Make Money Online With a Website

Once you have your product and your site you need to tell people about it. There are many, many ways to do this - for free and for a price. Some of the best ways are in fact free so don't neccesarily equate price with value.

The first thing you must do is place your site in the Search Engines. There are actually two types of search engine, proper search engines themselves and directories. Some of the biggest names are actually directories, such as Yahoo. Others, like AltaVista, are search engines.

Because of the fall in advertising revenue for these sites it is an unfortunate fact that to get listed in big search engines you must now pay. It is up to you if you think it is worth the expense but a good listing in Yahoo can generate thousands of targeted visitors easily, while a paid-for listing in Overture (formerly GoTo) can place your site in the top of many directories. This is still the best "bang for your buck" available in online promotion. More on pay-per-click later.

There are also further complications in that many directories and engines source their results from other central servers. So for example Google's directory comes from the Open Directory Project, and Yahoo is now owned by Overture. Inktomi is another company that powers the likes of HotBot.

In essence you must submit your site to as many of the big directories and engines as you can. This means Google, Inktomi, DMOZ (the Open Directory Project), Yahoo, Overture, Excite, Lycos, AlltheWeb, AltaVista, AOL Netfind and MSN. You have to pay for some of these. As for your ranking it depends on the many arcane laws of the engines and they change frequently. Google lists you according to how many other sites link to you among other things, others list according to the density of keywords in your text or how long your site has been active.

To give you all the information needed on Search Engines would take another site. I recommend that you visit some of the sites listed in our Links section. It is far to easy to let all your energy be consumed by trying to get that top site listing. Just make sure your site is finished, that you submit it to the correct category, that you include contact details and that it is professional. There is some software that may be useful, such as Web Position Gold. In fact, this is one of the only web positioning packages that consistently get rave reviews!

To enable your site to be listed correctly you have to set `Metatags` in your source. If you are using a HTML editor there may be an option to do this or you may have to insert it manually. To do this use the <META NAME="keywords"> and the <META NAME="description"> tags. Put these in the <HEAD> section of your webpage. The format is <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="put keywords here"> and <META NAME="description" CONTENT="put description here">. There is a good meta-tag guide at Jim Tools. In essence don't repeat any keyword too often (keep it to three times) and make sure that the keywords you use appear in the main text, especially heading text and title text.

As I mentioned earlier Search Engines are a subject in themselves. If you want to learn more I recommend you take a look at the Search-Engine Report, an excellent e-book on the subject that will teach you the insider secrets to generating top places. You can also pay dedicated companies who will keep you at the top of your chosen search terms - but if you use automated software and learn the subject thoroughly then that is money best spent on other things.

There are a lot of other ways to promote your site or list. We'll discuss some of the more popular soon. There is one last thing you need to do BEFORE you run any ads or promotion campaings - track your visitors. That is, you need to know how many visitors each page gets and where they come from. Without this information how do you know what forms of promotion you are using actually work? Read tracking for more information on this.

Banners: These have dropped in popularity as web surfers mentally filter them out. Some new tricks include disguising your banner as actual text, with perhaps windows-like buttons and drop-down menus as pictures. You can pay for banner exposure or you can join banner exchanges which will show your banner for every 2 or 3 times you show another.

Place your banner into programs such as Banners Go MLM.

FFA Pages: The consensus is they are not worth it. Some sites STILL recommend them and some auto-posting programs will still send your ad to them. Hardly anyone reads them. They are only used to increase your link popularity. It can be beneficial to run your own FFA page if you can get people to post to it as you get their emails and can send them messages - known as Reverse Advertising. If you still insist on using one try ours here to get a feel for it.

Classified pages are similar to FFA pages but you get to post a full ad rather than just a link. Again, bulk posting and spamming are the norm here but at least it costs nothing. A well written ad can still get some replies. Try ours at this link.

Pay Per Click Directories: Many larger directories now use this model, with Overture being the originator. In their model you can bid for keywords and every time someone clicks on your keyword you are charged the bid amount. If you have the highest bid you are listed first. This can be extremely lucrative, but high bids on certain keywords could be out of your reach. You really need to know your cost per visitor, so if each visitor makes you an average of $1 you can safely bid up to that amount. You need to know how many of your visitors buy from you (say 5%) and how much profit each they make (say $20) to work this out. In our example 1000 visitors will cost you $1000 and they will make you $1000 so you'll only break even. In this case you'd try bidding at about $0.8 to make a profit of $200 per 1000 visitors.

Google is now a big player in the paid advertising market with their Google Adwords. This is the ONLY PLACE you can start a campaign and begin to receive hits and sales almost immediately. Google uses many different methods to ensure you only pay what you are willing to pay and get the best position for your money. Google Cash is well received book by Chris Carpenter that explains everything in detail.

Special Offer: Click here for free credit in Overture!

Also visit PayPerClickSearchEngines.Com for more help on this kind of promotion.

An interesting twist on the pay-per-click engine is to bid miniscule amounts on a lot of underused search terms. This way you'll get cheap semi-targeted hits. Your link will get listed in unrelated searches, or perhaps in slighly-related searches, but if the visitor actually clicks then he was interested in that link and you'll get charged a tiny amount.

Traffic Exchanges: These are a variation on the old banner exchanges, and invaribly take the form of a pop window of some kind. Every visitor to your site will generate a visitor to another, and vice versa. These visitors aren't really targeted unless your exchange lets you select a good category in which to show your page or link. Even then the visitors won't stay long but it can be a useful low-cost option to get some hits. Traffic exchanges either take the form of start-page or exit-page exchanges. There are some new variations on this, such as e-zine exchanges (an exit page with ezines listed) etc. They may be worth trying but don't use too many. One of the best exit-exchanges is Exit Exchange itself.

