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Brand new website and $2k, what do you do to maximize exposure?

3:49 pm on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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.

What are your ideas?

5:08 am on June 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Id put maybe $500 into organic SEO like link building and the rest into google and yahoo ads.
2:38 pm on July 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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]

2:46 pm on July 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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if it is social networking and it is really cool I'd be trying to bribe some bloggers and probably pay for signature links in forums related to my niche.