Getting lots of traffic that buys, getting search engine approval and quality links to your website depends a great deal on the quality of your website. All the traffic in the world won’t matter if your site doesn't give your visitors what they are looking for and hold their interest. Yes, traffic is important but it’s not worth much if the traffic you get isn’t interested in what you have or worse yet, they can’t find what they need.


So before working on generating traffic we’ll start with creating a good foundation, your website.
12 Ways to Generate Free Traffic to Your Website

1. Submit your site to search engines and directories – NOT!
2. Write articles
3. Post to Forums
4. Exchanging links
5. Develop an e-book or free report
6. Write Testimonials
7. Write product reviews
8. Write a press release
9. Publish an Ezine
10. Create A Blog
11. Start A Discussion Forum
12. Social Media – The Final Frontier

Website Optimization

Every page on your web site must be optimized for keywords, content and organization.
Most website optimization refers to optimizing your site for the search engines, this is certainly important but don’t get so hung up on the search engines that you lose site of your human visitors, after all they are the ones that bring in the sales.

I’ve found that if I keep my human visitors in mind and deliver the content they are most interested in the search engines will find value in my site as well.

Below are listed some site optimization strategies that will be appreciated by both the human and search engine visitor.

The site header is across the very top of your site and should be where your logo or business name goes. A nice image, picture or header banner that supports the subject matter is always a nice touch. If your header was created as a graphic include an “alt tag” and place your best keyword phrase that describes you site in the tag.

Side Columns will contain your site’s primary navigation, which should remain consistent across the whole site, meaning every page of your site should contain the same navigation. It should list all the main categories of the website so users can find their way around from every page.

Your navigation columns can be on the right or the left, the preference is yours. If you choose to have columns on both sides then you can choose to note things like special sales or new items of interest. This is also a great place for your newsletter sign-up form.
I have had my newsletter form on both sides of my sites and find that I get better response with it on the left hand side at the top of my navigation, however many sites are reporting that placing your newsletter on the top right has proved positive for gaining more sign-ups. You will simply need to test this.

A Top menu bar. Some sites place navigation in the top menu bar which goes across the page under the header. I don't like this for two reasons. First it restricts the number of menu links that you can have. Secondly, if you’re going to use it to include all your navigation you’ll have to use flash based drop down menus to enable them to accommodate more links. Flash menus are not user friendly. They force your reader to search for links to the content they are looking for.
Don't make your users work for what they’re looking for. Also search engines find it harder to index sites with flash menus.

The Bottom menu barThis strip at the foot of every page generally contains links to the site’s terms and conditions, privacy statement, sitemap, ‘about’ page and links or resources page.
The central column contains the content or the body of the page.
Use a search box on each page and place it on the top right just under the header. Google puts out a free search box through Adsense Ads. It works quite well for use on your own site.

Here’s where you can go to sign up for Google Adsense. Once signed up, go to the section “Adsense for Search’ and follow the directions for adding a search box to your site.

Use a date/time stamp. This in not mandatory but it does give your site the impression that it is up-to-date and current. Here’s time stamp html you can use for your site. Simply cut and paste into your site where you want it to go. I generally keep it to the top left directly under my header. <script language="javascript"> <!-- document.write(Date()); --> </script>

Keyword Selection and Optimization

Don’t underestimate the importance of good keyword selection. It’s how you will make your website stand out among the rest. Focus carefully on your site’s relevant keywords and key phrases.

In order to demonstrate this concept I use the keyword tool Wordtracker. You can use whatever tool you prefer however if you would like to follow along, you can use the Wordtracker Free Trial:

1)     Brainstorm Your Site’s Keywords

Start by brainstorming some of the keywords you suspect people might use to find your product. 
Using Wordtracker, type in your best keyword into the related keywords window and you will get a list of terms that are related. If you’re using another tool, work to find as many related terms as possible.

Finding related terms
For example, if you had a site is about acne, these would be some related terms:
·        Acne
·        face blemish
·        pimple
·        zits
·        whitehead
·        blackhead
·        oily skin When searching for keywords and phrases search using various word forms as well. For example, the word soft has many forms:
·        Work
·        Works
·        Worker
·        Working
·        Worked
·        So a search for ‘work at home’ might also include:
·        ‘working at home’
·        ‘worker at home’
·        ‘works at home’
·         
2. Keyword Results
When using tools to find keywords, most tools, including Wordtracker show you the following results:

Keyword – The exact term that people are typing into search engines.
Count – The number of times that keyword has been searched. Wordtracker refers to the last 60 days, most other tools use within the last month.
KEI (Keyword Index) - The KEI compares the Count result with the number of Competing Web pages; the higher the KEI number for the search phrase, the better target the search phrase appears to be.
A rule of thumb to judge KEI:

• Less than 10 Poor
• 10 – 100 Fair to Good
• 400 + Excellent

You’ll find that most keywords don’t have a good KEI but don’t let that keep you from using them. Many keywords have lots of competing web pages – that’s ok. As long as the keywords have good search counts go ahead and use them. There are plenty of strategies you can use to beat out the competition, things like good web page optimization and getting quality links.

Competition – When checking the keyword competition you can use a keyword tool or you can simply type the keyword into Google and see how many web pages come up for that keyword. For example, if I type in “acne remedies” into Google (with quotes) at the time of these writing 350,000 web pages come up. (These are web pages not web sites)
There are no absolutes on what’s good and what’s bad. In general I like to see a high search count with low competing web pages. Pages under 500,000 are pretty good, over a million is not.

Now we need to check the competition for the terms. If you are using Wordtracker, type in the keyword in the ‘Popularity Box’. When the keywords display, click on the keywords you want and add to your keyword basket. Next, click on the bottom right to go to Step 3. Then click on the “Competition Search” button. Grouping - You don’t want to base your business on one keyword. Instead, cluster your related keywords, this means grouping 5 or 10 keywords that mean the same thing.

For example the word ‘car’ would also include words like ‘automobile’, ‘vehicle’, ‘auto’ and probably a few others I haven’t thought of. This will be especially helpful when using pay-per-click advertising. PPC services want you to be term specific, this is often the difference between getting ads that display and ads that don’t …but that’s another topic all together.

When looking for keywords think in terms of problem statements and include these words with your main keyword or phrase:

advice begin best develop do effective example find fix free get guide help  hint  how to  idea implement improve  info  learn  low cost make  obtain remedy review secret simple solution  suggestion  technique tip useful unique want

3. Optimizing your site tags
Once you have 1-3 main keywords or keyword phrases for each page, include those phrases in the following tags:
For example, if your main keyword phrase is "pet supplies", here is how your <head> tags might look: <HEAD> <TITLE>Pet supplies -- Online pet supplies and pet accessories</TITLE>
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="pet supplies, pet accessories, pet supply store">
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="Online pet supplies: The pet supply store that has a complete line of pet accessories that you and your pet will love."> </HEAD>
Make sure your web page has a headline tag that contains your best keyword or keyword phrase, in this example it would be ‘pet supplies’.
<h1> Pet Supplies </h1>
Also place this keyword phrase in the first and last paragraph of your page.
If you are using graphics on your webpage make sure you use an “alt tag” and place your best keyword for that page in the tag. Here’s an example of an alt tag that uses the main keyword phrase for “pet supplies” <img src="pet.gif" alt="pet supplies">

Provide Quality Content

In today’s internet environment your site has to offer good, no, I take that back, “excellent”, content. It’s the only way you will rise above the competition.

