Advertising is vital to growing a home based business. It’s possible in the brick and mortar world that some customers may just “happen by” your location without your having to do any advertising (although not a very good business strategy.)
However, with a home based business, there usually isn’t anything to tell a passerby that your house is more than just a home, it a home business. Especially if your business is primarily internet based, with the millions of websites available on the World Wide Web, you need to advertise to ensure that people know your website exists, and that they are reminded to visit regularly.
However, oftentimes, a new home based business owner doesn’t have a large budget for advertising. Free internet advertising seems to be solution to the tight budget as well as the need for exposure. But is free advertising really worth it? There are several things to consider when determining whether or not free advertising is the best use of your advertising time.
PROS OF FREE ADVERTISING
Of course, the obvious positive feature of free home based business advertising, is that it’s free! However, many free advertising sites will offer paid upgrades, or require something (like your e-mail address) in exchange.
It’s Readily Available
There are tons of free advertising sites and directories available in all different types of sites and niches.
It Provides Your Home Based Business with Exposure
Any exposure is better than no exposure at all. And free advertising can even produce great results in terms of numbers, that are just as good if not better than paid sites, however, finding the right site and the best advertisement for that site is a process, and can take quite some time until you begin to see results.
Free internet advertising makes it easy for you to put free ads on several of the premier quality web sites whenever you want, for free
CONS OF FREE ADVERTISING
Competing Free Advertisements
As with any advertising, the actual advertisement is of critical importance. Especially with free advertising, you have to make sure that your advertisement sends a clear and precise message to ensure that it gets noticed above the throng of other free advertisements.
Perceived Image of Free Advertising
Some people feel that free advertising sites “cheapen” a website or that those who view free advertisements aren’t serious buyers.
When Free Really Isn’t Free
Many free advertising sites require that you subscribe to their mailing list or put a link to them on your site. Make sure you know what you are giving up for their “free” advertising. It may not be worth the time it takes you to hit “delete” for all the incoming ads to your mailbox simply to post a free ad on their site. So at the very least, free advertising will cost you in minutes and hours rather than in cents and dollars.
So to sum things up, free advertising can work, if utilized correctly. It is a great way to generate exposure for your home based business while keeping your start up costs to a minimum. However, the best use of free advertising is as a supplement to your paid advertising campaigns.