Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

The Legal Side Of Copywriting, Marketing, Email Marketing and More

December 22nd, 2020

When I began my first business it was important to understand trademarked names, phrases and logos. We had over 400 products we were drop shipping and while most vendors and dealers gave total permission to use the graphics and images in our online and printed catalog, some required that we only use 2-3 images at the most. These were companies who also sold the product we purchased from them for resale on their own company websites or catalogs.

Many times I used the phrase, “Bread Rising” in my marketing and was advised several times to have this trademarked or copyrighted. We never did and I honestly didn’t care who used it. No one could compete with me and how we did business anyways. That isn’t an arrogant statement it’s just that people are loyal to people in business.

Tony Robbins has a lot of training on this topic as do many other business trainers and coaches. So I knew that if that phrase was used by other stores online it wouldn’t affect my profits because they weren’t me….. and my customers loved me, not my marketing. * big wide smile *

It’s never been my mode of operation to set up a bunch of legal documents in an effort to protect my business.

It is my belief that the more contracts one has the more likely they are the one you should be keeping an eye on. Far too many companies are attempting to control employees, contractors, writers and more with contracts. Trust and respect work a lot better and go a long way.

So where do you draw the line between what you should protect, what you can’t use that belongs to someone else and the wide range of imaginary protection some companies use that just aren’t even legal?

When it comes to trademarked names, phrases and images it’s a good idea to check the Trademark Database. Here’s an example- a picture of a bull isn’t copyrighted or trademarked, that would be foolish. But a picture of a bull with a line through him and the words, ” No Bull” are a trademarked image used by the legends in Direct Response Marketing and Copywriting.

You can see them at: DanKennedy.com This little image is everywhere! On their books, their website, their banner ads…. you can see for yourself. So don’t go using an image like this and thinking you created it in your marketing. Major no no.

Trademarks aren’t hard to find and sometimes you can even ask for permission to use something and it’s no big deal. You might stumble upon a JV deal or affiliate product you want to add to your marketing.

When you do catalogs online or offline, ask for the imagines directly from your vendor. Even when you do JV deals, promote a book or a product from someone else, just ask for the images you can use. That’s easy to do. People are happy to provide them and respect the integrity it takes to ask.

The legalities of copywriting and writing ad copy is pretty significant.

I surely don’t want you to turn into a paranoid writer but be mindful of these rules. You can get a good overview of what they are here from The American Writers And Artists Inc. This book shares what you can and can’t say in copy and how to be wise. If you aren’t looking to make 6-7 figures AS a copywriter I don’t think you need this book.

However, if you are selling weight loss for example you might find it important to note that in this book you’ll see that outrageous claims, misuse of testimonials and stating things that can’t be scientifically proven could fry your butt in the long run.

I worked with a company years ago that had one of the best products on the market.

It flew off our shelves. Branding happened almost instantly because of the results people got. Then they made some foolish mistakes and didn’t watch what people were saying. When you called their corporate office to order a bottle of the amazing liquid supplement you heard story after story of miraculous events occurring because of the ingestion of said product.

The Truth About Website Copywriting – What Service Business Owners Need to Know

December 8th, 2020

Online business owners often underestimate the role of copywriting when they develop their websites, blogs and other Internet marketing promotions. If you haven’t studied copywriting yourself, you may not know what you can and cannot expect from copywriting. You may not even be sure what copywriting is or why you need it.

To begin, service professionals sometimes confuse “copywriting” with “copyright.” Copywriting refers to content on your website. Copyright refers to the legal protection of works of authors, composers and publishers.

Business owners often think copywriting resembles creative writing. In fact copywriting is completely different from creative writing, journalism, legal writing, scientific writing and technical writing. Independent professionals who excel at these forms of writing often think they can write website copy too. When their websites fail to deliver results, they realize that they need to learn copywriting or hire someone who has studied copywriting.

