When you are starting a web-based company, there is no greater
sign of accomplishment than watching your page counter start
cranking. But how do you get it cranking when on a start-up's
The secret is to market in stages.
If you can't afford a mass marketing campaign to get those hits
rolling in, then there are a few tricks and secrets to getting
enough traffic to get the ball rolling. First thing is to
exhaust all free advertising avenues. Why pay for something you
can get for free, right? Well, as with all things, you typically
get what you pay for, so don't think that you can run your site
on freebies alone.
Exchange links. Target websites in the same market, but are not
in direct competition. Prepare banners of several sizes and
background colors to accommodate your proposed web partners.
You'll have more luck with the exchange if the website already
contains banners or a links page. Don't expect a website to
change their format just to accept your link. Focus on sites
with moderate traffic that appear to have a bit of advertising
on them. They'll be more likely to cooperate with an exchange.
Search engines. This is the #1 way that the public will find
your site. Don't neglect the importance of search results. Be
aware of the methods used by search engines. Something that may
be helpful in your listing on one search engine may work against
you on another. There are also several websites (such as
www.addme.com) that will add your site to multiple search
engines simultaneously for free. Don't be impatient, though.
Many search engines are over run with submissions, so getting a
listing in 3 or 4 weeks is not uncommon.
Newsgroups. Find related newsgroups and get your name known. You
can either do a post describing your sale items or services, or
you can just be a newsgroup regular and become the resident
Now that you are up and running, you should have enough traffic
to financially support your next marketing wave.
Advertise on key websites. These are high traffic webpages that
were out of reach for link exchanges; ones marketed towards the
same consumers without being your competition.
Email ads. Be careful with this one. Out of the blue or "spam"
email advertising can be very annoying to consumers and may
backfire. Rather, find an email newsletter for your market and
sponsor a few issues. Believe me, potential customers will be
much more agreeable to an ad in their newsletter than spam in
Time to crank up the marketing to a more traditional advertising
Magazines. There are really many similarities between
advertising in magazines and web ads. Get exposure in magazines
that reflect the interests of your potential customers, much
like how you chose the right websites to advertise on. And
eventhough it's tempting to use all the space, try not to cram a
lot of information in a magazine ad. Rather, use an attention
grabber that will persuade a reader to jump on your website for
Radio. Radio advertising is really flexible since you can choose
the amount of exposure that is right for you. If you are
doubtful of its effectiveness, just sponsor a related local
radio show. If this works out well, then you may want to have
commercials cut, or sponsor a national show. Again, choosing the
right show is of utmost importance. For example, if you website
deals with finance, then sponsor a radio broadcast that deals
Television. Nothing quite gives an internet company instant
prestige like a witty tv commercial. As with radio, you must
select a proper time slot to maximize its effectiveness. Choose
your target audience wisely and project a professional company
These are just a few suggestions to achieve .com success. Take
these ideas and personalize them towards your own web-based
business. There is no perfect formula that fits every market,
however there are proven marketing methods. And remember that
the web is still a relatively young form of media, so the sky
really is the limit.
About the author:
Kevin Noesner is founder of RentTracker.com, a company providing
affordable rental property management software. For more
information or a free copy of RentTracker Lite, go to: