Generate Web Traffic
By Beth Ann Erickson
You've got a website. Good for you! Now comes the hard part: How do you get traffic?
I've read that when it comes to owning your own site, what matters most is how many hits you get. However, I disagree.
As a writer, you're selling a specialized product - yourself and your writing skills. This means you may not want every member of the general public visiting your site. What you do want are potential clients and customers to find you.
How do you do that?
You can start by creating an e-mail signature. A signature is a blurb your program inserts at the end of every e-mail you send.
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Microsoft Outlook allows you to create a signature under "Tools" on the menu bar then select "Options." Other e-mail programs are probably different. If you need help, just go to your program's
"help" option and run a search.
Make your signature concise, benefit oriented, and don't forget to include your URL. Use everything you know about copywriting to write something snappy and memorable.
Now that your signature is done, write ten to twenty key words that describe your web site.
FilbertPublishing's key words include:
Writer, Write, Writing, Freelance, Copywriting, Fiction, Nonfiction... you get the point.
Now you're ready to register with a few search engines.
There are thousands of search engines out in cyber space but most of them aren't going to give you enough traffic to warrant registering with them. I'd suggest you just shoot for the biggies and then go back to the smaller ones if you want to.
Some of the engines you may want to "submit your site" to are:
As you "submit your site," you'll be using your key words and signature "blurb" to fill in their forms.
If your web site is about a particular subject, chances are there is a "web ring" you can join. Go to http://www.yahoo.com, type in "web ring" and check them out. Filbert Publishing is a member of a
number of fiction writing web rings.
Next, you need to find out where your potential clients hang out.
If you want to write for small businesses, find e-mail lists and newsgroups that cater to these folks. A quick search in Yahoo or the Google Newsgroup (formally Deja News) will give you enough information to get to work.
Frequent these newsgroups, e-mail lists, and listservs, and join in the conversation. Don't promote yourself blatantly, but let your new e-mail signature do the selling for you. Blatant selling is not permitted, but the soft sell of an e-mail sig is certainly welcomed.
You can advertise in e-mags. Find e-mags that cater to your target audience and place a small ad in them. However don't place just one ad. Run at least four consecutive ads - better yet, keep it running for an extended period of time. You may be able to negotiate a lesser fee if you place a link on your site.
Finally, be sure to put your website URL on your business cards and in EVERY piece of advertising you purchase. Be creative and always target your message to the audience you want to reach. I have a
separate URL designed especially for my copywriting clients, my Writing Etc. subscribers, and the Web Ring surfers.
Be creative and have fun. Do something on a regular basis (preferably daily) to promote your web site. And always remember... you're going to make mistakes. It's just the nature of this business. But never let the fear of mistakes stop you from trying something new....
This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book "Power Queries."
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