This means your content should be as original and useful as you can make it. The search engines are getting smarter and they can spot rehashed, old or duplicate copy. Sites that demonstrate that kind of content definitely won’t rank well meaning you’ll receive a lot less traffic.

When I did a little research on Google looking for the top 10 pages for the top 10 most searched keywords, here’s what I noticed the pages had in common:
Frequent updates - The sites were updated at least every few weeks with new and original content.
• There were few, if any, spelling or grammar errors
• Sentences and paragraphs were short. Sentences were about 10-12 words or less and paragraphs consisted of 1- 4 lines. There was no rambling, just concise content that gets right to the point.
• Bulleted or numbered lists were found in the text. The search engines, and people too, like bulleted or numbered lists.
• Text containing synonyms & root word variations of the main keyword phrase.
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is what the search engines are using today. Put simply, this means the search engines look for synonyms related to your keywords. They also look for root variations as well. For example, phone, phones, phoning.
• The pages have a personal voice. The writer told stories, gave personal accounts, tips and strategies. S(he) spoke as if writing a personal letter to the reader.
• They had many content pages, the more the better.

More ideas for writing good content
•  Write in a conversational style. Write like you’re talking to a friend, make it sound personal. Make the reader feel that the text is coming from a real person. Nobody wants to read technical, corporate sounding text unless they have to. Interjecting a personal style makes your document much easier to read and certainly more appealing.

• Stick to one idea per paragraph, don’t ramble on or get preachy.
• Don’t make your sentences long and wordy. Readers generally have short attention spans so get to the point as quickly as you can. You’ll lose your readers otherwise.
·        Let your personality shine through. Let your readers get to know YOU. If you have a humorous streak then be funny. If you’re a little sarcastic, that’s ok, simply try to come across in a way that’s not offensive. The idea is to create interest through your personality. Allow people to get to know and like you.
·        Put the most important, attention getting information at the top. This is your best chance at getting your reader’s attention so start off with what’s most important at the very beginning. This also goes for your main keywords, keep them as close to the top as possible.
·        Use simple, easy to understand words. You’ll have readers of all backgrounds and reading levels so it’s important to connect with everyone who arrives at your site. Don’t use big words and complex thoughts. Besides, most people read all day long, if they’re looking for information they want to get to it fast and easy. Keep it as simple as 5th or 6th grade reading level.
·        Freesticky.com has excellent content for you to use on your website. They provide appeal, usefulness, and traffic. All the content is free and they offer lots of interactive tools and fun things that viewers will be interested in and help them to remember your site. They’re not called ‘sticky’ for nothing.

Pages to Include on your website

The search engines, directories and many prominent web sites look for elements that indicate legitimacy and build a positive reputation. Therefore, the following things should be included on your website. Also, each of these should be included as a link on every page of your website, preferably at the bottom of each page.

Site Map

If your website creator doesn’t automatically create a site map for you, you can use Google’s
Sitemap Creator. It is a great source for helping you create a site map that the search engines will look fondly upon.

You could also create a site map manually. This is relatively easy to do. A site map is really just an outline of your site. It should include the title of each of your pages along with a short description and a link to the page.

For an example, here’s the link to my Homenotion site map:
http://www.homenotion.com/sitemap-alphabetical.html
The site map was automatically created for me by my website creation tool. It simply lists each page of my site and includes the page description tag. If you were to create your own site map that is all you would need to do.
“About Me” and/or “Contact” Page
Always include an about me page on your site. This gives your visitors information about you. It lets everyone know that you are a real person with a real business.
Your about me page should include your email address, business address (a P.O. Box is accepted) and business phone number. This adds legitimacy to your site and your business.
Because spam is such an issue, I recommend adding your email address as follows: “name at yourbusiness.com”
Tell your readers that when sending an email change the ‘at’ to a ‘@’. Your ‘about me’ page can also be labeled as ‘Contact Us’ if you prefer. Some sites actually have an ‘About Me’ page and a ‘Contact Us’ page. The choice is yours.

Privacy Statement

Add a Privacy statement. Especially if you will be collecting email addresses. It reassures your visitors that you are committed to protecting their privacy.

Important Google Tip: If you will be using Google Adsense Ads on your web site, Google now requires that you advise your visitors that you use Google AdSense on your website and they should know that Google may place and read cookies on their browser, or use web readers to collect information. You can find out more about this Google Advisory here: http://www.google.com/privacy_cookies.html

With a well designed, well optimized website to your credit you’ll now be ready to start sending traffic to your site.

1. Submit Your Site to Search Engines and Directories – Not!
For a long time submitting your site to the search engines and directories was the recommended thing to do, however today it’s a long and tedious process that in my opinion won’t do much for your web site.
The search engines crawl the web every day so they will find your site whether you submit it or not but whether you are accepted depends on the quality of your website. Your site’s quality is determined by how well your site is organized, its ease of navigation, its content and how many quality sites link to it.
Therefore the best thing you can do for acceptance into the search engines is to be sure you follow good site design and get plenty of quality links pointing to it.
That brings me to the point of the guide – to bring quality inbound links to your website. All the strategies used I this guide will not only help bring authority links to your website, they will also help depict you as an authority in your chosen niche.
Just in case you still feel the urge to submit to the search engines yourself, here are the 4 major search engines that accept free submissions, just be sure you follow their submission guidelines.

Google Site submit
Enter your site name. If your site is optimized correctly you could be picked up and indexed within just a few days. If not, you could wait months. This is where good website and keyword optimization come in handy and we’ll discuss this a bit later in section 5 (website and keyword optimization.)

DMOZ Site Submit
DMOZ is a challenge to get listed in. The DMOZ directory is quite large and often hard to figure out what category you should be in so read their instructions carefully. My recommendation is look around DMOZ and find a site that is well related to yours. When you find that site look at the address bar in DMOZ and see how it is categorized, then follow the same categorization for yours.

Yahoo Site Submit
This is Yahoo’s free search feature submission. However, for better visibility and almost instant access, it’s a good idea to submit your site to the Yahoo directory. Unfortunately the cost is $299.
Don’t worry if that’s a bit steep for your budget, submitting to the free search feature is a good start.

MSN Site Submit
Simply type your URL into the submit URL box. Only the main page of your website is necessary. This is true for all search engines.
You can pay the yearly fees to get included in other search engines and directories if you’re looking for quick entry, however remember that even if you pay for a listing, you are not guaranteed a TOP listing. That’s still dependent on how well your site is optimized.

What to submit
It’s only necessary to submit your home page. If your site provides good navigation and the navigation is included on each and every page of your site, the search engines bots will pick up the rest of your pages.
Hint: When designing your site only link three pages in. Anything deeper may not be picked up by the search engines. Here’s an example:
        Index page links to page 1
·        Page 1 has a link to page 2
·        Page 2 has a link to page
        Page 3 has a link to page 4 (page 4 may not be indexed unless it is linked to from other pages that are less than 3 links in.)

Finding more search engines & Directories
Do a search on the following phrases. You will get several returns where you can either add a link for free or exchange links. This will take some time but you will find lots of useful sites that you can also submit to.
Here’s an example:
# “add link” + “porcelain dolls”

You don’t have to do this for each item, however for each one you will turn up different sites that you can submit to.

