The following article contains 13 free and inexpensive ways for you to promote your website.
1. Viral Marketing is an approach that persuades people to pass along your message. Like a virus, the message then spreads to more and more people. The persuasion to pass along the message typically comes in the form of humor. If one person thinks the ad, email, video, etc. is funny and/or entertaining, they will pass it on to their friends. If you’re creative, give this a try.
2. Creating a blog, or web log, is becoming more and more popular. A blog will allow you to create a running commentary focused on your products or services. Interested parties will have access to this running log information. WordPress and Blogger are two of the most popular blogging platforms, and both are free to use.
3. Joining an affiliate program will cost a bit of money but can make a huge impact if you’re selling merchandise. Interested parties join your program and sell your products. When they make a sale, you pay them a set commission.
Just one example: Search Engine Marketing
4. What better way to grab people’s attention than to offer them something for free. Using free giveaways like sample products or offering a free consultation is a great way to grab people’s attention and to garner more interest in your products or services.
5. Posting articles focused on your products or services is a great way to promote your business. People are constantly surfing the internet for the latest tips, tricks, and advice… just like you. Adding links in your articles that refer readers to your website is a necessity to increase traffic.
6. Target your audience. Join forums and other online groups that are within the scope of your business, products, or services. Be sure to supply these forums or groups with a steady stream of applicable information. Constant, focused information is a great way to catch a prospective customer’s attention.
7. Make prospective clients feel wanted and special. When your marketing does draw prospects to your site, you want to close the deal. Make someone browsing your website feel good about themselves, and try to relay how much better they’ll feel when they buy what you’re selling.
8. Purchase business cards and company stationary. Use these two for any and all correspondence. Whether it is something personal or related to your website, the more hands you can put your stationary and/or business cards into, the more likely you are to increase site traffic and sales.
9. Sponsoring events is a great way to get your company name in the public eye. Depending on the type of event, sponsorship packages will vary in price. Make sure to select events that are likely to draw your customer demographic and give you the most exposure for your buck.
10. Focus on your uniqueness. While promoting your website, you need to focus on the things that set you apart from your competition. My online business, OBrienMaDe, is an online social marketing company. Our homepage clearly tells prospective clients what sets us apart from the myriad of other marketing companies on the internet. Check it out for yourself- http://www.obrienmade.com.
11. Use e-mail and snail mail campaigns. Obviously, we don’t want to spam prospects or bombard them with junk mail, but you do want to use a calculated mail campaign. Almost everyone has a large database or personal e-mails. Start by advertising to your friends and family; you never know what might come of it. Also, mail out ads to your demographic… and be sure to use company stationary.
12. This one is a no-brainer, but just in case here you go… create a webpage. Having an online presence is very vital. If you’re an online business you have a website, if you’re a brick and mortar establishment you may not have a site. At the very least, create a single web page highlighting your offerings. There are many free web hosting providers you can use. Just search “Free Web Hosting”.
13. Google AdWords offer pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for businesses. Your ad will appear in the Google search engine. When someone clicks on the ad and is directed to your website you pay an amount of money pre-determined by you. You can establish a budget that is not to be exceeded. Once your PPC reaches your monetary limit, the ad will no longer be visible to web surfers.
If you would like help establishing and running a social media marketing campaign, or creating a website, please feel free to visit http://www.obrienmade.com or email: <info[at]obrienmade.com>.
About the Author
Tom O'Brien is owner and operator of OBrienMaDe, an online business focused on helping small businesses increase online visibility and traffic.
It started out with a big, big rush around September 15th 2007, when legendary Internet marketer, guru, self-made multi-millionaire John Reese, fired up his revolutionary BlogRush network. Everybody and their mother was blogging, tweeting, and talking about it. The big run on BlogRush showed the size of John's tribe. His brand new site approached the 1,000 Alexa ranking mark within a couple of days.
Nothing to buy, nothing to sell. The service was free and should deliver a lot of highly targeted traffic to everybody's blog. All you needed to do was to install the widget.
The promise: Lots of free traffic fast especially for smaller blogs
Some wrote this new blog syndication network were not as revolutionary as John tried to sell it to us. Others claimed to know that everything John touches will turn into pure gold.
If you are following “the” Internet Marketing Masterminds you certainly have been overwhelmed by the large amount of free quality information that was given away prior to following product launches lately.
I am talking about the following launches:
SMARTS (link expired) from StomperNet Pulled off the market for strategic reasons soon after the launch (the story is quite long, I don't really want to blog about it.)
Internet Marketing Explained (link expired!) from Armand Morin Homestudy course, still available; it's not limited in quantities sold as far as I know.
Masscontrol (link expired) from Frank Kern 30 day class, limited to about 500 people, sold out in less than an hour at a ticket price of about 2,000 $
Having the Blogrush widget displayed on your blog can mean two things:
You are getting thousands of additional visitors a week.
You are loosing visitors, because they find the headlines as advertised on Blogrush more compelling than yours.
Looks like nothing to gain, you get more visitors, but you also might loose visitors. Well, that's not exactly what happens. You could be afraid of loosing visitors with any form of monetization. Be it AdSense (that I just wrote about in the last post), banner ads, affiliate links and banners, …, etc.
“Keep your headlines ‘hot’ and your content valuable!”
That's the best and only medicine that should be prescribed to keep and extend your readership.
Every once in a while I click on a title (in the Blogrush widget) myself that seems to be kind of interesting, but most often I get disappointed.
“A title alone is not enough of an indicator to signal, if a post or a blog is worthwhile visiting. In the majority of cases it is not.”
The review based listings of Digg, Stumble, Propeller, and Co. are much more useful.
That's why I don't blame my readers for not clicking themselves away from my Blog via Blogrush.
To answer the above question: Blogrush does not lead my readers away. So it does not hurt me, as well as I don't really benefit from it. I actually should start looking for a better use of that screen real-estate.
Some major A-Blogs still show Blogrush, probably because they got a huge referral network that works better for them.
It was a hype, it's days are counted and if you look at John Reese's Blog. Not much going on there. Didn't he promise a promotion network for “hot topics”? I think he did.
The classic theorem of physics seems to withstand the test of time in the Internet Age, too.
“No output, without any input!”
Displaying someone's widget — the Blogrush widget — doesn't solve your traffic problems. There must be more action going on.
Using Social Media can be a disappointing experience. Especially with Digg.com. The Digg community has earned itself the reputation of being very strict with their submission guidelines. If they sense that you might spamming, they bury your post quicker than you would know and your whole account could be seized (deactivated) overnight.
Just do a search on Google, Yahoo, or MSN for banned by digg to see the magnitude of that issue.