You’ve done all the first 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. Online marketing isn’t a dark art reserved only 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 need to watch your money! Let’s take a look at some first steps when it comes to beginning to market your business online 5 First steps to small business online marketing Start Blogging -Blogging is easy, and carries with it some inherent benefits for a small business. It will help you establish your brand, build authority, and start gaining a following, all essential elements of online success. Learn how to use social media -This is where your audience is spending time these days. If you wish 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 far 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 greatest mistakes you can make is to not start building a list of leads right 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!