# "Add link" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add a link" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add site" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add a site" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add your site" +"your keywords(s)"
# "Add URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add a URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add an URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add Website" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add a website" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Add your website" +"your keywords(s)"
# "Submit link" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit a link" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit site" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit a site" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit your site" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit a URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit an URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit Website" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit a website" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Submit your website" +"your keywords(s)"
# "Suggest link" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest a link" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest site" + "your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest a site" + "your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest a URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest an URL" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest Website" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest a website" +"your keyword(s)"
# "Suggest your website" +"your keywords(s)"
# "favorite links" +"your keyword(s)"
# "favorite sites" +"your keyword(s)"
# "favorite places" +"your keyword(s)"
# "favorite websites" +"your keyword(s)"
# "recommended links" +"your keyword(s)"
# "recommended sites" +"your keyword(s)"
# "recommended places" +"your keyword(s)"
# "recommended websites" +"your keyword(s)"
# "cool links" +"your keyword(s)"
# "cool sites" +"your keyword(s)"
# "cool places" +"your keyword(s)"
# "cool websites" +"your keyword(s)"
# "link exchange" +"your keyword(s)"
# reciprocal +"your keyword(s)"
# directory +"your keyword(s)"
# directories +"your keyword(s)"
# exchange +"your keyword(s)"
# resources +"your keyword(s)"
# links +"your keyword(s)"

2. Write & Submit Articles
I can honestly tell you that in my online career experience there is no better way to receive free traffic than by submitting articles.

If you can submit articles and get them picked up by newsletters, article directories or other prominent websites this creates free but powerful inbound linking to your website. Not only that, it lets people know that you are knowledgeable in your field which creates interest around you and your business. You’re not just a name any longer, you’re a credible resource.

How to write an article that gets noticed
Your article should contain a compelling headline that draws interest.
        Include an opening introduction paragraph
        Include facts and interesting points in the body
        Include a closing statement
        Include a well written resource box written in the third person.

Your Resource Box
Always include a well thought out resource box with each article and be sure that wherever you submit your articles that the resource box will be included with live links back to your website.
Your article resource box should be about 3-5 lines max. Whatever you do don’t make it an ad, so avoid hype and exaggeration. If you have a newsletter or a free report, mention it here. Be sure to also include your website link.

Whenever possible use an html resource box that includes your site’s best keyword phrase as an anchor tag hyperlink. This is important because this is how you will increase search engine page ranking for your keyword phrase.
Here’s an example of a resource box: Jane doe is the author & creator of the popular website ‘how to make millions online”. Learn what it takes to create a successful online business and get a copy of her hot tips newsletter for free.

Visit this link for details: Successful Online Business
Here’s how to write the above resource box in html with anchor text.
Resource Box with HTML anchor text: Jane doe is the author & creator of the popular website ‘how to make millions online”. Learn what it takes to create a successful online business and get a copy of her hot tips newsletter for free. Visit this link for details: <a href=”http://www.janedoe.com”> Successful Online Business </a>

Using Private Label Content
Not everyone is a writer and finding ghostwriters is a lot harder than it looks. I have found a few writers that I like but it took a lot of bad articles and plenty of researching before I found a ghostwriter that I liked. Once of the best alternatives is to use private label rights articles or PLR.

These are articles written specifically for certain niches that contain private label rights meaning they are yours to use any way you wish.

The benefit of using PLR is that it’s cheap. PLR comes in many forms; it can be articles, guides or courses and you are free to customize the content any way you like.
Most purchased PLR articles come in ‘article packs’ of about 10-20 articles and article packs are typically limited in the numbers of packs sold, this is to limit the numbers of sites that use the same articles.

Tips for using PLR Content
Use PLR content for creating site content, articles or even compiling ‘how to’ e-books or guides.

Don’t use PLR content straight out of the box. Even though good PLR content is often sold in limited quantities, there are still others that are using the same content. If they are using it straight out of the box and so are you, then you are diminishing your level of effectiveness. Take the time to customize the articles so they reflect your own voice and thoughts.

Additionally submitting PLR articles to article banks directly out of the box will be violating the article directory’s terms of service. So customize the content for uniqueness.

I use Wordflood which is a free content customization tool. It works by logically replacing wordsand thoughts so that your articles appear unique. It’s easy to use and only takes a few minutes to customize each article.
Add a few paragraphs of your own that add a personal element. This will keep your content unique as well.

Where to find good PLR content

There’s no shortage of PLR content on the web but a lot of it is junk. I use several resources for PLR however the best one I’ve encountered is ‘Niche Content”. So far they have been the best for providing the kind of quality content I look for; they also offer the best price for the amount of articles they give you. “Niche Content” also provides graphics as part of their content packages which I love and make very good use of.

Niche Idea: The “Niche Content” website has a lot of niche ideas, so even if you don’t use their content, they are handy for finding ideas for a niche website (in case you’re still looking for a good niche ) http://www.homenotion.com/nichecontent

Where to submit your articles
There are literally thousands of article directories and sites you can post articles to.
Beware that this can be a time consuming effort so I highly recommend automating the process if your budget will allow. I used to do all of the manually until it just took up too much of my time.

I’ve been using Article Announcer for a few years now and appreciate the ease and speed of getting this done in a timely fashion, however if you’re on a budget there’s certainly no shame in submitting manually.
Submitting articles to the following quality sites is a good start. Below it are additional sites you can submit to if you’re feeling ambitious

Article Banks:

        http://www.ezinearticles.com
        http://www.goarticles.com
        http://www.articlecity.com/article_submission.shtml
        http://www.webpronews.com/submit
        http://www.isnare.com
        http://www.associatedcontent.com
        http://www.ideamarketers.com
        http://www.articledashboard.com
        http://www.articlebase.com
        Social Media article sites:
        http://www.zimbio.com
        http://www.gather.com
        http://www.helium.com
        https://publish.associatedcontent.com/signup.shtml
Create an account on Squidoo and post each article you write as a lens.
        http://www.squidoo.com
Direct addresses to email articles to:
        bizarticle@homebiztools.com
        editor@addto.com
        info@sitepronews.com
        Post PDF versions of your articles to:
        http://www.scribd.com
        Additional Sites for the ambitious ;- )
        http://www.americanchronicle.com/notices/submit_info.asp
        http://www.top-affiliate.com
        http://www.prweb.com/
        http://www.articlefeeder.com
        http://www.SubmitYourNewArticle.com
        http://www.greatarticlesformoms.com/
        http://www.real-home-employment.com
        http://www.zongoo.com/
        http://www.businessknowhow.com/newsletter/articleguidelines.htm
        http://www.boconline.com/sub-art.shtml
        http://www.smartads.info/articles/submit
        http://www.amazines.com/
        http://goarticles.com/ulogin.html
        http://www.marketing-seek.com/articles/submit.shtml
        http://www.digital-women.com/submitarticle.htm
        http://www.family-content.com/articles/submit.shtml
        http://www.promotenews.com/
        http://www.netterweb.com/articles/
        http://www.promotionworld.com/submit/submitcontent.html
        http://www.selfgrowth.com/artman/exec/admin.cgi
        http://www.business-opportunity.biz/addarticle.php
        http://www.marcommwise.com/addkbank.html
        http://www.certificate.net/wwio/ideas.shtml
        http://www.webmasterslibrary.com/submit.jsp
        http://www.mailbiz.com/
        http://www.thewhir.com/find/articlecentral/suggest.asp
        http://www.dime-co.com/cgi-bin/column/admin.cgi?action=articleAdd
        http://www.web-source.net/syndicator_submit.htm
        http://www.womans-net.com/
        http://biz-whiz.com/
        http://www.connectionteam.com/subguide.html
        http://www.authorconnection.com/
        http://www.webmaster-resources101.com/articles/signup.php
        http://www.rlrouse.com/submit-article.html
        http://www.vectorcentral.com/articles-form.html
        http://www.workoninternet.com/Submit_Article.html
        http://www.articlefinders.com/

3. Post to Online Forums

This is often an underutilized strategy but it’s a great source for generating inbound links. Start by finding forums that relate to your website’s topic. To find forums do a search as follows: “Your Keyword forum” (use the quotes)

Once you find a handful of forums that relate to your site’s topic, register to the forum and read their guidelines. Next, create a signature line that includes your website link. Then as often as you can, post questions, make comments, and offer advice. If they have an articles section, post your articles as well.

