While most of the people in the Bangalore city were busy preparing for the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi, a few enthusiastic entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs were relentlessly heading to the venue of the Startup Saturday meet, this Saturday morning; eagerly waiting to spend the day learning and gaining some valuable insights on “Making Money Online”.

How can I make my startup gain more visibility online? How do I earn a good revenue from my blog? Which   online marketing tools can I use to effectively promote my business online? Is it possible to set up an impressive website on a shoestring budget? – The enthusiastic speakers addressed these and many other questions, looming in the minds of budding bloggers and entrepreneurs.

The session started with Suresh Babu giving some tips on “Maximizing returns on the web with minimum investment”. Suresh Babu is a digital marketing strategist and consultant, and one of the key persons behind the formation of Online Marketing Enthusiasts community (www.omebang.com) in Bangalore. He has been in the online marketing industry since 2002, working for various web design companies and advertising agencies.

Suresh Babu started his talk by stating how free online tools like Google Places can help businesses gain more visibility online. From using appropriate keywords in the company name, providing the customers with additional information like images and videos to carrying out research to identify common keywords used by browsers while looking for a particular product and service provider, he spoke in detail about the important things to consider while creating the Google Places listing page for the company. He then discussed about how we can set up a website for the company by creating simple blogs in Blogger and WordPress, registering for a domain and redirecting the blog to the custom domain name. A minimal investment of 10USD per year towards domain registration is all that one needs to go ahead with this, thus providing all the entrepreneurs with a low budget option during the initial startup phase. Using easy to remember names, names that relate to the products offered by the company – Suresh gave various tips on how we can make our website gain more visibility by being a little thoughtful while creating it. He ended his talk by sharing some ways to market businesses online using social media tools like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook events and pages, YouTube videos etc. It was an engaging talk evoking an active response from the audience.

The next talk was on “Affiliate Marketing” by Raghavendra Satish Peri, an experienced and successful affiliate and niche business marketer. Raghavendra also teaches social media skills to people with disabilities in association with EnAble India. In his informative talk, he spoke about the huge potential of affiliate marketing in marketing businesses online.

Affiliate Marketing is a revenue sharing venture between affiliates(publishers) and online merchants( advertisers). The publishers by placing advertisements for the merchant’s products on their website, help sell the merchant’s products and send potential customers to the merchant’s website, also earning some revenue in the process. This creates a mutually beneficial relationship between the two. There are various affiliate marketing networks like SharaASale (http://www.shareasale.com/) and Affiliate Curry (www.affiliatecurry.com/) that bring togethermerchants and publishers, providing a platform for those interested in making some money out of affiliate marketing. “We must understand the mindset and expectations of the end user before marketing our products and approach the right publishers to market our products online. By interacting with the publishers and building a good rapport with them, the merchants and business owners can ensure an effective marketing of their products and services”, stated Raghavendra. The two speakers also did a live review of a web based business idea suggested by the audience and provided their valuable inputs on marketing the products and creating a buzz.

The session ended with 3 lightening pitches by the startups – Breakthrough Venture Consulting, Saarthi Consulting and MentorSquare who spoke about different platforms the startups can use to gain support & mentoring.

Overall, this Startup Saturday event was a highly informative one, packed with loads of ideas for both entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs to take back and apply in their lives.

By Swati Ramnath

About the Author :

Annkur P Agarwal is the co-founder of Pricebaba & SahiGST. Pricebaba is a product research engine that helps you research and shop consumer electronics. SahiGST is a SaaS platform for Indian SMEs to effectively manage their GST compliance.