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  1. #1
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    Greetings one and all.

    Why don't we start a thread listing our favourite and most successful promotional techniques, hints and tips. Everyone has them, so what are your proven methods for making your site's counter spin?

    We want to hear your ideas, your experiences, your successes and your failures. What worked for you? What didn't? When it didn't work, what did you do about it?

    Let's share our hints, tips and techniques with the rest of the community. The best tips will be included in the SitePoint Tipfeed, your name and URL could go out to millions!

    Ady
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard dethfire's Avatar
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    Depending on your site, I think offline promotion is very underrated. When I was finished working on my school districts site not many people came in and looked around. SO since my target audience filled a 20 mile radius I decieded some offline promotion was needed. I found a place that would make me 1000 pencils with our name and URL printed on them for a real cheap price. I also bought 500 buisness cards avertising the site and district. I handed them out to all the schools and placed them out during conferences. People gobbled them up like crazy and soon big things started to happen. We increased out hits from 300/d to 1500/d and got a few articles in the news. Thats all for now, maybe I'll post more later.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot SEOCompany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dethfire View Post
    Depending on your site, I think offline promotion is very underrated. When I was finished working on my school districts site not many people came in and looked around. SO since my target audience filled a 20 mile radius I decieded some offline promotion was needed. I found a place that would make me 1000 pencils with our name and URL printed on them for a real cheap price. I also bought 500 buisness cards avertising the site and district. I handed them out to all the schools and placed them out during conferences. People gobbled them up like crazy and soon big things started to happen. We increased out hits from 300/d to 1500/d and got a few articles in the news. Thats all for now, maybe I'll post more later.
    Dethfire : Oh well. Sounds great...Looks like what experts said was right "Spend to earn"

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast ldylion214's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dethfire View Post
    Depending on your site, I think offline promotion is very underrated. When I was finished working on my school districts site not many people came in and looked around. SO since my target audience filled a 20 mile radius I decieded some offline promotion was needed. I found a place that would make me 1000 pencils with our name and URL printed on them for a real cheap price. I also bought 500 buisness cards avertising the site and district. I handed them out to all the schools and placed them out during conferences. People gobbled them up like crazy and soon big things started to happen. We increased out hits from 300/d to 1500/d and got a few articles in the news. Thats all for now, maybe I'll post more later.

    I've been giving serious thought to offline advertising. I think I will start with pens and pencils. It might not benefit my business but at least it is getting our name out there.
    good advice. Thanks, Nicci
    Nicci VanCleave
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    Custom Native American Jewelry created by Ron Henry
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast AmateurNight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dethfire View Post
    Depending on your site, I think offline promotion is very underrated. When I was finished working on my school districts site not many people came in and looked around. SO since my target audience filled a 20 mile radius I decieded some offline promotion was needed. I found a place that would make me 1000 pencils with our name and URL printed on them for a real cheap price. I also bought 500 buisness cards avertising the site and district. I handed them out to all the schools and placed them out during conferences. People gobbled them up like crazy and soon big things started to happen. We increased out hits from 300/d to 1500/d and got a few articles in the news. Thats all for now, maybe I'll post more later.
    At last, somebody finally praises OFFLINE PROMOTION!!!

    I think people/site and business owners are often bedazzled by online marketers' claims of this and that that they often relegate offline promotion to the background. But I have news for you: you should be using offline promotion to get your foot in into a lot of people's minds. Believe it or not, not everybody is connected to the Internet, and not everyone who are connected will know their way around. A good offline promotion like having your URL on your business card, bookmark or as your idea suggests: promotional pencils, will lead people to your site when they need you, hence higher conversions.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict SLeon's Avatar
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    Link exchanges through a 3rd-party site (where you sign up, other people sign up, then you exchange links) has not worked very well for me. The other sites that SAY they want linking so far have not reciprocated. That's been a real disappointment.