This does two things for you. It helps you become known as an authority in your niche and brings individuals to your website; it also generates one way links because each time you make a comment your signature displays your link.

Don’t spam the forums. Uninformative comments like “come visit my site” or “thanks for the info” will most likely get deleted. Contribute your knowledge and genuinely strive to support and help others. Forum administrators will love you for that and appreciate your participation.
The forums that you participate in are topic specific and it would be impossible for me to list all forums here, however the following are general internet marketing and SEO forums that are perfect for boning up on your marketing and promotion knowledge; also they are good places to start for understanding how forums work:

        http://www.warriorforum.com
        http://profits.cc/forum/index.php
        http://www.homenotion.com/forum
        http://www.im4newbies.com/forum/index.php
        http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/forum/
        http://www.internetbasedmoms.com/bb/
        http://forums.ibasics.biz

Forum Guidelines:
Most forums require registering. It’s generally free. Once signed up go to their profile section and set up your personal profile. This means creating a signature that includes your name and your website address. Most forums will provide this feature.

Set it up so that that your signature will automatically be included when you make a post to the forum. Note that not all forums allow you to include your website link address to your signature, so I recommend only looking for those that do. (all those listed above allow your signature).

There are also forums that will require you to make a certain number of posts before allowing you to include your site link. If these are popular forums it may be worth the wait.

Always read the forum guidelines before posting, this will let you know whether or not it’s a forum worthwhile posting to. For example, some forums don’t’ allow you to post articles or links in your signature.

If you find a forum you like, consider applying to be a moderator. A moderator will basically moderate comments and make sure entries on the forum follow their specific guidelines, but it’s an excellent way for you to gain additional exposure.

4. Getting Links to Your Site

Inbound inks are huge with the search engines and you must get as many incoming links to your site as you can. Inbound inks are important because they are what weave you into the WorldWide Web.

But getting inbound links from just anywhere won’t help, you want quality inbound links, meaning that you must get links to your site from other sites that the search engines deem quality sites.
One very popular method of getting links is the ‘Reciprocal Link Exchange’. Unfortunately reciprocal link exchanges don’t offer the link value it once did. In fact the search engines are beginning to recognize this method and have diminished its value. However many people still prefer it, so if you are interested in reciprocal linking I’ve included the method below.

However here’s the method I most prefer which has worked well for me: The ‘Link for Content’ Method If I’m going to place someone’s link on my site I prefer to do it with content. It not only benefits me by giving me the opportunity to put more content on my site, it benefits the article writer because he is getting more exposure in a more search engine favorable manner.

For a demonstration of how this works, you can go to my Homenotion website and have a look at my ‘Link to Us’ page. This is a good example of what I’m referring to.

- Begin by clearly laying out instructions for how to link to your site.
- Then offer 3 of your best articles, with resource box, and encourage your viewer to place your article on their site. If they don’t wish to use an article, simply include a text box they can place on their site instead.
- In exchange they MUST offer you an article, testimonials, case studies or product review that you can place on your website with their resource box.
Using this method will also cut down on a lot of the reciprocal link exchanges you get in your email and at the same time allow you to collect content for your web site or blog.
The Reciprocal Link Exchange Method
Do your homework when linking with other websites. Don’t just link to them because they requested it or they have lots of visitors, that won’t help you.
Here are the steps for getting quality links and placing them on your site.

1. Setting up your Links or Resource page
Include a’ links’ or ‘resources’ page on your site and make sure visitors can get to it from your home page.

Your resources or links page should only contain about 20-30 links, 50 at the very most. If you have quality, related links to your site then you don’t really need any more than that.

You can also use the ‘submit your link’ list above to find sites that are willing to exchange links.

2. Be sure the exchange site is indexed by Google.
It won’t do you any good to link to a site that is not indexed by the search engines. I personally like to make sure any site I’m linking to is first indexed in Google.
I recommend installing the Google toolbar so you can see whether or not a site has been indexed. You can install the Google toolbar here. Install Google Toolbar Notice that the Google toolbar has a pagerank bar within it. Pagerank doesn’t count for much anymore but you can use the pagerank to determine if a site has been indexed.
After downloading the Google toolbar, go to the pagerank section of the toolbar and click on the arrow next to it. Click on the ‘Cached Snapshot of Page” option.
If you see something like the following, this means the page has not been indexed
Your search - cache:http://www.sitename.com - did not match any documents.
Your search - cache:http://www.sitename.com - did not match any documents.

2. The site should be relevant to your website’s topic
The site you are linking to should be related to your site’s topic. If your site is about pets, link to only pet related sites.
Linking to a site that is not relevant isn’t a bad thing, it simply offers less value. Search engines and directories look for relevance, so stick with what complements your website. Also, having YOUR link on a site that is relevant to yours will bring you more visitors. After all, your site will be relevant to what they are looking for.

3. Where’s Their Link?
The site’s link page or resource page should be accessible from their home page. If you don’t see a link to their links page on their home page, don’t bother.

4. How much traffic does the site get?
You can use http://www.alexa.com for this. Alexa will give you a good indication of how much traffic a site gets. A site ranking below 600,000 will get a pretty good amount of traffic and of course anything below that is ideal. Don’t discount sites in the million range, they can get good traffic as well. This is just a general gauge and should only be used as such.

5. Include your best keyword or keyword phrase in your exchange link.
This is another time when using an anchor tag hyperlink is valuable. Here’s an example of an html link code that you should send to your link exchange partners. You can also include it on your site to encourage others to link to you.
<a href="http://www.yoursite.com/"> Your best keyword or keyword phrase </a> - Site description of about 25 words or less.

When soliciting link exchanges, place a link to their site on your site first. This offers incentive for reciprocation.

Here’s a letter you are welcome to use and customize for getting your own link exchanges.

Dear Name,
My name is "yourname" and my website is located at: http://www.yoursite.com
I found your site to be a perfect complement to my site and I'd like very much to propose a business partnership by exchanging links. I think we could both benefit extremely well.
I have taken the liberty of adding your site to my links page at: http://www.yoursite.com/links.html
Please be so kind as to reciprocate and include my site information on your links page.
        My site name: Use your site title. Use what is written in your site title
        My site description: Use your site description here.
        My site URL:http://www.yoursite.com
Here is my HTML code for your convenience:
<a href="http://www.yoursite.com/"> Main keyword or site name </a> - Your site description in about 20 words or less.
Please let me know if you will consider a link exchange with my site or if you would like for me to change your link in any way.
Warm Regards,
Your name
http://www.yoursite.com


If you are sending this letter in an email, se the words “Business Proposal” or Joint Venture Proposal in the Subject of your email. It tends to get more response than using the words “Link Exchange Request”

5. Create an e-Book or Free Report
Creating a free e-book or report does two things for you, it brings traffic to your site virally, which we’ll discuss in a minute, and it also helps you create an email opt-in list which brings visitors back to your website periodically.

Let me just say that it’s to your best advantage to create an opt-in email list. We’ll discuss this more later on but building an email list will be your primary way of promoting your products or services.

