If you are just starting out with a new website, it can be pretty tricky figuring what your first move should be.
There are so many ways that you can promote your new website, and it is easy to let overwhelm prevent you from actually getting off the ground.
So with that in mind, I am going to break it down for you and suggest how you can conquer the choice effect and pick up your first few drops of momentum. Once you are moving, picking up speed is much easier, but those first few steps are the ones that matter right now.
Let’s Break down Internet Marketing
For the sakes of simplicity, let’s think about website promotion in 4 categories. Each category is a consideration on it’s own, and whilst they can all be thought of as being interlinked, it is simplest to start with if we get to grips with each on it’s own.
All those things like Twitter, Facebook, Technorati, Digg etc! There are literally hundreds of social media tools that you can consider using for your site. Don’t worry though, none of them are absolutely essential. Just pick one to start with, which ever one you can understand the most easily, and work on finding ways to use that. Unless you are already an expert on social networking, it is easiest to learn one at a time rather than rushing in and trying to learn ten.
SEO is all the stuff you do to get free traffic from the search engines. This is in my opinion one of the most important bits to get right. Good SEO results take time, but once you have developed good search engine ranks, that will continue to bring you free traffic. There is a lot to learn, but if you start with the basics and build a solid foundation right from the start, you can learn more about SEO as you go along.
I’m talking about things like banner Ads, and most notably; Adwords. Paid advertising is great if you have the cash to put into it, but you have to be very careful about how you do it. Sometimes it is only possible to break even with PPC programs and you might find that repeat custom is your only way to make it profitable. My recommendation would usually be to take your time. When you have the time to test and know exactly how much money (if any) your Ads are bringing in, then you can start experimenting with PPC.
Perhaps the single most important aspect here, yet also the most often neglected. I could write pages about the importance of a good mailing list, but suffice to say for now; setting up a good email marketing strategy should be number one (or at least top 3) priority from the outset.
Just Starting? Here’s What to do
Promoting a new website is not necessarily a one size fits all activity, your own situation, and market might be better suited to different mediums. But if you are at risk of being overwhelmed, having a simple plan to start off is better than being paralysed into inaction.
So here’s my recommended plan to get you started with your new website business:
Set up your site first of all, get it working. Then you can start laying the foundations of your SEO efforts. Just build a couple of links and write some good content to get your site bulked up a little. In the meantime, figure out how you are going to sign up new email contacts and get a working mailing list.
Figure out a plan that will help you to keep on top of your email marketing. This is all important because it is very easy to never get round to actually using the email contacts you gain.
Once that is set up, pick up a social networking site of some sort and learn how to use it. My first one was Twitter, but you can pick whichever site you “get” the most easily.
Once everything is running reasonably well, start to learn the basics of setting up and tracking an Adwords campaign, and if you then feel comfortable, set up a cheap Ad and see how it goes. Never set up an Adwords campaign without using conversion tracking. If you can’t track successful sales you can’t know whether it is worth the money you are spending, so always track.
Once you have gotten that far you should have a much better idea of what you are doing, now you can start to develop your skills in more depth, getting started is the biggest hurdle though. Just remember this: you don’t need to do things perfectly, just doing something is what matters.
Mark Johnson is the founder of Marks Marketing blog, a blog for internet entrepreneurs and info-preneurs. He blogs about everything from starting an internet business to maximizing your Adsense profits.