There’s no shortage of ways to waste your money when it comes to advertising packages that simply don’t work when attempting to rope in more potential customers to your website. Learn to avoid them, and your pocketbook will thank you.
“Guaranteed Visitors” Deals
It has been my experience and opinion that the majority of untargeted advertising campaigns, intended to bring thousands of visitors to your site, are a complete waste of money. There may be a few that work, but the vast majority are a total waste of money, and the good ones are usually prohibitively expensive for the average website owner. “Guaranteed visitor” deals are usually a waste of money because the “traffic” usually comes from untargeted popup ads, rather than “real people.” Visitors often close their browser before your site even fully loads. The problem is untargeted campaigns such as Opt-in email lists, and other similar packages may bring you thousands of hits as promised but will usually result in a 0% sales for you, and you cannot demand a refund, because they only guarantee traffic to your site, NOT sales. Some advertisers also may not even be producing “real visitors,” so you may see the hits in your stats, but 0 clickthru’s to your affiliate links or ordering page and 0 sales! I got stung myself.
This is why there is NO substitute for building your Opt-in list with your autoresponder which I will go into detail about later. For autoresponders, I highly recommend AutoFollowup. For the price, of $29.00 you won’t find a better deal anywhere!
I was once promised a “20,000 Unique visitors” price: $570.00, but because I had a 0 clickthru rate and 0 sales, I soon had serious doubts that they were even real visitors. After repeatedly contacting the vendor, both by email & telephone with numerous bounced Yahoo! emails, and unprofessional support, I demanded a full refund. I, fortunately, received at least a partial refund of $300, of my money, only after having filed a complaint with his local BBB. This vender was also way overcharged for his services, as a competitor was charging $160 for what appeared to be, the identical service. I later went to the competitor and bought a general non-targeted Opt-in email campaign to 50,000 people for $160, and that did no better than the first one. After this, I became convinced that paid advertising, for the most part, is a waste of money, unless you know exactly what will work.
It’s all too easy for webmasters who are new at this business to be fooled into thinking they can easily buy a magic bullet that will make their sales explode.
Another costly mistake that’s all too easy to make is getting your site dropped and banned from major search engines, especially Google by participating in “Link farms.” Google and many others do not allow these. Participation in these links exchanges may give your link popularity a big boost for a while until you get caught and your listing at Google suddenly vanishes one day. This happened to three of my sites. Fortunately, after apologizing to Google, and removing the offending link pages, they soon reinstated my sites and warned me to be careful in the future of participating in these programs. Google is a very important search engine, so you will want to always be on their good side.
If you are not exchanging links directly with fellow webmasters, I have found that simply leaving my URL at the bottom of my postings at various discussion groups helps build link popularity quite a bit, and it’s perfectly acceptable to leave your URL at the bottom of your message. Be sure to pick a discussion forum that’s already doing well on Google or other search engines, and automatically converts URLs into active links.