In this article I will discuss how important is it to build community websites rather than straight forward sales pitches. Selling online is about bringing people together, not about stuffing products down your visitors throwts and expecting them to buy from you.
We have conditioned our minds all of our lives to accept advertising billboards, radio ads, newspaper ads, commercials, and all sorts of other advertising materials wherever we go. The same applies on the internet. This "conditioning" has enabled us to see past all the ads and look directly for the pertinant information that we are seeking.
People who are new to the internet are more likely to click on your ads for no apparent reason but to simply search and keep searching. Others that have beed online for years now, tend not to pay attention to as many ads on a daily basis like they used to.
If you are serious about making money online without having to spend too much of your budget, create a "community online". It is in our nature as human beings to want to belong, or to be involved within a community setting. Communities come in all shapes & sizes and are not limited to gender, race, nationality, or religion. A community can cater to whatever topic you wish and welcome whomever you desire.
Same concept applies to your website!
Building a community within your website is the key to increasing your business, keeping visitors coming back, and keeping your advertising budget in the bank. Show your visitors that you aren't just here on the internet to sell them something. For example, we (Smartads), we are here to teach what we know about internet marketing. By teaching, we too learn more, gain more business, and attract new visitors.
RESIDUAL TRAFFIC IS THE KEY!
As i've always mentioned to my clients & readers, getting people to your website is the easy part. Anyone with a $500 credit card can get traffic to their website, it's keeping them there and getting your visitors to come back on their own time is what makes owning a website a dificult proposition.
Visitors always come back to communities they can relate to!
I always to go back to internet marketing communities online like:
and so on... There are many internet marketing resources available for business owners. We are fortunate to have access to the vast amount of resources that we do, in order to increase our business & to increase our knowledge.
More resources online also increases competition. There are literally millions of websites out there and many of them might possibly be your competitors. Without building a community, people won't remember who you are, or what it is that you do. Infact, if you are spending all of your money on banner ads, pay per click advertising, affiliates, and other marketing areas online, and at the same time you aren't paying attention to increasing your home base, when your advertising budget runs out so too will the bulk of your traffic.
If your website isn't good enough, your sales won't be good enough. Granted; building a website can be very time consuming but just remember that you don't need to create an empire over night. Just a little here, a little there, and before you know it, it all adds up to something you can be proud of. Over time, your website traffic will constantly be increasing.
PLEASE NOTE: If you stop advertising, your traffic won't grow. Growing your website is all part of the whole plan.
What do we need to create a community website?
You always want to add extras to your site that interest you. By doing so, you will also attract people with similar interests and help to bridge the credibility gap online.
You can always add these to your website:
- Personal blog
- Helpful tips
- Mini-ebook courses (on how to be a better client for you)
- Other people's articles
- Chat forum (requires a lot of maintenance & promotion)
- Free business directory listings
- Family albums for users
- Fun online questionnaires
- Mind benders
- Contests (with actual prizes)
- "How to" articles
- Government resources
- Local community resources
- Support local companies & vice versa
I think we can now get a sense of what building a "community" website means. The key is to take your industry (even if it is boring), and teach someone about what it is that you do. The internet allows us to take in more information than we could ever imagine. There is always someone out there who wants to learn about your industry.
The key is to add on a little at a time. Talk to your web designer. Try and find unique little ways to build a community website online. Ask people what they look for within your industry. After time, you will know what it takes to keep creating more for your company online, and your wallet will love you for it.
Just remember the more you build, the less your advertising budget will be when you get there. Just keep it up until you get there, don't give up on yourself, your company, or your future.
I hope you've enjoyed this article!
This article was posted on Aug 5, 2005