Getting started with online marketing: A guide to the basics

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firstsiteguide.com
Firstsiteguide.com provides some useful resources for webhosting, blogging and design. The question is why did this organization win some free publicity here, when most fail?
firstsiteguide.com
Firstsiteguide.com provides some useful resources for webhosting, blogging and design. The question is why did this organization win some free publicity here, when most fail?

I’m usually wary in receiving unsolicited invitations to promote other sites or services, and especially cautious about the many organizations eager to provide “free, relevant content” to this blog. Of course the marketers behind these initiatives are seeking to exploit constructionmarketingideas.com’s reasonably high search engine rankings — with back links and references here (including in-post content), they can promote their own or their clients’ self-serving interests.

There’s nothing wrong with reaching out to me like this — it makes good marketing sense, because even a few “yes” responses can be highly profitable to publicity seekers. As a rule, I decline them all, including the ones that offer to compensate me for the links.

This in part because our business sells advertising as its primary revenue source — and if we are to provide paid market-building services, we seek to provide the publicity opportunities to paying clients (including co-ordinated editorial references or what is now known in the online world as native advertising.)

As well, I wish to remain on good terms with Google, which frowns on paid link deals. While the search engine might have some trouble uncovering some of these arrangements, I know the search engine takes its link and organic search integrity very seriously. (I’m a Top Contributor (moderator) on the Google AdSense ad serving forum, and this gives me access to a network of SEO and advertising experts, and an annual expense-paid invitation to meet-ups and summits at Google headquarters.)

Yet, I’m going to go ahead and reference a site, firstsiteguide.com, which offers a collection of resources on how to set up and implement setting up a website, blog, and the basics of webhosting. The materials are well-written and designed.

However, before deciding to post this reference, I asked about the site’s revenue-generating model, as there didn’t appear to be any ads on it, nor any overt in-your-face pitches for visitors to use specific services or products.

Marketing manager Marco Majatovic responded:

Thank you for the reply and for asking about our revenue generating model.  As we pointed out in the Disclosure policy on our website (placed down in the footer), we receive compensation from the companies whose products we recommend (hosting and domain services) and because of it, we are able to provide free help with setting up websites. A link to our site will just help us to rank better on search engines, we won’t make any profit directly from your mention.

This site gets the reference/link because of its quality and the refreshing honesty of this response. My only concern: I’ll be flooded with even more link-grabbing and building solicitations. However, I have a thick enough skin to ignore these requests or simply to ask them to buy some advertising.

Mark Buckshon can be reached by email at buckshon@constructionmarketingideas.com or you can leave a comment here. (All comments are moderated before publication.)

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