How to market your site on a low budget

In these tough economic conditions, how can you grow traffic to your site without spending a fortune on marketing?  Here are some ideas to stimulate your creativity and help you market your site for very little cash.  It goes without saying that you should work your offline brands hard to drive traffic – see my blog on that subject.

1. Maximum content

It’s a bit obvious, but the more (relevant) content you have the better.  Add a searchable archive – see my blog on archives for details.  Persuade an editorially minded person to start a blog.  Add something every day if you can.

2. Turn your editors into stars

Build up your editors into experts.  Get them on radio (easier than TV and many people listen while surfing the web) talking about your subject – and mentioning the URL.  Persuade them to start a blog and encourage external links.

3. Create some noteworthy surveys

Run a survey on your site – the more outrageous the better – eg horse-owners rate their horse above their partner – and drip the results to newspapers, magazines and radio.

4. Add a new topical tool

This isn’t quite free – but if you have a friendly developer it’s still low cost.  Create a topical tool for your site, and again PR it externally.  Parkers did this with a car tax calculator in time for the budget, and generated a phenomenal spike of activity.

5. Cross-promote with your advertisers

Be friendly to your biggest advertisers – maybe they can put a tips sheet or a review and your URL in their packaging – or you could provide content on their website with a link back.  Swap email databases.  Get them to provide a competition prize or a giveaway — or even a special reader offer.

Share your best tips on “free” marketing by clicking on the comment button.

Carolyn Morgan’s consultancy business, Penmaen Media, helps media brands grow in a digital world.  Visit www.penmaen.media to find out more

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