Start Inbound Marketing Today: 8 Ways to Get Going for Free

jInbound is an Inbound Marketing software, which means we make money by selling you a product and service. 

But we're also committed to the development and growth of Inbound Marketing as a whole, which means sharing free insights and experiences whenever we can. 

In the spirit of community growth, we've put together this list of 8 totally free ways you can get started with Inbound Marketing, on your own, today!

1. Start a blog

Until further notice, your blog is your most valuable online asset. A great blog, with regular high quality posts, can seamlessly drive traffic and convert those users into customers. 

It doesn't have to be great, it just has to be a start. Blog to answer frequently asked questions, to make predictions about your industry, to cover news, anything that provides value to your audience.

For Joomla users, setting up a blog can be really simple. Install a blogging component like K2 or ZOO, configure it, modify CSS as needed to fit your site, and voila! You've got yourself a blog.

2. Get social

Whether you're a teenage girl's clothing brand or a B2B manufacturing company, social media can benefit your organization. From customer service to branding to selling, the possible uses for social media are vast.

If you can, do a little research to uncover the networks where your target buyers are spendig time. Then, build a presence on one network at a time. Quality trumps quantity!

Need an easy way to manage your social participation? Try out free social media management platforms like HootSuite and Buffer.

3. Think local

Does your business have a brick and mortar location? If so, you stand to gain a lot through local SEO. This is a branch of standard SEO that emphasizes cues that tell search engines where your business is located. Thus, you bump up your ranking when users in proximity to your location conduct a related search.

To get started with the basics of local SEO, check out this article from Search Engine Watch.

4. Optimize for search

Speaking of SEO, developing a firm understanding of the basics never hurt anyone. In fact, simple SEO tweaks that take little time or financial investment can make a huge difference in your search rankings. 

Moz has created an incredible free learning resource for SEO beginners. Spend an afternoon reading through and acting on your newly acquired knowledge, and watch your rankings improve in the coming weeks.

If you really want to take your Joomla SEO to the next level, check out SH404sef. It's an easy-to-use Joomla extension that makes optimizing your URLs a cinch. (Disclaimer: SH404sef is made by the same developers as jInbound)

5. Test drive AdWords

Are you a Nonprofit? If so, you can get up to $10k of totally free AdWords advertising every month. You could also qualify for free advanced YouTube features, like donation collection on the site.

To find out if your organization qualifies for these incredible opportunities, register for Google's Nonprofit program

6. Create content

Content is one of the most important ingredients in a complete Inbound approach, so it's great news that it's free!

Kind of.

Truly great content requires a lot of work: it should be created based on the interests and desires of ideal customers, it should be well written, and it should be strategically promoted.

If you're going to embark on a content marketing journey, start with one eBook that you know you can authoratively author. Shoot for at least 3000 words, include links to lots of other resources, and aim to answer the most common or high-priority questions in your industry. 

7. Answer questions

Want a way to try content marketing and engage in community discussions? Check out questions on Quora or groups on LinkedIn, and answer questions that relate to your service or product. If (and only if) it's relevant, include a link back to your site in your answer. 

Ideally, link back to a related blog post. 

8. Create visual assets

Information is powerful. The ability to visualize it is even better. 

Whether it's an infographic, a diagram, or a chart, creating sharable visual representations of important industry facts can be a great way to boost your credibility, expand your reach, and even give some oomph to your SEO.

Microsoft Word has some great templates for charts, graphs, and diagrams. You can create free infographics with tools like Piktochart and Visual.ly.

Moving forward

This list is relatively simple, but you could spend days just tackling these tactics. We advise starting with one at a time, and mastering one approach before taking on another.

We look forward to watching your brand grow!

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toddle_email_newsletters/7002322316/