If you can't wait for the search engines to crawl and rank your site, then you can sign up for something called pay-per-click advertising. As its name implies, this is when you pay for somebody clicking on your advert and then coming to your site. The market leader here is Google's Adwords. When you sign up for an Adwords account, you get to bid on keywords and phrases. You decide how much you are willing to pay per click, say 20 cents. You then write a few words of copy for your ad ("Thousand of Black Widgets on Sale"). Your ad will appear on the right of the search engine results in Google. You can also pay a premium and have your ads appear at the top of the page, inside a coloured background.
Google is not the only game in town, here. Microsoft's Bing and the Yahoo search engine have teamed up to run a pay-per-click campaign called AdCenter. This is more-or-less the same as Google's Adwords, except your ad will appear on Bing and Yahoo's search results.
You have to take care with pay-per-click advertising, however, as your budget can quickly run out of control. The trick is to create a great landing page (the page where visitors end up after clicking your ad). The more convincing your landing page is the greater the chance is that visitors will buy your products. Something called ROI (Return On Investment) is important here. This is how much you've spent on advertising to get a sale. So if 100 people click on your ad and you've bid 20 cents per click then you've spent twenty dollars in advertising. If your product costs 30 dollars then your ROI is 10 dollars. Get your landing page wrong, though, and you might need 200 visitors to make a sale, making a total outlay of 40 dollars - a 10 dollar loss!
It's well worth reading up on pay-per-click advertising before you spend any money. A good place to start is the well-known and respected SitePoint Forums. The Internet Marketing section is here:
In the next part, we'll take a look at sitemaps.