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Three Ways to Build Traffic Without Going Broke

Feb 28, 2008
As a website owner, you have probably already figured out that getting people to actually visit your website is the single hardest task there is. Creating the product, builidng the website, submitting the site to search engines -- these tasks all pale in comparison to the daunting task of getting people to find YOU in the midst of everything else. How do you get them to find you?

Let's face it. You may have a dynamite website and a killer offer, but if no one sees it, no one will buy it. If you've done your homework on web marketing, then you've seen the same mantra over and over. Start with free traffic. Free Traffic. Free Traffic. Clicks and orders will be pouring in. Just get some free traffic. But you go to these traffic-generating sites and you have, what, 30 characters for a title and maybe another 70 characters for a description. Those need to be some mighty powerful 100 characters to break through the clutter and noise of these traffic-generating sites.

The hard truth is that you get what you pay for. Some of the free traffic sites are good for testing ad copy. Some are better than others at getting your ad shown to some people. But unless your service is really unique, everyone who is clicking on your free traffic link is surfing for credits just like you. Sure, you get lucky occasionally, but it's not a tactic that will bring you instant fortune. It takes a long time to build up enough credits to make the free traffic sites work. And buying traffic from these sites is not usually the most cost-effective way to spend your limited advertising dollar.

What you really want is potential customers, not just traffic. So, what's a new website owner to do? Start with the basics.

1. Start promoting your website to offline contacts. Create a business card or flyer with a product description and your web address. Before you hand the card or flyer to anyone, ask for their email address and for permission to email them a newsletter. If you have offline customers, tell them about your website on their invoices, your correspondence footer, on the cash register receipt. These customers already know you and are more likely to check out your site. They are also more likely to want your services.

2. Start your own email newsletter and email it to your current customers and business contacts who you feel may have an interest in your product or services. Fill your email with information and plenty of links back to your services. In your newsletter, ask them, and I mean SPECIFICALLY ask them to forward it to everyone they know who might be interested in your product. If you have provided good information, some of your contacts are sure to pass it along. In addition, ask those who forwarded your information to give you the contact information so you can follow up, too.

3. Submit your newly created newsletter to ezine and newsletter directories. The process is fairly straightforward, but you will have to place a link to the directory on your website. That's OK! In fact, it's a great thing. One of the criteria the search engines look for in ranking your site is the number of links. So link away.

And then in a couple weeks, write another newsletter and submit it to the newsletter directories. Just using these few strategies can build a reputation for your site that will allow you to attract the customers you want.

Try it. It works.
About the Author
Katryna Johnson is an attorney, small business consultant, and marketing professional who runs several offline and online businesses. She's currently seeing success with some affiliate programs, starting with offline contacts and newsletters. Check out http://www.TJCashbox.com.
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