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Promote Your Site For Free with Ten Power Promotion Strategies

Update: August 19, 2007

While this article focuses on ways to promote your website for free, there will be some recommendations that require payment as I have received emails from many site owners that want paid alternatives when they make sense. Now, there are many ways to creatively and affordably promote your online business. Over the years, I have performed all of the strategies below and have succeeded. However, it should be understood that I have been online since 1996 and some of these sites may not be live still as I do my best to update my articles, but with the growth and site of my site, there is sometimes old and outdated information.

Joint Ventures
Participating in joint ventures with fellow web masters and publishers can be a very profitable experience. This would include swapping articles to boost content and link popularity to cross advertising in ezines or in the welcome letter you send to your new customers.

This can also include agreement to give a percentage of your business or a percentage of sales in return for marketing done in behalf of your business. The most popular is when a product or service is released and the owner agrees to give 50% of all the sales to the "JV Partner" who emails to her list of 50,000 qualified buyers. This works out well for the owner as he doesn't have a marketing list and if the email blast fails to convert, he isn't out any fees. However, if the campaign is successful and the product sells one million dollars the first week, each walks away with a half million dollars and hopefully happy.

Writing Articles
This is an extremely effective method of building your online reputation and your business. Writing articles is often easier than you would imagine as long as you stick with your area of expertise and you have a good editor.

A good editor is key. Many outsource article writing and it can cause quite a problem if the writer is overseas and does not speak your language natively. Be very careful in this area.

Submit your articles to the following sites:

Go Articles
Ezine Articles
Idea Marketers
Business Opportunities Classifieds

You can also announce your articles to newsgroups and group lists.

Article Announce is a Yahoo! Group that you can announce your articles to. Make sure you read thepPosting guidelines before you post.

Article Announce List is a smaller Yahoo! Group

Ad Swaps
Swapping ads, or running another publisher's ad in exchange for him/her running yours, is a very popular method of promotion. There are countless ezines on the Internet and most of the publishers are willing to swap ads. You can contact them by email, but if possible, we recommend that you pick up the phone and speak to them directly.

If you are looking for a service to help you find publishers who are willing to swap ads, see below:

Ezine-Swap

Discussion Lists
Participating in discussion groups can get you established as an expert in your field as well as build your reputation. This can bring you subscribers, customers and clients. Always follow each group's guidelines for posting and treat everyone with respect and courtesy.

The two most popular discussion groups are Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups.

Message Boards
Similar to discussion groups. Find a few quality boards and visit regularly. Participate and help whenever possible by offering your experience, advice, expertise or support. Always follow the rules and never Spam.

Free Ecourses
Compile a series of articles and turn them into a mini Ecourse. Provide step by step information and helpful resources to complement said info. Always provide links to your website, ezine and any products that are applicable. You should also have your email on every page so it is very easy to contact you. Assemble your course on a free autoresponder and start offering it to your subscribers and visitors as well as your fellow webmasters for distribution.

Free Ebooks
Creating an ebook is not hard. You can simply compile several articles that you or other people have written. Provide tips, resources and information. Offer your ebook to webmasters, ebook directories and ezine publishers for distribution.

EBook Directory
Ebook Jungle

Free Directories
There are hundreds of free ezine, business, and website directories all over the net.

Ezine Hub
Best Ezines
Ezine Locater
Ezine Universe

Link Exchanges
Similar to ad swaps only you are listing other links on your website in exchange for your link being listed on their website. Set up a special set of pages with different categories for link exchanges.

Be mindful to only swap links with sites that you consider to be quality. This area has been heavily monitored by the search engines as a place where webmasters attempt to improve their authority articifically.

AutoResponders
Autoresponders are used for mail out of follow-ups to ezine subscribers, requests for more information, orders, article requests, etc. Effective follow-ups can raise your sales significantly.

There are many free autoresponders that you can find by doing a search in Google (be mindful, many sites claim to be free, but they actually charge). We use 1AutomationWiz.com an we've been thrilled with their service and support. Plans start at $29.95 but they do offer a free trial so you can see how it works before committing.

If you consistently use some or all of these methods, your business is sure to grow. But remember, your business is, after all, a business and will require an injection of cash to take off. Once you get there, see our comprehensive list of what you need in order to hit the next level.

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Jerry West is a leading SEO expert and consultant. See http://www.webmarketingnow.com/ for more tips.