Let's say you have a website service (social networking, bookmarking, photo sharing, whatever) that you want to get registered users for. Assuming the following: -service to the user is free and provides utility that other websites do not. -website is done, User experience is at say 80% and hosting cost is not an issue
What do you do to promote it with only $2k (US)?
I realize that some extremely talented people here won't even need money to successfully promote something like this.
One VERY important point - however you spend it. Spend it gradually. If you use ads like google - you need to start small - test - and make sure you have enough $$ to get through optimizing your landing pages... tracking conversions etc. it is VERY EASY to blow through $2k and get not much for it on Google or any set of ads.
I would hold back on spending till you understand your user and conversion process. Especially if UI is at 80% - you need to be at 90+% to get effective $$ usage.
In early going - I would strongly look at link building - unless you have an INCREDIBLY unique niche - in which case people wont search it anyway - don't spend all your time on SEO. COnsider some link building with good reciprocol sites - that have an audience at the right stage you need them.
For free services in particular - ADS ARE DANGEROUS! you may waste bucks and even get sign ups - but wind up with just "tire kickers" - as opposed to serious long term users.
[edited by: caveman at 6:16 pm (utc) on July 2, 2008] [edit reason] Edited per TOS #13, 20 [/edit]