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So... what should I do? I don't wanna spam, and I don't have any money yet to spend on AdWords. I can't just tell random people about the site, can I? Wouldn't that be spam?
This is highly frustrating.
PS: The site is actually high-quality and is practically ad-free. But I don't know how to get people to use it if they don't even know about it.
Yes, you're right, you do need link love. Anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves.
Yes, it does cost money - or a prior investment of a LOT of your time.
There are just over 100 free directories that are worth submitting to. Don't believe that rubbish about these directories putting you in a "bad neighbourhood". They give your site a kickstart it needs wrt much needed traffic.
Get students to write your content, unless your site is niche and only you can write for it, or you're a student yourself and won't... You can get good American student writers from between $10 to $20 per article.
Digg & stumble are not overnight get rich quick fixes. Social "Network" sites demand that you build up your network. This takes many months of daily dedicated hard work. Once you have a strong account or more, you will hopefully have learned a thing or two about the black art of link baiting/viral marketing. Though it never hurts to read websites and books on this fascinating topic. Regular articles will NOT gather links. Linkbait typically gathers between 200 to 1000 links - all one way, all free. For this reason, digg home page market rates typically range from $3k-$5k.
3 way links don't work on G, but do on other major search engines. I would save my time and money though.
After a few days you can adjust the campaign to better target where the clicks come from. It's extremely hard to beat 100 hits per 5.00 spent and for a new site you can become a pro at paid campaigns fairly quickly for relatively little money.
If you do try adbrite throw out your typical ad text, you don't want your ad sounding like "visit my site IF you're looking for such and such"... you want text that screams check it out without an "if" qualifier. With cost not an issue you can go for bulk clicks.
Are you looking for free traffic from search engines and making money through ppc or affiliates?
Do you have an ecommerce site and want qualified traffic to purchase goods?
and there are other models. That will help you think about who you want to attract to your site and that should help you focus your marketing strategies.
My experience with new sites is that its all about links in the beginning (6 months to 1 year). This is what gets you out of the supplementals and starts traffic. An ecommerce site may use ppc immediately to get relatively cheap qualified traffic.
Content shouldnt be neglected during this time but will be an investment to pick up long tail terms, return visitors, stickiness and one way links. Again the relative importance of these will depend on your business model.
Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone [webmasterworld.com]
And before you're tempted, do not poo-poo the message because it is five years old - it's still a goldmine of info!
>> I find myself stuck with a great site that nobody visits.
>> No one will stick around at an empty site.
You mean you have an empty site that is great?
I see a lot of impatience in the way you respond to stuff. That is one quality that will not help you in SEO. Pardon me if I am wrong in thinking you are impatient.
Digg submissions wont take you to the front page and bring you a thousand people often. But it gives you a link. See, thats one link which you gave yourself (Now don't overdo it). Same works for Reddit. And a lot of other similar social bookmarking sites. If you search this site, you can find entire lists of such sites.
Also free directories. I saw you thanking someone because you found Pay Now buttons. Impatient reaction. First, search for lists of free directories. You will find a lot of them in Google. It takes time, but you get links.
And the links, slowly, add up to giving you some PR.
This is the absolute basic stuff. There is a lot more you can do, but you need to have patience.
I am in the process of making a similar site myself.
I would say at first you will need something to attract users to your site besides the Ad posting section, something along the lines of a review section for the product or products your site is advertising. This will allow your site to have some content to attract users and in return maybe get some posts relevant to your niche.
I hear that the early stages of starting a classified website is generally the hard part because the first posts are the hardest to get. I would advise to maybe get some posts in yourself just to kickstart things in order to create and illusion that the website has users allready. You could even try and contact other websites or shops or potential users and offer to advertise their products for free on your site.
btw, this is to be done after all the SEO needed for a starter website.
[edited by: Dilly at 8:04 pm (utc) on Aug. 29, 2007]
they all want money for the links
But ofcourse - these are 'for profit businesses' and have various costs that have to be met.
Any site of real size or importance has spent a good chunk of change to be promoted.
That's VERY normal, and is necessary for fast results. All businesses cannot get ahead effectively without paid advertising.
The only factor is how much.....
Here's your answwer:
You must not of made it right.
If a small retarded crappy search engine spam site easily does 1k/day with just one link - and yes - mostly google visitors.
And I can do it repeatedly - spam site after spam site - for years...
Then I think I have given you an answer - and I didn't mean for it to sound rude. Because a rude reply could be that the other possible answer is it's difficult for real bonafide creators of such wonderful websites - can't get through the muck that us spammers do - granted that has merit - and you're just be truthful not rude.
IBLs are valid from the vertical directories, they help and they really help drive traffic!
Once we've submitted sites to the directories the ONLY links we pursue are a few very directed ones, always related and we just pick up the phone and call them or email them.
I've never paid for a link, ever, never do PPC or Adwords either, and out of all our sites (40 to 100 a year) I don't think any fall below about 3000 unique visitors per year, some are over 1000 per day.
I don't even really have any "friends" on Flickr, these hits come from people browsing when the picture catches their eye.
I'm saying your going to get 1000 hits a day doing this, but it is an easy (and free) way to get some incoming traffic to a new site.
Anyone have any ideas on how this idea can be more efficient at driving some free traffic?
Time is a rare commodity in our high paced world. This just leads me to a rhetoric question: If you don't spend allmost all your time on it - then why should thousand upon thousands even want to spend a minute?
"If you don't already have or is associated with a big brand, or/and something people want badly and/or the advertising budget and/or the skills to make them aware they need it or that they missed out on the ride of their life - the masses are not going to play with anything or do anything. They're users. They don't do anything. They don't make a difference."
"What you really want to attract would be the creators and the innovators, since those people will be the key to the success or failure of your project. They are hard to find and hard to come by - but they do exist - and notably, you will have to be one of them too"
"Don't create a buzz before you have a quality product. When you have that - it will also have that scalable and accumulative effect which you are aiming for - for some time - and it will scale down again as the interest fades, unless you have more quality products in the line which can keep the buzz around for a little longer - hopefully until your assigned time of death or/and revenue payout - and perhaps a bit longer than that - just think of the marketing stunt Jesus did"
Sincerely, and have fun,