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Promoting a new site
ag_47

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 2:59 am on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

After working very long and hard I've finished my website and finally put it up. And now, of course, I'm faced with the bigger problem of getting it known...
I've read a lot of posts/articles on this topic, and get the general idea, but I feel I could use some direct advice.
So far I've tried submitting it to social bookmarking sites, contacted a few news article/blog writers asking them to consider my website as a topic..

The problems I'm facing are
1. There is already a well established site (more than one actually, but only one is 'big') - but I'm confident my website has a lot more to offer (once people start using it) in terms of functionality/features, look/feel, etc..
2. I can't really add content myself, it's based on user generated content. I would end up spamming my own site or copying from others - which is out of question.
3. The main keywords for search engines are cluttered with other similar sites (which, ahem, suck), so I don't have high hopes of generating traffic from there (even if I try to maximize my ranking)

The little traffic I've been able to generate from social bookmarking - visit the site, browse around (so they seem to have good first impressions), but since the site is still empty they end up leaving...

The next steps I'm considering are:
1. Keep contacting different news/blog writers in hopes one will write about my site
2. Concentrate on a single region and try to get it going there (the site is divided into regions) - but how? ads? stick posters everywhere?
3. Pay for ads (google? yahoo? ..)

My goal is to create a buzz, get people talking about it, which should probably enough to kick start things..
I know pretty much everyone has gone through this, any advice/links/comments would be appreciated

 

piatkow

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 9:45 am on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Without an understanding of the topic and your activity in that topic away from the keyboard it is difficult to comment.

For a topic that you are active in and have contacts in within your own region then focusing on greater depth within the region may pay off. As well as all the SEO standards don't forget the real world. Get mention in printed media, talk to people in your field, if the topic is right even hand out printed flyers.

ag_47

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 6:15 pm on Feb 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, it's actually a pure online service. (I don't own a business, I hope the website will become the business one day). I didn't mention anything because of the rules here..but it's basically a classified ads website.

I had decided not tell any of my friends/contacts about the website, I don't feel right telling them to go start using it to help me - I don't think it'll be good in the long run.

The best option for me is to create a buzz, like I mentioned, get everyone talking about it. Although there are dozens of other sites doing the same thing, I'm confident I'm doing it better and hopefully people will notice that..

Turnba

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 1:21 pm on Feb 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Hi ag_47 - it seems we're in exactly the same boat!

I too have produced a website which exists entirely to take user-generated content, and I'm having difficulty finding good places to promote it. An added problem is that the purpose of the site is very general, so I can't even direct advertising effectively.

I tried social bookmarking etc, and took out a paid-for click thing with stumbleupon. This did generate traffic, but none of it stuck, and few people even give it thumbs up/down (which I thought was the whole point of S/U!). I also used Facebook advertising but had exactly the same problem.

Of course my site could just suck, but it seems to me to be a numbers game. People aren't interested in an empty site, but we need users to generate content to make it more interesting.

I'm totally with you on not telling the friends/family. I did that once before and it just got embarrasing :-P Sorry I can't offer any advice, but how about a knowing and sympathetic pat on the back? Stiff upper lip, keep calm and carry on!

simple007

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 7:36 am on Mar 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

My first choice is Stumbleupon.com which i m doing also. From SU u get massive traffic if Stumblers like your content...... And ofcourse Reddit.com also... for new websites.,

maximillianos

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 6:06 pm on Mar 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

I typically like to buy advertising to kick start a new site. Start-up a campaign and let it rip for a few months. Once it gets going you can dial-down your budget and hopefully eventually not need to advertise at all.

