Inexpensive ways you can market your service or business on the Web

Well many times I face this question that just making a website isnt the only thing..For it to be successful it requires marketing just like for any other thing …But the main thing is how to market ur website so that u can get max number of users to your website..

Below there r few ways of doing marketing for ur website – online..and they r very affordable methods which is another thing to be kept in mind for a new business..since they have less budget..

Every time I used to mention only few points since i couldnt remember all of them..And then i came across the article on powerhousebiz which made me write this blog today

So there are a number of inexpensive ways you can market your service or business on the Web, and here are eleven of them:

1. Network. Have you ever received an email from a friend asking you to send that email to 10 more of your friends? If you pass along emails to other people in your address list ­ whether it is a virus alert, crime alert, urban legends or even chain letters ­ you can use this strategy to promote your business. Tell your family, relatives and friends about your new online venture, then ask them to spread the word to their friends. In your email, describe to them your new site and how it will be of use to them. Hopefully, your email will be passed on to many more of your friends’ friends. This will help get the word out about your site. Don’t forget to ask for their comments and suggestions on how to improve your site.

2. Viral Marketing. Another form of effective word-of-mouth strategy on the Web is through viral marketing. Hotmail and became valuable properties on the Web as a result of clever use of this strategy. Emails from Hotmail and e-cards from BlueMountain always comes with a footer message that describes the company, resulting in multiplier effect in terms of brand awareness.

Another way of utilizing viral marketing for your site is through referrals. If you are offering content or service, you can put up a “Tell a Friend” button that lets customers recommend products or Web pages via email to friends. Recommend-It and are some of the sites that offer these services for free. These services allow you to keep track of those who recommend your site and the people they recommend it to.

3. Start a newsletter to keep ’em coming back. Newsletters and e-zines have become valuable tools in building loyalty and repeat visitors to a site. You can choose to develop the content of your newsletter, or use articles provided by other authors. Build your mailing list as you go along, but never send unsolicited emails. Spam is simply not worth it. You may start with 10 subscribers in your 1st two months, but you can grow to a thousand in a year depending on your traffic levels and promotion efforts.

4. Print flyers for distribution in your neighborhood. While the Internet is global in its reach, you can start promoting your site locally. Prepare fliers about your site, making sure that its lay-out does not scream: “I am a cheapo!!” Go to your neighbors whom you think might be interested in what you have to offer. If going door-to-door is not your style, post your fliers in your neighborhood grocery stores, public libraries (if they allow you), fast-food eateries, and even your local churches. Some even go to the mall to distribute flyers, while others leave their flyers in the cars in the parking lot.

5. Send out Press Releases to as many newspapers, local or national media that you can think of. If worked properly, the media can provide you with the publicity boost that your business needs. Send out a press release about your site’s launching, highlighting the features that makes your site different from all the rest. If you have an interesting and unique business model, describe it in your release. Tie-up your launching with a local event, or sponsor a contest. There are many ways of using the media; you just have to know how to use it.

6. Print business cards, with your website URL on it. A well-designed card is the mirror of your site. Give one to everyone you know. You may also want to take a look at web cards, or postcards with your web site’s screenshot. Instead of sending traditional Easter or Christmas cards, try them out.

7. Talk about your website whenever you have the opportunity to meet new acquaintances. You are the best promoter of your business. Take every opportunity to network and participate in local organizations. Tell your friends in the Sunday choir that you have a web site. Ask your peers in your ToastMasters club to check out your site. If you are riding the subway and are seated beside a person reading a book on how to make money, give him or her your business card.

8. Submit your site to the search engines and directories. Be patient though; as most search engines take about 2-3 months to list a site. You don’t have to use a submission service as you can pretty much do it yourself. Yahoo now charges $199, but it is definitely worth it. LookSmart also charges listing fee, but they provide smaller traffic compared to Yahoo. Evaluate pay-per-click sites like Overture, where you can bid for keywords and pay for every traffic that it brings your site.

9. Participate in discussion forums. A lot of websites provide message boards to attract traffic. You can post messages and invitation to your site in these message boards. Participate in the discussion, always ending your posts with your signature file. There are also business chat rooms where you can introduce your website to anyone in your product line. Carefully read the guidelines and don’t spam lest you be banned from participating in future discussions.

