How to advertise your online business for free
The hardest part of launching a new business is getting the attention of potential customers. Advertising is necessary, but traditional forms of advertising can quickly become expensive. However, using the Internet for both business and advertising can cut costs tremendously. Here are some of the best ways to use the Internet to advertise for free.
Create a Facebook page and integrate Facebook into your website. Facebook has millions of users every day, many of whom are interested in keeping up with the companies they do business with or may be potentially interested in. Creating a Facebook page can also further your search engine optimization, so your site will be more easily found. Plus, if you integrate Facebook into your website by using the like, send, and share options on your site pages and/or products, then you'll enable customers to share your site and products with everyone on their friends' list - a new kind of word-by-mouth.
Post listings on free directory websites. A simple Google search can yield plenty of options for directory websites you can join. Two of the most prominent examples are the Yellow Pages and Yahoo. Business owners might not look into posting on these directories because of the assumption they charge a fee, but you should always check your facts before writing an option off.
Join online communities related to your field. However, you should do more than just join and fill out a profile. In order to make the most out of this medium, you should be an active participant, meaning you should contribute to the site in any way you can, volunteer to help when the opportunity arises, add articles or other information, and make yourself visible and helpful on the forums. Be sure not to promote yourself in every post you make; leave that for your author's bio, your profile, and any post signatures.
Use e-mail signatures to promote. This has become more common these days, but it's still a valid point worth mentioning. Many e-mail services will let you put a signature at the end of your messages, which you can use to state your company name, your position, a link to your website, and/or a link to your company blog. It doesn't take long to set up, and you may find yourself getting more business from it.
Write company blogs. This is another phenomenon that has become increasingly common, yet still worth mentioning. Regularly updating a company blog will keep your site current with fresh information, improving your search engine rankings. Plus, if you crosspost your blogs to multiple sites, such as LiveJournal or Blogspot, then you can link back to your site and possibly pull in more visitors and customers.