The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #21 Monday, February 22, 1999

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie is an Internet strategist and content developer for community-based Web sites. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital. She also offers ghost writing services and content delivery for your Web site or e-zine.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


Reducing Advertising Costs

I'm always talking about free ways to promote your products and services on-line, but sometimes you may need to pay for advertising. However, bear in mind that the old adage, 'you get what you pay for' does not always apply in on-line advertising. Spending $2,000 in banner ad impressions probably won't earn you as much as spending $30 to advertise in an e-zine targeted to your ideal market.

E-zine Advertising

E-zines are one of the most economical ways to advertise to a defined audience. Go to some on-line directories and hunt for e-zines that reach your target audience. Ruth Townsend's Directory of E-zines at offers a comprehensive directory of e-zines complete with subscriber volume, demographics, and advertising rates on each one. You can also find a list of e-zines by category at John Labovitz's E-zine List or the eZINE Database

Some e-zines that allow classified ads within them offer advertising rates for as low as $30 per insert to reach hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Yet remember, just because it's cheap and reaches a lot of people, it doesn't mean it will be effective. Make sure the subscribers match your target market.

If you currently have an e-zine yourself with a significant number of subscribers, look up other e-zines that reach your same audience and approach them about an ad exchange--you give them an ad in your e-zine for their giving you one in theirs.

Purchasing Click Through's

Another way to purchase advertising is to find other moderately trafficked web sites that reach your audience and offer them a commission on every person that visits your site from theirs. This is called a "click through." For example, if you determine that the average visitor to your site is worth 30 cents to you, you could offer another site 25 cents for every visitor they send to your site

Buying Keywords

If you generate enough profit per visitor to warrant it, purchasing keywords on search engines can be a good way to effectively market to your target audience.

  • First, you'll want to know which keywords and phrases bring the most people to your site. You can learn this from your site statistics or by using a program like WebTrends.
  • Next, gather rates for purchasing keywords on the lesser-known search engines. Purchasing keywords on the top engines can be very expensive. You can check the rates of the larger engines, but most likely you'll be able to more effectively test keywords and phrases on the lesser-known engines.

Whatever methods of advertising you decide to use, remember that you never want to spend more than what an average visitor is worth to you. Re-evaluate this each month because things change. This number may increase or decrease with the economy, with changes you make on your site, with how well you're targeting your audience, or with changes in the demand for your products/services.

Remember: Always track results. Test headlines, banners, target audiences, and keywords and phrases.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at