How to Start a Niche Market Advertising Network Business and Build a Valuable Asset

Even in this down economy there are hundreds of niche markets that can support an advertising network business. Businesses need to maintain a market presence and generate sales in a cost efficient manner. People will continue to buy but only exactly what they need.

What is a niche market?

Niche markets, aka vertical or long tail markets, are market segments defined by how people search for specific products and services. This results in a narrowly defined, qualified, group of potential customers. Typically these markets are not served by mainstream advertising networks.

What is an advertising network?

The basic definition of an advertising network is; an online, automated agency or broker, that automatically obtains digital ads from advertisers and automatically places the ads on multiple websites.

What is a niche advertising network?

A niche advertising network is an advertising network dedicated to a specific market segment. Niche advertising networks aggregate publisher websites in a similar market providing advertisers an economical, focused advertising solution across a wide viewer base creating quality leads to fill the advertiser’s pipeline while improving brand recognition. Niche Advertising Networks provide the publisher base with higher revenue for their ad space inventory on their websites as advertisers will typically pay more for ad views on market specific websites.

To lay the foundation for starting a niche advertising network there are seven questions you need to answer:

1. What are my personal and business goals?
2. What niche market do I want to pursue?
3. Will my market of interest support an advertising network business?
4. How much does it cost to start an advertising network business?
5. How long does it take to be profitable?
6. How do I get started?
7. What leads to success?

What are my personal and business goals?

In starting any business you’re personal and business goals are the first thing you should resolve. They must be aligned or you will fail. You start by generating a written list of your personal goals. You use this list as the basis for writing your business goals. Once you have both goals aligned you can then write your Vision and Mission statements for the business which should be your guide for all that you do going forward.

What niche market do I want to pursue?

To give you the best chance for success it should be a market you have work experience in, a hobby or a market you have a strong interest in and working relationships with others in the market that could support your efforts. Searching for niche markets on the Internet can provide a lot of potential opportunities but if you have no experience in a market your chances for success decrease and your cost for entering the market will be higher. Market knowledge is important.

Will my market of interest support an advertising network business?

Demand. If the demand is there it will. Demand is determined from your knowledge of the market and good market research. This needs to be coupled with understanding the potential competition in the market. Demand should be determined before you commit to a market.

How much does it cost to start an advertising network business?

Costs vary with potential revenue volume based on niche market size, ad network platform licensing agreement, start up and ongoing marketing and support (needed and provided) for your business. Opportunities exist where you can start as a home business and test of your market for free before determining the level of commitment you want to undertake. Most niche market advertising networks can remain as home based businesses. Actual costs would be determined during your business plan development and type of advertising network solution selected for your business model.

How do I get started?

Once you pick your market and understand the demand a business plan is a must and the next step. This does not have to be a large detailed document. In most case five to ten pages that cover your operating strategy will do. The plan should detail you’re operating, marketing and revenue plans. This will result in your cash flow which will tell you what type of investment you need to make to meet your plans goals or if it is a worthwhile business venture. With your plan in place select an advertising network platform that matches your business goals and you are in business.

How long does it take to be profitable?

Good question. There are a lot of variables that come into play that will determine when a niche advertising network might reach profitability. Your business plan should cover all the possible variables and give you the path to profitability. However, if you started with an entry level ad serving approach you could be profitable in 3-4 months. Most other plans can take 6 months plus. Market penetration is the pacing factor for determining when you will achieve profitability.

What leads to success?

Demand + Relevance + Desire + Knowledge + Planning + Perseverance = Success

Selecting and supporting the right niche market can provide an attractive income while building a valuable asset to sell or aggregate with other niche market advertising network businesses in the future providing an exit strategy if that is ones goal.

MLM Businesses and Affiliate Sales Programs – What is the Difference

MLM businesses and affiliate sales programs are both programs that if handled correctly, enable you to earn extra cash from home. Don’t belittle the amount of money these working from home opportunities offer. Once you understand the way they are run and how the commissions are earned, you are on your way to earn some extra cash from home.

MLM businesses are generally known as multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing. MLM businesses are basically a marketing strategy that compensates distributors of direct selling companies not only for sales of goods and services they personally generate, but also for the recruitment as well as sales of other distributors they introduced to the company. The products and services are usually marketed directly to consumers and potential business partners by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing. Some of the top MLM distributors I know have earned in excess of $10 million in their MLM businesses in about 10 years.

