Promoting your website can be a daunting task: it feels like there are thousands of ways to do it, but all of them take a lot of time or money for no guaranteed return. To help solve this problem, I've compiled a list of ten easy ways to promote your website.

1. Advertise in the Media. Now, you might have already ruled out advertising in newspapers and the like as too expensive, especially since the chances are your audience doesn't live in any specific local area. That mostly rules out radio, too, and TV is even more likely to be out of your reach. What you might not have realised, though, is that you should stop looking at the general media and start looking at the specialist media for your area. For example, if you run a house-buying website, you could advertise it in specialist property magazines, and even on ‘lifestyle' cable channels that show programmes about moving home.

2. Write Your Web Address on Things. If your business has any physical objects, whether it's a product, a carrier bag or just the front of your office, make sure to write your web address on there. Even if people don't keep or remember the exact address, it at least lets them know that your website exists.

3. Give Out Leaflets. There's nothing wrong with a bit of old-fashioned paper promotion: leaflet as many areas as you can. The chances are that your website is targeted to a specific demographic rather than an area, but the post office will be surprisingly helpful when it comes to getting your leaflets where they need to go, if you ask them.

4. Go to Specialist Events. If there's some kind of trade fair for the industry your website is in, turn up to it and promote your website. While there might not be all that many people there, the ones who are there will be influential, and can get your site talked about.

5. Put it on Business Cards. It should go without saying, but once you've gone to all that trouble to set up a website, don't forget to put it on your business cards. After all, if you're relying on them to get people to phone you, why not give them the option of reading more about you on your website?

6. Astroturf on Forums. An often overlooked way of getting traffic to your website is to participate on forums related to the subject and put your web address in your signature. This gets you more traffic than you'd think, especially at very popular forums.

7. Create Controversy. A great trick to promote your website is to use it to say controversial things: as the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity. This works best if you say something that you know will be provocative to a certain kind of person, getting it linked from all over the place. Bear in mind, though, that this strategy is better for advertising-driven websites than it is if you're trying to build a reputation and make sales directly.

8. Keep a Good Blog. While more and more businesses are starting blogs, few of them are doing it right. If you're using your blog to publish product announcements in corporate-speak, it's useless. You need to remember a simple mantra, ‘views not news' make sure your blog has something interesting to say.

9. Buy Search Engine Ads. Many people seem to think it's some kind of admission of defeat, but search engine advertising can work very well, especially with keywords that aren't already cluttered with ads. If you do it right, you can get very targeted ads very cheap indeed, ironically, the more targeted the ads, the cheaper they tend to be.

10. Start an Affiliate Program. Finally, if you're selling something, don't forget that old standby of web marketing: the affiliate program. Offer visitors a cut of the profits if they can sell your products for you, and all of a sudden you've got a crack sales team raring to go. The only trouble with this plan is that everyone is doing it, so you'll need to offer a high percentage of your profits to your affiliates to make the offer attractive to them.

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