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By Sarath Samarasekera

What are you selling? More products are not better when it comes to marketing. In fact, the more targeted you can make your business the easier time you’ll have with all the rest of the steps below and the more money you’ll make.

If consumers are looking for a super store, they have plenty of choice and can shop at the giants like Amazon.com, Walmart.com and EBay.com. Trying to compete against these huge companies with your own “superstore” is foolhardy.

Create free Web spaces! Squidoo, MySpace and Facebook are excellent free opportunities to increase your reach. You’ve got to build buzz around your brand and some name recognition and these social networks is where the buzz is at. Use these sites and tools which are freely available to you and you’ll be able to tap into their enormous online communities (MySpace has over 100 Million accounts!).

Blogs and RSS Feeds. It’s quite easy and a blog will have many benefits for your business:

• It can help establish you as an expert in your field.

• Gives search engines the unique content that they’re looking for; you’ll get new visitors through natural search.

• Keeps your site fresh and provides legitimacy to your business.

• Gives you the chance to trade links with other bloggers (bloggers love linking to other bloggers).

Need blog software? Here are three solid options:
http://wordpress.com; http://www.movabletype.org/; http://www.textpattern.com/

Offline marketing. Some of your most loyal customers may hear about you offline rather than online. So how can you market offline for free? Here are some ideas:

• Partner with local community groups like church’s, schools and other non-profits for a mutually profitable campaign. Anywhere you can engage a pre-existing community you can achieve great success.

• Poster your town (anywhere you can put up a poster).

• Place your Web store and a coupon on business / post cards, leave them at complimentary businesses around the city.

• Classifieds in local papers, BuySell’s are free!

• Add your store to directories like white pages, yellow pages.

Upload your product data feed to Google Base. Data feeds help you get your inventory out in front of buyers that are looking for the products you carry. Big stores can note this is one time that having a store that carries a lot of products will be an advantage to you.

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Sarath Samarasekera is the President and CEO of Shopster.
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