Marketing: some people love to do it, some people hate to do it, but every business needs it. Online marketing is in even greater demand as businesses struggle to be seen among thousands. DIY online marketing IS possible. You don’t necessarily need an expert to juggle and maintain all your online marketing needs.
It does, however, take a lot of effort. You need to be willing to pour your sweat and tears into this one, guys. Don’t panic. As an expert on this stuff, I can get you started on the right path to handling your own online marketing affairs.
By doing it yourself (DIY online marketing, that is), you’re taking the fate of your website (and business) into your own hands. That can be a liberating feeling: knowing exactly why your website is or isn’t getting traffic. It can also be incredibly risky. If you do one thing wrong, your website might be lost to the depths of the internet.
Today, I’m here to offer you a good place to dig in and get started with online marketing yourself. I’ve got tips on how to approach blogging, SEO, email marketing, advertisements, and managing a schedule. This foundation will get you started, but by all means, continue to research each topic thoroughly. This is a complicated and deep topic that people have written whole books about.
You can do it. DIY online marketing IS possible. Before you go off to fight this particular war, make sure you’re stocked up on the best kind of ammunition: knowledge!
First Step to DIY Online Marketing – Blogging
Start a blog if you haven’t already. I know, I know – keeping up on a blog can be time-consuming, and time is at a premium. It’s a huge part of online marketing, however, especially when you’re handling it on your own.
If you’re struggling for content to post about, start hunting the internet for clues. See how Google autofill can help you target your content. Your intended audience likely has a lot of questions; you just have to find them. A large part of DIY online marketing is hunting down info. Check out forums and other places where your intended audience members would spend their time.
If you’re anticipating that carving out several chunks of time a week won’t work for you, I have a solution. Try bulk writing. Rather than fighting to reserve a few hours several times a week, write all your blog content for the week in one sitting. It’s easier to focus on bulk article completion rather than spreading it out.
“Blogger’s block” is most definitely a thing. It’s one of the key reasons that many business owners try to avoid blogging altogether. Keep your mind open and looking for blog topics 24/7. Jot down the topics that spring to mind as they arise, otherwise you’ll forget them. Having topics ready to go when it’s time to write makes the entire process way simpler.
What you choose to write in your blog is up to you, but keep it consistent. Whether you want to write once a week or several times a week, keep it up. DIY online marketing relies heavily on blog ownership.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
We can’t have a discussion about DIY online marketing without mentioning search engine optimization, or SEO. It’s the backbone of every online marketing project, and it’s something you’ll need to keep in mind 100% of the time. It affects everything about your blog posts, advertising, and content in general.
In short, search engine optimization allows search engines to be able to find your website. Your site is one among millions; it’s easy to get lost. If the site is optimized, it will get called up when a user searches for the correct term.
Picture this: you own a site for your yoga mat business. You know that there are plenty of people looking for yoga mats online, so you assume you’ll get hits. You Google “buy yoga mats online”, and your website doesn’t appear anywhere in Google’s search results! What gives? Your website isn’t optimized for SEO, so it isn’t appearing in results like that.
SEO is a multifaceted beast. Making sure there is a certain density of searchable terms within your content helps. Designing your website from the ground up to be search engine friendly is good. You have to make sure there’s a steady stream of fresh and new content on your site. None of these things on their own will get your optimized, however.
Doing SEO yourself can be the most challenging aspect of DIY online marketing. Many people hire a team of professionals to handle this one. If you want to wing it, you’ll need to read up and do your research. Moz has a free online guide called The Beginner’s Guide to SEO that is absolutely worth a look.
Harness Email Lists
Anyone will tell you that email lists are crucial. Even more crucial than a blog, generally. An email list keeps you connected to visitors who WANT to hear from you. Have a solid list of contacts who are interested in your business, and you’ll see more incoming traffic to your site. (Not to mention conversion rates tend to be high.)
Wondering what to put in those emails? Anything that sends them back to you. Your blog posts are great to include. Special offers are always welcomed by those who receive them. Ask yourself what you’d want to see in your email from your favorite business!
Email lists aren’t the only kind of emails you need to have, though. Email notifications of every sort keep your visitors connected with you. The more emails you can manage to send out, the better, but even so, there is such a thing as too many emails. In my experience, however, most people suffer from chronic under-emailing.
At some point, you’ll want to automate your emails. Email automation takes the effort out of email portion of DIY online marketing. Marketing yourself means you’ll have a lot on your plate. Automation means you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
Automated emails are even more important for those who do direct business online. Customers are used to receiving digital receipts, as well as purchasing and shipping confirmations. Going without them is just about as close to a DIY online marketing sin as you can get.
All About Facebook Advertisements
The easiest and most effective types of advertisements are those on Facebook. Most people are a bit terrified to click a regular old banner ad these days for fear of viruses or scams. Facebook ads are a lot more user-friendly and inviting. Facebook also happens to be one of the most visited sites on the internet. There’s nothing to lose for someone diving into DIY online marketing.
Facebook makes it so, so easy to get started with their ads. There are some fantastic guides to getting started, like this one from Hubspot, but the basics are easy. Facebook lets you pick and objective for your ad campaign, like a certain amount of page likes or video views. You define your audience with factors like age, languages, interests, and more. You set your budget, and you’re just about ready to go!
One of the best aspects of Facebook ads is the included feature known as Facebook Lookalike Audience. I’ve spoken about this before in my previous blog post Product Launch Strategies. but I’ll go over it again. You can actually do things like upload the email addresses from your email lists, and it will search for people who are similar to them! How crazy is that?
DIY online marketing and advertising doesn’t have to take a traditional form, either. On Facebook, you can easily start a page for your business and advertise to people who follow your page. Giveaways and calls to actions work great on those who are already following your business page!
The Most Important Part of DIY Online Marketing: Managing a Schedule
Here comes the most challenging aspect of DIY online marketing: managing your time and scheduling your content. This one is a doozy. It’s where a lot of business owners fail. And it’s where you’re going to have to stick to your guns and chug on through.
DIY online marketing regularly relies on two things: new content and consistency. You can’t hope to get noticed online without regular new content to your site. The internet has a way of pushing old, “dead” sites to the back of the search engine line. Likewise, consistency in the release of new content is crucial. Everyone you connect with will know exactly when to expect your communications, and they’ll be ready to receive them.
We all know by now that social media is a gold mine, but devoting yourself to all-day-long posting is challenging. Thankfully, there are a lot of programs out there that let you pre-prepare social media posts and schedule their release. Facebook even includes it as an option on their business page.
I can’t reiterate this last point enough. Keep putting out new content, and put it out regularly. This one factor on it’s own can drive new views to your site. You could miss out on advertisements, never spreading the word once, and people will still show up if there’s new things on your site. Get a blog, get social media accounts, and keep updating them. The health of your website, and your business, depends on it!