At the other extreme, it is easy to believe that copywriters can rescue an ineffective product that doesn’t meet the needs of the designated target market. Professionals often believe copywriters can take an incomplete idea and develop a sales letter. In fact, copywriting begins with identifying the target market, recognizing benefits that your service will deliver, and communicating benefits in a context the target market will appreciate.

Another mistake is to believe that copywriters are primarily writers. Therefore, when hiring a copywriter, business owners often are surprised to find that many copywriters do not come from English departments. Copywriting requires a unique combination of sales and writing skill. Many top copywriters come from backgrounds in hands-on sales. Some never finished college, while others have doctoral degrees.

Some business owners think copywriting is just about manipulating words. They call a copywriter to ask, “Can you just tweak a few words for me?” In fact, top-level copywriters pride themselves on creating messages and content strategy. Business owners can get frustrated after a copywriter “makes a few changes” and then nothing happens.

Finally, the hardest lesson to learn is that copywriters target your prospective clients. Often you as a business owner will be uncomfortable with the copy written by a professional, especially if it’s edgier than you expected. But when you test the copy, you will almost always be surprised at the results. You may need to make a few changes after the copy goes live, but many business owners enjoy a surprising surge in revenues, profits, and clients after their copy gets a professional makeover.

Agony Ant: Legal Coverage for Freelance Copywriters

November 25th, 2020

What is a contract?

A contract is basically a way of putting in black and white what you are going to do, when and for how much. But it’s more than that. It also sets down your expectations of the client – what does s/he need to do or provide for you to complete the work? And what happens if they don’t fulfill their side of the bargain?

Generally there are seven parts to a contract:

Description of the job (the brief)

Here you detail all the basics of what the job is about. Most importantly you need to define what ‘completion’ means so that the client can’t drag a project out endlessly. Clearly outline how many revision stages there will be before you start charging extra.

Timings

Put down not only the final deadline but also key milestones during a project such as first, second and final drafts. Also highlight what the client is obliged to provide at key stages – and what will happen if they don’t deliver on time. Basically, if they don’t give you the reference materials (or whatever) they promised on time then you won’t be able to deliver the final draft on time.

Money issues

Here you need to set out how much you’re being paid, when you’ll be paid and how. It might be an hourly rate or, more likely for a big project, a fixed fee. It’s standard practice to have a deposit paid at the beginning of a job which commits both parties to its completion. And then state exactly when final payment should be made (e.g. on approval of final draft). The ‘how’ means will it be paid direct to your bank account (hopefully!) but also, in some cases, which currency it will be paid in. As with timings, you should state clearly what the consequences will be if the agreed payments are not made.

Delivery details

This isn’t so much ‘where to deliver to’ (although that’s important!) but what exactly should be delivered and how. Specifically what file format should the job be provided in, e.g. Word, pdf, XML, etc.

Cancellation clause (‘kill clause’)

This is so important! What happens if the client pulls the plug on the job half way through? You need to include a ‘kill clause’ stating a fixed fee that will be payable in this situation. The standard amount is 25% but you may want to have a graded tariff depending on how near the project is to completion at the time of cancellation.

Copyright protection

Make it clear that your work is yours until it’s been paid for.

Signatures

Obvious but worth mentioning, both you and the client need to sign and date the documents – one for you and one for them. Ideally, each page should be initialled as well to make it that little bit more watertight.
The pros and cons of a contract: Legal coverage for freelance copywriters

The pros are:

It brings clarity to a project and cuts out unnecessary misunderstandings. It clarifies expectations on both sides and will help avoid disputes at a later date.

It provides legal protection to you both. In the event of a dispute you have something in writing that clearly sets out the terms of your relationship.

It gives you control by preventing projects ballooning out of control. In wars it’s called ‘mission creep’, in advertising ‘project creep’ as the client tries to add more and more things that weren’t there at the outset.

It makes you look good if you have a professional looking contract and inspires confidence in the client that you’re going to do a good job.

And the cons?

Hassle. It can be a bit of a faff to put one together and may not be suitable for very small jobs or for a job with a client you know and trust.

