impossible to interact with the Internet without running into online
advertising. Some people complain about it until the cows come home, but the
truth of the matter is that online advertising isn't going anywhere because it
works. Online advertising is one of the most successful promotional campaigns
on the Internet today.
Just be careful not to assume that spending money on advertising is a more effective promotional strategy. Paid advertising is just one strategy of many -- and it's at least as effective as the paths you've already taken. The following offers some tips you can use to make your blog a popular success through advertising.
1. Popular Online Forums and Social Networks.
Participating in popular online forums and social networks gives you the opportunity to advertise your blog's URL through your signature. Remember, a signature contains your blog's name, a short 4 - 5 word description, and the blog's URL. To work, it must appear under every post you make to the forum. Most, if not all, forums automatically append this virtual business card to every post you make, so why not take advantage of it?
Everyone who reads your posts will see your signature and visit your blog when the interest strikes. Of course, you'll increase your visitors by posting to forums that discuss the same topic that your blog addresses. Very few people reading a forum about electric guitars will find your home improvement blog interesting enough to visit.
2. Search Engine Optimization.
When we hear discussion about SEO, we more often hear how it helps websites rather than blogs. The truth is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will help a blog improve its search engine rankings (i.e. blog traffic) as well. It isn't easy, however, and you should never believe that it is no matter what you're told. If your blog's topic is general, it will face a heaping amount of competition and make SEO results extremely difficult to achieve.
That doesn't mean you should ignore its importance. If you fill your blog with relevant keywords in the title, META and image tags of each post (and avoid black hat optimization), it will eventually rise within search engine results and attract the attention of all the people who search for its topic.
3. Search Engine Submission.
After you've SEO'd your blog's posts, you'll need to submit the blog to search engines. A lot of people forget this very simple, yet important step of basic promotion. At the very least, you should submit your blog to Google. It's one of the easiest search engines to submit to, and it's also one of the most permissible. Google accepts almost any type of blog.
It's staying in the Google index that's the hard part. Google will remove a blog that it deems inappropriate, so once your blog is accepted, don't break any of Google's Webmaster Guidelines or your blog will be dropped out of sight like a ton of bricks!
4. PPC and Banner Advertising.
You're probably most familiar banner ads as a type of graphic advertisement. Banner ads are those rectangular pictures you see all over the place with little text blurbs that say, "Click Here! or Click Me!" This promotional strategy is similar to the link exchange strategy -- only instead of exchanging links, you're paying another person to put your banner (and a link to your website) on their website. And since you're paying for this opportunity, you're not obligated to return the favor with a reciprocal banner or link.
To get your money's worth, you'll want to be a little judicious about where you place your banner ads. We would never think about advertising our banner ad on a website about cats, for example, because our products and services have nothing to do with cats. We want to advertise our banner ad on websites about content generation or online business instead. That way, we can attract the attention of people who already have these things on their minds, and who just might want to use our services.
Typically, this will cost you about 2 -15 cents per impression, and if you want your banner ad to show up on another website at least a thousand times, your cost would run around $20 -- $150. That's not bad, except a busy website can easily produce a thousand impressions within a few hours!
5. E-zine Advertising.
E-zines, or newsletters, are another viable advertisement avenue that shouldn't be ignored in favor of website advertising. There are countless e-zines that accept advertising -- text advertising that is -- and you can set up your e-zine advertising campaign just like you set up your banner ad campaign: 1. Find a list of e-zines related to your product or service. 2. Introduce yourself in an email to the owners of these e-zines and ask how you can advertise in their newsletters.
If you're not quite sure what to say in a text ad, just think of what you'd write for a classified ad. Start with your signature and expand on it. Just don't be intimidated by the plethora of available e-zines. Visit the The CataList instead and search for an appropriate newsletter by name or by keyword!