Traditional marketing tends to be expensive and the competition is high. But by considering such unusual outlets as Craigslist, RSS feeds, and even Technorati, you can capture the lion’s share of the market with little or no investment other than your time and effort.
If you’ve ever wanted to buy used furniture, look for a job, or even romance, you probably already are familiar with Craigslist. It’s the biggest and most popular free classified listing on the internet. It also is a great place to promote your website for free.
Regardless of what your niche is, there’s almost certainly a category on Craigslist that you can use. The site hosts discussion forums on everything from health and beauty products to celebrities, from vegan cooking to pets. And the only postings that you pay for on Craigslist ar the help wanted ads.
Participating in forums related to your niche is an effective, no-cost way to gain exposure for your website in front of people who already are interested in buying what you are selling. By engaging in conversations with other Craigslist users on the comment threads, you can promote your products and services, build your professional reputation, and identify prospective customers that you can convert into loyal fans.
You can join an existing conversation or start a new forum topic.
One caveat: Anything you do and say online stays in cyberspace forever, so always make sure you are polite and professional. Craigslist tends to have a much more relaxed, laid back vibe to it, so it’s easy to let your hair down and say things you might not say elsewhere.
RSS feeds are a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works. They are sort of like a web version of a news wire service, such as the Associated Press or United Press International, except the content can be about anything and can include video, audio recordings, slideshows, infographics and other types of content.
Users who subscribe to free RSS feeds get fresh content delivered to their RSS reader anytime something new is published to the feed. Often these readers are placed on their computer desktop, but now many people are posting RSS readers onto their smartphones and tablets.
There are two basic ways you can use RSS feeds to promote your website. The first is to offer your own RSS feed to subscribers, in which you provide a constant stream of information about new products, price changes, availability, promotions and other things related to your business. You can choose from a variety of RSS aggregators that you can use to build your feed and offer it to your customers.
The second option is to provide your content to somebody else’s RSS feed. This can be an existing local business group’s feed, an industry feed, a news feed or any other feed that will accept your content.
Whichever method you choose, make sure the content you provide is valuable and accurate and that you always include a link to your website.
Technorati is a search engine that is used to search blogs. It is based on the micro-descriptions, called “tags”, which blog creators use to identify the content of their blogs. Technorati uses these tags to help users find blogs related to topics of interest to them.
If you have a blog, Technorati is a great way to help people find your content, which you can then use to direct them to your website. Technorati also serves as the centralized site for everything having to do with blogs. It offers articles and links to other sites involving blogging news and statistics, and it hosts numerous blogging forums in which bloggers can exchange information and ideas.
Another marketing option is to find blogs related to your niche and then contact the authors. You can ask if they will allow you to write a guest blog. Because most bloggers eventually run out of ideas, in many cases they will agree. When you provide an informative, well-written blog about your niche topic, you can build your reputation as an expert in your field and also include a link so that you can drive traffic to your website.
You can build relationships with other bloggers by frequently leaving positive, supportive comments about their blog postings. Even though there are millions of bloggers, the blogging community for each niche tends to be a small world, so becoming friends with other bloggers can lead to testimonials, mutual support and cross-promotion opportunities.
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