All right, you've got a nice site. You've worked long and hard to make it as good as you can. Now you want to get a little recognition for your efforts. You want someone to take a look at what you've accomplished and tell you if you've done a good job.
You can submit your site to awards programs to have it reviewed by other webmasters. There are literally thousands (and probably tens of thousands) of awards available all over internet. Some are easy to win - all you have to do is send in your site and you get award. These are about as fulfilling as white bread.
Some awards programs are exceptionally difficult to win. You have to have a perfect (literally) site to even get close to winning. These are exceptionally frustrating as most of us are not perfect at everything. However, winning one (even a "bronze") can make you feel like you are on top of world.
Most awards programs are run by webmasters who honestly want to examine other sites and reward their creators in some small way for their efforts. These awardmasters generally will not spend a long time looking at your site (although you will find some who spend hours examining each entry), but they will look at least for a few minutes.
How do you submit your site to awards programs? Well, first you have to find sites which give out awards. The absolute best place to look is http://www.awardsites.com - there is no better list of awards programs. My advice is to go there and submit your site to as many programs as you see fit.
Okay, so you've found an award that you want to get. Perhaps it has a nice graphic image (always looks good to have some interesting award images on a web site) or perhaps it just appeals to you for some other reason. Now what?
Look over site. Why? After all, only thing you want to do is submit your site and move on, right? Well, there is an implicit exchange involved in awards programs. You see, awardmaster is typically going to spend some time examining your site to see if it measures up to criteria. In other words, he is going to look over your site. The least you can do is spend a few minutes checking out what he's done.
Once you've spent a few minutes or longer on site, it's a nice touch to sign guestbook. Now, no awards programs which is worth anything requires that a guestbook be signed as part of criteria, and don't expect it to help you win, but it's a nice touch as it finishes your exchange. You are asking someone to do some work for you so you can win, so why not make him or her feel good while you are asking?