Affiliate sales programs or better known as affiliate marketing is an internet-based marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. Commissions are paid for any sales the affiliate makes. Some of the best affiliates in the market generate thousands of dollars every single month just by their own efforts. These best affiliates would have a huge mailing list. Once they have a product or service to offer, all they do is send an email broadcast to their list and bingo! A single email blast would have reached the thousands of people on their list, most of whom trust them and any product or service they recommend, and they are able to earn extra cash from home. Earnings range from $56,000 in 28 days to $70,000 in just one clickbank account (this guy has 10 such accounts).

So if it is so easy to earn extra cash from home with MLM businesses and affiliate sales programs, then why are people still going to work at their jobs?

The reason is simple. Although it is easy to earn money working at home, there are however some disadvantages.

With the MLM businesses, your commissions normally grow according to the size of your organisation. As MLM businesses require you to recruit more downlines into your organisation in order to enjoy residual income opportunities, this is one of the downfalls of MLM distributors. Where are you going to find prospects after prospects to approach regarding your working from home opportunities? How many of your distributors are strong enough to actually face rejection after rejection? Even if you manage to get your prospects to join you as your downline, you still need your downlines to work and generate sales, failing which you will not earn any commissions. The main advantage of MLM businesses is to be able to leverage on the efforts of your downlines which will not happen if your downlines find it hard to build their organisation.

On the other hand, if you are in the affiliate sales programs, you are generally working on your own and do not have a team of affiliates to leverage on in order to enjoy residual income opportunities.

How then can you achieve a win-win situation where you can get the best of both worlds? Is there a way to create the ultimate internet MLM marketing synergy?

Well, to do that, you can look for online MLM businesses. Start building your MLM businesses online and train your downlines or affiliates in online prospecting which requires you to generate web traffic with your lead capture page in order to build a mailing list. Once you have mastered this art, you will find that it will be so much easier to move your MLM businesses in a mode similar to the affiliate sales programs. Best of all, everyone will be working more as a team and helping one another to succeed.

Do Article Marketing and Bum Marketing Still Work?

If you’ve been involved with online marketing for any length of time, you’re probably at least relatively familiar with the terms “article marketing” and “bum marketing.” If you’re not, don’t fret. This article will explain these two things for you. They’re actually really simple concepts to grasp, so it won’t take long for you to learn them. Then, we will discuss their current effectiveness (or lack thereof) as an internet marketer’s business model.

What Is Article Marketing?

Quite simply, article marketing is the process of writing simple articles and submitting them to websites known as “article directories.” Such directories include sites like EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, and GoArticles. At the end of each article you submit, you are able to include links back to your website (or landing page), where you make your offer.

What Is Bum Marketing?

“Bum Marketing” is a term that was coined a few years back by a top internet marketer named Travis Sago. It is essentially the same as article marketing, but incorporates the use of all types of free social media sites, commonly known as “web 2.0 properties.” In addition to the article directories, bum marketers will be submitting their articles to sites such as,, and the “big daddy” of the bum marketing world, Squidoo.

How Effective Are These Business Models?

The truth is, both bum marketing and straight article directory marketing were once incredibly powerful business models. All sorts of folks were making healthy online incomes using one or both of these methods. Unfortunately, if you fast-forward to a few Google updates later, the story changes dramatically.

You see, the name of the game in the world of free online marketing is to get your content ranked high in the organic results of the search engines, especially Google. And articles submitted to article directories and web 2.0 sites used to consistently rank on the first page of the engines, sending droves of free traffic to these articles, which would in turn send lots of great targeted leads to the marketer’s offer pages.

Sadly, this is no longer the case.

Today, self-hosted websites get the lion’s share of search engine love. This is not to say that article marketing and bum marketing techniques don’t still have their place. They most assuredly do. But their primary role has shifted dramatically.

Instead of using these particular strategies to send direct traffic to your money sites, it is now far more advisable to use both the article directories and web 2.0 sites to gain valuable, in-content, anchor text backlinks pointing to your self-hosted web pages in an effort to get these pages themselves ranking in Google and other search engines.

5 Ways Marketing Departments Help Salespeople Catch Butterflies

Let’s Face It: The Market Is Much Different Than It Was 20 Years Ago

In this day and age, it’s important for businesses to stay competitive. To do so, they must understand what it takes to remain relevant, top-of-mind, and respected by their audience. Cold-calling and brochures alone won’t do the trick anymore. Whether you’re selling products, services, ideas, or technology, your company represents solutions to the problems of prospective customers and your brand can satisfy a want or a need, compelling them to make a purchase. Depending which industry you’re in, the length of a typical sales cycle may vary and, it’s up to your company to nurture prospects along that journey by fostering awareness, creating interest, building a case for why your brand meets their needs, presenting solutions, following up, and winning the customer.

