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Top Seven Free Online Advertising Methods

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Elmer Thomas Jr.
When I say free, I am referring to money. I know that your time is not free, but its what most of us startups have to bargain with in the beginning. These methods are not given in the order of effectiveness, but each one has given us some success to our ThemBid.com marketing campaign (Over 37,000 unique visitors to our website in just over two months). To measure the effectiveness of your techniques, we recommend Google Analytics. We also use AWStats on our server to compliment the Google data.

1. Blog Publishing

The search engines aggressively index blogs so you gain listings almost immediately. We use the sub-domain method with blog.thembid.com and use WordPress as the tool to publish the blog. Our most popular blogs are those that describe methodologies in detail, in particular, our technical blogs have performed the best.

2. Social Networking

The top two traffic generating social networks for us are Digg.com and Reddit.com. At the end of each blog is a "share this" link that has a list of some of the most popular social networks to encourage our readers to submit. We received over 16,000 unique visits in one day after one of our articles was posted on the front page of Digg.com.

3. E-mail Blast

We have sent three e-mail blasts using our own internal mailing lists. Each time we received a large spike in traffic. The e-mail was simple text with a personalized P.S. at the end.

4. Blog Participation

We have received considerable attention by posting comments into blog articles that relate to our website, including a link to our website of course.

5. Press Releases

While we did pay for early PR, we have found it just as effective to contact editors directly with a summary of our story. Often they will publish it without the need for further contact from us.

6. CraigsList.com

CraigsList.com is teeming with people who need something. Fill that need and you will gain happiness.

7. Link Exchange or Networking

In our case, we don't have links to exchange, but we can offer profiles to those who link to us. In most cases we have had other websites link to us with no expectation of return. It does not hurt to ask. Just by asking our alma matter, we were able to gain a front page spot on the Electrical Engineering web site.

These methods have worked well for us so far, and we are always trying new ideas. We would love to hear yours, and we will continue to share what works as we continue to test and learn.

Please send all feedback, topic suggestions and/or questions to http://www.TechTalk@AboveTheLimit.com. Digital archives can be found at BlackVoiceNews.com and IngleWoodToday.com

Elmer Thomas Jr. is Founder of Above the Limit, Inc., an award winning web and software development company dedicated to bridging the digital divide. You can find out more about Mr. Thomas at http://www.AboveTheLimit.com.

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