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This sample marketing plan will show you how to get your new online business off to a great start by preparing for marketing, establishing your website in the marketplace and then to penetrate the market.

Most sample marketing plans I've come across so far have everything backwards.

Plans like that do not work because you cannot just set up an expensive website, with an expensive advertising campaign, with the hope that your product will sell. Find out first if there is enough demand to keep you going (even in the leanest times - or have a backup plan) BEFORE you go and blast away all your money on empty promises.
Let's look at the key components of our sample marketing plan:

1. Market Research

A) Target Market: "My site will cater for Chefs"

First, focus on finding a niche that will create good demand for different profitable products. Do some internet traffic research using relevant keywords for the niche market that you are interested to sell to. Only once you found a profitable niche market can you research a profitable product for that specific niche.

It is better for a new business to start off using keywords with less competition first, to give you a head-start in your ratings.

This strategy will save you a lot of money and your efforts will have greater impact.

B) They will need, knives, spatulas, pots, pans..

If you are happy that the niche market you want to sell to has enough profit potential, and you have double checked that it receives a lot of visitor attention, you can continue to step 2. If not, find and research a different niche market. It's no use starting of with a bang if that market is dead and doomed from the beginning.

For example: It's like still trying to sell one of those old cassette tape decks, but everyone is only interested in mp3 players nowadays.

2. Objective: "The profits will finance a new kitchen"

What is your objective from using this marketing plan? Make enough money to pay for college or replace your salary? Be able to stop the commute to work and rather work from home? Only work on your website as a hobby? Spend 2 hours a week on your site?

Pick a specific objective, and set a S.M.A.R.T target.

(S - Specific, M - Measurable, A - Achievable, R - Realistic, T - Timed)

Don't be vague like: "I want to make as much money as possible"

It's easier to achieve specific goals.

3. "$1000 will be used for advertising"

Setting a budget is a very important step. There are a vast amount of ways to drive traffic to your website. Some are free, some affordable and some are expensive.

Calculate and then decide what amount of money you have available and this will help you to determine what tools and strategies you need to use to drive traffic to your website.

4. Tools: "Hand me the eggs and onions, please"

Invest in the necessary tools that you need to promote your website. For example: you must be able to capture leads and follow-up with your prospects. Get a reliable auto responder for this purpose.

You must also be able to research new keywords with ease, monitor your site in different ways and track the source and behavior of visitors.

5. Goals and Strategies: "Queen to H2, Checkmate!"

Decide what your short term and long term goals and strategies are going to be.

The quickest and easiest but expensive way to generate traffic and leads for any business is pay per click (PPC) advertising because it can bring you immediate results.

PPC can also help you drive targeted traffic to your website. The downside of this strategy is that when you have no money to advertise, you also have no traffic.

Pay per click marketing can only be considered as a short-term solution for generating targeted traffic and leads fast, but it is also one of the most expensive ways to advertise your business.

However, if you also use other marketing strategies it will generate traffic to your website in the long term. This can be accomplished with very low or even no cost at all.

It is therefore important to have other affordable, but very effective ways of generating traffic to your website, sending traffic to your site in the long term. Article marketing, blogging and forum participation are some of these less costly ways of generating traffic to your website.

Make the most from your marketing efforts by implementing the steps given in the sample marketing plan.

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