E-Zine Advertising: One of the best forms of promotion, and can be done cheaply. There are a lot of advantages, mainly you are hitting a highly targeted audience for your ad. It is best today to purchase a solo ad. That is your ad is sent to the e-zines subscriber base on it's own and not as part of the newsletter. Some E-zine broker services (such as My Wizard Ads) will submit your ad to many e-zines for a low price but although you can get say 30,000 ad exposures for $10 in practice your ad is buried amongst others. It is worth trying if you are on a budget. When you write your ad you have limited space to make sure you make a catchy headline and use all the tricks on ad-copy listed previously. You should always strive to track your ads. This can be done with ad-tracking services or by simple sending them to a special URL (eg index2.html) with a seperate counter.

Please visit the Netpreneur Now advertising pages for some good offers.

E-Zine Articles: Another good method. This way you are establishing yourself as an expert, making your name familiar, and getting your ad out in the form of a resource box after your article. It's also free. You can submit to e-zine owners directly or send your article to article directories. We maintain an Article Directory at Netpreneur Now where you can browse articles or post your own.

Your Own E-Zine: The third E-Zine technique. Everyone should try to build a mailing list from their site. This can be an informative e-zine or just a site update notice. E-Zines are not the be-all and end-all that they once were because of the sheer amount of them out there, but they are still very useful. The reason? You have your own targeted mail list to use when you want, and many people will buy from you again and again! You can build an E-zine with proper mail list software or free services such as Topica or Yahoo Groups. Free services will add advertisments or may have downtimes and it isn't unheard of to lose your subscriber list - so back up often! If you prefer use dedicated software then you won't go far wrong with the highly rated Mail Loop

There are also some excellent services for promoting e-zines, such as the new kid on the block, Subscription Rocket.

You may also feel safer hosting your eZine remotely, since you are less likely to be shut down by your ISP (which can happen if you send too many e-mails). Empire Building Essentials gives you a powerful Autoresponder and List Server tool and also let's you buy leads for use with it.

Bulk E-Mail: There are many ways to send bulk e-mail. It's very important not to send Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail, i.e. Spam. It can ruin your repuation and get your site shut down. Sadly, it can also work. If you want to go this way then at least try not to use your name or your proper email address. Include a link at the end for the recipient to unsubscribe but if it's a one off you don't really need to. Some people say this is enough to remain legal. To get e-mail addresses you can use harvesting software that will search the web and usegroups or you can buy them. Even though many people won't even discuss the use of spam it can work because it is so cheap - even a 1% or less response rate can yeild a handsome profit. I'd still suggest that you don't do it but it does deserve a mention.

Auto Responders: Another essential tool in the net marketers arsenal. An auto responder will send a specific series of messages to a recipient at selected intervals. As a visitor to your site will buy after an average of 7 messages you should try to get their email address as soon as possible. Offer free services or reports in exchange for it. An auto responder is one of the tools that will put your business on auto pilot. Try EBEI.

You also get a Push-Button Reponder with membership to Push Button Publishing.

Finally, to learn how to get most from AutoResponders take a look at Autoresponder Secrets - Exposed! - probably the best work on this subject ever written.

Leads: A lead is simply a name and email address that you can send offers to. The best leads are those you have collected yourself, usually by providing a "sign up box" at your website and asking people to join your list. You can also buy leads, but you need to make sure these leads are people who have asked to receive internet marketing offers. EBEI, home of the Autoresponder mentioned above, also sell these leads at just 2c each - which you can import directly into your Autoresponder.

Viral Marketing: This is basically some item, usually an e-book, that you can spread like a virus. You give this away for free but embed within it many links to yourself or your paying programs. To give others an incentive to spread it you should give them the opportunity to add their own links (via a branding tool) or perhaps a share of the profits or of the traffic. If the e-book is genuinely usefull it should spread on its own as others will be happy to give it away.

There are a lot of other ways you can advertise yourself and your business. In addition to the above:
Put a link in your .sig file. This will be added to every message you send.
Use changing content on your site such as news reports.
Offer a website award, such as ours.
Offer a service from your site such as free e-mail.
Offer lots of free stuff in general, and most will pay you as well such as free vacations, free newsletters etc.
Approach webmasters for reciprocal links to their sites.
Use offline advertising such as business cards, flyers, print adverts, ads on your car, trade shows, even chalked on the floor near campuses or on bookmarks in library books!
Try running an ad on the high-traffic ebay site.

The Truth about Promotion

Promoting your site properly means you MUST get TARGETED visitors. A well written ad is the best way or a good listing on a search engine. To make your ad stand out from the crowd it must be unique, even if it's only unique on price or the amount of bonuses.

Your name is one of the most important tools you have. You are in essence promoting yourself. Don't put your name to everything and recommend whatever comes along as it will ruin your reputation. Building a good reputation is a must. One of the best ways is to write articles and participate in newsgroups or message boards.

Promotion is really the ongoing part of your online businesses. Once it is set up your online businesses only needs a constant stream of visitors to operate. A good auto responder system will keep buyers coming to you - you just need to get them to sign up in the first place!

If you stay respectable and professional and keep sourcing new visitors and avenues for promotion you can't go far wrong. There are many more books on Promotion at our Members Site.