Increasing website traffic to your website is important. In my case I want to have a website that is useful to the people who read it and can provide meaningful helpful information which is valued. A key feature of that aim is gaining a reasonable amount of relevant web traffic who will read my posts and possibly give feedback to me and to other readers. In this post I will show you free strategies for advertising that can be as effective, if not even more effective than giant billboards selling the latest mp3 digital projector camera phone to the masses..

Let me begin with an example how these strategies are useful in all walks of life.

My girlfriend Amanda is an opera singer and private music teacher. When we moved to our flat near Edinburgh, we both knew no-one. We came here because I started a job here, and friends and family live 50 miles away in another city. To get started on her career in this new area, Amanda started with online advertising for music teaching on private teacher websites. The pick up was very slow and no serious contact was made about teaching music. She then became involved in the local choir group. Every Thursday she would go to choir practise and sing like all the others. Very quickly she became recognised for her talent and she was asked more and more to do solo pieces. At one point she was asked to be understudy for a performance the group had organised. Whilst this didn’t pay anything, she was recognised for her talent and then was asked to give a paid masterclass for her fellow choir members. In the meantime the choir members told their friends about this ‘new music teacher’ and very quickly by word of mouth she was asked to give private lessons to adults and kids. She was even asked by a local school to be the music teacher. Now she is so busy with lessons I am lucky to see her before 9pm most weeknights!

This is an example of a Zero Cost, Zero Effort strategy. By giving example of her work for free, and getting exposure to the right people, that was all the advertising she needed. Zero Effort in that example may be seen to be misleading, because she of course has gone through years of schooling and previous experience to achieve the skill level she has now and had to put in some effort by going to the choir. By Zero Effort I mean the amount of effort she put into advertising herself. The choir practise is something she wanted to do and the advertising took care of itself.

So how does this relate to you and what are the key aims? The route of these strategies lie in your social ability. The more sociable you are and the more you communicate with other people, the more opportunities you have for advertising. Choose your audience by going to the right places. If you want sell your skills as a Japanese-English translator, go to anime clubs and conventions and show people you have the skills you intend to sell.

In my case I want to advertise that I write on this website and it has value for the reader. After reading a post or two from here, the reader will be enlightened in some way and be given new insights which can help them in some way.

However, there already exists a huge amount of personal development websites containing free quality interactive content such as Forums and Blogs. So if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

Try writing a few quality responses to existing threads. Be sure to answer what they ask, not just straight up advertising for your site; a reader will just ignore it. Try to give a useful response to a topic that interests both you and the person you reply to. Provide a link in your signature to your website in all your posts. That way people can link to your website if they feel inclined to. Remember, the value of your post or reply content does the advertising itself, the link provides a means for them to find you.

Another resource is social networking websites. These sites inform your friends when you update your status or upload new photos. Why not blog into there too? You could use content from your original blog and dont forget to provide a link back to your main site.

The key objective is to show to people that you are worthy of their visits to your site. You prove your worth to them in the posts and replies they read elsewhere. Remember it wont necessarily be the person whom you are responding to who will read your post. Days, months and years later your posts will be held online and indexed by search engines. If what you say is valuable to any reader, they will continue to read your posts and your link will be right there for them to click on.

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