A Small Guide To Free Advertising
How to find and use no-cost advertising that works…
|Thanks to: Johan Agren
Contrary to what some may say, free advertising on the Internet is NOT a waste of time. Many SFI Affiliates have successfully used free classified ad posting to build strong SFI home businesses for themselves. Although it typically does take more of a time investment than other, more costly methods, when used effectively, free advertising can truly take your SFI business to the next level!
If you’ve tried free advertising in the past and have not gotten the results you were looking for, it may simply be that you’re just not going about it the right way. This guide discusses how you can effectively use this form of advertising to successfully build your SFI home business, increase your sales, and raise your commission checks.
Before You Start With Free Ads
Before posting free ads, it’s STRONGLY recommended that you set up an extra business e-mail address. Free classifieds are free for a reason: When you post ads, you will receive “confirmation e-mails” that your ads were posted. If you post to classified networks, you can receive hundreds of confirmation e-mails per day.
Simply set up a free Hotmail or Yahoo account to catch these emails. Then once a week, clean up your e-mail account by deleting all e-mails, so your inbox doesn’t get full. In many cases, you must register and verify your business e-mail address before you can post your ad. Use the same password for all registrations so you easily can remember it.
Why You Should Post Your Ads On A Tuesday 12 Noon CST
Statistics are very important for a successful ad campaign. For example, you can use statistics to figure out when it’s more likely that people will find your ad. First, let’s take a look at some charts that display statistics collected from personal Websites:
Here is a graphical chart that displays how Internet traffic flows during the hours of the day:
This chart displays how traffic flow during the days of the week:
This chart displays how much of that traffic comes from different timezones:
When you combine these statistics, you’ll see that it’s best to post an ad on a Tuesday, 12 noon CST, the day and time when most people you target are active on the Internet. You can also see that it’s a waste of time to post an ad at 5 a.m. on a Saturday. By taking advantage of these facts, you can improve your results by 10 times or more.
Try to stay focused when you post ads. It’s easy to get distracted by some advertising that says: “Post 2000 ads here!” or “This submit software posts to 500,000 sites with a click of a button!” or something similar. You will find a lot of attractive offers on those sites because they know that you are a targeted customer! One good rule is:
Submission software is useless, because it posts to sites no real human visits. All good classified ad sites have protection against those type of submission programs. Posting manually or with the help of a typing program like AdWizard are the best methods (the only methods).
How To Place Your Ads
Place your ads in categories such as, Business Opportunities, Work At Home, Home Business, MLM, and the like. Do not post ads in unrelated categories. If you have to option to post in several relating categories, do so.
In many cases, there is a form where you can fill in your Website URL. Sometimes you have to include your URL in the ad description. Either way, ALWAYS include your site’s URL. When you start to post free classified ads, you can do it without adding the sites to the AdWizard program mentioned above (if you have chosen to use that software). But as soon as your tracking shows that a site is giving you visitors, add this page to the AdWizard or—at the very least—save or write down the URL.
Your goal is to find as many classified ad sites that bring a positive result; those sites will be your goldmines! A site that gives you a visitor per day or at least every second day is a good site. Don’t waste your time posting ads to sites that do not give you any visitors. As you go along, you’ll see that the more ads you post to different sites and track the results, the more and better sites you will find. This is the secret behind effective free advertising, as your results will inevitably get better every day. To what degree depends on your effort.
How Often To Place Your Ads
This depends on whether you find a high-traffic free ad site. Sometimes, your ad can roll off the site in one hour or faster. Sometimes, it stays for weeks. Generally, however, you should post to your free ad sites once every day. Be aware, though, that if you post on a site where no one else is posting, multiple ads from you may appear a little silly. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check out a site before you post your ad a second time.
Finding Classified Ad Sites
You can find classified ad sites through Google. HOWEVER, be aware that one major mistake people make is that they search for classified ad sites by doing an online search for “classified ad sites.”
For example, if you Google “classified ad sites,” you will, no doubt, find a lot of ad sites. BUT is that what the people you are trying to reach (your target audience) do?
No! They search for a phrase like “work at home,” “home based business,” etc.
So, if you place ads on classified ad sites you found while searching for “classified ad sites,” your ads will be on pages your targeted visitors never find.
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s looking for a work-at-home opportunity. How would they go about searching for this topic on the Internet? Think of the phrases they might type in their favorite search engine’s search box. Now, type one of those phrases in the search box of the major search engines, and research the sites that show up in the results. Then, try those phrases with different search engines (Yahoo!, MSN, Google, Lycos, etc.).
When you’re conducting your research, go to EVERY site that comes up in the first 20 matches. Take notes or print out the results, especially the Yahoo! and Google results.
Finding classified ad sites in this way is a little harder and more time consuming, but it’s well worth the extra trouble!
Tracking Your Results
Effective tracking is why many SFI Affiliates are able to build profitable businesses. It’s also at this point that many marketers fail. You must have a personal Website to track your advertising effectively.
By adding a piece of HTML code to your Website, you will discover statistics about your visitors. The most important stats are how many visitors you have and from where they come. You will be able to find out the exact advertisement that attracted the person to come to your site. By placing advertising and tracking your results, you will find out where you should continue to place ads, and where you should stop wasting your time!
Yet another method of tracking your results are to imbed keycode numbers (anything from 1 to 9999) into your SFI Gateway URLs in your SFI advertisements. When an affiliate joins the SFI program, they will be listed in your Genealogy with the keycode number you assigned to that ad.
So, for example, if you run an ad and give your SFI Free Gateway URL for viewers to go to for more information, your URL would look like this:
Now, let’s say that you assign a keycode number of 1000 for a specific ad. Your Gateway will then appear like this:
Anyone clicking that link and then joining the SFI program will then appear in your Genealogy report with the number “1000” next to their name.
If you compare this type of tracking with that of offline advertising, which is very hard to track with statistics, Internet marketing is a playground for those of you who like to have control over what happens.
Here’s an example offline scenario: you open a new bookstore in your town and want to tell everyone about it. You place ads in different categories of newspapers and send out commercial mailings to mailboxes all over town. People start to visit your bookstore and business is OK. You figure that your advertising campaign worked, but have no idea WHAT aspect of the campaign actually brought the customers in. At this point, your only option is to start asking every visitor that came to your shop where they found out about it. This is hardly practical.
However, with Internet marketing, it’s a breeze!
Place ads during the most active hours on the day. Then, at the end of the day, log in and make notes of the Websites that gave you a positive result. If you repeat the procedures outlined in this article every day, you will soon have many Websites sending you visitors and your results will improve steadily, step by step, day by day.