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 payments.

Online marketing isn’t a dark art reserved just for those wearing Black Hats and frequenting hacker forums. The slick SEO consultant who comes calling will want to charge you a lot of money for a lot of things you can easily do yourself.

When you’re starting out, you have to watch your pennies! Let’s look at some first steps when it comes to beginning to market your business online.

5 Tips for marketing your small business online

Begin with a Blog – A blog is an excellent way to start building 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 spending time 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 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.

Begin building an email list – The number one thing successful online marketers say when asked if they could do one thing differently, is that they wished they’d started building an email list from Day 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!