20 Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website

July 14, 2008 at 7:22 am | Posted in Promotion | 1 Comment
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Today I’m sharing more great online marketing tips from Penny Sansevieri. I swear, I’m going to ask her to adopt me. I’m going to show up on her cyber porch, stuff my big ass into a basket, don a frilly bonnet, pin a note to my shirt, and then ring the doorbell.

She’s definitely my online marketing mentor (even if she doesn’t know it). Because I need all the help I can get and she always seems to have all the answers I’m seeking.

So, if you haven’t done it yet, sign up for her Red Hot Internet Marketing Newsletter. It rocks. And you can thank me later.

On to the good stuff…

Embarking on an Internet marketing campaign doesn’t have to be difficult, tricky, or complicated. Here are a few simple ways (20 in fact) that you can easily implement to get tons of traffic to your site right now!

1. Write articles: believe it or not, this is an incredible tool for driving traffic. Well-written, relevant articles can net quite a bit of activity to your website. Don’t forget to add your URL in your byline. Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length. You can send articles to sites like: articlecity.com, goarticles.com, submityourarticles.com, and ezinearticles.com.

**Annette’s Note***Do not post your articles to these article syndication sites if you have sold or intend to sell them to print or online publications. You’ll piss off the editors and devalue the articles. However, using a syndication site will give you exposure and allow anyone to use your article for their audience, so weigh the pros and cons and figure out what you want: published clips or random exposure.

2. Social bookmark *everything*–and I do mean everything–you can bookmark each page of your site and each blog entry you post. While this might seem tedious, it’s worth it. You’ll see a strong increase in traffic if you social bookmark each page on your site and each of your blog entries.

3. List yourself in the best directories–you’ll have to pay for this but since most people don’t do this (since everyone’s looking for a freebie) you could really enhance your traffic by getting a listing: http://dir.yahoo.com, www.business.org, http://botw.org/.

4. Get yourself listed at: DMOZ.org–it’s not easy to get listed there, but worth the effort.

5. Review: if you can review hot new products or books within your market, head on over to Amazon.com and start positioning yourself as an expert. In order to do this effectively, you’ll want to create an Amazon profile and make sure and sign each review with a reference to your URL (your website). You can also go to epinions.com and revoo.com to review products as well.

6. Offer a freebie on Craigslist: you’ll be amazed at how much traffic you get from a single Craigslist ad. The key here is to send people to a page on your site and make sure they have to sign up for something (like your email newsletter) before they can grab their freebie. That way you’re not just getting traffic, you’re also building your list.

7. Create a “recommended by” list on your Del.icio.us page–you can do this by logging on and creating an account at del.icio.us and then tagging articles, blogs, and other content you think is important to your readership. Then offer this page as a resource site. You can add a link to this page in your email signature line or on your web site.

8. And speaking of your email signature line–do you have one? If you don’t, create one. Believe it or not, people do follow these links. You’ll be amazed how many folks read email signature lines. I have one and change it several times a year, depending on what we’re doing or promoting or what books I have coming out.

9. Lend a helping hand: you can be an answer person at Yahoo Answers–you don’t have to spend hours on there, but maybe a few minutes a week. Make sure and include a link back to your site following your answers.

10. Set up a social networking site using Facebook.com, Linkedin.com, or Squidoo. It’s free and easy to do, just don’t forget the all-important link back to your site!

11. Make sure your blog has an RSS feed so if you capture a reader you don’t lose them if they forget to bookmark your site or blog.

12. Join relevant groups at Yahoo groups. You’ll find everything from groups on growing your small business, writing books, finding your passion, even underwater basket weaving. I dare you to find one that isn’t right for what you’re promoting. When you do find the right group, join and participate as you can!

13. Podcasting is another great way to drive traffic. Start a podcast by going to Audio Acrobat http://bookmkr.audioacrobat.com/. There are other programs you can use, but I love Audio Acrobat. You can record the podcast over the phone quickly and easily and then hit the “send” button on your computer once it’s recorded and the system will syndicate it to 27 podcast directories including iTunes. It’s a great way to let people know about you and your web site!

14. Start a blog and then once you do, start commenting on other people’s blogs, linking to them from your site or adding them to your blogroll.

15. Inbound links: don’t squander your time (or a perfectly good link) on smaller low-traffic sites. Instead spend your time going after high traffic, high quality sites. Good sites should have a PR (page ranking) of 4-6 depending on the market. You can find out what a site’s page ranking is by downloading the Google toolbar which comes with a PR feature built in.

16. Start an email newsletter: while it may not seem like a newsletter that you email can drive traffic to your site, you’d be surprised at the effectiveness of this type of promotion. If your newsletter (like your articles) is interesting and relevant to your audience, you’ll find that it has a huge pass-through factor, meaning that it is passed from one email subscriber to another. Also, if you have an email newsletter you should never, ever go to a single event without your handy signup sheet. Yes, you can even use offline events to drive traffic to your web site.

17. And speaking of offline efforts: if you’re ever quoted in a magazine or other publication, make sure and mention your URL as it’s appropriate to the topic. Don’t be too pushy about this, but do not forget to tell folks you have a web site that may be a great resource for the topic of your interview.

18. If you have products to sell, why not get a store on eBay? This site gets a tremendous amount of traffic and on your sales page you’re allowed to list your URL. It’s another great way to get an inbound link and a way for people to find you.

19. Load a video on YouTube and 57 other video sites (if you want to know what these sites are I’ve listed them on my blog: http://www.redhotinternetpublicity.com/blog/?p=43–if you don’t have a video or don’t know how to create one, contact us and we’ll refer you to our fabulous book video people!

