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Stop the Slaughter of Innocents. Congress is bought and paid for by gun lunatics and gun promotion groups. If you want to live in a safe America, help buy Congress back for America. Send a donation to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 909 Third Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY 10022

Ten Free Things You Can Do to Start Your Online Marketing Business

The main hindrance to beginning an online marketing strategy is distraction. The distraction comes from a lack of knowing what to do in this crazy internet world. If you knew exactly what steps to take, it wouldn't be so difficult. You can spend a fortune buying e-books and "how to make a million" replicated websites. It can be daunting to your mind and your pocketbook to begin the process of learning without having some guidance. Here are ten free things you can do to start your online marketing business. If you do these without spending a penny, you will be working smarter and be more grounded in your daily business. Resist the urge to buy for at least 30 days.

1. Think. That's right. Thinking is free and all it takes is a dedication of time to sort through your thoughts about what it is that you want to accomplish through internet marketing. Do you want to make a lot of money? Fine; but determine what exactly you will do with it and why you chose this method to earn it. What are your gifts and talents? What can you bring to the table that will help others? What is meaningful to you? Are you willing to put a lot of work and money up front to see your results? Most people who start a traditional business need capital and a lot of planning to get started. Ask yourself if you think this is different.

2. Research - Plug this topic into the search engines and see if you find about a million different options for learning this craft. Spend time reading and absorbing the information without spending a dime. Narrow your searches to the specific topics you need to learn about how to make online marketing a success. For example, you might research how to be a good copywriter or how to write email marketing campaigns or how to understand analytics. There are many sub-topics associated with internet marketing.

3. Planning - Planning is crucial in determining how you are going to go about building your online business. Would you go on vacation without a plan? Would you build a building without a plan? This is time well spent and doesn't cost you anything. Decide if you will have a website, a blog, or both. Decide if you will incorporate social media and which social media sites you will participate in. Decide if you are willing to write articles. Decide if you are able to provide valuable information for people. Know who your target market is and how you will reach them. Create a strategy for gaining credibility and a following.

4. Study - Studying is free. There are many really good marketers out there who offer free video training series on internet marketing. It's worth signing up for them if you are "attracted" to the type of person who is making the free offer. The trainers have to resonate with you. Be choosy. Spend 20-30 minutes per day studying what they have to say. Take notes. Start identifying how you want to come across to your target market.

5. Blog - There are free blogs out there which are really great for practicing your craft. I started two blogs before my current one and practiced on them for about a year. You can build your writing and technical skills a little at a time with a blog. It's an amazing tool. I recommend using the Word Press.com blog site as your free blog. That way, when you are ready to spend some money, you can easily transfer the technical knowledge you learned there to the paid site, Word Press.org. Know your skill level. If you are not into website design, focus your efforts on what interests you, such as writing. Eventually, you can pay to have someone design a great, professional looking site.

6. Facebook - Set up a Facebook page and begin to learn how to utilize it. As popular as the site is, there are still many people who resist joining because they just don't get it. But you cannot be successful in online marketing if you don't know how to work the social media sites, so get a Facebook page, upload your picture and start sharing.

7. Join Twitter - Twitter is a social networking tool that is also referred to as a micro blog. Short bursts of information are sent out to be helpful. When I signed up for Twitter, I had no idea how to use it. I just signed up, created my profile, uploaded my picture and watched people start to follow me. Eventually, I bought a book (okay this costs money), but there is a lot of free information online about how to use Twitter, so again, you don't have to spend any money for this. There is Twitter Etiquette and techniques that you should learn about, so keep researching on the best way to utilize this free tool.

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