Utilizing effective internet marketing strategies is important for any business these days, but especially important for homeschooling entrepreneurs and stay at home moms running a home business. Through strategic internet marketing, you can bring customers and potential business associates to you, rather than having to chase them down.
When I first started in network marketing in 2001, many of the marketing strategies taught involved going somewhere – putting fliers on parked cars, putting fliers with rip off tabs on bulletin boards, fliers in newspaper boxes, attaching signs to telephone poles, prospecting people while shopping. One marketing strategy was to put a flier and a rock in a zip-lock bag and fling it from your car onto people's driveways! It is no wonder many people have a negative perception of mlm – do real businesses really market their business like this?. Busy homeschoolers and stay-at-home parents don't have time to be running all around town and when you have an effective internet marketing strategy in place, you don't have to.
So what are some effective internet marketing strategies you can use?
Building a Website & Website marketing strategies
If you are in network marketing or direct sales, the company you represent probable provide you with a company website, however this website is pretty much the same as any other rep of the same company and will never get any traffic or ranking in the search engines unless you direct people to it.
The other problem with a replicated website is that you have no way to promote yourself. Why would someone do business with you, rather than the thousands of other distributors of that company? That is one of the reasons having your own personal website is an important internet marketing strategy.
Having a personal website also allows you to create your own lists of people interested in your type of products or services. So if someone purchases one of the products or services you sell, that person may be interested in other products or services you sell or other products and services offered by an company that has an affiliate program. This allows you to bring in more revenue and add multiple income streams, another effective internet marketing strategy.
More about building a website as an effective internet marketing strategy (link)
Blogs and Squidoo Lenses
What is a blog anyway? Blog is short for web log and is simply an online journal. Creating a blog is an internet marketing strategy that can help to bring traffic to your website, establish your credibility, and effectively promote you and the products or services you offer.
Whether you chose a free blog provider or pay to put up a blog, it is simple and very inexpensive. Your blog is essentially a page on a huge website, the blog provider's website, and because of that, can help you to be found when people search for keywords that are contained in your blog post.
I saw the power of a blog for strategic internet marketing about a week after creating my first post on my blog. I happened to do a google search for keywords just to see what came up and was surprised to see my blog in the first few sites. I had already had a website for a while and knew that it takes a while for a new page on my website to show up on the search engines.
A squidoo lens is similar to a blog in that is simple a webpage that you create that is part of a huge website, www.squidoo.com You can create a squidoo lens on any topic, but you'll want to choose a topic that would be of interest to your target market and use good keywords. Here is an example of one of my squidoo lenses, Website Options for Network Marketers. (link)
(Seth Godin is the founder of Squidoo and also the author of Permission Marketing, and other books about effective internet marketing strategies. His books can be purchased at a discount at BookWise.)
As a homeschooling entrepreneur you can even put you kids to work writing blog posts and creating squidoo lenses. First, this is a great learning experience for your children, it counts as their writing for school work, and adds content to your blog – so it is really a win/win. I read about a family in the travel business who had their children write about Alaska and included in their blog as Alaska from a kid's point of view. My son is learning simple website building and blog creation as effective internet marketing strategies for his own business too.
The important thing to remember is that blogs and Squidoo lenses can be very effective internet marketing strategies, if you focus on the interests of your target market for your and utilize good keywords. There are a lot of free keyword tools you can use, or if you are willing to invest a little, WordTracker is one of the best keyword tools, and can more than pay for itself though increased sales.
Online Social Groups
Yahoo groups, MSN, facebook, LinkedIn, online forums and many other online social networks are a great way to connect with people who would be interested in the products or services you offer. There are many online social groups, so it should be fairly easy to either find ones with people in your target market or attract your target audience through the information about you and information you share.
One thing to keep in mind when using this internet marketing strategy is that people do not want a “sales pitch”. You need to establish credibility and provide information of value. You will attract far more people to you when they see you as an “expert” on the topic rather than just a sales person.
So as an example, if you have a product or service of interest to other homeschoolers, join some of the online homeschool groups and forums, post comments and advice of value. When a question or topic comes up in which your product or service would help, then you can provide the information. Also, most forums and online groups allow you to include a signature line with a link to your website. When you post help and advice of value, you will naturally attract people to you and they will click on your link.
Video can be a powerful internet marketing strategy. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. You can attract people's attention and when done right, you can event make your video viral – so people send more people to you by either linking to your video, putting your video or their websites, or forwarding a link to your video to other people.
You can create video with some simple tools – a webcam, Windows Movie Maker and Powerpoint or a similar free software available from OpenOffice.org Getting your video out to your audience is made easy with online video sites like YouTube, Brightcove, Tubetorial and Tubemongul.
A few things to keep in mind when creating marketing videos:
keep them short - 30 seconds – 2 ½ minutes is ideal, but definitely under 10 minutes
make sure you include your url at the beginning and end of your video so you are pointing people back to your site
be creative and use your sense of humor so people will direct others to your video
use good relevant keywords in your video title and description
According to the Associated Press, New data released on April 17, 2008 show online views of videos soared 66 percent in the U.S. in February from a year earlier. So this is an internet marketing strategy that has a growing audience and potential for attracting your target market back to you.
E-zines, Articles & Ebooks
E-zine are emailed newsletters, and a great way to establish your credibilty and keep bringing your target market back to you, and an effective internet marketing strategy. You can either provide a quality newsletter people can subscribe to that is emailed monthly or weekly, like our Homeschooling-Freedom Newsletter, which you can subscribe to on the left; or you can write articles for other people's e-zines. When writing articles for other people's e-zines, you want to choose e-zines with subscribers in your target market. You can also submit articles to websites, like EzineArticles.
E-books can either be made available free as an internet marketing strategy to promote your site, establish credibility, and bring people back to you, or they can be created to also make a profit. Making ebooks is really very simple, especially if you are just using they as a marketing tool. The simplest way to create an ebook is to write it in a word processing program, then save it as a pdf document. There is free software to save documents as pdf documents, like the software PDF995. Also, there is a free ebook creation software, Ewriter Pro. If you are selling them for profit you will want to use some of the available software to secure them from being copied and resold or given away.
Ezines, articles and ebooks are another way you can put your young homeschooling entrepreneurs to work writing. Children could create ebooks for sale on your website or as free resources that bring people back to your site. If you target market are other homeschoolers, you could even use samples of your children's work as content for your ebooks. If you get your children involved, you'll be amazed at the great ideas they come up with that can be used for strategic internet marketing.
Pay-per-click with Google Adwords is a effective internet marketing strategy provided you know what you are doing. It can be a great way to quickly see if you have a good target market and also to test your marketing campaign by running two different ads, known as split-testing. However I have seen a lot of people waste money on PPC because they don't know what they are doing. If you haven't used pay-per-click effectively in marketing your business, I highly recommend Perry Marshall's ebook, The Definitive Guide to AdWords. It is only $49 and well worth the money, since you could easily waste far more than that if you don't know what you are doing.
Renegade Marketer and Renegade University
Although the target audience of the Renegade Marketer and the Renegade Marketer system is network marketers, th principles and internet marketing strategies in the ebook and system can be utilized in ANY business. So if you are not in network marketing just ignore those references and focus on the methods and strategies taught. If you are in network marketing you will probably relate the experiences of my good friend and business associate, Ann Sieg, in her ebook.
Renegade University has a FREE membership and allow you to get a better idea how you can utilize some of the free and inexpensive internet marketing strategies taught in the Renegade Marketer. You can actually join Renegade University before purchasing the ebook and you can download Ann Sieg's FREE ebook, The 7 Great Lies of Network Marketing
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