20. While this isn’t a tip per se, it’s still important. If you’re going to go through all the trouble of getting traffic to your site, make sure your site is converting this traffic into something. Get folks to sign up for something, your newsletter, the RSS feed on your blog.

Whatever it is, getting their email address will help you remarket to them when the time is right. Studies show that visitors landing on a site often don’t buy the first time. That’s ok! You want to get them into your marketing funnel so you can market to them again and again–not in a way that’s obtrusive, offensive or downright annoying, but in a way that is helping them with their own mission.

An example of this might be an email newsletter. A helpful, informative newsletter is a fantastic funnel. A blog is another great way to keep people in your marketing loop without bombarding them with “please buy my stuff” email messages. Also, make sure you know what your traffic numbers are before you launch into any Internet marketing campaign. By traffic numbers, I mean how many people are visiting your site. You want to know this so you can gauge a before and after view of your marketing efforts.

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Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

Start a Stampede to Your Blog

July 2, 2008 at 7:27 am | Posted in Blogging | Leave a comment
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I’ll be the first one to admit that I didn’t have the faintest idea how to really use my blog effectively to promote my book. I knew my key mistake were: not blogging as often as I should and not having a theme or a solid idea of what direction I wanted to go with it.

Initially, I had the idea of posting my quirky personal commentary and additional fun insights into the various scenes in my book on the exact days that they appear in the diary entry structure throughout my memoir. And that’s what I did in some of the early posts, which you can see here: http://thebreak-updiet.blogspot.com/

I’ve since realized I need more than that. I need not only entries that tie-in to the content of my book, but also posts that focus on topics of interest to my readers: tips on how to get over a break-up, online dating, communication in relationships, etc. I’ve also heard that if you tie your blog to celebrity news or hot topics in the media, that will also bring you new traffic from Google searches.

But here’s the thing, I’m also a bit of a technotard when it comes to figuring out how to promote my blog and get my voice heard in such a noisy online world. So, in my search to find resources to solve some of these deficiencies of mine, I’ve started to collect useful tips about blogging. And, instead of keeping all this great info to myself, I thought I’d share a very helpful article I discovered.

TAG, YOU’RE IT!
by Penny Sansevieri

One of the biggest questions I get from authors is: “I have a blog but how do I get people to it?” Well first off, you want to keep blogging, but there are other things you can do too, and we’ll discuss two of the most powerful ones here.

If you’ve spent any kind of time online, you’ve probably heard the terms: tag or social bookmarking. But what *exactly* do these terms mean?

If you think of the term “tagging” like you would a name tag at a party or networking event it will start to make much more sense. Generally, when you post a blog, it’s recommended that you “tag” it with various terms appropriate to the message of the blog. The Wikipedia definition of “tag” is: A tag is a keyword which acts like a subject or category. This keyword is used to organize web pages, subjects, and objects on the Internet.

When you think of it this way, what you’re really doing is organizing each of your blog posts so that folks can find and search them. By tagging each of them with specific keywords, you’ll come up faster when someone searches those keywords than if you left your blog blank. Make sense? Ok, then let’s get started learning how to tag. (I promise, it’s very easy.)

When creating tags, there are two types that you can create. You can imbed your blog with tags using services like Technorati (more on that in a minute) or you can go to social networking sites and tag your blog as well. Honestly, I recommend a combination of both.

Social bookmarking is a way of “bookmarking” favorite sites (i.e. yours) so you can easily share them (via tags) with the Internet community and especially folks who are searching on your search term. I’ll explain how to get your site bookmarked but, for now, take a look at sites like www.digg.com and del.icio.us.com – these are the top two social bookmarking sites you’ll want to use. There are others but we’ll discuss these in a minute.

Ok, here we go!

Simple steps to tagging:

1) Create a blog post: just write your blog, don’t worry about doing anything different.

2) Identify some keywords you’ll want to use: just pick some keywords, as many as you want. Don’t worry about getting too scientific with this, just be thorough.

3) Create your tags: head on over to http://www.egmstrategy.com/ice/tag-generator.cfm and generate tags (this will be choice #1). Once you input the keywords make sure the default button is checked at Technorati. Then go to the bottom and click “generate code” – this code will get posted right into your blog. It’s that easy! (tip: always post this code at the end of your blog) When you’re done you’ll see code in your blog like this: http://www.redhotinternetpublicity.com/blog/?p=45

4) Social bookmarking: simply put, you want to tag each of your blog posts in one or all of the following social networking sites. The one slightly time- consuming piece is that you’ll need to set up accounts for each of these but once you do, it will take you a minute or so per post to add a social bookmarking tag to each of them. Here are some of the most popular social bookmarking sites you’ll want to use: digg.com, Del.icio.us, myweb.yahoo.com (this is still in beta but I recommend using it anyway), blinklist.com, spurl.net, reddit.com, furl.net, and stumbleupon.com

5) Nuts and bolts: each of these sites has a different set of criteria for bookmarking your blog post. If you’re blogging every day this might seem pretty tedious. If it’s too much work to tag and bookmark each of your posts, handpick a few each week and focus on those. The idea is that you want to get these keywords out in cyberspace so folks can find you.

Ready for a final tip? If you want to impress customers with your endless list of resources why not share your Del.icio.us page with your readers/customers? Del.icio.us gives each registered member their own page with all of their bookmarks. Ideally you’ll want to include other resources besides your own blog but a link to this page could be a fantastic way to gain additional exposure not just for your blog, but to your wealth of resources as well. (here’s my page: http://del.icio.us/bookmkr)

Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques. http://www.amarketingexpert.com

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Now, all I need to do is carve out time to implement Penny’s great tips! Give it a try yourself and let me know how it goes!


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