OK, so you’ve been through all the lessons so far and you’ve spent many hours designing, refining and writing your website – but how do you get it in front of the right eyeballs?
There are two worlds out there: off-line and on-line, and I’ll talk about these two separately. In each case I’ll provide you with a list of options and ideas and it will be up to you to decide which might be most appropriate for the subject of your website.
If your target audience is your local community then this should not be too difficult. Make sure that you include your full postal address and telephone number in a prominent position on your website and provide all your details to Google My Business. This is a free service where Google will list you and put you on your local Google Map.
If you want to find a wider audience than your immediate locality then you need to spread your net more broadly. Study the Online Promotion options below to see which might fit your model.
And, because this is a program about WordPress and I don’t want to stray too far off the subject, I’ll concentrate on ‘what’ to do rather than ‘how’ to do it. The purpose of this lesson is to give you some good ideas which you can then follow up with the relevant sources.
This is not too different from traditional promotion: you want to publicize your website in ink or paint or word of mouth, to be seen by people who are not stuck in front of a computer screen.
- Include the URL of your website in all your printed material: business cards, notepaper, labels, invoices, compliments slips, leaflets, flyers etc. Distribute as many pieces of paper as you can. Ask people to pass them on to others who may be more interested.
- Send out a Press Release to broadcast something topical, even to announce the fact that you have launched a website. Make friends with the reporters in your local press (who are usually hungry for anything to write about!) and keep regularly in touch with them.
- Incorporate the URL of your website in any advertisements about your activities: on your outside noticeboard, the back of your car, your local library or tourist office or church or other meeting venues.
- Word of mouth: tell everyone about your website and ask them to spread the word.
The ideal way to promote your website on-line is to get the search engines to do it for you and I will deal with this rather huge topic in Lesson 17 Search Engine Optimization.
Outside of the search engines there is still a lot you can do. Again, here I’ll supply a list of ideas which you can follow up as appropriate:
- Create a Facebook page which contains some pictures and which links back to your website. Post comments whenever you add something to your website, linking back to the relevant page. Ask like-minded users to become one of your Friends. Ask visitors to your website to ‘like’ your Facebook page.
- Open a Twitter account and follow other users whose attention you would like to attract. You want them to follow you back. Link back to your website in your tweets. Search for hashtags that have some relevance to your topic and quote these in your tweets. Integrate Twitter into your website via Jetpack (see Lesson 12) and display your tweets and an invitation for visitors to follow you.
- Use other social media sites such as LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and others to post entries that mention your website.
- Use the RebelMouse plugin (see Lesson 12) to link back to all the above sites.
- Post comments on other blogs or websites where they allow you to quote your own website URL. Apart from attracting visitors to your site, links from other websites will also help with SEO (Lesson 17).
- Offer to write articles for other blogs/websites in return for a link back to your website. If you can establish yourself as an expert on your subject you may get invitations back to write on other blogs.
- Use an email account on your domain rather than a hotmail or gmail or yahoo email address. This looks much more professional and will attract more attention to your domain URL.
- Include your website description and URL on your email signature.
- Join forums related to your topic and add genuinely helpful posts and replies. After a while you should gain a reputation as someone worth paying attention to.
- Start an email list. Invite visitors to your website to join your list and aim to retain their attention by sending out thought-provoking emails on a regular basis. Writing a newsletter is one good way of doing this as is emailing your blog posts via JetPack (see Lesson 12). Sending out a freebie is a good way of inciting people to sign up to email and repeat visitors are often the most valuable. Mailchimp offers a free starting email account and they also provide a useful WordPress plugin for visitors to sign up.
- Add your website to appropriate on-line directories.
- If you are in a serious business, buy advertisements on Facebook and/or Google Adwords.
I hope this has given you some good ideas about spreading the word about your website.
Don’t think that you have to do all of this: I recommend that you choose two or three of the above items to start with and see how they develop. Once you’ve made a start you’ll find that the traffic begins to flow and then your audience will evolve and grow naturally.
In the next lesson we get down to the real McCoy: Search Engine Optimization, focusing on Google. See you there!
- Check out Offline steps 1-4 to promote your website and choose and least one to do
- Check out Online steps 1-12 and decide which might be relevant to you
- Make a plan to continually promote your website
I’m starting a personal blog and I don’t care who or where my readers are. I just want people to read my blog posts!
If you’ve got particular views about some topics and you want to attract the attention of those who might agree (or disagree) then it might be a good idea to start with Twitter. Post regularly to your blog, tweet summaries of your posts and follow those who occupy the same cybersphere. As tweeters follow you in return your audience will expand and you’ll get retweets and favorites. Then look at the other on-line options and pick one or two that would fit in with your style.
I’m starting an Internet Marketing website and I want to make as much money as possible from it. Where do I start?
Making money on-line can be quite a challenge because there is so much competition out there. The design and content of your website is really important and it will help for you to narrow down the profile of your ideal customer. Male or female? Age? Interests? Country? Income? What problems do they need to solve? Ask yourself questions like this and look at the on-line options above. Facebook might be the place to find your target customers and an email list will definitely help. You also need to pay attention to SEO so that you get Google on your side.
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