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Website marketing on a shoestring budget

By Hollis Thomases, ZDTVFor 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.

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.

More Ideas
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 hollis@webadvantage.net.