No matter what you have heard, email marketing is NOT obsolete and it does work. Discarding it as a promotion option will mean you’ll be leaving lots of money on the table.

Create an e-Book or Free Report
I highly recommend creating your own e-book or free report that is related to your web site’s topic. By creating your own document you can promote your site’s URL within it, you can make your own recommendations and promote your affiliate products, etc. These reasons alone will give you a big marketing edge.

Now I understand that creating your own document may not be your cup of tea and that’s ok, there are plenty of e-books, guides and courses available that you can get access to, I simply prefer creating my own.

Post your free e-Book or Report on your Website
Use your free e-book or report as leverage to gain email subscribers. Ideally each page of your website should contain an opt-in form. This form will encourage sign-ups by offering your free e-book or free report in exchange for their e-mail address.

Here’s the process I use for setting this up.

Subscribe to a good autoresponder service. An autoresponder will capture your emails, send automatic responses, send periodic or scheduled emails and a lot more. A good autoresponder will also create and customize an opt-in form for you that you can place on your website. Using a good email service like Aweber will also ensure your emails get sent and reduce your incidences of spam.

Next place your opt-in form on every page of your website. Don’t forget to include on your form that subscribers will automatically receive your free e-book or guide for signing up.

A word to the wise

DON’T SPAM your list. When you receive a sign up, follow it with an email thanking them for signing up and be clear as to exactly what they will be receiving. For example, if you publish a newsletter, tell them exactly how often you publish, what types of information will be published and explain that they can opt-out at any time.

Create Traffic Virally

Creating a free e-book or report is also an excellent way to virally create traffic. Virally means spreading your free product around like a virus. It’s a strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in its exposure and influence.

In other words you will want to give your free e-book, report or course to as many related website owners as possible. It’s how you can get others to market for you.

Encourage other e-book authors to give your book away as a bonus to their subscribers, post it on forums; give it away to as many places as you can think of.

Since your free e-book contains your website URL, you will get a visit from everyone who reads or looks at your book.

Finding a topic or subject matter for your free product
You will want to be sure your subject matter is something that people are interested in. You may already have an idea, however if not try using the Mygoals.com website, it will help you with brainstorming ideas.

Mygoals.com is really about helping people identify and accomplish specific goals but it is also ideal for showing you the most popular goals and interests that people have. By researching the site and its specific topics you could easily come up with a topic and enough information to create an outline.

Create an outline for your e-book or report
Remember back in high school when you had to create an outline for a report paper. Well, this is much the same thing.
        Your outline should contain the following:
        Headline
        Introduction
        List 10-12 or more related topics and expand on them
        Conclusion
        About the author
Be sure to include a footer on each page of your book that contains your website address with a copyright notice.

        Edit your outline and Final Draft
This is an important step. Go through your document and correct all spelling and grammar.
Believe me, if people read it and find errors they will tell you about it. Also it gives you the appearance of being unprofessional.
When you have completed correcting grammar and spelling give it to a friend or someone in your family to read through. You’d be amazed at the input they’ll have for improvement. It’s worth the time it takes to have another set of eyes review it.

        Formatting Your E-book
Next comes formatting your document into a readable format for your readers and distribution.
You have two basic options; convert it to a PDF format or EXE format. PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format, is the file extension for files created with Adobe Acrobat.

EXE, which stands for ‘executable’, is the extension for files created by eBook compilers.
PDF is widely considered to be the ‘industry standard’ for eBook publishing. Here’s why I say that:

1. Most eBook compilers require you to set up each page of your eBook as a separate web page.
With Adobe Acrobat, for instance, you can use a single MS Word file as the source document.
2. PDF files are easy to edit. You can replace ages, delete pages or insert pages and the page numbering is adjusted automatically.
3. PDF files automatically number each page - exe files don’t.
4. The ‘bookmark’ column on the left side of a PDF file makes navigation much easier than in an exe file.
5. PDF files compress better than exe files, so you end up with a smaller, more manageable file.
6. Printing from a PDF file is much easier than printing from an .exe file.
7. It’s almost impossible to transmit a virus through a PDF file - exe files are vulnerable to virus transmission and can become corrupted during download.
8. PDF files can be read on both a PC and a MAC, whereas exe files can only be read on a PC.

About 10% of computer users use a MAC.
The disadvantage to creating a PDF file is the cost. Adobe Acrobat is expensive. On the other hand products for creating an EXE document are considerably cheaper.
An alternative to Adobe is PDF995. It’s a free PDF creator. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles Adobe has but it’s adequate.

If you’d like a good EXE creator, eBook Generator is one of the best and the price is fairly reasonable. I don’t have any experience with a free EXE creator and I’m a little skeptical of them.
However if you know of one or have used one I’d be very interested to know your experiences.

In summary
If you’d like more in-depth information on creating your own small report or e-book let me suggest a 5 step method presented by Jimmy D. Brown. This guide is free but has some excellent tips on how you will create compelling, credible reports that people will flock to your door for.

6. Write Testimonials
If you buy a product or use a service, write a testimonial and submit it to the merchant. Every merchant out there needs testimonials and they are often very receptive to getting one.

But how does this help you?
When you write a favorable testimonial about a product you have used related to your own website, the merchant will post the testimonial on his site. This testimonial will contain your name and website, much like a resource box within your articles.

When submitting a testimonial, be specific about how you used and liked the product. Keep it short and to the point. Write 2 or 3 paragraphs on what you liked, how you benefited and say it with sincerity and enthusiasm.

Be sure to include your website address under your signature and verify that the merchant will include it with your testimonial if published. Also verify that your testimonial will be displayed with a live link to your website.

If you don’t have products that you can write a testimonial for, join a related ezine and submit a testimonial for that ezine. Ezines are very popular and if your testimonial is posted on the front page you are likely to get plenty of visitors.

7. Write Product Reviews
Product reviews are similar to writing testimonials except a product review will be more detailed and provide the reader with in-depth information on how the product works, the benefits, features, and your personal feelings about the product and its benefits.

A product review should span a full page of your website. Most product reviews are better utilized when promoting affiliate programs and used as a pre-sales strategy. The more information you can give your viewer about the products you endorse the more likely you will be to make a sale.

When writing a product review, don’t simply tell your viewer that a product or service is great and point them to your affiliate page, instead write an in-depth personal review supported by detailed information and specifics.

I recommend using products before providing a review. You will always give a much more compelling review if you are intimately familiar with a product or service.

For example, I can tell you that a BMW is a very good car and I could probably write a pretty good review based on what I know about the car, however I could make a much more compelling claim if I actually owned the car and provided some personal details that not everyone else might tell you about or even notice about the car.

I’ve purchased and used most of the products I endorse, however if I endorse something that I have not purchased, I will research it well enough that I’m confident it’s a quality product.

Additionally, no product is perfect, there is always room for improvement no matter how good product is, so don’t be afraid to point out in your review what improvements could be made. You will sound a lot more candid and your viewers will appreciate your honesty.

When writing a product overview think of the: who, what, where, when, how and why questions. This helps you cover all bases when describing the product and its value.

Here are some additional details of what to include in your review: Product Description.
        Describe what the product is and how it works.
        Include a screen shot of the product
        List the features and include next to each feature the benefits.
        Who created the product? Include a paragraph or two on who created the product or the manufacturer. List any accolades or awards they have received.
        List who the product is for and who it is not for. Not every product is for everyone, so describe who will best benefit from the product but also include who will not benefit.
        Write your own personal thoughts and experiences with the product and make recommendations on how it benefited you the most.

