Advertising Online Means Advertising For a Long Time

    October 13, 2003

Many newcomers to the Internet don’t realize it — but once information is made available online, it tends to stay around for a very long time. This can be both bad and good for a small Internet business owner.

If you write and distribute an article today for instance, chances are that article will still be alive somewhere on the web ten years from now. This is great, because it provides continuous advertising for you without any additional effort or expense on your part.

If that article points to a website that you no longer own in ten years though, that’s traffic – and potential sales – that you’ll be losing.

Now, on the flipside let’s say you get into a heated argument with someone on a public discussion board. Once it’s all said and done, you may feel silly or wish you could erase everything you said. Chances are though, that the discussion was recorded somewhere else on the web… and everything you wish you hadn’t said can come back to haunt you for many years to come.

I personally love the long-lasting effect of distributing information on the web. Whether via discussion group postings or article distribution – I’m thrilled to see these items still in place, and still generating traffic, years later.

I ran into this phenomena just this past weekend. You see, back when I started my business in 1997, I offered web design and programming. As part of my learning and growth, I created and enhanced a few minor scripts that I used frequently for client sites. Since I saw these as minor tools, and a way to generate traffic to my websites, I made the scripts freely available to anyone who wanted them.

I quickly forgot about these scripts as my business grew and evolved away from the design and programming services. Imagine my surprise and delight this weekend though, when I just happened to glace at the website traffic stats of my oldest, and very first, domain name. There were visits to my site from these really old scripts!

Upon further inspection, I discovered more. Not only were these old scripts sending traffic to my site… articles, poetry and discussion board posts from 1997 & 1998 were bringing me traffic too.

Things that took me less than an hour to create each, are still paying off 6 years later. If that’s not return on investment, I don’t know what is :)

So, keep this in mind when you advertise online. Whether you advertise by creating articles, giving something away free, or simply joining in on public discussion lists… that advertising can follow you for many years to come.

Make sure it’s good!

(C) 2003, Kathy Burns-Millyard. All Rights Reserved.

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