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 $15 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 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
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.
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. New 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.
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 in 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, Google has a blog search feature. If you are interested in reading some of the most profitable blogs on the planet check out the Ad Age Power 150.
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.
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!