Occasionally a client might say No when asked to sign a contract. They’re probably the type of client you should avoid anyway!

It may cause a slight delay to the beginning of a project while you’re waiting for signatures. Then again, it could save so much time and heartache in the long run.

Freelance Copywriter Secrets

November 3rd, 2020

Just when I had all but given up on lawyers’ advertising, along comes one attorney who really knows how to get it right.

As a former attorney -turned freelance copywriter, I have always paid special attention to how law firms market themselves. And, with very few exceptions, how badly they do so.

But yesterday, when I opened up a copy of the Fort Worth Business Press, an insert fell out that caught my eye. It was a 5 ½ x 8 ½ postcard written by Clark R. Cowley, who practices intellectual property law for the law firm of Whitaker, Chalk, Swindler & Sawyer, L.L.P. (Whitaker Chalk) in Fort Worth, Texas.

What is so refreshingly unique about Mr. Cowley’s postcard/insert, is that instead of it making a list of claims to be the best, biggest or most experienced (which is what most law firm advertisements do) he actually demonstrates his expertise and knowledge by providing the reader with free information.

The back of the card is sort of a mini-white paper on the topic of legal remedies to Cybersquatting. “Cybersquatting” is the bad faith registration of Internet domain names identical or confusingly similar to another company’s trademark or business name. According to Cowley, “the cybersquatter’s motive is often to hold the domain name hostage in hopes of selling it to the rightful party, or to post unflattering, obscene or scandalous material on that site to diminish the rightful party’s business reputation.”

Cowley then briefly lists four legislative acts or regulations under which the party can seek a legal remedy.

The whole card is brief, demonstrates Mr. Cowley’s knowledge and expertise, conveys an image of professionalism, is completely free of puffery, and leaves the reader wanting to learn more.

And what is even more encouraging is this card is one of a series that Whitaker Chalk puts out called “brief legal seminars.”

In a recent article called Freelance Copywriter Secrets: Can White Papers and Image Ads Get Along?, I wrote about how deplorable typical law firm advertising is.

On one hand, you have the ads from personal injury lawyers who want to help you get more money from an insurance company if you’ve been injured in an accident (here in Texas, we have one guy who calls himself the “The Texas Hammer,” need I say more?). On the other extreme, are the ads from firms who are so concerned about maintaining a highly professional image, that their ads literally say nothing at all.

If the other “Brief Legal Seminars” are as well crafted as this one is, I think we can assume Whitaker Chalk is on the right track.

Could this ad be improved? Yes, I would first urge this firm to write a series of full white papers on these same topics, and offer them free to any legitimate inquirer.

In this way, they have a second opportunity to demonstrate their expertise. But even more important, they can build up an opt-in list of people and companies who are interested in these topics.

White papers give a strong boost to any business’ image of professionalism, knowledge and expertise. But they are more than learned discourses on a certain subject. They are also powerful marketing pieces that give the reader compelling reasons to do business with the author.

Michael Stelzner, in his book, Writing White Papers, calls white papers a cross between a magazine article, with its ability to make a technical issue understandable to the non-professional; and a brochure, with a convincing sales message.

Unfortunately, Whitaker Chalk has missed their opportunity to compile a list of opt-in subscribers who want more information. Creating such a list would become enormously valuable as a source of new, qualified clients. As Seth Godin, in his book Permission Marketing points out, these are people who have “raised their hand” to indicate they want to receive this sort of information. An opt-in list also builds loyalty among the subscribers even before they become clients.

But all in all, I would have to rate this little card from Whitaker Chalk as one of the best law firm advertisements I have seen in a very long, long time.

P.S. To any law firms needing someone to write compelling white papers: There are very few copywriters who also have a background as an attorney. If you need a writer who brings both fields of expertise to the table, please call me today at the contact information listed above.

The Price of Copywriting Services

October 27th, 2020

In the freelance world, it is very hard to evaluate the price for copywriting services since each project is custom-made. However, if you consider some factors to determine how you will charge a client, you can have a lucrative business out of copywriting services.

