5 Ways to Promote Your Business for FREE [Without Google or Facebook Ads]
An interesting fact: To most, the term organic refers to natural foods which are grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. However, the scientific community considers anything containing carbon to be organic… which brings me to today’s topic: Right now, I’m going to show you how to advertise without spending money. More specifically, I’m going to show you five website promotion methods that were used during the web 1.0 era. Most of these methods still work today and most are still free.<<>> You are now tuned in to Leonard Innovation, where achieving the impossible is an everyday occurrence. My name is Justin Leonard. How do you advertise without spending money? I’ll show you. Recently, I contributed an article to Entrepreneur Magazine. By the way, a link to the article can be found in the description. But my inspiration for the article was an ecommerce marketing virtual summit where they were looking for speakers. And my first thought was, most of these speakers are going to discuss… the usual stuff we always hear about: facebook ads, google ads, Instagram ads, growing your followers… That kinda stuff. And most of these speakers haven’t been online since 1998. So, that’s when the idea came to me: If every resource that people use today for advertising… google ads, facebook ads, youtube ads… if those suddenly disappeared… how would you promote your business? Okay, let’s look at what we were doing back in the day. And here are the five methods of website or brand promotion: Banner rotation networks, Reciprocal link pages, Guest articles and posts, Cloned websites, and then Platforms and databases. So I’m going to explain how each of these worked, starting with banner rotation networks.<<>> One of the earliest ways to promote without spending money on advertising was to join a banner rotation network. The way this worked is you would join a network of other advertisers. You would then submit a banner ad. You would then embed a script or line of code on your website. Then, random ads would be displayed in a rotation. Sometimes, the rotation was activated by specific action. For example, when the page refreshed or upon a preset time interval. And yes, typically you could choose which of category of ads you wanted to display. For example, if your website was sports related, you could display sports related ads. So, your banner would appear on other websites and that would potentially give you exposure to new customers. This technology is still around today, and the advent of retargeting makes it even more powerful than ever before. Retargeting allows an advertiser to display ads across the web after the user has interacted with, and left a website. <<>> Reciprocal link pages. During the web 1.0 era, we would establish reciprocal link pages which were dedicated pages for text based hyperlinks and banner ads. If you had a website, you would simply reach out to other websites and see if they wanted exchange links. Being featured on a link page gave you additional exposure. The problem was the pages were sometimes too large and in some cases were entirely created by robots. So the old school link pages are no longer a thing. Google at some point, determined that they didn’t elevate the user experience. However, you can still create link pages with a few highly targeted resources. It just has to make sense. It can’t be random links.<<>> Guest posts and articles: They still work. You simply reach out to a website and offer to contribute an exclusive article. You explain how doing so would benefit their audience. When you do this and they agree to it, they usually include a short bio along with a link back to your website. And what this does is put you in front of new customers and ultimately increases website traffic. Again: we are advertising without spending money.<<>> Cloned websites: You’ve probably never heard of this strategy before but website cloning was highly effective for promotion. Best of all, it didn’t cost you anything. Just time and effort. How did it work? You would simply create a copy or copies of your best performing website. You can see here in these examples; they were all clones. Most of my websites had different names, colors, design, and other variations. But ultimately, it was pretty much the same website as the original. The purpose of a cloned website was to promote another website which offered something for sale or was incentivized in some other way. Unfortunately, today, the practice of cloning a website is frowned upon because search engines now have the ability to detect duplicate content. However, there are still ways around it by simply making sure the content is substantially different from site to site.<<>> Another way to advertise without spending money is by creating a platform or database website. Back in the day, they didn’t really have terms to describe various website types. But the reason some of my websites significantly outperformed others was because they were either platforms or databases. If you take a look here at my old site: infomercial ratings.com, it facilitated user reviews of as seen on tv products and services. So this is both a platform, and in more ways than one, a database. It was the largest collection of infomercial products, descriptions, photos, reviews, and more. I should note that infomercial ratings was sold long ago and is now defunct… But here is my other site, workoutz.com when it first launched. In addition to free exercise video demonstrations, I created a free workout generator. And not just one but two. The first was more of a guided workout program based on a questionnaire. This was for lay people who didn’t know where to start. And then I created a second workout generator for fitness professionals. This was a fully customizable version of the workout generator where the fitness pros had full control. So, this was a platform because it facilitated workout programs. Now, platforms typically attract a large audience. And the users typically have to return regularly to log into an account to do something. Sites like this don’t require a lot of advertising. True, they can sometimes take time and money to get off the ground, but once you create it, there will be residual, cost-free promotion.<<>>And that is how to advertise without spending money on facebook ads or google ads. As a reminder, I have included a link to the original entrepreneur magazine article in the description. Lastly, if you enjoyed this presentation, the next one will be even better. 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