Author Douglas Titchmarsh

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Archive for February, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Using Message Boards for Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a very wide term which can be used to encompass a variety of marketing techniques which are used online. Banner advertisements, website promotion, search engine optimization, email marketing and affiliate marketing all fall under the umbrella of the term Internet marketing but there is even more to Internet marketing than those concepts. Promoting your website or business on message boards can also be considered to be Internet marketing. In fact this is one of the simplest and least expensive Internet marketing options available. This article will examine how savvy business owners can use Internet message boards wisely. It will also explain how message boards can be misused and rendered ineffective as well.

Message boards are essentially online meeting places. In general most message boards are focused on a particular niche subject and encourage those who share an interest in this particular subject to get together to discuss relevant issues, ask questions, provide advice and even just socialize. Message boards can focus on any subject imaginable they may focus on a particular baseball team or just the sport of baseball in general. Message boards can focus on subjects such as politics, television shows, bands, current events, jobs, hobbies or any subject imaginable. Savvy Internet marketers can take advantage of these message boards to reach a target audience without investing a great deal of money.

Consider a business in which the focus of the business is to assist people in finding jobs which offer telecommute options. The concept of working from home is becoming increasingly popular and there are many websites which focus on this subject. Likewise there are also many message boards devoted to the topic of working from home. Here those with an interest in the subject meet to discuss issues such as finding employment where working from home is an option, working around the schedule of your children, setting up a home office, dealing with friends or family members who don’t respect your working hours and paying taxes on freelance assignments. A business owner who actively participates in this message board can take the opportunity to post a link to his website when it is relevant and offers something of value to the conversation. This is worthwhile because the message board features a high concentration of your target audience members.

When using message boards to promote your business, it is important to ensure you are following the rules associated with the message boards. Message boards may have restrictions regarding the posting of links and failure to abide by these restrictions may result in you being banned from the message board. For this reason it is important for anyone who is interested in using message boards for promotion of their business to carefully read the user agreement to ensure they are not violating any of the rules. It is also important to simply use common sense when promoting your business on a message board. Just because the rules do not restrict posting links, does not mean you should spam the board with your link. Take care to only include y our link when it is relevant. This will prevent message board users from assuming your link is just worthless spam.

Finally, when using message boards to promote your business it is important to be courteous to other message board users and to keep all posts professional. This is important because you and your business are much more likely to be taken seriously if you act professionally and responsibly. You should maintain this degree of professionalism even in posts which do not include your business link. This is important because other message board participants will remember you by your user name and will not be likely to take you seriously if you have previously made posts which were offensive, mean spirited or inaccurate. For this reason it is important to act as a representative from your company at all times.

PostHeaderIcon Successful Affiliate Marketing

There are hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs out there, all of which claim to be the best.  Many of them try to give you the impression that all you have to do is use their banners and links then wait for the money to start rolling in.  Although this can be the case, this type of scenario normally applies to large sites with a lot of web traffic.

Choosing banners
With most affiliate programs, you are offered a variety of banners to plan on your website, as very few of them will be effective.  The problems with most banners are their size.  If you choose a banner that is high in size, it will take a long time to implement and use.  Therefore, it’s recommended that you use banners no more than 15kb in size.

When you select any types of graphical advertising, you should try and keep the theme of your website in mind.  Even though graphical ads are meant to stand out and catch people’s eye, they shouldn’t be to the point where everything else on the page is completely ignored. 

Pop ups and unders
A lot of companies will now give their affiliates the chance of using pop up or pop under ads.  In most opinions, pop ups aren’t the way to go.  They can easily annoy visitors and are normally closed before they even have the chance to load.  You should instead go for pop unders and those types that only display once per visit.

Text link ads
Once of the most successful means of advertisting is text link ads.  They are easy on bandwidth, don’t use a lot of space, and they easily be implemented into most types of page layouts.  Good text links offer some information as to why your visitor should investigate your offers. 

Email advertising
The direct promotion via email has really taken off over the last several years, although it has brought tons of spam with it. If you plan to use email as a method of advertising your products, you should stand behind what you sell and make yourself available to answer any questions.

Patience
If you feel confident that your site can generate great sales for certain company’s, you should contact them to negotiate an arrangement.  If they don’t seem to enthused to begin with, you should remain patient as companies are approaced every day with affiliates looking to make better deals.

The reality remains that most affiliates can’t deliver what they promise, and companies are aware of this. 

You should always keep in mind that most forms of advertising will take time.  No matter what methods you plan to use, give it some time before you make any type of decision. Although something may not happen overnight – it very well could in a few days or weeks.