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Building Site Traffic By Finding Your Market Niche

Aug 18, 2007
At times, the Internet seems an impenetrable, indefinable, constantly fluctuating universe. It's too big for anyone to know it in its entirety, and it often changes so quickly and dramatically that an individual can't keep up. Yet, although the Internet's great size and influence can be daunting to a small business owner, there is no reason to concern yourself with the whole.

When we look more closely, we see that the Internet isn't one, unified thing. In reality, it's simply a fractured mass of smaller parts. When marketing your business online, you only need to find the smaller parts that relate to your business, and work within these.

For example, if your business sells college textbooks, then this instantly narrows the portion of the Internet you need be concerned with. Non-traditional students notwithstanding, your target demographic is Web surfers between the ages of 17 and 24. Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are hugely popular among this demographic, so the obvious first marketing step is to create accounts on these sites, and begin to generate a buzz for your business.

Further, there are other websites frequented by this demographic. Many of these young people are interested in popular culture, music, humor, and politics, and they're liable to frequent websites containing content in these areas. The traditional online marketing approach holds that the textbook seller should purchase advertisements on these websites -- but, with the prevalence of ad blocking software, this approach is now becoming obsolete.

Now, the smart and creative textbook seller must work to generate the type of content published on these sites. Rather than advertising, the business owner educates and entertains potential customers, thus drawing customers through "About the Author" boxes.

Though relatively new to the Internet, this marketing strategy is as old as business itself. Customers want to do business with people whom they trust, and the best way for a business owner to earn trust is to speak to her customers. In short, a smart business owner seeks not shallow name recognition, but genuine trust and respect.

It doesn't matter what your business is -- there is an online niche for you. You probably know about it already; maybe there are a few websites whose content you check daily. If, as a small business owner, you're interested in this content, imagine how many potential customers are reading the same material. There is a ready-made market simply waiting for you to speak to them.

You see where this is going. Yes, you must become an active content creator. When reading these websites, begin to make a list of topics in your field that aren't being covered to your satisfaction, and which demand attention. Then, begin to write your articles. Make them about 600-700 words, educational and entertaining, and save your advertising pitch for your "About the Author" box.

Once you have a few articles that you feel are almost ready to be seen, do a Google search for "article marketing services," and you'll find many websites that can help you, for a small fee, to distribute your content throughout the web. Plus, these services can help you revise your articles, if they're not already perfect.

Most of these services work by giving you a choice of categories in which to place your articles. This helps them narrow the field of potential publishers to those relevant to your specific niche. If your articles are well-written and insightful, content-hungry websites (i.e., all publishing websites) will put your articles to use. Then, every time a reader finds your article useful, your "About the Author" section will lead them to your website. Soon, you'll be building site traffic, and business will be booming.

As a welcome side-effect, article marketing services are also experts on the workings of search engines. They'll specifically work to place your articles in such a way that your website will rise higher in search engine results. So, even if some of your potential customers are not reading Web content, article marketing will help guide them to you.
About the Author
Nancy Amada helps small businesses become more successful, and offers more ideas at Chapter Two. She is a frequent contributor to Article Marketer, a highly popular article distribution service. Reach new customers the smart way!
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