No matter what you are promoting online, in order to earn the bucks, ya gotta get website traffic, and lots of it...
Whether you are promoting products, services or affiliate programs, more website traffic means more income. This article will share with you the best free and cheap ways I've learned to get website traffic to my website.
Newbie Note: If you're new at e-commerce, before concentrating your efforts of getting site traffic, take the time to make sure "what" you will be promoting will actually sell. If you plan to market your own products or services, you'll need to identify a large group of potential buyers first. If you plan to promote an existing product, service or opportunity get some real income figures from others already doing it. Once you've accomplished this, you'll have some solid figures to shoot for and you can start pouring on the traffic.
Here's what really works for growing lots of site traffic...
1. Give away value with no strings attached
Giving something of value away for free is a great way to attract website visitors. Thanks to the web, distributing freebies is in itself, free. You don't have to spend a dime to pass out freebies left and right. All you need are a few quality freebies.
2. Go "viral" with your freebies
Viral strategies allow you to multiply your marketing efforts without actually doing more work. Take that example above. You offer a great freebie like an ebook or tutorial. Now, let others give it away for free at their site too, as an incentive, bonus or just for the heck of it. Why not? It adds value to their offering and it creates more visitors to your site as your freebie spreads.
3. Position your site in the search engines
While you absolutely must add your website URL to all the major engines, search engine promotion does not stop there. You need to improve your raking so that your website is not lost among the millions of sites on the web. Unfortunately, many webmasters spend FAR too much time on their search engine ranking. The best strategy in my experience is to optimize all your pages for good ranking, concentrate on getting links, then let the rest take care of itself.
4. Use "pay for rank" search engines
Every month I get a few thousands visitors from goto.com, the web's leading pay for rank search engine. These visitors cost me an average of less than a dime each. There are more and more "pay for rank" engines cropping up on the web and they offer a great way to get targeted traffic cheap. I suggest you try a few.
5. Advertise in email newsletters
Still a bargain. Have you noticed the larger companies jumping on the ezine advertising bandwagon? They know the value of a dollar. For a few thousand bucks they can take out a half-page ad in ONE magazine offline. For the same price they can advertise in multiple ezines and reach literally hundreds of thousands of prospects, faster and cheaper.
6. Publish your own ezine!
I've been publishing my own e-newsletter, the BizWeb eGazette since August of 1996. Looking back, starting my own opt-in list may have been my wisest decision to date. My e-newsletter brings customers back to my site on a regular basis. Every webmaster should offer a way for surfers to sign up for a regular email notice. It doesn't have to be an ezine, you can send specials, freebies or even site updates notices. The key is to keep in touch with the people you manage to get to your site. It's hard work getting traffic, don't let them leave without offering to stay in touch!
7. "Rent" Opt-in email lists
Here's a promotion method that works. It can be a bit more costly than the other methods mentioned here, but it does pull in lots of website traffic. Just visit www.postmasterdirect.com -- arguably the net's most prominent opt-in list services provider, and click on "read some case studies". There you'll see an unsolicited testimonial from yours truly. Although I don't spend money on opt-in list rental too often (I'm cheap!) I do use opt-in services when I need a quick boost in sales.
8. Offer an affiliate program
If the product or service you are promoting is your own, adding an affiliate program to your site is a great "pay for performance only" method of increasing website traffic and in turn sales. It's no wonder that thousands of websites now offer to "share the profits" with their customers.
9. Write Articles
Anyone who reads my stuff regularly knows I rave about this promotion method. The fact is, it is responsible for a large part of my traffic. It still surprises me how many people don't try this. All it takes is a few hours each week or month to write about what you know and then have it looked over by someone with editing skills. Then, you tack on a small footer with your URL and fire it off to a list of editors who publish material related to what you're marketing. You then post the articles at your own site with re-publishing permission for other webmasters.
10. Create and promote joint ventures
Up until last year I had overlooked joint venture marketing almost completely. What a mistake. Joint ventures are a powerful way to get traffic and additional income online. One particular joint venture I'm involved with is solely for generating for new ezine subscribers. The JV "contest" includes five other ezine publishers like myself and generate over a hundred new subscribers every single week! Your own JV possibilities are limited only by your imagination. If you haven't tried JV's yet, start by keeping a notebook of possible joint venture candidates and contact one or two every few months.