So you’ve started a website, blog, Tumblr, Livejournal, etc. Now what? How do you start building a following and gaining loyal readers? While there are many, in this lesson I want to show you a handsful of ways how to promote your website.
While your primary focus should be on SEO and creating quality content on your website in order to develop strong organic traffic, here are a few ways to help give things a little push:
1. Start Posting on Social Media
In today’s ever-connected world, it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t use some form of social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, hell, even LinkedIn technically counts as a social media platform.
According to Statista, in the 4th quarter of 2017 Facebook had 2.2 billion active users. That’s billion, with a B. Twitter? 330 million. Instagram? 800 million. My point? Social media is HUGE, and has shown no signs of slowing down for over a decade. It has become how we consume most of our information and learn about new things.
Have you ever heard the phrase “A jack of all trades but a master of none”? Well that’s not what you do here. Do a little research. Think about what platforms you enjoy using. Consider what platforms those interested in your website’s topic use. Say, for example, you’re starting a website about investing you probably won’t gain a massive Instagram following. Likewise, if you’re reviewing skateboard decks, LinkedIn probably isn’t your best bet.
You want to figure out where your demographic hangs out online and focus there. Create a profile or page on that platform and start by sending invites to friends and family- especially the ones who may have an interest in your topic as well.
Post every new article on your page. Share articles posted by other relevant sources in your field. You don’t want people to think your page just spams them with your content. Your goal is to help people, so help them. Give them as much information as possible from as many credible sources as you can. Aim for 3-4 posts/week to start.
Learn more about Social Media Marketing:
2. Join & Contribute to a Forum
Forums are not only a great way to get your site some visibility, but also to develop relationships and connections within your field. After all, a forum is literally just a bunch of people who share a common interest talking about that interest. Chances are you can find a forum about the topic of your website.
Now, this next part is very important…
Pace yourself. Take it slow.
If you join a forum and immediately start saying “check out my site” people will write you off before you even get started. In fact many forums don’t allow that sort of spammy behavior. That said, many forums have signature lines under every post – some of those allow for you to put your website in that line.
Some forums allow you to add a personal website to your profile. That is where I see the most success. If you’re contributing meaningful posts regularly to the forum, people are going to want to learn more about you and will click through to your profile and, hopefully, your website.
3. Pay Per Click Advertising
If you have a little bit of spare cash to promote your website, you can generate a good amount of traffic relatively quickly using Pay per Click. The most popular system is Google AdWords, however Bing has been growing in popularity quite a bit over recent years as well. While I truly don’t recommend getting started in Pay per Click until you have a goo deal of experience in writing copy, to ensure that your have good visitor retention – it is an option.
Depending on your topic, a click can range anywhere from a dime to $20 or more. Lucrative subjects such as car insurance, investing – really any topic relating to money ends up costing a good deal. Your average cost per click (CPC) should be under $3.
4. Offline Advertising
This is a seldom thought of but very effective method of promoting a website or blog. Talk to people about your website. Go to meetings of groups that are discussing your topic. Print out fliers and/or business cars, leave them in coffee shops (with permission, of course). Put a magnet on your car. Walk around town handing out fliers to people.
My personal favorite? Bumper stickers. In fact, I’m willing to bet there are a handsful of you here because you saw that big, obnoxious green bumper sticker on my car and decided to check it out. If so, welcome! I truly hope this website helps you earn some cash while you are in college.
5. Find a Community of People Trying to Do the Same Thing
I saved my favorite for last. Finding a community of webmasters who are looking to get their site off the ground and gain exposure is paramount to generating visibility for your website in the shortest amount of time. Communities like these focus on helping one another and making sure everyone gets their fair share.
One of my favorite communities for doing this is called Wealthy Affiliate. This website/community/forum/school is built around teaching people just like you and me how to build, develop and promote their websites and blogs. Through their give and take (1 for 1) comment and feedback systems you can generate engagement and fine tune your sites design.
The best part? A starter membership is 100% free. No credit card required. Yes, they have a Premium membership, that I absolutely do recommend, but you can still get by 100% using their Starter Membership. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you can sign up by clicking the button below:
As you can see there are several ways to promote your website. I’ve only just listed 5 off the top of my head.
While you can rest assured there will be more content coming your way packed with more ideas and tips to get your website off the ground, I am curious: What methods have you used to promote your website? What ways have shown you the most success? What methods have proven to be more work than they are worth?
Leave your thoughts or any questions you may have in the comments below.