7 Ways to Promote your Site with a Bit of Money
Some time ago I wrote an article titled “Are you marketing your blog?” where I argued that there is a myth around the Internet that bloggers and webmasters should not spend money on advertising. The myth comes in great extent from the success stories of people that managed to create popular websites without spending a dime on advertising or other paid promotion techniques.
The reality is that most of those successful websites were pioneers on their niche, hence why they became popular without spending money on advertising. Now a days the market is crowded and you have thousands of websites and blogs even for small segments. As a consequence paid promotional techniques are becoming an important factor of any successful marketing strategy.
Below you will find 7 ways to promote your website or blog with a bit of money. You can use them to generate raw traffic, improve your search engine rankings, gain visibility on your niche and so on. Despite the initial investment most of those techniques will pay off on the short to medium term. If you are expecting to make money with your website there is no reason to assume that you will not need to spend some as well, right?
1. AdWords: Google make billions of dollars every year from the AdWords-AdSense combo. Why is that? Because they work. Adwords is probably the most efficient method to generated raw traffic for your website. In order to get started you should create an account, add lots (by lots I mean hundreds if not thousands) of keywords that are related your site and set the maximum Pay-per-Click rate at $0.01. After that raise the rate by $0.01 every week or so until you start getting the desired amount of daily clicks. Notice that at lower bids the keywords will be reported as “Inactive for Search”. Do not worry about it, it just means that your ads will not appear on the search network (Google’s search results), but they will appear on the content network (websites of people that use AdSense).
2. Site-Specific AdWords: if you pay attention to the AdSense units you will see that most of them have a link titled “Advertise on this site”. This feature enables AdWords advertisers to create customized ads that will be displayed only on specific websites. Those ads work on a CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) rather than a CPC (cost per click) basis, but they can generate a good amount of very targeted traffic since you will be in control of where the ad will be displayed and of the message. You can get even better results if you use some creativity when designing the ads, click here for some examples.
3. StumbleUpon Ads: StumbleUpon is a very innovative social bookmarking site that allows users to discover great websites by using a browser toolbar. When the user clicks on “Stumble” he will be delivered a website that people with similar interested rated positively. The user is also able to give positive and negative ratings to any website that he visits on the Internet. StumbleUpon also offers advertising campaigns, called StumbleUpon Ads, where you can deliver your website directly to those “Stumblers”. It costs $0.05 per page delivered, but since the websites that appear on StumbleUpon usually have a high quality it is very likely that part of that paid traffic will convert into regular readers.
4. Text Link Ads: if you are trying to increase your search engine rankings to leverage organic traffic you should consider buying some text link ads. While those text links can also generate direct traffic the biggest benefit you will have is an improvement on your search rankings, specially if the links are placed on authoritative and relevant websites. There are several places to buy text links, including specialized companies like Text-Link-Ads and Text Link Brokers or online forums like Digital Point‘s market place.
5. Direct Banner Sales: most established websites sell banner ads or sponsorship plans directly. Those advertising deals usually are structured with weekly or monthly fees, regardless of the number of impressions or clicks that you will get. Despite this characteristic a banner placement can represent good value for money because apart from the direct traffic you will also create visibility and brand awareness. Readers of the website where you will display your banner will associate the message on the banner with your site or blog. Should they come across that banner or message two or three times it is very likely that they will get curious and decide to check what the buzz is all about. Another advantage of banner placements is the fact that people will unconsciously think that the author of the website endorses your content or product.
6. Sponsored Reviews: buying some sponsored reviews is a good way to kick-start a website. They will bring backlinks, traffic and RSS subscribers. There are many market studies confirming that “word of mouth” is the most efficient way to capture people’s attention, and that is just what you get with sponsored reviews. You can either pay a low price (sometimes as low as $5 per review) to get a large number of reviews from small sites or you can focus on large players (which can charge several hundreds of dollars for a single review) that are authorities on your niche. The best way to purchase sponsored reviews is through sites like SponsoredReviews.com, ReviewMe or PayPerPost.com.