The first thing you need to do is to do some research on the latest copywriting rates from different online sites. Compare the prices. Most online sites for freelance copywriters have a list of prices depending on the nature of the project. At most, the rate is per page or per word. There are also projects which have a rate of bulk order. Some clients need a continuous supply of contents to update their websites, and they will pay the copywriter either weekly or monthly based on the agreement or the copywriting contract.

Aside from price comparison, you can also look for some background in the copywriting industry. If you will stay for long in the business, there are available books and electronic books where you can look for the ABCs of copywriting. However, be sure that your sources are updated since the price rates for copywriting services can change through the years.

Figure out what your time and effort that would be appealing to you. Are you ready to price expensive rates and probably have less working hours, but more rates per project? Or, do you like a stretched list of projects with affordable rates for your portfolio? In the end, you have to figure out what your needs are and how much you are willing to charge your clients.

Check out what the normal freelance copywriters make in your area, or in the World Wide Web. Divide that rate by 52 (weeks every year) and then by 40 (hours a week). This is the estimated rate you could look forward to earn per hour.

Determine if you would like to become a professional in a subject or a field. If you become popular for a literary genre or a field of interest, you could practically look ahead to charge for higher fees, more than the average writer who writes about topic on general interest.

You should also consider your expenditures. If you need to travel to do research, purchase a special software, or a specialized equipment, then let the client know so that you can stretch out your rates. A good investment on your resources such as a good laptop with a quality processor is great since you will do most of the writing with your computer.

Appraise the difficulty of your projects. For instance, if you are required to develop a legal study and they provide you the recorded court proceedings and different legal papers and manuals to begin with, you can ask less than a legal study wherein you need to do most of the research. If you need to conduct a survey or research, then you should charge for higher rates for your expenses and time.

However, the freelance business has flexible rates since your decision on the prices is based on your decision. Some clients may ask for a cut-off price with some agreements so you need to develop your sense of reasonable business if you need to give a discount. If you are a beginner, start with affordable rates to kick off your reputation in the industry.

Web Copy Legality: What You Need to Know

October 15th, 2020

Have you ever thought about whether your marketing copy is legally accurate? The truth is you need to be just as careful about what your business publishes as you are about what your employees say.

Making sure your copy is within the law may seem like an odd topic to write about, but in this time of ever-increasing regulation and lawsuits, you need to ensure that your copy is compliant with the legalities and standards of your industry. This is no different than training your employees to speak and act appropriately.

You need to fully understand the laws that apply to your business at all levels: federal, state, county, and / or city. This includes any bureaucratic or regulatory agency that might have authority over what your company does. For example, if your business is in the healthcare field, you need to comply with FDA, FTC, and perhaps JCAHO, to name a few. Each of these agencies has some kind of regulation on what can and cannot be said.

How do you find out whether your copy is legal? Here are several ways to get started. I am not a lawyer, so regard this as information only and not legal advice.

Talk to your lawyer. He or she should be well versed in the laws controlling your industry. If not, retain new legal counsel. Until you know you have a firm handle on what you can and cannot say, have your lawyer look over your marketing copy.
Know what is acceptable in your industry. Every field has its standards and preferred manner of doing business. If you don’t know what those guidelines are, ask-and write or edit your copy accordingly.
Understand the FTC guidelines. Last year, FTC enacted new guidelines regarding the use of testimonials and endorsements in advertising. The penalty for infringing these guidelines is stiff.
Verify and clarify. Don’t publish anything unless you are certain it is correct. Check and double check your figures. Your copy should be clear and unambiguous.
Remember the old rules. They haven’t changed-no plagiarism or libel. Your lawyer can help you determine the latter; for the former, you can find online plagiarism detectors for checking copy.

If you work with a copywriter, ensure that he or she understands the FTC guidelines, and educate about the laws and regulations of your industry. A good copywriter strives to stay within the law, but it is ultimately your responsibility that the copy is within legal and regulatory guidelines. Your copywriter cannot be expected to know the rules that govern your business or be held accountable or liable for your company’s compliance. In fact, any good copywriter will have a clause in his or her contract to that effect.

