Trouble getting traffic to a niche based private network


I have started a social network for the mental health community. The site just went public 4 weeks ago, so it is relatively new. The purpose of the site is to connect families and individuals affected by mental illness.

I am having trouble getting traffic to my website, and also trouble getting people to sign up. So far, I only have about 15 users who have signed up in 4 weeks. I am to the point where I am getting about 220 page hits a day (this includes people who stumble upon the page and people who are members and navigate the page), which is double what it was 2 weeks ago. Money is a bit tight right now, so I haven’t advertised.

I will list what I have done so far to spread the word:

  • I have used Twitter as much as I can. I am unable to follow anyone else at this point (2000 followers) and I have 656 followers. I have actually had a few people sign up from my tweeting. For every 6 or 7 tweets, I tweet about myself once, so I’m not spamming too much.
    -I have used most of the popular social bookmarking sites.
    -I did a press release when the site became public, which has gotten spread around a little bit. The only press I have gotten has been from this, which has mostly been tweets and blogs.

Here are some things I haven’t done yet:

-I have done no advertising yet. For the most part, word of mouth, Twitter, and my press release account for the majority of my traffic.
-I have just started a plan where I will post on forums related to mental health in order to hopefully spread the word a bit, however this is more tedious than other methods.
-I have done no link exchanges yet, and according to my research, I have no backlinks yet. I would like to make this happen, I just don’t know much about it.

Since the site is private, it’s a niche (mental health, mental illness), and the business is the social network (revenue strictly from ads, donations, and media sales through Amazon), I feel like I am going to have more trouble making the money necessary in order to keep the site going.

Is there anything I am missing which I am not doing? Is web advertising worth the costs?

I would appreciate some input here on marketing a niche based private social network, or direct me to some info which could help me out. Thanks!

I think you must join many social bookmarking to promote your’e sites and business …
Or you can try to using facebook…
And submit article in many article submission to get traffic …Most important to do is consentrate in keyword for that …

Thanks and hoping can helps

Don’t just stick to Twitter and try promoting your website on other social networking as well. Start with sites like Digg, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn,