No Money For Advertising? Here Are Five Solutions

No Money for Advertising Here are 5 Solutions by Charlie Page

Today money is tighter than ever. Many are suffering from long-term unemployment. Others have spent what they could afford on sites that promised the moon only to deliver disappointment.

So it’s time to talk about what one can do about advertising if funds are very limited.

Hey, we’ve all been there!

I’m not going to tell you that I was living in my car and eating at the soup kitchen. I wasn’t. But around the year 2000, we were having very difficult times.

I remember driving through an ATM once and discovering that I had $17 to my name. Not a happy memory. I had a wife and two kids to provide for at the time. Talk about pressure!

I had to work online because I could not work anywhere else or take a job. I was unemployable and in very poor health.

I say all of that only to say I understand a limited budget. Now let me share five specific methods that helped me in hopes they help you too.

These are the same things that I did to go from being a member of the Directory of Ezines to being the owner of the DOE in less than 18 months.

Most of these methods take effort, and lots of it. But if you use them consistently I believe you will build multiple streams of highly-targeted traffic.

And that really is the key. Not one large flow that could stop but many smaller flows that can’t be stopped and add up to one large stream of visitors.

What I share next comes from experience. I use all these methods, not just teach them.

1. Social media

Social media is free to use but can be time consuming. You can get on Twitter and Facebook or LinkedIn. But none of that will do you much good unless you have something valuable to say.

Happily, you don’t have to be a writer to have good things to say!

If you have ever been to a movie and then seen a friend and shared a few reasons why you liked  (or didn’t like) the movie then you have what it takes to succeed with social media.

I believe the key with social media is what I call “sharing with a purpose”. None of us is going to be able to compete with Taylor Swift or Ashton Kutcher when it comes to number of followers.

But we can compete when it comes to the quality of what we share. We can compete when it comes to providing value.

One key with social media is to share often and spontaneously. Are you reading a book and found a great idea? Tweet it out or post about it on Facebook. Technology like the Kindle (or Kindle app) actually let you do this with one click!

Another key with social media is to tease readers into joining your list by providing helpful information that leaves them wanting more.

One actionable idea is this – buy a Private Label Rights product that you can give away and create a Facebook page that gives the product free to people who “like” you. This can unleash a viral avalanche and help you build your email mailing list at the same time.

A win-win!

2. Pay-per-click

If you have a limited budget to try and sell things online consider using it for pay-per-click advertising. Why would I say that? Because with pay per click you know you will get traffic or you don’t pay.

One key here is to start with Facebook and not Google. No disrespect to Google but Facebook pay per click often costs less and is much more targeted.

As with all pay per click, you only pay what you want to pay and you should never be at risk of spending more than you want.

One key here is to send the traffic to your own squeeze page.

With PPC traffic you often want to use a longer squeeze page than with strategies like solo ads, but do focus on list building using PPC.

Research your competitors. Do a conservative pay-per-click campaign modeled around what they’re doing.

While you never want to copy their campaign directly, you can and should take a lesson from what they are doing that works well.

If you have a modest budget, pay-per-click is a great place to start. You control your expenses. You can try something for $20 or $30 and see how it works.

3. Forum Participation

I say this to a lot of clients. They look at me like I’m crazy. They think, “Posting on forums? Does that still work?”

Yes, it does.

Ask anyone who has done a Warrior Special Offer if it works. There are strong businesses online that have been launched by making Warrior Special Offers. If you don’t know what a WSO is, go right now to the Warrior Forum.

You can register for free. Become a member. Start poking around. You will see these special offers made. They’re often very good. Just watching how these are marketed can provide you a free education in copywriting.

Fair warning, there is more than a bit of hype on many Warrior Special Offers. So buyer, or reader, beware.

Visiting a top forum is a good place to start. Go there and lurk around. Get a feel for the place. See who’s talking about what. Find out where you can inject your product or the product you’re promoting into the conversation.

TIP: If your product can honestly solve someone’s problem then saying that, and giving reasons why, can lead to sales.

You can’t go to any of these forums and say, “Hi, my name is John. I think you should buy my product.” That’s considered advertising or spamming.

The key in forums is participation.

Even if you have more questions than answers, get in there and get to know people and become involved in conversations.

If you participate, make suggestions and try to help people, when the moment is right you can inject your product into the conversation. That’s very effective. I did that many times on several forums, and still do when time allows.

4. Links from Blog Commenting

Commenting on blogs in your niche is perhaps the easiest and fastest way to get links from high PageRank sites. And it works!

The key here is a to make a comment that shows you have read the article and one that extends the conversation.

That’s the key – extending the conversation. 

While it’s fine to say “I love this post”, short comments like that (even if they are affirming) are often seen as spam and are deleted.

So make your comment a bit longer, and feel free to ask a question too. Much like social media, commenting on blogs is all about the conversation.