8. Write a Press Release
If you’ve just created a website or product and you’re anxious to get some notoriety, submitting a press release is ideal.

A press release is a document written to appeal to a journalist and writing a press release is not like writing a sales page or an ad, in fact you don’t want it to resemble an ad at all. A journalist is looking to fill a news need. So the question you must ask yourself is why might XYZ magazine readers be interested in what I have?

Here’s how to write an effective press release.
Keep your press release to the point. Press releases are not meant to tell the whole story. They are meant to give the reporter an idea of what's happening in your business that their readers need to know about.

Your press release should be approximately 400 words - 500 maximum.
It should be well-written - use good grammar, NO spelling errors, it must sound and flow logically and don't make any unsubstantiated claims.

Your press release should be focused on an event or something that you have done. For example, created a new website, web store or wrote a new book.

The first release should state what you hope to achieve with your site or your business.
Emphasize how you are different from other sites or businesses that are similar to yours, what’s unique about your service, product or business.

Press Release Recommendation: Press releases are tricky and I’ve had my share of frustration getting them accepted. After about my third refusal I considered hiring a professional but I hated doing that because I knew that I could do it, I just didn’t quite know what was expected of a good press release.

If you’re having similar frustrations, get your hands on Alice Seba’s Press Release Profits.
Writing a press release isn’t hard, you just need to know what they are looking for and  his guide will completely help you do it.

        Where to submit your press release
        http://www.businesswire.com
        http://www.internet.com
        http://www.prnewswire.com
        http://expressPress.com

Be sure to email your press release to the appropriate person or individual.

9. Publish an Ezine or Newsletter
People love to get free useful and original information. If you can provide that, they will flock to your website. One of the best ways to do that is provide an ezine or newsletter.

Publishing an ezine isn’t as hard as it appears. Your biggest hurdle will be coming up with topics and information to include in your newsletter. However, the best thing about an ezine or newsletter is that it keeps your visitors coming back to your site. It gives you numerous opportunities to get in front of your audience over and over again.

You do this by capturing their email addresses in exchange for your free publication.
(See collecting email addresses below)

You don’t have to get fancy with a newsletter or ezine. All you need to do is create your newsletter in an email and post it to your viewers about once a week or perhaps once a month.

There are many more formal ways of doing it but if you’re just getting started do it the easy way and work up to perfection later on.

When to Publish

With as much email as people get it’s probably best to publish once a month. That gives you plenty of time to gather good, solid, useful information and you won’t be bombarding your opt-in list with more mail than they want.

Tip:
Instead of publishing a full blown newsletter, create a blog and publish posts there. Then once a month you could email your list mentioning your latest blog posts. Also, a simple email directing your subscribers to your blog is a lot more likely to get through the spam filters.

Make sure that when you request your subscribers email address you specify what your ezine will include, for example, tips, specials, guides articles, etc. Also specify how often you will be sending out your newsletter. Internet users like to know exactly what they will be getting and how often.

Collecting Email Addresses

If you’re not familiar with how to collect email addresses here’s some useful information.
When collecting emails and publishing any publication online you will need an autoresponder email service or autoresponder service? This is a service that helps you collect email addresses and stores them for you.

An email autoresponder will allow you to create emails, newsletters or ezines and broadcast it to all the members of your list with one stroke of a key.

When collecting opt-ins simply collect the person’s first name and email address. If you ask for too much information you’re not as likely to get the sign-up.

It will also help you create a form for collecting email addresses.
Don’t use safe lists or purchase email lists. No matter how reputable they don’t achieve the results that you get from obtaining your own lists.
I don’t recommend using a free autoresponder, heaven knows there’s plenty of them out there.
The problem with free autoresponders is that they will include lots of advertising with your emails.

It will detract from the look and feel of your email, plus it can distract your readers, I don’t recommend it.

If your website hosting company has an email autoresponder you can also use them but there are also problems with that. I’ve discovered that host mail servers often get ‘blacklisted’ which means your emails are never likely to reach your viewers.

I recommend going with an autoresponder that is in the email business. They’ll work harder to make sure your emails get sent and don’t get blacklisted. I’ve also noticed that email autoresponders that come with web hosting services often get blacklisted, so they’re not always a good option if you want your emails to reach your viewers.

The best service I’ve found so far is Aweber. If you read the reviews it will become apparent that they are the best in the industry. A professional autoresponder such as Aweber keeps your emails from being blacklisted and they have a much better chance of staying out of the spam box.

For each sign up that you get, send an automatic welcome email thanking them for signing up.
Be specific about what they signed up for and how often they can expect an email from you. If you are offering an email course, let them know they will be receiving an email every day for the next x number of days. Whether your newsletter is weekly or monthly, let them know that.

Most importantly don’t bombard your readers with ads or useless information. You want your readers to look forward to getting your emails and you can only do that if you offer useful, interesting content that has a tone of your originality.

Submit your ezine or newsletters to ezine directories

Always, always submit your ezine or newsletter publication to publication directories. There are newsletter directories that provide specific information such number of subscribers, how often it’s published and other information that readers need to know.

Here are a few newsletter locators that you can add your newsletter to for free.

        http://www.ezinelocater.com/
        http://www.ezinehub.com/
        http://www.mommyportal.com/newsletter_directory.htm
        http://www.ezinelisting.com/
        http://www.jogena.com/
        http://www.cumuli.com/
Finding Content Ideas
Ideally you want your newsletter or ezine to be something that people look forward to getting.
        Don’t bombard your readers with ads or useless information. People are busy and generally read a lot online so they want to read things that offer value.
        Make your newsletter personal. In your salutation use the person’s name that you captured in your opt-in list.
        Make comments on topics related to your website’s topic
        Include articles. They can be written by others but should be articles that you have found of particular interest.
        Include a “what’s new” on your website
        Don’t be afraid to be a little controversial. Write an editorial about what irks you or a personal feeling. People can read about the usual stuff anywhere, they want to hear about the unusual, the controversial and the interesting.
        Tell a joke or use Freesticky.com to find ideas to make your newsletter fun and interesting.

10. Create a blog
Blog, short for ‘web blog’ began its start as a way for individuals to create an online diary or journal.

Blogs have been used as a way for anyone and everyone to share their daily life or thoughts on a particular subject. There are personal blogs on almost every imaginable subject.

More recently businesses have discovered that blogs are a powerful way to communicate in a more informal manner with customers, to keep them up to date with industry developments, or highlight interesting features or products of their businesses.

If you already have a website a blog is a good complement to your site. If you don’t already have a website creating a blog is easy and if you use a free blog creation tool it won’t even cost you anything.

Choosing a Blog Creation Tool
There are several blog applications for creating & publishing blogs. The best part is they are all free (sort of). Most blog creation tools are free, however if you host your own blog, the hosting and domain name with not be free.

Let’s look at the options:

If you’re just getting started I recommend using one of the following which are both free:
        Blogger.com
        Wordpress.com
Simply create a free account at either one, follow the instructions and start building your blog. It’s easy; however of the two, I would say blogger.com is the easiest. It doesn’t come with a lot of the bells and whistles that Wordpress.com offers but for getting started it will definitely do the trick.

Blogger.com and Wordpress.com will host and publish your blog for you; you don’t need a web host or a domain name.

If you have a web hosting service you can create a more sophisticated blog whereby you can use your own domain name.

This can be done using Wordpress.org (different than Wordpress.com)
Wordpress.org uses a more customized blog format that requires you to upload the software to your own web host, meaning you must first have a web hosting account. You will also need to have your own domain name.

