December 20, 2011

With so many blogs and independently-run businesses in the market today, I get a lot of questions about how to get maximum exposure with no cost whatsoever. To that end, here are a few of my favorite ways to get free marketing.

Intelligent SEO

SEO has almost become something of a dirty word in the internet marketing world as of late. It conjures up images of so-called ‘black-hat SEO,’ of poorly written articles jammed full of keywords to bring their host sites up in the rankings, and of comments sections ruined by people spamming links to their blog.

That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about optimizing your site properly. Fixing the metadata, putting the right keywords in the right places, and updating regularly with useful content that people will link to. That’s the kind of SEO that everybody likes – it will make your site better, which your customers will appreciate, and it will increase traffic to your site, which will increase your business.

It can be a tough subject to get right though. Pick up a good ebook on SEO, and really go through step-by-step to make sure you hit every part.

Put Together an Email List

This can be a great tool to have. Email addresses which were given to you by users of your site tend to be one of the most responsive groups of people to market to. Think about it: they were interested enough in your site to visit, and they liked it enough to give you their email address.

Recognize that a potential customer’s email address is a valuable commodity. Try to get more, and don’t abuse the ones that you have. To get more, offer visitors to your site something of value – a free ebook, a free (non-spam) weekly newsletter, or some quality affiliate marketing.

Make sure that you respect their decision. If you’re trying to sell to this list, offer them value, don’t just spam them relentlessly. If you take the latter path, you’ll soon find that the members of the list don’t visit your site very often.

Engage the community

This can take many forms, including commenting on influential blogs in your industry niche, or guest blogging if you have enough expertise.

Commenting is the easier path. Simply find relevant and influential blogs in your industry. The more popular, the better. Read them, and offer valuable and insightful comments about what you’ve read. After people start getting to know you, you can offer links to your own site, and try to divert a bit of traffic away from the more popular sites.

There is a fine line here between valuable and insightful commenting, and spamming the comments section. Make sure that you stay away from the latter. The last thing you want to do is antagonize influential bloggers and their readers.

Remember, some of the best marketing out there is free. Intelligent organic SEO, a house email list, and effective community engagement will provide you with some of the best marketing exposure out there.



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