One major mistake is trying to “automate” the process.

Don’t use software that sends out 9,000 comments to different blogs. You never read the posts. You’re just commenting on them. Those things don’t work. That’s cotton candy short-term stuff.

Finding blogs in your niche is easy. In fact, even Google has a blog search feature.


5. Article marketing

This is my favorite. This is the thing that turned me around. I love article marketing so much that I actually teach a course on this subject!

When I could not afford paid advertising methods I wrote articles and sent them to the ezines that I found in The Directory of Ezines. It created a strong flow of traffic.

What I did not know at the time is that the visitors article marketing created would be so interested. They felt like they knew me, and wanted to know more.

That was a beautiful thing at a time when I needed something good to happen.

In a few short weeks I went from no one reading my writing to hundreds of thousands of people reading my writing.

Article marketing means more than just blogging or posting to one or two article directories. It means submitting your article to ezines (online newsletters) in your niche, offering to be a guest blogger and more.

The best type of article marketing by far is having your own blog.

Why is having your own blog important? I believe there are three reasons.

  1. It gives you a “home base”, somewhere to send all visitors so they can learn more. Having one site to which you send people matters, especially if you are an affiliate marketer who might promote a variety of products over time. Sending all traffic to your blog makes your advertising and promotion evergreen.
  2. It empowers you to build a list of your own. Using tools like Aweber’s list building widget or a pop up from PopUp Domination you can build a list from your blog visitors quickly.
  3. Blogs create high quality free traffic from the search engines. Search engines exist to do one thing – provide people who search relevant content. When your articles are relevant to what people are searching for search engines will send you traffic free.

One key to article marketing is to write useful but incomplete articles. What does that mean? It means your article helps people but does not try to be an entire course.

I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you’re promoting Aweber. This is my favorite auto responder.

You want to write an article about using an auto responder. You could write an article that says, “The three best ways to use an auto responder are to sell things, to follow up with customers and to recruit affiliates.” Those would be the three points of the article.

That’s useful but it’s incomplete. There are probably 50 ways to use an auto responder. That’s what “useful but incomplete” means. I think Jimmy Brown coined that term. I’m not sure. A lot of people use it.

That is the basic method of writing an article. Write useful but incomplete information. It’s useful and they appreciate it. They want to reciprocate. It’s incomplete and they want to learn more. Now they’re clicking your link.

There are many more ways to drive traffic without spending money of course. They are covered in other articles on this blog. You can link to my driving traffic section here.

If you consistently use these methods I believe you will build multiple streams of highly-targeted traffic to your site.

And when that happens your sales will become automatic and your income will become reliable.

And that is a beautiful thing indeed!

Charlie Page Signature



About The Author

Charlie Page

Happily married for 41 years, Charlie is the dad to two wonderful daughters. He is the author of 12 books on Internet marketing and owner of The Directory of Ezines, Follow Up Selling Systems, Common Sense Blog Blueprint and other membership sites.


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  • Kenny LeOng

    Reply Reply February 1, 2016

    I have been trying for few years, gave up for a while and I’m back again. This time around I saw more successes than before. All thanks to one of your articles about putting ads on ezines and buying solo. Seen increase in sales almost overnight. Only recently that I began to start my own blog to share my experiences and mistakes for newbies as case study. Basically I’m just building back links but realized its a slow process coz good blogs in traffic generation niche are not easy to find. This blog of yours has given me new directions once again.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply February 1, 2016


      I just read your article about letting your list get cold. Good insight. It’s a mistake many people make.


  • I just found this post through a referral within our SFM community and I have to tell you honestly after reading it really helped me understand blogging a bit more. I seen some very helpful “Golden Nuggets” of value here and I will be coming back for more. You are a great writer by the way and I like your style. Thanks for all that you do Charlie!

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply July 14, 2015

      Welcome and thank you! I’m happy you are here.


  • Jaye Carden

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    Love the post…..had to say that in response to your comment on short comments! I have a blog myself, and I can believe what you say about using them for traffic. However, I had to get a plugin to filter all the spam comments like you mentioned, because I was getting about 100 of them daily. Many had no relation to the post. I actually would love to know more about forums, or if you know how one could learn more on using forums. I have not used a forum before, and I see it as why not….good read and worth the time!

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply June 19, 2015

      Thanks Jaye. Noticed when I visited your site that your webinar replay is autoplaying in two locations. Thought you would want to know. For forums I like bbPress. It’s by the people who make WordPress, so that’s a good thing.

      Spam comments are a hassle but Askimet takes care of them nicely.

      Hope this helps.