The bottom line is that you, the business owner, have the legal and ethical duty of making certain your copy is up to legal snuff. If it isn’t, fix it. Taking extra care now will prevent headaches and problems in the future.

10 Questions That a Copywriter Should Ask You Before the Start of the Project

September 26th, 2020

In my previous article I told you about ‘12 important questions to ask before you hire a copywriter’ But there’s a little more to it than that!

Looking to hire a copywriter, then these are the questions that the copywriter must ask you at the start of the project. Apart from really the obvious questions like ‘How much will I be paid’ or ‘what is the time frame of project completion’.

Copywriting is a very serious business and includes many legal and financial implications as well. If a copywriter were to infringe on the body material of others, there could be a legal as well as financial hassle for you, as the hirer for the project.

The copywriter should ask questions and specifically these questions should be directed towards YOU. If these questions are not addressed, then be very careful. You could be in for a lot of trouble for the future.

The difference between the best and a wannabe apart from their level of skill and expertise is the questions they ask and what they deliver. The new copywriters and the wannabe copywriters ask the most basic questions like ‘What’s the payment of my services and when will I get paid’

If you want a truly world class product, then hire a world-class copywriter, who will deliver the goods as per your specifications. This starts with the right questions that they ask you. Here are the 10 questions that we have talked about

1. What product are you promoting and are there are legal issues involved in it

This should be the first question asked from a good copywriter. Many products can be tangled in legal issues and most copywriters don’t want to involve themselves in such deals. Even the most experienced one will fight shy of such deals.

2. The various mediums that will be used to promote the product

There are so many mediums available, which can be used to project the image of the product. These are printed ad matter, bus shelter banners, hoardings, movie theatre presentations, door-to-door campaigns, newspapers, T.V, Radio, and Internet. These mediums require different approaches and the copywriter writes keeping a specific medium in mind.

3. Target audience for the product

Every audience is different. The same messages can’t be conveyed to all people. The world is on the move and with it; the products are also on the move. There are innumerable ethnic backgrounds and diverse cultures not to mention the very opposites sexes and the age groups. They’re a market for the adults, the teenagers, the pre-school population as well as the baby boomers, which have now gone old.

The copywriter needs to know, the product as well as the age group and the population that is been targeted for the copywriter to give in his / her input and output.

4. What is the target market for the product and the benefits of the product

As we discussed, the target customer group is important. In addition to that it’s important that the target market also be ascertained. For example, if you are selling the product, are you looking at Latin America or the Middle East or maybe South East Asia.

The second aspect is what are the major benefits and compared to other products in the same category (if the same exist), what are its further benefits. This helps the copywriter to write a good copy, which will help the product to sell.

5. Is the product available and if so can a sample be available

It’s easy to write, when one has already seen, used and touched the product. The features, advantages and disadvantages of the product become more apparent when one utilizes the product. It’s very difficult to write about a concept and sometimes that may also lead to legal problems.

6. Product pricing

Pricing makes a big difference to the writing. Something that is worth say £2000 would be different than what is priced at say £55. Since the pricing, writing for the products would also entail a different style of writing. This is something that all good copywriters know about.

7. Are they any verifiable customer testimonials

True and verifiable testimonials add credibility to the image of the product. These testimonials can easily be weaved in as text matter by the experienced copywriters. This instils confidence into the products of the company and all good copywriters are aware of it.

8. Is there any existing literature or promotion material available for products that are similar

By scanning and analyzing similar material, which is available, experienced writers can add the touch of glamour to the product to make it stand out from the crowd.

9. What is the schedule for completion

The good copywriters will always have work and therefore like to organize their work schedules. This is to make sure that they can deliver on the designated deadline dates so that their schedules and that of their clients are on target and not thrown out of gear.

