Mar 1, 2011

Ways to Plug Your Website For Free or Nearly Free Guest blog fromAkbar the Tent Maker

Getting visitors to your website is vital. It's as important to get people to give you page views, as advertising is expensive. Not all of us have an advertising budget to work with yet, so the trick is to find ways to spread the message and promote your website without spending the house payment. These following tips have helped me build up a readership, and they'll work for you too. Don't worry. I won't plug myself here.

Use the Url As Your Username. While not always possible, the simple use of your website url (sans the http:// part) as your username on many blogs and membership sites is an easy, free way to share the domain with prospective visitors. Admittedly, this method is sometimes considered "spammy" by many admins, and isn't always allowed. But as of this point, MySpace let's people do it, while Facebook does not. A simple read through the TOS of any site you want to join will usually tell you whether it's allowed or not. (Hint: If it's not allowed, don't risk it. Respect the rules of any site/forum you join.) Have a simple url, something that wouldn't need the http:// part.

Put the Url In Your Profile Pics. Got a profile pic up on Facebook? Maybe some other social networking site? Before you upload that image, open it up in Paint and add your url at the bottom. It's worked for many people who have a favorite cause to support, and it's not nearly as "spammy" as method number one. It's also often very permanent, so, only use it for a site you know will stay up.

Sign Your Email. On most email programs, there are options you can set your email account to. Each service is a little different than another, so the instructions can't be provided here. But, most of the time, it's where you would edit your signature on out-going email messages. Don't do this with more than two, maybe three urls. More than that, and it just sort of looks ridiculous, in a used car salesman wearing a plaid suit kind of way.

Do Something In It's Name. While not technically free, this one is still easy. Making a donation of used clothing to Goodwill? Ask for a receipt for tax purposes made out to your website. Volunteering at a soup kitchen? Don't do it as "you." Be there in the name of your website, as far as the records show. If you're lucky enough to live in a small town, with a small newspaper, offer the activity to them as a press release. They just might need the news. Organize an activity for other volunteers too. The only limits here are in what you choose to give, or do.

Start a Facebook Fan Page. This tip might just be the easiest of all. Facebook offers members the ability to make fan pages for free for anything that needs promoted. That can be your company name, with your website listed within the info page. The fan page itself might be titled after your site. It's really easy, and for now anyway, totally free. The best part about this method is not only can you invite family and friends to "like" the fan page (and pester them some to share it) absolute strangers doing searches on similar topics can find you too. It really can almost share itself. Remember to triple-check the spelling.

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