering or doing a joint venture with a sock store would be the ultimate barter. You would recommend the sock store’s services in return for them recommending yours. I mean after all if you need socks, you’re going to need shoes. A Win/Win situation for everyone involved.

You also have increased name recognition by association because as the sock store is recommending your services the customers realize that if the sock store is willing to associate with your company you must be a wonderful company. Here’s another example. You have two newsletters with 5,000 subscribers each. Each newsletter agrees to barter with the other newsletter by sending an email to their subscriber list recommending the other newsletter. Each newsletter would send out an email stating, “If you love our XYZ newsletter, you’re going to love this newsletter full of Visit this address to subscribe.” It’s that simple, now both newsletters have increased their subscriber list almost instantly and the subscribers of each newsletter now have more useful information than before. Again, a Win/Win situation for everyone involved.

Now we know you’re asking; “How do I find business owners willing to barter with me?

A few suggestions:

Contact business owners you are already in contact with, your current pool. Think of business types that are comparable to yours and search for them in a search engine such as Google. Then visit the web site and contact the web site owner with an offer. Be very careful to make the offer personalized and specific to them. You don’t want to be accused of spam.

List on your web site you’re interested in barters

All of these techniques and more will work tremendously well if you keep in mind that every business owner is just like you in that they are looking to expand their exposure. If you can answer the all time, number one, most important question for a business owner, “What’s in it for me?” the likelihood of the business owner agreeing to barter with you increases tremendously. What do you have to lose but a little time and effort? The yes’s you receive will be worth the no’s. Just keep it up and remember those yes’s are exposure you would not have had. So get out there and ask for it.

About the Author
Sharifah A. Hardie Owner, Marketing Specialist, Home-Based Business Owner CritiqueMySite (


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