You’ve heard that saying right, that “content is king?”
It’s true, most sites on the Web (and all blogs) exist to provide visitors with some form of content. If you want those visitors to come back and possibly tell their friends about your site, your content better be great.
In that way, yes, content is king.
But great content alone won’t magically make your site popular. Promotion (or marketing, advertising or whatever else you want to call it) is also essential for building a high-traffic site.
For that reason, I like to say if content is king, promotion is prime minister.
What is Promotion, Anyway? Why Do I Need To Do It?
Promotion is simply the act of getting the word out about your site or blog to potential visitors.
It can be as simple as sending someone an email about your site, or as complicated as running an ad campaign. The point is that even if you built an awesome site filled with fantastic content, people will never visit unless they hear about the site somehow.
If you’re lucky enough to build something that spreads naturally via word-of-mouth, congratulations. You’ve won the marketing lottery. Until that happens though, your job is to pound the proverbial pavement and spread the word about your site.
Where Do I Promote My Site? Don’t People Hate Self-Promotion?
Whoa! What’s with all the questions at once? Let’s take one at a time
First, yes people do tend to dislike self-promotion when it’s overdone or obnoxious. This is a legitimate concern, but there are plenty of ways to promote your site without being a jerk.
Think about how you find out about new sites and blogs. You are constantly finding new things on a daily basis, right?
A lot of those new discoveries aren’t by accident. Chances are that someone purposefully got their site in front of you somewhere and convinced you to click through and check it out.
Second, there are lots of ways you can tastefully promote your site (and we’ll be talking about many more promotional tactics here at Think Traffic in the future):
- Anytime you setup a profile on a social media service like Facebook, Twitter, etc., add a link to your site.
- Leave comments on other blogs and include a link to your site.
- Optimize your site so that the search engines will be more likely to include your site high up in the search results.
- Send out a status update on your social media profiles whenever you publish new content.
- Send out a press release when you have something newsworthy to say.
- Submit your content to social sharing and bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg, etc.
- Write guest posts on other blogs and include a link to your site in your bio.
- Pay for online advertising.
- Have these guys wear your site’s T-shirt (OK, who knows how effective that one is, but I thought it was funny at least).
These are just some of the basics. There are other more clever promotional tactics that we’ll dive into in future posts.
How Can I Get Other People To Promote My Site As Well?
The most popular sites don’t do much self-promotion at all. Eventually, people will actually promote your content for you, without you even asking. Just look at how many mentions on Twitter each article receives on a site like Copyblogger.
When you’re just starting out, there are things you can do that will naturally encourage other people to promote your site and content. What’s better than free promotion?
The goal here is to create raving fans and build compelling content that people just want to share with others. You also will want to make it easy for people to share your content in the way you design your site.
Here are some basic things you can do to encourage sharing of your content:
- Get to know other bloggers via email, phone, in-person, etc. When you form real friendships with other bloggers, they are more likely to promote your site.
- Add social media buttons on content pages at your site. These let readers click a button and share your site on StumbleUpon, Reddit, Facebook, etc.
- Write articles that mention other people or site in a complimentary or provocative way. This is sometimes known as link bait, because it encourages other people to link back to your site.
- Write especially in-depth or groundbreaking content. If you take the time to write something really useful or eye-opening, people will notice and promote it for you.
- Allow other bloggers to write guest posts for your blog. When someone writes a guest post, it’s almost guaranteed that they will promote that post themselves.
I hope this gets you thinking about why promotion is so important in building a high-traffic website or blog. We will be discussing promotional tactics and strategies often here at Think Traffic, so I know you’ll stick around and learn more.
Get the full scoop on website traffic basics in the Website Traffic 101 series.