Enter Stage Right, Marketing

Today’s sales people have many methods of closing deals, and for some it’s easier than others. A lot of it depends on the quality, price, and demand for your product or service, all of which can be amplified with the right tools. More companies than ever are turning to the continually evolving world of marketing to create resources for their sales teams and to generate or increase brand awareness. Marketing – and its parallel relationship to sales – are about so much more than creating fancy flyers about your latest product or promotion. Marketing does something that a sales team alone can’t do: create opportunities where there were none by increasing brand visibility on all fronts and then supporting the sales team with the resources necessary to enrich the selling process by speaking to the needs of the customer on a personal (or organizational) level. This requires insight, data, the ability to relate and identify with consumers, story-telling skills, and the creation of compelling content that will lead to conversions.

And what many companies don’t understand about this process is that it often works as much (if not more) behind the scenes as it does outwardly and in-your-face. So much of the marketing world is measured by its effectiveness in capturing leads that convert to sales in an immediate way; however the unseen, intangible results (the part of the iceberg that is under the water) are just as crucial to a business’s success. For every opportunity captured there are multiples more being born, and the length of time it may take to nurture those opportunities into full-blown customers may depend on the prospect’s budget, company initiatives, workload, decision-making ability, and the effectiveness of your company’s sales team.

The Lifecycle

So think of marketing like the lifecycle of the butterfly. Most people would equate victory with only the emergence of the beautiful monarch, not recognizing that the butterfly wasn’t born looking so regal and enchanting. While the finished product or end result is what most companies focus on, the formative stages that often go unseen for weeks or months are what a marketing department is continually working to build.

Many sales-focused organizations miss or fail to recognize the metamorphosis that is about to occur while the “butterfly” is in its caterpillar or chrysalis (cocoon) stage, equating ROI only to spikes in the sales forecast.

This can make marketing impact and metrics a little more complicated to measure – it’s not always so black and white. Much of the transformation of opportunities to sales also depends on the relationship between sales and marketing and how well strategies are communicated and executed. A well-supported marketing program hands-down makes your sales team more effective and helps them catch more butterflies.

Here’s How to Nourish, Preserve, and Grow Your Butterfly Population

  1. Use original content – Always!

    An investment in a team member with a strong background in writing, an understanding of your industry and subject matter, and a creative spirit is one of the wisest and most profitable investments your company will ever make. Nothing will stunt your growth faster than failing to invest in the marketing of your company. Without a copy writer or a team of marketing professionals, some companies try to take the DIY approach to branding and communications and don’t understand the risks involved.
    No one would ever set out to deliberately plagiarize or steal another’s intellectual property, but many people intending to paraphrase or quote a supporting source don’t know how to properly do so. Whether the error is made in print or a digital format, anyone who picks up on it will immediately have a compromised opinion of your company. It can seriously damage your credibility and reputation and, furthermore, if it’s brought to the attention of the original author, you could be sued and fined for copyright infringement and intellectual property theft. There are laws and regulations governing the written words and creative efforts of artists and writers which transcend the print world and include digital works as well. So be sure to lean on someone with a strong writing and marketing background who can tell your story in a compelling way and give a nod to original sources when outside information is used.

  2. Have your finger on the pulse of the industry and market

    Your marketing team will keep market research and industry news on their radar screens by subscribing to various newsletters, scouring the internet, monitoring social media, and scoping out competitors and partners. Collecting data, stories and headlines that support your vision through other sources and creatively weaving that information into your communications will augment your authority, make you multi-dimensional, and increase your audience and your reach.

  3. Give credit where credit is due

    Of course, giving credit where credit is due is something that all professional marketers must learn and embrace. Point 1 emphasized the importance of accurately citing sources when using outside content as a point of reference, but this doesn’t just apply to written copy: it’s important to credit the creators of images, too. In many articles the image source is listed in order to give credit to the artist or photographer. Even when a company pays for the use of stock images, they will (and should) often indicate the image’s original source by naming the photographer or artist (which is provided in the stock image account subscription).

  4. Start a conversation

    Don’t let your brand or your customers exist in a vacuum. An effective marketing team balances brand development with promotion and audience engagement. Marketers aren’t supposed to just be all about their efforts to market and promote their company: many marketers make waves for their company by becoming avid readers of other companies’ marketing material!
    That’s right – consuming other content styles, seeing what’s out there, and commenting on posts to correspond with other writers and audiences is one of the smartest ways to stay current and known. Not only is it a way to glean inspiration and ideas, but it shows the world that your company and brand is one that interfaces with others and is interested in being a part of the local market, instead of living on an island.
    If your company owns an island and the only inhabitants of the island are its company’s employees, then you will not do very well. Another way to facilitate engagement is to invite feedback and offer incentives for the sharing of your content. Interaction beyond your target customer base is a necessary part of getting your name out there and attracting people to build a bridge to your island.

