Building A Business Without Advertising Your Product

Are you trying to sell your product online with little or no success? Are you spending lots of money advertising all over the web and getting very few sales? Well, maybe it's time you try something a little different. Try not selling your product! You read that right. People do not want to be sold to. They do like to buy things, however.

So what are you supposed to do? Well, I will try to keep this article short and to the point, without a lot of confusing jargon to make it longer. I have been reading everything I can get my eyes and hands on about online business. The one thing that sticks in my head is this - If you build it, will they come? Build what, you say? Build an online place where people will want to visit; an online community. And, if you do it right, they will come!

How do you do that? There have been many books written on this subject. You may want to check out some at your local library. Here's a really good article that sums up this idea remarkably well.

First, you must identify your target audience. Who are the people that will be interested in your product? What would bring these people together? What do you think their interests are? If you have to, do some research or take a survey.

A Message Board and a Chat Room are basically a must for any online community. Also, lots of free information about their interests. A Links page where you can list links to other sites that may be of interest to them. You should include a form for them to submit their input. See what they like or dislike about your community. Ask them what else they would like to see at your community. Members like to be involved in their community, either online or offline.

Also, you should have a "Tell a Friend" link. This way they can tell others that they know who would be interested in joining your community. A "Tell a Friend" link could be a prewritten letter about your online community that sounds like one friend telling another friend how great it is! All your current members have to do is copy and paste this letter into the body of an email. Or, they could write their own letter of recommendation. There's nothing better than free advertising!

After you have your online community established, you need to let people know it's there. There are many ways to do this. One good way is to find an e-zine that accepts articles from subscribers. Make sure it fits in with the topic of your community and/or products. Then you write an article to submit to the e-zine. Make sure it is professionally written. Mistakes reflect poorly on your professional image.

At the end of the article, you can include a link to your community. Remember, do not try to sell them anything in the article. You just want them to visit your community. First, get visitors, then turn visitors into customers through valuable relationships.

Another way would be to form a partnership with another website owner. One that, again, fits in with the subject matter of your community and/or product. Here, you would exchange links or advertising space with your new partner. Just send a letter to the webmaster of the site you're interested in exchanging links with and ask them if they would be interested too. Some will, some won't. Some might not even write back. DO NOT get discourage, forget about them and move on to the next one.

There are websites that focus mainly on this kind of partnership. Some people call it a Joint Venture (JV). These websites have members who are interested in finding a JV partner. All you need to do is find one or more that interests you. Most of these websites will take care of all the detail work of setting up the partnership, keeping track of who is partnered with who, if anyone is trying to cheat, etc.

There are many other ways of gaining attention for your website. Some are free, some are low cost and some are high cost. There's more information about this topic than can be written in one article. There's entire books dedicated to each of them.

John Layton has been publishing websites since 1998. His latest website, The Rebel Computer Guy (http://www.geocities.com/jlaytonjr1), has many resources and learning tools for the online business newbie. You may use this article for your own e-zine, newsletter, website, or whatever purpose you need. All I require is that you use the entire article, including the resource box giving me the credit. I would appreciate, but do not require, an email letting me know that you are using it and where I can find it. The Rebel Computer Guy website has lots of information about working on the Internet. Topics include; Guide To Working On The Web, Learn How To Write HTML, Ebooks and Reports, Classified Ads, Articles, and lots of Tips. There's also a Links section and a What's New section. Perfect for beginners. For more articles visit my articles page at http://www.geocities.com/jlaytonjr1 /Articles/Articles.htm

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