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Own A Small Business? Increase Your Market Share On a Budget

Aug 17, 2007
If you're a small business owner, you know that marketing is one of the most difficult and costly aspects of your job. If you operate within a very large market, or if you're new to your market, it often seems that your competitors get all the name recognition, while your efforts to advertise bring disappointing results.

In the 21st century, however, there are new, budget-friendly, web-based ways to advertise your small business and increase your market size. Article marketing is one cutting-edge strategy to advertise your business to a larger segment of the market than was previously possible.

If you're unaware of article marketing, it's probably because most businesses haven't discovered this strategy. Most have yet to realize the marketing power of online search engines. Today, rather than using phonebooks, most customers search the web for the service they're looking for.

If you've ever Googled your service, you probably didn't find your business on the first page of results, or even the second. Instead, you probably saw the names of businesses far larger than yours. When confronted with this, you might've wondered, "How can I elevate my business to the first page?" Article marketing is the solution.

Here's how you get started.

First, the fun part: Write an interesting and informative article that is related to your business. This shouldn't be difficult, as it's your area of expertise. No doubt, you have strong opinions about a variety of issues in your field, so you might as well use these. If necessary, do a little research to back up your information.

Does this sound expensive so far? You're right -- it doesn't, and it's not.

In your article, be as engaging and accurate as possible. However -- this is important -- it should not be an advertisement or a sales pitch. In your article, don't even mention your business. It should be a legitimate, informative piece of writing.

For example, if you own a business that sells pet supplies, you might write an article about the advantages and disadvantages of different kinds of dog collars. Rather than writing specifically about the virtues of your specific business, you will earn your readers' trust by giving them information they can use.

Next, go online and find an article distribution service. There are many such services out there; simply Google "article distribution" and you'll find one well within your marketing budget.

Once you've signed up for a service, you'll choose categories in which to place your articles. This helps you reach your target audience. If your articles are placed in the right categories, potential customers will seek you out and will be ready to read what you have to say.

Importantly, after you have submitted your articles, don't be offended if they suggest changes to your articles. Instead, take their advice to heart -- they're experts on publishing -- and make revisions in good faith that you're working to increase your market share.

Once your articles have been revised and categorized, your distribution service will send them around the Internet, making them available to thousands of publishers, and, by extension, millions of readers. If your article is well-written and insightful, you'll have no trouble being published, as major websites are always looking for the type of fresh content that you can generate.

Now, how does this benefit your small business? Below each of your published articles will be included an "About the Author" box, which will contain a link to your website. Virtually everyone who likes your article will soon be browsing your site.

Again, we can't overestimate the importance of the internet to today's businesses. Having someone view your website is the next best thing to having them walk through your door. Furthermore, the more articles you publish, the more people will navigate to your site. This increases your advantage, as most search engines use a system that ranks websites according to the number of times they've been clicked to.

So, if you can successfully harness the article marketing strategy, your site will soon be at the top of those Google search results.
About the Author
Tiva Kelly is an expert at article marketing and offers support to authors at Article Marketer, a highly popular article distribution service. Learn how to market your small business when you submit articles through Article Marketer.
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