Websites are not ATMs that just spit out cash. Sure, in the past things were so easy that it might have felt like that. But in reality there has always been some work and investing into your website to turn it into a profitable business. Imagine someone has a small amount of money to invest into their website on a regular basis like $100/week.
Are you creative enough to turn it into long term brand signals?
Example #1 - Create an industry award for bloggers. Nominate the top bloggers in your industry and say that you are going to award the blog with the most votes the title of #1 Industry blog and give them an engraved silver mouse. Bloggers will them encourage their readers to go to your site to vote. You end up getting backlinks from blogs and a bunch of direct traffic. Cost: $50 for silver plated mouse and $20 for voting plugin
Example #2 - Create a best story contest on your website. Ask your customers to submit the best story about how they used your product and the winner each week gets $100 gift certificate for your website and $100 gift certificate donated to the charity of their choice. You gain engaging content for your website, with proper grammar & good length (the weaker entries can be noindexed). You may be thinking that is $200, nope that is $200 of retail prices which is probably going to cost you alot less than $100 in real cost.
Example #3 - Develop a free consumer guide ebook for your industry. I am not talking 20 pages. I am talking over 200 pages that covers the entire industry including things that are not easily found. Go on craigslist or your preferred freelance website and hire a writer. Have them write one chapter each week. After 2-3 months your ebook is ready. Give away the ebook for free on your website and self-publish it via Amazon so people can buy a printed copy if that is their preference. Send out a good press release and directly email journalists that
Example #4 - Set up Google News Alerts for your industry. When the alert goes off, contact the journalist who wrote the story and offer your services in case they need an industry resource for any future stories. note to self: suck up to Barry for his latest conference live blogging so he mentions me on [seroundtable.com...] :) j/k ;)
I'm sure my examples suck, so what is your most creative way to generate brand signals?