GIVING START UP BUSINESSES A HAND UP – If you run a website from home, and there are literally millions around the world doing just that, with thousand more per day formulating their ideas, then you will know just how tough it can be in getting visitors to your website.
One of the obvious and most popular ways to get started is by submitting your website to the major search engines, such as Google and Bing; both of which offer this a free service.
The myth is that the search engines will start sending you lots of free visitors through their search results almost immediately. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way – you can have the best content in the world, but rankings in both Google and Bing are primarily determined by the number of other quality websites that are linking to you; and this job, if you do it properly can take months.
Before I break away from the subject of getting other websites to link to your content, which is widely known as ‘back-linking’, you must approach this subject with extreme caution. Whatever you do, DO NOT be tempted in buying back-links as Google is often able to detected that these are purchased back-links, or unnatural as they refer to them, and severely penalize you rankings in the process.
For more information on back-linking simply search Google for the search term; you will find lots of information on the subject. Another great resource, for all things SEO is seomoz which you should find invaluable in your SEO efforts.
The stark reality is that it takes time and a lot of effort to get your website out there so that people can find you easily.
One method is to tell all your friends about your new website and ask them to share it with their friends. Depending on how large your friends social circles are will invariably determine if they share. When I tried it I didn’t have much success and this is mainly due to my friends being bombarded with all manner of ‘share’ requests from their circle of friends. It really has got to a point where unless the content of the share request really stands out or peaks their interest then it is often discarded.
Another thing you should try it to comment on ‘comment boards’ on other websites that relate to the content you have. Be careful when you do this because the owners of these websites are not really looking to plug your website but rather allow a person to contribute their thoughts and idea, which in turn boosts the content of their sites.
I cannot tell you how many times I have deleted a comment that reads something like;
“Oh yeah great article but visit this site –http://*********”
As you can see this type of comment is nothing more than an attempt to plug a website and offers nothing to the page or to the readers. While it does take time and effort you should read the article and then comment on it and leave a link that is relevant to the topic. For example – If an article is about Giant Pandas and you leave a comment with a link that goes to a website selling running shoes; it will not be welcomed, either by the site owner or the other readers. You will, if you continue with this practice quickly become known as a spammer and before long you will ruin your chances of having a successful website – Golden Rule: Keep it on topic and keep it relevant.
If you are anything like the thousands of new start ups every day then the chances are your computer is in your bedroom or taking up space on the dining room table (it’s the rich folk who have home offices). If this is the case then the chance of you being able to spend any amount of money on online advertising is going to be fairly remote so you will need to be extremely creative and be prepared to work very long hours.
It’s now 9:06pm and I’ve been sitting in my bedroom working since 7:35am and my day is still not over and this occurs 7 days a week. If you ask any web start up they will probably tell you the same thing and contrary to belief starting a web business and keeping it going is extremely hard work.
I’ve actually been toying with an idea of approaching Google to see if they would implement and idea of give all start-ups and helping hand. Today I finally found the time to contact Google with the idea. In basic form I’ve asked Google if they would consider placing a box above, or below, the AdSense Ads, on the search results to promote start up websites. I did lay out a criterion and provided them with the full idea and how it could work.
For me, I think Google and other large corporations, such as Facebook, should give a little back to the web community. While I appreciate it is commercial space, it’s not like they really need the money and the space used wouldn’t have to overly impact on their paying AdWords clients either.
It is early days and I’ll wait to see if Google responds. If they do not respond within a week I’ll take the idea to Facebook and see if they will respond.
Now this all my sound a little naive on my behalf; what large corporation is going to give up Ad space for nothing right? My view on this is more of a Public Relations stunt and certainly any good PR for any company is a good thing and there is no doubt that if Google initiated such an idea to help the start up then this would produce a far better image for the company. It is this very reason that almost all large corporations support various charities; it was only a short while ago that Mark Zuckerberg announced a $500,000 donation to a silicon valley organization that is designed to help tech business, so contrary to me being naive this type of thing actually goes on all the time.
As I looked at my idea and because I fully understand just how difficult running a website can be I thought it might be a good idea to lead by example and so I created a sub-category, ‘Start Ups’, under the main menu heading ‘Business’ to offer free promotion to any web start up – free of any catches like having to link back to meebal.com.
If you are a start up and you meet the criteria below, you are more than welcome to send us information about your start up, what you do and why and we will place that information in this section, in order to help you get a little traffic from our visitors.
Before you start asking what the catch is I can assure you there is not one, it is and always will be completely free – it’s just my way of helping those who need help.
Criteria of Start Up Feature
Your website must be less than 1 year old.
You should have no more than 3 employees
You should send us some ‘unique marketing text’ of at least 300 words to describe what you and your website is all about.
You should provide 2x 600×400 pixel images of screenshots of your website – more if you like.
You should provide us with a URL so that our visitors can click on it to visit your website.
That’s all you need to do and I will take a look at the information and your website and help spread the word to my readers. Send your information to: firstname.lastname@example.org