We have all heard the phrase “you have to spend money to make money”. That’s easy to do providing you have the funds to do it. But how does the average blogger or website owner promote their product without spending a cent?
I do not have an avertising budget, nor do I have a marketing team to help me promote my product. I do not have a team around me helping me come up with new advertising campaigns in order to attract visitors to my site.
So how do I make money without spending anything on advertsing or maketing? I am currently not making any money through my websites (minus the $2.99), and I cannot really afford to spend money on advertising at the moment. The money that I have spent on building and developing my websites has come out of my own pocket and I am currently running at a loss.
What I have spent has all been aimed at advertising. I went through 3 scripts before I found one that I was happy with for Nameseek. All up I spent over $500 on the scripts, $50 on Google Adwords and say another $50 on domain names and hosting. So all up I am down $600 and after month 1 – I have made enough to buy me a cup of coffee.
So how do I get spread the word without spending anymore on advertising? The fact is I do not want to keep on pumping money into the site without any return. It is not feasible and doesn’t make any business sense. I would like to start earning some money from my sites, and then whatever I make out of them put back into advertsing. For the first 12 months at least I would most probably put 90% of what I earn back into the site, and keep the other 10%.
It is a bit of a catch 22. You need to spent money to make money, but don’t have any money to spend in order to spend on making money!
For now I am going to concentrate on free advertising. I think people will respond to a forum post rather than a 468×60 banner ad at the top of someone’s website. When was the last time you clicked on a banner ad?
Lately I have been targeting forums related to the topics of my websites. I think forums are a great form of free publicity as the user’s are all there for discussion about various topics and a quick post doesn’t hurt. Just make sure the post make is related to the type of discussion. Don’t just create a new post saying “Visit this great website”. Try to make the post part of the discussion and keep it in context of what the users are saying.
Link exchanges are another great form of advertising. If you can find a website that is related to yours, but not in direct competition then approach them for a link in exchange for you adding their link on your site. I have done this with Australian Webmaster. Australian Webmaster is a webmasters forum, it’s users would be very similar to Nameseek’s, so it was a great way of targeting my advertising to other Aussie webmasters and domainers.
So for now I am going to sit tight and try to advertise for free wherever I can. I just have to make sure I keep it up so I do not fall behind to my competition.