We don’t need to promote our sites by rushing out to buy megaphones like the guy in the photo above – whilst this could be a great way of attracting attention, you would still need to get out of bed! In this article I will tell you how to effectively promote your site without ever needing to take such drastic steps.
Decide on your message or unique selling point
Before you start promoting your site the lazy way, you need to work out what your unique selling point is. What does your site offer that is different to all the others? When you have that worked out, you need to come up with a tagline to attract attention.
For those of you not from the UK, there is a television show over here where Gordon Ramsay (a celebrity chef) goes to failing restaurants in an effort to turn them around. In the episode aired last night, he decided to make the country pub he was tasked with making succeed synonymous with the concept of ‘Real Gravy’. Now, it didn’t matter whether other restaurants and pubs were using real or granulated gravy, the fact was they were publicising their restaurant under the banner of ‘The Campaign For Real Gravy’. A fantastic tagline, and one that is sure to attract attention – which it did.
Once you have your tagline, you can be inventive and use it as a means of making your promotional efforts even easier.
Sell your site in every communication you make
Are you a member of any forums or other online communities? If so, you should ensure you have a link to your website in your signature – this is where you can use that tagline you worked so hard to come up with! Before adding your site to your signature, check the signature policy of the forum in question. If in doubt, ask before you add your link – the last thing you want is to be accused of spamming. A successful tagline will ensure that the link to your website stands out amongst everyone else’s.
Do you own more than one website? Promote your sites on each website that you own. All my websites contain prominent links to the other sites I run – failure to self-promote is ridiculous, yet I see it happen all the time. Be proud of your websites – if you have more than one you have no excuse not to cross-promote all of your sites.
Promoting your site through email
Firstly, let me be clear that I am not talking about email newsletters or other such mailshots. I have covered the value of email newsletters before. Rather, I am talking about promoting your website in emails you send in response to those you are already receiving.
Let me give you an example. Today, I received an email from someone asking to exchange links with Soap Forum. Their site was a forum, so when I replied to their email approving the link exchange request, I wrote a couple of lines about this blog. Here is what I wrote at the end of the email:
Just in case you are interested, I also run a community building blog that offers help and advice for developing successful online communities. If you have a spare few moments you may like to drop by – hopefully you will find some useful articles there. The URL is:
The message was short and sweet, I outlined why I thought my blog would be of interest and I included a clickable link. I have no doubt that the recipient of this email will have clicked on the link, out of curiosity if nothing else. Regardless, that is one person who visited this blog that would not otherwise have dropped by.
How many emails to you send in response to those you receive every day? Are you taking full advantage of the potential these emails offer? Even if you don’t have another site to promote, you can still add promotional value to those emails by encouraging further investigation into your site.
For example, let’s say you run a forum and there are a few good threads going that are creating a decent amount of debate, or you have written some great content that you are particularly proud of. How about including a couple of lines at the end of your email inviting the recipient to check out the threads and get involved?
Every communication should include some form of promotion
You should be aiming to promote your site in every form of communication you make. When you chat to friends and family, mention your website. When you contribute and get involved in forums, you should include a link to your site (if permitted). When you respond to emails you should include a couple of lines of promotional information – just don’t get too carried away!
Utilising existing communication methods to promote your site is the easiest method of site promotion there is. Even the laziest webmaster can easily utilise the methods outlined in this article – after all, you are not creating new work; you are simply including your promotional messages in work or activities that you are already doing!