Are you excited about the new Web site you've just finished? Are you ready for those writing jobs to start pouring in? I have over seven years experience in marketing and sales, and I'd like to share what I've learned with you. When I started out I did not know much about marketing promotion, but along the way I learned, and now I wish to share my techniques with you. It is an affordable way of marketing because some of my techniques won't cost you a penny, and some may only cost a few dollars.
You must begin your marketing plan by finding the markets, and also by creating and distributing promotional materials. I have listed a few ways to help you get started on your marketing plan. They are as follows:
- Send press releases.
- Sign guest books.
- Put together an e-zine or newsletter.
- Message boards.
- Search engines.
- Link exchanges.
- Banner exchanges.
- Add signatures to your e-mails.
- Business cards.
Beginning with the first step... write a press release to announce the launch of your new Web site. Have your release mention the writing services you offer and a little information about you and your experience. Next, search for Web sites on the Internet that will allow you to promote your press release for free. You can search using the terms "free press release distribution" (include the quotes around the terms). Once you've found the Web sites, distribute the press release to all of them. A few Web sites that allow you to distribute your press release for free are: PR Leap (http://prleap.com), PR (http://pr.com/press-releases), Newswire (http://i-newswire.com) and PR Pal (http://www.prpal.com).
In addition to Web sites, search the Internet for newsletters and e-zines that accept press releases free. These newsletters and e-zines will run your release in their newsletter or e-zine. You don't want to target just any newsletter or e-zine, you want to target only newsletters and e-zines with the audience you are seeking. Since you're offering writing services, target newsletters and e-zines with the following subscribers: webmasters (looks for writers to write content for their Web site), businesses (looks for writers to write promotion materials for their business) and editors (looks for writers to write for their magazine, e-zine or newsletter). Many times, if you search the newsletter or e-zine's Web site for a media kit you will find out who their subscribers are and what percentage they are. For example, one may have 200 subscribers with 60% of their subscribers being webmasters, and yes, this would be a good one to advertise your services in.
Once you find the newsletters or e-zines, if their Web site does not give you any information about press releases, send them a quick e-mail and ask if they accept press releases for their newsletter or e-zine. Also ask if it is free to have them run your release, and find out how they prefer to receive your press release.
Visit Web sites for businesses, webmasters and editors. Once there, take a look around and then see if they have a guest book. If you find that the Web site does have a guest book, sign it. When you sign their guestbook, leave your comments letting them know what you thought of their Web site, and then end your comment with your name and a link to your new Web site. This not only promotes your Web site to the right audience, but it can also help your Web site's ranking in the search engines.
E-zines & Newsletters
Again, search the Internet for e-zines and newsletters for webmasters, businesses and editors/publishers. Once you've found these e-zines and newsletters, try to find out what their circulation (number of subscribers) is, and also the cost to run a small advertisement with them (stay within your advertising budget). It's best to target the e-zines and newsletters with a circulation of at least 100 or more subscribers. Placing your advertisement in the e-zines and newsletters can pay off!
If you don't have the budget at this time to pay for advertising, you can always offer to do an exchange with them. How do I do an exchange when I don't have an e-zine or newsletter? Easy, create an e-zine or newsletter that your potential clients can subscribe to. Since you're offering writing services, you'll want your newsletter to be for your target audience (webmasters, editors and businesses). You can offer a newsletter that gives marketing advice, resources, updates on your services, and even run special discounts from time-to-time. Having this newsletter also allows your potential clients to get a sample of your writing style since they may be considering you for a project they need written.
After building up your subscriber list, contact the other e-zine and newsletter owners and make them an offer. Tell them you'll run a small advertisement of their Web site in your e-zine or newsletter (whichever you offer) for free, if, in exchange, they will run a small advertisement of your Web site in their e-zine or newsletter for free. You'll find many will be happy to take you up on your offer, because they too like free advertising.
Message boards are another great way to drive traffic to your Web site and promote the services you're offering. You must find message boards for your target audience. The thing you need to remember when advertising on message boards is not to spam -- spamming can get you into trouble, and it can also get your advertisement removed from the board. To prevent spamming a message board, you will first need to read the rules of posting for each thread. If it says not to post advertisements on that thread, then don't. If the thread says it's okay to post advertisements then you're safe. Another form of spamming a message board is when you post your advertisement in more than one of their threads -- only post in one thread.
Don't just advertise on the message boards and leave for good. At least once a week go back to the boards and try and participate in the discussions; you never know who you may be able to help. If allowed, you can place the link to your Web site in your signature.
Now that you've built your Web site you need to get it listed in the search engines as soon as possible. In order to do this you need to submit to the search engines by hand, or you can find some free search engine submission services to do it for you. Personally, I like to make the submission myself. By submitting the Web site myself I have more control over the categories I'm listed in and etc.
If you decide to submit by hand, you will need to know a few things. One, search engines definitely do not put you on top unless you pay. So, being as you may be promoting through the free route, look over the categories you fit into, next, see which categories have the least amount of listings. The category with the least amount of listings will be the category you want to submit to.
If your budget allows, I recommend paying for search engine placement. You can do this affordably if you do it right. By using pay-per-click you can stay within your allotted budget, and it is more effective. Have you ever run a search at Yahoo or Google? Sure you have -- we all search the Internet. Anyway, during your search, when the results come up, I'm sure you've seen the ads at the top of your results, and also the ads to the right. These ads usually say "sponsored links." That is where your link would be placed.
Go ahead and get busy marketing your Web site using the methods I have given you today. You will be busy, and probably spend a few hours using the methods mentioned above.
Link & Banner Exchanges
Visit Web sites related to yours, and once there look for information on how you can do a link or banner exchange (whichever you prefer) with the Web site's owner. If you do not find any information on a link or banner exchange, contact the Web site's owner to see if he or she will do a link or banner exchange with you. The more Web sites that link to your site, the better your ranking in the search engines.
I'll help you get started, I offer a free link and banner exchange on my Web site, to find out more just visit my Web site (http://www.mistisandefur.com/freeadvertising.html). In addition, I also offer free print advertising. To find out if your Web site qualifies for my free print advertising click the link on my Web site titled "Free Print Advertising."
Another great way to get your Web site noticed is by placing a short signature in your e-mail. Make sure your signature provides a link to your Web site, so every time you send an e-mail to someone they can visit you at your home on the web. Here's a sample signature you can use: Need a writer? Hire me! I meet deadlines on time, and I have over X years experience. Insert your URL here.
Business Cards, Brochures and Flyers
When promoting with business cards, flyers, bookmarks, brochures and etc., you are able to put your Web site address, contact information and etc. on your business cards, brochures and flyers. Putting this information on your promotional materials will allow your potential clients to contact you, as well as, find out more about what you have to offer. You can make these items yourself with software programs, a printer and the special paper to print them up on.
When promoting with any of the methods I have mentioned, it will help you to give your potential clients a special offer or freebie. Everyone love ways to save money, and what they love even more is something for free. By offering them something as simple as a discount or a free e-book you could land your very first client.
I hope I've been of help to you with your marketing plan. I would love to hear your feedback, so just post your comments to tell me what you thought. In addition, if you have any marketing questions, or would like to share your own marketing tip, post a comment and share it with the cyberworld.
Good luck with your marketing adventures, and may you be blessed with much success!