So you took the leap and started your own website. Perhaps you have had a website for awhile and are ready to start making it relevant. Nevertheless at some point you either paid someone or spent precious time teaching yourself. Whichever path you took to get your website launched you made an investment. Now you are challenged with getting people to read, engage, comment and even buy on your content. Taking a website from zero to a few hundred or even a few thousand visitors a month is not easy, but it’s eminently doable — as long as you recognize a harsh truth about the Internet:
You can’t expect your work to speak for itself. Most of the time, it won’t. The online world is an attention economy. Attention is finite, and therefore scarce. So if you want people to pay attention to you, you need to earn it.
You need to accept that marketing is part of your job, just as much as making. But the game changes when you start applying your creativity to your marketing — it becomes more fun as well as more effective.
Create a helpful blog focusing on your target reader.
- Update content frequently
- Add a catchy picture
Get your content into circulation.
- Use your social networks: Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter etc.
- Newsletter Trades: Offer to feature them in your newsletter in return for being featured in theirs.
- Guest Posts: Offer to guest post on influential blogs and sites with links back to your website and blog.
- Social Broadcasting: If you have a large Twitter or Facebook following, offer to Tweet about other’s websites or posts. In return they can do the same for you.
Let others know about your site.
- Mention your web address in your e-mails
- Friends and family
- Remind users of your site
- Newsletter and mailing list
- Birthday reminders
- Create a community
None of these methods is a quick fix. They require time, effort and persistence. But the good news is the benefits are cumulative – as your blog attracts links and subscribers, as your free content gets into circulation, and as you get known as a rising star in your niche, you’ll find yourself attracting more and more new visitors for every hour you spend on marketing.
A word of caution, watch out for those who are trying to convince you that they can get your website traffic to unimaginable numbers in the first few months. They are selling you a load of you know what. What I have learned in the past year is that anyone including myself, who have achieved success has earned it by putting in the time planning, money for the right tools and tremendous effort to reach their goal.
And no, website visitors don’t necessarily equal clients — otherwise there’d be a lot more Internet millionaires!