12 Ways to Market Your Website For Free

When you’re starting a new business or launching a new website, building up traffic is one of the biggest hurdles you’ll run into. It’s especially difficult if you’re on a shoestring budget, but before you spend all of your hard earned money, make sure you’ve tried the following:

1. Use Your Existing Connections

This tops my list as the quickest and cheapest way to bring at least a little traffic to your site. I have found that getting my friends and family to visit my site and give me feedback on it not only allows me to squash bugs, it also plants the seeds to build traffic (and clients) organically.

When I started freelancing several years ago, I made a website and waited for my inbox to explode with messages from potential clients. After receiving nothing but spam from the contact form, I told my family and classmates (at my university) about my endeavor, and within a couple of weeks I was receiving an e-mail every couple of weeks from a prospective client. Several of my clients started referring me to their friends and colleagues, which led to even more leads. While my actual website had very little traffic, the business was sustainable because of word-of-mouth marketing and real-world networking.

Last year I created a flash gaming website. If you’re not familiar with the flash gaming industry, it’s completely oversaturated and new sites rarely get enough traffic to become profitable. I felt I had a shot because I based my site around a social network instead of games, so I launched with high anticipation. Again I found it difficult to get traction, so I went to my friends and family. To my surprise, the site quickly spread through my friend circle, with a large number of them becoming users. My little sister spread the word to her friends at school, and within a few days my traffic doubled and continued to do so for the next several months (until my site was banned by the school networks for being too distracting).

2. StumbleUpon

If what you’ve created is truly interesting, you’re bound to get a decent amount of traffic from StumbleUpon. The more people like a page, the more it gets seen, so submit a link to the most useful and interesting part of your site. If they have to figure out what they’re looking at, chances are they’re going to leave immediately and won’t recommend the page. If you have a video demonstration or a slideshow of how your product works, try linking to that instead of something verbose.

From my past experience, StumbleUpon can produce an initial burst of traffic followed by a steady, continuous stream of visitors every day for months to come. While the bounce rate was pretty high for my site (around 70%), with larger numbers you can still retain a large volume of users.

If your site just doesn’t seem to appeal to the StumbleUpon crowd initially, you can also try advertising with them, which forces more eyes on your content and increases the chance of it becoming popular.

3. Digg, Reddit, HackerNews

Both Digg and Reddit are in the top 400 websites on the net (according to Alexa) and can bring your server to it’s knees if you make the front page. HackerNews doesn’t have as much traffic but it does have a more intellectual userbase that can provide critical feedback on your site (and a modest bump in traffic). It is, however, getting increasingly difficult to hit the front page of these sites recently (mainly Digg and Reddit), largely due to the sheer volume of submissions at any given time. Really great content will usually manage to find it’s way to the front page, however, so don’t get discouraged if your initial submissions get buried in down votes.

4. Start Blogging

Find a topic related to your website/product and start blogging about it. Not only will this keep you busy, it will add value to your site in terms of SEO and bring more traffic from search engines. A great example of this can be seen with my friends at NewMediaCampaigns.com, a local web design company that started blogging and saw an incredible increase in traffic (which has undoubtedly led to more sales).

5. Twitter

In simple terms, Twitter is like marketing magic. Send out a tweet and your message is instantly visible to all of your followers, who have the capability of retweeting it to their followers, creating a chain reaction of sorts. It’s fairly easy to get a decent number of followers, just start following a ton of people and hope they have auto-follow enabled (or are kind enough to follow back). Don’t make it your aim to market your product or website, keep the account mainly casual (talk about your life) or useful (link to useful resources) and build trust in your followers. Constantly reply to tweets your followers make and try to really connect with them, so when you do share your product or website, they will have every reason to check it out (and hopefully retweet!).

6. Make Your Site Really Good Looking

Making your site attractive and user-friendly will not only help you retain visitors, it will also allow you to submit your site to CSS and design showcases, sites that are equally as impressive as Digg or Reddit in terms of traffic. Spend quality time on making your design amazing (or hire a great designer) and then submit it to every CSS gallery you can find, including ones that are not as popular yet. Chances are if a couple of them pick up your site, the others will follow, and you will see a drastic increase in day-to-day traffic (usually with a big spike initially).

7. If You Sell Something, Create an Affiliate Service

Creating an attractive affiliate program is like having access to an unlimited number of salesmen who will spread your product like a wildfire. There are many people who make a living off of affiliate marketing and there are a number of sites you can post your offer to. If your product is compelling, an affiliate program (with a competitive commission) can increase your sales exponentially with zero capital investment (you only pay if your product sells).