Wordpress.org is a little more tricky to install however if you have a host that offers snap-in scripts your installation will take only a few easy clicks of your mouse.

For example, I use HostGator, a great host by the way, but they come equipped with Fantastico which is a script for installing Wordpress.org. I just want to mention that whatever hosts you use make sure it has Fantastico and Cpanel. It makes installing programs like Wordpress, forums and other applications a lot easier

BTW, if you need a host, I have a coupon code for Hostgator that you can use for getting your first month of hosting free.

http://homenotion.com/blog/web-hosting/hostgator-coupon-code-first-month-is-free/

Tips for Creating Your Blog

1. Stay on topic.
If you’re using a blog to complement your website business, don't ramble or get preachy on your blog. Remember the idea is to keep your viewers interested and offer them information they are looking for. Your readers will be most interested in content that relates to a specific theme or topic. Keep your blog full of interesting facts and don't wander into outlining areas that will lose your readers.

2. Create a schedule and Stick to it
Probably your biggest challenge will be updating your blog on a regular basis. You don't have to make an entry in your blog every day, but you should make an entry at least once a week, preferably twice a week. If your blog is good enough and people rely on it for information and news they’ll be looking forward to new information and entries. Also if your blog content is updated frequently, search engines will spider the pages more regularly which is what you want you want for gaining good traffic.

3. Be informative and Stay Current
If you are endorsing a product or voicing an opinion, be sure to check your facts, your reputation is at stake. If you are offering an opinion, be sure to qualify your opinions and make it clear that your content is an editorial. Keep your news current. If you're researching information about your topic be sure to look at the date the information was written and make sure it isn't old news.

4. Be Clear and Concise
Keep your posts easy to understand. Don't use long sentences and lots of big words, remember, like with your website, you're attracting lots of people from everywhere and all walks of life. You want to keep your entries easy enough for everyone to read and understand.

5. Don’t forget Your Keywords
The idea of your blog is to increase your visibility and gain traffic. To do this you must include related keywords in the title of the blog. Use the title as a headline to attract interest. Each item post should have a title that will attract attention but still be relevant to the post, so use relevant keywords. The title should be no longer than 10-12 words.

6. Quantity matters.
In order to attract the attention of search engines, you will need to develop content and substance. A headline or simple sentence is not going to generate the interest of readers or help with search engine ranking. Your posts should be several paragraphs long. Also be sure to archive old blog posts to develop a large portal of similarly-themed content.

7. Use good grammar and spelling
Take the time to correct your spelling and use good grammar. Nothing turns people off more than bad editing and reading something that is hard to understand.

8. Use RSS feeds
RSS is a format for syndicating news. It means really simple syndication. It’s basically a content distribution service. RSS will increase your Blog's reach. So be sure to include your Blog's content in an RSS feed to increase readership and distribution.

You often see these symbols on websites. These mean that you can add the site to your favorite RSS feed. You would just click on your favorite feed and add that site.

RSS assists web searchers so that they don't have to keep checking back to your site to see if it's been updated - all they need to do is subscribe to an RSS feed, much like they would subscribe to a newspaper. Once subscribed they can read the updates from their feed reader which is delivered via RSS feeds.

RSS feeds benefit those who actually own or publish a website as well, since site owners can get their updated content to subscribers fast by submitting feeds to various XML and RSS directories.

A feed reader, or feed aggregator, is just a really simple way to view all your feeds at one time via one interface.

What are RSS readers?

Basically, RSS readers are feed readers that allow you to bundle all your RSS feeds from various websites into one handy interface. Here are a few RSS feed readers you can use. They are all free:

        Bloglines - This is a great reader because their organization structure is the easiest to use, they're super-fast, and hardly ever in for maintenance.
        Newsgator - You can deliver Newsgator feeds to Microsoft Outlook nicely organized.
        FeedReader I Personally use this one, I like it and have stuck with it.
        Feed icon - I have not used this but it is another popular tool.
        Google reader – You guessed it, this is Google’s feed reader tool.

If you have a website or a blog, be sure to add RSS feeds so that viewers can add you to their feed readers and get immediate updates as soon as you add posts to your blog.

Create a feed

Once you have created your blog it’s time to create a feed for it. A feed creator will simply request the URL of your blog and it will automatically create an RSS feed for you.
The best Feed creator is Feedburner.com

11. Start a Discussion Forum
Starting a discussion forum allows you to network with other businesses and exchange business tips, ideas, strategies, advertising, etc.

Forums are also a great place for sparking discussion on specific topics. It gives your viewers the opportunity to participate in debates, offer opinions or provide support to others. This method can gain you a steady stream of free massive traffic. You could even create additional income by displaying pay-per-click ads like Google AdSense or offer advertising space.

Forums also help you understand what your visitors are looking for. You can even post inquiries simple surveys about what your viewers want to know, specific problems they are having, etc. Creating a forum is free and the traffic you'll receive is priceless. PHPBB is popular forum software and it’s free.

12. Social Networking
Social Networking and social media are the new internet kids on the block but they are the most powerful forms of generating traffic we have today. With the importance of developing inbound links, this one is not likely to go away; in fact it’s become a major way of getting good, quality links to your site.

Don’t let social networking overwhelm you. Find a few sites that pertain to your niche and work the sites on a consistent basis. There’s a lot of information here and I don’t expect you to use it all, simply find what you can use and contribute as much as you can.

My suggestion is create an excel spreadsheet with the sites you have an account with.
Then create a daily, weekly or monthly schedule for logging into each account and participating in socializing. Do this in the most efficient way possible so that you get into a routine. This is an excellent way to boost traffic if you Do It!
So let’s get started…

Twitter

Twitter can be used as a socialization tool or a marketing tool but it has become very popular with the internet marketing and online business crowd as it has over 2 million users to date.

Twitter is a tool that allows the quick exchange of information by using only 140 characters, but the beauty of Twitter is that it allows you to communicate through multiple methods such as web interface, email, desktop application, instant messaging.

Start by creating a profile page on Twitter. Fill in your one line bio as to what you do online.
Keep it to the point and accurate by keeping in mind that your profile is how people will decide if you will be someone they want to follow.

Twitter’s claim to fame is it asks the question “What are you doing?” This question has inspired individuals to simply write in 140 characters or less what they are doing. It’s sort of a status update on what you are doing now. It lets you keep track of people you follow and it lets your followers see what you are doing.

So for instance, if you just wrote a post on your blog, you can tweet that you just finished writing your latest post and you can include the link to the post so everyone can instantly click on it from your tweet.

The value of twitter is that you can follow people that you want to learn from and you can build followers that you hope to influence.

