Be a wise investor in your business!
Do you have an advertising budget? How much of your money is set aside to pay for advertising? Depending on your financial situation, you may have very little money to use to promote your business online. There are several ways to sort through information to make a wise decision about where you will spend your money on when it comes to advertising online.
You have found a website online that offers advertising. Its $5 a week to put your button or text ad on their front page sounds low enough, well, actually that $20 a month.
This is the point where you stop.
Take a breath.
Plan your next step.
Before you go any further in entertaining thoughts on advertising on that website, you have some homework to do!
Go to Alexa.com. Although there is controversy about how accurate Alexa's ratings are, remember that it does give you a picture of the traffic to the site you are wondering about investing money in to promote your business.
Alexa uses “hits" identified through traffic monitors, its toolbar on other people's sites and Google information to give a rating.
Key in the site you want to know more about then click on “site info" and you will know whether it's a website with solid traffic or not.
Take the rating with a grain of salt. The quality of hits is more important than the number but there are website's that offer to place your button or advertisement for a fee that are not generating traffic and have a low Google page rank.
Search Engine Traffic
Go to Google.com then Yahoo.com, MSN.com to do some keyword searches associated with the website you are considering.
Do several searches with your key words for your products, services, different aspects of your business then add parts of the website under consideration to see if search engines will direct any traffic to that site and eventually your ad.
Your niche market
Know what types of people you want to respond to your ad or click on your button.
Do you want buyers, one time buyers or develop a customer base. Look again at the site to see who you believe the visitors are and what they will be looking for online. Do you offer what they are looking for?
WAHM Sites versus specific niche markets
WAHM Sites are a great place to market if you provide services work at home moms need to build their business. If you offer a work at home opportunity, then WAHM sites are a good place to start once you've determined that there is adequate traffic.
BUT and this is a big BUT!
If you want to make sales for products that are NOT specific to work at home moms. You need to turn your focus on sites that have women looking for your product. To sell children's books. . . look for family and parenting sites instead of a work at home site.
With the right web site that your target market visits, your advertising efforts have a greater chance of reaching parents and women that may have more disposable income and they are searching for resources, gifts for their children.
To generate traffic to your site for future sales and build a customer base you need to focus beyond work at home sites to sell your products. . . go where your market is!
Your advertising dollars are better spent reaching a broader audience whether its gift shops, parenting and women's sites or even newsletters.
Do the math.
Before you pay for advertising whether it's on a website or ezine. Know the website traffic or e-zone circulation, both the “who" of visitors and the “how many. "
Return on investment (ROI) is a gamble with advertising.
Go to any website then visualize your own site.
Look at the buttons, text ads, articles, the entire front page. Do you click on everything you see? No, you have your own agenda when you visit a website. You venture into a site using your own sense of direction based on what you are looking to find.
The same holds true for every visitor. If your ad is one of 5 you have a better chance of a click than if your ad is one of 15. Then again, if your button is on a site where few of the visitors are looking for what you offer then your chances success are out of reach.
If your button ad rotates through many different pages on different days, your ad is seen only by the people that click onto that specific page.
Paying for advertising is a matter of numbers and improving your odds of getting your business name out there on the internet where you want it.
Finally, make sure you take advantage of free ads in newsletters and ezines. I offer them and other ezine subscribers do too. I send in my ad just like everyone else because as a target, ezines can offer such a broad audience.
Many newsletter publishers belong to co-ops which mean you can “potentially" reach over a million readers.
Again, basic math tells me that if my text ad goes out to 1 million readers and only 5-10 % respond to my ad that's still a solid return on my investment.
Spend your money wisely. Learn how to find the information you need to be informed before you invest your advertising money online. Ask questions and check the facts.
Never forget your business goals and your market! If you invest poorly, take it as a learning experience and move onward, upward.
This is your business! You own it and you build it. Persistence and being open to learning both the good and the bad about online business are the keys to your success!
Tammy Ames is the owner of WAHM Connections bringing home business learning to striving entrepreneurs. As the publisher of Work at Home Connections, Tammy offers a unique perspective in her weekly online newsletter for home business owners.