8. Comment on Popular Blogs

This is somewhat sleazy but can work wonders if you do it correctly. Find blogs that cover the same general topic of your website and leave insightful comments with a link back to your blog. While it will help your page ranking if you place the link in your body (creating a backlink), it is generally frowned upon. Placing your address in the ‘Website’ field will usually suffice, and leaving enough comments every day can generate a modest amount of traffic. This one is mainly about persistence, the more comments you make the better your chances are that someone will click through to your site.

9. Create Something Unrelated But Interesting

This is not one I typically use or recommend, as it is hard to come up with something interesting, however after seeing the success people like Matthew Inman have had with this tactic, I can’t help but recommend it. If you’re unfamiliar with his story, he created a dating website in 66.5 hours and eventually sold it to competitor after a few months. One of his tactics to get new users and traffic was to create random quizzes and market those instead of the dating website itself. Visitors would then share the quizzes and their results (via badges) with friends. While the quizzes were completely unrelated to the dating site, they created enough buzz and new users to allow him to sell the site.

If you can come up with something interesting, quirky and fun (even if it’s unrelated), this strategy is probably worth a shot!

10. Give Free Samples

If you’re selling a product or service, give it away for free to people with influence. If you’re a freelance web developer trying to break into the market, make a few websites for free (nonprofits are nice) or for really cheap. Ask for feedback and recommendations, then show them on your website and tell them to let their friends know about it. The key with this tactic is to build organic traffic, creating momentum from the ground up with even a small group of people.

11. Local News

The great thing about local news media is that they’re always looking for stories (often desperately), so the news of a local starting an interesting and innovative new online business can often be enough to get you in a newspaper or on TV. If you’re a college student, find a way to get into the school newspaper and push the fact that you’re a student trying to run a business. I’ve had a few projects appear in local media and while the effects were only modest in terms of traffic, they helped build a lot of local connections that came in use later on.

12. Partner Up

I’ve saved this for last mainly because I don’t have much experience with it, however I have friends who base their entire marketing plans around strategic partnerships. There are numerous reasons on why a partnership might be a good idea (creating a better product? share userbase?) and multiple ways the partnership is structured, so I won’t dive too deep into this tactic here. Also try to find sites in which you can leave Reciprocal Links such as we have done with this reputable site PCRepairDirectory.com

Conclusion

Marketing your website doesn’t have to cost a fortune, if you’re on a budget you can still manage to build a following with a little work. The key to getting any of the above tactics is persistence, stick with it and you’re bound for success.

This article is a lot longer than my others – did you guys find it useful or too long? I tried to tie in my personal experiences but I’m not sure if you guys really care to hear them. Please leave some feedback if you can!

only at http://HacksRepair.com

How to Market Your Website for Free

Marketing your website is obviously necessary if you plan to make money from it, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start your profitable business without any startup costs. Most website owners simply don’t realize that there are effective ways to market your website without spending a single penny.

I’m not going to mislead you and say that the free methods will be as or more effective than a paid marketing campaign, however if your business can survive with anything less than thousands of customers immediately knocking down your door, then these methods can and usually are effective enough for you to not spend a dime on any of it. Given some time, they can get your door knocked down, too.

What you will need is a computer, an internet connection, a good anti-virus program, a powerful email provider like Gmail, or at least a powerful eMail client like Mozilla Thunderbird. That’s it, the rest are all free services. AVG’s Antivirus and Anti-Spyware programs won’t cost you a penny and you’ll need them installed before you start, but if you have Norton or McAfee’s protective suite already installed those work pretty well too. You’ll need these because a few of the websites you visit have other customers that don’t play as nicely and fair as you and I do. You’ll likely get some spyware of some kind but then again, when don’t you these days?

Without further ado, let’s get down to the details.

First of all, you’ve got to take advantage of some of the better safelists. A Safelist is a bunch of people who agree not to ‘cry spam’ on emails from this one source. It’s email that is “pronounced safe.” A website running the list will have free memberships and of course want you to pay for upgraded memberships, but you really don’t need to pay them anything for this service, especially if you plan on joining more than a couple at the same time.You should use a powerful eMail account for your safelists, because they do get a lot of emails every day. Sometimes hundreds. I suggest Google’s Gmail account at the minimum, but if you have your own domain name and create email boxes, the best solution is to use Mozilla Thunderbird with a dedicated email address and have it delete the emails on the server weekly.

You can find safelists simply by googleing the word “Safelist” and you’ll likely see about 2000 of them. There are so many of them that an industry has popped up called ‘safelist submission’ where they claim to submit your advertisement to every safelist at the same time.

After signing up for a few safelists, you’ll simply need to submit your advertisements to them, as an email, usually once per week each. (They all have slightly different rules, it could be as often as daily or as long as every other week.)

Make sure your Ad is written well enough that it would compel you to visit your website, and then place a link back to your site in the body and at the end of the email to be sure that they know where to click.

