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How to Create Your Website Marketing Plan
Copyright 2002 Herman Drost

Creating a website without developing a website marketing plan
is the same as planning for failure. A website marketing plan
is essential not only just to survive but to continue to thrive
and expand your business. You should spend 80% of your time
marketing your website. It's the life blood of your online

When to create your website marketing plan.
Most of us probably create a website first before we plan
to market it. However just like a business plan, you should
prepare your marketing strategy ahead of time.

What's the benefit of doing this? 
The further you plan ahead the easier will all the pieces of your
web site fall into place. 

Give me an example please
Recently I was working on an ebook. Before creating it, 
I worked on creating the sales page for the web site.
This meant I had to think first of all the benefits
the ebook would be to my customers plus research appropriate
keywords to weave into my web copy for my web page to rank well
in the search engines. 

If I had done this backwards and created the ebook first, I
would have wasted hours of time redoing my web copy to fit my
web site marketing plan. 

Here are 7 steps to creating your website marketing plan:

1. Begin with the end in mind - create a vision what you want your
web site to accomplish. Define a vision statement i.e. “I will
develop a highly profitable web site within 6 months”. 

2. Set doable goals - depending on your product or service,
write down one or a set of goals you BELIEVE you can accomplish
i.e. “I will turn a profit of $500/month at the end of 6

3. Choose a few marketing strategies - based on your research,
pick a few strategies to begin with that you know you can
accomplish. This could include optimizing your website for the
search engines, placing an ad in an ezine, or writing an article
to submit to online publications. 
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4. Create a time line and set a deadline - create a horizontal
line on paper or on a white board (where you can easily view it
each day) and divide this line up into days, weeks or months (or
whatever duration you decide) of your marketing campaign. Then
mark the beginning and ending dates of your campaign, plus what
type of marketing method you are using. 

5. Track your results - if you are running an ad either on the
Internet or offline, track its effectiveness. Use ad tracking
software like adtrackz to track all the links you place online. 
To know how visitors arrived at your web site and what keywords
they searched on to get there, analyze your web site statistics
(read my article “How to analyze your web traffic".) 

With offline ads, use a different code for each ad.
If one ad doesn't work well, rework your copy and try it again. 
Once you find one that works, expand your advertising to 
other publications. 

6. Calculate your return on investment (ROI). - don't just blindly
throw money into an ad and hope for the best. Keep track of how
much money you initially invested in the ad and what profit you
made in return. i.e. if you received $7 back in profit for every
dollar you invested in your pay per click strategy, then you are
running a very successful marketing campaign. 

7. Constantly evaluate your results - after each marketing
campaign, evaluate which strategies worked best and which ones
did not. Repeat those marketing strategies that are profitable
to get maximum results from them. Throw out or refine the ones
that did not work well and try some different ones. 

Write your vision, goals, strategies and time
line on a piece of paper.

Keep this next to your computer so you can refer
to it from time to time so you don't lose your focus. It's easy
to get distracted, particularly when it's no longer fun to act
on your marketing plans and they just become a chore to do. 

Be disciplined - stay focused on your vision, goals, strategies
and dead lines. Staying on track with your time line and
accomplishing your deadlines, will give you a great sense of
accomplishment. You also can be assured you are making progress
towards achieving a profitable web site. 

Try a number of strategies at the same time - by utilizing a few
different strategies together, you have a better chance of
getting more visitors to your website. For instance each week
you could place an ad (free or paid) in an ezine and write an
article. Daily you could participate in the various popular
forums, newsgroups and message boards on the Internet and
include a link to your web site in your signature file. 

Conclusion - creating, executing, tracking, testing and
evaluating your concrete web site marketing plan will greatly
enhance your chances of building a profitable online business. 
Herman Drost is a Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of iSiteBuild.com 
Affordable Website Redesign and Hosting 

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