  5. Trusted partners and finding balance

    If your company outsources its marketing efforts, it’s important to know who you’re working with. You don’t have to pay the biggest and most expensive agency there is – quality marketing support exists for businesses of all sizes and at all levels on the price spectrum. But certain due diligence should be conducted before trusting your company and your reputation to a third party:

    a. Ask for examples of work done for other companies and make sure it doesn’t all look the same. You want a company who has demonstrated the ability to make its customers stand out, not give them all the same look and feel but in different colors.

    b. Opt for a company local to you so that their representatives are available for the occasional face-to-face concept meeting. So much can be lost in translation when business is only conducted over the phone or through email. Another benefit to choosing a local partner is that you’ll be more able to evaluate their work and reputation, whereas it may be more difficult to look into a company from another region.

    c. Look for a company who takes a consultative approach to marketing your brand. The right partner should be eager to work with you and take your vision into consideration, helping you develop your ideas while guiding you through industry standards and best practices with strategic advice.

    d. You want a partner with a plan. Much like a property design team could give you multiple options for how to maximize your home’s design and function within your renovation budget, a marketing partner should be able to do the same. If they really listen to your goals and needs, they will probably present you with a list of marketing strategies that they could employ at various levels within your budget, showing you the allocation percentage for each area. Ask for these combinations of strategies to be presented in packages, so that they can help you interpret the information and understand where you’ll get the most bang for your buck, short-term and long-term. This will help you achieve balance: hiring a company to build your website may not be a worthwhile investment if you have no one to regularly update your blog, do email marketing, and conduct outreach on your company’s behalf. Outbound needs to be tied to inbound, and vice versa.

    e. Last but not least, you want consistency. Marketing is a living, breathing entity that needs to be constantly fueled and energized. Ask your marketing partner to present their ongoing plans so that you can keep track of your progress. Things like content calendars, a publishing schedule, and monthly or quarterly development initiatives that align with your budget will all help you get the most out of your spend and capitalize big time. There should be a written agreement as to how many times per week or month this partner will be creating and promoting content on your behalf, as well as a calendar of scheduled updates to the website, with approximate ETAs in place for any larger campaigns or initiatives.

All of these points apply whether you’re outsourcing your company’s marketing or keeping it in-house. But having the right team in place and knowing what to ask for is crucial to marketing success, whether you’re in retail, financial services, the hospitality industry, or professional services. It’s true that B2B and B2C marketing are different, but in either case, originality, engagement, collaboration, and consistency will help you fill that butterfly net.

5 Ways to Keep Your Marketing Plan Simple and Easy to Follow

With so many marketing options available, you can really struggle with what you should be doing, when are the best times to do it, where your marketing placements should be, why one marketing activity over another, why one niche market over another, and how to get the most out of it all.

Of course, there are some variables (such as goals, industry, and capacity) that will affect your decision, but let me share with you the foundation to simplifying some of this.

1. Identify and separate your vertical markets. Unless every one of your customers fits the same profile, you should really focus first on creating profiles for your clients based on industry and type of client. For instance, I work with consultants, businesses with 100 or less employees, and marketing departments with offices around the world. A consultant with no employees fits a different profile than a private school with less than 100 employees or a marketing department that needs me to set up a recruitment event for a marketing professional.

2. [In your campaign] Focus on your expertise, not the client profile. This one totally contradicts identifying and separating your vertical markets. However, there is a place and time for you to market with general campaigns that focus strongly on your expertise and deliverables. While it’s nice when you can develop campaigns that focus on the pain and pleasure points of a particular industry, if you haven’t chosen to work with one industry or another, you will need to market generally.

3. Decide if you are running a marketing project or a marketing program. A marketing project is a temporary endeavor, has a definite beginning and a definite end, and is finished when all project objectives are met. A marketing project creates a unique product, service, or result. For instance, developing your website is considered a project (even though web marketing and maintenance will go on). Whereas on-going marketing for such website could be part of an ongoing marketing program to drive targeted traffic and prospective clients to your website.

4. Break down your marketing objectives as much as you can. Many times I see business owners clump every marketing goal into one bunch, or bank all of their marketing dollars on this one “campaign” to bring in the millions. Instead, you should focus on multiple ways of marketing, multiple ways of communicating, multiple ways of connecting to reach one or a few of your objectives. Make sense?

5. Get ahead of yourself with your campaigns. Don’t wait till the last minute before you start-you should plan your marketing activities well in advance. A season in advance is a good place to start (however, if right now you have to go with a month ahead-start where you are). Make planning your friend-it will give you a chance to adjust and collect the proper data to see whether or not this will be part of your on-going marketing programs.