Safelists aren’t the only form of free advertising, just one of the fastest to see results from. Another great marketing weapon to add to your arsenal is the Traffic Exchange, which is also blazingly fast.

There are many different types of traffic exchanges, but they all have the same purpose; for you to get visitors to your website by viewing other websites in trade.

As I said, there are many types of exchanges, some much more effective than others, so don’t write this type of free traffic off yet; it’s a great method if you know what you’re doing. Signing up for an automated traffic exchange, for instance, would be a complete waste of your time if your goal is to get human beings to view your webpage… “Autosurfs,” as these are sometimes called, simply let people’s computers trade ‘hits’ to each other’s websites while they sleep… So obviously you want a Manual exchange, and one that rewards its’ patrons for activity.

Some manual exchanges even pay cash for people to sit there and look at your ads and then answer questions about them, so you know you’ve got a captive audience. These too are free for you to use.

Again, you can find good Traffic Exchanges by googleing “Manual Traffic Exchange,” or see a list of the best ones I’ve found in my eBook.

Other methods? There are tons. Posting Ads on Craigslist.org works great, as does Backpage.com & in Yahoo Groups. If you’re technically inclined, a great way to get lots of well-targeted visitors is to make a short Video about something related to your business, and post that video on YouTube.com, with a link back to your website.

In fact, just about any Web2.0 website, like Digg.com, Del.icio.us, MySpace, Squidoo.com, among hundreds of others can be quite effective if you put some real effort into them. Most peoples’ problem is that they’ll try it once and when they don’t see a landslide of business come their way immediately, give it up. There are actually few of these that can’t find you a respectable customer base if you just stick with it.

There’s one last method we have to go over as it represents how to get the highest-quality (most targeted to your niche) traffic and it keeps running on autopilot after you stop using it. In fact, this is actually the best long-term method for everyone to market with, although few really understand exactly how to take full advantage of it.

Writing articles, simple opinions or papers that others who might be interested in your business would read, is the greatest way to build up a flood of traffic to your website. You may have heard of this tactic before, but it really can’t be stressed enough. Even if you’ve tried it and failed with it before, you owe it to your business to give articles one more chance.

Article Marketing is something that quite literally all big name internet marketers have relied upon as their ‘bread and butter’ method to keep up a constantly flow of traffic to their websites, and naturally, it can all be done for free.

The one drawback is that you have to write the article. Of course you can pay for others to write your article for you but then it won’t really have your expertise on the subject and could even make you look stupid about your own market. No, I highly recommend you take the time to write an article or two a week, or as much as every other day if you can find the time, all about your market or niche, and submit them to all of the best article directories.

Because they’re all easily found in Google and will all link back to your website, while of course making you look like an authority on the subject.

What’s not to love about this method? You’re not afraid of a little writing, are you? They only want about 400 or so words and a coherent point about your target market. That’s it, just write something professional-sounding and you’ll be marketed forever from each & every submission you make.

You don’t even have to have great grammar or spelling, just a valid point to make!

I’ve had articles that I’ve written back in the 1990s show up to people searching in Google recently, so as far as I can tell they are completely submit-and-forget while bringing you highly targeted visitors to your website forever.

Where to submit these articles? Again, there are thousands of Article Directories online that will gladly accept your submissions for free. AssociatedContent.com, ArticleCity.com, GoArticles.com, and eZineArticles.com are probably the four biggest and best found in Google. However, there are thousands and you’ll want to get your article found in as many as possible.

There are now many software programs made to help you automate the somewhat time-consuming task of article submission. There’s even a great free program now, and I include a download link to that in my eBook as well as reviewing some other great ones. So once again, simply grab my eBook for the freebies, or google the term “Article Directory Submitter” to explore Article Marketing further.

Now what?

A well-rounded strategy for getting lots of quality traffic to your website without spending a dime is to use Safelists, Manual Traffic Exchanges for the short range, need-it-now traffic, the web 2.0 sites like Craigslist and MySpace for the medium-range traffic, and most importantly, building up the long term, most highly-targeted traffic from Article Marketing.

If you spend a month using all of these tactics together you could be set up for life with an unending flow of quality, targeted traffic to your website. All for free.

Imagine what you could do in a year!

only at http://HacksRepair.com

How do I market my website?

Most people are under the assumption that just because you now have a beautiful website online and visible to the world, that the ‘world’ is going to be able to find it… and that customers will start pouring in from every direction because you are now on the world wide web. But sadly enough, this is not the case.

Let me take some time, and explain how being ‘visible’ actually works

Having a new website simply means that you are now officially a tenant of the world wide web. It means that you are basically renting a small piece of cyber space (via hosting service) and that you have set up residency (your website). But just because you have ‘moved in’ to your new ‘home’ doesn’t necessarily mean that clients will find you. Even though we optimize each site that we build (making your site pleasing to search engines), doesn’t mean that the search engines will automatically pick up every key word that is associated to your site.

