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-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 http://www.lifestylepub.com 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 http://www.meer.net/~johnl/e-zine-list/ or the eZINE Database http://www.DOMINIS.com/Zines/.
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.
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
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
track results. Test headlines, banners, target
audiences, and keywords and phrases.