The Most Effective Ways
to Promote Your Website (For Free!)
Some tactics, like
using StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit, will take mere minutes. Those are
no-brainers. Other sites, like Flickr, do take some time investment. Blogging
takes massive amounts of time, and so does blog commenting. Facebook, Twitter,
and LinkedIn, ditto there too. You have to invest time into these sites to get
Share and connect with
customers and potential customers on Facebook
You already have a Facebook account, but are you promoting
your work? And, are you promoting it the right way? Is there a right way and a
wrong way to promote on Facebook?
Here's the wrong way to promote your stuff on Facebook:
Sharing a link with no information about that link.
Automated feeds all of the time. No real content to see
here. No real person either. Move along people!
Repeated invites, shares, begging, posting your links on
other people's walls
Only one type of social sharing
Only "like" your own stuff
Never comment on anyone else's updates/posts
Now, here's the right way to share your information on
Post information about the link you just shared. How about a
teaser fact from the page?
Limit automatic feeds that pull in information to your
Facebook page, and make there's a good content-to-feed ratio.
Invite sparingly, and people will know when you invite or
share something it's something truly good.
Be active. Log into your account daily for best results.
Share other stuff besides links, like photos, your thoughts,
video, or ask a question.
Help out other people.
Like everything you truly "like," not just your
Post on other people's walls, comment back on their shares
when you find it interesting.
What will happen when you do this? You'll start to increase
your network, and you'll be seen as a non-spammer. That's really important in
the writing world!
An essential part of your
web marketing strategy
Twitter, launched in July, 2006, has remained a web
promotion staple since its inception. While you are limited to 140 characters
or less, that's the beauty of it: you have to make your point for the ever
dwindling attention spans of the collective reader.
What exactly can you say in 140 characters? Plenty, but you
want to make sure you keep it interesting and also not spammy. What makes a
Twitter profile spammy?
Automated direct messages - never like getting those.
Automated feeds that make up the bulk of the content.
Affiliate links tweeted out to the masses. (Especially when
Constant, unabashed self promotion with little content,
news, or opinion.
Before you start promoting the bejesus out of your website
on Twitter, get a feel for how Twitter works, follow the people you know, and follow
websites, people, bloggers, friends, family, or celebrities you like. Start by
offering up good advice, real information, retweet helpful/good links/tweets,
then, mix in some of your own links.
Here are some ideas on how to create great content for your
Install a Twitter app on your phone so you can tweet more
often (and tweet real stuff, like pictures and commentary).
Follow others in your niche and retweet their best tweets.
Here's some helpful Twitter etiquette rules to follow to get
Learn how to write better tweets, and become a master at
creating the ultimate tweet for your audience.
StumbleUpon is really an exellent source of traffic to your
website. Many people forget the power that StumbleUpon (aka SU) can send to a
website. It isn't that unusual for StumbleUpon to double, triple, or quadruple
traffic for one day or a few days in a row. When you get that traffic spike, it
can expose your site to a whole new crowd of people. Do take advantage of this!
As a user, StumbleUpon can be addictive. The way it works is
you will download toolbar onto your browser. On the browser, you'll have a
"stumble" button, as well as a "thumbs up" and "thumbs
down" button, as well as other icons. When you thumbs something up, you
are giving SU your vote that you like that type of content. Can you guess what
thumbs down does? And when you click stumble, you will be brought to a random
site based on the tags and topics you chose when you filled out your profile.
As you stumble more and more, you will find that the toolbar will get
"smarter" by getting to know what types of content you like. It also
takes into consideration recent popularity of sites on StumbleUpon, so you could
be seeing what's hot right at this moment. This is a great way to find
interesting stuff to read, and to use as a talented content provider, blogger,
or author like yourself..
Pin your content to this fast growing website
Pinterest isn't new, but most people think it is. I had
actually never heard of it until I started reading about it picking up steam in
late 2011. Now, Pinterest is everywhere, and the site is growing at a phenomenal
rate. Pinterest allows you, or anyone else, to "pin" a photo or
content to a board on their site. If it is seen by others, it can be repinned.
It is driving substantial traffic to websites, though it has its share of
controversies (mainly over copyrighted photos).
If you'd like to capitalize on the sizable amounts of
traffic Pinterest is sending to websites, then start pinning. If you have a
blog on your website, add the Pin button to your site to get potential pins
Promote your website using
Google Plus - get better search results
Google Plus is very similar to Facebook, but has the big
advantage of being owned by Google. How is this exactly a positive thing?
Google Plus is integrating social factors from using Google+
into their very own search results. When you are logged into your Google
account and have started using Google+ actively, you will notice that their
will be recommendations in search results based on things your friends (or
people in your "circles") have already given a +1 (that's the
equivalent of a Facebook like). These +1's are given priority and will often
appear on the first page of results. That means the bigger your circles on
Google Plus, the more influential your +1's will be.
How to gain traffic from
uploading photos to flickr
How can you not love flickr? Flickr is the best place to
upload and share your best photos. Create a profile here, share your best
photos, and link back to your website in the description (in a non-spammy,
relevant way, and not necessarily with every photo). Backlinks here are nofollow,
but it's the traffic here that's more valuable.
As a traffic referral source, flickr can funnel very
interested traffic to your website. Images already boost your site's conversion
rate, but having off-site images has its benefits as well.
Expand your audience by starting a blog
Blogging isn't going anywhere. All the hype years back of
"blogs are dead!" have been quelled. It's not social media, it's not
an article, it's something entirely different, and the appeal of blogging is
here to stay. As a way to market your website, blogging still is one of the
best ways to do so.
Why use blogging to market your website?
