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3. Create an email signature file Most email programs allow you to create a “signature file,” or text that is automatically attached to each email you send. Including a signature file with your site’s URL makes each email you send a promotional tool.
4. Participate in forums and listservs There are literally thousands of web-based forums and email listservs out there that allow people with similar interests to communicate. Think of these as electronic mixers where you can network with others in your line of business or your target market. Keep in mind, though, that participants are expected to keep their discussion to topic of forum/listserv, and that naked promotion and advertising may be grounds for your expulsion from group. Most, however, do allow signature files, so use these to promote while you enjoy conversation and debate with others.
5. Start an ezine An ezine is simply a web or email-based magazine or newsletter. Ezines can help you stay in touch with existing customers and attract new ones. Many ezines are nothing more than promotional tools, though, so make sure yours actually provides information that your customers want and need. If you don’t have time or skills to create and manage your own ezine, hire someone to do it for you.
6. Write for other ezines Even if you don’t want to tackle challenge of producing your own ezine, many other web and email-based publications accept article submissions. An article in a well-regarded ezine can quickly position you as a name in your field or business. Keep in mind that most ezines don’t pay – rather, they publish a signature file with your article. Of course, your signature file in a widely-circulated ‘zine can do wonders for your website promotion. If you don’t think you have necessary writing skills, hire a writer who will ghostwrite an article for you.
7. Send press releases to news sites Just as with more traditional forms of media, web-based news sites rely on press releases for much of their content. A well-written press release can bring you tons of free promotion. If you chose this tactic, make sure that you create a newsworthy release, as thinly-disguised advertising is likely to end up in recipient’s recycle bin. Also make sure you use standard format and writing style, and send your release only to sites that would be interested in kind of news you’re submitting.
These tactics are only tip of iceberg, of course. With a little creativity, and a knowledge of web etiquette, website promotion can become a challenge rather than a chore.
Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Ph.D., is an English professor and freelance business writer. You may contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org