If you run a website or blog, you’ve probably heard of the typical list of marketing activities… submit your site to directories, submit your articles to article directories, submit your links to Digg, Del.icio.us, and other social media sites, target the right keyword phrases, comment on related sites and blogs, etc. However, there’s a lot more to Web promotion than simply doing what everyone else is doing, especially if you want to set your site apart from the competition.Here are five Web promotion / Internet marketing tactics that you probably haven’t tried (or perhaps haven’t tried very effectively):
1. Write Guest Articles / Be a Guest Blogger
While similar, this isn’t the same as writing articles for article directories, where they’ll then be published on many sites. While article directories can bring a lot of backlinks, they don’t carry much authority with a lot of readers… something that sets the top content sites apart from publishers mass-submitting their work to directories. An authority site will bring natural backlinks and repeat visitors, and to get that that point, the site owner, author, or blogger needs to establish their expertise in their niche.
If you want to establish a solid reputation, you should be picky about what sites can offer your content, by only publishing to sites with high levels of authority themselves (to readers; not necessarily search engines). Submit unique guest contributions whenever possible. If you’re an author, sometimes an exclusive book excerpt on the Web will work, or an article based on a segment of your book.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you write on small business topics. Do you really want your work lumped in with all of the amateur writers and Internet marketers in Web directories, where your work can be buried under heaps of plagiarized and poorly-written articles? Instead, search out ezines with high subscriber counts in your niche, and publish articles to valuable business-related sites and blogs (Work.com, owned by Business.com, accepts “guides,” several About.com sites will still accept guest submissions I believe, and many of the larger business-related sites have writers guidelines or an editor’s contact information available). Heck, with some sites you’ll even get paid for your submission.
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2. Answer Questions
Are you taking advantage of Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers or All Experts? I wouldn’t suggest spending a huge amount of time with them, but they’re worth a look. The idea? You serve as an “expert” in your niche by answering questions submitted by readers. You can often link to your own site when appropriate or in a signature of the response.
3. Write a White Paper or Report
White papers and reports are excellent marketing tools, although often neglected on the Web (especially with smaller sites and blogs). Publish a report on an industry issue (think of more serious topics than your average “get rich with …” e-book), and make it available for downloads on your site. The idea is to again position yourself as an expert within the niche or industry.
4. Create a Widget
Create something brandable that your visitors can add to their own sites. Have a link to your site as the creator built in, to help it spread virally. It could be as simple as the latest headlines from your site to a tool or calculator relevant to your niche.
5. Create a Press Room or Media Kit
As a PR professional, I can certainly vouch for these tools (although I’m the first to admit that I don’t add them to all of my own sites… I have more of a central one on my business site). This area of your site (or as a downloadable PDF file) is intended for members of the media (or anyone interested in writing about you or interviewing you). Having a press room or media kit makes your site or business look larger and more professional, and therefore often more credible. You should use them to feature an archive of all of your past press releases, any media coverage you’ve received (even blog interviews and such would count here), media contact information (more thorough than your general contact info), and anything else the media might want to know about you.