After you buy the domain, find the hosting, and generate content, the worst is NOT over. You still need to get people to your site, and keep them coming back.
What’s a website administrator to do?
Well, short of advertising on television, radio, newspaper, or billboards, it seems as if nothing else will get the exposure you need to tell the world of your existence. Now is the time to become creative, and make some of your habits profitable. Prospering online is a lot like networking offline — you have to go to meetings (other sites), you have to introduce yourself (make a post), and you have to be friendly (don’t get banned). Most importantly, you want to make an positive impact and be remembered so that people will begin to look for you and miss your presence when you are gone.
Exposure gone wrong.
Forums, blogs, and any other public gathering spots on the web will be our virtual playgrounds, and maximizing this network will be essential to your online success. Here are a couple of tips for making the most out of your web visits, and getting yourself (and your site) known:
Use your name: Make this consistent on ALL of the sites that you visit. The goal here is to be remembered, and you can’t do that if you have a different login for different sites. Also, on forums and blogs, they usually have ways that you can comment and leave your website address, so your name will eventually be linked with your site and generate more traffic.
Use your signature…: Again, it’s a good idea to be consistent with this as well. If you can, make a small graphic that people can easily recognize, and tie it to your URL (see the bottom of this post for an idea). Place this on ALL of your posts so people will get used to seeing it.
…Or reject your signature: Here’s a good strategy for NOT using your signature. Signatures are great; however, they only appear when YOU post. Wouldn’t it be cool to have other people do the work for you? Well if you turn off or disable your signature, and instead post the same information at the bottom of all of your posts, not only will it appear when you post, but also when people quote your post in a reply! This trick is best when you use a small graphic, because people can ignore text but pictures are a little harder to overlook. You can also vary the placement of your signature information, sometimes posting it at the top or in the middle of your content.
Give honest commentary: Making frivolous comments will get your comments tossed — or worse. On most sites, you don’t have to explicitly place your website in with your comments, just use the fields just above the commenting area to enter your name, e-mail address and website link. I usually drop by a site and leave a positive note, such as “Good Job! This information is VERY valuable and xyz is the reason why pigs cannot fly” or a variation of that to make nice with the owner. Also, try to include specifics in your comment, and ask good questions to encourage ongoing dialogue. Some sites even highlight the top commentators, so make note of these sites and comment often.
Check your sites twice: Santa has his list, and so should you. Make a habit of visiting your favorite blogs daily, and if possible, twice a day. You never know when new content will be posted, and being the first to comment shows that you aren’t just a fly-by-night visitor. I usually check once in the morning and once at night, and it doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes each time.
Site variations are useful: Variety is the spice of life, and it could spice up your traffic. Tap into what you like — you might go fishing regularly, but also enjoy bowling, archery, painting and reading. When you regularly visit and participate on sites with different content, you have the opportunity to reach many different people, instead of the same old regulars. Don’t force it though — you want to be able to add to the discussion and not appear as if you’re just fishing for new visitors.
Try something new: Be on the lookout for new websites that appear. Being the first to comment establishes a relationship with that owner, and the two of you can help each other in the building process. Even if you have a mid-to-large site, you never know what you might StumbleUpon. 🙂
Be nosy: Running out of ideas on how to find more sites to visit? As you frequent different sites, click on various names to get more information on any user and see what kind of site they have. This is a great way to ‘add a site a day’ to your routine. Done once per day, that’s 30 more sites per month, and 60 if you add 2 a day. In half a year you could reach upwards of 360 sites that you can gain exposure from, and that number can exponentially rise depending on that particular website’s traffic.
Be nosier: Want a really easy way to find the websites that you can link to? Use Technorati. Browse another blog’s Techorati reactions and you’ll have a whole day’s worth of linking right in front of you. Some bloggers have thousands of listings, and they are yours for the taking
It takes work, but those automatic payments into your account will be well worth it! 😀