Encyclopedia of Free Online Advertising - 2nd Edition by Jeff Dedrick - HTML preview
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Blasting - (Scam Alert!)
This generic term is sometimes used loosely for sending out large amounts of (assumed non-spam) email, such as to multiple eZines or Safelists. See “eZines.”
However, there is a lesser-understood ‘technique’ called Blasting that scammers commonly use to sell software. Beware any Software that claims to “Blast” your website out to large numbers of directories, other websites, classified Ads, FFAs, or even “free” eZine publishers. If they are charging money for this software or service, you won’t ever hear from them again.If they aren’t charging money for it, then they’re harvesting your email address and you’ll be the next “blastee.”
Blogs (A subset of Link Building)
These great tools act as duplicate websites that are extremely easy and free to set up, and can generate traffic very quickly. All you need is some content, not even very good content, and you’ve got a great “Second site” for the search engine to follow your links to and from.
Ever since Google bought Blogger.com, Googlebot has paid a lot of attention to what’s happening in “the Blogosphere.” Search engines still love to spider Blog content more often than other types of websites, since blogs were invented to be easy for SE Spiders to traverse in the first place.
A unique feature of even the free blogs like Wordpress & blogger is that you can set them up to automatically “ping” certain Search Engines or even social bookmarking sites to request that the spider comes out for another visit every time new content is added.
However, the hype about blogs has mostly died down now. (Thank goodness!) At first it was well justified, and then a method of website marketing called “Blog and Ping” was overused in early 2006 by most of the Internet Marketers of the time. It involved making tons of blogs with almost no content in them except a link to their website, and then setting them all to ping immediately… This caused Google to hold an emergency war council and now the Ping feature is only marginally better than not at all. –It is still an advantage over normal websites though!
The other great thing about a Blog is that you can get attention to it, not just by pinging but with any of the thousands of social bookmarking tools, per POST, not per website, which is a powerful thing. There are many marketers who are using Wordpress blogs installed on their own servers to generate 4,000 unique visitors every day right now! –Not peaks, but Constant traffic… Although they do have to come up with good content daily for that to stay at that level.
You can read a lot more about Web 2.0 and Social bookmarking in later chapters, including how they relate to blogs, but the thing to decide at this point is if you want to build a huge, high-tech blog yourself, or if you just want to use other’s blogs for some easy traffic.
Check out this service by none other than Mike Filsaime: The Free Advertising Blog. It’s an interesting example of a blog turned into a free-for all ad posting site. He’s basically just allowed anyone to sign up for free and start posting their ads, even in full HTML. –With a few hundred or thousand blog postings a day, I get the idea that no one’s ever going to read these things… But since it’s a Blog, you know Googlebot will!
A BLOG with thousands of posts a day?? Let’s just say that the jury is still out on how long this will last. –But you might as well sign up and get your free one-way link to your sites with it while they’re still valuable.
The reason I mentioned Free Ad Blog wasn’t just to build downlines, but I wanted to demonstrate a point; it’s easy to find blogs that are watched by search engine spider constantly, so you can submit one-way links back to your site. This is by no means the only blog online that will let you post for free.
So, a big bloggin’ operation or simply small blog hit n’ run jobs; It’s up to you how to use weblogs. They are extremely flexible & powerful when coupled with social bookmarking tools, and the Blogosphere is growing exponentially, daily. But no matter which you choose, I recommend you start somewhere, because we’re all going to be blogging eventually if we still have a need for any traffic.
Blog Comments - (A subset of Link Building)
Much like Forum Marketing, commenting on other people’s Blogs is a great way to build incoming links and also network in your niche.
Finding blogs that are on your niche topic is as easy as going to Blogger’s search at: http://search.blogger.com, to a great tech head’s site called Technorati: http://technorati.com, or directly to Google’s whole web Blog Search at: http://blogsearch.google.com.Once you’ve found a blog that is on your topic, I recommend bookmarking it and the others you find into the same folder so you can watch them from time to time.
What’ you’re looking for is a question that you can answer. If you simply make a posting that sounds like an advertisement, they you’ll be spamming the blog, and surely the blog’s owner will delete it, and may even ban your IP address.
The trick is to answer a question someone else asks with your business being part of the solution. You want to show off your expertise without sounding too arrogant, and of course you want to get a link in. Always offer help and advice, and only market yourself when it’s part of a solution to someone else’s question.
The real benefits of this method are long term, as you want to be found by both SE Spiders and humans alike, talking authoritatively on your niche subject. No one blog posting will bring in tons of visitors, however, and you aren’t going to find the ‘ripe’ questions out there every day.
Banner Ad Exchanges
Most people will agree publicly that they never click on banner ads. Then they go home and click on them without even knowing it. Banner ads today are all about creative placement which can work well when done right.
It’s true that they’ve lost their effectiveness significantly… In 1994, webmasters could EXPECT 5% or more clickthru rates for semi-targeted banner ads! We were in the infancy of marketing on the internet and back in those days we all thought that Advertising wouldn’t go very far online! How naive we all were… But in 2000, Harvard University did an in-depth experiment on web surfing with the conclusion that we had trained ourselves to avoid looking at banner ads. Specifically, the strip across the top 10% of the screen was virtually invisible to us already.
Clickthru rates plummeted from 5% way down to 0.0005%, and I have no idea where they are today. The same old banner ads simply won’t ever work again. So, why did I rate them 3 out of 5 for quantity?
Advertisers have figured out how to make banner ads somewhat effective again. They simply move them around on the page, make them into different shapes, turn them vertical, or whatever else to vary them from one page to the next.
They look different, and generally webmasters know to only place very targeted ads on their sites, because the more targeted the ads are to their content, the better the clickthru rate will be.
The method that allows you to get access to this form of advertising for free is called a Banner Exchange. Like a traffic exchange, these work by you exchanging impressions with other webmasters.
All you have to make is a single banner, (obviously the more, the better) and place it along with your website profile into one of the many Banner Exchange services. The drawback is that you have to find a site to display other people’s banners on your site… A catch that most sales websites can’t afford to live with.
If you can find room on your website for such a banner, these do move some traffic around pretty well now that they’ve divided up all members sites into categories… That way you’ll only show ads on your site from other websites in your own general niche. And the more times you show that banner, the more times yours will be seen.
Overall, it’s an average traffic generation method, nothing too powerful. Perhaps you’ll have a use for this kind of traffic, but in most cases I’d say that you could do much better.
If you’re interested, you can easily find a good exchange by googling: "Best Banner Exchange." Often you’ll see Banner ad exchanges built into other services mentioned here such as traffic bars and surf exchanges.