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        Another AHBBO Article
        Doing The Right Things The Right Way At The Right Time

        © 1999-2017 Elena Fawkner

        Once you get past the initial utter confusion and
        "overwhelmingness" of the scramble to learn how to
        start and run an online business, the time eventually
        comes to dispense with the training wheels and just
        get on with it. 

        A common trap for new online entrepreneurs is to
        try and perfect their website before inviting anyone
        to come over.  It's true that you shouldn't submit
        your site to the major search engines and directories
        while your site's still truly under construction but at
        some point you have to stop developing and start
        marketing.  Your site will NEVER be finished and it
        will certainly never be perfect.  If you wait until it is
        before you start inviting guests, you're going to be
        one very lonely webmaster indeed.

        Working on your website is fun.  The visual results
        are immediate and, as a result, the self-gratification
        you feel admiring your handiwork becomes addictive.
        After all, it's a helluva lot easier to control how your
        site looks and works than it is to actually drive traffic
        to it.

        Because of this, and the fun factor, there's a tendency
        to spend a disproportionate amount of time dabbling
        with your site, tweaking this and that and trying out
        new cgi scripts when the time has long since passed
        when you should have started working on driving traffic
        to your site already.

        To make a success of any business, including an
        online one, you must strive to always be doing the
        right thing, the right way and at the right time.

        Because being disciplined is so important to making
        the most of your time, I find it helps if I commit to
        spending a certain period of time every day to one or
        more of the marketing activities listed below and
        getting it over with as early in the day as possible.
        Then I can enjoy the reward of spending time on areas
        of my business that I find more enjoyable such as
        writing articles, and sourcing new and interesting
        programs for my website visitors.  By getting the
        marketing chores out of the way first, you can enjoy
        the rest of your day guilt-free.  (That's not to say
        that all marketing activities have to be "chores".  It's
        just that some are more enjoyable than others.)

        Be especially careful of your time when it comes to
        email.  This is another common trap many online
        entrepreneurs get sucked into.  It comes in endlessly
        and builds up quickly.  We are always so conscious that
        it's sitting there waiting to be read and responded to
        that it can become a major distraction.  Try to read and
        respond to your email in one or two sittings at 
        particular times of the day.  And impose a time limit
        too.  This will force you to work more efficiently.
        (The exception is email from customers who need your
        assistance.  You need to devote whatever time is
        necessary to correcting the problem.)  If you're not
        disciplined when it comes to email you can quite easily
        fritter away an entire day and another and another
        with very little to show for it.

        OK, so here's a list of the top 15 things you should be
        doing to market your online business once your site is
        ready for launch.  You don't have to do every one of
        these activities every single day (although if you do your
        business will certainly have a lot to show for it) but do
        strive to do at least a few.  The results will definitely be
        worth it.

        1.  Submit Your Main Pages to the Search Engines

        Once your site is "ready" (bearing in mind what I said
        above), your first job is to hand submit your main pages
        to the major search engines.

        My "majors" (opinions differ) are:

        Yahoo - http://www.yahoo.com (fee)
        Alta Vista - http://www.altavista.com (free and fee)
        Northern Light - http://www.northernlight.com (free)
        Excite - http://www.excite.com (fee)
        Hotbot/Lycos -http://hotbot.com (free)
        Looksmart - http://www.looksmart.com (fee - get listed
        with Looksmart and your listing will also appear at MSN,
        Excite, Alta Vista, iWon, Webcrawler and CNN)

        It takes anywhere from several weeks to several months
        to get listed with some of these engines so start early.

        Then submit to the "minors" (i.e. all the others).

        Visit http://www.searchenginewatch.com for the latest
        news on the search engines and what you can do to
        improve your rankings.

        Automate the process of search engine submissions as
        much as you can.  The program I recommend ahead of
        all others is Webposition Gold.  Check it out here:
        http://www.shelteredturtle.com/webpositiongold.html .

        2.  Submit Your Home Page to Directories

        There are literally hundreds so this will be a time-
        consuming job.  Aim for ten per day and you'll make
        progress.  Visit http://www.jimworld.com for links to
        hundreds of directories.

        3.  Publish An Ezine

        For information about how to do that and generate
        subscribers, read "Growing Your List" at
        http://www.shelteredturtle.com/growingyourlist.html .  If
        you're new to ezine publishing, an excellent resource
        is List-Universe.com's Ezine University at
        http://emailuniverse.com/ .

        Try to write your own original articles for publication in
        your ezine rather than relying on other people to provide
        your content.

