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Free Promotion. Top 5 ways to promote without a budget.

 3:11 am on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

What are your top five ways to promote a site for free and without using search engines or directories?

1- Producing your own newsletters.
2- viral: e-a-friend.
3- ummm, usenet and ummm ahh forums.
4- contacts. Word of mouth is killer. Get a couple of vocal people "enrolled" in your site, and they can be traffic producers.
5- links links links. Swap those babies. Not for the se boost, just for the branding a click value.



 6:16 am on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well what i have experienced so far you need to pay to be in a newsletter, as long as it isn't your own.


 11:31 am on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

aim high

can you get a celeb endorsement?...if you can then send that baby out on a press release and hold on to your hat

can you make the site into a news story?...human interest always sells...pretty pictures sell...editorial is worth far more than ad space..at least have a shot at it


 11:33 am on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

3- ummm, usenet and ummm ahh forums.

Just not this forum, eh Brett? ;)


 11:35 am on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)


i don't know what area you sites/company deals in but, newsletters are usually free, as long as its relevant to the online mag / community.


 12:17 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Free stuff works for some kinds of sites... could be free content (articles, images, etc. - free with a link back). Not long ago, I got a semi-targeted spam from a guy who offered free newsletter or web site content. He described his credentials, and provided a link to articles on his topics. The articles were OK, and you could use them as long as you included the credit and linkage he requested. I didn't make use of this, but I thought it was a reasonably clever approach. He got both inbound links and, as the author of articles, implied credibility.

Free tools, too - like Brett's various offerings for link-pop checking, etc. These may be time-consuming to set up and maintain, but if they are useful they can bring new and repeat traffic.


 1:31 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

- Newsletters.
- Happy Customers (this can be your best friend)
- Articles written by our staff
- Strong, authority links


 2:41 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

How about one of those 'Refer this website' forms?

I havn't done it myself but I imagine it would work if you provide some kind of incentive to provide a few friends email addresses e.g. a free thingy.


 4:41 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hey Gang,

1) Link Exchanges with other web sites.

I am not talking about a link popularity farm or anything like that. I am talking about getting valid links for free from other web sites. If you do this alone and are consistent with it your web site referred traffic can eventually outweigh your SE referred traffic.

2) Write Content For Other Web Sites

No matter what your field, you can probably find web sites that carry current information for your chosen topic. Offer to share some of your content or write a feature article for them in exchange for a link back to your site.

3) Newsgroups

Another great traffic driver. However, you have to give some consideration to where you spend your time posting.

For example, before I became an SEO I was a web developer, and I was also a Macromedia Evangelist. As such, I posted thousands of posts regarding Dreamweaver in their forums and sat back and hoped that it might bring in some business. However, my efforts went largely unrewarded.

The reason? It's simple! Everyone who was reading my posts was also a web developer. They did not need to hire one! For the most part they were my peers - not prospective clients.

However, after making the transition from web developer to SEO and continuing my postings there I gained many new clients. All of a sudden I was posting in a place where my services WERE needed and, in fact, were in great demand.

Continue your postings in your trade groups. However, also find the groups that need your service or product and start post there.

That is where the money is.

4) Award Programs

Want to see your hits soar? Win the Netscape "What's Cool" Site of the Day or one of many other prestigious web site awards. You'll get a huge one time increase in traffic.

But even if you win a smaller award, you'll still get hits. The more you win the more hits you get.

5) Newsletters

Even if you can't start your own you can usually find someone in your field who is running a successful newsletter. Offer to be a guest editor for them.

If you know your subject matter you can probably crank out a good article in less than an hour.

It's easy peasy - and it's free!



 4:46 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Great discussion, thanks.

Nice post JK.


 5:29 pm on Oct 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

Press releases are another method to site promotion. Don't forget offline press when submitting press releases.


 4:43 am on Oct 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

Speaking of viral marketing, I just made my first purchase at Amazon in a few weeks. They now have a "Spread the Love" offer, where they let you send an offer to your friends of the exact same things you just purchased. But your friends get 10% off.

Pretty neat!


 12:03 am on Oct 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Do we really have time to read all these news letters? How about posting your url in a chat room or is that just for the p*rn camp.

(edited by: Marcia at 7:53 am (gmt) on Oct. 27, 2001)


 11:48 am on Oct 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

Good point volatilegx. Do we have any "press release" guru's in the crowd? It is definately an art form. I've handled a couple big ones before through biz wire/url wire, but that was about it.


 12:15 pm on Oct 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

>"press release" guru's in the crowd?

Is Eric Ward a member?


 12:15 pm on Oct 29, 2001 (gmt 0)

to write a press release think like a journalist...read articles in your target publications and try to phrase things the way they do...the more of the journalist's work you can do the more they are likely to use the story

don't hype it up too much...present it as news...but concentrate on your big selling points right from the off, both selling to customers and selling the story to newspapers

don't try to say too much...two or three points are all you are likely to successfully convey

include either a picture or a description of possible pictures available on request

if you really think you have the makings of a reasonably big story then hire a PR company to do it...they can be terrific value



 3:33 pm on Oct 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

How do I submit a press release ? - where do I send it?

I guess to every newspaper etc I can think of - do I address it to a specific person? (Job title?)

This is something I've never had to worry about before (hence dumb questions) but I think I might just have something that would get some interest.


 3:48 pm on Oct 30, 2001 (gmt 0)

submit to the relevant editor...so News Editor, Science Editor, Sports Editor etc...ideally by name as well as job title

pick out a set of likely publications...don't waste your time (or theirs) with a publication unlikely to give you some ink...make it a good mix of specialist and general titles


 2:33 pm on Nov 1, 2001 (gmt 0)

Our site was just mentioned in the November issue of a high profile magazine, on their 'cyber' page, as being a great web find. They found us on their own I'm sure, because we didn't contact them at all. We only found out about it because one of their readers mentioned it to us on our feedback page.

So, we are going to send out press releases, something we've never done before. I suppose it would be okay to mention their name in our press releases without contacting them, or would it be a good idea to ask them first (but what if they say no)?

Also, would it be a good idea to mention their review when sending our releases to other magazines? Would that help or hinder our chance of being mentioned in the other magazines?


 7:42 am on Nov 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

There are some excellent guides to writing press releases on the Web. Just off hand i cant find them but im sure a search for - "writing press releases" AND guide - would come up with then. Just a few from memory that we use.

Make the title interesting and relevant to intrests of magazine etc.
Include the release date or "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE"
Include all contact details including that of who wrote the press release and of course the web site and emails
Write so the copy can be cut off at any para and still seem "complete"
Address to the jobtile (eg: Editor) or even better actual name of the editor
Should be 1 page, no more than 2 pages
Double spaced for easy readability.
Include a quote from an officer of the company if possible to add personality and authority.

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