Use these Twitter tools to get the most out of using Twitter
http://www.twhirl.org – Small Desktop client for automatically seeing tweets that come in and tweeting your followers.
http://www.tweetlater.com - Send automated thank you notes to new followers, and automatically follow new followers.
http://search.twitter.com - Search for people on twitter that talk about your interests.
You can follow me on twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/lizmcgee

Social marketing sites
Setting up your profiles on social marketing sites is an important strategy. Be specific about who you are, what you do and the kind of people you hope to attract. Take your time to put quality into your pages. Let your personality shine through and be sincere and enthusiastic for what you do and know. Create pages and profiles on all of these sites or just pick 3 or 4 and concentrate on socializing as much as you can. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and expertise in your chosen market.

        http://www.youtube.com
        http://hubpages.com
        http://www.propeller.com
        http://www.ehow.com
        http://www.aboutus.org
        http://www.flicker.com
        http://www.technorati.com
        http://www.myspace.com
        http://www.facebook.com
        http://www.friendster.com
        http://www.43things.com
        http://www.stupmbleupon.com
Share news, reviews, articles, personal experiences and website favorites with others by using thesis sites:
        http://www.Digg.com
        http://delicious.com/
        http://www.squidoo.com
        http://www.reddit.com/
Once you’ve created pages at these sites. Take the URL of the pages you created at the above sites and submit them to social book marking and story submission sites with Web2submitter.
Create accounts at these sites and when you’ve added posts to your blogs or website, add the bookmarks at these sites:
        http://www.tipsters.com – Create an account and add tips or posts.
        http://www.furl.com – Sign up for an account, join groups of interest, then go to ‘save’ button and bookmark your blog posts or web pages.
        http://www.ma.gnolia.com


Other Useful Information and Tips:
Do something every day to promote your site
Set up a weekly or daily schedule of how and when you will promote. Don’t make the schedule unrealistic. Make a list of things that you know you can get done Don’t fall into the trap of creating and forgetting to promote. I could work all day on my sites trying to make them prettier and better but the fact is that won’t help get traffic. Do something every day to promote your site.

Collect email opt-in addresses.
Regardless of what you’ve heard, email is still one of the BEST ways to promote. But do it with integrity. Collect email addresses legitimately and absolutely don’t SPAM.
Where to get ideas for information to post or publish: Content ideas are all around you every day. Here are places to help spark ideas:
        Read the paper. There are always lots of good articles and ideas that you can turn into something valuable for your readers.
        Look for ideas from forums and blogs. Find out what people are talking about in your topic.
        Listen to radio talk shows. This is a great place for new and interesting ideas.
        Sign up for your competitors newsletters. Use others to spark ideas by applying to newsletters in your niche. Of course use these newsletters to get ideas only. Never should you blatantly copy someone else’s document or copy.
        Make contacts and partner with others. Partner with other online businesses.
        Suggest the exchange of content.
        Conduct a Survey
        Run a fun survey and ask people to respond. Survey monkey is a free service you can use to run a 10 question survey. Then present the results to your newsletter or post it in your blog. You just might come up with some very interesting information.
        Keep a content folder or diary with you wherever you go. Jot down any ideas that come into your head about what to write about. This works best if you can keep your publications in mind all the time. I’ve gotten some great ideas just cooking dinner and letting my mind wander. Many of them would be gone if I didn’t just take a few seconds to jot them down.
        Create a step-by-step guide or ‘how to’ tips
        Create a ‘best tips’ guide or offer a “how to” step-by-step guide on a problem people often encounter in your niche.

Opinions / Editorial
Write about an opinion you have on something. Make it just a tad bit controversial, this often encourages more responses.

Comment on Your Experiences
If you’ve had a crazy or unusual experience, write about it. Particularly if it relates to what your site or blog is about. For instance, I had a computer failure several months back and lost all my data without a good backup, what a nightmare! But it gave me a great, personal story to write about that could potentially help others avoid the same problems.
        A look at the future
        Write an article predicting the future of whatever business you’re in. You could even do a follow-up some months later on whether you were right or wrong.
        Case Study
        Do a case study on your product or service or on a product or service you promote.
        Don’t confuse this with a testimonial. Your case study should include real numbers and step by step information that your readers can really learn from.
        Use the Seasons
        Relate the seasons to your products or services. For example, when the Christmas season comes around, this is the perfect time for me to direct an article to my internet business readers about what to do when business is slow.
        Product, tool or Book Reviews
        Do a review on software or hardware tools you have used or books you’ve read. Your viewers will appreciate your candid feedback and your experiences.
        You could even do a ‘Best of’. For example, if you’ve read 2 or 3 books on a particular topic, do a review of each and suggest which one you feel is the best. This type of content almost always sparks sales.
        Educational Content
        Post a glossary of terms and display it in your blog or on your site
        Event Recommendations
        Suggest useful events both online and off: webinars, conferences, workshops etc.
        Respond to an inspirational or Funny Story
        If you read a story and find it interesting, respond to it with your thoughts and ideas.
        Answering feedback
        Create a newsletter section for answering reader questions. By doing this, your readers are actually creating content for you. It also gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise and show readers that you actually care about their concerns.
        Also try to get readers to contribute their articles, jokes, comments, interviews, tips, questions, testimonials and more. This makes great newsletter and/or Blog content.
        Interviews
        Do an interview with someone experienced in your field. Put it on an audio or simply run a documented question and answer session. People love to hear about what other experts are saying.

Helpful Google Resources:

Google Trends
See what the world is searching for and see what the trends have been for specific keywords.

Google Calendar
If you anything – get organized and have a daily plan. Nice calendar to use for your daily, weekly or yearly plans.

Google Sets
Automatically create sets of items from a few examples

Google Reader
Google’s feedreader for keeping track of your favorite blogs & websites

Google Web Alerts
Find out about new web pages on a topic of interest

Google Scholar
Great place to search for technical content like journals, abstracts and scholarly literature

Google Blog Search
Find Blogs on your favorite topics

Google Book Search
Search the full text of books and discover new ones.

Google Patent Search
Search over seven million patents

Google Code Search
Search for public source code
Professional Traffic & SEO Resources

Wordtracker
Best keyword research tool for finding the most used keywords.

Web2submitter
Remember all the social bookmarking profile pages you created? This is a handy tool for tying all those profiles together.

RSS Submit
RSS feed management and Promotion tool Submit RSS feeds to over 80 directories, track your FeedBurner & Technorati statistics.
http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=37503&U=112644&M=2162

Aweber
IA Reliable, Easy, cost effective tool for capturing visitor emails, send unlimited follow-ups and newsletters.

Stompernet
‘Stomping the Search Engines’ is very cost effective for over delivering on more of the search engine traffic techniques than anyone out there. It’s a monthly service that provides expert, highly effective search engine tips and strategies.

Traffic Secrets 2.0
‘Traffic Secrets’ is video based home training that is also excellent. It takes a different approach than Stompernet because it gives you all the materials and training up front; also very excellent training.

Internet Business Promoter (IBP)
I’ve always loved Arelis and thought it was the best tools for gaining “quality” inbound links that benefited my site. It’s still a great product and in high demand, but Axandra, ‘Arelis’ creator, has incorporated it into their main IBP software package. This is actually a better deal because between the two of them IBP and Arelis, they are pretty much all you need to get top 10 rankings on Google and Yahoo …and they guarantee it.

Press Release Profits
This is a complete system that shows you exactly how to write and distribute a press release to get noticed by the media….potentially saving your hundreds or thousands of dollars in advertising costs. The course includes an in-depth interview with Alice (who started her online career as a press release writer), study guide, sample releases, video critiques and more.

Email Strategies Explained
Everything you could possibly need to know about email marketing is revealed to you in a simple, doable, step-by-step system that anyone can follow. These are cassettes containing 8 hours of strategies with real meat, not a moment of 'fluff'. Dozens of profit-generating ideas ...many of which I *guarantee* you've never even thought of.

Article Announcer
A great solution to the time-consuming process of submitting articles. Jason Potash’s also shows you how to create, outsource, optimize, and promote your articles and gets them submitted in half the time it takes to do it all manually.
Thanks for reading and a few final words…
I hope this guide brings you tons of traffic. Remember, this is a process so keep the faith and hang in there. You will begin to see success.

Sources: © Adlite Enterprises 2001-2008 Elizabeth McGee http://www.homenotion.com E-Book





17 comments:

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    ReplyDelete
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    Replies
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