10. Write articles and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Make sure to provide a brief description about you and your site. Read the guidelines of the site before submitting your articles. If you have developed a wide body of content, and regularly produce new articles or write-ups, you can even earn from them through syndication.

11. Never forget opportunities to promote your site offline. These can range from simple things such as putting a car sticker with your URL on it (make sure it is big enough for other commuters to see) to writing a book or regular column in a newspaper.

All these will be enough to keep you busy 16 hours a day and may never end as long as you are on the Internet. You should always be looking for new areas where you can promote your site with minimal expenses.

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SEO – What is Google PageRank and Why You Should Care About It

Well this specific post is some what different from the general topics that I cover on this blog. But the thing is that recently I have launched my website and so the idea came after I hosted it…

First of all whenever a site is launched the main thing is that it should be known to the public…U dont want to restrict just to ur group but u want that ur website should be seen by more and more people. So wats the way out..Well ofcourse the first thing that comes to mind is SEO.

For any site to actually succeed you require to do SEO for that site … and the first step for that it getting it listed on major search engines…And thats wat I did and I was lucky to get my site listed on the search engines with good ranks.. On yahoo is u search for Dhaval Parikh as a keyword u will get my site listed first.. and on google if you see with the same keyword it comes 4th so its good for me @ the initial level…I did that by trying some of the basics in SEO such as Sitemaps, Meta tags and so on..

After that comes page rank..Google Page rank is now a days becoming popular bcoz it decided the value of the site. I wanted to get a better google page rank and I m still finding out methods to get better page rank for my site…

While doing research for it I found this little article which will actually help u to know what is google page rank and how its useful and also its importance

If you have a new website and you want people to visit it, then you are probably going to be interested in learning about PageRank. So what is Google PageRank, and why does it matter? Well pretty much, PageRank is what the search site Google uses to determine the quality and popularity of a webpage. Thus, it really is choosing if the site will appear at the top of the search engines results. So if you want your site to come up in search results, then you should care about what PageRank things about your site!

When PageRank first came out, it usually ranked the sites with the highest keyword density at first.
During that period someone with basic seo skills was able to get a website in the top 10 results without to much hassle. People were using that weakness to rank their sites higher. Now that time is over and in order to get in the top 10 results on google you have to work harder and build a lot of back links to keep your head out of the water and generate some google organic traffic from google.

So how does Google PageRank rank your website now? Well, in theory, Google thinks that if a page has a lot of links leading to it, then it must be a pretty important site. Thus, if you have a lot of links out there on other sites leading back to your website, it is going to do wonders for your search engine ranking. In fact, you can think of a link on another site kind of like a vote for your site. So, say website A has a link to website B; then it would be like website A was voting for website B! Of course, it does not just stop there. Sites that have a higher ranking have more weight when voting. Thus, if you are linked to a lot of small, low ranked sites and then another site is just linked to one high ranked site, they could be ranked above you.

Of course, with any system there are flaws. People tend to post their links anywhere to try and get their ranking up. In fact, if you have ever come across a web page that has nothing except a ton of links on it, then you just uncovered a link farm. This is a site that is made to not be found by people. The only things that usually find this page are the Google Crawlers. Thus, they find the links and count it as a vote for another site. However getting your link on a link farm does not count as a positive vote for your web site. Keep in mind that all links are not created equal! Link farms are considered spamming by Google so try to stay away from link farms. In fact, getting your links to several link farms websites may get you banned from some search engines and especially Google.

Hope you njoied the article..You can post comments below and let others know about this article also.

Dhaval Parikh
Software Engineer
Ruby on Rails

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Apple launches Web 2.0 infrastructure: MobileMe

At the WWDC on Monday, Apple announced the next evolution of its .Mac service, MobileMe. A cloud storage solution that handles e-mail, calendar items, contacts, photos, and other documents, it will arguably compete with Microsoft’s Live Mesh, as well as several other data synchronization start-ups like SugarSync (download).

MobileMe will replace Apple’s consumer Web site service, .Mac, and adds to that service additional storage (.Mac’s 10GB gos to MobileMe’s 20GB), plus support for the new iPhone and for Windows PCs.

