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.
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!
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