In part one of “Spreading the Word” I talked about how to optimize your site for search. Now I’m going to give you some suggestions on how to reach out to the people you know (and the ones you don’t) to let them know about your fantastic new web site.
Link Sharing Sites
When I began freelancing I sent http://smackhappydesign.com/wp-admin/edit.phplinks to friends and family asking them to promote my site on Delicious, Digg, Reddit and Technorati. I went to each site and created the appropriate links to include in the email, which made it easy for them to help out (my original links are listed below). Here’s the message I sent:
I’m trying to generate a little buzz for my new company. If you have an account with any of these sites, please bookmark me, I can use all the help I can get!
Write a Press Release
Another somewhat easy thing to do is write a press release. I’m not the best writer in the world, so I hired this copywriter. Once we finished the press release, I submitted it to a distribution service. Here is the one I used, plus the others I considered:
- www.prlog.org (free – this is the one I used)
- www.pressrelease365.com ($25-$100)
- www.prleap.com ($50-$150 – this is the one I plan on trying next time. It includes Google News.)
If you don’t already have one for your business or web site, create a twitter account and tweet about your content or field as often as you can, but make it personal — don’t just try to sell to your audience or it will sound spammy. Read this article (and the ones it links to) about finding freelance work. Even though it is geared towards a specific industry, I think the overall message still applies.
Create an Email Signature
Add a signature to your email that includes a link to your site, along with your tagline or a brief description of your business. That way, every time you communicate with someone they’ll see that you have a web site and they might even forward it on.
Seek Out Blogs and Forums
I mentioned doing a “Link Exchange” in part one, but I think it’s worth reiterating here. Look for blogs or forums that are related to your industry. Try to comment on them and include a link to your site. Set aside some time to do this at least once every week. Try to answer questions, or post questions and get your name (web site) out there. As you write on these other sites, you build yourself up as an expert in your field, and consequently, you also build up a great link network that will help you with SEO.