How to Market Your Site Without Google

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It seems you can’t walk five virtual steps without tripping over articles about search engine optimization.  Everyone wants their work to rank highly in Google’s search results.  Because such a large percentage of a website’s traffic comes from search engines, this can appear to be a vital part of marketing your work.  Now that everyone’s fighting for that top spot, it’s becoming a lot harder to get there.  Luckily for the non competitive types, it turns out that there are actually traffic sources other than Google.com! This article will show you how to promote something online without giving in to the SEO rat race.

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Back to basics. Before getting into the specific locations and method for advertising your stuff, let’s get back to the basics.  One of the reasons people are so in love with SEO is that they can easily promote their zombie spam articles.  If you’re going to go old school promo, you’ve got to start with some quality content.  Even the SEO gurus will tell you that quality content is far easier to advertise than the quick and cheap.  It doesn’t have to be incredible, just worth someone’s time.  If you’ve got something interesting, people will talk about it! You’ll find that spending a few extra minutes sprucing up your content will save you hours of promotion. No kidding.

Social networking. Social networking has been around forever.  It’s latest incarnation makes it easier than ever to get traffic.  Start a Twitter to post about your content.  Get on MySpace and Facebook.  Start a blog about whatever you’re working on.  Make a short YouTube video just talking about what you’re doing.  YouTube gets an obscene amount of traffic.  Just having something up there will draw unbelievable amounts of visitors.  Use social bookmark sites like Stumbleupon and Delicious.  Submit to Digg! Make accounts on all of these places and get promoting.

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Untapped Markets. Try some places you wouldn’t think to promote.  In some of my other articles I’ve written about using Flickr to promote How-To articles and DeviantArt to promote your website.  This sound a little out of the ordinary, but that’s what catches a person’s eye.  Even now I’m running off to tell people on Yahoo Answers about how they can ditch the SEO tips they’re looking for and read this article instead. If you’re going to think outside the box though, make sure the content you’re posting is relevant.  Spamming is counter productive. Just say no.

Message Board. Forums and Message Boards are your best friend.  If you’re part of the myspace generation, you may not know what a message board is.  Tons of people still hang out on these things, and they’re just dying for a link to click.  Head over to one, make an account, and chat with the people on it.  Try posting a link to whatever you’re trying to promote in your forum signature.  That’s instant promotion every time you post, and you never have to get off topic.  Find message boards you really like and chat there often.  The traffic I get off some boards could rival the lesser search engines any day of the week.

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Crosslink. Find sites relevant to what you’re trying to promote, and attempt to get on those site.  There’s a few ways to do this.  The first is to contact the site/blog/article owner and ask if they want to exchange links. You link their site, they link yours, everybody wins.  Obviously you can only link so many sites, so the other option is to pay them to link to you.  It’s cheaper than third party banner ads! Offer then a small sum of money and see what they say.  If you’re not willing to shell out money for the link, then don’t! Depending on how good your content is, they may just want to put it on their site regardless. Start emailing these people and telling them about your stuff.

World Wide. Don’t be too nationalistic.  It’s easy to dismiss a source of traffic because you haven’t heard of it.  In the US, for instance, no one knows what Xanga or Orkut is.  If you go to Canada or Brazil, they’re crazy about it.  The amount of Orkut hits I find on my various projects is mind-boggling. I don’t get it, but that doesn’t matter.  Brazil gets it, and they like my articles.

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Additional Tips

  • This article may seem really anti-SEO, but it’s not.  Search engines are great, but rising to the top of that game can make a lot of the fun parts of promoting your stuff seem like work. Just realize there are other options.
  • Speak of SEO…again…these tips will actually help your ranking.  More people talking about your work and more links to it means better search rank.
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