  • Rose

    Reply Reply June 18, 2015

    I have written articles up the gazo, posted on my blog and nothing. i have no money to advertise. I have this really dumb idea that feeding and housing and clothing my grandkids is somehow important so I work about 70 hours a week. illegal for me to work more. Doesn’t mean I don’t. I am at the end of my rope. i am seriously thinking of taking the blog down as I can use that money I spend every month on dumb stuff like milk.
    Your stuff is so much better than most out there,Charlie. It really is. I have learned an enormous amount from you and those who post here. i just can’t seem to make it work for me. I have no desire to be a coach or do a bunch of pod casts etc. i just want an online business so I can slow down. At 72 I think I may need to.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply June 18, 2015


      I’ve visited your site, read a few articles and looked at every page. Here is my take.

      I did not see one place on your blog where I could have bought something if I wanted to. If a blog is going to make money it needs to ask readers to buy things. If you don’t have a product of your own to sell then consider running ads in the sidebar, reviewing products in posts or in some other way getting a “call to action” into the picture.

      To build a list from visitors to your blog you will need to make your offer for joining the list more obvious. I only found two forms and both of them were are the bottom of pages I had to click to get to. I have some articles here that might help you. If you make your opt in form more obvious you might get better results.

      List building articles

      Hope this helps.


  • Kim Bethell

    Reply Reply March 24, 2015

    Great advise. Thank you Charlie. I have been struggling to get my business off the ground due to a serious lack of funds. I had to stop work last year when my son was diagnosed with leukemia. Your article has confirmed and rienforced what I thought I should do but was unsure.
    PS Your course has been a Godsend.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply March 24, 2015

      Hi Kim! I’m sorry to hear about your son. Will be praying for your family. Sickness is hard on all. I’m so happy you are here and look forward to your progress.

      When I started online I had no money to spend. None. We have been blessed to build a solid business from that humble beginning, and I know you can do it too!


  • Viola

    Reply Reply October 11, 2014

    First off thanks for the reminders. I tend to forget about blog and forum commenting.

    I always added one of my websites when leaving a reply only linking to the home page.

    It just dawned on me that I should try linking to a post I want to promote.

    Not sure if that is OK or helpful. I am actually trying it in the reply.

    Thanks for constantly sending us helpful tips.


    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply October 16, 2014

      That is the way to do it actually! Sending people directly to a post of yours that is relevant to the post you commented on works wonders. Thank you for your kind words and comment.

  • Mareeleesa05

    Reply Reply July 20, 2014

    Thanks again Charlie Page!!! I think another beautiful thing is about to happen,thanks to how well you cover everything and sum up all of your knowledge into something small and sweet.Hopefully you can take a look at my web page which is through wordpress,which is one of your recommendations,and I only found that out when I read your article on having your own membership site,so I am pleased to be with wordpress.I will be sharing your information to my connections as it’s very useful to people who are just starting out in this field of working online.Thanks Charlie Page!

  • Mark Mansfield

    Reply Reply June 11, 2014

    Hi Charlie, I see you updated your little bit about you at the bottom of this article. Very good stuff here, I looked up Jimmy D Brown as well. Very interesting. It might take me years to get all that’s in this post, but I’ll try & give it a go. Thanks. Mark M

  • Shanita

    Reply Reply June 5, 2014

    Thank you so much charlie for this wonderful information! I’m so relived that you didnt mention google ads, because alot people dont understand that not everyone starts off with money to risk and lose. In fact people with little to no budget is in it for all or nothing.

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply June 5, 2014

      I remember well having zero, and I mean zero, money for advertising.

      That is exactly why I did article marketing so aggressively. And it still works!

      Thank you for your kind comment. I’m happy you found my article helpful.

  • zora blume

    Reply Reply June 4, 2014

    Thanks Charlie ,Great tips you help me decide on something i was going to do.

  • John Miller

    Reply Reply March 7, 2014

    Read the article and realized I needed the reminder. I wrote several article 3 years ago and still get an occasional lead from that work. I just think about what if my writing had been consistent for that time. How many leads would be the result?

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply March 7, 2014

      Exactly so. I often ask this question of consulting clients who are not getting enough traffic.

      Consistent effort is the name of the game.


      • John W Miller

        March 7, 2014

        Charlie, Your sites are sure getting me into the game. Thanks again John

  • Alex

    Reply Reply December 16, 2013

    what is the pricing of these ads in ezines?
    And where are these ezines visible to the public?

    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply December 20, 2013

      The price to advertise in ezine varies widely. Solo ads can go from $50 to literally $5000 depending on the size of the list and the quality of the publication.

      You can use Google to find ezine ads to buy. Or you can join the Directory of Ezines and let us do the research for you! 🙂

  • Antonio

    Reply Reply December 15, 2013

    Power 150 has been shut down

    Your friend,


    • Charlie Page

      Reply Reply December 26, 2013

      I saw that too. A sad day but their reasoning is sound. Thanks for letting us know.


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