The first thing to do when preparing to market your website is set a monthly Internet marketing budget. No matter how limited your funds are a budget will help you plan an effective Internet marketing campaign.

So you’ve got your domain name and you have set up your website and you’re ready to sell. Trouble is, you don’t have any traffic coming to your website and you don’t have a lot of money to splash out on an Internet marketing budget.

So what is the best way to start marketing your website on a shoestring?

The first thing to do before you spend a single dollar is to work out exactly how far your shoestring will stretch. In plain English, the first thing to do is set a monthly Internet marketing budget and stick to it.

No matter how limited your funds are, if you know exactly how much you have to play with each month you can plan and effective campaign and begin to build momentum for your online business.

The worst thing you can do is market your website on an ad hoc basis without setting a clear limit to your spending. Without setting a bar on your spending, you may find yourself tempted to buy into the latest “sure fire” traffic building offer that comes your way.

Unfortunately, this is what a lot of inexperienced Internet marketers do. They do not set a budget, they try various marketing methods, they get frustrated at their lack of progress, and then they see as sales page with a headline that says something like…

“Explode Your Web Site Traffic Today!”

They read on and, excited at the prospect of getting 100,000 visitors to their website for just twenty-five dollars, they whip out their credit card… but now the card is out, they are excited by the one-time offer of a gold upgrade for just $15 a month and, what the heck, they go for that too.

A few months later most of these people are still made no progress marketing their website, the 100,000 visitors have swiftly come and swiftly gone, sales stand at zero, their credit card is maxed out, and as far as they are concerned, Internet marketing is nothing more than a scam.

Believe me, it doesn’t have to be like this. With a little planning and discipline you can avoid the kind of mistakes that get so many newbie Internet marketers into trouble.

Setting a marketing budget is the very first step to take.

It will impose a discipline upon you and it will protect you from the kind of folly that I have just outlined. If you have a budget limit in place, you will have a kind of checking mechanism to make you pause whenever you are tempted to buy a too-good-to-be-true marketing offer.

No matter how small your budget is, you will be able to run a marketing campaign with it, as I will show you in my next article on the subject.

Bear in mind that some of the most effective methods of marketing a website are free and many successful Internet marketers have built success around free marketing methods. I’m talking about methods such as article writing, blogging, posting comments on blogs, participating in forums, social networking, bookmarking, posting links on website directories, exchanging links with other website owners, free membership of traffic exchanges search engine optimizing your website and so on.

From this perspective, if you are marketing on a shoestring, your Internet marketing budget should be there to augment these core promotional efforts and not for splashing out precious marketing dollars on dubious promises of massive traffic that never converts into sales.

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