        Make sure you have a sign up form on every page of
        your website and a pop-up page inviting visitors to
        subscribe.  To see an example of this in action, visit

        Also, automate the process of publicizing your ezine
        and submitting your articles as much as possible.  One
        excellent software program that will do this for you (in
        fact the only one I know of) is Ezine Announcer.

        4.  Negotiate Reciprocal links

        Find websites that target the same demographic as
        your site and contact the webmasters of those sites
        for a reciprocal link.  (This just means that each of you
        links to the other's site from your links page or
        elsewhere else on your site.)

        5.  Submit to FFA Pages

        Opinion is divided on the effectiveness of FFA pages.
        Personally, I think they're a waste of time.  Others
        maintain that although they're pretty useless in terms
        of people actually reading your listing, they can be
        helpful with search engines that rank your site according
        to popularity (i.e., by how many other sites out there
        link to your site). 

        If you do decide to go the FFA route, make sure you
        use a free email account rather than your main email
        account.  You will get a LOT of rubbish mail in response. 
        You want to be able to delete it in one fell swoop
        without having to sort through legitimate mail first.

        6.  Identify Commonly Searched for Keywords and Create
        Doorway Pages to Submit to the Search Engines

        What's a doorway page?  Just a simple page targeting
        a particular keyword tailored specifically for the search
        engine you're submitting to.  How to create and submit
        a doorway page?  You can do it manually if time is not
        an issue or you can use search submission software
        like Webposition Gold mentioned above
        (http://www.shelteredturtle.com/webpositiongold.html).  Webposition
        Gold also gives you all the information you need about
        what the particular search engines look for in order to
        rank pages well.

        How to find commonly searched for keywords?  Use
        the Word Tracker service.  Dirt cheap but turns up
        excellent keywords.  Click here for info:
        http://www.shelteredturtle.com/wordtracker.html .

        7.  Write Articles and Submit Them

        Submit them where?  Directly to ezine publishers looking
        for quality content for their publications, to article
        submission lists, to article databases that exist for the
        express purpose of providing other people content for
        their sites and ezines.

        The ezine submitter software I mentioned above can
        automate this process for you and save you literally
        HOURS of time each week.

        8.  Remind Visitors to Recommend You

        Include a short note in every issue of your ezine
        asking your readers to forward your ezine to their
        friends and family, sign up for the Recommend-It
        service and put
        the button on your site and the link in your ezine.
        You get the idea.  Word of mouth sells!

        9.  Monitor Your Search Engine Rankings But Don't
        Obsess Over Them

        Again, use software to take care of the grunt work.
        Webposition Gold includes this function.

        And when I say don't obsess, realize that search
        engines are only one source of traffic.  You will find
        that a LOT of traffic comes from sources other than
        the search engines.  Do the things recommended
        here and you'll soon see that for yourself.

        10.  Negotiate Joint Ventures and Co-Ops

        Find people to joint venture with - whether it be
        for ezine subscribers (you each recommend the
        other's ezine on your "thank you for subscribing" page)
        or bundle your products together and each sell the
        bundled package.  There is no limit on the types of
        joint ventures and co-operatives you can negotiate.
        Be creative and flexible.

        11.  Join Web Rings

        12.  Offline Promotion

        Don't forget to promote your online business offline.
        For more on this, read "Offline Promotion Matters Too"
        at http://www.shelteredturtle.com/offline.html .

        13.  Host a Forum

        Host a forum at your site and contribute to forum
        discussions.  A lively forum (or bulletin board) will keep
        visitors coming back for more.

        14.  Contribute to Other Forums

        Contribute to forum and newsgroup discussions run by
        others to establish yourself as an expert in your field. 

        Remember, these are not platforms for blatant advertising.
        The most you can get away with is a short signature

        15. Create Your Own E-book

        Create your own e-book with links to your products and
        services or your affiliate programs and distribute it freely
        and encourage others to do so too.  This is what's
        known as "viral" marketing - it spreads like wildfire.

        The above activities represent a lot of work and a serious
        investment of time on your part.  By no means are you
        expected to do each and every one of these things
        from the get-go.  Once you have an established online
        presence, though, they do represent a good range of
        activities that, pursued regularly, diligently and
        consistently, with discipline and patience, will truly grow
        your online business exponentially ... and your profits
        right along with it.


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        ** Reprinting of this article is welcome! **
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        Elena Fawkner is editor of Home-Based Business Online. Best business ideas and opportunities for your home-based or online business.

        Copyright 1998-2017, AHBBO.com. All rights are reserved. Tuesday, 26-Jan-2021 03:09:47 CST