Remember when advertising was limited to expensive ads in print. I came from that field and clients paid thousands of dollars to claim their market share. Printers worked overtime to keep up with impossible deadlines and increasing demand.
A few years ago, I was looking for a service in the Yellow Pages. My son found the service faster than I did, by using the Internet. At the time, I was spending some serious cash on the Yellow Pages for local advertising. I was sold into the idea that “break even” advertising was fine because of repeat business.
Business owners from my generation, and the generations before, had accepted the idea of investing in failure. We even had a formula of “cost per information call,” to justify investing, in advertising, that would not show a profit for months or years.
However, how many ads can you write in print and afford to break even on your expenses? Most “mom an pop" businesses invest their hard earned money and look forward to, a much needed, immediate “return on investment.” Why else would they advertise in the first place? Small businesses are looking for instant results.
My son had enlightened me about the accessibility of Internet advertising, but I was really new to the idea. Shortly afterward, I sought out an Internet advertising guru. By luck and fate, I found Corey Rudl and IMC. Later, I was coached by Corey’s mentoring program.
For the first time ever, you can advertise for, very little or, no money at all. A web site can cost $100 to $200 per year depending upon the host and what kind of package you need to get started.
If you do it all yourself, you won’t spend anything else. You must still work to optimize your site, for the search engines, and if you hire "outside" it won’t be cheap. A "top notch" search engine optimization (SEO) expert won’t come cheap either, and some of the inexpensive (SEO) services will get you “black listed.”
With a website full of unique “keyword content,” it should take you about five months to see big changes in your rankings with the major search engines. This is a conservative estimate, but getting top 10 rankings with Google, Yahoo, MSN, or AOL requires skill, content, and time.
However, Blogs can get you ranked very fast. Due to the constant changes and adding of copy that is keyword rich you can establish an Internet presence in much less time. On top of that, you don’t have to know HTML or be an SEO expert.
Some Blog services like Blogger are free, and since Blogger owned by Google, it is well worth your while to open an account. All you have to do is make entries a few days per week. If you have a lot to say – more keyword content is better.
If you are a small business, refer to your services, products, changes, and your geographic location, in your Blog entries. This will point prospects toward your Blog. When people are searching for your niche market in your area, you will be listed within your niche.
Blogs work in harmony with a web site, so you should still get a web site and have your Blog link to your company website and have your website link back to your Blog. This is a great way to let potential customers see the changes that happen in your business and feel your passion for it. When your new customers meet you, they will be much more informed and comfortable, with you.
A powerful Blog, with unique and keyword rich content, serves as a "magnet," and may draw more customers than your web site does. The bottom line is you don’t have to spend a penny on advertising with your Blog.
© Copyright 2005 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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Paul Jerard is the director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He’s a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students wanting to be a Yoga teacher.
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