Online Marketing on a Shoestring

Every business owner knows that the internet has become a necessity in order to maximize the reach and scope of their business. It is no longer a question of whether they should or not build a website, but they know they MUST leverage the internet if they really want to remain competitive in their field. For those just starting a business, however, the prospect of adding the cost of effective online marketing to their budget can be a bit daunting.

Whether you are an internet marketer or a brick and mortar business owner looking to leverage the power of the internet, the fact is that it is not enough to just build a website. Even the best SEO maximized websites will require advertising and marketing in order to drive adequate traffic. But, what if you have a marketing budget of under $500? Can you still have a profitable online marketing campaign? Here is a rundown of what I have found to be the BEST tools for online marketing on a shoestring.

To-Do List

Set-up a Blog. If you have your site already established, add a subdomain to it ( and install WordPress as the blogging platform. If not, there are free blogging platforms you can use. The idea of a blog is to use it as a centralized hub to which you will direct all your links and marketing. This way you direct potential customers to valuable content, not just a sales pitch. It you have the blog as part of your site, it will also help your page ranking as you regularly update and add new content to your blog.
Create a Video Related to Your Business. Notice I said “related to” not “about” your business. The difference? You will not be creating an infomercial or a pitch-fest for your business. If you own a jewelry store, make a video about how to identify quality diamonds. If you own a pro-golf shop, teach the proper way to grip the club. You get the idea. Provide REAL value, then add a link to your blog at the end of the video. Make sure there’s a post in your blog expanding on the content of your video. Post it to YouTube or Viddler. You can also embed the video to your blog.
Turn Your Video into an Article. Write a brief 300-500 word paragraph including the same content you used for your video and blog. Publish it in free article directories (my favorites are ArticleBase and EzineArticles). Make sure to create a bio for the resource box which sells YOU as an expert. Include a link to your blog and your site within the resource box.
Blast Your Content Using Social Media. This is the last step in the process. Make sure to announce your latest video and/or article post using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. You can also direct your followers to your blog using the links on your profiles in the social media sites.
Where’s the money?
Total cost for the strategies outlined above is actually $0, unless you have a self-hosted blog, in which case you spent probably about $20 for the purchase of the domain name, and the hosting account. Now, that’s what I call online marketing on a shoestring!

Now, the truth is that this method, while effective, will take a bit longer to build than using paid advertising. You can help speed things up with this method by spending a bit more, though. For instance, I would recommend spending between $150-$200 to have a customized background created for all my social media sites. I would also invest in a membership to a video blasting service (there are several around, and a Google search can lead you right to them).

One of the greatest things about the internet is that it has leveraged the playing field for small and large businesses alike. You do not have to break the bank in order to have an effective, strategic marketing campaign online. What you DO need is persistence and determination. You should strive to complete this entire cycle at least twice a week in order to yield results. But, if you are looking for online marketing on a shoestring, it will most definitely be worth your efforts and time! Get to work!

Is Jonathan Budd an Internet Network Marketing Mastermind?

If you’re in the home based business industry you’ve probably seen his ads and pictures all over the internet. In a pretty short amount of time this young man as been quite successful at branding himself as an expert in and out of the home based business industry. Yet is Jonathan Budd an Internet network marketing mastermind.

I believe you can consider Jonathan Budd an internet network marketing mastermind for the following three reasons.


It’s quite amazing to see this young man have such a clearly defined vision of himself, his company (Empowered Entrepreneurs) and what his role is within the industry. By clearly defining his role, his goals and his ultimate vision of what success means to him has allowed him to master his craft.


Through his own admission when he first entered into the network marketing industry he failed quite miserably. Yet he did something that only 3% of industry chose to do…he empowered himself to find success by becoming a student of direct response marketing.

Combining the strategies of direct response marketing and applying them to internet network marketing he and his team have built a company into the millions of dollars. Now when the topic of online mlm success is mentioned many consider Jonathan Budd an internet network marketing mastermind.

