No matter what industry your home based business represents, no matter how local the product, or whether you have a brick and mortar location, you must be prepared to establish and maintain a business Web site and to use Internet marketing to bring consumers to your virtual and actual door. Affiliate marketing is another handy tool to grow your home business as well. There are many methods of Internet marketing that can help your home based business grow. Affiliate marketing, for example, lets you team up with other home based or office-based businesses big and small. The concept of affiliate marketing is the old tried and true “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” concept. Your home business can benefit from affiliate marketing in two ways. The first idea is that you pair up with a company whose product or service is related but not competitive and agree to advertise its logo, brand, product, service or some sort of promotional venture on your own site. This marketing is hyperlinked and when consumers come to your site, see your affiliate’s advertisement and click on it to go to the affiliate’s own site your affiliate pays you. The reverse can be true as well. Your company can add its own graphic, brand, logo and promotional message on the site of your affiliate and drive traffic and additional revenue to your own site. The trick with the affiliate marketing method of Internet marketing your home business is that you choose the right affiliates. Trading up is always good. In other words, affiliating with a site whose brand is better known than yours, and whose traffic exceeds yours is a positive thing as long as you don’t pay through the nose for the opportunity. You also want to make sure the affiliation makes sense and doesn’t create competition for your home business. If you sell gift baskets you wouldn’t want to affiliate with 1-800-Flowers. Many might visit that site and abandon your products. Affiliating with a greeting card company might be a good fit, however. If they’re buying your products they might well want a card to accompany the gift. Other Internet marketing options that work for driving consumers to your business are search engine optimization and article writing. Search engine optimization is the use of keywords and meta tags, or payments to the search engine to guarantee that your firm appears early in any search engine results display. Article writing lets you get your name before consumers as the expert in your industry and the article bio will hyperlink consumers back to your own site.
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