Unless you have a very large advertising budget, you’re not going to be able to advertise on the big name sites. MySpace, for example, charges a minimum of $2,000 to advertise on their site. However if you stop and think about it, you probably shouldn’t be advertising on these sites anyway unless you’re a music site.
Your business caters to a specific group, your target market. For example if you sell pet supplies you want to advertise to those people online who have pets. If you sell children’s books you would want to advertise to people who have or teach children. The big portal and social networking sites cater to everyone, they get a massive amount of traffic but it is not targeted so your ad may be viewed more but not necessarily by the people you want at your site.
On the other hand, there are thousands of smaller more targeted sites out there such as niche forums and other content driven sites that already cater to your target market. The best part is many of these sites have affordable advertising rates. Instead of paying $2,000 to advertise to everyone on MySpace, the pet supply owner could can pay $100 and advertise in a dog lover’s site such as DogGuide.net. The ad would be viewed less but people with dogs would view it and are more likely to be interested in the site.
Newsletters are also a great place to target your ads. You can advertise in targeted newsletters for as low as $5 a newsletter. Like the websites, newsletters are also targeted but they and they are more likely to be read since people actually sign up for them. Find a site that has a newsletter for the same people you want to sell your products to.
The important thing to remember is think quality not quantity when spending your adverting dollars. Figure out where your target market will most likely be and focus on those areas instead of wasting your money advertising to people who don’t want what you’re selling.