Mastering 2 Major Online Lead Generation Strategies

By far here this is the area in which you can truly see the above two qualities of vision and empowerment come together. He mastered the art of becoming a marketer without coming across as a pushy in your face marketer in the social media and video marketing communities.

Jonathan took the approach of defining and differentiating himself from others within these communities. While others were spamming the communities with “come see my opportunity messages” Jon Budd took a different approach. He created messages that delivered content rich information relevant to the people who heard them.

Social media marketing and video marketing are the two areas many consider Jonathan Budd an internet network marketing mastermind. He not only mastered these areas he also created courses to teach others how to market themselves properly online.

The bottom line is Jonathan Budd exudes the qualities of other extremely successful entrepreneurs, people like Richard Branson, Eben Pagan, Marshall Sylver, Matt Morris. These are all individuals who started from humble beginnings and created large multi million dollar companies based on vision, empowerment and mastering lead generation strategies.

The following quality links them all together…they extensively studied how to maximize direct response marketing. Success leaves clues and you’ll find a lot of clues modelling yourself after someone like Jonathan Budd an internet network marketing mastermind.,

Simple Formula For Calculating ROI in Search Marketing, SEO

In the hay days of easy Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and generally whenever you talk to an internet marketing salesman, the general notion you are meant to walk away with is that SEO is good for everyone, and it’s the best silver bullet since e-mail newsletters. Sadly however, it’s just like every other form of marketing. Target marketing to a specific audience and measuring Return on Investment against other marketing methods are just as necessary as with any traditional means. It just so happens, however – that measurement and data collection is a known entity, and provides much more specific and directly measurable data than with most traditional means. The point of this article is to help you identify the three major data points which will help you estimate your ROI on an organic search campaign before you really dig into it.

Supply and demand

Measuring ROI beforehand begins with keyword research on the demand side. Specifically, you have to answer the question,

“How many people are regularly searching for what I have to offer?”

Moreover, addressing what searchers call your products/services can be a crux issue, as it won’t always be what you call them. To you, it might be an “air flow control nozzle,” but the purchasing agent for the retail giant you’re trying to woo might call it “paint sprayer nozzle.” In a nutshell, know the vernacular of your customer base before you begin, or at least be prepared to make educated guesses. Keyword research is its own animal, but erring on the side of conservatism with the differing numbers provided you is usually a good rule of thumb.

If you’re unfamiliar with keyword research tools, the Google Keyword Tool is a good place to start, or if you want better keyword data and analytics, you might consider a software suite such as Web CEO or Market Samurai. Either way, you would be wise not to spend more than $200 on a piece of software. When you have some idea of how many people are searching for your keyword list, your next step is to start gauging competition. The amount of people that will reach your site, and thus engage with your company will have a direct correlation to how highly you rank in organic search engine placement. If there are more competitors for a particular keyword or key phrase, it makes sense that success will be harder to obtain. Finding a modicum of search users without strong competition would be the initial goal of any short term search campaign.

Judging the competition is actually a simple operation at first glance. First, take a look at how many results exist in the Google / Bing / Yahoo indexes for your particular keyword. Put this up against the amount of searchers, and you’ll quickly have a measurable ratio to get a handle on things. Obviously, your ratio of searchers to results is better if it is a higher number.

Take a look at each of the 10 results which currently occupy the front page of your major keyword choices. An excel spreadsheet is a good option at this point, and several keyword research software programs will have competitor tracking modules. Specifically, concern yourself with page authority, overall domain authority, and link profiles of each site. The number of specific domains and overall indexed links pointing to a site has a direct impact on how that site will rank, and how much topical authority it has. For more info here, a subscription to ($79 / month) is a worthwhile investment. Other back link analysis tools exist, but this is a good standard to base from. Put these back link numbers up against your own site, and take stock. Assuming an equal base of content and internal optimization (something of a big assumption), back links will likely make the difference in who ranks and who doesn’t.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) Ranking

So you’ve picked a keyword, enacted a campaign, and now you’re ranking somewhere in the first few pages of the engine. Sadly, a good portion of search users (generally 9 out of 10) won’t make it past the first engine, and your third page rankings on some major keywords are only producing minimal traffic / sales increases.

