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How to Promote a Web Site for $100 and 8 Hours Per Month

May 16, 2008
If you had eight hours and $100 per month to spend on the promotion of your web site, what would you do? I answered a question similar to this recently on LinkedIn and thought it was an interesting mental exercise. What would you do? The following is what I would recommend a web site owner do in this situation.

With the eight hours, I would divide that time up as so: five hours on research and writing, one hour article distribution, one hour social bookmarking, and one hour link swapping. This would accomplish two major goals of a search engine optimization campaign: content creation and linking. This assumes that the web site is reasonably optimized to begin with, at least as far as content. If your site has little content to begin with, you need to address that before starting an SEO campaign.

The five hours devoted to research and writing could be used to make blog posts. Those blog posts can then be compiled into articles. Assuming you could do a blog post in a half hour (counting a few minutes for research), then you could do eight blog posts (or about two per week), and then create two to four articles from those blog posts. This would result in the creation of a lot of content on your site (assuming the blog is part of your site, or is your site) and the distribution of a lot of content which would link back to your site.

For the $100, first I would pay for some kind of article distribution service. Probably the best such service I have found is ArticleMarketer. It's not perfect (in fact, there are some things about that I despise), but it does a great job of performing its core function - distributing your articles. It is a pay service, so that fee will have to come out of the $100, but I believe that would still leave at least $75 per month.

With the remainder of the cash, I would purchase a few reasonably high PR links from a link brokerage service. There are a number of such companies, so just search for them and pick one that offers what you are looking for - high quality links from sites relevant to your business. There has been a lot of discussion in the search engine marketing industry about Google's discounting of links, but it has been my experience that Google (and all the major search engines to an extent) still places a lot of stock in the links you have pointing to your web site.

One bonus with purchasing links is that you will receive some traffic from direct click-throughs, well before there is any affect on search engine rankings. In addition, the content distribution part of your strategy (distributing articles) will help with your company's branding. Every time someone reads your article (assuming it is well-researched and well-written), they will see your name or company name and recognize you as an authority in your field.

Like most any strategy involving search engine optimization, this is not a quick path to fame and glory. It takes time, and it takes discipline. You must be systematic. One weakness in this strategy as described above is that you need to be a decent writer. There are article writing services you can take advantage of, but that does not work in the context of our $100 per month budget. If your budget is that thin, you need to either have the capability to write good articles or know someone you can hire for very cheap (perhaps a gifted local high school student?).

Is this strategy easy? Not particularly. Does it work? Absolutely. It is possible to achieve high search engine rankings on your own, on a very small budget, with just a few hours of work. Give it a try!
About the Author
Jerry Work is president of pay per click management and SEO firm Work Media, LLC, based in Nashville.
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