Category Archives: Marketing Ideas

10 Places to Advertize your Small Business for Free

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.” Anonymous

Once you have set up your home based small business you need to promote it through advertising. Advertising your small business will ensure consumer, customers and general public are aware of it.

Paid advertising is expensive but the good thing is you can get free advertising from many places across the internet.

Best Places Where You Can Advertise Your business For Free

1. Google+ Local (Formerly Google Places)

Google places was a business listing service that was owned by Google. It was tailored to provide searchers with information on local businesses. Business provided information like, address, telephone and contact person. The more information your business provided on its Google Places page, the more likely the business ranked high in local searches.

Google places is now integrated with Google plus. A business owner will need to set up a Google plus account and set a page for his business.

The main advantage is Google+ Local pages are indexed by Google. That means, when people search for “Jewellery Shop in New York”, your Google+ Local page will appear on search results.

2. Attract more customers to your business through Facebook Fan Pages

Facebook Fan pages for businesses are free to create. You only pay if you want to promote your page across Facebook platform. By creating a Facebook fan page for your small business you heighten your exposure within the social network. Your page will be listed on Facebook search results when people search for information related to your page.

People who find you on will probably be interested enough in your product or service to click on a link that will take them directly to your website.

3. Create A Video Channel on Youtube is now the second largest search engine after Google. Millions of people use Youtube to find out how products work.

Create short instructional videos on what you do or how you help customers. Make your business website URL visible inside the videos. Have it on the background and refer to it in the audio. Make sure to end the video by urging the viewer to visit your business website.

4. Yelp is the leading small business directory in the US. has more than 71 million monthly visitors.

Listing your business contact details is free on Yelp. Businesses may advertise with Yelp for preferred search result placement and extra listing features.


You can’t talk of free advertising without mentioning It allows anyone to post a free advertisement. It has over 50 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone.

6. Tripadvisor is a travel website that assists customers in gathering travel information, posting reviews and opinions of travel-related content and engaging in interactive travel forums. It is visited by 50 million visitors each month and has over 20 million registered members.

It is the perfect listing for entrepreneurs operating a hotel and restaurant. Being listed is free of charge. If your business is already listed you can log in to confirm your business and add images and important contact details. or open directory project is the largest website directory in the world. They claim to list all websites in the world. At the beginning it was easy to get listed but now it is a bit hard. If you believe your business website is the best then it is worth trying to getting listed with them.

8. Gumtree is provider of free online classified. Classified ads are either free or paid for depending on the product category and the geographical market. Sellers may promote their listing through featured placements on the homepage or under product categories.

Gumtree covers 60 cities across 6 countries – the UK, Ireland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

9.Niche Forum

Another innovative trick of getting free advertising for your small business is participating in forum discussions related to your niche. All most all forums in the internet allow members to place a web link pointing to personal websites. Every time you leave a comment in the forums, readers will see a link pointing to your site. If they link your advice, they will be compelled to visit your business website.

10. Search engine listings

This is the mother of all places where you can advertise your business for free. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are the largest providers of free visitors to 90% of business websites out there. If you want people to find your small business website when they do a search on Google, you have to make sure your website is search engine friendly.

How to Brand Your Home Based Business

One of the best ways of improving your sales is through having a business, product or service that stands out from the rest in the marketplace. Every interaction with your client contributes to your image, unveiling to them who you are and what you represent. By representing yourself in the right manner makes you believable, builds your identity and increases customer loyalty.

While home based business setting provides several advantages such as cost reduction, time freedom and so on, it also requires efforts when it comes to building one’s brand identity. Unlike with traditional office setting, where you’d have interaction with regular and potential customers, a home based business does not always have such exposure. That’s why it’s important to be thoughtful from the word go on the right fundamentals of building your business identity. Here are some of the best ways of building a brand for your home-based business.

Choose a name that represents your product or service

The first step towards building your identity is through developing a name that clearly represents your product or service. Pick a name that can give your clients the idea of what you’re selling or what service you are offering every time they see it.

Develop an Outstanding Logo

The purpose for having a business logo is not only for helping your clients to recognize your brand but more importantly for creating a positive association between your clients and your product. Your logo should be simple, yet captivating, to help your clients have a quick grasp on your brand identity.

Have a well thought Packaging

Whether you are shipping a physical product or selling through internet, packaging plays an important role in promoting your business brand. If you’re selling your own product or reselling a product through a merchant’s website, you can promote your image through enclosing a greeting card with the product or consider having your logo on the box.

Be consistent

Being consistent in everything you deliver or communicate to your clients is an effective way of building a positive image. If you sell products that require being physically shipped to your customers, then you have to honor your word. Your behavior represents who you are. That’s why you or those who represent your business or company must be consistent with clients in all levels of transactions – from product marketing to its delivery.

Position Yourself

All businesses owners should have a clear way about how they position themselves to their clients. One of the best ways of achieving this goal is through having a clear, well spelt and laid down objective. This clearly distinguishes your values, shows your clients what you stand for and defines how they perceive you or your products. Do you for instance market yourself as the most reliable, or the most trustworthy? What is unique about you, your product or service? What comes to the mind of your clients every time they see you or your products?

You can for instance have a clear objective through making sure your clients are satisfied. This could be through giving guarantee on the delivery of the product, following your orders with emails or even having your products backed with a money-back guarantee.

Choosing a Domain Name for a Home Based Business

A good domain name for your home based business website will set you apart from competition by ensuring you get more visitors to your website and your web visitors remember your site and be able share it with friends.

