If you run an internet-based business (from home or from a proper office), you will have already experience the deluge of advice related to website promotion and internet marketing. To be sure, Internet marketing is more or less nothing more than website promotion because everything begins and ends with people visiting your website. The sure shot ways to promote your business can tend to be perpetually off-target if you do not go about your marketing efforts the right way.
The number of websites offering free sure shot ways to promote your business is, well, too many. The advice they offer can be so confusing when looked upon as a whole that many internet business owners are left unable to decide whom to follow.
The ones you already know of (the heavily advertised ones) are search engines, pay-per-click advertising, link and banner exchange, bulk traffic purchase, and email or viral marketing.
Here are some of the lesser-known sure shot ways to promote your business that work equally well but need more hard work than just a few clicks.
Have you become a member of any newsgroup or online community? There are thousands of people interacting with each other daily and all you need to do is be a helpful presence while subtly promoting your business. The catch is that you need to be an active member that posts daily and not someone who pops in once a week and behaves like a celebrity. Then you can issue press releases on websites (including your own) and the local paper. Also try putting in classified advertisements in newspapers, magazines (print and electronic), trade and business publications, and other online directories.
If you can get hold of some quality content that you are willing to distribute free then you are in luck. Just include a link for the content that leads back to your website and make a simple request that anyone wishing a free copy of the content need only make one visit. This is a great free and sure-shot way to promote your business. Be honest and do not include hidden actions (like forcing users to leave their email address if they do not want to), free is free, there are no strings attached.
Whatever sure shot ways to promote your business you decide to try, do not neglect to monitor the results of your efforts. Constant monitoring helps you to understand whether things are working at all, working well, or working but not so well. Accordingly, you can make timely decisions to change your strategy.