Grassroots Marketing Online
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Seven Secrets of Grassroots Internet Marketing
by Mike Banks Valentine

Marketing your small business online can look like a complex
and daunting task when getting started with your ecommerce
enabled web presence. But listen folks, there just ain't that
much to it! Lend me an ear while I set the record straight.

Here are a few of those closely guarded secrets held by the
internet marketing gurus and sold to unsuspecting newbies in
e-books and membership sites and internet conferences, classes
and courses that sell for anywhere from $20 for the e-book to
$2,000 for the weekend conference!

Secret number 1). Create an attractive and usable web site.
Duh! *Don't* do-it-yourself unless you have plenty of time
on your hands and a considerable skill in design. Front Page
will give you a web site, but only a designer will give you
a professional looking presence with intelligent site tools
like effective navigation and attractive layout and working
links. They usually know all the stuff you may take months
to learn on your own. How much is your time worth?

Secret number 2). Learn to use metatags on all of your pages.
Yes, even though you paid a designer to craft your georgeous
web site, you still need to understand and use metatags, which
tell the search engines the content of your site and help to
get it ranked highly for specific search terms at the search
engines. If you take a basic class in web design, it will no
doubt explain this basic ingredient to web marketing. If you
want a crash course go to:

Secret number 3). Submit your site to the search engines.
Another DUH! but often overlooked by top web designers and
simply not done by many web development companies unless you
pay extra for the service. Those promotions you see all over
the web that will submit your site to 9,000 search engines
are utterly worthless. Just *eight* search engines and three
directories provide 90 percent of all traffic to your site!
Here's a page to learn more with links to those 11 submission

Secret number 4). Seek quality links from complementary sites.
The search engines use another tool to determine your ranking
(if you're not in the top 30 results you're invisible) called
link relevancy in which they look at how many *quality* web
sites link to yours. Want to know that number now? Visit the
number one search engine at and type
the following into the search box:
Then look just above the results to the right where it will
tell you how many sites are linked to yours. That is a very
important number, but to complicate things they also consider
the *quality* and popularity of those sites linking to yours.

Secret number 5). Distribute a business press release online.
This technique is worth more than any other if it's done well.
WebSite101 has successfully submitted releases and has been
mentioned in Entrepreneur, Inc. and Oracle magazines online!
Most press release distribution services offer tutorials on
their sites that help you write an effective press release
that will get picked up by large and noteworthy web and print
publications. Here are a few tutorials to get you started:

Secret number 6). Get your butt outta that chair and network!
Have your web address on all business cards, invoices, signs
fliers, letterhead, email signatures, promotional material,
newspaper ads, etc. and get them in front of as many eyeballs
and in as many hands as you possibly can! Appear as an expert
on your subject or business category at meetings, events,
radio shows, trade shows and make sure you mention your web
address in your presentation. Be a guest in online chats and
post comments at high traffic discussion boards like those at in your specialty area.

Secret number 7). Give great content, request e-mail addresses.
There just can't be anyone out there that *still* doesn't know
that creating an email list of interested visitors is critical.
Offer great information for free in exchange for the email
address of visitors to your site. Then produce and distribute
a regularly scheduled email newsletter or ezine to your site
visitors to keep your business and web address in front of the
people that have already shown an interest in your site. What?
You say you can't write or don't have anything to say to your
potential customers? Your site is about something you have
devoted your business life to! You must be able to talk about
it! Here is a place to get free small business related content: Now NO more excuses!
WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Ezine emphasizing small business online e-tutorial online at: By week's end you're ready expand your business to the web! --------------------------------------------------------
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July 26, 2001