If you want to come up with a great domain name idea for your home based business website I suggest you read the following ideas.

First Impression Count

When someone hears about your domain name for the first time, they should be able to instantly and accurately guess at the type of content that might be found there. What comes to your mind when your read, and

Easy To Spell Domain Name

Domain name represent your business and brand name in your online business. You must select the domain name that easy to spell. You will lose a lot of traffic if the visitors miss-spell your domain name.

Keep It short

Short domain names are easy to remember. Visitors are more likely to share your e-commerce website if they can remember it in a split second.

Include the Keyword

A good example is This name is more compelling than say Brainstorm 5-10 keywords of your product or services and see which you like most.

Dot com or country level domain

The rule of thumbs is you must buy a dot com domain name if your home based business websites targets international market. While the “.com” extension is the most popular, as a defensive measure consider also snapping up other extensions of your domain name.  Secure the .net, .info, .biz .uk, .de and similar extensions.

Learn From is a great online brand but I don’t think it is wise to come up with such a generic brand for your home based business website.  Generic names require investing a lot of money and effort in marketing to educate readers what you sell. If you don’t have the money to do the marketing follow my idea on Including the Keyword. If your business website is backed by a venture capitalist, go for a generic name, they always come up tops in the long run.

Avoid Copyright Infringement

Avoid putting the name of a famous brand next to your domain if you are planning to sell a similar product or service. To understand how brands work online, read why facebook trade marked ‘face’

Lastly, a great domain name does not make a great business website. A good business websites consists of a lot of other good things, such as, a good layout, a good customer experience, great look and feel on the website.

Using Google Adwords to Grow Your Small Home Based Business

Google AdWords is the easiest and cost effective way to get new customers for a small home based business. The majority of people do a Google search to find providers of services and goods. What Google Adword does is connect searchers with local business.

In the old days a small home based business was marketed through Yellow Pages ads because it was what people turned to look for local business. As people have made a shift to internet they are turning to search engines like Google to find local businesses. That is why it is important for every owner of small / large home based business to learn how to use Google Adwords to market their business.

Introduction to Google Adwords for Small Home Based Business Owners

Google Adword is a product from Google. it is a “pay-per-click” advertising service, which means your ad will be displayed only to people searching for your service, and you will pay a “bid” price only if someone clicks on your ad.

Lets say your home based business is about selling Garden Tools. The way Google Adword works is Google displays your ad every time someone is doing a search for “garden tools.” You will pay if someone clicks on the ads. If they don’t click, you don’t pay.

Cost of Google Adwords for Small Home Based Business

How much you pay for that click is based on how much you’re willing to bid against competitors who are also bidding on the search terms a customer is searching for in Google’s search engine. This type of advertising only costs you money when your ad is clicked.

Google Adwords allows you to set your daily budget. If you set to spend $50 a day, they will not charge you extra.

Getting Started With Google Adwords

To use Google Adwords you need to open an Adwords Account. If you have a Gmail Account you can use that account to open an account. Registration is free but to start using the account you will need to deposit at least $10 into the account. This is just an act to show good faith.

Inside Google Adwords you can do a search using the search tool to determine the monthly search volume of your product or services and how much competitors are paying.

Difference Between, Exact, Broad and Phrase Keywords Search

On the left sidebar of your Adword accounts there is a option of Exact, Broad and Phrase Keywords Search. I recommend you tick them all before doing a search because they provide different information.

Exact Match – Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase exclusively

Example: an exact search for “pineapple pie” would only give “pineapple pie” and would not include “pineapple pies”, “pie pineapple”, “pineapple cream pie” or “how to make pineapple pie”

Broad Match – Allows your ad to show on similar phrases and relevant variations

Example: a broad search for “pineapple pie” would include searches for pineapple pies, pineapple cream pie, how to make pineapple pie, etc. as well as banana peal and pumpkin pie

Phrase Match – Allows your ad to show for searches that match the exact phrase

Example: a phrase match search for “pineapple pie” would include searches for “how to make pineapple pie”, etc. but would not include “pineapple cream pie” or “pineapple pies”

After you are done with Keyword research the next thing is to build a list of keywords phrases that you will target.

Usually the keywords that have the best conversions are “long tail” keywords. This is a term that is used for keyword phrases that are better defined. So if you are selling hammers, you will get better results by targeting “Brown Carpenters Hammer”

How to target customers near you

If you live in California and you are a provider of landscaping services, you don’t want a searcher in Indonesia clicking your Ad. Google lets you target your ads geographically to your country, states or certain cities.

Writing an Ad that Converts

The next thing you need to do is write a good ad. Since the space provided is limited, you will need to be creative. Your ad must be clear and direct. Your goal should be to grab people’s attention and get them to click on your ad.

A good ad should include one of your keywords. Do not include your business name within the ad since people search by product or service.

Try to have a call-to-action in your ad. Something like “Buy two get one free!” . This is a good trick is a good to get searchers to visit your website.

Adwords allows you to create a several ads. These ads will rotate so that the best performing ad is used more often. This helps you find winning ads. Try listing different offers, services or features of your product or service to see what is most in demand. Always continue to test to find the best ad.

The ad is one part of promotion and the next part is your Landing page A.K.A. your website. Your ad might be great but if the people land on a sloppy website, they will leave as fast as they landed. A good landing page delivers on what the ad promises. Make sure the content is clear and convincing and it explains why your product or service is better than your competitor’s. The navigation should be clear so that the visitor can be able to contact you and buy your product.

I hope you have learnt how to use Google Adwords to Grow Your Small Home Based Business.