In the last post, I looked at options for getting traffic to your sites that don’t cost any money, but cost some time and effort. This time, I’ll look at some methods that do cost money but don’t cost much time or effort.
1. Submitting articles to other people’s blogs
In principle, this is very similar to submitting articles to article directories outlined in the previous post. Most regular article directories require you to log in before you can submit an article. Many also require that you select a category in which to post the article. And different article directories use different software packages to maintain and publish articles. All of which means that there is no automated solution to publishing articles on multiple directories. The best that can be achieved is a half-automated solution where software such as Mass Article Control, pre-fills your login deatils for a site so the only thing you have to think about is what category to post your article in.
Blogs are different. They’re built around a theme (like a category on an article directory) from the outset. Submission to blogs can be automated easily (especially WordPress blogs) so having fully automated software to publish articles on blogs is possible. Two of the best such systems for syndicating your content are Article Marketing Automation ($47 per month) and Syndicate Kahuna ($67 per month)
Both have huge blog networks (with many thousands of blogs or more) in various categories. Both also include tools for spinning your content and you can add up to three links pointing back to your site into an article. It’s a great way of drip-feeding backlinks to your sites over time. Want another few hundred backlinks? Just publish another article.
One other benefit of the article spinning capability is that you can generate an article on demand that you could then submit to a regular article directory. You can repeat this process as often as you like and submit unique articles to each regular article directory (though submission will still be a manual process). The more time you spend preparing your article and the content variations within it, the more unique the published articles will be.
Don’t forget that as well as the hundreds of backlinks you’ll get, you’ll also get link juice passed from any blogs with PR1 or higher rankings back to your own site.
2. Join a Link Exchange
Most link exchanges that are free require you to add a reciprocal link onto your site pointing back to the link directory. Reciprocal links were great a few years back, but they’re not valued much by search engines any more. Having reciprocal links is still better than having no inbound links at all, though
Where search engines put value is in one-way links. The reasoning is that if someone puts a link to your site on their own site, it’ s because they see value in your site, not because they’re getting a link in return.
Of course, you can submit your link to many sites manually, but it’s a very time consuming business and there’s no guarantee your link will be accepted. The paid or membership driven link exchange has arisen to address this by automatically adding a link to your site onto several hundred sites in their site networks. Using them saves you a huge amount of time that you can devote to other things in your business.
My own One Way Links Program drip feeds your links onto various sites in the site network (search engines are suspicious when a site gets a huge number of inbound links in one go). Different packages are available depending on the number of sites you want to promote, ranging from $9.95 per month to promote 5 sites up to $47 per month to promote 50 sites.
3. Buy Text Links
How about the idea of buying links on other people’s sites – links that point back to your own sites. Probably the best known such service is (formerly Text Link Ads). Essentially you’re buying ad space on another website. The links are not embedded in the content but are typically placed somewhere prominent on the home page or on all pages on the site (perhaps in the site’s navigation bar).
The cost of links depends on the page rank of the site – the higher the ranking, the more expensive the link. Ads are priced at a flat rate per month per link. You prepay for a 30 day run of your ad, and your account will be set on recurring billing either via PayPal or credit card. It is also possible to buy links in upcoming (unpublished) pages. They’re called InLink Futures. Prices are also dependent on site ranking and some other factors.
On Text Link Ads, your ads will never be turned off if they get too many impressions or clicks.
Textlinks.com is an alternative option, and allows you to select from 4 different types of text links to your web site. Unlike Text Link Ads, their links are permanent and do not require a monthly fee to keep them active. Links cost only $1 each (and that’s for a permanent link). However, to remain a member with them (i.e. keep your account active), you have to commit to buying 99 links each month so, in effect, there’s a membership fee of $99 per month (but existing links won’t be deactivated if you don’t renew your membership). You can use the links whenever you want so long as your account is active. If you want to buy more than 99 links in any given month, extra links cost $1 unless they’re on a home page, when they cost $3.
4. Submit to Article or Link Directories Using Software
Generally, only smaller search engines, article directories and link directories will allow automated submissions. The bigger sites require you to open an account with them and log in to submit because they don’t want to be spammed with every article or web address going. The better ones will require manual submission and will vet any articles or links submitted. So there is no automated way to submit to a large number of sources.
The best you can do is to use semi-automated software. With such software, the submission input fields will be filled in automatically, but you’ll still have to select a category for your website/article submission and perhaps enter a captcha code. You’ll still have to manually submit to each site but it should only take a few seconds rather than minutes.
For submitting to link directories, Directory Submitter is one of the better apps. The free version can submit to about 80 directories; the registered version can submit to 384. I’ve also heard some very good things about Axandra.
5. Submit ads to Ezines
This option is best used if you have a product or service to sell or you want to promote something like getting people to join your mailing list. It’s not a good approach for advertising websites unless you have a site with proven earnings and you just want to get more traffic to boost your commissions. If you need help with ezone advertising (e.g. help in finding suitable ezines to carry your ad), check out the Directory of Ezines.
6. PPC Advertising
Google Adwords is the biggest PPC opportunity around. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s a very fast way of losing your money. It takes time to hone an advertising campaign to be profitable (i.e. you earn more form sales on your site than the ad costs) . If your ads don’t perform well, you’ll be hit with the Google Slap when keywords you used to bid 10 or 20 cents on will now cost $5. This method is not recommended for advertising ordinary websites. You need to be promoting a product or service that can offset or absorb the advertising costs. Other ad networks such as Yahoo or MSN/Bing are usually cheaper to advertise on but don’t have the reach of Google.
So this post and the previous post list some of the best methods for getting traffic to your sites. This isn’t an exhaustive list and there are other methods I haven’t thought to mention (or don’t know about). But a combination of some of these methods (depending on your particular circumstances and requirements) will help raise the profile of your sites and garner quality traffic to them .
But remember, you need to have something of value to offer your visitors, so make your sites as informative as possible. Smaller sites with good content will always outperform larger sites with little or bad content.
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