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How to advertise on the web

The good news about advertising on the web is that it's just the same as advertising anywhere else. The bad news is that people make exactly the same mistakes. Luckily, advertising is a science and an art. And discussing it with your friends and coworkers can be entertaining, but it's really just worthless.

The good news is that just about everything the casual observer thinks about advertising is wrong. The really bad news is that learning what is correct takes a lot of work.

In college, I majored in Graphic Design and I minored in Advertising. The prerequisites for Advertising included such basics as economics, marketing, and sales. If studying those things don't interest you, well, I guess I can't blame you. They don't interest most people. And that's why most people haven't a clue about how advertising works.

Here are things that you must consider before you do any advertising

• When people go shopping for a drill, they don't want a drill, they want holes in their walls. If that makes no sense to you, begin with a basic sales class. Your local community college offers them all of the time.

• Identify your target market. If you just said, "what's a target market?" then you need to find out what it is. As the name implies, it's what you are aiming at. If you don't know what you are aiming at, you can't hit it, right?

• Understand why people buy stuff. Basic marketing 101. People have been trading items of value for other items for value for thousands of years. There is a basic logic to this. If you don't know how the market works, your business might as well be out in the middle of the desert, as many are.

There. That's a good place to start. Of course, there are still a lot of business who apparently do everything right, but fail. But at least now you have a chance.

Now go be successful!