Congratulations on making the decision to market your business online! The online marketplace offers a huge opportunity for virtually anyone to get in front of their target audience immediately. Further, if you are not marketing online today, you’re pretty much not really a contender in the game of commerce. Once you’ve decided to dive in and start online marketing, you’re faced with this nagging question – what should I do first? For this scenario, I’ll assume that you have at least a website, even if it’s a very basic one.

To discover what to do first, you must first ask yourself some other questions.

How much money have I set aside for my marketing budget?
What new skills must I learn?
How fast do I want to establish an online presence?

The first question concerning your marketing budget will really determine what you should do first. In establishing your online presence, the holy grail is to have those looking for what you are offering be able to find you quickly and easily, and, once they do, to feel complete confidence in buying from you (either your product, service, or business opportunity).

Let’s face it, most people who want to find something today will go to the number one source for up-to-date information – Google. There are two main ways to have your product/service offer put squarely in front of a highly-targeted audience on Google search. The first is paid search (Pay-Per-Click, PPC), and the second is organic search. Using PPC advertising can be highly effective, if done properly. However, it can also be costly if you don’t educate yourself on exactly how to use it, or hire someone who is an expert that can do it for you.

If you’ve got limited to zero funds to get your marketing message in front of your buyers, don’t worry, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to do so – you’re just going to have to be creative, learn some new skills, and have a little patience. Instead of using PPC marketing to attract visitors to you, you can use cost-free methods that place you and your website in the main search area of Google (the search results shown on the left-hand side of Google)

To get into the organic, or left-side search results of Google (the free side), you must establish yourself as an expert and start producing content on the web daily that proves that fact. How? Write articles and submit them. There are plenty of free article submission sites on the web and new ones pop up daily. Don’t write to sell, write to give value to your would-be visitors. Let’s say I market custom-built containers for shipping. I might write an article about different container materials and how to choose the right ones. This provides value and establishes you as an expert in the custom container market, and it costs nothing.

Another very effective and cost-free method to provide value and establish expertise is to make videos and post them on the web. Just like with article submission sites, the number of video submission sites are growing daily. Yes, you’ll have to learn some new skills, but this is not difficult. A quick Google search on producing video content will show you exactly how to do it!

Blogging about your particular area of expertise can also be very effective. Creating a blog is free, and you can have several blogs surrounding different niche areas of your particular product/service for your readers and future customers.

The good news here is that once you decide to start marketing online, there are many options available to you to get your marketing message in front of your audience. With so many choices it may seem at first difficult to decide what to tackle first, but remember the 3 questions above and use them to guide you. You don’t have to do everything in one day or one month, but be consistent, and begin the journey today.

Filed under: Home Businessinternet marketing

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