The big pitch for the new service is its synchronization capabilities. E-mail to your MobileMe account will be pushed to your phone. Photos you take on your phone can be automatically uploaded to your Web-based MobileMe account and shared with your friends.

The concept is that the iPhone becomes just one way to view your data and your community. If you’re in front of a full-screen Web browser or sitting at your Mac or Windows desktop, you might prefer to use one of those larger interfaces instead, but with MobileMe, everything you do will be updated to your iPhone immediately.

The service is being pitched as “Exchange for the rest of us,” referencing Microsoft’s corporate e-mail solution that offers excellent shared calendar features and e-mail and contact sync across devices and the Web. These are features everyone deserves, and Microsoft has been late, to say the least, at offering this kind of service to consumers.

There’s no indication that MobileMe will be open to developers, although we assume not. It was launched at Apple’s developers’ conference and if it were open we would have heard it there.

Apple’s current .Mac accounts will upgraded to MobileMe automatically when the service becomes available in July. A 60-day free trial will be available. The service will cost $99 a year after that from Apple. It looks like you can sign up for .Mac on right now for $69, though, and get the auto-upgrade in a month. Might be worth a shot if you want to save $30.

Update: Apple has posted a Guided Tour of MobileMe.

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Yahoo gets more social with new Messenger 9 beta

You can’t take it with you, at least when it comes to your social graph.

But with a new beta version of Yahoo Messenger 9 software released Thursday, users have new options for reconstructing networks of friends and contacts they’ve built elsewhere.

The new beta of Yahoo Messenger 9 can help user invite contacts on AOL, Google’s Gmail and Orkut, Microsoft’s Hotmail, MySpace, and other online services to connect through the Yahoo service. Version 9 also includes a special group of all people in your Yahoo address book, helping to connect with contacts users may have stored elsewhere within Yahoo itself.

Also tying more deeply into the rest of Yahoo, the new beta can be used to reflect some other activities within the network–for example, when somebody spotlights a Web site of interest using Yahoo Buzz.

“We’ll add more types of updates in the future,” said product manager Sarah Bacon in a blog posting about the new beta.

Yahoo Messenger 9 is intended for use on Windows XP, in contrast to the more obviously named Yahoo Messenger for Vista. The final version of the Yahoo Messenger 9 is due in the third quarter, Yahoo said. The Mac equivalent is scheduled to be released by the end of the year.

Also new in the beta is a better interface for setting status messages–even if you’re away from your IM software, Yahoo said. And links to games present in Yahoo Messenger 8 has made its way to version 9, so users can play pool, checkers, and others. However, only those with version 8.1 or later can play games with those using the version 9 beta, Yahoo said.

Yahoo Messenger’s icon, a frighteningly happy face, reflects the fact that people have a whole section of their brains just for processing facial information. Yahoo is tapping into that visual cortex a little more directly with the new beta, which uses larger emoticons.

For further information, check Yahoo’s blog about the new beta or a Messenger 9 beta demo video.

Originally posted at News Blog

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Mozilla: Final Firefox 3 expected in June

Firefox fans looking for a major update to the open-source Web browser probably will get a final version of it next month.

One of the Firefox’s strengths is the broad collection of hundreds of add-ons, but that also means things move more slowly when programmers must update their projects to be compatible with Firefox 3. And that’s part of what Mozilla is watching closely as it seeks feedback from the 1.5 million people who have installed the Firefox 3 release candidate 1, which Mozilla issued a few days ago.

“We’re in a phase where we’re letting add-ons get a chance to update,” Schroepfer said. “We like to have RCs (release candidates) out for a while to gather feedback.”

More release candidates are possible, he said. With Firefox 2, there were three. “We’re in better shape this time, but there’s no reason to rush this,” he said.

The release candidate is available for download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. If you want to try it out, it’s best to read the release notes first, in particular the known issues that could trip you up.

After Mozilla’s years-long slow start, Firefox has gained significant market share against its top rival, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Although the latter still dominates the market, Firefox has helped to reignite the browser wars to an extent: Microsoft is investing more resources in IE development, Apple has brought its own Safari to Windows, and Apple and Google are among those devoting attention to the open-source Webkit browser engine project.

