By Hollis Thomases, ZDTV
For anyone who has little to spend, but is willing to spend a little elbow grease to get some exposure, here's a list of low-cost or no-cost website marketing ideas:
- Submit to search engines and directories.
- Write a compelling email signature file.
- Co-brand or partner with other websites (revenue or advertisment-sharing).
- Use content placement (write pieces of information to appear elsewhere on the Web.)
- Use paid-for rankings on GoTo.com.
- Participate in email and on-site discussion lists, forums, bulletin boards, newsgroups, etc.
- Develop your own opt-in email list and send out notices, updates, special offers, etc.
- Take out low-cost classified advertising in targeted email newsletters.
- Use classified advertising in targeted print media.
- Develop an affiliate program.
- Give away customized ad specialty items with each sale.
- Print your URL on the outside of your delivery boxes or use a bumper sticker on company vehicles.
- Trade products in exchange for advertising exposure.
Here are a still few more ideas:
- Share registration ("registration-sharing") with other non-competitive sites (on your site's registration page, offer people the opportunity to check off a box to also register with your partner's site and vice versa.)
- Work the awards sites (Cool Site of the Day, What's Cool). See Virtual Promote.
- Send out a press release. Use Bacon's Information Services for only $0.85/off-peak fax delivery or one of the wire services such as Business Wire. DigitalWork is currently offering a free trial of distribution via Business Wire in one geographical region, code word: amherst.
- Post your press release for free at PRWeb.
- Write a letter to the editor of a favorite magazine or journal of your target industry -- don't forget to include your email address and URL!
- Swap ads with other email newsletters.
- Give something away for free on your site and then register your site with free-for-all sites such as Free Center.
- Sponsor a contest or a sweepstakes using something of value you already own, manufacture, or produce. Promote it on contest and sweepstakes sites such as Winning Ways.
- Don't forget, with this approach, that you've got to throw in a hefty dose of patience and persistence, as well.
Hollis Thomases is the founder and president of Web Ad.vantage, Inc., an Internet marketing, promotions, and public relations firm, she is a widely-published industry author and syndicated columnist. Ms. Thomases' firm focuses on developing and implementing customized Web marketing plans for medium to large-sized businesses. She can be reached by email at email@example.com.