Turnba

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 8:18 pm on Mar 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

What kind of budget do you initially throw at it Max, if you don't mind me asking? I've always done things on a shoestring, and often wondered how much these cost 'to do properly'. By which I mean, is it 10's of pounds/month, 100's/month...?

ag_47

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 1:52 am on Mar 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yea, it's basically come down to online/paper advertising, posters in public places (doesn't really matter if a particular region uses the site more than others - it'll spread eventually), press releases (? not sure yet..), and social bookmarking

Turnba

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 8:19 pm on Mar 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

Flyers and posters seem like a good idea if you get it organised, but I found (at least local) press to be a complete waste of time. For online services I think somewhere that sicks around for a while (ie posters) to be effective, but newspapers just don't do it, I think it's the wrong audience. Also, if it's a market place you're trying to create then newspapers might not accept your advertisement if they also carry classifieds (as you would be competition).

creative craig

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 8:55 pm on Mar 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I recently started a brand new site in an extremely competitive niche where there were already 4 or 5 heavy weight sites that seemed to dominate. 6 months down the line, I have managed to sneak up on all of them, so much so I had an email from one inquiring about a partnership of some sort :)

My only advice is for link building, take it slow, don't throw hundreds of directory submissions, article links or random social media links at the site just for the sake of it - build valued links.

nomis5

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 9:33 pm on Mar 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree with creative_craig, concentrate on link building. You have to start somewhere and that's the best place.

You may want to add a couple of pages, well researched and informnative, on some aspect of your site's subject. That may get a few mentions somewhere.

An aside. Your site relies totally on user generated content right from the site start up? As a computer system tester (retired), I have a very dim view of user generated anything. As a rule, site users generate rubbish unless they are very carefully led to the "water".

surfgatinho

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 5:25 pm on Mar 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

Regarding user content. I have a site or 2 like this - you need to be your own users for a while. I have pretend conversations with myself, and put up purposely provocative posts to try and generate a bit of interest.

Maledicta

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 7:45 pm on Mar 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

First things first AG; have you submitted your sitemap to Google for indexing? Doing this will ensure the Googlebots have access to every page within your domain and, if the pages are optimised well, you should start to rise up the SERPs naturally.

Once you've done this, you can begin your off-site SEO campaign - linkbuilding, linkbuilding and guess what? Linkbuilding! Craig's right, it's the only way to really make your keywords work for you. Submit your site to a couple of well-ranking directories such as Yahoo and Dmoz, but don't bother with the smaller ones, it's a waste of time and money. Ditto article marketing; Google all but devalues links within articles, although one or two on Ezine will come in handy if well written as bloggers use this site to grab content (thus creating a few free external links!).

If you want any advice on the link building side of things, feel free to ask and I'll help you more if I can.

[edited by: phranque at 11:40 pm (utc) on Mar. 16, 2009]

stef25

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 3:26 pm on Mar 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

pull in content from external sites via rss? like that you have some ads showing + link back to original site. cant imagine the original site objecting to this. i talked to a real estate search engine guy once, who did just that - only pull in content from ext sites. eventually people will realise they can find good ads on your site, and post their own.

some adwords wouldnt hurt either. try the traffic estimator to get an idea of cost per month

JS_Harris

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 9:05 am on Mar 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Find a way to solve visitor problems or provide entertainment they cannot obtain elsewhere, otherwise they have no incentive to migrate to your site from existing sites.

An example: people are trying to launch a new MySpace about once every 3 minutes but MySpace users have no reason to want to leave...

Features help but you'll need a core attraction unique to your site, or a lot of advertising money, to convince people to choose your site over others.

ag_47

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 4:25 am on Mar 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

First things first AG; have you submitted your sitemap to Google for indexing?
Once you've done this, you can begin your off-site SEO campaign - linkbuilding, linkbuilding and guess what? Linkbuilding! ..
If you want any advice on the link building side of things, feel free to ask and I'll help you more if I can.

I haven't submitted a sitemap, but I made sure Google found my site (the day it was launched). I've spent a lot of time deciding how to properly optimize everything for search engines. I still think some changes are in order, but in any case, the big issue for me as far as your suggestion is actually finding sites to contact for links. I can't imagine finding 50+ sites for links...it just seems too 'random'. I'd much rather have some news/blog writer mention my site, no success so far.

@stef25
hmm, maybe. I will definitely consider/research this. Thanks.

@JS_Harris
Yes of course, that was the whole idea. I think I have there are numerous advantages over others (but then again I'm probably biased, I'd be happy if others gave opinions)

Maledicta

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3857988 posted 7:24 am on Mar 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's certain things which Google like you to do and will look more favourably on your site if you do them.

[edited by: phranque at 10:57 am (utc) on Mar. 25, 2009]

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