7. Blog Networks: there are several blog networks founded around a traffic exchange principle. Basically you create an account for you blog and you earn credits by surfing other members’ blogs. Afterwards you can use those credits to make people visit your blog or to display your banners around the network. The interesting part is that most of those blog networks allow users to purchase credits with money, and the price is really convenient. You should be able receive hundreds of visitors or to get thousands of banner impressions for less than 10 dollars. Some blog networks that sell credits include Blog Explosion, Blog Soldiers and Blog Advance.
147 Responses to “7 Ways to Promote your Site with a Bit of Money”
Thanks for the tips are good and I believe they’ll come in handy in growing the traffic to my website. Never quite understood Ad words but I do now.
However, the answer am looking for today is, how do I convert the traffic already coming to my site into ad clicks / revenue? Nobody ever seems to click any of the affiliate links on my site.
Anyone out there with ideas please have a look at my site and send some idea as to what am doing wrong so that I can start making something out of the website.
That was an interesting read. Most of it was quite general knowledge, but useful to those just starting out. The key word is advertising. People won’t be able to find you unless you tell them.
Ireckon Web Design
It’s an interesting approach to AdWords, and the direct opposite to what I would usually advocate, but I can see how it could apply to a “semi-commercial” site such as a blog with little to no marketing budget.
Having had to resurrect several PPC accounts that I have inherited that have had their Quality Scores annihilated through reckless impressions on semi-related keywords and penny pinching bidding I always recommend jumping in the deep end, spending money up front on the search network to fine tune your ad copy to maximise CTR while filtering to find that balance with an acceptable bounce rate.
Once you have the numbers to make some statistically backed up decisions you can channel your money into what works and cut what doesn’t.
I would still suggest that anyone considering bidding on every remotely related term under the sun do so on a campaign with the search network turned off. Atleast that way if you can pick up a few penny clicks for some obscure term you might be able to finance your ad spend with a few penny clicks when they leave.
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Great post. Although this will cost you some dollars but having an online presence through these ways of promoting your blog is a must just like any other site. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Great tips! Thanks for the sharing guys. Still looking into free or inexpensive ways of marketing since we are providing free services to the community…
I think social media is also a best channel to promote blogs without any charges. It is a successful marketing tools help to promote your site among large number of audiances atonce and also get quality traffic. It is an another good way to promote website among netizens. Thx for sharing your experienced tips.
Heya – I just started blogging. I have 3 followers – (including myself:) How cool is this! Its so awesome to share thougths..but truly have no idea how to get the word out there…
Youâ€™ve pretty much answered all my doubts with this and have done a great job with the article.
Like yourself I’ve been blogging about this a bit and you’ve given me some good ideas for my next post. Thanks, I look forward to reading more 🙂
Hi, good information here in your post. I just wanted to agree with some of the comments about hiring an seo instead to write content for your site and manage your content. At least in my case I don’t want to learn about and compete with the top PPC gurus and pros I’d rather let another pro do it rather than creating ads that just eat up money without the proper techniques.
I’ve recently started using facebook ads but I’m not really convinced by their PPC system. I’d rather have advertising on niche websites regarding my topics, products or services. Better yet in forums where people discuss your products/services and get involved with the community.
Anyways, thanks for the info i’ll be applying some of these tips.
Another great post. I actually spend quite a few dollars with ads but it works only temporarily and its totally waste of money. However I think PPC is not only good if u use it right way other wise it is dangerous and also it can burn out of our cash
Thanks for the 7 way to promote your site article! It was very informative and I look forward to reading more of them from you!
Web Marketing Search Engine Optimization
Another great post. I actually spend quite a few dollars with ads but it works only temporarily and its totally waste of money. However I think PPC is not only good if u use it right way other wise it is dangerous and also it can burn out of our cash…-shobazee
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