Browsers have also become more important as the Internet has begun moving to the more lavish and interactive pages of Web 2.0. For that reason, performance has become a concern: browsers now must execute large amounts of JavaScript code that power-hungry sites such as the office applications of Google Docs and the photo editing of Picnik use.

The Mozilla Foundation has grown significantly over the years. It’s set up two subsidiaries, Mozilla Corp. to handle the browser, and the newer Mozilla Messaging group to handle the Thunderbird e-mail software.

“We’re looking for final ship sometime in June,” said Mike Schroepfer, Mozilla’s vice president of engineering, in an interview Wednesday. Mozilla, which was spun out of AOL more than 10 years ago, oversees the Firefox programming project.

Based on market share statistics and the number of Firefox browsers that check Mozilla servers for updates, Schroepfer estimates there are about 175 million Firefox users today.

Firefox crossed the 500 million download mark in February, and now has been downloaded more than 556 million times.

What are Schroepfer’s three favorite things about Firefox 3?

• “No 1. is definitely the awesome bar–the smart location bar. It changed the way I use the browser. With a couple keyboard presses, it figures out what page I want to go to.” The smart location bar starts suggesting Web addresses based on the user’s browsing history and can sidestep problems with complicated, hard-to-remember URLs.

• Second is “the performance and memory work. It’s 2 to 3 times faster than the previous version and nearly 10 times faster than IE 7,” he boasted. “We really tuned the heck out of memory use, so it uses a lot less memory, especially with lots of windows and tabs.”

• Third: “The antimalware and security features. We used to tell people not to go to the bad part of the Net. Now we’re seeing legitimate sites being taken over,” so it’s good to have better protection by default.

The CNET review of Firefox 3 RC1 generally concurred with Schroepfer’s assessment, though we found the memory improvements were “nothing to write home about,” and some performance improvements might be related to the fact that incompatible add-ons weren’t running.

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The fastest way to open a word processor

Faster is almost always better, at least when it comes to computers. So what’s the fastest way to open a word processor?

You can create a keyboard shortcut to open Notepad, WordPad, Word, or any other word processor on your PC by right-clicking the program’s shortcut on the Start menu, choosing Properties > Shortcut > Shortcut key, entering your keystroke combination of choice (be sure not to overwrite one that’s already in use), and pressing Enter. I described how to get fast access to all your keyboard shortcuts in a post from last week.

Now press the keystroke combination to open the program, and start typing (or navigate to an existing file you want to open). When you’re done working in the file, press Ctrl-S, give the file a name (if it doesn’t have one already), choose a location to store it (or accept the program’s default storage folder), and press Enter. What could be simpler?

Well, skipping the file-naming and storage location-choosing steps, for one thing. And having access to the notes from any Internet-connected computer, for another.

Web word processors auto-save files
You can create a keyboard shortcut that opens Google Docs or any other Web word processor. Start by opening a new document in the service. Select the URL in the Address bar, and type Ctrl-C to copy it to the clipboard. Now open Windows Explorer to the Desktop or any other folder, right-click anywhere in the folder, choose New > Shortcut, paste the URL of the service into the location field, press Enter, give the shortcut a name, and press Enter again.

Next, right-click the shortcut you just created, click Properties > Shortcut > Shortcut key, type your preferred keystroke combination for opening the service, and press Enter. Now you can open the service ready to create a new file by pressing that keyboard shortcut.

Unfortunately, if you’re not already logged in, you’ll have to enter your username and password before you can open the blank file. You can avoid the login step by creating the shortcut to the Writer online word processor that mimics the look of old DOS-based text editors running on a green-phosphor display. (The service’s bare-bones look is itself modeled after the free Dark Room word processor, which, in turn, is the Windows version of the WriteRoom word processor for Mac OS X.)

Since Writer doesn’t require you to log in–or even to create an account–you need not give your files a name. Just stick with the default, and when you want to reopen the file, select it from your list of documents, which appears just below the text window.

Writer remembers your files by leaving a cookie with the identifying information. If you delete the cookie, you lose access to the files, unless you sign up for a free account. The account has the added benefit of providing access to your files from any Internet-connected PC.

Should you find Writer to your liking, be sure to make a donation to its creator to help keep the great services coming.

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