It adds content to your website. If your website contains,
say, only ten pages, then adding a blog can add a lot of new content. Content
is how search engines find your website, so more content can potentially mean
You can keep your audience up to date with what you're
doing. Adding a blog tells the reader the site is being updated. This freshness
factor also helps with search engine rankings.
Blogging widens your appeal and scope. You can reach out to
a whole new audience by blogging about the business you are in, the ups, the
downs, offering tips to readers, announcing events, and uploading photos.
You can add a blog to your pre-existing site easily. Adding
an external blog (separate from your website domain) will negate most of the
benefits of starting a blog.
It creates a resource that builds you as an authority in the
eyes of readers, and again, search engines! As you blog more, your site gets
larger, and you have an entire library of content to refer back to. This free
resource can also link back to the main part of your site to funnel in new
Wordpress - This is the preferred format for most bloggers.
The ease of use, easy installation, and simple plug-ins allow functionality
without having to know complex coding. They also have many free and premium
themes to alter the look of your site. The other great thing about Wordpress is
it allows you to create a site or blog without anyone knowing it's hosted by
Wordpress -- and you own the content. (Not free, but recommended! Very cheap to
Wordpress.com - This is also owned by Wordpress. The biggest
difference here is that a Wordpress.com blog is a subdomain that you don't own,
and therefore do not have complete control over. Go for your own hosted site
over Wordpress.com when you can. The bonus: it's free.
Typepad - This blogging platform offers easy to use features
like Wordpress, but doesn't have as many features like their many plugins, or
their massive community. You can use your own URL at Typepad, making it the
second most popular option for bloggers to host their own blog on its own domain.
It's not free, but it's more professional than having a subdomain.
Blogger - This is Google's own blog platform. It is free to
use, unless you would like to buy your own domain and hosting through Blogger.
Otherwise, you will use a subdomain for your site. However, you are at the
mercy of Blogger, meaning you must play by their rules. You never truly can be
sure the content you place here will always remain, so back up your Blogger
blogs. On the other hand, Blogger can drive a good amount of traffic, and shows
up in search engines very well. They also have free to use widgets, templates,
and have easy Adsense integration. And, it's free.
Tumblr - Tumblr is one of the most popular and free choices
for blogs. It is one of the most simple blogging platforms, putting it
content-wise between Twitter and a "regular" blog. It's trendy to use
Tumblr right now, but the site also has excellent authority.
Increasing traffic to your
blog through excellent comments
Has this method of driving traffic died off?
Blog commenting used to be (and still is) a popular method
to drive traffic to your own website. On most blogs, comments are allowed,
where you can input the URL of your site into the URL field. Now please, pay
attention, because this tactic can cross the line into spamdom very easily!
When you comment on a blog:
Always be respectful of the rules of the site and leaving
comments. Never try to leave your site's URL inside the body of the comment, or
leave a plug at the end of the comment like "hey, come check out my page
on radical gizmos!" It's annoying, and no one wants to read that.
Check back in with the same blog. Forge some relationships
with bloggers in and outside of your niche. This can come in really handy.
Leave a useful comment. "Great tips!" doesn't
really help anyone, but if you can expand upon the idea or tell the author what
your favorite or most helpful part of the post was and why, that adds value.
When you add value, you're more likely to have your comment published.
Don't go on a random blog commenting spree. Instead, target
blogs related to your site's content. The more authoritative you sound in your
comments, the more likely someone is going to click on over to your
Use a good picture of you and not an avatar as your profile
picture or Gravatar image. This increases your credibility by a
Promote with these social
These two social voting websites are the powerhouses of
social media warfare. You'll often see Digg and Redditbuttons on a website as a way to promote that
particular web page on these two sites.
The way Reddit and Digg work are exactly the same: someone
adds a specific URL (or news story), and depending on how good the story is, or
how good the headline is, it gets "up" votes. Get enough up votes
that day, and you could wind up on the home page of either website. Even if you
aren't on the home page, it can send massive amounts of traffic.
On both sites, you'll find that creating a great title for
submissions is key. On both sites, you'll find that there are "inner
circles" that can influence the front page content. Like any other social
site, you'll find that being active on that site is going to go a long way in
terms of promotion.
Other Social Sites to
Promote Your Website:
Networking on social media
Being social is one of the keys to growth of your website.
Social media websites simply allow you to spread the word and increase your
reputation as an author, website owner, business owner, and person.
LinkedIn: The growth of LinkedIn is very respectable, and is
one of the best networking websites for professionals. While it's hard to stay
active on a multitude of social media websites, setting up a profile is free,
and can lead to quick connections with little effort.
Path: You won't be able to grow outside connections with
Path, but you will be able to keep your close friends in the loop on this
There are several other social sites to promote your work.
Networking on these sites does take time and energy, so while it's free, it's
best to stick to a small number of sites to concentrate your efforts. Others
sites include MySpace, DeviantArt, Tagged, and CafeMom.
Before you start your social media campaign, read the 5
rules for professional social networking here.
Syndicate your content to
readers and writers across the web
An RSS feed is a simple, effective way to provide your
content to larger masses. One of the best things about an RSS feed is it allows
other bloggers to take your syndicated content and display it on their own
blog, either in full or as an excerpt or link title. Creating an RSS feed takes
just minutes. The most popular RSS feed services are FeedBurner and Feedity.
These are free to use, and will help you syndicate your content to the masses.
Readers can also sign up for your feed, so it can appear in their RSS reader or
From an SEO standpoint, feeds can also generate backlinks in
some instances. There are RSS feed directories, feed aggregators, and other
feed sites that can display your feed and link back to your original content.
While most of these will be nofollow links, these RSS links can play a tiny,
tiny role in getting more links into your site.