Knowing this little statistic before a SEO campaign can dramatically increase chances of success, solely because you know what is necessary for success. A few studies (one specifically surfacing from the Searchlight Digital Blog) have concluded the percentage of search users who elect specific results, based on their order of appearance on the SERP page:

1 42.3% 2 11.92% 3 8.44% 4 6.03% 5 4.86% 6 3.99% 7 3.37% 8 2.98% 9 2.83% 10 2.97% 11.66% 12.56% 13.52% 14.48% 15.47%

Obviously, first place rankings have a significant increase on potential for search traffic, and listings that occur above the figurative fold of a users screen also have a higher chance of receiving traffic. Even by the time a user gets to the bottom of the first page, click through percentages dwindle exponentially from those of a first page ranking. Simply put, if you know how many searches are done on a specific keyword, multiply that number by the SERP click through rate above that you expect, and compare with your site analytics. If the numbers come close to matching up, great! If not, you might glance twice at your numbers, as well as your site’s meta titles and descriptions, which will sell search users on the idea of clicking through to your site above others.


Conversion is a topic of little attention among some SEOs, who are sometimes concerned more with getting people to the figurative front door than inviting them inside for a cup of tea. At this point, one simply needs measure the activity on a web site which most readily leads to a dollar bill. Ask yourself what key performance indicators (KPIs) indicate success with your objectives. If its sales, then track goals using analytics to measure sales directly. If it’s lead generation, set your funnels to measure the stages at which potential customers or donors can enter their information to be contacted by you.

E-Mail Marketing Mania

E-mail marketing is exactly what the name indicates: it is when one advertises ones product and communicates ones ideas by sending e-mails to prospective clients. The purpose is that of normal advertising: to acquire a larger client base and to enhance the relationship and strengthen loyalty between company and client. One will find that companies often attach conventional advertisement documents to e-mails in order to convey the business’ message. Millions of rands are spent every year on e-mail marketing, because in today’s technological society, it is one of the most effective methods of getting ones company known.

The main advantage of e-mail marketing is the large amount of people it can reach, because unlike poster or magazine advertising, e-mail adverts are directed towards individuals instead of random groups. It is also a much more economic way to make ones business known, because printing and spreading costs are drastically reduced.

However, e-mail marketing does not come without its share of disadvantages. More than 20% of advertising e-mails get rejected due to “spam” control on internet systems and one never has the guarantee that an e-mail message will reach the targeted customer. When a company, however, complies with its countries Internet policies and spam laws, this risk is reduced.

An easier way to get these e-mails to customers is by using permission-based marketing, where a customer has previously given consent to receive e-mails from a company and where the option of “opting out” of receiving e-mail advertisements is made possible to the customer. This leads to less e-mails being sent to spam boxes, because the system is notified that the customer wants to receive the messages.

When making use of e-mail marketing, a company has to comply with many legal requirements. This not only ensures proper marketing, but it increases reliability and trustworthiness of an organization. For example, if a company does not follow the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications or the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, it could be fined or prohibited from using e-mails for marketing purposes. These directives, as well as the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (CAUCE) protects customers by declaring their personal information out of bounds and limiting e-mail advertising.

Many companies make use of this service not only to obtain new customers, but to ensure current customer loyalty. Most companies will send notification, information and event invitations through e-mails to existing customers to keep them aware of the company’s presence and mission. Customers consent to these e-mails and thus the information successfully reaches the targeted customer. New automated e-mail marketing devices make it possible for a company to not have to manually send e-mails to each customer. This marketing method makes it easier for a company to communicate with existing and prospective clients and it creates a personal relationship with each customer, thus strengthening loyalty.