10. What are your payment rates and conditions

Remuneration for the work done is absolutely important. The good copywriters are expensive, because they are good and are paid accordingly. They will also lay out their conditions for payment and work schedules.

Payment is one of the first questions that a copywriter would ask; however the answers to the other nine questions will certainly help.

Other questions that might be asked

In addition to this copywriters may ask more specific questions, which are pertinent to the project that they may on hand. This will differ from project to project. The buyers should be able to answer these questions. Answering the pertinent questions will only make for a good copy. This is the requirement of every product that needs to be sold.

Why a Solicitor Might Not Be the Best Legal Writer

June 2nd, 2020

These days, legal copywriting for a law firm’s website, for keeping up with social media, and for articles and press releases is a vital part of the astute law company’s marketing mix. Posting regularly on the issues of the day through blogs, articles and Facebook statuses is demanded and expected by a legal firm’s many audiences.

Legal copywriting is also a key component of traditional print marketing. The law firm that finds itself without a corporate brochure, a recruitment pack, and leaflets and direct mail, could get left behind in the drive to attract top candidates and to market itself to the big corporations.

So, who’s going to do all this legal copywriting? Obviously, solicitors are intelligent people. They’ve been through law school. But that doesn’t necessarily make them great at legal writing. Chances are, they might not have the time to spare. Not to mention the inclination. Solicitors are also very well paid professionals. So it makes no sense to take them away from their core legal work to have a dabble at legal copywriting.

It’s also a surprising fact that former solicitors aren’t necessarily the best option for legal copywriters, either. A quick trawl through the websites of ex-lawyers who have set themselves up as legal writers reveals some unrefined writing, some of it complete with grammatical errors. It’s that old chestnut: not being able to see the wood for the trees – ally that with core skills and training that are based around the law rather than marketing and writing, and it’s a recipe for failure.

Legal writing is best left to professional copywriters. Lawyers looking for freelance legal writing should first check that the writer has had sufficient experience of dealing with major-name law firms and is familiar with the basics of legal jargon, the seat system and the different facets of law that they will encounter when working with a legal firm.

So what kind of legal copywriting should a copywriter expect to tackle as part of a law firm’s marketing? Obviously, all businesses need high-quality website content. Beyond that, these days, it’s vital that lawyers have regular promotional output through blogging and social media – 100 or so ‘tweets’ or Facebook ’statuses’ a month can cost as little as £100, but be worth their weight in gold.

Also critical is high-class recruitment literature that picks out the firm’s unique selling points and attracts the cream of the graduate crop each year. Newsletters, plain English legal documents, biographies, journals and radio adverts are also all key elements of the marketing arsenal that can be tackled by the legal writer.

Why You Need A Legal Copywriter

March 17th, 2020

Employing a legal copywriter is a sound investment for any law firm seeking to secure a strong profile in today’s increasingly competitive market for services. In fact, if you’re engaged in any form of online marketing, content is absolutely essential: for good search engine results, traffic to your site, conversions and customer retention. Having a legal copywriter that understands not only how to write for sales, search and social media but also how to communicate legal terminology in an accessible way will almost certainly get you better results.

Why do law firms need content?

Effective content is a key element in any successful law firm’s business strategy. Content underpins every aspect of web marketing – social, search and sales – and increasingly, as law firms invest more online, there is a need to allocate budget to content creation.

However, recognising the need to allocate financial resources to legal copywriting is one thing – trying to find people within your organisation who have the time or ability to produce good quality content is another. For practising lawyers mixing the roles of fee earner and marketer is a tricky balance to get right. Utilising the services of a professional legal copywriter means you get the content you need without taking the focus off your core legal activities.

The role of the law copywriter

Just like a good lawyer, a legal copywriter who provides a quality service will strive to understand the brief in all its intricacy. Working in close partnership with those supplying the instructions, a deep appreciation of the firm’s character, ethos and client base will be developed through detailed research and consultation.