This is where marketing your site comes into play. You have to ‘drive’ traffic to your site. This can be done in such a wide range of ways that it is too much to mention all of them here. Some people will hire what is called a SEO (search engine optimization) company to do this for them. And these can be extremely pricey, especially for the small business owner on a shoe string budget. But there are many other ways to drive traffic to your site. All it takes is a little know how and a lot of elbow grease.

Here are the things that I share with my clients concerning marketing on a shoe string budget… find ways of advertising your site for free. This can be done through such social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Manta or LinkedIn (just to name a few). Facebook also offers a wide range of Facebook Pages that cater to self business promotion. Search out which ones fit your particular needs and join them. Branch Out is also offered by Facebook and is another free source to market your site.

Come up with an indepth description of your business that can be used in what we call a meta content. The more detailed the better. Come up with an indepth but brief description of each of your websites interal pages as well. The search engines pull on this data to help give page description and keyword finders for webpages in this manner. So the more detailed the better. Come up with keywords for each page of your site so that we may add these to the meta content. All of this will enhance your search engine chances. These are things that need to be carefully thought out and given to us at the time of actual web development.

Print business cards with your new web address on it… customize your vehicle with a small vinyl url on the back windshield. Be creative. These are ways of creating a guerilla marketing campaign. Which is a small but aggressive form of getting the word on the street about your new site.

The one marketing tip that I highly recommend and have found great success for some of my past clients is Google Adwords. This is great for any budget as it is pay as you go advertising. Only have $10 one month for marketing? That’s totally fine as far as their concerned, because they will stop the ad once it reaches that limit. No overages. I simply love this marketing tool because you have complete control over every aspect. You create your own ads, choose your own keywords, and fill in your own budget. To find out more about how this marketing tool works click this link www.google.com/AdWords

There are so many other ways in order to market your site. But all of them take time, patience and diligence. A website needs time to marinate in cyberspace. It takes time for a search engine to grasp the concept that your site now resides within their domain. People ask me how long does it take for a site to generate a steady flow of traffic… and that is very difficult to answer due to all of the marketing strategies that different people will employ. But I think that its safe to say that it usually takes a year. PLEASE understand me, if your url has the direct name of your business, people will be able to find you instantaneously as the search engine will automatically pull up the name that is keyed into it’s search box. What I am referring to is the search engines’ abilities to find your site via keywords. For example, let’s say you have a bakery; the key words that I would be referring to are doughnuts, cakes, desserts. And that is only if you are applying a very specific marketing tactic in order to drive specific clients to your site via those keywords.

One of the hardest things that I have encountered as a web designer, is understanding how to market your website. With all these words out there like SEO, SERP, META DATA, TAGS, KEYWORDS, etc… How do you navigate through them in order to get your website listed and seen by potential clients?

My main goal of this blog post is to help you better understand how to get clients to find you. To start things off, you will need to decide a marketing budget. “Are you telling me it takes money for people to find my website online?” Yes and No. It just depends on the type of business you have as to the amount of help exposing it that you will need. Here, let me clarify… if you have a church or a ministry, chances are you are not going to need a large marketing budget for your website. Your website’s url will be readily available in a number of items such as on the church bulletin, on billboards, on church literature, etc. People will start accessing your website and traffic will begin to flow, thus creating a buzz with the search engines and your rankings will increase rapidly and with little effort.

But what if you are a new business… what if no one knows that you exist? How do you get your website seen?

Here are a few simple and FREE steps to help create some easy marketing to get you listed and seen. First, create a spreadsheet so that you can easily track all the social media and other business listing sites that you may want to use. Make sure you list their name, url, and other information, so that you will remember who you have listed with in order to make future updates.

Go to places like:

Superpages

Yellow Book

Google+

Google Places

Bing Business

Yahoo Small Business

Yelp

Express Data USA

Manta

LinkedIn

Facebook

Merchant Circle

These are just a few. But they are free. List your business with them. If you are unsure how to do so, Google how to list with that company and you will have all the help you need. They will also require time. Some listings will not show right away. They will send you a postcard and you will have to enter a special code once you receive it. But places like Superpages and Yellow Book will actually verify you quite quickly and your listing will be visible within hours. But for the most part, listing your business website yourself, will take time and patience.

If you want to list quickly and you have a few extra dollars in your marketing budget, then you may want to look into something like Yext.com. For a fee, they will help you get listed in a large laundry list of online venues.

I hope that this has helped you along your way in getting your new or existing website listed and seen!

only at http://HacksRepair.com