    However, I have had some good success with finding sites that are good matches, subject-wise, through the search engines, then linking to them and asking for a link back. For one of my sites I've had some nice, really helpful responses from other webmasters, with a significant proportion of traffic coming through those links. Of course, there are some webmasters who will just never write back, but the proportion is far less than with the 3rd-party link exchange I've tried to do.

    Banner ads--of course, the trick is to find a really targeted site with high traffic that doesn't charge a huge amount. I like sites that charge per month rather than CPM. Per month is less expensive. Currently I'm experimenting with text-only banners and getting a click-through rate of about 1%. I have just started that experiment, though.

    Gotta go somewhere at the moment, will add more later...
    InformationSavant - developing intelligent web business
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Enthusiast sharkrey's Avatar
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    Hi Fluffykins,

    I would have to say that my signature has been stronger for business than anything else I'm using.

    I post it EVERYWHERE!

    In the last three months it has generated one full design contract, two monthly maintenance contracts, plus several free lance quickies (CGI help, logo design, and a few others).

    I take part in several Q&A message boards. I can answer a question and my next fifty hits come from the thread. It's amazing. Most just poke around, but as mentioned, there is business out there also.
    Gary Reynolds
    -- My Frac Art --

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkrey
    Hi Fluffykins,

    I would have to say that my signature has been stronger for business than anything else I'm using.

    I post it EVERYWHERE!

    In the last three months it has generated one full design contract, two monthly maintenance contracts, plus several free lance quickies (CGI help, logo design, and a few others).

    I take part in several Q&A message boards. I can answer a question and my next fifty hits come from the thread. It's amazing. Most just poke around, but as mentioned, there is business out there also.
    I must agree with this! The signature definately bring in a lot of traffic.

  9. #9
    Bruno Delepierre
    SitePoint Community Guest
    Hey fluffyskins and others,

    In my opinion I think about every method can be a way to boost your traffic. There is no such thing as a magical method to increase your traffic : Of course search engines can be the largest source but nowadays it's very hard to get in the top 10 of a SE ( although I have some sites that are performing very very well ) .
    Now suppose you are no SEO expert and you don't get anything coming from the SE. Trough experience I have seen that viral marketing and affiliate marketing are the two best ways to get quick results :

    Concerning affiliate marketing I don't think I need to explain how this will increase your traffic : The trick is to set up an affiliate program that works and interests other sites. The big disadvantage to this method is that it isn't free.

    Viral marketing on the other side is a very powerful way to generate more traffic : There are just too many different methods to start your own viral marketing strategy and I won't go into details here. Every site can work out a suited viral marketing strategy. The keyword is creativity : I have already developed some pretty strange viral marketing methods for companies but they were all very pleased with the results : It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as it generates results...

    As for the "dont's", there's only one method I strongly want to warn other webmasters for : Never ever submit your sites to FFA pages and never even consider to spend money on companies that will get your link in " 75000 search engines and link pages" ( Haven't we all met such a service ? ) They are less than worthless.

    I could write a book on this matter as about every promotional method works as long as you know how to do it right. Unfortunately I don't have the time here and we all have to make a living right ... Interested webmasters can always drop me an e-mail

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno Delepierre View Post
    Hey fluffyskins and others,

    In my opinion I think about every method can be a way to boost your traffic. There is no such thing as a magical method to increase your traffic :
    I definitely agree with this. I find that by employing various methods (ie directory submission, back link retrieval, smart content with keyword implementation, social media marketing, etc.), the best results will occur.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot Wilmot's Avatar
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    Hey Bruno,

    What exactly do you mean by Viral Marketing? Some examples as to what it is would be great!
    Brad Culbert
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  12. #12
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Wilmot
    Hey Bruno,

    What exactly do you mean by Viral Marketing? Some examples as to what it is would be great!
    Bruno, may I cut in?

    Viral marketing is basically word of mouth promotion. Lets say you have a website, someone visits your site, thinks it's cool and tells one of their friends about it. That friend looks, also thinks its cool and tells a couple more friends about it and so forth. Viral marketing gets its name by the way the information is spread exponentially like a virus.

