have my business on the Net, NOW what?
of the blue, apparently having seen a posting of mine
on a discussion list, I received an email from a desperate
new Net businessman. He had built his web site and, after
6 months, knowing that the Internet was for him, asked,
'where to go now?'.
How do you stand out of the crowd, enough to make your product
work and without going broke doing so, with expensive and
often useless advertising. VC's and Investors can stoke your
growth's fires, but they only provide the capital, one must
still find the most effective uses for it.
Below is the email and response, I hope this helps a few
people, it is an account of what we do regularly, and it
Here is the email from Edward S. I have taken out anything
that can directly identify him.
My name is Edward.
I'm a co-owner of a start up internet company. I've read
your article at http://www.smallbusinessloans.com/
and thought that maybe there's anything that I can learn
from your experience at .
Our games website has been in business only 6 months so far.
We don't have any employees yet and do everything ourselves,
me and my colleague. The biggest problem we've faced so far
is promoting our site, letting people know about us. The
advertisement costs money and our budget is very low at this
We've been looking for some venture capitals/investors but
have been unsuccessful so far. I would be interested to hear
any suggestions or ideas from you.
My reply to Edward S.
This sounds very familiar to us, when we started. We tried
out ALL the methods that were available three and a half
years ago... but to try them today would be very dangerous.
That is why we had to change our way of promotion.
The main form of promotion that we use now, which is JUST
as effective as what we used in the past and definitely Internet
accepted, is a little bit of extra work.
1. Write some articles, first, about your experiences so
far, or lack of; or difficulties you are facing, etc. Anything
that can give you a few interesting words that you can use.
I write my own but we do use writers too, we use university
students for most of our jobs, they are fresh, open minded,
and very trainable... plus cheap! If they get good, then
you employ them fully later.
2. Employ a writer part-time, 1 session of 4 hours a week,
if you can; and a promoter for the same to be increased later.
The promoter is actually the most important, if your articles
are grammatical enough.
3. Get the promoter to go to Newsgroups (i.e. http://www.Dejanews.com
and use the Power Search, to search on words that closely
relate to your product i.e. games, online games, board games,
etc) use the search to find people playing games or trading
games etc, then talk to them.... suggest to them that you
have a site that would suit their visit. They will come and
check out who you are! Become the GURU, comment on their
own games (NOT BAD COMMENTS always good!!!)
4. Go to Discussion groups, (i.e. http://www.lsoft.com/lists/listref.html
a huge list of Discussion groups, which may have GAMES lists),
and join in on the discussions, become a GURU here too. DON'T
answer everything though... be HELPFUL, and show all your
links ... people are very curious and will click on to your
5. Ezines... make an Ezine and tell all the ABOVE about
it. When you have an Ezine (which is easy to make, just a
web page of links like ours http://www.gblast.com/mnews/mnews8.htm
which we copy and paste into an mail and tidy abit, then
send out using 'BCC' only NOT 'CC' or people will have your
email address list), then you offer to show peoples articles,
ads, softwares and programs etc.... this will result in a
place for like-minded Net users to come to.
6. Once you have an Ezine use this... I put it together
for my own use and now have hundreds of people using it http://www.gblast.com/mnews/promostuff.htm
Ignore the articles they are Marketing and promotion articles,
you can use them if you wish of course, but further down
the page there are links to Ezines, Ezine directories, article
placement places, and article announce sites, etc.... I go
through this regularly, and we employ promoters and writers
to do the same.
7. One of our OWN products..... use this it is EXCELLENT
(if I might say so myself!!) 2bpop - http://www.2bpop.com
Use it to contact people and keep information as you browse
the net. You can catalogue your links in a database list;
set up template messages that can be changed just before
they are sent; use it as a browser only, or use it as an
ordering tool. There are many ways 2bpop is usefull but the
most usefull is as a tool to search, browse, contact and
catalogue new avenues of promotion.
8. Last one.... go to site review directories and put good
reviews up about your particular products, then others will
follow, BUT make sure you correct the bad reviews if you
have any.... by searching the web using http://www.altavista.com
this was the ex-CIA search engine and is the best for penetration.
I hope all this helps for now.... we haven't spent ANYTHING
on advertising AT ALL... not a thing... and we live off the
Internet, and our next product should see us into the next
millennium... very nicely.
Good luck... try the writing side it works!
thanks to Ratemyhost.com