Combining this with the ability of the law copywriter to bring solid experience of the unique environment of legal practice to the process will result in the placement of carefully crafted, optimised and targeted copy in outlets that are the most appropriate for a particular law firm, from press release syndication through to guest blogging/guest editorial strategies.

Good writing drives business

Legal copywriting is found in almost every aspect of marketing. Whether placed in social media, a firm’s web site, business-to-business networking, a blog, a tweet, an article in an august legal periodical or a traditional newspaper advertisement, the key to successful promotion is good writing.

Accurate spelling, grammar and syntax are not enough; writing in a way that enables a client to identify with a firm’s lawyers and its values, and understand its services and processes is the most effective use of the multitude of opportunities for promotion that are available.

Your website is a new client’s first experience of your firm

Let’s take your firm’s website as a starting point. Like every other legal website, it can tell the visitor the who, the what and the where: who we are, what we do and where we can be found. To stand out from the crowd this needs to be done in ways that are both fresh and compelling but also transmit the essential messages to the intended client base. For many potential clients, your website is the first point of contact with your firm. It’s crucial that you not only explain your services clearly but that you also convey your brand values strongly.

You can use your website content to celebrate your successes as a practitioner and talk about the areas you specialise in but, for effective marketing, this needs to be achieved with brevity and non-technical language that enables a potential client to think, ‘I understand what this firm can do for me.’

There is an old adage: “a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” It might be a cliché but, nonetheless, it conveys a truth. The most effective representation of a law firm online can be achieved by employing the services of the professional best suited to the task – a legal copywriter.

Marketing, Promoting and Advertising Your Business

February 28th, 2020

One thing that goes without saying in today’s business world, is that regardless of the nature of your home based business, a website is an absolute MUST. Whether you have a product or service to sell, whether local or global, your business will go nowhere fast if you don’t have an online presence. If you need internet marketing help, you’ve landed on the right article. I’ll give you some home based business marketing ideas that will help you promote your business successfully.

The first step is choosing a domain name and getting it registered. You can build your own website (if you have the time) and host it yourself or you can have everything done by another company (if you have the money). Either way, you have many options and tools at your disposal that can align with your business plan and budget. Also note that you can still start your own home based business even if you don’t have a product or service to sell. There are thousands of individuals and companies that have products you can sell for them while earning a commission, called affiliate marketing.

Of the many business marketing strategies known to man, internet marketing is, hands down, the best strategy to use for promoting a home based business as it is the cheapest method and has the potential for reaching millions of people all over the globe. Driving traffic to your site through online resources is like killing two birds with one stone. You can tackle print advertising by writing articles and publishing them to directories and ezines and by submitting ads to the many available (and most of them free) classified ad sites. Online media advertising encompasses writing press releases and distributing them to press release sites. One of the biggest and most popular online advertising trends today is via social media advertising through sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn where you build relationships with your customers. Forums and communities are also great ways to build relationships which helps promote your home based business in the long run. Simply Google your market or industry with the word ‘forum’ or ‘community’ behind it and search for one or two that seem to be the best fit for you.

All of these methods of online advertising contribute to search engine optimization (SEO), which is to say improving your online visibility and escalating in the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Your goal is to claim the #1 spot in the organic search results (the results on the left, not the right side which are paid ads). This is where your traffic will come from. If you are 800 in the list of search results, no one is ever going to see your site because very few people have the time or patience to scroll through 800 search results. Research shows that people typically won’t even scroll past 4 or 5 search results, let alone 800.

Can you grasp the importance of internet marketing for any business? If you are new to the internet marketing phenomenon and don’t know exactly where to start, there are many great programs or systems online that walk you through every aspect of marketing your online business. A lot of these systems were created by online entrepreneurs who have spent thousands of their own dollars trying to figure it all out over the years and finally DID. Their sacrifices have made it easier for newbies to become successful at their own online home based business. If you are new to running your own home based business, I recommend you find a great system (do your research, read reviews, ask questions in forums) and start marketing your home business from there. Don’t waste the time and money that so many of us have in going it alone, without a proven system, as it will just set you back further and hinder your progress.