    There are lots of ways to virally market a website. The simplest method being a Tell a Friend page that sends an e-mail to an address you enter. Affiliate programmes are also a form of viral marketing, where websites pay other site owners a percentage of their earnings to market their product or service for them.

    Ady
    Last edited by Fluffykins; May 8, 2001 at 06:36.
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  13. #13
    Bruno Delepierre
    SitePoint Community Guest
    What exactly do you mean by Viral Marketing? Some examples as to what it is would be great!
    Hey wilmot,

    I know viral marketing is a pretty vague description . However it's pretty difficult to be concrete but let me give you some real life examples :

    The tell a friend page is the most basic technique in viral marketing. There are more advanced ways like a reward program where you'd get more points if you'd refer others. Suppose sitepoint would offer you more sitepoints if you'd post a thread to a friend. You can invent variations on the theme yourself. In the past I have worked out an idea where the site organised a contest and people would get more entries if they got their friends to join.


    Affiliate programmes are also a form of viral marketing
    Hey fluffyskins,

    You are right if you say that affiliate marketing is based upon the same method as viral marketing. However affiliate marketing requires an entirely different set of tools, knowledge and approaches ( eg. promotional techniques ) . I wouldn't go this far to say that affiliate marketing is just a part of viral marketing.

  14. #14
    Freelance Web Designer KeithMcL's Avatar
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    This thread has given me an idea for my site(s).

    If it turns out to be successful i'll post the idea on these forums.

  15. #15
    Freelance Web Designer KeithMcL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithMcL View Post
    This thread has given me an idea for my site(s).

    If it turns out to be successful i'll post the idea on these forums.
    I don't know what it is about my reply, but it seems to send me a visit every so often. Strange :/

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot boognish's Avatar
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    In summary

    I've just read through this entire thread and now I feel a bit dizzy

    It's been a really big help, thanks to all who contributed!

    If this will help anyone I've summarized the majority of points. Sorry if its a bit disjointed. I've also added a few of my own techniques not mentioned.

    Here's my notes:

    email marketting

    corporate staionary

    virals

    trendy business cards people talk about

    reciprocal link exchange

    pay-for-placement search engines (ad words)

    classified ads

    Partnerships - Provide content regularly for ad placements, send out newsletters.

    Offering former clients/friends/family, anyone 10% commission for contracts

    Recommendations

    screensavers, Wallpapers.

    newsletter sign up

    tell a friend - offer incentives

    Post in Forums using signatures

    articles and submit to relevant websites

    Targeted ezine advertising. www.ezinearticles.com, www.goarticles.com, www.isnare.com

    Put articles on your site

    Write a Press Release and submit it all over the free ones and relavent Blog sites

    get listed in the major directories, submitted to dmoz, considering yahoo

    print directories

    yell.com £360 per year or £2 per day

    Newspapers

    Magazines

    ads at bus stop benches

    offering 3 ebooks free

    code to ask someone to add a link to their site once they added to mine

    telesales

    door to door of companies, focusing on primary markets

    flyers

  17. #17
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    That's what I meant I think. It uses the same techniques if you look at it from a wider perspective but I guess if you give it some deep thought affiliate programmes aren't really are they? Perhaps I should say that affiliate programmes are a variant form of viral marketing. Perhaps not the best example but I try

    Keith: We're always glad to be of help.

    Let's keep those tips coming!

