In a way, this post actually leads on from my post on How To Get Traffic To Your Blog, in which I showed 5 ways to promote a blog or blog post. Naturally you can use some of those methods to promote a website or offer, just as easily as you can to promote a blog.
However, this post is about a few more methods you can use to promote offers and make money from your site, whether they’re affiliate offers or your own product or service.
It also stems from a lesson I truly learned this past week. I say ‘truly’ because I think that unless you can and actually do apply what you’ve learned, then you’ve only half learned it.
I want to just cover this briefly before we get to the actual methods of how to promote a website.
The lesson seems simple enough: Go where the traffic is.
But most people with sites or blogs aren’t doing it and yet they’re still hoping to get loads of visitors, subscribers and sales.
You see, last week, I got to see behind the scenes of a large internet marketing outfit. I say large, it actually only consists of three guys, but they’re making hundred of thousands of dollars per month with what they do. This got me thinking…
If you think about it, there are certain hubs online where there’s already traffic in abundance. These include places like:
- YouTube (the second largest search engine in the world)
- Established mailing lists
What you need to do is to get in the way of that traffic to present your site and/or offer or service.
Now I know what you’re thinking…
‘Yes James, this is obvious. To get traffic you need to go where the traffic is.’
So why are most people (possibly you included) building sites and expecting the traffic to come to them?
Many people, when they start a site, fill it with great content, make it look great and then promote it via small streams of traffic that will never lead to bigger flows of visitors. Some of it comes down to a lack of willingness to spend some money, of which more later. And sure, it’s fine to promote your site to your friends and family, or to post updates on Twitter, but if you don’t already have a decent-sized following (of several thousand) on Twitter, the chances are that you won’t see lots of traffic.
This site gets around 2500 unique visitors per month at the moment and growing. Now that’s not massive, but it does lead to me building a subscriber list that grows daily and allows me to promote useful products to my readers.
I want you to bear in mind that to really get thousands of visitors, you need to put in either a lot of time, a lot of money or plenty of both to do it. Free traffic methods are great, but no method is really free as it’s still costing you your time, if not your money.
Spending some money on advertising allows you to leverage that money and lets you put your time into more worthwhile pursuits, like running the business or creating great content.
How To Promote a Website
I’ve already spoken about Google and the importance of creating good content in my previous post about getting traffic to your blog (link at the top of this article). So let’s look at the other traffic sources listed above.
YouTube is a phenomenal resource for those wishing to promote their website or offers. Go to the site and find videos within your market that are trending upwards. The way to find these is to search for your main keywords (like ‘Bodybuilding’ if that’s what your site deals with) and then go to each video on the search results. First, see if they have a link in their video description. If they do, move on. If they don’t, click on the statistics button next to the number of views the video has had (below). This will reveal the stats for the video in question.
If the stats show a rise in views like the one above, then contact the person who uploaded the video and ask them if you can put your link in their video description for a few dollars. When they reply, offer them $20 – $30 to place the link there. You may have to barter a little, but if the video is getting tens of thousands of views per month, then it’s worth paying a little more.
I tend to approach videos with at least 25,000 views already, but have even got my links on videos with hundreds of thousands of views and rising.
The key is to make sure the video is rising in views consistently and doesn’t show any signs of that stopping.
The traditional way of promoting yourself via YouTube says that you should create amazing content and keep uploading your own videos. This is fine and will bring in a few visitors to your sites (especially if you add a link in the video descriptions) but chances are, your content isn’t what will get the large amounts of views (unless you’re a celebrity in your own niche, in which case, go for it!).
That’s no reflection on you. You just need to realise what’s popular and piggyback on what the market wants and where the market already is. Do this consistently and you’ll see the traffic rising. You may well have to spend several hundred dollars getting links, but the permanent traffic will be worth it.
Incidentally, this method also works on other video sites/channels like Viddler, Vimeo and Multiply.
Facebook is another place where there are already people talking about what they want. So go there and give it to them.
Find a hungry market of buyers (like golf nuts or bodybuilding freaks) and build fan pages for all kinds of parts of that market. For example, in the bodybuilding world, there may be famous bodybuilders who you can build pages for and invite people to become fans.
Use Facebook Ads to promote the page and build it up, then promote your website and/or offer to these new fans. Each time you post a link on the wall, it will go to all the fans of that page. Facebook Ads allow you to target very specifically so you’ll be able to send very targeted traffic to your site from the targeted fan page.
Also, it is advisable to use this traffic to build a mailing list. Before you start driving traffic using FB ads, you need to add an opt-in page tab to each of your fan pages. This is a separate tutorial so I’ll create a video for you and post it later this week. For the moment, use Facebook as above and watch your traffic rise.
Established Mailing Lists
If you’re not building a list of prospects and customers for your business, you’re losing out on a massive amount of leverage and potential earnings.
The way to do it is to give something of value away for free in exchange for the person’s e-mail address and first name which can then be added to an autoresponder account. You can get tutorials and sign up for a $1 trial of the software to do that at Aweber.com.
Once you have your opt-in form set up (as shown on the Aweber site), you can send traffic to it. How?
You can get people with already established mailing lists to mail out for you. You pay them a fee, ensure that they have the size and niche of list that you want (ask for proof) and in return, they mail out for you. You can send them the e-mail copy that will help them to promote your site and the ability to sign up for your great free gift. They send it to their list and you start to get people from their list signing up for your list. That’s a solo ad in a nutshell.
The larger the mailing list you build, the more targeted traffic you have the potential to drive to your site on a regular basis, as you can simply e-mail those people who expressed an interest in your site (because they signed up), letting them know of the latest blog post or offer you have. So it makes sense to do several of these solo ads on a semi-regular basis to keep building your list.
To find people with lists that can mail for you, look on forums in your market and also look out for big names in your market who have an opt-in form on their website. An opt-in form means a list, so you can contact them and ask how large the list is and if they would accept to do a paid solo ad for you.
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So, with those methods in mind, where else can you go online where there’s already a stream of people looking for information and offers like yours? How can you intercept that traffic in a similar way to the above 3 methods?
Leave your suggestions and experiences below in the comments section as well as any questions you might have about the methods I’ve talked about.
Thanks for reading this post. Now go and start learning and implementing the methods described above!