small business

You've done all the beginning steps when it comes to getting your business online. You've got a website, signed up with a hosting account, and maybe even figured out how to accept money.

But have you thought about marketing? Have you figured out how you can begin marketing your small business effectively and affordably? Often this is left for last, and unfortunately it is probably the most important piece.

It's really not rocket science, however, many are scared to make a mistake. Let's dispel a few of those fears by looking at 5 steps new marketers can take to get going with online marketing your small business.

5 First steps to small business online marketing

Begin with a Blog – A blog is a great way to begin to build an online following for your small business. You can go a long way toward branding yourself and gaining the trust of people by being both available and knowledgeable.

Learn how to use social media – This is where your audience is hanging out these days. If you want to connect with them, you'll need to learn how to use it effectively.

Monitor your online reputation – Set up alerts so that you can be aware of and respond to any social or website mentions of you or your company. It's much easier to do this and catch something when it's a small spark before it ignites into a firestorm.

Start building a list from Day One – One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to not start building a list of leads from the beginning. Your list is your lifeline to a lasting and profitable business. Don't neglect to start one!

Make use of online directories – Get your business listed in all the major online directories for small businesses, such as Yelp, Google My Business, Merchant Circle and others. One extremely important must-do on this is to be sure that your NAP info, (name, address, phone) is consistent over all of these sites. Make it easy for people to find you!