    Ady
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict SLeon's Avatar
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    Tip for increasing ezine list subscriptions: On one of my sites I recently instituted a popup like the one used here at SitePoint to offer newsletter subscriptions. Subscriptions have increased probably 500% since then.
    InformationSavant - developing intelligent web business
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Member xannax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLeon
    Tip for increasing ezine list subscriptions: On one of my sites I recently instituted a popup like the one used here at SitePoint to offer newsletter subscriptions. Subscriptions have increased probably 500% since then.
    hey!
    tried out your link, but i got to a NO FOUND page =( really wanted to check your link out.

    sorry to butt in.. but this thread helped me with some ideas, so i'll have them in mind =) tnx!

    have a great one,
    anna
    :: Anna
    :: Just Another Newbie ( of PHP )

  20. #20
    I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack! Fluffykins's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SLeon
    Tip for increasing ezine list subscriptions: On one of my sites I recently instituted a popup like the one used here at SitePoint to offer newsletter subscriptions. Subscriptions have increased probably 500% since then.
    Pop ups to advertise e-zines and other pertinent site features are a very good idea. I've had similar success using them. One thing to remember though is that people don't like pop-ups they've seen before. They tend to get annoying after seeing them once or twice. Try using a 'pop up only once' type Javascript which pops up the window then sets a cookie so a person never sees it again.

    You can learn how to create such a script here: http://slackerhtml.tripod.com/javasc...ponlyonce.html

    Ady
    v-technologies - Freelance Goodness.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast Trilliann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffykins
    Pop ups to advertise e-zines and other pertinent site features are a very good idea. I've had similar success using them. One thing to remember though is that people don't like pop-ups they've seen before. They tend to get annoying after seeing them once or twice. Try using a 'pop up only once' type Javascript which pops up the window then sets a cookie so a person never sees it again. (...)
    I find pop ups annoying even when they're the 'pop up only once' type.
    Claudia
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    (this ain't gravy)

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    I don't have any great tips, just experience, one of my sites is now No1 on AOL Search for the term: visual basic

    I'm not quite sure how it happened but it has done so recently, the thing about the site is that it hasn't been updated in years now and has slowly risen to the top of quite a few search engines, so much so that I am re-launching it soon as long as I can find some people to contribute articles to it.

    Other then that, I would say be as nice and helpful to as many people as possible as they will remember it and you in the future when they need something in your area of expertise.
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  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast norfett's Avatar
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    Well, Ady's tip of virul wossits helped get my hits up, and more subs to my newsletter, and if you do a newsletter, do a Joint one - as this also helps.

    What I have found tho, is that, after contacting a fair few other Division 3 fansites - linking and getting linked too has also bumped my hits up. I have this all to do again now, with another set of clubs, division 2!

    But also getting onto your site's subject specific search engines gets more hits too - as anyone lookin for my total-albion.com site, is more likely to search at say, soccer-sites.com rather than say altavista.

    Also, such is the subject of my site, that I belong to a BHAFC mailing list, and participate with that, and so have my address on emails, then also participate in a BHAFC forums, and put my address on that when I post, and cos Im a regular, it isnt spam. So those 2 ideas also help.

    And, possibly, such offline promotion such as buying an advert in the club's official matchday programme, and getting the site into the fanzines is good too.

    Also, as mine is about a team, sponsorship can work too - I may sponsor one of the players next season, which guarantee's my web address in all 23 home programmes during the season. So thats a good investment too.

    Pete
    Current Projects:
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Addict SLeon's Avatar
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    I totally forgot to add that pay-for-placement search engines (such as GoTo and FindWhat) have been very successful for me. What I like about them is the quick turnaround--your site can be listed and start getting traffic in a week vs. possibly months in the regular search engines. And generally if one plays it right, a good amount of very targetted traffic can be gained for a very small cost.
    InformationSavant - developing intelligent web business
    StrangePegs.com - collectible cards, games, toys, comics

  25. #25
    SitePoint Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLeon View Post
    I totally forgot to add that pay-for-placement search engines (such as GoTo and FindWhat) have been very successful for me. What I like about them is the quick turnaround--your site can be listed and start getting traffic in a week vs. possibly months in the regular search engines. And generally if one plays it right, a good amount of very targetted traffic can be gained for a very small cost.

    Thanks for this tip! I'm going to try it..

    Any new ones?


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